Gulls’ Crowd of 10,188 Boosts ECHL Opening Night Average

San Diego drew 10,188 for its home opener on Saturday increasing the ECHL average opening night attendance from 5,661 to 5,763. The ECHL has drawn 167,131 for the 28 home openers that have been played.

The Texas Wildcatters will open the new 7,500-seat Ford Arena on Saturday hosting Louisiana. Fresno will be the last of the 31 teams to play its home opener when it hosts Bakersfield on November 16. The Falcons are awaiting completion of the 13,800-seat Save Mart Center.

The 22 former ECHL teams have drawn 124,792 fans and averaged 5,672 for their home openers compared to 112,742 and an average of 5,125 in 2002-03, an increase of more than 10 percent. The 26 ECHL and WCHL teams that played in 2002-03 have drawn 149,357 and averaged 5,745 for their home openers compared to 129,963 and 5,199 for their home openers in 2002-03, an increase of more than 10 percent.

In the first three weeks, the ECHL has drawn 418,796 fans for 109 games and is averaging 3,842 per game. In the first three weeks of 2002-03, the ECHL drew 362,605 fans and averaged 3,663 per game while the WCHL drew 85,494 and averaged 5,029 per game.