Sellout crowds in Johnstown and Stockton and the two largest crowds of the season in Augusta raised the ECHL attendance to 2,877,308 as the league moved closer to three million fans for the 14th consecutive season.
The ECHL has had 23 sellouts this season led by Charlotte with seven sellouts and Idaho with four sellouts. Florida, Johnstown and Stockton each have two sellouts while Alaska, Dayton, Fresno, Gwinnett, Reading and South Carolina each have one sellout. South Carolina has had two crowds in excess of 10,000 this season with 10,112 on Oct. 21, 2006 and 10,496 on Jan. 20, which was the first sellout since Oct. 24, 1998.
Stockton welcomed almost 21,000 for three games, including its second sellout of the year with 9,737 on Mar. 3, and raised its league-leading attendance to 6,865 per game, which is an increase of 7.60 percent from a year ago when the Thunder led the league in their inaugural season. Stockton’s average is the largest since 2000-01 when Florida led the ECHL with 7,086 per game and Greenville was second with 7,015.
Johnstown had its second sellout of the season with 4,021 on Feb. 28 and raised its average to 2,522 per game, which is up 4.00 percent from last season.
Alaska raised its average to 5,068 per game, which is up 3.65 percent from a year ago, and 16.77 percent from 2003-04 as the Aces look to raise their attendance for the fourth season in a row. Reading had its third-largest crowd of the season with 6,789 on Mar. 3 as the Royals raised their average to 5,213 per game, which is sixth in the league.
Augusta had its two largest crowds of the season on Mar. 2 and 3 to raise its average to 2,517 per game while Las Vegas had its second-largest crowd of the year with 6,520 on Mar. 2 and raised its average to 5,067 per game.
Florida is second in the league with 6,071 per game followed by Charlotte with 6,003 per game, which is up 2.8 percent from last season. Bakersfield is third with 5,710 per game, which is up 1.9 percent from a year ago as the Condors look to increase average attendance for the fourth straight season since joining as an expansion team in 2003-04.
Twelve of the 23 returning teams have seen their average attendance increase from last season. Utah leads the league in increased attendance with 10.1 percent followed by Fresno with 8.9 percent. Dayton has increased its average by 7.1 percent while Toledo is up 4.1 percent. The ECHL is trying to raise attendance for the fourth year in a row for the first time ever. In 2005-06 the league had its largest average since 1999-2000 with 4,327 per game when 13 of 22 returning teams raised their attendance.