Back-to-back sellouts in Florida combined with five crowds over 6,000 and eight other crowds in excess of 5,000 helped the ECHL increase its average attendance for the ninth consecutive week to 4,292 per game, an increase of more than nine percent from a year ago.
The league reached three million fans in the shortest number of games since 1999-2000 and is on pace for the highest average attendance since 2000-01 when it averaged 4,319 per game.
The Everblades had 7,333 on Friday and 7,166 on Saturday, marking the second and third sellouts and the third and fourth crowd of more than 7,000 in the last six games. Florida, which has led the ECHL in attendance each of the past six seasons, continues to lead the league with 6,127 per game followed by first-year member Stockton at 6,043 per game.
The ECHL has had 28 sellout crowds and 11 crowds of more than 10,000 led by San Diego which has had four crowds over 10,000 and Stockton which has had three capacity crowds of 10,117. Gwinnett has had two crowds over 10,000, including a sellout of 11,355 on Nov. 11, and Charlotte had 10,894 on Nov. 25 and 10,945 on Feb. 18.
Charlotte had more than 12,000 for its two games on Friday and Sunday and increased its attendance to 5,862 per game which ranks third in the league and is up more than 16 percent from a year ago. San Diego ranks fourth at 5,663 followed by Bakersfield at 5,591, which is up more than three percent from 2004-05.
Nine teams increased their average attendance this past week, including Alaska, which averaged more than 5,100 for its three-game series with Idaho, and Johnstown, which drew more than 8,000 for its three games on the weekend.