Trio Of Sellouts Raise Attendance

Sellout crowds in Charlotte, Idaho and Stockton and season-high crowds in Pensacola and Utah helped the ECHL draw 140,214 over the weekend to raise its average attendance to 4,214 per game which is an increase of more than eight percent from 2004-05 and almost 13 percent from 2003-04 and more than 18 percent from 2002-03.

The ECHL has had 23 sellout crowds and seven crowds of more than 10,000 in 2005-06 led by San Diego which had the largest crowd in its history with 13,001 on Nov. 5. Stockton has had three crowds of 10,117 while Gwinnett has two crowds over 10,000, including a sellout crowd of 11,355 on Nov. 11, and Charlotte had 10,894 on Nov. 25.

Stockton had 10,117 on Saturday marking the third Saturday in a row that there has been a sellout crowd and the third crowd of the season over 10,000 at Stockton Arena. The first-year Thunder continues to lead the league with 6,142 per game which is the highest average since 2001-02 when Florida had 6,619 per game.

Charlotte had 7,638 on Saturday marking the fourth Saturday in a row that there has been a sellout crowd at Bobcats Arena which had 9,644 on Feb. 4, 9,844 on Jan. 28 and 9,852 on Jan. 21. The listed capacity for the new facility is 6,800, but additional sections can be opened to accommodate larger crowds. The Checkers have a league-leading seven sellouts and rank fourth in the league with 5,755 per game which is an increase of 14 percent from 2004-05.

Idaho had a sellout crowd for the third Saturday in a row with 5,182 on Saturday while Pensacola had 5,722 on Friday and Utah had a season-best 6,324 on Saturday. The Steelheads have had the second-most sellouts in the league with five and are averaging 4,350 per game.

South Carolina had over 10,600 for its games on Friday and Saturday and raised its average attendance again to 4,912 per game while Alaska also increased its attendance to 4,738 per game.

Perennial attendance leader Florida is second in the league with 6,074 per game while Bakersfield is averaging 5,793 per game which is an increase of more than seven percent from 2004-05 and more than 28 percent from 2003-04.