A standing-room-only crowd of 14,023 in Fresno combined with almost 11,000 in Gwinnett and the largest crowds of the season in Augusta and Charlotte helped ECHL attendance climb for the third consecutive week to 4,070 per game.
The crowd in Fresno is the largest in team history and the seventh-largest in ECHL history. The Falcons increased their average to 4,944 which is up 9.67 percent from a year ago, the third-highest increase in the league.
Gwinnett had 10,853 for its Kelly Cup Finals rematch with Alaska on Feb. 3, the second-largest crowd of the year behind only a sellout crowd of 11,355 on Nov. 14. The Gladiators are fourth in the league with 5,739 per game which is up 3.75 percent from last season.
Charlotte had 9,570 on Feb. 2 which is the largest crowd of the season as well as the third consecutive sellout and league-leading fifth sellout of the season. The Checkers are fourth in the league with 5,739 per game. The listed capacity for the Bobcats Arena is 6,800, but additional sections can be opened to accommodate larger crowds.
Utah, which had its second-largest crowd of the year on Feb. 3, has seen its average attendance grow by a league-leading 15.79 percent from last season while Dayton is second in attendance growth with 13.88 percent.
Stockton had 8,379 on Feb. 2 to raise its league-leading attendance to 6,933 per game which is up 8.51 percent from a year ago when the Thunder led the league in their first season. Johnstown, which had its second-largest crowd of the year on Feb. 3, and Pensacola, which had its second-largest crowd of the year on Feb. 2, have both raised their average attendance from last season.
Florida, which has never drawn less than 220,000 or averaged less than 6,200 per game while leading the league in attendance in five of its first eight seasons, is second in the league with 6,060 per game. Bakersfield is sixth with 5,708 per game as the Condors look to raise their average attendance for the fourth season in a row since joining the ECHL as an expansion team in 2003-04.
The league has raised average attendance each of the last three years, including 2005-06 when it had its largest per-game average since 1999-2000 with 4,372 per game as 13 of 22 returning teams raised attendance.