Charlotte drew over 24,000 for three games, including the largest crowd in team history with 11,237 on Feb. 10, and Alaska had more than 16,500 for a three-game series to help the ECHL raise average attendance for the fourth straight week to 4,105 per game.
Eleven of the 23 returning teams have increased their average attendance as the league tries to raise attendance for the fourth consecutive year for the first time ever. The average of 4,372 per game in 2005-06 was the largest since 1999-2000 and 13 of 22 returning teams saw attendance grow.
Florida welcomed its two millionth fan on Feb. 10 to become the sixth ECHL team to reach two million. In their ninth season, the Everblades are the third fastest to two million behind Louisiana (seventh season) and South Carolina (eighth season). Florida has never drawn less than 220,000 fans or averaged less than 6,200 per game and has led the league in attendance five times in the last six years. The Everblades are sixth in all-time attendance behind South Carolina, Charlotte, Hampton Roads, Louisiana and Dayton.
Charlotte moved into second in the league with 6,117 per game which is an increase of more than 4.5 percent from last season when average attendance grew by more than 15.5 percent. The Checkers have sold out five of their last six games and lead the ECHL with seven sellouts. The listed capacity for the Bobcats Arena is 6,800, but additional sections can be opened to accommodate larger crowds.
Alaska had its second-largest crowd of the season on Feb. 10 and more than 16,500 watched the three-game West Division showdown with Phoenix to increase average attendance to 5,024 per game which is up 2.8 percent from last season. The Aces have increased their average attendance every year and their per-game average is up more than 15.8 percent since they joined as an expansion team in 2003-04.
Idaho has sold out three of its last five games and raised its average attendance to 4,324 per game while Fresno raised its average to 4,987 per game which is an increase of 10.45 percent from a year ago. Utah continues to lead the league in attendance growth with 14.14 percent while Dayton remains second at 13.88 percent.
Bakersfield is fourth in the league with 5,685 per game and Gwinnett is fifth with 5,657 per game. The Gladiators average is up 2.3 percent from a year ago while the Condors are up 1.4 percent as they look to raise average attendance for the fourth consecutive season since joining the league as an expansion team in 2003-04.
Stockton raised its league-leading attendance to 6,978 per game which is an increase of 9.1 percent from their league-leading attendance last season. The Thunder’s average is the largest since 2000-01 when Florida led the league with 7,086 per game and Greenville was second with 7,015 per game.
Johnstown had another strong weekend and raised its attendance to 2,471 per game which is up 2.2 percent from a year ago while South Carolina had 8,133 on Feb. 10 and raised its average to 5,010 per game.