For the first time in its 16-year history, the ECHL sold out every game of the Kelly Cup Finals drawing 31,224 fans for five games, an average of 6,245 per game which is the highest per-game average since 1999.
The five sellouts surpasses the record of four sellouts in the Finals set in 1998 when Pensacola sold out Games 1, 2 and 7 and Hampton Roads sold out Game 5.
Kelly Cup Champion Idaho drew 16,423 fans for three Finals games averaging 5,474 per game which is 109.4 percent of the capacity of the Bank of America Centre (5,006). The crowd of 5,771 for Game 4 was 115.3 percent of the capacity of the Bank of America Centre (5,006) making it the largest percent of capacity crowd in Finals history.
The crowd of 5,374 that watched Idaho’s 5-2 win on Saturday was 107.4 percent of capacity, the third largest in history, while the crowd of 5,278 for Game 3 was 105.4 percent of the capacity, the fourth largest in history.
Eastern Conference Champion Florida drew 14,801 for two Finals games averaging 7,401 per game which is 104.5 percent of the capacity of TECO Arena (7,080). The crowd of 7,374 for Game 1 was 104.2 percent of capacity, the sixth largest in history, while the crowd of 7,427 for Game 2 was 104.9 percent of capacity, the fifth largest in history. The crowds are the 10th and 11th largest sellouts in ECHL Finals history and are the largest Finals crowds since 8,834 at South Carolina for the deciding game of the 2001 Kelly Cup Finals.
There were a record 11 sellout crowds in the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs, including two by Alaska in the Pacific Division Semifinals. The ECHL drew 234,828 fans and averaged 3,613 fans per game, the highest per game average in the past four years. The average of 3,613 per game is up more than 40 percent from the combined postseason average of 2,578 per game in 2003 for the ECHL and the now defunct West Coast Hockey League.
After leading the league in the regular season with 10 sellouts, Idaho sold out its last five postseason games to lead the league in the postseason with five sellouts, including a record crowd of 5,771 for Game 4 on Friday. The Steelheads ranked second in postseason attendance with 41,645 and fourth in average postseason attendance with 4,627.
Florida, which ranked second in the regular season with eight sellouts, sold out its last four postseason games and ranked second in the postseason with four sellouts. In the Conference Finals and the Finals, the Everblades drew 29,983 fans, including a record crowd of 7,738 for Game 2 of the Conference Finals, and averaged 7,496 per game which is 106 percent of the capacity of TECO Arena. The four sellouts rank second, fifth, sixth and seventh among the largest crowds since 2000.
Florida led the postseason in total attendance with 56,135 and average attendance with 6,237 per game. The Everblades have now led the ECHL in average postseason attendance in every one of their six seasons and since 2000 they have six of the Top 10 postseason crowds.