Everblades Have Four Consecutive Postseason Sellouts
PRINCETON, N.J. – The first two games of the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals drew standing-room-only crowds at TECO Arena with 7,374 fans for Game 1 on Friday and 7,427 for Game 2 on Saturday. 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 decisive game of the 2000 Kelly Cup Finals.
The Kelly Cup Finals move to Idaho for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday at 7:05 p.m. MT.
There have been eight sellout crowds in the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The ECHL has drawn 218,405 fans and is averaging 3,523 fans per game, the highest per game average in the past five years. The average of 3,523 per game is up more than 36 percent from the combined postseason average of 2,578 per game in 2003 for the ECHL and the now defunct West Coast Hockey League.
In terms of the capacity of TECO Arena, the crowd on Saturday was 105 percent of capacity and the crowd on Friday was 104 percent of capacity, making them the second and third largest percentage of capacity crowds in ECHL Finals history. The largest is 115 percent (6,202 at 5,406-seat Wheeling Civic Center) for Game 5 of the Riley Cup Finals on April 17, 1993.
Florida has now had four standing-room-only crowds in a row in the postseason, drawing 29,983 fans for an average of 7,496 per game which is 106 percent of the capacity of TECO Arena. In the Conference Finals Florida had a crowd of 7,444 for Game 5 of the Conference Finals and a TECO Arena record crowd of 7,738 for Game 2. The four sellouts rank second, fifth, sixth and seventh among the largest crowds since 2000. The Everblades have 12 sellouts in 2003-04 and eclipsed their team record for attendance on January 17 (7,386), January 31 (7,581) and April 30 (7,738).
Florida leads the postseason in total attendance with 56,135 and average attendance with 6,237. The Everblades have 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. In the regular season, Florida led the ECHL in total attendance with 223,732 and average attendance with 6,214, the fourth consecutive year that the Everblades have led the league in both total attendance and average attendance.
Idaho drew 10,558 for two games in the Conference Finals for an average of 5,279 per game, exceeding the capacity of the Bank of America Centre (5,006) by more than five percent. Idaho drew 5,476 for Game 3 of the Conference Finals, the largest postseason crowd in the history of the Bank of America Centre. It was the second postseason sellout and the 12th sellout overall for Idaho in 2003-04. In the postseason, Idaho ranks third in total attendance with 25,222 and fourth in average attendance with 4,203 per game.
Top 10 Kelly Cup Playoffs Crowds Since 2000
1. 8,834 Trenton at S. Carolina Kelly Cup Finals May 27, 2001
2. 7,738 Reading at Florida Eastern Finals April 30, 2004
3. 7,524 Louisiana at Peoria Kelly Cup Finals May 31, 2000
4. 7,511 Peoria at Louisiana Kelly Cup Finals May 24, 2000
5. 7,444 Reading at Florida Eastern Finals May 10, 2004
6. 7,427 Idaho at Florida Kelly Cup Finals May 15, 2004
7. 7,374 Idaho at Florida Kelly Cup Finals May 14, 2004
8. 7,181 Augusta at Florida Southern Quarterfinals April 8, 2000
9. 7,181 Augusta at Florida Southern Quarterfinals April 19, 2000
10. 7,145 Peoria at Louisiana Kelly Cup Finals May 25, 2000
2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs Sellouts
1. 7,738 Reading at Florida Eastern Finals April 30, 2004
2. 7,444 Reading at Florida Eastern Finals May 10, 2004
3. 7,427 Idaho at Florida Kelly Cup Finals May 15, 2004
4. 7,374 Idaho at Florida Kelly Cup Finals May 14, 2004
5. 6,451 San Diego at Alaska Pacific Semifinals April 9, 2004
6. 6,251 Idaho at Alaska Pacific Finals April 20, 2004
7. 5,476 Gwinnett at Idaho Western Finals May 1, 2004
8. 5,082 Gwinnett at Idaho Western Finals May 5, 2004