Florida, Idaho Sellouts Make Conference Finals Tremendous Success
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Florida Everblades sold out 7,080 tickets for both Game 1 and Game 2 of the Kelly Cup Finals in less than 24 hours. The Everblades began selling tickets immediately following their win in Game 5 on Monday, selling over 3,500 tickets while keeping the box office open until 1 a.m. on Tuesday.
The sellouts on Friday and Saturday will give Florida four consecutive sellouts as the Everblades drew a standing-room-only crowd of 7,444 on Monday and a record-setting crowd of 7,738 for Game 2 on April 30. Florida and Idaho will play at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday and Saturday with Games 3 and 4 in Idaho on May 19 and 21 at 7:05 p.m. MT.
The two crowds in Florida combined with two sellouts in Idaho made the Conference Finals one of the most successful in the 16-year history of the ECHL. The nine games drew 47,511 for an average of 5,279 per game, the third-highest per game average in league history.
Heading into the Kelly Cup Finals, the ECHL has drawn 203,604 and is averaging 3,393 per game, the highest per game average since 2000. The average of 3,393 per game is up 31 percent from the postseason average of 2,578 in 2003 when the ECHL and the now defunct West Coast Hockey League combined drew 203,651 for 79 games.
The 7,444 on Monday was the second postseason sellout and the 10th sellout of the season for Florida which had previously eclipsed its team record for attendance on January 17 (7,386), January 31 (7,581) and April 30 (7,738). The 7,444 and 7,738 are the two largest Conference Finals crowds in the past five years and are the second and third largest postseason crowds since 2000. The largest Kelly Cup Playoffs crowd since 2000 is 8,834 at South Carolina for the decisive game of the 2000 Kelly Cup Finals.
Idaho drew 10,558 for two games in the Conference Finals and averaged 5,279 per game, exceeding the capacity of the Bank of America Centre (5,006) by more than five percent. Florida drew 20,539 for three Conference Finals games and averaged 6,846 per game, more than 96
percent of the capacity of TECO Arena (7,080). Reading drew 10,857 for two games in the Conference Finals and averaged 5,429 per game, 75 percent of the capacity of the Sovereign Center (7,215).
Florida leads the postseason in total attendance with 41,334 and average attendance with 5,904. The Everblades have led the ECHL in average postseason attendance in every one of their six seasons and have eight of the Top 20 postseason crowds since 2000. 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.
The crowd of 5,082 for Game 4 was Idaho’s second sellout of the postseason and its league-leading 12th sellout of 2003-04. The crowd of 5,476 for Game 3 was the largest postseason crowd in the history of the Bank of America Centre. In the postseason, Idaho ranks third in total attendance with 28,691 and fourth in average attendance with 4,203 per game.
Making the first Kelly Cup Playoffs appearance in its three-year history, Reading is third in total attendance with 28,691 and third in average attendance with 4,781 per game. Reading has ranked second in both total and average attendance in the regular season each of its three seasons, including 2003-04 when the Royals drew 193,367 for an average of 5,371 per game. Alaska sold out two of its three postseason games and drew 17,305 for an average of 5,768 per game which ranks second in the postseason. The Aces became the first ECHL team to have two sellouts in the postseason since 2000 when Florida sold out its two first-round games with Augusta on April 8 (7,181) and 19 (7,181).
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. 7,444 Reading at Florida Eastern Finals May 10, 2004
4. 7,524 Louisiana at Peoria Kelly Cup Finals May 31, 2000
5. 7,511 Peoria at Louisiana Kelly Cup Finals May 24, 2000
6. 7,181 Augusta at Florida Southern Quarterfinals April 8, 2000
7. 7,181 Augusta at Florida Southern Quarterfinals April 19, 2000
8. 7,145 Peoria at Louisiana Kelly Cup Finals May 25, 2000
9. 6,645 Peoria at Louisiana Kelly Cup Finals May 28, 2000
10. 6,595 Louisiana at Greenville Southern Finals May 13, 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. 6,451 San Diego at Alaska Pacific Semifinals April 9, 2004
4. 6,251 Idaho at Alaska Pacific Finals April 20, 2004
5. 5,476 Gwinnett at Idaho Western Finals May 1, 2004
6. 5,082 Gwinnett at Idaho Western Finals May 5, 2004