Jackals Have League-Leading Seventh Sellout

Elmira had its league-leading seventh sellout on Dec. 19 and Toledo became the first team to reach 100,000 fans as the ECHL heads into the Christmas break averaging 4,162 per game which is up 8.2 percent from the first 10 weeks a year ago.

The Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has drawn 1,173,604 fans and reached one million fans in 237 games which is the fastest since 206 games in 1999-2000.

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The only minor professional hockey league to increase average attendance each of the last two seasons, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League has averaged more than 4,000 fans each of the last five seasons and 17 times in the last 19 years while drawing more than 3 million fans for 16 straight seasons.

Five returning teams are ahead of their average attendance from 2008-09 led by Cincinnati with 22.03 percent and Elmira with 13.49 percent. The Jackals are averaging 3,781 per game which is 99.9 percent of capacity at First Arena. Elmira has had 26 sellouts since joining the ECHL and led the league their first season in 2007-08 with 14 sellouts and tied for the lead a year ago with five sellouts. The Cyclones led minor professional hockey with a 36 percent increase in 2007-08 and were second in 2008-09 with a 23 percent increase.

Ontario has moved into first place in average attendance with 5,929 per game after welcoming 12,874 for two games last week. The Reign’s average is up 1.2 percent from their inaugural season in 2008-09 when they ranked second in the league with 5,856 per game.

Stockton is second with 5,874 per game while Toledo is third with 5,639 per game. The Thunder have led the ECHL in attendance each of their first four seasons and are trying to tie the league record of five seasons set by Florida from 2000-05. The Walleye’s average attendance is up 43.5 percent from 2006-07 when the team played its last season in the Toledo Sports Arena.