A team record crowd of 7,315 on Saturday in Reading and more than 10,000 in San Diego for the third consecutive Saturday helped the ECHL increase its average attendance for the eighth week in a row and surpass the three million mark in total attendance for the 13th consecutive season.
It is the 10th time since joining the league in 2003-04 that San Diego has had a crowd in excess of 10,000, including 12,358 on Feb. 25, 12,240 on Feb. 18 and a team record crowd of 13,001 for its home opener on Nov. 5. In the last three weeks, San Diego has increased its average attendance by almost 12 percent to rank fourth in the league with 5,727 per game. Reading broke the record of 7,248 set on Oct. 22, 2004 and increased its average attendance to 5,497 which is sixth in the league.
The league has drawn 3,009,571 for its first 702 games for an average of 4,287 per game which is an increase of more than nine percent from a year ago and continuing to be on pace for the highest average attendance since 2000-01 when the ECHL averaged 4,319 per game. The league reached three million fans in 701 games, the fastest it has reached three million since 1999-2000 when it accomplished it in 639 games.
The ECHL has had 26 sellout crowds and 11 crowds of more than 10,000 led by San Diego which has had four crowds over 10,000 and Stockton which has had three capacity crowds of 10,117. Gwinnett has had two crowds over 10,000, including a sellout of 11,355 on Nov. 11, and Charlotte had 10,894 on Nov. 25 and 10,945 on Feb. 18.
Gwinnett drew almost 11,000 on Saturday and Sunday to raise its average attendance to seventh in the league with 5,488 per game. Florida, which has led the ECHL in attendance each of the past six seasons, remains atop the league with 6,055 per game followed by first-year member Stockton, which averaged over 7,300 for its games on Saturday and Sunday, at 6,043 per game.
Charlotte is third in the league with 5,839 per game, an increase of 15.7 percent from last season. The Checkers will play their first home games since Feb. 19 when they host Gwinnett on Friday and Greenville on Sunday. Charlotte has sold out its last five home games played on Saturday, including a team record crowd of 10,945 on Feb. 18, and leads the league with eight sellouts. The listed capacity for the new Bobcats Arena is 6,800, but additional sections can be opened to accommodate larger crowds.