NAHL sets new attendance mark in 2012-13Published 8:06pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013
FRISCO, TEXAS – Another year, another attendance record. Judging by the turnstiles at NAHL arenas, it appears the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is more popular now than it ever has been thanks to another record-breaking response and season by NAHL fans.
A season ago, the NAHL, which was at 28 teams, set an overall record for total attendance with 1,128,098 fans during the regular season. This season with four less teams in the league, the NAHL saw a total of 1,097,499 fans come through turnstiles, which not only almost equaled last year’s total number, but also set a new average attendance record of 1,524 fans on average per NAHL game. That was a 12 percent increase over last year’s average attendance mark of 1,342.
“As we continue to evolve the NAHL, the owners have been more aware and responsible in approving markets that have the best chance of long-term sustainability and success within their respective communities,” said NAHL Commissioner Mark Frankenfeld. “I think the attendance numbers this year are providing further proof that certain methodology is working and fans are continuing to respond to our brand and level of hockey. They are enjoying the passion and talent our players bring to the arena every night, and because our teams do a great job at getting these players out in the community with their community-based initiatives, the fans feel that personal connection and can identify with the players. It is an exciting and entertaining product to watch and one the entire family can enjoy for eight months out of the year.”
The strength behind the numbers was the significant increase in attendance for teams like Corpus Christi, Austin, Michigan and Kenai River. Other teams did a great job at maintaining or slightly increasing their numbers. Teams continued to capitalize on an entertaining product, along with several community-based initiatives to introduce their players to their respective communities. Finally, there was the talent level of the players, which saw more than 100 make NCAA commitments to date and five with NAHL ties drafted in the NHL this past summer.