NHL Attendance Predictions for the 2013-14 Season

After all the great feedback I received on the Road Attendance analysis last February, I got inspired. I dug into years and years of game by game data to understand trends and impacts to attendance. Some of that research you can see via the analysis I did on the Phoenix Coyotes mid-season. I really wanted

to decipher what moves the day to day attendance. At the core, my findings show that there are 3 main influences: 1) Opponent 2) Time of Year and 3) Day of the week. Although people love to say “winning” as an indicator, my research doesn’t call that out specifically. It is more of a long term effect on attendance and not as variable year to year. i.e. Dallas missing the playoffs for years has an impact on attendance but it is a steady decline vs a cliff from playoff year to non-playoff year. Also when you look at certain franchises like Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary. Losing has not impact on their regular season attendance.

With all that research in my back pocket and a handful of time on my hand since game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals otherwise known as baseball season, I decided to systematically predict the attendance of every NHL game this season. For comparison purposes, I’ve excluded Winter Classics, Heritage Classic, Premier games (Europe) and the new Stadium Series.

Using my systematic approach, I am projecting a league dip in attendance and not just from 2013 but 2011-12 Season as well.


I have only used math to attack this challenge. I have not taken into account any Olympic impact, ownership resolution (Phoenix, New Jersey, Florida & Dallas) or playoff bump (New York Islanders  & Minnesota). I will do a deeper dive on predicting the impact to some of those teams.

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