I’ve compiled the Attendance records of all games through the end of February. The league remands flat year over year. (Note: that no outdoor games are included in any of this visuals.)
The league got a bump from the Columbus Blue Jackets tear through the league earlier this season as well as the Oilers opening a new bar in Edmonton. Those gains were offset by big drops in Ottawa and Colorado.
Here is the interactive dashboard where you can look at individual teams detailed performance.
Overall the NHL attendance is relatively flat year over year with an increase from 17,233 last year through November games to 17,280 through this year.
On a team by team level, 4 teams saw an increase over 5% from last year while 3 teams saw declines of 5% or greater. Edmonton saw a large spike due to the new arena they are playing in this year while the Ottawa Senators saw the largest drop, down 13.3% through the November games.
You can drill into each teams performance to date using this interactive dashboard by selecting a team in the drop down in the upper right corner. (I apologize in advance. It is not mobile friendly.)
There has been a lot of talk about the NHL getting younger as fresh faces like Connor McDavid and Austin Matthews being billed as the poster children of the new NHL. It certainly seems like the league is getting younger. I figured it was worth quantifying. Because of the Junior prospects try out period at the beginning of the season, I felt it was important to compare October rosters across seasons vs. a partial 2016-17 Season to a complete season in prior seasons.
The data shows that the average age is getting younger but probably not as much as we expected. I figured there was more to the story so I took a look at age groups over time.
As you can see the Over 30 crowd is getting smaller, down to 26% of the league from 33% in October of 2006.
Here is a quick look at how ages have trended over time by team.
Let me know if you have any questions or requests.
Here is another cut at the American hockey players in the NHL. This one is intended to be mobile friendly.
With 3 months in the books, attendance numbers are stabilizing and should be fairly consistent from here on out.
Florida’s turn-around has been extraordinary and with the current winning streak, they should continue to see gains. Another way to look at their improvement is to break it down by opponent. They have a higher average attendance for 15 of the 16 teams they have played this year. 44% (18 of 41) of their games had less than 10,000 in attendance. In the first 19 games of the year (through December) all games have been over 10,000. Yes, 10,000 is not great but progress should be commended.
Earlier today I posted a chart on reddit on the changing nationality % for the NHL goalies. As with any good charts, I got some great feedback and questions.
This was the original chart I posted.
I received some feedback on wanting to see the provincial split of the Canadian Goalies.
Any other requests?
Another month in to the season and another opportunity to check in on the attendance numbers.
League wide attendance is relatively flat and has actually closed the drop from October. League attendance was down 1.4% at the end of October and now, through the end of November it is only down .7%.
Similar to last month, Florida continues to drive the growth with over 45% increase year over year. With an improved product on the ice, New Jersey is starting to rebound in attendance.
Team Drilldown Report
With October coming to an end, I thought it would be a good time to check in with NHL attendance. One month does not make a season as a lot of teams (and fans) are still figuring out how competitive a product they are putting on the ice. That said, there can be some early signs of how the season might go for these clubs.
NHL League Average for October
As the table shows, average attendance is down 1.4% compared to October of last year. It is early to draw any conclusions as most of this can be chalked up to more of the lower attendance teams had more games this October than they did last October, bringing the weighted average down a bit. As you will see in the next chart, six teams have over 5% declines year over year with Carolina and New Jersey having over 10% declines.
The bigger story of October is the growth in Florida and the steady inclines in Arizona. They absolutely had the most opportunity to improve but the growth and improvement will not happen over night. The fact that neither team made the playoffs last year makes the gains a little surprising. Florida did have an exciting March/April last year which tends to be a leading indicator of attendance. In Arizona, fans might be wanting to tune into see how the young guns in the desert can perform this year.
Team drilldown dashboard