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.
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.