ECHL Attendance Over 4 Million For Fourth Straight Year
fourth straight year and the 10th time in the last 11 years, the ECHL had more
than four million fans attend its games in 2006-07 and averaged 4,101 fans per
The total attendance for the regular season and the Kelly Cup Playoffs is twice
as many fans as the total attendance for the WNBA, Arena Football League and
Major League Soccer and four times greater than total attendance for both the
National Lacrosse League and af2.
The combined total attendance for minor league professional hockey, consisting
of the ECHL, the American Hockey League, the Central Hockey League, the United
Hockey League and the Southern Professional Hockey League, in 2006-07 was
13,981,652 million fans during the regular season, far outpacing all other
minor league sports with the exception of baseball. By comparison in 2006 MLS
had attendance of 2,059,093, which is 51.3 percent of the total ECHL
attendance, while the WNBA was 1,806,362 and the AFL was 1,782,475.
League Total Attendance
ECHL 4,013,749 (2006-07)
Major League Soccer 2,059,093 (2006 Regular Season)
WNBA 1,806,362 (2006 Regular Season)
Arena Football League 1,782,475 (2006 Regular Season)
National Lacrosse League 1,037,147 (2006 Regular Season)
af2 922,079 (2006 Regular Season)
National Basketball Developmental League 580,459 (2006 Regular Season)
Major Indoor Soccer 426,328 (2006 Regular Season)
Continental Basketball Association 198,950 (2006 Regular Season)
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2007-08, the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League is
the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National
Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
There have been more than 66 million fans who have attended over 15,000 games
since the ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in three states. The league has
grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 25 teams playing in 17 states
and British Columbia in 2007-08, including the Mississippi (Biloxi) Sea Wolves,
who return after missing two seasons in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and
the expansion Elmira (New York) Jackals.
Opening Day for the 20th Anniversary Season will be Oct. 18 when the Johnstown
Chiefs host the Wheeling Nailers at Cambria County War Memorial where the
Chiefs have played every game since the ECHL began. The game is a rematch of
Game 7 from the first-ever ECHL Finals which were played in front of a standing-room-only
crowd at Cambria County War Memorial. The two teams will wear throwback jerseys
for the Opening Day game that begins at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast
worldwide on B2 Networks, the “Official Broadband Broadcast Provider of the
ECHL”. The remaining teams will open their seasons the weekend of Oct. 19-21.
its largest attendance since 1997-98 and raising its average by 6.5 percent,
the fourth-largest increase in the league. The Chiefs had a sellout crowd of
4,136 on New Year’s Eve and their second sellout of the season with 4,021 on
For the first time since 1998-99 the ECHL had 10 teams that averaged more than
5,000 fans per game in 2006-07 led by
who had the two highest average attendances since 2000-01. Fourteen of the 22
returning teams raised their attendance from 2005-06 as the league had 35
sellouts for the fourth year in a row.
Stockton became the first team other than
Florida to lead the league in attendance two years in a
from 1995-99. The Thunder raised their average attendance by 6.5 percent to
6,780 per game and had three sellouts at Stockton Arena, which will host the
ECHL All-Star Game on Jan. 23, 2008.
raised its average to 6,248 per game and has not averaged less than 6,200 per
game in their first nine seasons, including leading the league a record five
years in a row from 2000-05.
Fresno had the largest attendance increase of
any team with 12.7 percent to 5,116 per game and
Utah averaged 4,223 per game up almost nine
percent, the second-largest increase among teams.
The ECHL is the primary resource for player development as evidenced by the
fact that in the last five seasons there have been more players called up from
the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined with over
2,000 call ups involving more than 1,000 players.
The ECHL had affiliations with 25 of the 30 teams in the National Hockey League
in 2006-07, marking the 10th consecutive season that the league has had
affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. There have been 329 former ECHL
players who have gone on to play in the NHL after playing in the ECHL,
including a record 47 in 2005-06 and 26 in 2006-07. There have been 184 former
ECHL players who have played their first game in the NHL in the past five
seasons and 107 former ECHL players have skated in the NHL this season. More
than 100 players under contract to NHL teams have played in the ECHL this
The ECHL is represented for the seventh consecutive year on the National Hockey
League championship team in 2007 with Anaheim assistant coach Dave Farrish,
players Francois Beauchemin and George Parros and broadcasters John Ahlers and
The ECHL has affiliations with 24 of the 27 teams in the American Hockey League
in 2006-07 and for the past 17 years there has been an ECHL player on the
Calder Cup champion.