The NHL is on pace to sell more tickets than the NBA for the third straight season. However, attendance at games for both leagues is down this season.
So far this season, the NHL’s average game has an attendance of 17,435, which is 219 more than the NBA (17,215). The NHL’s average attendance does drop to 17,300 if the Winter Classic, which drew more than 105,000 fans, is not included.
However, after three straight years of attendance growth, this year’s number is down 1.6% from a year ago (17,721 per game). The good news for the NHL is that attendance is still up 5.3% from before the lockout that cancelled the 2004-05 season. Here is attendance for both leagues since the 2000-01 season.
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