Buffalo Bandits, who posted the NLL’s top attendance numbers from 2009 through 2012, were a close second this year as they averaged 15,620 fans and drew a record regular season crowd of 19,070 for their final home game of the year.
Toronto Rock’s attendance dropped nearly 4%, but its 10,729 average, bolstered by 13,073 fans for their final home stand of the regular season, still placed third among the nine NLL franchises.
Calgary Roughnecks, after seeing attendance numbers surprisingly drop 20% in 2012 with the NHL Flames taking over, was up nearly 23% this year, back on par with its old numbers averaging 10,216 fans per home game.
Minnesota Swarm attendance numbers rose slightly, up 3.7% from a year ago, as they drew their best home crowds in their final two home games of the season with 10,167 and 12,214.
Overall, league attendance was up 2% compared to last season.
*** 2013 REGULAR SEASON ATTENDANCE NUMBERS ***
|Team||Games||2013 Avg||2012 Avg||%Change|
Philadelphia, after experiencing a 5% decrease last year, saw their numbers dip nearly 7% this year, the worst attendance drop of 2013. The Wings drew above 9,000 fans only once this year and their obscure 11am start-time for a weekday game in February resulted in a crowd of just 5,139 fans, the lowest attended game of the season outside of Washington’s numbers.
Rochester Knighthawks numbers were up 7.6% to an average of 7,354 in the small confines of their Blue Cross Arena.
Edmonton Rush saw the league’s second-worst attendance drop, down 4.6% to an average of 6,714. That also dropped the Rush’s attendance numbers to second-last in the league, finishing behind Rochester in regular season attendance for the first time since 2008 when the Khawks averaged 9,902 fans and the Rush 8,820.
Washington Stealth was up nearly 7.5%, closer to their 2011 average of 4,132, but still sit last in the league. With a free car give-away and a home playoff date on the line for their final home game of the regular season, the Stealth only drew 4,352 fans last weekend.
IL Indoor is scheduling to go 1-on-1 with Rush owner Bruce Urban and Stealth owner Denise Watkins at the conclusion of the 2013 season. Check back for that ‘Business Time’ feature.
*** SCHEDULING ***
Toronto hosted this season’s only Thursday night game – a timeslot commissioner George Daniel hinted we may see more of with the schedule expanding from 16 to 18 regular season games next year – and it was the Rock’s lowest turnout of the year with 8,213 fans in attendance.
71 of the league’s 72 games this year fell on the weekend with approximately 20% of games on Fridays, 65% on Saturdays and 15% on Sundays.
*** 6 YEAR NLL TREND, REGULAR SEASON AVERAGES ***
|Year||Season Avg||No. of Teams|
Note: 19,432 in attendance is the overall single-game attendance record set during the 2005 NLL championship game in Toronto.
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