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    2009 NCAA Champions Sean Pickett's Avatar
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    Average Men's Attendance

    Over on the Maine Black Bears - Return to the Glory Years or On to Oblivion? thread Drew S. posted the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew S. View Post
    This is a little off topic, but I think the way forward is to have smaller rinks and fill them up. It's a bad look to have rinks half to two thirds full and you don't have the atmosphere with all the empty seats either. This is a problem that isn't exclusive to Maine, seems attendance has dropped for a lot of schools the last five to 10 years.
    This isn't the first time someone has mentioned attendance issues in these threads, so a while ago I started gathering all of the attendance figures I can find for every current DI team, going back as far as the 1954-55 season in some case. I'm still missing a lot of information, but I have all the data from the 2001-02 season on and I've put them into a spreadsheet.

    The bottom sheet has the number of homes games for each team each season and the middle sheet has the total attendance for each team each season. The top sheet has the average attendance for each season and at the right side it also has overall average attendance for every season and for 2001-16. The next three columns have smallest average attendance, smallest average attendance in the team's current arena (this is currently incomplete) and largest average attendance. I've also tried to highlight these seasons (green is all-time highest, yellow is current lowest and pink is all-time lowest). Finally, there are columns for attendance change between 2012-13 and 105-16; between 2014-15 and 1015-16; between peak attendance to 2015-16; and between 2015-16 and the average attendance for 2001-16.

    If anyone has any attendance figures that I'm missing I would appreciate your sending them to me so I can add them.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Pickett View Post
    Over on the Maine Black Bears - Return to the Glory Years or On to Oblivion? thread Drew S. posted the following:


    This isn't the first time someone has mentioned attendance issues in these threads, so a while ago I started gathering all of the attendance figures I can find for every current DI team, going back as far as the 1954-55 season in some case. I'm still missing a lot of information, but I have all the data from the 2001-02 season on and I've put them into a spreadsheet.

    The bottom sheet has the number of homes games for each team each season and the middle sheet has the total attendance for each team each season. The top sheet has the average attendance for each season and at the right side it also has overall average attendance for every season and for 2001-16. The next three columns have smallest average attendance, smallest average attendance in the team's current arena (this is currently incomplete) and largest average attendance. I've also tried to highlight these seasons (green is all-time highest, yellow is current lowest and pink is all-time lowest). Finally, there are columns for attendance change between 2012-13 and 105-16; between 2014-15 and 1015-16; between peak attendance to 2015-16; and between 2015-16 and the average attendance for 2001-16.

    If anyone has any attendance figures that I'm missing I would appreciate your sending them to me so I can add them.

    Sean
    Thanks, Sean. Looks about right for UNH based on what has been posted in USCHO box scores. However, my guess is that actual attendance has averaged about 1000-1500 fewer seats filled on average than what is posted (i.e., season ticket holders no longer showing up).

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Snively65 View Post
    Thanks, Sean. Looks about right for UNH based on what has been posted in USCHO box scores. However, my guess is that actual attendance has averaged about 1000-1500 fewer seats filled on average than what is posted (i.e., season ticket holders no longer showing up).
    I'm aware of the actual vs announced attendance issue; my favorite example of that was a BC game I attended where they gave one figure as part of a guess the attendance question on the video boards and another (higher) one in the official game summary. Also, some of the older attendance figures I've found are definitely estimates and not actual counts. But reported figures are all that are available, if they are available at all.

    Furthermore, some seasonal averages are wrong, as some game attendance figures have not been recorded, yet the total seasonal averages includes the games with 0 attendance. Also, some schools have included "home" games not played at their home rink. To correct for these issue I've also been researching reported game attendance for every Hockey East team going back as far as I can online and in media guides I have. When attendance is reported as 0 I don't count the game for finding the seasonal average or median. I also usually won't count a "home" game not played at a team's home rink, but I have made exceptions; for example ASU this season used different rinks and I counted them all as home games.

    Using individual game attendance figures allows me to find the median attendance for each season, which I believe is a more accurate reflection of a team's attendance. It also allows me to see how league playoff games affect the average attendance (for example, this season BU had an overall average of 4,360 but for BU's 16 regular season games the average was 4,676). In fact, all 8 HE teams that hosted a playoff series this past season saw their overall average attendance fall when compared to just the regular season average, although BU's was the worst. So far I've gone back to the 2009-10 season and out of 39 playoff games/series only two saw playoff attendance averages higher than that of the regular season (with one basically the same).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Pickett View Post
    I'm aware of the actual vs announced attendance issue; my favorite example of that was a BC game I attended where they gave one figure as part of a guess the attendance question on the video boards and another (higher) one in the official game summary. Also, some of the older attendance figures I've found are definitely estimates and not actual counts. But reported figures are all that are available, if they are available at all.

    Furthermore, some seasonal averages are wrong, as some game attendance figures have not been recorded, yet the total seasonal averages includes the games with 0 attendance. Also, some schools have included "home" games not played at their home rink. To correct for these issue I've also been researching reported game attendance for every Hockey East team going back as far as I can online and in media guides I have. When attendance is reported as 0 I don't count the game for finding the seasonal average or median. I also usually won't count a "home" game not played at a team's home rink, but I have made exceptions; for example ASU this season used different rinks and I counted them all as home games.

    Using individual game attendance figures allows me to find the median attendance for each season, which I believe is a more accurate reflection of a team's attendance. It also allows me to see how league playoff games affect the average attendance (for example, this season BU had an overall average of 4,360 but for BU's 16 regular season games the average was 4,676). In fact, all 8 HE teams that hosted a playoff series this past season saw their overall average attendance fall when compared to just the regular season average, although BU's was the worst. So far I've gone back to the 2009-10 season and out of 39 playoff games/series only two saw playoff attendance averages higher than that of the regular season (with one basically the same).

    Sean
    Impressive effort, Sean; thanks, and keep up the great work!

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Over here at UAA, we had our first winning season in 20+ years, new coach, new league, and attendance dropped ~500
    “At the end of the day, the Gov Cup is just a trophy,” UAA senior Jordan Kwas said. “I’d rather be in the Final Five every time over winning the Gov Cup.”

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    I know this isn't the topic of the thread, but it would be really cool to see tv viewership numbers through the years. This from a Gopher standpoint of course.
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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    That would probably be depressing

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    I know this isn't the topic of the thread, but it would be really cool to see tv viewership numbers through the years. This from a Gopher standpoint of course.
    Ratings and estimated number of viewers for the Frozen Four are available in the NCAA Frozen Four Records Book

    Good luck finding TV ratings for other games. Some of the sports media outlets on the web occasionally have reported numbers of selected regular season and tournament regional games as part of a story or two, but comprehensive lists are hard to come by. Suffice it to say, the numbers are beyond minuscule for regular season games and most tournament games. A few hold their own but other than the odd game during the FF more people are watching the commercials on a DVRd showing of poker's greatest winners on ESPN than watching college hockey.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    That would probably be depressing
    It depends on your expectations. Its a different world than the 80s including 100s of TV channels, PC usage, the internet, apps, cheap travel, meet up groups for singles. Sometimes I think its very encouraging the kinds of ratings we see come through.
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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by 5mn_Major View Post
    It depends on your expectations. Its a different world than the 80s including 100s of TV channels, PC usage, the internet, apps, cheap travel, meet up groups for singles. Sometimes I think its very encouraging the kinds of ratings we see come through.
    Exactly. This is true about a lot of things in sports. Monday Night Football is no longer must watch TV, even though the NFL is more popular than ever. I remember when I was in school, Iowa Hawkeye BB was huge on TV in central Iowa, even pre-empting the Cosby Show on Thursday nights when Cosby was king of TV (In retrospect, Hawkeye hoops has held up better than Cosby.). And yes, the Big messed that up, too, by going from a Thursday-Saturday schedule to pretty much every day of the week now. But Big BB is thriving, both competition-wise and financially.
    Which is a long way of saying that just because it's not the same as it was doesn't mean that it's worse. Just different.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by AKSWF View Post
    Over here at UAA, we had our first winning season in 20+ years, new coach, new league, and attendance dropped ~500
    If you compare the averages for 2012-13 (the last season of the old WCHA and CCHA) and 2015-16 you see that attendance is down for 7 of the 10 teams in the new WCHA. For the first season 8 of the teams had lower attendance, and the 2 with increases slipped into negative territory last season. Meanwhile, Bowling Green, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State attendance rebounded into positive growth.

    Looking at the NCHC shows similar attendance issues. Seven of the 8 teams have seen attendance go down since the 2012-14 season, with UND up just a tick. And for the first season 7 of the 8 teams had lower attendance, including UND, with only St. Cloud up, before dropping lower the past 2 seasons.

    Notre Dame likewise has had an attendance decrease from 2012-13 (their all-time record high average) to this past season. Before rebounding for 2015-16 their attendance average dropped for 2 seasons, hitting a low for the five seasons the Compton Family Ice Arena has been open. Even the B1G has had attendance issues for Wisconsin and Michigan State, although Ohio State has seen good growth.

    So it appears that the new leagues and new opponents have not lead to new fans, but to fewer fans. Only time will tell if it is a longer term problem, or just part of the adjustment to new leagues and new opponents.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    I can't recall the organization or the reporter, but someone requested through public records the tickets scanned data for Wisconsin hockey. Turns out the turnstile count was only something like 2/3rds of what they claimed in their boxscore attendance. My guess is for MANY teams this is true. I asked about the data for Notre Dame but no one has it, and being private they have no obligation to share it. While both the attendance in the boxscores and the actual butts in seats appeared to rebound modestly during the 15/16 season, it became apparent in year number 3 of their new arena that they were juicing the numbers, sometimes radically so.

    What I don't understand is why the boxscore attendance even persists anymore. I know every single organization claims it is "tickets sold" and not turnstile count, and that once they sell a ticket they cannot control whether or not someone actually shows up. But this screams in the face of all logic. When Notre Dame claims there were 5022 people at a game and my own eyes tell me there were 3000 there at best, I am to believe that 2000 people plopped down good money for tickets they were not going to use? Yes, something can always come up for people and I have no doubt SOME tickets will go unused, but not 1000s. The Florida Panthers claim the average attendance for them last season was over 15000 per game. Before the playoffs started their building was generally 1/3 full for games. At best. I don't think it holds 45,000 people.

    The great recession made a lot of people take a hard look at what they spend their disposable income on, and many found live sporting events were not worth what they had been paying for. Younger people have abandoned live sporting events in droves in the last 10 years. Very few college teams pack their student sections in any sport now, not even football for some of the crappier games.

    I've been attending major college and pro sporting events for over 40 years now. Until this century the boxscore was generally a good representation of how many people showed up to a game. If I was at a game at the old Vet in Philly and it looked half full, the boxscore probably said their were around 25,000 there. If I was at a Pacers game at the old Market Square Arena and they said there were 12,000 there, it probably looked (and was) 3/4 full. A Cubs game on a cold April day and you'd be lucky to see 4000 people there. They closed the upper deck off, and the lower deck was maybe a quarter full with the bleachers half empty, and the boxscore reflected that. I find it hard to believe that in 2016, when tickets to major sporting events have seen prices increase at many, many times the rate of inflation, 10 times as many people buy a ticket and then don't use it.
    Last edited by WeAreNDHockey; 06-20-2016 at 10:38 PM.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    "The average number of tickets scanned at Mariucci Arena has fallen from 9,062 in 2013-14, to 7,604 in 2014-15, to 7,139 this season according to data obtained by GopherPuckLive. The numbers mean that nearly 28 percent of tickets distributed went unused this season, or an average of 2,723 tickets per game."

    http://www.gopherpucklive.com/gopher...l-six-percent/

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    "The average number of tickets scanned at Mariucci Arena has fallen from 9,062 in 2013-14, to 7,604 in 2014-15, to 7,139 this season according to data obtained by GopherPuckLive. The numbers mean that nearly 28 percent of tickets distributed went unused this season, or an average of 2,723 tickets per game."

    http://www.gopherpucklive.com/gopher...l-six-percent/
    While not all schools report actual attendance, I'm pretty sure that many do. The problem is identifying which ones report tickets sold or distributed and then obtaining accurate information. It seems it is possible with some effort for public schools, but not for private schools.

    As for Minnesota, it seems that the difference between tickets distributed and scanned has widened considerably since the formation of the B1G hockey conference. I'm going to adjust Minnesota's attendance numbers to reflect those in the article for the past three seasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
    I've been attending major college and pro sporting events for over 40 years now. Until this century the boxscore was generally a good representation of how many people showed up to a game. If I was at a game at the old Vet in Philly and it looked half full, the boxscore probably said their were around 25,000 there. If I was at a Pacers game at the old Market Square Arena and they said there were 12,000 there, it probably looked (and was) 3/4 full. A Cubs game on a cold April day and you'd be lucky to see 4000 people there. They closed the upper deck off, and the lower deck was maybe a quarter full with the bleachers half empty, and the boxscore reflected that. I find it hard to believe that in 2016, when tickets to major sporting events have seen prices increase at many, many times the rate of inflation, 10 times as many people buy a ticket and then don't use it.
    I believe the issue goes back much further than the beginning of this century. The Boston Celtics had a very long reported sellout attendance streak in the 1980s and 1990s and I recall the last several years of that streak had many games with reported sellout attendance that had many empty seats.

    As for the cost benefits of attending sporting events today vs watching on TV or streaming platforms, the Copa America Centenario is a perfect example. I was interested in attending the 3 games at Gillette Stadium, but once I saw the prices I passed. In the end I only watched one of the 3 games on TV, as I only have a limited interest in South American teams. And if you watched the games on TV you would have seen tens of thousands of empty seats at almost every stadium for every game. Some articles and blogs have reported attendance problems, but if you look closer the problem has more to do with the stadium sizes and not actual attendance. Total attendance to date is almost 1.25 million, an average of over 44,500 per game (with 3 games to go). Last year total attendance was 655,902 (25,227 per game) and in 2007 total attendance was 1,050,230 (40,393 per game). However, the largest stadium used for either of those holds just 52,000, while the smallest stadium used this year holds slightly over 60,000. In today's world large venues and either TV or streaming of most sports events has changed the dynamics for attendance. It used to be demand outweighed a limited supply of tickets, but now the supply of tickets outweighs a limited demand and I think the days of regularly sold out sporting events is gone.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
    I can't recall the organization or the reporter, but someone requested through public records the tickets scanned data for Wisconsin hockey.
    I don't know where the specific article is, but here is the chart with the data. He compiled data for all of the major UW sports. You'll have to select "Men's Hockey" from the drop-down menu.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by KaMiGo View Post
    I don't know where the specific article is, but here is the chart with the data. He compiled data for all of the major UW sports. You'll have to select "Men's Hockey" from the drop-down menu.
    Thanks. I've updated my spreadsheet with the scanned information for Wisconsin. Unfortunately it only goes back ten sesaons (and the Minnesota article only mentioned the past three seasons).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Pickett View Post
    While not all schools report actual attendance, I'm pretty sure that many do. The problem is identifying which ones report tickets sold or distributed and then obtaining accurate information. It seems it is possible with some effort for public schools, but not for private schools.

    As for Minnesota, it seems that the difference between tickets distributed and scanned has widened considerably since the formation of the B1G hockey conference. I'm going to adjust Minnesota's attendance numbers to reflect those in the article for the past three seasons.

    I believe the issue goes back much further than the beginning of this century. The Boston Celtics had a very long reported sellout attendance streak in the 1980s and 1990s and I recall the last several years of that streak had many games with reported sellout attendance that had many empty seats.

    As for the cost benefits of attending sporting events today vs watching on TV or streaming platforms, the Copa America Centenario is a perfect example. I was interested in attending the 3 games at Gillette Stadium, but once I saw the prices I passed. In the end I only watched one of the 3 games on TV, as I only have a limited interest in South American teams. And if you watched the games on TV you would have seen tens of thousands of empty seats at almost every stadium for every game. Some articles and blogs have reported attendance problems, but if you look closer the problem has more to do with the stadium sizes and not actual attendance. Total attendance to date is almost 1.25 million, an average of over 44,500 per game (with 3 games to go). Last year total attendance was 655,902 (25,227 per game) and in 2007 total attendance was 1,050,230 (40,393 per game). However, the largest stadium used for either of those holds just 52,000, while the smallest stadium used this year holds slightly over 60,000. In today's world large venues and either TV or streaming of most sports events has changed the dynamics for attendance. It used to be demand outweighed a limited supply of tickets, but now the supply of tickets outweighs a limited demand and I think the days of regularly sold out sporting events is gone.

    Sean
    I think tv's are the biggest difference. They are so big and the picture so clear that there isn't the need to go to the rink there was say 15 years ago. As fewer people go the atmosphere isn't a good which encourages more people not to go. To some degree it is sort of a vicious cycle. I can't speak for other teams, but as far as Maine goes fans have been treated like absolute rubbish which is another contributing factor.

    I think in time we will look back and the last however many years will have been the high water mark for sports. There are too many other things for people to do and I think a lot of people in the industry have gone for the quick buck over something more sustainable. Youth sports are an unmitigated disaster right now which I'm sure will turn off a lot of future sports fans.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew S. View Post
    I think tv's are the biggest difference. They are so big and the picture so clear that there isn't the need to go to the rink there was say 15 years ago. As fewer people go the atmosphere isn't a good which encourages more people not to go. To some degree it is sort of a vicious cycle. I can't speak for other teams, but as far as Maine goes fans have been treated like absolute rubbish which is another contributing factor.

    I think in time we will look back and the last however many years will have been the high water mark for sports. There are too many other things for people to do and I think a lot of people in the industry have gone for the quick buck over something more sustainable. Youth sports are an unmitigated disaster right now which I'm sure will turn off a lot of future sports fans.
    VR is the future of sports viewing for those that don't mind losing sight of everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonin21 View Post
    VR is the future of sports viewing for those that don't mind losing sight of everything else.
    I was actually going to include something about that in my post. It will be very interesting to see how that plays out. I'm not super high tech but I would think that within five years or so here will be a way you can watch the game from home and it is like you are in the arena.

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    Re: Average Men's Attendance

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew S. View Post
    I was actually going to include something about that in my post. It will be very interesting to see how that plays out. I'm not super high tech but I would think that within five years or so here will be a way you can watch the game from home and it is like you are in the arena.
    NextVR is already doing it and it's incredible for boxing and soccer. Hockey is tough because the puck is so hard to see in a VR setting where resolution is spread wider.

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