April 8 2013; Denver, CO, USA; General view of fans in attendance at the Pepsi center during the first period of the game between the Calgary Flames against the Colorado Avalanche. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Attendance On The Rise

To follow up on yesterday’s article about the NHL and the need for more exposure, I found out via a Yahoo! sports article that hockey is the only one of the four major American sports that is experiencing an increase in attendance.

(Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–keeping-fans-in-the-stands-is-getting-harder-to-do-005355696.html)

This is a good thing, but there are two ways to interpret these stats. The less flattering way is that NHL attendance has been so down forever, and that the only direction attendance could go is up. With the economy in the dumps, NHL tickets have sort of become the hot item due to ticket prices being lower than other sports and hockey having an almost underground, hipster-like following.

The good way to look at it is that the American public is becoming more interested in the sport, and that most people realize how fun and thrilling hockey games are in person.

Either way, this makes it doubly important that the NHL grants its players permission to participate in the upcoming Olympics. This trend must continue if the NHL wants to get close to the level of the NFL, NBA, or MLB.

Bettman, don’t screw this up.

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Tags: Gary Bettman NHL NHL Attendance Winter Olympics

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