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Attendance: How Bad is it Really?

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See for yourself

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Twitter has been abuzz recently about the attendance (or lack there of) at St. Louis Blues games. According to ESPN, the Blues rank 22nd in attendance percentage at a meager 92.3%. The NHL's top team is Chicago, who somehow manages 108.8%. I'm not going to get into how you average more people per game than you have seats, I'll just go with ESPN's numbers because I feel they can most likely calculate these things better than I can. You might feel down about 92.3% because the Blues are putting a high quality team on the ice. If we are winning most of our games and have one of the hottest young stars in the NHL why are we not selling out? The Blues have seen a steady increase in TV ratings. Some are blaming fans for staying home to enjoy the game instead of coming to the rink. This could be the cause, but there is simply no way of finding a true answer.

Referring back to the ESPN rankings, I'm not sure that looking at the average attendance percentage is the real way to go here as far as determining a team's success from a live, in person, perspective. The idea is the more seats you fill the more money you make. The problem is, each venue has a different capacity and each team's tickets sell for a different price. So let's look at an average revenue generated from ticket sales per game. I calculated this by using the team's average attendance and multiplying it by the average ticket price. Not an exact science, but as close as we can get. The top of the league is unsurprisingly Toronto. The Leafs bring in an astonishing $2,334,997.60 per game on tickets alone. The Blues rank 19th at $862,456.14. There is no surprise that Florida brings up the rear with $371,122.25.

Some teams who beat the Blues out on average for packing their house actually rank below us when it comes to revenue generated from ticket sales on average. These teams are: Anaheim, Buffalo, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay.

19th out of 30 teams is still in the bottom 50%, but beating out teams like Ottawa, Dallas, Colorado, Anaheim, and New Jersey doesn't make me feel nearly as bad about the situation as I did before. If you care to look over the figures yourselves, I will post them below. While we may never  get a winter classic due to our lack luster performance in packing the Scott, I don't feel like we are going to lose out on having a team altogether. There are 11 teams below us doing worse than we are. As much as tickets are important in this day and age, so are TV contracts. I searched far and wide but I was unable to find a complete list of NHL tv contracts. All I know is the Blues are in the top 5 as far as ratings go (according to Bleacher Report in an article posted in October of last year). I also know that the Blues TV Ratings are still climbing. As best as I can find, our current TV deal ends in 2018. If ratings continue to increase, we could be looking at making big money on our next TV contract.

Team Avg Attendance Avg Ticket Price Avg Ticket Revenue per game
Toronto 19108 122.20 2,334,997.60
Vancouver 18573 91.45 1,698,500.85
Montreal 21287 77.14 1,642,079.18
Chicago 21445 72.95 1,564,412.75
Philadelphia 19745 71.59 1,413,544.55
New York R 18006 74.89 1,348,469.34
Pittsburgh 18633 70.52 1,313,999.16
Boston 17565 73.91 1,298,229.15
Detroit 20027 64.46 1,290,940.42
Edmonton 16839 75.94 1,278,753.66
Calgary 19126 64.86 1,240,512.36
Washington 18506 66.37 1,228,243.22
Minnesota 18840 63.39 1,194,267.60
Los Angeles 18265 62.75 1,146,128.75
Nashville 16685 56.43 941,534.55
San Jose 17523 53.71 941,160.33
New York I 13108 67.25 881,513
St Louis 17551 49.14 862,456.14
Buffalo 18151 47.24 857,453.24
Ottawa 18167 43.51 790,446.17
Tampa Bay 18455 42.23 779,354.65
Columbus 15088 47.06 710,041.28
Carolina 13307 53.03 705,670.21
New Jersey 14545 47.71 693,941.95
Anaheim 16353 42.24 690,750.72
Colorado 15088 40.62 612,874.56
Dallas 16882 37.28 629,360.96
Arizona 13356 43.83 585,393.48
Florida 9085 40.85 371,122.25