Tuesday, April 24, 2012

WHL Dominates CHL Attendance Numbers

Not only is the Western Hockey League the biggest member of the Canadian Hockey League but it's also the most watched. The 22-team circuit dominates when compared to the 2011-12 regular season attendance figures of both the 17-team QMJHL and 20-team OHL although the reigning fanbase still resides in La Belle Province.

Who was #1 overall? Who cracks the top 20 in the CHL? Where does the USHL rank by comparison?

The Quebec Remparts led the CHL in regular season attendance with an amazing 11,724 per game, a very slight rise from the previous season.

Patrick Roy's Remparts play in a packed Colisée, the former home of the NHL Quebec Nordiques, in front of a crowd averaging over 2000 people more than the top team in either the OHL or the WHL.  

Here is a breakdown of the top 20 in the CHL.

Canadian Hockey League Attendance

1. Quebec Remparts (11,724)
2. Calgary Hitmen (8973)
3. London Knights (8953)
4. Vancouver Giants (6944)
5. Halifax Mooseheads (6608)
6. Ottawa 67s (6507)
7. Spokane Chiefs (6443)
8. Edmonton Oil Kings (6421)
9. Kitchener Rangers (6365)
10. Kelowna Rockets (6082)
11. Portland Winterhawks (6075)
12. Windsor Spitfires (5859)
13. Victoria Royals (5660)
14. Everett Silvertips (5278)
15. Saskatoon Blades (5048)
16. Red Deer Rebels (4858)
17. Tri-City Americans (4653)
18. Saint John Sea Dogs (4561)
19. Oshawa Generals (4383)
20. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (4316)

Three teams from the QMJHL, six from the OHL and eleven from the WHL.   

The smallest attendance numbers belong to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (1424), PEI Rocket (1603) and Val d'Or Foreurs (1729). The lowest in the OHL is the Brampton Battalion (1986) while the Prince George Cougars (2047) bring up the rear in the WHL.   

By comparison, the rapidly growing and expanding United States Hockey League's top attendance in 2011-12 belongs to the Lincoln Stars (3929) with the Fargo Force (3730) and Indiana Ice (3719) rounding out the top 3. 

The Penticton Vees led the BCHL with 2108.

Frequent TPS contributor Brad Elliot Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald recently compiled a comparison between leagues in North America. Here were his top 10 results:

1. NHL 17,455
2. WCHA 6,386
3. AHL 5,638
4. WHL 4,716
5. ECHL 4,281
6. Hockey East 4,071
7. Central Hockey League 4,042
8. OHL 3,915
9. CCHA 3,494
10. QMJHL 3,489

(Stats compiled using research from Hockeydb.com, Pointstreak.com and the BCHL.)    


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