Packing them in

Need any more proof that hockey matters again in the Windy City?

The Chicago Blackhawks are the top-drawing team in the NHL so far, according to ESPN.com.

Thanks to All-Star starters Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Brian Campbell, the Blackhawks are averaging 20,292 per game so far in 2008-09. Through 18 dates at the United Center, the ‘Hawks are drawing a league-best 22,655 per game, nearly 1.400 more than second-place Montreal and almost 3,000 ahead of defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit.

On the road, Chicago is pulling in an average of 17,929 per game, good for fourth behind fellow Original Six teams Montreal (17,990), Boston (18,227) and Detroit (19,627).

Why is this a big deal? Consider that in the two seasons following the lockout, Chicago ranked 29th of 30 teams in home (13,022) and overall (14,865) attendance. On the road in 2005-06, the Blackhawks were 22nd (16,729), and slipped to 23rd (16,686) the following season.

The Blackhawks have the longest active Stanley Cup drought. Chicago hasn't won the Cup since 1961, ahead of Toronto (1967)

The bottom three teams in overall attendance this season are Columbus (15,652), the New York Islanders (15,626) and Nashville (15,609).


Anonymous said...

C'mon, you can't mention all these things without stating the turning factor as the death of Dollar Bill.

"Igor" said...

I think a lot of fans are aware why this happened, I just wanted to bring the numbers to light.

Though I've been in Chicago only three years, I've sat in the United Center enough times with about 6,000 others.