This graph depicts the average attendance at regular season games in the National Hockey League from the 2008/09 season to the 2015/16 season. In the 2008/09 season, the average attendance at NHL games was 17,476.
NHL average attendance - additional information
The average attendance at regular seasons NHL games has remained consistently around 17,000 since 2008, with the average for the 2013/14 recorded as 17,587. On the back of their Presidents’ Trophy and Stanley Cup wins in the 2012/13 season, the Chicago Blackhawks recorded the highest average home attendance in the league during the 2013/14 season, with an average of 22,623 fans watching each home game.
A total of 21.63 million people watched NHL games live during the 2013/14 season, with each team welcoming an average of 721,000 people to their home games across the whole season. The average is significantly higher than the figure from the 2012/13, which stood at 425,000. This figure can be attributed to the NHL lockout which cut the total games for the season from 82 to 48, meaning that each team only played a total of 24 home games, as opposed to the customary 41 games.
The NHL lockout, the first of its kind since the 2004 lockout which forced the whole NHL season to be cancelled, was a labor dispute that began in September 2012 and did not end until a tentative agreement was reached in January 2013. The lockout was announced after a new agreement could not be reached before the expiry of the NHL collective bargaining agreement on September 16, 2012.
The lockout was caused by key disagreements between owners and players on issues such as players’ shares of revenues, the length of players’ contracts, and the rules on free agency. When the season belatedly started on January 19, 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks set an NHL record of 24 consecutive games without a regulation loss.