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30 Best-Attended Minor-Pro Teams, 2009-10

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12-28-2009, 03:39 PM
  #1
HansH
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30 Best-Attended Minor-Pro Teams, 2009-10

Happy Holidays!

Yup, it's that time again - here's a listing of the current 30 best-attended minor-pro teams after the games of December 27th, fancifully arranged into ficticious "divisions" and "conferences", as if they were all in the same "High Minors Hockey League".

AMERICAN CONFERENCE - 16 teams

Atlantic Division - 8 teams
Hershey (AHL), #1 - 8,839
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), #5 - 6,279
Providence (AHL), #11 - 5,343
Syracuse (AHL), #23 - 4,635
Manchester (AHL), #24 - 4,631
Adirondack (AHL), #25 - 4,452
Reading (ECHL), #26 - 4,406
Hamilton (AHL), #30 - 4,305

Eastern Division - 8 teams
Fort Wayne (IHL), #2 - 7,829
Grand Rapids (AHL), #4 - 6,470
Toledo (ECHL), #9 - 5,767
Gwinnett (ECHL), #13 - 5,174
Lake Erie (AHL), #15 - 5,085
Charlotte (ECHL), #16 - 5,067
Florida (ECHL), #17 - 5,043
South Carolina (ECHL), #29 - 4,305

NATIONAL CONFERENCE - 14 teams

Central Division - 7 teams
Chicago (AHL), #6 - 6,222
Houston (AHL), #10 - 5,424
Texas (AHL), #18 - 5,031
Missouri (CHL), #21 - 4,717
Tulsa (CHL), #22 - 4,708
Rio Grande Valley (CHL), #27 - 4,404
San Antonio (AHL), #28 - 4,374

Western Division - 7 teams
Manitoba (AHL), #3 - 7,304
Ontario (ECHL), #7 - 6,039
Stockton (ECHL), #8 - 5,874
Rapid City (CHL), #20 - 4,791
Colorado (CHL) #12 - 5,289
Bakersfield (ECHL), #14 - 5,115
Alaska (ECHL), #19 - 4,928

Now, a couple of notes.

Adirondack's presence in the top 30 deserves a bit of an asterisk, as one of their "home" games was played at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia (home of their NHL parent), and drew a crowd of over 13k. Without that game, Adirondack's attendance drops down to 3,832, and about 40th place.

Similarly, Hamilton's numbers are inflated by a "home" game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, which drew nearly 15k. Without that game, Hamilton's attendance drops to 3,439 (about 48th place).

The "bubble teams" just outside the HMHL are AHL Milwaukee (4,058) and ECHL Las Vegas (4,033). IF one were to remove the parent-site home games for Adirondack and Hamilton, these two teams would take their places.

Another bit of speculation - if Edmonton does indeed activate their AHL franchise in Oklahoma City next season, it's not an outlandish assumption to make to place that market into the HMHL, which would knock Las Vegas back out.

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12-28-2009, 03:40 PM
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Setting the bar again in Hershey....wooooo

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12-28-2009, 06:01 PM
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HA HA! I love the name change for this year, Hans!

Interesting as always.

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12-28-2009, 08:24 PM
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It's pretty sad that we in Albany can't draw more than anyone in the top 40-50 - too bad nothing came of the rumours of a suburban arena a few years ago, since nobody goes to downtown Albany for anything but work and TUC events... Colonie would be perfect.

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01-02-2010, 02:02 AM
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The Milwaukee Admirals are up to 4415 a game, a ten percent increase. They passed San Antonio and are 31 behind Adirondack, putting them around 27th place. It is amazing what playing a few games at home can do, especially after having 15 of the first 21 games on the road.

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01-02-2010, 01:13 PM
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It will be interesting to look at this again after the season's over. After that, some teams won't be competing with football (college, pro, etc.) for attendance.

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01-15-2010, 06:09 PM
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Here's an update, right before the weekend's games..

AMERICAN CONFERENCE - 15 teams

Eastern Division - 7 teams
Hershey (AHL), #1 - 8,863
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), #6 - 6,164
Providence (AHL), #10 - 5,621
Manchester (AHL), #21 - 4,795
Syracuse (AHL), #23 - 4,674
Reading (ECHL), #26 - 4,460
Adirondack (AHL), #28 - 4,303

Central Division - 8 teams
Fort Wayne (IHL), #2 - 8,022
Chicago (AHL), #4 - 7,050
Grand Rapids (AHL), #5 - 6,229
Toledo (ECHL), #9 - 5,787
Lake Erie (AHL), #15 - 5,068
Milwaukee (AHL), #20 - 4,804
Missouri (CHL), #22 - 4,767
Tulsa (CHL), #24 - 4,670

NATIONAL CONFERENCE - 15 teams

Southern Division - 8 teams
Houston (AHL), #11 - 5,396
Gwinnett (ECHL), #14 - 5,128
Florida (ECHL), #16 - 5,043
Texas (AHL), #17 - 5,040
Charlotte (ECHL), #18 - 4,919
Rio Grande Valley (CHL), #27 - 4,423
South Carolina (ECHL), #29 - 4,296
San Antonio (AHL), #30 - 4,221

Western Division - 7 teams
Manitoba (AHL), #3 - 7,550
Stockton (ECHL), #7 - 6,093
Ontario (ECHL), #8 - 5,907
Colorado (CHL) #12 - 5,289
Bakersfield (ECHL), #13 - 5,204
Rapid City (CHL), #19 - 4,846
Alaska (ECHL), #25 - 4,653

Hamilton has dropped out of this update of the HMHL, to be replaced by Milwaukee. If OKC were to show up in the HMHL, they would bump out San Antonio... which might lead to a little bit of re-jiggering of the divisions -- and there's other ways the divisions could be set up, as well.

Las Vegas is just outside the HMHL at #31.

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01-27-2010, 12:58 PM
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Quick note - Wichita made a big move, and is now the team that is lurking patiently to try to knock Adirondack out of the HMHL, less than 10 fans/game behind.

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02-09-2010, 12:01 AM
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And don't forget OKC, which doesn't have a 2010 hockey club this year. OKC has a history of drawing more than 6k average in the recent past.

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04-19-2010, 01:57 PM
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Final update

Here are the final numbers at the end of the 2009-10 season for the "High Minors Hockey League". There wasn't much change in the lineup in the latter half of the season

AMERICAN CONFERENCE - 15 teams

Eastern Division - 7 teams
Hershey (AHL), #1 - 9,520
Providence (AHL), #6 - 6,770
Lake Erie (AHL), #7 - 6,484
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), #10 - 6,270
Syracuse (AHL), #17 - 5,294
Manchester (AHL), #18 - 5,293
Reading (ECHL), #24 - 4,943

Central Division - 8 teams
Chicago (AHL), #3 - 7,963
Fort Wayne (IHL), #4 - 7,826
Grand Rapids (AHL), #5 - 7,016
Toledo (ECHL), #9 - 6,294
Milwaukee (AHL), #12 - 6,027
Wichita (CHL), #23 - 5,001
Missouri (CHL), #25 - 4,936
Tulsa (CHL), #26 - 4,824

NATIONAL CONFERENCE - 15 teams

Southern Division - 8 teams
Houston (AHL), #13 - 5,770
Charlotte (ECHL), #14 - 5,518
Florida (ECHL), #15 - 5,463
Texas (AHL), #16 - 5,355
San Antonio (AHL), #21 - 5,235
Gwinnett (ECHL), #22 - 5,166
South Carolina (ECHL), #27 - 4,824
Rio Grande Valley (CHL), #29 - 4,743

Western Division - 7 teams
Manitoba (AHL), #2 - 8,086
Stockton (ECHL), #11 - 6,031
Ontario (ECHL), #8 - 6,451
Colorado (CHL), #19 - 5,289
Bakersfield (ECHL), #20 - 5,265
Rapid City (CHL), #28 - 4,811
Alaska (ECHL), #30 - 4,697

Peoria put on a late charge towards the HMHL, but finished just on the outside (by about 140 fans per game). Hamilton, Victoria, Las Vegas and Portland were all in the range of about 300-350 fans per game outside the HMHL.

Next year, OKC is a likely candidate for the HMHL, which would necessitate a reshuffling of the divisions, as Alaska would currently be the team knocked out of the league by that addition.

Another alignment might work out as follows:

AMERICAN (16)
East (8) - Manchester, Providence, Syracuse, Wilkes-Barre, Reading, Hershey, Lake Erie, Toledo
Central (8) - Chicago, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, South Carolina, Charlotte, Gwinnett, Florida

NATIONAL (14)
South (7) - Missouri, Tulsa, Wichita, Texas, San Antonio, Houston, Rio Grande Valley
West (7) - Manitoba, Colorado, Alaska, Stockton, Ontario, Bakersfield

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05-01-2010, 07:51 PM
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If Hershey makes it to the finals, how difficult would it be to get tickets to a home game and how much do they typically cost (I'd assume I'd have to buy them off a re-seller).

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05-02-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatloui View Post
If Hershey makes it to the finals, how difficult would it be to get tickets to a home game and how much do they typically cost (I'd assume I'd have to buy them off a re-seller).
To be honest with you, I've never had a problem getting tickets. If you look for them when the schedule comes out you should have no problem getting them.

The prices are 23.50 for the 100 level and 17.50 for the upper level.

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05-02-2010, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by NYR89 View Post
To be honest with you, I've never had a problem getting tickets. If you look for them when the schedule comes out you should have no problem getting them.

The prices are 23.50 for the 100 level and 17.50 for the upper level.
Giant Center seats 10,500. Last year's Finals drew 10,696 - 10,739 - 10,860.

I wouldn't wait.

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05-02-2010, 01:21 PM
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Oh, yeah:

Tickets are available at Giant Center Box office or by phone 717-508-BEAR (2327). The Box Office is open Monday- Saturday from 9 AM -5 PM.


Hope this helps.

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05-03-2010, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumblick View Post
Giant Center seats 10,500. Last year's Finals drew 10,696 - 10,739 - 10,860.

I wouldn't wait.
I didn't mean to wait, but you shouldn't have a problem getting tickets if you call as soon as they go up for sale. Then again, I can see the Giant Center from my house so maybe that has something to do with it

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05-05-2010, 12:40 PM
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Finals, if they make it that far would probably go on sale roughly about Game 2 or so from the prior series. Although that might end up being games 5 and 7 of ECF or 1 and 2 of CCF. Although, scheduling is going to get crazy considering the Bears have a week+ layoff already and waiting on Man./Wor. and the western series are even behind them. Did I mention that the circus is in town the last week or so of May?

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05-06-2010, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by LetsGoBears View Post
Finals, if they make it that far would probably go on sale roughly about Game 2 or so from the prior series. Although that might end up being games 5 and 7 of ECF or 1 and 2 of CCF. Although, scheduling is going to get crazy considering the Bears have a week+ layoff already and waiting on Man./Wor. and the western series are even behind them. Did I mention that the circus is in town the last week or so of May?
Move the games to the old barn!

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05-06-2010, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Move the games to the old barn!
I believe this was discussed on the Old Barn Hockey Show and they don't have the netting at each end. The old barn is great, but 11,000 fans is something awesome too. Hard call imo.

Also, ECF first and second game dates are set as May 12 and 15. If its Manchester games 3, 4 and 5 would be 17th, 18th and 20th. No projected dates from the Sharks yet. Either way, Finals are perfectly timed with the circus!

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05-06-2010, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LetsGoBears View Post
I believe this was discussed on the Old Barn Hockey Show and they don't have the netting at each end. The old barn is great, but 11,000 fans is something awesome too. Hard call imo.

Also, ECF first and second game dates are set as May 12 and 15. If its Manchester games 3, 4 and 5 would be 17th, 18th and 20th. No projected dates from the Sharks yet. Either way, Finals are perfectly timed with the circus!
Both series are supposed to be 2-3-2 but the AHL does not always stick to 2-2-1-1-1 or 2-3-2.

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05-06-2010, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetsGoBears View Post
I believe this was discussed on the Old Barn Hockey Show and they don't have the netting at each end. The old barn is great, but 11,000 fans is something awesome too. Hard call imo.

Also, ECF first and second game dates are set as May 12 and 15. If its Manchester games 3, 4 and 5 would be 17th, 18th and 20th. No projected dates from the Sharks yet. Either way, Finals are perfectly timed with the circus!
I didn't think about the netting. And I'm guessing in that arena that would be a very expensive undertaking.

As for comparing it to 11,000 in the Giant Center, IMO it's not a contest. The atmosphere in a sold out/standing room only crowd at the arena blows away one at the Giant Center.

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