by Forechecker on 02/16/09 at 04:38 PM ET
In light of all the talk yesterday about Tampa Bay giving away reams of tickets (over 2,500 per game), I thought I’d do a little digging to see how the Nashville Predators are doing. Since their lease at the Sommet Center and the NHL’s revenue sharing plan each have clauses related to hitting the magic 14,000 average paid attendance mark, the Preds are usually the only NHL team for which the comparison is made against the attendance figure reported in NHL box scores, which includes giveaways.
Our starting point here is two years ago; the Globe & Mail published a (PDF) report which broke down paid vs. total attendance through the end of January during the 2006-7 NHL season. At that point, the average NHL team was giving away 1,194 tickets per game; the Preds were dishing out 1,718, down from 1,815 in 2005-6.
This season, it has been reported that through the first 22 home games, the Preds have averaged 13,744 in paid attendance per game (a 6% rise compared to the same point in 2007-8). Running that up against the published attendance figures for each home game gives us a total attendance average of 14,567. Giveaways, then, are running at 823 per contest.
Paid attendance is up, they’re likely to hit the 14,000 mark, and giveaways are down by nearly 50%. I’d say that progress is definitely being made in Nashville.
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