Hockey is awesome. I just wanted to start this post off with that exclamation because I am currently watching highlights of the Bruins downing the Panthers 4-1 from earlier tonight.
There is no doubt that hockey is immensely popular in Canada, and while not on par with the baseball or football in the United States, the sport does have a strong foothold in major metropolitan areas. The most recent Winter Olympics, as exhibited in a previous post, illustrated the popularity of the sport when it was discovered that hockey dominated social media chatter on both Facebook and Twitter. That said, when it comes to the NHL, there always seems to be a competition between cities on which franchise has the best fans.
A recent infographic prepared by Ticket City ranked all 30 franchises according to the following criteria to determine the most engaged fan bases:
- Facebook Fans
- Twitter Followers
- Home Attendance
- Average Ticket Price
Off the bat, one issue in terms of “fan engagement” is the metric of home attendance. While an important aspect of determining how engaged a fan base is with a franchise, it appears as if the only data analyzed is the total number of fans that have attended games, and not a percentage of the seats purchased. This hurts franchises such as Boston and Winnipeg in the rankings, as they are cities that actively sell out (100% capacity) but only have 17,565 and 15,004 seats in their arenas respectively.