Swiss stay top

SC Bern number one in European attendance ranking

ZURICH – In the annual European attendance ranking published by the IIHF, Swiss club SC Bern stays on top for the 14th consecutive time, with an average of 16,164 fans coming to the PostFinance Arena during the regular season. The Swiss National League A is also top in Europe with an average league attendance of 6,762.

Scroll down for the club and league rankings.

Back in second place is Dynamo Minsk, the team from Belarus that plays in the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League. After dropping from second to sixth place last year, Dynamo Minsk is back in second place thanks to a strong season. 14,120 fans came to Minsk Arena, the venue of the 2014 Worlds, in average including 11 games that were sold out in the regular season.

As a consequence Germany’s Eisbaren Berlin (13,018) and SKA St. Petersburg from Russia (12,125) fell down to third and fourth place respectively. Two more German teams, Adler Mannheim (11,320) and Kolner Haie (11,161), follow in fifth and sixth place.

Jokerit Helsinki, which moved from the Finnish Liiga to the KHL for this season, increased its attendance to move up by two positions to seventh place. The ZSC Lions Zurich (Switzerland, 9,331), Frolunda Gothenburg (Sweden, 9,087) and Slovak KHL team Slovan Bratislava (8,975) complete Europe’s top-10.

Among the teams that improved the most in the ranking are clubs that were promoted to the top league of their country last year, including Djurgarden Stockholm (Sweden), Lada Togliatti (Russia) and HC Olomouc (Czech Republic). HK Sochi was a new entry in the study. The club was founded last year to compete in the KHL. Playing in the Bolshoy Ice Dome, which was built to serve as the main ice hockey arena for the 2014 Olympics, HK Sochi had an average attendance of 7,557, good for 17th in Europe and fourth among Russian clubs.

Nine of the top-100 teams in the list currently compete in the second tier of their country, led by the Malmo Redhawks from Sweden. The home team at Malmo Arena, the venue of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, averaged 6,258 fans during the regular season of HockeyAllsvenskan.

Overall the attendance in Europe has grown. The top-100 clubs in Europe from 14 different countries averaged 5,905 fans compared to 5,830 last year. One of the few exceptions was the Swiss National League A with a small decrease of 1.6 per cent to 6,762 fans, which still ranks the league on top in Europe before the German DEL (6,419).

The KHL improved to third place and increased its average attendance by 8.8 per cent to 6,324 with the joining of Jokerit Helsinki and a strong growth in Minsk and Kazan as the main drivers. The Swedish Hockey League moved down to fourth place with 6,036 fans. Thanks to the promotion of Djurgarden Stockholm the league had a slight attendance growth but eight of the 12 teams had a lower number than last year.

Also the Czech Republic and Finland swapped places. The Czech Extraliga is now fifth with 5,113 fans in average while the Finnish Liiga had a 12.8 per cent decrease down to 4,336 fans. Not only was Jokerit missing in the calculation after moving out of the league but of the 13 clubs that played in Finland’s top league both this and last season, nine had lower figures. Among the exceptions is new number one HIFK Helsinki, now the team with the best attendance in the league meaning that both Helsinki teams increased their fan base nine months before their arenas will host the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in the Finnish capital.

Austrian-based cross-border league EBEL, the British Elite Ice Hockey League, Norway’s Get Ligaen and the Slovak Extraliga complete the top-10 among European top-tier leagues.

The National Hockey League remains the most-attended league in the world and currently averages 17,441 spectators led by the Chicago Blackhawks (21,732), the Montreal Canadiens (21,286) and the Detroit Red Wings (20,027). In the global ranking four European leagues (Switzerland, Germany, KHL, Sweden) follow behind the NHL and before the American Hockey League as the second-best attended league in North America with an average of 5,385 spectators. In North America the NHL and AHL are followed by the ECHL (4,520) and the Western Hockey League (4,435), the junior league with the highest number.

The Asia League with teams from Japan, Korea, China and the Russian island of Sakhalin averaged 954 fans with a remarkable move from last to first place of the China Dragon. The only Chinese club of the league averaged 1,606 fans thanks to moving more of its games to the northern province of Heilongjiang with its hockey cities Harbin and Qiqihar. Qiqihar, where the team played in front of 2,000 to 3,000 spectators, was recently named the best hockey city of the competition by the Asia League.

MARTIN MERK

Attendance figures in European hockey leagues 2014/2015

 

Club

Country

Average

Cap. %

1.

(1.)

SC Bern

SUI

16,164

94.36%

2.

(6.)

Dynamo Minsk

BLR

14,120

93.60%

3.

(2.)

Eisbaren Berlin

GER

13,018

91.68%

4.

(3.)

SKA St. Petersburg

RUS

12,125

97.00%

5.

(5.)

Adler Mannheim

GER

11,320

83.24%

6.

(4.)

Kolner Haie

GER

11,161

60.33%

7.

(9.)

Jokerit Helsinki

FIN

10,932

80.00%

8.

(10.)

ZSC Lions Zurich

SUI

9,331

83.31%

9.

(8.)

Frolunda Gothenburg

SWE

9,087

75.45%

10.

(7.)

Slovan Bratislava

SVK

8,975

89.26%

11.

(12.)

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

RUS

8,928

98.70%

12.

(11.)

Hamburg Freezers

GER

8,906

69.56%

13.

(15.)

Avangard Omsk

RUS

8,666

83.99%

14.

(14.)

HC Pardubice

CZE

8,298

81.40%

15.

(30.)

Djurgarden Stockholm

SWE

7,924

97.90%

16.

(37.)

Dusseldorfer EG

GER

7,847

 

17.

(new)

HK Sochi

RUS

7,557

 

18.

(20.)

Kometa Brno

CZE

7,048

 

19.

(23.)

HIFK Helsinki

FIN

6,854

 

20.

(22.)

Sibir Novosibirsk

RUS

6,838

 

21.

(25.)

HV71 Jonkoping

SWE

6,784

 

22.

(28.)

Lausanne HC

SUI

6,711

 

23.

(18.)

Salavat Yulayev Ufa

RUS

6,699

 

24.

(17.)

Geneve-Servette

SUI

6,619

 

25.

(82.)

Ak Bars Kazan

RUS

6,529

 

26.

(31.)

Traktor Chelyabinsk

RUS

6,508

 

27.

(29.)

EV Zug

SUI

6,366

 

28.

(27.)

Fribourg-Gotteron

SUI

6,261

 

29.

(39.)

Malmo Redhawks

SWE-2

6,258

 

30.

(26.)

Leksands IF

SWE

6,132

 

31.

(19.)

Sparta Prague

CZE

6,116

 

32.

(33.)

Farjestad Karlstad

SWE

5,992

 

33.

(13.)

Dinamo Riga

LAT

5,941

 

34.

(21.)

Amur Khabarovsk

RUS

5,855

 

35.

(47.)

Atlant Mytishi

RUS

5,853

 

36.

(24.)

Linkopings HC

SWE

5,850

 

37.

(38.)

Dynamo Moscow

RUS

5,674

 

38.

(32.)

Karpat Oulu

FIN

5,657

 

39.

(57.)

HC Lugano

SUI

5,559

 

40.

(69.)

Metallurg Magnitogorsk

RUS

5,548

 

41.

(43.)

Vitkovice Ostrava

CZE

5,534

 

42.

(53.)

TPS Turku

FIN

5,444

 

43.

(213.)

Lada Togliatti

RUS

5,426

 

44.

(34.)

MODO Ornskoldsvik

SWE

5,383

 

45.

(16.)

Medvescak Zagreb

CRO

5,369

 

46.

(46.)

Admiral Vladivostok

RUS

5,310

 

47.

(45.)

Nottingham Panthers

GBR

5,266

 

48.

(41.)

Kloten Flyers

SUI

5,262

 

49.

(72.)

HC Litvinov

CZE

5,230

 

50.

(36.)

Tappara Tampere

FIN

5,223

 

51.

(40.)

HC Ambri-Piotta

SUI

5,154

 

52.

(58.)

Orebro HK

SWE

5,148

 

53.

(35.)

Brynas Gavle

SWE

5,103

 

54.

(51.)

SCL Tigers Langnau

SUI-2

5,053

 

55.

(49.)

Skelleftea AIK

SWE

5,030

 

56.

(56.)

Lulea HF

SWE

5,021

 

57.

(42.)

Krefeld Pinguine

GER

5,019

 

58.

(59.)

Vaxjo Lakers

SWE

4,980

 

59.

(44.)

Skoda Plzen

CZE

4,962

 

60.

(50.)

Ilves Tampere

FIN

4,955

 

61.

(92.)

Ocelari Trinec

CZE

4,920

 

62.

(55.)

Nuremberg Ice Tigers

GER

4,905

 

63.

(48.)

Augsburger Panther

GER

4,777

 

64.

(64.)

HC Davos

SUI

4,763

 

65.

(81.)

KAC Klagenfurt

AUT

4,761

 

66.

(190.)

HC Olomouc

CZE

4,745

 

67.

(79.)

Belfast Giants

GBR

4,744

 

68.

(75.)

PSG Zlin

CZE

4,719

 

69.

(65.)

HK Hradec Kralove

CZE

4,686

 

70.

(68.)

EHC Biel

SUI

4,676

 

71.

(62.)

Vienna Capitals

AUT

4,569

 

72.

(85.)

Black Wings Linz

AUT

4,515

 

73.

(90.)

HC Ceske Budejovice

CZE-2

4,462

 

74.

(96.)

Torpedo N. Novgorod

RUS

4,455

 

75.

(52.)

Avt. Yekaterinburg

RUS

4,429

 

76.

(91.)

Lowen Frankfurt

GER-2

4,426

 

77.

(67.)

Bili Tygri Liberec

CZE

4,360

 

78.

(109.)

CSKA Moscow

RUS

4,350

 

79.

(71.)

Neft. Nizhnekamsk

RUS

4,343

 

80.

(83.)

Iserlohn Roosters

GER

4,289

 

81.

(73.)

Rapperswil-Jona

SUI

4,276

 

82.

(94.)

EHC Red Bull Munich

GER

4,275

 

83.

(66.)

Straubing Tigers

GER

4,230

 

84.

(77.)

Stavanger Oilers

NOR

4,095

 

85.

(76.)

Assat Pori

FIN

3,988

 

86.

(60.)

Espoo Blues

FIN

3,985

 

87.

(89.)

Barys Astana

KAZ

3,963

 

88.

(61.)

Slavia Prague

CZE

3,892

 

89.

(98.)

ERC Ingolstadt

GER

3,854

 

90.

(70.)

Schwenningen

GER

3,841

 

91.

(88.)

Lukko Rauma

FIN

3,806

 

92.

(78.)

SaiPa Lappeenranta

FIN

3,779

 

93.

(136.)

BK Mlada Boleslav

CZE

3,763

 

94.

(106.)

Bremerhaven

GER-2

3,658

 

95.

(102.)

EHC Olten

SUI-2

3,634

 

96.

(93.)

HC Kosice

SVK

3,629

 

97.

(108.)

VIK Vasteras

SWE-2

3,578

 

98.

(97.)

Bjorkloven Umea

SWE-2

3,552

 

99.

(87.)

Severstal Cherepovets

RUS

3,526

 

100.

(63.)

AIK Stockholm

SWE-2

3,516

 


Regular-Season average league attendance Europe & Asia

 

League

Attendance

1.

Switzerland - National League A

6,762

2.

Germany - Deutsche Eishockey Liga

6,419

3.

Russia - Kontinental Hockey League

6,324

4.

Sweden - Swedish Hockey League

6,036

5.

Czech Republic - Extraliga

5,113

6.

Finland - Liiga

4,336

7.

Austria - EBEL

2,967

8.

Great Britain - Elite Ice Hockey League

2,312

9.

Norway - Get-ligaen

1,860

10.

Slovakia - Extraliga

1,728

11.

France - Ligue Magnus

1,719

12.

Denmark - Metal Ligaen

1,481

13.

Belarus - Extraliga

979

14.

Asia League (CHN/KOR/JPN)

954

15.

Netherlands - Eredivisie

878

16.

Italy - Serie A

800

17.

Poland - Polska Liga

796

18.

MOL Liga (HUN/ROU/SVK)

703

 
Regular-Season average attendance North America

 

League

Attendance

1.

National Hockey League

17,441

2.

American Hockey League

5,385

3.

ECHL

4,520

4.

Western Hockey League

4,435

5.

Ontario Hockey League

4,087

6.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

3,214

7.

Southern Professional Hockey League

3,063

8.

United States Hockey League

2,676


Note: The regular season is still being played in North America and in Great Britain, numbers as of 12 March 2015.

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