In any major league sport, fans are what drives revenue for the individual league and each individual team. While it may not be the most popular of the four major North American sports leagues, the NHL is certainly no exception. In this piece, NoVa Caps takes a look at where the Capitals stand in average fan attendance at this point in the 2018-19 season.
Since their return to prominence in 2007-08, the Capitals have seen a rise in fan attendance, going from an average of 13,929 attendance at home in 2006-07, to 18,509 this season, per ESPN. In Alex Ovechkin’s rookie season in 2005-06, the Capitals averaged a number of 15,214 fans per game (which ranked third-worst in the entire league), and 13,905 fans per home game, which was also third-worst in the league, per ESPN.
In 2018-19, one season after the team captured the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship, the Capitals stand at an average of 18,509 fans per home game, which currently ranks ninth in the NHL, just behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ average of 18,555. In total, they have seen 573,785 fans walk through the doors of Capital One Arena, which ranks fifth in the entire league, behind only Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Montreal, and Chicago (in ascending order). On the road, the Capitals have averaged 13,355 fans, two behind the Buffalo Sabres’ and St. Louis Blues’ 13,357 fans, and good enough for 17th in the league overall. Overall the Capitals have averaged 17,971 fans in each of their 58 games played (prior to tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks) this season, which is good enough for 10th overall in fan attendance this season. Last season, the Capitals finished the 2017-18 season with an average of 17,937 fans in all 82 games, which was ranked 14th overall. They ranked ninth in home average attendance with 18,774 per game, and ranked 26th with an average road attendance of 17,099 fans per road game. Last season, the team saw a total of 769,756 fans walk through the doors of Capital One Arena, which ranked ninth in the league.
Average Home Attendance and Total Home Attendance 2018-19:
Average Road Attendance and Overall Average Attendance 2018-19:
With the season just over halfway through, it will be interesting to see how the attendance numbers for the Capitals looks at the end of this season. Keep any eye out for end-of-season numbers from NoVa Caps at the conclusion of the regular season!
*Graphs courtesy ESPN
By Michael Fleetwood