AHL establishes playoff attendance record

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League has established a new record for total postseason attendance this spring, with nearly 500,000 fans having already attended games during the 2023 Calder Cup Playoffs.

Through 80 games, the league’s playoff participants have drawn a total of 498,828 fans, and will surpass half a million fans in a single postseason for the first time in league history. Additionally, the league average of 6,235 per game ranks the 2023 postseason third-highest in the last 60 years, behind only the 2016 playoffs (6,513 over 67 games) and the 1964 playoffs (6,794 over 17 games).

The Coachella Valley Firebirds, in their first season of play in the AHL, are leading the way with 117,879 fans over 13 home dates, the highest playoff attendance by one team in league history. The Firebirds have recorded four postseason sellouts at the 10,087-seat Acrisure Arena, including each of the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals against Hershey.

Other notable attendance milestones were achieved by the Rochester Americans, who drew the largest crowd for an Amerks game at Blue Cross Arena since 2005 when 10,746 fans filled the seats on May 27; the Laval Rocket, who hosted a franchise-record 10,275 fans at Place Bell on Apr. 19; and the Colorado Eagles, who sold out every one of their 40 home dates at the Budweiser Events Center this season, including their four playoff games.

Coachella Valley currently leads Hershey, two games to none, in the Calder Cup Finals. The series resumes on Tuesday at Giant Center, where the Bears ranked second in the AHL in attendance during the 2022-23 season. The AHL will eclipse 7 million fans, regular season and playoffs combined, for the third time in league history in 2022-23.