AHL teams set regular-season attendance record

Photo: Mike Zitek

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League established a new record for attendance in a single regular season as more than 6.8 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2023-24.

The total of 6,819,875 fans in 1,152 games represented an increase of 4.9 percent over last season. The previous attendance record of 6,693,526 was established in 2015-16.

In addition, average per-game attendance in 2023-24 was 5,920, the third-highest mark in league history.

The Cleveland Monsters led the league in attendance for the fourth time in the last five seasons by drawing 10,264 fans per game to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the highest average attendance by an AHL team in 25 years. The Hershey Bears (9,439), Laval Rocket (9,256), Chicago Wolves (8,984) and Coachella Valley Firebirds (8,844) rounded out the top five.

Twenty-six of the league’s 32 teams saw an increase in attendance in their home rink from last season, led by Laval (+21.0%) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (+17.4%). The Colorado Eagles sold out all 36 of their home games at the 5,089-seat Blue Arena, and the Springfield Thunderbirds played to 93.1 percent capacity at the 6,793-seat MassMutual Center, including 14 consecutive sellouts to finish the season.

In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 32 National Hockey League teams. Nearly 90 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame. The 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs begin Tuesday.