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Dallas Stars TV Ratings Way Up, Attendance Slightly Down

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Yesterday, Derek Zona of Copper and Blue posted numbers for 22 of the 24 U.S. based NHL franchises over at From the Rink. (Which you should be reading regularly, if you are not.) The numbers paint an interesting picture, with attendance down in 17 of 24 U.S. markets but TV ratings making strong gains. Dallas was no different.

Numbers are courtesy From the Rink.

We'll keep this to "Sun Belt Teams" for the sake of brevity and (laziness) not having to make huge tables. Last time I did this, some wanted to see San Jose included in this group, so here they are:

Television:

Team 08-09 Rating 09-10 Rating Increase
San Jose 1.25 1.11 -11.20%
Dallas 0.52 0.74 +42.31%
Phoenix 0.5 0.62 +24.00%
Tampa Bay 0.49 0.6 +22.45%
Los Angeles 0.38 0.48 +26.32%
Anaheim 0.29 0.42 +44.83%
Atlanta 0.23 0.33 +43.48%
Florida 0.15 0.25 +66.67%

 

The Dallas/Forth Worth 0.74 share represents 18,426 households, up from 12,948 households the year before.

Why? Certainly not on-ice performance. It wasn't because of talented free agents acquired. They weren't more exciting to watch (237 goals this year, 230 goals last year). So, why? Either way, you have to feel good for Ralph and Razor.

What about attendance?

Attendance:

Team 08-09 Avg Attendance % Full 09-10 Avg Attendance % Full Change %
San Jose 17488 99.95 17558 100 0%
Los Angeles 16489 91 17313 96 +5%
Dallas 17681 95 17215 93 -2.6%
Tampa Bay 16498 83 15497 78 -6.1%
Anaheim 16991 98 15168 88 -10.7%
Florida 15622 81 15146 79 -3%
Atlanta 14626 78 13607 73 -7%
Phoenix 14876 83 11989 67 -19.4%

 

So the Stars tick down another couple of percentage points and miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. Strong home play in the middle of their schedule likely saved the attendance numbers a little bit, but no playoff run to get excited about will hurt them again come next season.

Dallas will always post at least mediocre figures owing to the large pockets of North Eastern transplants. Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia, etc, all bring sizable crowds when their team visits. Many Stars season ticket holders are actually fans of other teams first (I know some New Jersey fans like this) that wear their Stars gear 40 games a year, but will switch to the jersey from whence they came when that team comes to town.

Los Angeles shows that strong play on-ice can push your numbers up, while Phoenix shows that it might not necessarily matter. The Coyotes have been lavished with attention since the playoffs began, but their excellent play started at the beginning of the season and it didn't help their attendance in the least bit.

Other notables from the data are the New Jersey Devils, who play to only 88% capacity??, and the Colorado Avalanche, who had a great season but saw their building only 77% full. That's 13,947. A shockingly low number for what has become a strong hockey tradition in Denver.