‘Bisons’ ranked second in Europe
International Ice Hockey Federation publishes annual report on attendance at league matches, placing Dinamo Minsk second, behind Bern Switzerland
Bern is Europe’s most attended club for the 14th year, with its matches at the Post Finance Arena in the regular season visited by 16,164 fans. Switzerland’s National League А is also ranked European first, with an average attendance of 6,762.
After falling from second to sixth place last year, the Belarusian KHL representative has returned to its former position, thanks to its successful performance in the regular championship, with an average fan attendance at Minsk-Arena of 14,120; 11 matches sold out completely.
The Minskers have pushed German Eisbaren from Berlin (13,018) and Russian SKA from St. Petersburg (12,125) into third and fourth places, followed by German Adler Mannheim (11,320) and Kolner Haie (11,161). After moving to the KHL, Helsinki Jokerit’s attendance has grown, moving the team into 7th place. The top ten also includes Swiss Zurich (9,331), Swedish Frolunda (9,087) and KHL’s Slovakian Slovan (8,975).
Some teams have considerably improved their attendance; among them are Djurgaarden (Sweden), Lada (Russia) and Olomouc (Czech Republic); each has moved into a more prestigious league. Sochi, making its KHL debut last year, gathers an average of 7,557 fans for each match, playing at the 2014 Olympic arena. Interestingly, ten of the top hundred most attended teams perform in second divisions. The list is headed by Malmö Redhawks (Sweden), with an average of 6,258 fans per match.
Attendance at European hockey matches has risen: the average among the top 100 European clubs, from 14 countries, is 5,905 — up from 5,830 last year.
By Igor Leshin