By Zachary Baru
The Springfield Falcons finished the 2012-13 season similar to the rest of the American Hockey League, as attendance for both the Falcons and the league increased in a season which began with a National Hockey League lockout. The Falcons attendance increased 6.8 percent this season to an average of 3,906 fans per home game.
While the AHL has large market franchises including Chicago, Houston and Toronto, the top-ranked team in attendance was the Hershey Bears. Hershey finished as the only AHL team above the 10,000 mark, with 10,046 fans per game. The franchise ranked last in attendance was Oklahoma City, finishing with an avereage of 3,527.
What all of this shows is that the Falcons find themselves in a growing league, and while their attendance has increased from last season, 4,000 really is a number they need to climb on top of. In today's AHL, 3,900 fans per game just is not going to cut it.
The Falcons have stated that they will attempt a strong season ticket and group sales effort this summer, which will be imperative to setting a solid foundation for the attendance once the fall comes. It is also very important that local businesses step-in to show their support, as corporate sponsorships are a major contributor to the franchise's off-ice success. If all of these parts come together over the summer, the Falcons should be in position to keep up with the growing AHL, and build on the growth from this past season.
Source: SportsBusiness Journal
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.