Tonight’s attendance watch: Dallas more interested in World Series, Columbus sets a new low

We’re keeping a stray eye on attendance numbers around some places in the NHL, and couple of games tonight stood out more than others. In Dallas, the Stars announced a paid attendance of 11,306 at American Airlines Center for the Stars 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings, a new low since moving to Dallas. Of course, the Stars do have some competition with the Texas Rangers being in the World Series. Folks on the scene tonight, which included our own James O’Brien, say that the actual attendance was far lower than the announced total.

Having to compete with TV sets showing the World Series can be a tough call, but the World Series didn’t seem to affect attendance at the San Jose Sharks home game last night against the Devils where the Sharks once again had a sellout crowd. With San Jose being a stones throw away from San Francisco where Game 1 of the series was held, it was curious to see that the Sharks didn’t suffer while the Stars did, even though the Stars are going out of their way to provide screens and TV sets at the arena to keep Stars fans up to date with what’s going on with the Rangers. Attendance is something they’re worried about in Dallas as Defending Big D wondered aloud if the Stars are going to have problems this year.

Things don’t figure to get any better on Saturday for the Stars home game against the Buffalo Sabres as they’ll be going up against Game 3 of the World Series in Arlington, Texas head-to-head. If you thought tonight’s turnout in Dallas was embarrassing, it could prove to be magnificent compared to what could shake out going up against the first World Series game to ever be held at the Rangers home park.

Meanwhile in Columbus, the woes of the Blue Jackets ability to draw a crowd continue as the attendance tonight at Nationwide Arena managed to set a new team low of 9,128 as the Jackets beat the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout 3-2. The issues facing the Blue Jackets are pretty obvious for them as they’ve only been to the playoffs once in their ten seasons in the NHL. Becoming a winning team will help them out, and they’ve done well to start the season, but getting things done for an extended amount of time is the only thing that will boost the numbers. Relying on playing tons of games against the Red Wings and Blackhawks to help boost the numbers only does so much, especially when the arena is being filled with tons of fans of the opponents.

For now, the Blue Jackets pronounced lack of success in their past is their Achilles heel. Giving the fans a fun team to watch that can win will help things out. Having to deal with the other teams in the Central Division will make life hard for Columbus.

(note: Stars crowd photo courtesy of @5holeblog on Twitter)

Your moment of not-zen: Jobing.Com Arena attendance tonight


Listen, we know the Phoenix Coyotes are having their problems finding an owner, and they’ve had their issues with getting fans in Glendale and Phoenix to fall in love with the team but sometimes you just need to take a look at things for what they are.

Tonight marks the Coyotes second home game of the year (at least one played in Arizona, they played one in Prague as the “home” team) and here are shots from inside Arena courtesy of the Arizona Republic’s Sarah McLellan.  The first one comes from 20 minutes before the puck was dropped for the Coyotes game against Los Angeles.

This second one comes during the second period of play just to show you we’re not being dishonest with you.

Again, I know the Coyotes have their issues and getting a solid owner in place to provide stability will help things out, but fans… You’ve got to at least act like you care a little bit. Helene Elliott of the LA Times tweeted her thoughts on the crowd to hammer the point home.

i have covered hockey for many years in many cities in many climates. i have never seen as small a crowd as in Arena tonite.

Coyotes fans get very sensitive about getting picked on about not caring and are very sensitive to talk about moving the team, but this does nothing to help keep the vultures away nor quiet the critics. Put up or shut up, Arizona.

UPDATE: Announced attendance at tonight’s game: 6,706. That’s the paid attendance, mind you. That doesn’t mean there were 6,706 people actually there and from the sounds of it, the actual attendance may have been closer to 5,000. Let the hawks commence circling once again.