Teams don’t sell out in their last year of operation. We offer, as an example, the St. John’s Maple Leafs, who averaged 4,800 fans at Mile One (6,287 capacity) in 2004-05 before that franchise moved to Toronto. And in that case, the AHL Leafs had been at least part ways through their off-season ticket campaign when the relocation announcement was made.
But while that may stand in stark contrast to Mile One just 30 months ago, when the team was completing a third straight season of full houses, nobody should be shocked at the all the vacancies in the stands.
And it was much, much worse on a rainy Tuesday night with the Utica Comets in town to begin a two-game series. Official attendance was a new low, announced as something over 3,300, with fewer than that actually in the building.
Saturday, for their second home contest of the season, the IceCaps drew less than 4,000, which at the time, was the lowest-ever crowd for an AHL game at Mile One in the five-plus years of the IceCaps era. To put that in perspective, it meant more than one in every three seats was empty, attendance was about 1,000 less than the previous low (in a March game last season) and almost 2,000 below the 5,800-plus that took in Friday’s home-opener.
A lonely St. John’s IceCaps fan sits in the midst of a section of empty seats before the IceCaps AHL game against the Utica Comets Tuesday night at Mile One Centre. An announced crowd of 3,339, the lowest-ever in IceCaps history, took in the game, which St. John’s won 4-3 in overtime