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Thrashers Attendance Rises Early in Season

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James Mirtle pointed out that using ESPN's attendance numbers the Thrashers are seeing the biggest attendance gains of any NHL team (+934 per home gain). However, those numbers mis-state the change so far.

On the one hand, adding the sold out home opener to a three game average might overstate gains because of the same sample size (just three home games). On the other hand, attendance in the fall is usually lower than it is in the spring. Let's consider an apples-to-apples comparison of the first three games last season to first three games this season.

2008-09 Atlanta
Game 1: 18,545
Game 2: 11,843
Game 3: 11,293

2009-10 Atlanta
Game 1: 18,545
Game 2: 13,192
Game 3: 14,945

Net Change
Game 1: no change
Game 2: +1,349
Game 3: +3,652

So if you throw out the 1st games (both sell outs) attendance in Atlanta is actually up 5,000 in Games 2 and 3 compared to last year. That is an average increase of 2,500 gain across the two non-home opener dates. A 2,000 gain per home date would be a major step forward if it can be sustained.