The Kootenay ICE have increased attendance more than any other WHL team this season, but the club president is still dissatisfied.
The local WHL team is averaging 2,422 fans for its home games, 721 more than last year or a rise of 42 per cent.
That’s 16 per cent more than any other club in the league which is seeing 12 of its 22 teams experience declines in attendance.
It’s promising news as the franchise announced details of its 2018/19 season seat pricing last week and continues a campaign to secure 2,500 season ticket holders.
There are 1,924 season seat holders for 2017/18.
However, the ICE’s Matt Cockell seems to be let down with the number of fans who came out during a recent seven game home stand.
Cockell gave a written statement to media at last month’s match versus Swift Current saying there was an average 2,054 fans between Jan. 18 and Feb. 3rd, with the exception of the Pink The Rink Anti-Bullying night that saw 3,474 people pile into the Cranbrook arena.
He wrote its great to see the type of of energy the building can have when there are more than 3,000 people in it, and they’re grateful for those fan who are supporting them, but overall attendance throughout the stretch at Western Financial Place was disappointing.
The organization is still averaging just 40 per cent capacity, and have the third lowest attendance in the league.
On average, Kootenay is drawing more fans this year than Prince Albert (1,999) and Swift Current (2,437), two markets with similar populations.
Ticket sales have been a distraction from what the franchise has accomplished on the ice for the past 15 years, well before this new ownership group came in last off season.
The ICE have won three WHL championships, a Memorial Cup and compiled one of the most winning records in junior hockey since moving to Cranbrook in 1998.