Over 65,000 fans watch USHL hockey last weekend
Chicago, IL - USHL fans put together a record-breaking performance during the weekend as a total of 65,280 fans attended the 16 League games played from February 10-12. It was the highest attended weekend in USHL history, smashing the previous total of 61,183 fans that watched USHL action during the final weekend of February in 2011. The overwhelming fan support from Friday through Sunday helped the home teams earn a combined 10-4-2 record.
It was a huge weekend for the Indiana Ice as they hosted their annual "Pack the House" night on Friday, welcoming 11,949 fans to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis for their contest against the Chicago Steel. The game marked the sixth highest single-game attendance in USHL history. One night later, the Ice returned to their main home, the Pepsi Coliseum, and hosted 4,600 fans for the matchup against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. For the weekend, the Indiana Ice opened the doors to over 16,500 fans.
The Green Bay Gamblers welcomed their highest attendance of the season on Saturday as 7,507 fans watched the matchup against the Chicago Steel. It was the annual "Teddy Bear Toss" night for the Gamblers as fans tossed a record 7,988 stuffed toys to the ice during the first period. It was a record number of toys collected during the 13-year history of the event, surpassing the record set last season by more than 900 teddy bears. It was also the second consecutive season that more than 7,500 fans have turned out for the event.
It was also a big two-game weekend in Omaha as the Western Conference leading Omaha Lancers hosted over 9,000 fans, including a crowd of 5,194 that watched the Lancers earn their 25th win of the season on Friday, a 5-4 shootout win against the rival Lincoln Stars. It was the second highest attendance for the Lancers this season.
The Fargo Force hosted just under 9,000 fans for a two-game set with the Tri-City Storm. After welcoming 4,303 fans on Friday, the Force saw their fourth-highest crowd of the season as 4,460 fans attended Saturday's contest. It was the third time over the last five home games that the Force have recorded an attendance over 4,000.
The Lincoln Stars hosted 4,306 fans on Saturday to watch their victory against the Sioux Falls Stampede. It was the fourth-highest attendance mark for the Stars this season and the fourth consecutive game that the team has surpassed 4,000 fans. Lincoln currently leads the USHL in average attendance, something they have accomplished in each of the past five seasons.
Fans turned out for another rivalry matchup on Saturday as the Dubuque Fighting Saints hosted their largest crowd of the season as they took on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. The 3,373 fans in attendance was just 106 fans shy of the Saints single-game attendance record which was set exactly one year ago from Saturday.
The USHL is on pace to surpass one million fans in total attendance for the 13th consecutive season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL is emerging as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.comor visit the League's multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).
It's not just hockey. It's the USHL.