Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sea Dogs Attendance Down Again

The final numbers are in, and Saint John’s attendance dropped by over 500 fans per game for the second straight season.

The Sea Dogs averaged 3,423 fans per game during the 2013-14 season, the lowest average in team history. Despite the dip, the Dogs were ranked fifth overall in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League attendance behind Quebec, Halifax, Moncton, and Rimouski.

Strangely enough, it’s the second straight season that the Sea Dogs’ attendance dropped by exactly 569 fans per game, meaning the club averaged 1,138 less fans per game this year than it did in 2011-12. Given the state of the on-ice product it’s not a huge surprise but, still, it is a fairly big drop in a two-year span.

Here’s a look at Saint John’s year-by-year attendance numbers and where they ranked in the league.

2005-06156,6944,477 (4th)
2006-07134,3543,839 (6th)
2007-08139,2143,978 (5th)
2008-09133,6133,930 (5th)
2009-10140,7794,141 (4th)
2010-11152,2374,478 (4th)
2011-12155,0604,561 (3rd)
2012-13135,7323,992 (4th)
2013-14116,3803,423 (5th)

The largest crowd at Harbour Station this season was 5,824. The smallest was 2,467.

Hopefully, with the team expected to improve next season, the attendance improves as well. Personally, I think the in-house game day experience could use an overhaul. Is it still one of the best in the league? Yup, it is. But even the best experiences need to change and evolve over time. I bet most season ticket holders could tell you word-for-word what the game day host will say at certain points at each home game. The time has come to shake things up.

Titan Nation has a great chart showing which teams saw attendance increases and decreases in the QMJHL this season.


  1. In a depressed economy, entertainment dollars are the first thing to get chopped.Add to that an unsuccessful team after a couple of years of success, your product just doesn't look as attractive. I couldn't agree more. Shake things up. Beat the bushes; more contacts, new promotions. Re-introduce yourself to the market. Fifth in the league is good but this is a world class facility, bigger than many Q arenas. Gotta sell the product to the market.

  2. I really enjoy the Sea Dogs and have been a season ticket holder for some time now. But, my wife & I are seriously thinking about giving up our tickets. Nothing to do with the Dogs or their performance ( Its Jr. hockey, its an up & down cycle). My problem is with Harbour Station itself. Twice this past year I was almost refused entry because I only brought the scan portion of my ticket (Out of the commemorative booklet) I had purchased this booklet as a collectible and was now forced to basically tear it apart. The tickets were perforated. After the latest incident, we stopped using the HS parking lot & concession stands. We also missed 7 games because that ticket incident has left a bad taste in my mouth. Now, come renewal time, I probably will purchase two more tickets, but it is not a foregone conclusion like it once was....Mike.