According to a report by Nina Falcone of CSN Chicago, the NHL is nearly doubling the NBA in sold out markets this season. The NHL has 15 home teams selling out to the NBA’s 8 home teams.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 8, 2014
Ryan Glasspiegal of Sports Illustrated believes the attendance is related to the liveliness of the crowds and the viewing options. He mentions “nosebleed seats are much better in hockey than in basketball,” and “NHL crowds are also a lot more lively than NBA ones.”
Glasspiegal’s reasons are entirely possible, but I would question the liveliness being greater at NHL arenas. There is a ton of action at NBA games, especially when the play heats up in the fourth quarter. In addition, dunks, lead changes, and hitting threes all get the crowd going. I need to see an NHL game before I believe the liveliness is greater.
However, the facts are the facts, and NHL fans are coming out to support their teams. I have been to plenty of college hockey games, and I would agree hockey games are great to watch, even if you don’t know much about hockey like me.