2018-19 Season Sets New Highs for Attendance, Viewership, Merchandising and Engagement
March 28, 2019 – Although the Isobel Cup was won by the Minnesota Whitecaps less than two weeks ago, the busy NWHL offseason is already in full stride. In providing a detailed recap of the 2018-19 season, the NWHL would like to share important data about increases across all key business metrics, along with areas where the league is working to elevate.
Of the 46 NWHL games in 2018-19, 16 drew sold-out crowds – setting a new league record. The average attendance of the 46 games was 954.
2018-19 season average attendance:
- Minnesota: 1,200
- Buffalo: 1,101
- Riveters: 721
- Boston: 706
- Connecticut: 423
In their first season as the NWHL’s first expansion team, the Minnesota Whitecaps sold out all 10 home games at TRIA Rink – 8 regular season games, the playoff semifinal against the Riveters and Isobel Cup Final against Buffalo. Prior to the start of the season, the team established an alignment with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The Whitecaps not only were Isobel Cup champions, but the team was a profitable business venture in their first season.
The Boston Pride sold out their last 3 home games and generated strong crowds all season at Warrior Ice Rink. The Pride received a strong midseason boost when the club formed a partnership with the NHL’s Boston Bruins, collaborating on youth hockey programs and crossover promotion of the sport.
Owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the Buffalo Beauts drew large crowds for their 8 games at HarborCenter and one at Key Bank Arena, the home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. The Beauts organization has also been recognized by players, media and fans for setting a standard in professional women’s hockey by providing first-class facilities and additional ice time, enhancing player development.
The Metropolitan Riveters, who are aligned with the New Jersey Devils and have started a Girls Hockey program with the NHL club, sold out their regular season finale and played to large crowds in their seven regular season games and one playoff game at RWJBarnabas Health Hockey House. They also played their home opener before more than 2,000 fans at the Prudential Center. “In the last 18 months, four NWHL teams have formed mutually-beneficial partnerships with the NHL teams in their markets, resulting in effective cross-promotion and the development of girls’ programs,”
(Photo by Janet Schultz)