Penticton Vees set attendance milestone for Canadian Junior Hockey League rinks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton Vees set attendance milestone for Canadian Junior Hockey League rinks

The Penticton Vees have broken attendance records at Canadian Junior Hockey League rinks nation-wide, averaging more than 3,000 spectators per game in the 2017-18 regular season.
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February 27, 2018 - 4:48 PM

PENTICTON - The Penticton Vees announced an attendance breakthrough today, following 28 games of home ice play during the 2017-18 hockey season.

The Vees averaged 3,055 spectators per game this season, beating last year’s record of 2,981, the hockey club said in a press release issued today, Feb. 27.

They are the first in the 132-team Canadian Junior Hockey League to average attendance of 3,000 or more per home game.

The largest crowd of the season was on Jan. 20 against the Trail Smoke Eaters in which 4,342 fans were on hand to watch the Vees win 3-2 in overtime.

No games had fewer than 2,585 fans, and 13 of the 28 home games saw attendance of 3,000 or more.

Penticton Vees communications director Craig Beauchemin says it’s tough to compare attendance at other BCJHL arenas, because they are all different sizes.

The Vees play in the 4,701 seat South Okanagan Events Centre.

“Some are much, much smaller venues. The only other teams that would come close to Penticton’s attendance are Chilliwack and Wenatchee,” he says.

The West Kelowna Warriors, who are in the same division as Penticton, averaged 887 fans per game,  Beauchemin says.

The Warriors play in the 1,500-seat West Kelowna Royal LePage Place.

The Vernon Vipers, also in Penticton's division, averaged 2,001 fans per game at Vernon's  Kal Tire Place, which seats 3,006.

“It’s mostly rink size,” he says.

Beauchemin says Penticton’s annual ability to put a good team on the ice has aided the team’s effort to fill up the South Okanagan Events Centre, adding the front office staff also reached out to local business to promote group sales to fill the rink.

“The better the on-ice product, the more the fans are going to want to come to watch,” he says.

“We can’t thank our fans enough of the support they’ve given us,” he says.

The Vees are anticipating even bigger crowds as they begin the Fred Page Cup playoffs on Friday, March 2.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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