The Stena Line Belfast Giants have moved up a total of ten places in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) annual attendance study of European league hockey. The Giants jump up to 70th and join other Elite League teams, the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers, in the Top 100 teams. The numbers are as of 13th March 2017.
The top 100 club teams include teams from 15 different countries: Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Swiss NLA was the European leading league with the highest average attendance for the fifth consecutive time. The German DEL remains in second place followed by the Kontinental Hockey League.
Sweden, which was the best attended league in Europe for many years, comes in fourth place. These four European leagues rank behind the NHL and before the American Hockey League in terms of attendance.
The Czech Extraliga and Finland’s Liiga remain in fifth and sixth place respectively in Europe. The Elite Ice Hockey League is now seventh ahead of the of the Austrian-based EBEL. Behind them are Norway, Slovakia and France – all with growing numbers in their top national championship.
Click here for the full story on the IIHF website.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) March 14, 2017