How Many Hockey Fans Are There? [Expert Review!]

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Hockey is a very popular sport around the world. It is especially popular in Canada and the United States. In fact, hockey is so popular that there are now entire websites devoted to keeping track of the latest scores, stats, and rosters of the NHL (National Hockey League), the premier league in North America. There are even dedicated forums for hockey fans to come together and discuss the sport.

However, one of the questions frequently asked by fans of the game is: How many hockey fans are there? It is an excellent question because, quite frankly, there isn’t a good answer. While there are certainly a lot of people who enjoy the game, quite frankly, no one knows for sure how many. One thing is for sure – the number is definitely not small. Consider the following:

The Great Canadian Base

As mentioned above, hockey is popular throughout North America – but it is particularly popular in Canada. In fact, the sport is so popular in Canada that there is literally an entire province – Newfoundland – whose capital is named after the game: St. John’s. It is also worth mentioning that, in some places, the locals call hockey “Newfie hockey” or “Sonic hockey” due to the fast pace of the game and the fact that the puck seems to be able to travel faster than the players can. In any case, if you are in Canada and you ask the question: How many hockey fans are there? The answer is easy: A LOT. Here are the latest National Hockey League (NHL) stats for Canada:

  • Population: 35,952,000
  • People who watch ice hockey: 5.3 million
  • Average attendance: 16,625

Based on this information, it seems that there are more than 5.3 million hockey fans in Canada – quite possibly the largest fanbase in all professional sports. Moreover, it would be safe to assume that many of these fans are also quite passionate about the sport.

Consider Canada once again, as there are numerous other examples of similar situations around the world. If you ask the question: How many hockey fans are there? The answer is likely to be different in Canada than it is in the United States, due to the size of the country as well as the fact that there are many different languages spoken across the country. However, even in the United States, the answer will vary from place to place. For example, in the large cities, such as New York and Los Angeles, it is likely that the answer will be quite large. In smaller cities and in rural areas, the number could be much smaller. Nevertheless, across the entire country, there is no question that hockey is a popular sport.

The Undisputed King Of Sports

Another country that is arguably more dedicated to hockey than any other is Sweden. Like Canada, Sweden has an extensive history with the sport, and it continues to thrive today. If you happen to ask the question: How many hockey fans are there? The answer is simple: A LOT. In fact, according to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF), there are more than 4.8 million people in Sweden who play or enjoy the sport of hockey. Moreover, since 2001, they have organized an annual national ice hockey tournament, the Hokejettävikingen (The Hockey Viking Tournament). The tournament features teams from all over Sweden, and it is open to the public. The interest in the tournament is such that it is now held over two consecutive days. This clearly shows how much dedication there is to the sport in Sweden, and it also shows how popular hockey is there. The following are the latest official Swedish Ice Hockey Federation (SIHF) stats for hockey:

  • Total population: 9,826,000
  • People who play ice hockey: 4.8 million
  • Average attendance: 16,636

Based on the information above, it is quite apparent that there are a lot of hockey fans in Sweden – quite possibly the largest in all professional sports. Moreover, since the country is quite small, it would also be reasonable to assume that many of these fans are also quite passionate about the sport.

The Crowded World Of College Hockey

While professional hockey has been around for a while, college hockey only became an organized sport in the 20th century. However, today, college hockey is quite popular all over the world and, quite frankly, there isn’t a clear-cut division between professional and college hockey. To give you an idea of how much interest there is in college hockey, let’s take a look at some of its most popular attractions:

  • Rivalry Games: There are literally hundreds of rivalry games throughout the year between different universities and colleges. Some of the bigger games include Michigan versus Ohio State, Boston College versus the University of Notre Dame, and Princeton versus Dartmouth. These games are usually quite competitive, and they earn a lot of interest from fans. Moreover, many of these games are sponsored by famous brands, such as Bud Light, Nike, and Under Armour. So, not only do people watch these games to see who wins, they also buy products that are associated with the game. Consider these facts:
  • School spirit: The combination of school pride and fandom is very much alive and well in college hockey. If you visit the athletics websites of many of the bigger schools, you will frequently see photos of students and teachers with their hands over their hearts, waving pom-poms or cheering on their school. These photos always serve as a source of pride for the school and its fans – who will often get extremely passionate about their school’s sports activities. There isn’t a day that goes by without at least one university or college proudly displaying their school spirit. These photos also serve as a reminder to the rest of the student body that although they may be enrolled in college, they are still a part of the larger student body and they should continue to support the school’s athletics programs.
  • Branding: Like many other sports, college hockey is frequently sponsored by large corporations. Some of the better-known brands associated with college hockey include Nike, Under Armour, and New Balance. Many of the schools that these corporations sponsor have very recognizable logos and uniforms, which help attract interest from fans. Moreover, many of these schools also have very rich athletic histories, which helps too.
  • Media Exposure: There are numerous opportunities for fans of college hockey to become interested in the sport. Depending on where you are in the world, there will be at least one university or college hockey TV station that covers the games regularly. Moreover, almost all of the bigger conferences (athletic organizations) have websites that have complete information regarding rosters, schedules, and stats for every team in the conference. This exposure is quite possibly the best thing that has happened to college hockey in a long time, as it has allowed the sport to grow rapidly around the world. Before the Internet, this kind of media coverage would have never been available to the general public – meaning that many fewer people would have been interested in the sport.

The Rise Of Social Media

These days, everyone, including sports fans, have access to the Internet. It is available on virtually every device, and it is almost always accessible. So, what happens when you have a world-class sport that you can’t watch live due to time differences? In today’s world, the answer is simple: You turn to social media. If you want to follow hockey, whether professional or collegiate, there are numerous websites, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, where you can get up-to-date news and stats. If you want to keep track of all the latest scores, you can also look on forums like Reddit, where users will frequently post the game’s results as they happen.

As you can imagine, social media has made it much easier for people to find out about sports that they are passionate about. It has also made it easier for these sports to grow their fan base significantly. For instance, if you want to find out more about college hockey, there are numerous blogs, message boards, and social media accounts where you can get all the information you need to know. Moreover, it would be safe to assume that, since so much information is available online, people who are looking for news and stats regarding college hockey would not have to rely on a single newspaper or TV channel for their information. This, in turn, could lead to a significant decline in the number of people who rely on these traditional news sources for their hockey information.

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