October 16, 2006 - Martin Lapointe scores two goals and Martin Havlat adds two assists as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche in Denver 5-3. This game is notable not for the feats of the Martins, or for the game's 2nd star (Tyler Arnason). Official attendance for the game was 17,681, ending the Avs' sellout streak at 487 games. It was the first non-sellout in Denver since November 1st, 1995.
Since then, the Avalanche have struggled to sell tickets. In the 89 games since the the final game in the sellout streak (an October 14th, 2006 game against Edmonton) the Avalanche have sold out 33 games - a shade over 37%. The Avalanche sold out 15 games in 06-07 (including 3 games in the streak), 13 the following year and just 7 last year. Average attendance has also dropped, from 17,613 to 16,843 in 07'-8 to a dismal 14,899 last year (83% of capacity). In '06, the lowest attendance was a respectable 17,047. In '08, 14,381 was the low point - the only game under 15,000. Last year, the Avalanche were under 15,000 in attendance a whopping 21 times - half of the games. And it's been mentioned before, this year's 2nd game had an attendance of 13,416 - the 5th lowest total since the ending of the streak.
Overall, attendance from the Chicago game through the Vancouver game this year has averaged 16,429 (91%). Perhaps we shouldn't be making fun of Nashville after all?