I found this interesting bit of information on Brian Metzer’s blog on the Hockey Buzz website.
PENGUINS FANS RATED NO. 1 IN NHL BY FORBES
Pittsburgh Penguins fans have been named the best in the NHL by Forbes magazine, in ratings unveiled this week at www.forbes.com.
Penguins fans were rated No. 1 in the league, followed by Toronto Maple Leafs fans at No. 2 and Philadelphia Flyers fans at No. 3.
According to Forbes, “For the 2008-09 season, we ranked teams based on average regular-season home game attendance as a percentage of arena capacity, regular-season local television ratings as a percentage of the team’s metro area population and team merchandise sales. Pens fans emerged the most fanatical.
“They consumed the most team merchandise last season, led by jersey sales of NHL poster boy Sidney Crosby and Art Ross Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin. Televised games drew an average 72,644 households each on FSN Pittsburgh. On top of that, the Igloo, as Mellon Arena is affectionately known, sold out every game in the 2008-09 season – the second year in a row.”
Even more encouraging – local television ratings are up again this season, and the sellout streak has continued. The Penguins have now sold out 136 games in a row, heading into Monday’s home game with the New Jersey Devils.
“This is the ultimate tribute to our fans, and we salute them,” said Penguins president David Morehouse. “We’re not surprised at all that Penguins fans were named the best in the NHL. We’ve known that. Our players and coaches know that. But it’s great to see this honor bestowed by a significant national media outlet – it drives home to the rest of the country how much Pittsburgh has become a hockey town.”
Last year, ESPN Magazine ranked the Penguins No. 3 in all of professional sports in fan relations, and Forbes named the Penguins the fastest-growing brand in the NHL.