The Frozen Four in St. Paul, MN sold more than 18,000 tickets for the championship game. LPH PHOTO BY JACKSON BOLINE

Crowds Continue to Rise in NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey

National Attendance Up from 2022-23 Season

by Jayson Hajdu, College Hockey Inc.

NCAA Division I men’s hockey attendance was up eight percent nationwide in 2023-24, with 36 of 62 (58 percent) men’s programs that competed in both 2023-24 and 2022-23 experiencing attendance gains this past season.

Wisconsin experienced the largest attendance increase, going from an average of 8,000 fans per game in 2022-23 to 10,059 in 2023-24. Wisconsin’s average attendance of 10,059 ranked second nationally behind only North Dakota (11,568). Holy Cross boasted the largest per-game increase in terms of percentage, with a year-over-year increase of 105 percent:

Largest Attendance Increase (Fans/game)

  1. Wisconsin (+2,059)
  2. Boston College (+1,853)
  3. Maine (+1,358)
  4. UMass (+1,042)
  5. Boston University (+957)

Largest Attendance Increase (Pct/game)

  1. Holy Cross (+105%)
  2. Mercyhurst (+73%)
  3. Sacred Heart (+40%)
  4. Air Force (+37%)

Boston College (+37%)

Maine (+37%)

Additionally, attendance reached 77 percent of capacity nationally in 2023-24, according to reporting by Sportico, college hockey’s highest such rate since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four different NHL venues also played host to regular-season college hockey games in 2023-24, with those seven contests averaging nearly 17,000 fans:

Date         Matchup                                               Venue                                      Attendance       Note

Oct. 13    St. Thomas vs. Minnesota             Xcel Energy Center             11,376

Nov. 25    Boston University vs. Cornell       Madison Square Garden   15,289                Red Hot Hockey

Feb. 5       Harvard vs. Northeastern              TD Garden                              17,850                   Beanpot

Feb. 5       Boston College vs. Boston Univ.  TD Garden                              17,850                   Beanpot

Feb. 10    Michigan vs. Michigan State         Little Caesars Arena           18,410                Duel in the D

Feb. 12    Boston College vs. Harvard           TD Garden                              17,850                   Beanpot

Feb. 12    Boston Univ. vs. Northeastern     TD Garden                              17,850                   Beanpot

The season concluded in spectacular fashion at the 2024 NCAA Frozen Four in Saint Paul, where Denver defeated Boston College in front of 18,694 at Xcel Energy Center.