Interesting discussion found at OffWing, comparing attendance numbers between the two sports. As a league, the NHL isn't that far off. http://www.ericmcerlain.com/offwingopinion/archives/006969.php#006969 [snip] " * On Friday, December 29th, Chicago hosted Boston in front of 19,315 at the United Center, an increase of 49% over their average game attendance. That same night in Florida, a record setting crowd at Bank Atlantic Center watch the Panthers/ Canadiens. The sellout crowd of 19,772 is up 38% over the season average." [snip] "All is not good news at the gate. Far from it. Average NHL attendance this season (16,677) is off 1.6% from last (16,954). " [snip] "However, here's some context for you to consider: the average NBA audience last year was 17,558. "