College Hockey Inc.
Crowds Continue to Rise in NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey
National Attendance Up from 2022-23 Season

College hockey attendance surged again in 2023-24 (Photo: Tom Lynn).

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.