Edmonton Oil Kings led WHL in regular season attendance this season, nominated for award

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After leading the Western Hockey League in total fan attendance for games in the 2023-24 regular season, the Edmonton Oil Kings are one of four WHL clubs nominated for the league’s annual Business Award.

The WHL announced Tuesday that the Oil Kings are the nominee from the league’s Central Division. The other nominees are the Prince George Cougars (B.C. Division), the Saskatoon Blades (East Division) and the Portland Winterhawks (U.S. Division).

In a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the Oil Kings said the club was “honoured” to hear news of its nomination.

“The Oil Kings want to send a huge thank you to their fans who came out to Rogers Place all season long,” the club tweeted.

The WHL presents its Business Award each year to the club “that best exemplifies giving back to the community and producing an electrifying game-day experience for fans.”

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“Edmonton’s business team focused year-long efforts on providing unsurpassed entertainment for families at a world-class facility in Rogers Place,” the WHL said in a post on its website, specifically applauding the Oil Kings for initiatives like the creation of the club’s “Kid’s Food Combos” options for food and its different pricing models for fans looking to buy season tickets.

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“The Oil Kings have drastically increased the volume of season seat membership and renewed existing members at a much higher rate than previously. Edmonton Oil Kings Season seat membership has doubled from what it was three seasons ago, despite the challenges of an on-ice product that is rebuilding after winning the 2022 WHL championship.”

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge’s John Szabo soaking up Memorial Cup with Oil Kings'
Lethbridge’s John Szabo soaking up Memorial Cup with Oil Kings

Despite the Oil Kings finishing the 2023-24 season in 10th place in the league’s 11-team Eastern Conference, the WHL said the club averaged nearly 7,500 fans per night — a number that surpassed all other WHL clubs and was up from 6,500 in 2022-23.

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Last week, the WHL issued a news release to say that in 2023-24, league-wide regular season attendance had surpassed 3,000,000 for the first time since 2018-19.

League-wide, the average attendance at a regular season WHL game in 2023-24 was 4,114, up from 3,895 in 2022-23.

The WHL also recognized other initiatives from the Oil Kings in the 2023-24 season, including the club’s preseason games that raised money for the Grande Cache Minor Hockey Association and the Enoch Minor Hockey Association and the success of its various theme jersey nights which raised money for charity.

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