Attendance nosedives at Maple Leafs home game against Wild

WATCH ABOVE: Mark Carcasole reports on whether the falling attendance at Leafs game is a blip or the beginning of a larger movement. 

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs’ troubles on the ice have hit the ticket booths as home attendance hit an all-time low at the Air Canada Centre Monday night.

A less-than-capacity crowd of 18,366 were on hand for the club’s 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild — the lowest figure in the Leafs’ 16-year history at the arena.

But is the low attendance just a blip or the beginning of a revolt against the struggling team? Toronto Sun columnist Lance Hornby has been covering the Leafs since 1986 and said it’s still too early to tell.

“I think this is the perfect storm. You have a Maple Leaf team that has been ripped apart, obviously the level of talent is low, the record is terrible and they’re playing some bad teams, in terms of low-profile clubs such as Minnesota and Florida coming in,” Hornby said.

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“So you have all the elements of not selling out the building.”

READ MORE: Leafs lose 6th-straight game, Wild win 2-1

The only other non-sellout game of the season was against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 14.

The Leafs drew 18,754 fans for that matchup. The ACC’s current capacity is 18,819 for hockey games.

“I just got back from places like Florida where they are virtually giving the tickets away,” Hornby said. “I don’t think anyone’s going to starve have 18,300 people in the building.”

The club even took to Twitter trying to sell tickets at 50 per cent off a few hours before the game on Ticketmaster.

Last night’s loss was the Leafs’ sixth straight.

“I’ve seen some bad times, but you know, I think everybody in town probably owes Harold Ballard an apology now,” Hornby said.

“Because nobody thought it would get this bad with anyone else but him running the show.”

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The team has only one post-season appearance and no playoff series victories since 2004.

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