13,316 fans throng to Xcel Energy Center for Minnesota and Montréal
SAINT PAUL, MN (January 6, 2024) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) made attendance history for the second time in five days today when a crowd of 13,316, the most ever to attend a professional women’s hockey game, packed Xcel Energy Center for PWHL Minnesota’s home opener against Montréal. The crowd surpassed the 8,318 that sold out Tuesday’s PWHL game between Ottawa and Montréal at The Arena at TD Place.
“In a state of 10,000 lakes, over 13,000 fans provided an unforgettably wonderful moment today for everyone connected with the PWHL,” said Stan Kasten, PWHL Advisory Board member. “Minnesota’s full-throttle welcome for our athletes and our league brought even more hockey voltage to Xcel Energy Center. We are profoundly appreciative of the support and will strive, every day, to give our fans all the great feelings you gave us today.”
“Living in the State of Hockey, I knew our fans would show up for us, but today they have taken it to a whole new level,” said Natalie Darwitz, PWHL Minnesota General Manager. “I feel tremendously proud and inspired by our fan support. On behalf of our team and our league, I want to thank the fans and everyone who has made this day possible. I’ve enjoyed numerous amazing hockey experiences in Minnesota over my career, and experiencing today and the record crowd was emotional and ranks near the top of the list.”
Saturday’s attendance was the largest ever for a women’s hockey game in Minnesota.
Before the PWHL season, the championship game of the 2021-22 Svenska Damhockeyligan (SDHL) season between Brynäs and Luleå held the worldwide professional women’s ice hockey record with a crowd of 7,765. The previous North American record for a regular-season professional women’s hockey game was 5,938, established December 10, 2016, in the CWHL when Les Canadiennes de Montréal hosted the Calgary Inferno at Bell Centre. The 2017 CWHL All-Star Game in Toronto attracted a crowd of 8,122 fans at what then was called Air Canada Centre.
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