Tampa Bay Lightning's actual attendance (that is, people in the arena) took a jump in 2011-12
Lightning attendance took an appreciable jump this season.
Official average attendance (tickets sold and distributed) was 18,468, up 7 percent from 17,268 in 2010-11. But more notable, records from Hillsborough County, which owns the Tampa Bay Times Forum, show actual attendance (that is, the turnstile count) up 14 percent from an average 13,474 in 2010-11 to 15,364.
Now comes the hard part: maintaining the upward trend after a non-playoff season.
“There were some folks who sort of jumped on the bandwagon or might have only been doing it based on (the 2010-11) playoff run,” chief executive officer Tod Leiweke said. “But the vast majority of fans come back because they believe in what (owner Jeff Vinik) is doing and they see what (Yzerman) is doing.”
Leiweke said the goal is to maintain, between full and partial packages, last season’s 11,000 season-ticket base. It is believed the team has sold slightly more than 8,000 season tickets so far.
“If we can maintain a number like that (11,000 season tickets) and get back on the ice where we want to be, we feel good about it,” Leiweke said.