CHICAGO — In just a few hours, the enthusiasm around the Blackhawks escalated thanks to a little luck.
Already the team is seeing the evidence of that at the box office, where the winning of the NHL Draft Lottery and assurance of the No. 1 overall pick has caused a major spike in ticket revenue.
Per the Blackhawks, the team has had close to $5.2 million in sales for season tickets within 12 hours after the results of the lottery were announced. That includes 1,200 new season ticket plans for the 2023-2024 campaign.
Excitement has escalated thanks to the Blackhawks’ ability to select highly-touted Connor Bedard with the first overall pick. The 17-year-old center has enjoyed incredible success in Canada both in the Western Hockey League and international level, which has made him one of the most highly-touted prospects in the last decade.
It’s a major boost for the team after attendance expectedly dropped after they announced their rebuilding plans in March 2022. Last season, the Blackhawks drew 17,167 fans, which is just 83 percent of the venue’s capacity, the third-lowest in the league.
That attendance was the lowest for the team since they averaged 16,814 fans a game in the 2007-2008 season. That was the rookie season for both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, just before the team’s ascent in the NHL standings and eventual win of three Stanley Cups.
That was followed by 12 straight seasons of leading the NHL in attendance during the dynasty years and after. That included a 535-game sellout streak that started on March 8, 2008 and ended on October 24, 2021.
Perhaps a new streak will start soon as a little lottery gives the Blackhawks a chance to get a generation players coming up in the NHL Draft in June.