PWHL welcomes women’s ice hockey attendance record

Featured Image: gerhard crous on Unsplash

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) made history during PWHL Ottawa’s opening game against PWHL Montreal last night (Tuesday), with some 8,318 fans in attendance.

The PWHL is a new professional women’s ice hockey competition for North America, with franchises based in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto in Canada, as well as Boston, Minneapolis-St.Paul and the New York City area in the US. 

The Arena at TD Place provided the backdrop for the game, with the attendance figure surpassing the 7,765 set at the championship game of the 2021-22 Svenska Damhockeyligan (SDHL) season between Brynäs and Luleå. 

The previous North American record for a regular-season professional women’s hockey game was 5,938, set in December 2016. The record crowd in Ottawa follows Monday’s sold-out league launch at Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, where 2,537 fans watched PWHL New York earn a 4-0 victory over PWHL Toronto.

“We have been completely overwhelmed by the support Ottawa has shown us,” said PWHL Ottawa general manager Mike Hirshfeld. 

“This amazing turnout, for our very first game ever, is utterly unforgettable. The energy of our fans drives us forward, every minute of every day.”

In November, the venues were confirmed for the new competition, including Ottawa’s The Arena at TD Place and Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, while Montreal will call Verdun Auditorium home. 

Boston will play at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, while New York and Minnesota will play at Total Mortgage Arena and Xcel Energy Center, respectively.

The PWHL’s opening week is set to continue with Boston hosting Minnesota tonight (Wednesday) at Tsongas Center, New York hosting Toronto on Friday at Total Mortgage Arena, and Minnesota playing its home opener at Xcel Energy Center in St.Paul on Saturday. Montreal will play its opening home game on January 13 at Verdun Auditorium.