Professional Women’s Hockey League breaks further attendance records

Featured Image: Jerry Yu on Unsplash

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) has continued to make history, by breaking a second attendance record in five days. 

A crowd of 13,316 packed out Xcel Energy Center for PWHL Minnesota’s home opener against Montreal on Saturday, which saw the hosts win 3-0. The figure surpassed the 8,318 that was set during last Tuesday’s game between Ottawa and Montreal at The Arena at TD Place.

The attendance record for a women’s professional hockey game was previously held by the championship game of the 2021-22 Svenska Damhockeyligan (SDHL) season between Brynäs and Luleå. The figure stood at 7,765, before it was beaten by last week’s PWHL game between Ottawa and Montreal.

Saturday’s attendance was also the largest ever for a women’s hockey game in Minnesota.

“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.”

The previous North American record for a regular-season professional women’s hockey game was 5,938 from December 2016.

Natalie Darwitz, PWHL Minnesota general manager, added: “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.

“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.”

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.