The first five home games of the year are in the books for the St. Louis Blues. These five home games produced four strong victories and one incredibly disappointing defeat. Did fans flock to the Scottrade Center to welcome back hockey? Not exactly.
After five games the Blues are averaging 16,863 fans a night. This number represents 88.1% capacity and indicates that the city of St. Louis really loves their baseball. There's still plenty of time left, but the Blues will need to start drawing larger crowds if they hope to match or pass their average of 17,901 (93.5%) fans a night from last season.
Here's how the attendance has shaped up so far:
October 3 vs. Nashville (home opener): 18,851 - 98.4%
October 5 vs. Florida - 16,264 - 84.9%
October 9 vs. Chicago - 16,565 - 86.5%
October 12 vs. New York - 18,130 - 94.7%
October 15 vs. San Jose - 14,503 - 75.7%
Pretty poor numbers, but the results aren't exactly surprising. The Cardinals had playoff games on October 3, October 9, October 12 and October 15. Four out of the five home games for the Blues have conflicted (sometimes directly) with the Cardinals.
Still, it's disappointing that the Blues weren't able to draw a bigger crowd for opening night or for their marquee matchup against the Blackhawks. Yes, St. Louis is a baseball town, but you'd think these types of games and some incredibly cheap tickets (you could see Blues/San Jose for under $10) would draw in larger audiences. Evidently people would rather watch the Cardinals on TV than attend a hockey game where updates on the Cardinals are shown regularly.
This is some troubling news for the Blues. It's safe to say things will improve once the Cardinals are done, but the Blues need to have a strong showing this season due to their elevated $63.4 million payroll. The Blues still have 36 home games to go, but things are definitely off to a poor start.