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AHL draws record crowd with outdoor game

Jan 6, 2012, 11:04 PM EDT

ahloutdoorgetty Getty Images

As it turns out, outdoor games aren’t just a great draw for the NHL and NCAA.

The AHL’s Hershey Bears and Adirondack Phantoms drew 45,653 fans to their own outdoor tussle at Citizens Bank Park, the same site as the 2012 Winter Classic, breaking the minor league’s attendance record in the process.

In fact, the game blew out the league’s two other outdoor games, which peaked at 21,508 fans who attended a Syracuse, N.Y. game. NHL.com reveals that Philadelphia now holds the AHL attendance records for both regular season and playoff games.

As far as the contest itself, the Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers affiliate) topped the Bears (Washington Capitals affiliate) 4-3 thanks to Shane Harper’s overtime goal. If that spoiler fails to ruin your urge to watch the game,* you can check it out on the NHL Network on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.

* – Oops, should I have given you an alert, there? Sorry. (Cackles evilly.)

  1. hwentworth - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Fail.

    • James O'Brien - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:19 PM

      Care to elaborate?

  2. xxakshunxx - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    @james it’s the Internet.. Where people can hate on or write “fail” towards stuff that they’ll read but will never contribute anything worthy themselves

    • James O'Brien - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      Yeah, I know, but I usually know what is being hated upon. Here I can only guess. (Might be more fun that way, though.)

  3. crkreg - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    I can’t imagine any other city being able to fill 40,000+ seats for a Alumni / Old Timers game, a Penn State game (4 hours away from PSU on a weeknight), AHL game, and the Winter Classic. Philadelphia is arguably the country’s best hockey city.

    • stakex - Jan 7, 2012 at 2:52 AM

      I doubt that very much. I can think of at least 3 other cities that are better hockey cities in the US.

      I think the NHL’s marketing and the warm weather we are having in the area helped them fill the stands a lot easier this year. I don’t think it has much to do with the city of Philly.

      • rainyday56 - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:22 AM

        Listen, when the Flyers won their first cup in ’74, over 1 million turned out for the parade. Not only is Philly one of the greatest hockey towns. They are also the greatest all around sports towns. I have had a soft spot in my heart for Philly since watching the movie “Invincible”. Going to Philly to take in a game and a cheese steak is definately on my bucket list.

      • trigzter - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        you can think of 3…yet you post none.

      • zestypickles - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Detroit, Montreal, Toronto, the state of Minnesota, Boston, Vancouver, hell even Chicago. Philly is not even in the discussion for top hockey city. Top sports city, maybe we’ll talk. But let’s just say there’s a reason Detroit is called Hockeytown.

      • gmogoody - Jan 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        @ZestyPickles U do know he states in this country. So Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto are out because they are in Canada. I do agree though Detroit is a bigger hockey town

  4. bbk1000 - Jan 7, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    The post game celebration consisted of eating cheese steaks and taking cheap shots at rival fans….

  5. bostonhasrealhockey - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    People love outdoor hockey hopefully we start to see multiple games in a single season in the future.

  6. cakrywyj - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    If you honestly think the weather had a major role in why the outdoor games in Philly were sold out then you’ve obviously never spent any significant time here. Take all the shots you want at the city for things like what happened after the classic at Geno’s, but don’t mistake how passionate Philly is for the sport. These people aren’t stupid enough to buy a 350 dollar ticket to something just because the weather is 45 instead of 30. It could have been 10 below and they could have “sold 200,000 seats”, as Ed Snider said on NHL Network during the pre-game. If you’re going to believe the media when they report negative things.. Then give us a bit of credit when it comes to passion for sports.

  7. cakrywyj - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Philly hate is hilarious. Not even in the conversation? Not up against Canadian cities, obviously. But to say there’s not even a debate that involves Philly in the U.S., especially coming off the Classic, makes you look foolish. Not saying it would be #1 hands down.. But to not even involve the city in a discussion is ridiculous and reeks of bias.

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Philly is one of the most passionate sports cities in America. 4 for 4 here. And others can deny it but the numbers don’t lie. I mean the Bank sold out, ticket wise, for the Phantoms. The same Phantoms who play 5 hours away. Not many cities in America have 4 major sports who play within a couple of miles of each other and still show mad love to their minor league affiliates.

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