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Coyotes enjoying increased attendance

Feb 28, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

Nashville Predators v Phoenix Coyotes - Game One Getty Images

We’re No. 29! We’re No. 29!

OK, so they might not be celebrating exactly like that in Phoenix, but 29th is better than 30th, which is where the Coyotes ranked last season in NHL attendance.

In 2013, after 10 games, Phoenix is averaging 13,142 fans through the gates of Jobing.com Arena, slightly more than the New York Islanders (13,109) and considerably more than the Coyotes averaged in 2011-12 (12,420).

Even better, people are actually paying for the tickets, Coyotes president Mike Nealy tells the Arizona Republic.

The Coyotes define their attendance as tickets sold and complimentary tickets, which are free tickets distributed by the team. In the past, complimentary tickets would range from 3,000 to 5,000 per game, Nealy said, but this season they’ve usually been only a couple hundred and definitely less than 1,000.

The season-ticket base is also the largest since 1999, Nealy said, and the renewal rate is 90 percent — the highest in franchise history.

“Our average ticket price paid is up,” Nealy said. “We didn’t raise prices, but people are either buying more expensive tickets or not doing as much discounting so it’s good both on the volume and the pricing.”

Local TV ratings are up as well, according to Fox Sports Arizona.

In a related story, the Coyotes are still owned by the NHL. (Though we hear through the grapevine that the league might be willing to sell.)

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