The Elite Ice Hockey League has once again seen it’s average league attendance ranked among the top ten in Europe and Asia, a IIHF study has revealed.

During the 2017/18 regular season, the EIHL’s average attendance was 2,678; higher than the Slovakian Extraliga, Norwegian Get-ligaen, French Ligue Magnus and Danish Metal Ligaen.

Three EIHL sides were also placed among the top 100 clubs in Europe in average attendance.

Nottingham Panthers were the highest ranked British club in 40th – ahead of Russian icons Dynamo Moscow – whilst Sheffield Steelers moved from 64th to 53rd in the rankings this year.

Belfast Giants also made the top 100, ranking 70th on the list which includes teams from the KHL, SHL, Liiga, EBEL and NLA, with 14 different nations represented overall.

Swiss side SC Bern, who Nottingham faced in this year’s Champions Hockey League, finished top of the rankings for the 17th straight year, while SKA St. Petersburg’s heavy investment paid dividends in the stands too, with the famous Russian side move past Dynamo Minsk and into second place.

Unsurprisingly, the NHL was the top ranked league in the world, averaging 17,414 spectators per game, with Chicago Blackhawks (21,635) and Montreal Canadiens (21,299) both averaging more than 20,000 per game.

The full list of the top 100 clubs and top ranked leagues in Europe and Asia and North American can be found on the IIHF website here.

All figures correct as of 20th March 2018.

PHOTO: Dean Woolley

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