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Badgers men's hockey crowd

The announced attendance for the Badgers men's hockey game against Michigan State on Jan. 12 was 9,703 but only 6,129 spectators were in the Kohl Center.

Even a rivalry game for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team couldn't bring as many people to the Kohl Center as would have been expected early in the decade.

Last November, North Dakota played only its second series on Badgers home ice since the teams split from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 2013.

The Friday game drew only 6,776 spectators to the Kohl Center, according to a UW count of tickets scanned at the gates.

By comparison, Friday games in November against North Dakota produced scanner counts of 8,602 in 2014, 11,494 in 2010 and 12,350 in 2007.

It's another reminder that, while the Badgers have made small improvements in attendance since bottoming out two seasons ago, the landscape has changed dramatically in a few years.

While the average announced attendance grew 3 percent over the 2016-17 season, to 10,436, ticket usage slipped 3 percent.

As the Badgers slumped to a 14-19-4 record that included a 7-9-3 mark at home, the average number of tickets scanned per game was 6,976.

The 2017-18 campaign marked the third time in four years that the average ticket scan count fell compared with the previous season.

The announced attendance references the number of tickets sold or distributed for the event. The scanner count shows how many people actually attended.

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Over 19 home games in the 2017-18 season, 33 percent of the announced crowd was a no-show, the highest rate in 12 seasons since UW started using ticket scanners in 2006.

And the dramatic decline in attendance is evident from comparing the most recent season to the last season in which the Badgers made the Frozen Four, 2009-10.

Eight years ago, UW had a scanner average of 11,850, the highest in the 12 years recorded. The 2017-18 average was down 4,874, or 41 percent.

In terms of announced attendance, UW ranked second nationally behind North Dakota (11,408) for the second straight season.

The Badgers had their first announced sellout in four seasons with 15,359 against Minnesota in the home finale on Feb. 10, a 7-1 loss.

The scanner total that Saturday night was 12,796, the highest since the last sellout on Feb. 22, 2014 (12,909 against Michigan State).

The smallest crowd of the season was 3,754 for a Sunday evening game against Mercyhurst on Nov. 26. That was the lowest scanner total for a regular-season game in the 12 years of data.

Bucky!

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