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NHL says all-time record set for January attendance in its buildings

Despite empty seats in places like Chicago, New Jersey, Washington, Long Island and St. Louis, the league announced Thursday that it attracted 3,193,093 fans to 187 total games and posted a per-game average of 17,075 in January, the highest in the NHL’s 89-year history.

The per-game figure, which represents 92.3 per cent of capacity, was 1.7 per cent higher than last January’s 16,795 average.

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Overall, the league is down 0.5 per cent from last season through the same number of games.

The NHL says league-wide average attendance has increased month by month: 16,537 in October, 16,538 in November, 16,850 in December and 17,075 in January.