More ice hockey fans watched The Clan than the majority of SPFL Cinch Championship teams over the festive period.

The Clan broke not one, but two crowd attendance records during their run of home games at Braehead Arena against Dundee Stars, Belfast Giants and Fife Flyers.

The home game against Dundee on 23rd December attracted a crowd of 3552 fans. The Clan broke the previous attendance record of 3567 spectators, on 26th December, when 3577 attended the game and then went on to beat that record four days later, when 3602 fans watched Clan take on Fife Flyers.

Over the same festive period, seven of the ten Cinch Championship games drew smaller crowds than at Clan games.

For example, Partick Thistle versus Inverness attracted a crowd of 3326; Airdrie against Morton saw a crowd of 1672 and there were 2072 fans at the Ayr United versus Dunfermline game.

Ice hockey is fast becoming one of the fastest-growing spectator sports in the UK and the Elite Ice Hockey League ­– ­which The Clan are part of  – reported that over the festive period 80,745 fans watched EIHL games.

Clan managing director, Gareth Chalmers said: “Football may well be seen as our national game, but The Clan’s attendances are the biggest of all the Scottish EIHL teams and we’re attracting bigger crowds than some professional football teams in the SPFL.

“It’s been outstanding to see almost 11,000 people attend our home games during the festive period, a record period for the club in terms of fans joining us at Braehead Arena. It’s no wonder our fans are called the Purple Army.

“Even more positive is that we broke our home attendance record not once but twice during the festive period.

“EIHL hockey in Scotland continues to grow with ourselves, Dundee and Fife all enjoying bumper festive attendances. That’s testament to the work being done by the clubs behind the scenes and the fans playing their part by inviting family, friends and colleagues to join the Purple Army.

“Considering it’s an expensive time of year and the team haven’t been in the best run of form in the run up to the festive period, we’d like to thank everyone that supported us and turned out in record numbers.

“Attendances have continued to grow and we’re currently benefitting from our best ever average number of fans attending games at Braehead Arena. This undoubtedly provides us with a very solid platform to drive the club to the success we sought on the ice.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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