Hockey is one of the most exciting sports in the world. Despite its popularity—with over 15 million fans in attendance during the 2012-13 NHL season—hockey is also one of the least researched professional sports. While one may guess at the reasons why hockey is so exciting to fans, the evidence is largely anecdotal. For this study, more than 200 professional hockey fans were interviewed and observed over a two-month period during the 2013-14 season. The specific aim of this research was to determine which hockey plays fans report as the most exciting to them, and what draws people to the games. Additional insights about hockey’s excitement were studied in order to provide deeper meaning of fans’ interest in and loyalty to the game. Preliminary data analysis reveals that fights, big hits, and overtime play rank among the most exciting to fans. Additional findings pertaining to crowd noise—through the use of seismometers—will also be presented, and implications for future research drawn.
Hibbard, Timothy and Andreason, Bret, "Hockey Fan Excitement" (2014). College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs Presentations. 11.