As if the Blues departing from the playoffs in the first round wasn't disappointing enough, here's some more bad news. According to Jeremy Rutherford, the Blues failed to sell out any of their three home playoff games against the Los Angeles Kings.
The news about playoff attendance comes after a regular season where the Blues finished 18th in the NHL in average attendance (17,263) and 26th in the NHL in average capacity (90.1%), as reported by ESPN.
What's behind the failed sell outs?
It's worth noting that the regular season numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. The former ownership group notoriously skewed numbers and announced a sell out even with empty rows and sections around the Scottrade. The new group appears to be taking a more honest approach. This, mixed with the effects from the lockout, likely led to the regular season attendance numbers you see above.
As for the playoffs, the simplest answer is that the times weren't too friendly for families.
Yes, should also point out that once playoff times were announced, families decided against going to games starting at 8:20. #stlblues
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 13, 2013
There's also the fact that the NHL strangely decided to avoid announcing game times and start dates until the last possible moment. As Dan Caesar (and his somewhat strange header image) discusses, the NHL opted not to announce the Western Conference playoff dates even though all of the matchups were set. They instead waited for the Eastern Conference to finalize their playoff picture before announcing times, forcing teams to miss out on an extra day to sell tickets.
When it came to game times, unless you were closely following Twitter you might have had a hard time finding out when the game starts. This confusion over dates and times probably put a damper on the ticket buyer that waits until the last minute. If you did wait until the last moment for the team's first playoff game, you lucked out. Tickets were going for as low as $12, with tickets in the lower bowl going for $18. Prices rose as the series wore on.
Finally, the Blues also had to go up against a St. Louis Cardinals home game. It's a painful fact to admit for hockey fans, but St. Louis is a baseball town and plenty of folks chose a regular season baseball game over playoff hockey.
Late start time + Confusion and late announcements about game time + Fallout from the lockout + Cardinals = Less than 100% capacity. Not surprising, but pretty disappointing.