DOWNTOWN — The Blackhawks have the most loyal fans in the NHL by a wide margin, according to a new study.
Fanatics, which sells team gear to fans, analyzed the fan bases of NHL teams by looking at their social media following, arena occupancy and jersey sales.
The analysis found Hawks fans were far and away the most loyal: The team has the most followers on Facebook (2.99 million), Twitter (2 million) and Instagram (1.1 million); more jerseys are sold for Blackhawks players than for any other team; and the Hawks sold out more home games than any other team.
In fact, the analysis ranked teams on a scale of zero to two and gave the Blackhawks the highest possible score: two. The next-highest team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, only got a 1.22. (Hawks rivals like the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues did even worse, ranking only .99 and .42, respectively.)
The findings aren't a huge surprise: Forbes said Chicago had the best fans in the NHL in November, and jerseys for Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are among the most popular in the NHL.
The fans travel well to see their favorite team. So well, the Nashville Predators have attempted to thwart fans from Chicago from buying tickets there when the Hawks play in Tennessee.
The Blackhawks, one of the Original Six teams in the NHL, have been one of the most successful teams in the league in recent years. They won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Chicago will be home to the NHL Draft this June.