Legionnaires’ loyal fan base largest in league

The Sarnia Legionnaires averaged 1,245 fans per home game this season, by far the best in the league. Photo by Anne Tigwell

Dan McCaffery

Special to The Journal

The Sarnia Legionnaires may not have finished first in the standings this year, but they were big winners at the box office.

In fact, the local Jr. ‘B’ club led the nine-team Western Ontario Hockey Conference in attendance for the seventh consecutive year, attracting 31,137 fans to its 25 home games. And that was an average of 1,245 per contest.

To appreciate just how impressive those statistics are, you have to look at the numbers racked up by the team that finished second at the gate. The Chatham Maroons drew an average of only 772 fans to their home games.

“Our support was absolutely outstanding,” Legionnaires president Tom Knight said. “The support we receive really gets to me. In any other place that has an OHL team, the Jr. ‘B’ club is lucky to have 175 fans at their games. But not here.”

Knight said a lot of the team’s success has to do with Sarnia Arena, which he refers to as an “historic gem.”

Fans love watching games in the old rink because they are right on top of the action, all views are good and the atmosphere is raucous.

He added the fact that the Legionnaires always dress a large number of Sarnia-Lambton players also makes them a big attraction.