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Florida Panthers Get Worst Turnout in History of Professional Sports

Maybe it's because it was in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

Or there's the fact that the Florida Panthers will likely have a profoundly terrible season this year. Not to mention this is South Florida. And there's little redemption for hockey fans here.

A fact clearly on display Monday afternoon.

In what may be the worst turnout in the history of professional sports, the Florida Panthers' preseason opener against the Nashville Predators attracted roughly 13 fans.

This, however, wasn't enough to stem the excitement of the Florida Panthers communication office, which was apparently hallucinating phantom lines at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

[UPDATE: Turns out, thanks to our lynx-eyed readers, we're totally wrong about this one. Whoops! Our B. The "lines" refer to the players lining up.]

Because according to Deadspin, this one photograph wasn't somehow a trick of framing to make it seem like no one showed up. Here's another picture from another part of the arena:

Maybe, just maybe, statistics guru Nate Silver of ESPN is right. The Panthers should move to Canada, where hockey's roar still silences other sports. Several months ago, Silver discovered that less than 5 percent of Broward and Miami's population would be considered "avid hockey fans." And it's nearly impossible for hockey teams to succeed economically in markets with fewer than 300,000 hockey fans.

(Yes, South Florida, in case you're surprised as well, there is hockey here.)

While overall ticket revenues have crept upward in the past two decades, these gains have been less than paltry.

It's gotten so bad, evidently even the Panthers' announcers want the team to move to Canada. Late last season, they went a tad insane during another slaughter of the Panthers, and, for reasons never fully explained, began wondering at the virtues of Winnipeg. ("Good Slurpees in Canada for whatever reason.")

If you're going to do anything all day, make it watching this video:

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Terrence McCoy

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