top of page

Losing Rangers Still Draw Big Crowds

Mar. 19, 1964 - Win, lose, or draw, the New York Rangers will continue to attract big crowds at Madison Square Garden. How does an NHL club that has missed the Stanley Cup playoffs five times in the last six years and 16 times in the last 22 years still manager to draw so well?

Probably the chief reason is that hockey is one of the world’s most exciting sports.

Another is the loyalty of the fans, who refuse to quit on the Rangers.

Undoubtedly, the most loyal Ranger supporters are the members of the Rangers’ Fan Club, numbering more than 700. Jerry Ahrens, president of the club, is in his 25th year as a Ranger supporter, and he’ll “never quit as a Ranger fan.”

Ahrens, who reaches the Garden in nothing flat from his home on W. 86th St., said: “We’re getting new fan club members every day. We’re 100% back of the Rangers.”

Audrey Dixson, a fan club member, said she will be back in her regular seat next season. “I get annoyed at the management at times,” she said, “but the team doesn’t disappoint me.”

A nonmember but outspoken rooter is Ray Pfeffer of Floral Park, L.I. Ray has occupied a front-row seat in Section 206 in the mezzanine since 1954. Said Pfeffer: “I’m loyal to the Rangers because I like hockey. We have the best minor leaguers, but they don’t make the major league. That’s probably one reason why we don’t make the playoffs. Another is our defensemen and the forwards don’t backcheck enough. Here at the Garden, it looks like our defensemen ask the other guys if they want to dance — they don’t hit anyone. We need a couple strong me and a strong skating center.”

The Rangers had eight sellout crowds this season. A capacity attendance is 15,925. With Sunday night’s attendance of 14,817, the Rangers reached a total of 497,978 paying customers for 35 home games in the 70-game schedule, which set a new home attendance record. Last season, the Blueshirts drew 478,277 fans.


bottom of page