Despite the disappointing performance on the ice, the Tampa Bay Lightning's fans have responded to the $40 million dollar renovation of the Tampa Bay (formerly St. Pete) Times Forum. The well documented improvements and the Lightning's long post-season run has seen their average attendance improve by nearly 1,400 fans per game.
Tampa Bay has seen their attendance rise from 18th in the league to 10th this season through 20 dates. The Lightning are surprising averaging better than every team in the Southeast division and are averaging higher attendance than NHL hotbeds New York, Minnesota, Edmonton and Boston (in their defense, the Tampa Bay Times Forum's capacity is larger than some of those team's arenas).
Tampa Bay has rewarded fans with solid performances at home, boasting a 12-7-1 record (they've only managed 7 wins on the road this year).
This isn't the first time the Lightning found themselves top ten in attendance average. Tampa Bay has been as high as second in attendance (2005-'06) and has finished top ten three times since the 2000 season.