Cardiff Devils fans stake claim to be the best in Wales

Survey finds Devils fans are among the best in the UKand the top in Wales

CARDIFF Devils fans are the best and most engaged fan base in Wales, bringing noise and passion throughout the team’s ups and downs, according to a new survey.

A study carried out by Sports Direct revealed that the Cardiff Devils are the sixth most loved sports team in the UK.

The survey used several metrics including social media following, Instagram engagement and percentage of stadium capacity filled in 2019. 

Jo Howcroft, 43, who started supporting the Devils when she was 16, wasn’t surprised to hear how much Devils fans were valued.

She said: “When you watch an away game where the Devils fans have far fewer supporters, it is still the Devils fans that you can hear. We bring the noise that gives the players that extra edge to grind out a goal or win.

“As a team we have had ups and downs but now we have brilliant owners that have invested in the team both on and off the ice which has reignited the fans love and support.”

The data for the survey was gathered in 2019, before the impact of Covid could be felt on stadium attendances. 

The Devils beat some of the biggest names in cricket, athletics and netball and came just behind Premier League football clubs West Ham and Manchester City.

The top ten most loved sports teams in the UK were:

  1. Arsenal (Football)
  2. Liverpool (Football)
  3. Chelsea (Football)
  4. Manchester City (Football)
  5. West Ham (Football)
  6. Cardiff Devils (Ice Hockey)
  7. Gloucester (Rugby Union)
  8. Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers (Athletics)
  9. Guildford Flames (Ice Hockey)
  10. Harlequins (Rugby Union)

A Devils fan who posts online under the name, WelshRareDit, told The Cardiffian: “In my experience it’s the openness and welcoming atmosphere when you’re watching a game at the rink. 

“When you’re sat down there’s nearly always someone knowledgeable that’s busy explaining to a friend/new fan what’s going on and the atmosphere at Ice Arena Wales is fantastic.” 

Forward Riley Brandt in action against the Guildford Flames Image:

It is notable that Cardiff Devils ranked so highly in the list as ice hockey was one of the more unpopular sports analysed.

Devils managing director Todd Kelman said: “We are so pleased to see this and to be included in the same list as some of the greatest sports franchises in the world is a real honour.”

“We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our fans and trying to keep it fun and engaging whether we win or lose.”

The most engaged team in Wales will need to keep their wits about them as they host Coventry Blaze on Sunday. 

After a 5-3 defeat last week to Dundee Stars, the Devils look to return to the form that saw them beat Glasgow Clan 3-1 at the Ice Arena Wales earlier this month.

The fans will need to be in good voice to spur the team on to victory this Sunday before the Challenge Cup Final next Wednesday. 

A spokesperson for the Devils said: “We know that the loss on Wednesday is a tough one in terms of league standings, we’re chasing the top two currently so that’s a tough one for us to drop points in this late in the season.

“With us chasing, all we can really do is focus on our own game and get ready for the next one.”

Daniel Ingram, 28, a season ticket holder, said: “After midweek disappointment in Dundee all but confirming the end of our title chase, this game feels like a dead rubber for the Devils to conserve energy and rest injuries ahead of the big Challenge Cup Final on Wednesday.”

  • Fans can buy tickets here
  • The puck hits the ice at 06.00pm on Sunday, March 13, at Ice Arena Wales