A pretty good read here from a blog called "The State of Hockey News" that ranks NHL fanbases from 1 to 30.
Here is what they had to say about the Jackets:
#21 - Columbus Blue Jackets - 12.7
Pct. of Capacity in 2008-09: 85.6% (15,543, 25th in the NHL) Online Presence: 4.7
Last Year's rank: 24th
Justification: For Blue Jackets fans, this ranking might surprise them. Afterall it was season the team finally got rid of the dubious phrase, "the only team that has never made the post-season." In that way, the fans in Columbus had lots to cheer about but it was short-lived as their team was swept out of the playoffs without too much trouble by Central Division rival Detroit Red Wings. With the Blue Jackets having their most successful season in franchise history I have say I was shocked that they only managed to fill their building just over 85% most nights. Sure, there were many years of the team losing that steadily eroded the amount of fans showing up at Nationwide Arena, and I would not be surprised to see attendance greatly improved next season. Online, Blue Jackets fans must have had a wonderful (albeit short) ride to the post-season and their fanbase there remains steady as the team has a number of message boards and blogs.
Certainly hard to argue with his arguments and I think the ranking is fair. I was also surprised that the building didn't fill up more down the stretch as the Jackets were playing the most important games in their history.
One thing I will say in the Jackets defense is that the practice of comping tickets came to an end once Priest took over from MacLean. So what you see in the attedance reports is what you get unlike a lot of NHL cities who are comping seats by the thousands.
I really like his ranking of Colorado at 26. I can't believe how fast that bandwagon jumped ship... espeically since Foote re-joined the team (snicker).
Hopefully we'll see attendance continue to rise this season as the team continues to find success on the ice.