Chris Rock once compared hockey to heroin, in that it’s not for everybody but the people are into it are really into it. The deafening volume of fans and the high volume of jerseys in the stands might stand as exhibits A and B.

This past season, nine NBA teams averaged capacity crowds or better, compared with 16 NHL clubs, which ranged from hulking metropolises such as Chicago to modest-sized markets like Winnipeg.

Hockey fans can even make the sedate, acoustically unfriendly Staples Center rock, to the point where a Lakers game can seem quieter than a Celine Dion show—at a prison.

Advantage: NHL

NHL: 6 | NBA: 4