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No Quick Fix For The Attendance Issues In Ottawa

from Ian Mendes of TSN,

When the Ottawa Senators host the Arizona Coyotes at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night, there will be plenty of attendance-related jokes on social media wondering if the game is being played in a Canadian market or at the Coyotes’ home rink in Glendale, Ariz.

The Senators have plummeted to the bottom of the league in attendance during the 2019-20 campaign, averaging just over 12,000 fans per game. Thursday’s contest against the Coyotes will struggle to crack the 10,000 mark.

The sparsely attended games in Ottawa have led to the Senators being a punchline for many hockey fans who used to save those attendance-related zingers for franchises like the Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers.

With the spectre of another poorly attended game on the horizon, the club’s new CEO, Jim Little, made his first public appearances on Wednesday, granting interviews to Bell Media properties in Ottawa.

Little – who has officially been on the job since Jan. 10 – is well aware of the stigma surrounding the franchise.

“As I’ve said to the owner, it’s a small business that has a big brand problem. It’s not that complicated. The fix is right in front of us and it’s going to be a lot of hard work to fix,” Little told TSN 1200. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Season ticket sales at 4,000? That’s dreadful and 100% of the blame for that lies with Melnyk. The guy is easily the worst owner in the NHL and consistently blames everyone else for Ottawa’s problems. They might have the talent to turn things around but how long will they be able to keep that talent. Just about everyone seems to want out of Ottawa as soon as possible.

I feel for the fans of Senators. I know all to well how horrible ownership can ruin a franchise. As a season ticket holder/fan you can be put in an awkward position. You want to support the team but don’t want to support the ownership. Stay away completely and you could lose your team altogether.

Posted by evileye on 02/13/20 at 12:36 PM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

I live in Ottawa, but I’m not a fan of the team.  Attendance has been an issue for a few years now.  Ottawa’s a federal government town and the Phoenix fiasco (a new pay system for government employees that messed up pay for thousands upon thousands of people) really hit the fanbase hard.  Not many people are gonna spend $200 to go to a game when they’re not sure they’re going to get paid on payday.  Even now, a couple years after the system was put in place, some people aren’t getting paid properly.  It’s ridiculous.

Then there’s Melnyk’s utter stupidity when it comes to putting his foot in his mouth, alienating alumni like Alfie, not to mention things like the Hoffman/Karlsson issue, the Uber vid and other stuff.  Then, you have the sale of all the best players your franchise has in order to cut costs.  It’s hard to be a Sens fan nowadays.

If they can manage to win the lottery, start winning, and lose the drama, I have no doubt the attendance will recover.  They used to sell out regularly when they were a top team.  If they can get even close to that level of play, they’ll be fine attendance-wise.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 02/13/20 at 02:20 PM ET

Avatar

At least the Karlsson trade is looking somewhat better now.

Not only the higher pick with SJ imploding,
but Tierney and Demelo might be ok trade chips if not
keepers.

Not to mention the centerpiece of the trade himself looking
more like a bad gamble on a long-term, expensive deal.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/13/20 at 07:59 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

AA grabbed his hammy after the shot - I hope he is ok and it’s just a twinge.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 02/13/20 at 09:34 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

Doh - wrong thread.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 02/13/20 at 09:37 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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