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Watching The Senators

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

The Ottawa Senators have hosted six games so far this season at the Canadian Tire Centre and not one of them has sold out. By comparison, the other NHL teams based in Canada have combined for 1,662 home games since the 2004-05 lockout and not one of them has had an empty seat.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the good people of Ottawa, perhaps more than any other city in Canada, are doers rather than watchers. Second, whatever they’re calling the arena this week is 18 miles from downtown with no rapid transit system in place. Third, both the tech and government sectors, two of the biggest drivers of the Ottawa economy, have taken a beating in recent years, which has created a drag on both ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.

But none of those could have prepared these eyes for what they saw – or didn’t see – in Canada’s capital Friday night. With the New York Islanders in town, the Senators drew an announced crowd of just 15,589, but there were at least 5,000 empty seats in the 19,153-seat building. Some press box observers said it was the smallest crowd they had ever seen in Ottawa, although there have been documented games where fewer people have showed up.

continued

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

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So what is the excuse for this problem?  They are in a country that loves hockey above all else. They don’t have terribly expensive tickets and the team has been competitive until this season. I dont want to hear any excuse about the arena location because God knows that doesn’t fly for those opposed to the Coyotes. Can’t use the economy, because everyone knows that doesn’t fly for the Panthers or Phoenix, which were both devastated by the housing market collapse. You can’t use the no playoffs excuse because they made the playoffs several times over the past few years, and God knows 10 years without a playoff team in Florida and Phoenix until recently were not valid excuses. Can’t use the non-hockey market argument, used against sunbelt teams, because the Ottawa Silver Seven won the Cup multiple times before there was an NHL.  Maybe the real reason is it is in bad hockey market, that has always been a bad market ( don’t forget this team went bankrupt 10 years ago) and they should be moved?

Posted by timbits on 11/04/13 at 10:05 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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