Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/04/13 at 06:25 PM ET
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.
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