SBD/3/Franchises

SPARE THE ROD: SENATORS BELOW EXPECTATIONS; ANNOUNCE DEAL

          Speaking at a press conference to announce a
     sponsorship deal with the Bank of Montreal (B of M) and its
     investment banking partner, Ottawa-based BMO Nesbitt Burns
     (BMO), "which could be worth more than" C$1M over three
     years, Senators Chair Rod Bryden "sent a warning: Fans need
     to buy tickets," according to Bruce Garrioch of the OTTAWA
     SUN.  Bryden said that the "number of empty seats -- which
     has been higher than anticipated -- means he won't be able
     to meet his goal of breaking even this season because
     revenues won't meet expectations."  Heading into last
     night's game against the Rangers, the Senators' average
     attendance in the 18,500-seat Corel Centre was 17,203, 10%
     "lower than anticipated."  Bryden: "The problem is not the
     business community, it's individual seats.  If people want
     to keep the team together, then they have to buy tickets." 
     Garrioch notes that the team has 11,300 season-ticket
     holders, but Bryden said that "more than 800 people who
     committed to buying season tickets during the club's
     campaign last year didn't follow through" (OTTAWA SUN,
     11/3).  Also in Ottawa, Michael Prentice writes that B of M
     and BMO will pay "several hundred thousand dollars" to the
     team and the arena this season for ad and promo rights, with
     "much of the money" expected to pay for ad signs inside and
     outside of the Corel Centre.  Bryden said that the deal
     "might grow to be worth more than" C$1M annually in future
     seasons (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 11/3).  The deal will make B of M
     and BMO the team's official financial advisor (Senators).

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