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SPARE THE ROD: SENATORS BELOW EXPECTATIONS; ANNOUNCE DEAL
Published November 3, 2000
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).