SBD/September 8, 2017/Facilities

Senators Reduce Capacity At Canadian Tire Centre By 1,500 After Struggling To Sell Tickets

Despite making the playoffs last season, the Senators had trouble selling out games
Tired of seeing "too many empty seats," the Senators have made the decision to "reduce capacity at Canadian Tire Centre by 1,500 to about 17,000," according to Lisa Wallace of the CP. Rows in the upper bowl have been "covered with tarps." The team "struggled to sell out the building last season, even in the playoffs." Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk said, "The attendance shifts have been dramatic over a period of two decades. The whole trend now is less seats and more clubs and frankly smaller stadiums. When you look at things like a new stadium downtown, we're not going to build a 20,000-seat stadium. It will probably be closer to 15,000-17,000 in there." Melnyk and team President & CEO Tom Anselmi "wouldn't reveal season ticket numbers but the two are hopeful that by removing seats fans will feel the need to purchase season tickets with the potential of there being fewer tickets available on a walk-up basis" (CP, 9/7). In Ottawa, Ken Warren writes the tarps across the top few rows of the upper bowl "serve as a black mark for a franchise that has lost much of its fan base." It is "hardly a promising statement to kick off an anniversary season." When the Panthers "adopted a similar tarping-off-the-seats approach to deal with small crowds in South Florida, they became the brunt of jokes around the NHL" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/8).

O FACE: Warren notes the marquee across the main entrance of Canadian Tire Centre now "features the heritage 'O.'" Fans also will see the "'O' surrounding the centre-ice faceoff circle." Warren: "The Roman general isn’t going anywhere, at least not yet." Anselmi said, "It’s no secret that we have a lot of fans out there that like the O. It’s a great secondary logo. Our primary logo is still our primary logo." Still, Anselmi said that he is "not married to anything long-term." Part of the new-look inside the arena "includes backdrops of famous Ottawa landmarks with the O logo in front" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/8).
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