Senators Ramp Up Promotions For New NHL Season; Melnyk Sees Forgiving Fans
The Senators are "making a conscious effort to woo back fans that remain bitter about the four-month lockout," according to Ken Warren of the OTTAWA CITIZEN. The Senators are "giving breaks to their approximately 10,600 season ticket holders -- they’ll all receive a free game -- and concentrating efforts on drawing more children to the rink." Fans younger than 14 for select games will "receive a free ticket, providing an adult has purchased a ticket." Senators President Cyril Leeder said, "Our focus has been, for some time now, on getting more kids in the arena and this is just a continuation. We're going to do more as we go forward." Warren notes other incentives at selected games "include half-price student tickets and $1 popcorn." The Senators also are "opening Scotiabank Place to the public for all on-ice workouts during their brief training camp" (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/14). Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk yesterday said, "My message to the fans [is] to come out and support the team, you’re going to want to be part of this because this is going to be a great, great team for the coming years, if not immediately, and you don’t want to be left out in the cold. As a diehard fan, you are part of this organization. I just want you guys back." Melnyk added, "Other than free hot dogs, although they're important, the most important thing that we can give is to have these players come out every night and deliver you a winning team" (CP, 1/13). Melnyk said, "Ottawa is a different market. It's different here. ... They realize, 'Let's go forward.' Hockey is back." He added, "Is there bitterness right this minute? Absolutely. Forgiveness for it happening? I think it exists here in Ottawa" (OTTAWASUN.com, 1/13).