Senators CEO Looks To Improve Season-Ticket Base, Fan Morale
New Senators CEO Jim Little is "well aware of the stigma surrounding the franchise," as he looks to turn around the organization that has "plummeted to the bottom" of the NHL in average attendance, according to Ian Mendes of TSN.ca. Little said, "It's a small business that has a big brand problem. It's not that complicated. ... Our season ticket base is very low." Little: "We have to get the fan base back." Mendes noted a "conservative estimate" would put the Senators season ticket base "in the neighbourhood of 4,000." That means they would need to sell "roughly 14,000 single-game tickets" to fill Canadian Tire Centre nightly -- a "tall order for a small-market team." Instability has been a "common theme in the Senators front office" and the Ottawa business community has "clearly lost faith." Many companies have "shied away from renewing or purchasing season tickets." Little's "toughest challenge will be to bridge the chasm between a skeptical business community, a restless fan base" and Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk. Little said that he has had "several private dinners with Melnyk, where the owner has indicated that he wants to rebuild" fans' faith. Meanwhile, the Senators "appear to be poised to unveil a polished and targeted marketing plan." Much of the new campaign will be "rolled out in the summer," with the '20 NHL Draft "playing a significant role." The Senators also will "try and reduce beer prices at the concessions stands and have more themed nights" (TSN.ca, 2/12).