Fan enthusiasm for the Ottawa Senators’ summer moves translated into a big boost at the box office.
Once a strong performer at the gate, the Senators have fallen on hard times in recent years as losing teams, a pandemic and the collapse of a downtown arena plan have added to skyrocketing attendance.
While the team hasn’t released 2021-22 numbers, it’s a poorly-kept secret the Senators had fewer than 5,000 season ticket holders last season, which would be the lowest in history. of the franchise. On average, the Senators drew just over 9,000 fans per game, dead last in the National Hockey League (NHL). However, they had many games in which participation was either restricted or banned altogether due to health restrictions, which killed any potential for gate momentum.
This summer, however, the Senators box office has been busy (some numbers will be released this week) and sales should increase throughout the season if the team performs as well as expected.
“I can tell you that the number of season tickets is the highest in years,” said Senators president Anthony LeBlanc, who will take part in a sales and marketing presentation to the media on Wednesday, September 7 at the Canadian Tire Centre. a meeting. “We saw a significant, significant increase – and it all really started around the time Pierre (Dorion, GM) started trading.”
The hockey side of Senators operations has never had a bigger offseason, with trades to acquire forward Alex DeBrincat and goaltender Cam Talbot as well as the signing of free agent center Claude Giroux.
Beyond the excitement over a few new players, fans were already optimistic about Ottawa’s bright and entertaining young core, led by captain Brady Tkachuk.
In fact, the hits kept coming for the organization off the ice. In a five-day span in late June, former Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame and a corporate team including the Senators won the bid to build a arena on LeBreton Flats land west of Parliament Hill. The National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Senators group expect to finalize the details of a lease by the fall of 2023.