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Sens hoping cheaper beer, other measures will lure fans back

Tim Tucker   ·   13 février 2020
It's no secret the Ottawa Senators are struggling with attendance this year. Their average numbers have not only been the lowest in Canada, but among the lowest in the league as the Canadian Tire Centre has often been at 50 percent capacity or just slightly above. Recently, Jim Little left his retirement and accepted a job as President of the Ottawa Senators, with the idea that he would become the new face of the team. He says his most important job is to get fans back in the building and he intends to do that by increasing the amount of fun they can have at the arena.

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"When you lose the customer it’s always the business’s fault no matter what the category is,” Little recently told CTV News. “We’ve lost the customer a bit and my pledge is that we’re going to win you back.”

“For the balance of the year we are going to make it fun to be in the building,” he said. “We’re going to have cheaper beer before the game, we’re going to have party nights on Thursdays, have more fan deck experiences."

"We’ve got to reconnect with the city. I’m a brand a business guy. We have to reconnect with the customer. We got to have a product people want to come and see so we’ve got to make the in game stuff more fun. “

Unfortunately, the biggest problem for the Senators is the on-ice product, which won't be changed this year. The team has an excellent chance at landing two exciting players in the upcoming draft as it has its own, as well as the San Jose Sharks' 1st round pick, and both are likely to be high. However, there's no guarantee either of those players will be ready to play in the NHL next season. Either way, they still need a team around them to increase Ottawa's fortunes. Still, Little says he believes the rebuild is ahead of schedule and he's attempting to get the business side of things caught up.

An added issue for Ottawa is the owner. Eugene Melnyk has been a polarizing presence for the Senators' fan base, trading away star players just when they hit their prime and being involved in several lawsuits. Little is aware this is one of the reasons he's been brought in.

“He’s an impatient businessman who wants success and his product is a hockey team. He’s asked me to become the face of the team, become the face of the organization downtown.”

We'll see if that works.

Source: CTV Ottawa
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