The Ottawa Senators are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in an elimination Game 6 on Tuesday evening. However, if you looked at the ticket sales for said game at the Canadian Tire Centre, you’d be hard-pressed to believe Tuesday night was a playoff game.
With less than six hours and counting until puck drop in Ottawa, even Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has started to worry. Melnyk had this to say to The Ottawa Sun late on Monday evening.
“It’s very disturbing, however, knowing the players and coaches they will be trying their hardest for Ottawa.”
Star Wars puns aside, the Senators attendance problems have made the rounds like wildfire this postseason. According to ESPN.com, Ottawa was tied with Columbus at No. 24 in the league in regular season attendance percentage, as they filled 87.4 percent of their 18,572-seat arena.
The Senators’ attendance woes once again came under fire in the second round of the playoffs, when pictures of empty upper-bowl seats made the rounds from their home opener.
Tickets for Game 6 on Tuesday are going as low as $105 for the upper deck on Ticketmaster.
Many have speculated as to why the Senators are doing such a poor job filling out their arena. The Canadian Tire Centre is not located in downtown Ottawa, but in the suburb of Kanata, a 20-minute-plus ride down the Trans-Canada Highway. There’s also the issue that Ottawa citizens have been going unpaid by their government for the past year or so due to automated payroll problems.
Though empty seats are never a good look, many citizens of Ottawa are government employees. And if the Senators don’t sell out on Tuesday, expect to keep hearing about Ottawa’s attendance problem.