Attendance at Ottawa Sens' games off to a slow start

Canadian Tire Centre (Photo by Aaron Toth / Flickr)

The Ottawa Senators ticket sales woes have continued into the 2017-18 season, with attendance at Tuesday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks dropping to 13,430 – only 72 per cent of capacity at the Canadian Tire Centre.

It was a disappointing showing for a team that had just come off a three-game win streak on the road and a game which saw the return of captain Erik Karlsson.

Though still early in the season, Ottawa has the second-lowest average attendance percentage in the league, and the lowest of any Canadian team. Last season, the team was tied for the sixth-lowest attendance percentage.

The team doesn’t seem worried.

“Ticket sales are up from this time last year, especially single-game tickets,” said a spokesperson for the team. “We do, however, have a concentration of home games at the start of the season, a few of which are slower than we’d like.”

Earlier this year, the organization reduced the capacity of the arena by 1,500 seats.

“It was about right-sizing the building. We have an upper bowl that’s too big,” Tom Anselmi, president and CEO of the Ottawa Senators, said in September.

During that pre-season speech, Mr. Anselmi discussed several challenges facing the Senators that have been oft-discussed throughout the team’s history, such as playing in a city with a relatively small business base while wedged between two hockey juggernauts – “the red guys to the east and the blue guys to the west.”

– This story originally appeared in Metro News. With files from OBJ staff.