Nov 13, 2012, 11:55 AM EDT
The Ottawa Senators have taken a unique step in trying to appease fans during the ongoing work stoppage.
In news first reported by James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen, the club recently emailed past ticket buyers with a poll 1) gauging how the lockout has affected interest levels, 2) rating discounts and special incentive plans and, most curiously, 3) asking how quickly they’d return to the rink if the season began in December.
Here’s more, from Gordon:
After asking fans whether or not they’re looking forward to the Senators playing again and how much the work stoppage has affected their interest in the team, the poll asks them to rate discounts on a scale from “definitely would not purchase” to “definitely would purchase.”
Perhaps sensing some early backlash, the team also asks respondents how likely they would be to take advantage of free parking in addition to one of the other incentives for the first five games of the season.
The poll also tries to gauge how quickly fans will return to the rink, asking in which month they’re most likely to attend a game if a new season starts in December.
The potential incentives include 30 percent off at concession stands, free parking, discounted merchandise and a potential Q&A session with Senators players.
A couple ways to look at this:
– Sens owner Eugene Melnyk is already on record saying he’s worried about fans abandoning the NHL.
He says he bailed on Major League Baseball after the 1994 strike (Melnyk described himself as a “rabid” Toronto Blue Jays fan in the early ’90s) and fears a similar trend will develop in the NHL because, you know, this is the second lockout in seven years.
So, this poll could be the latest olive branch extended from an organization really concerned about losing fans.
– For the optimists: Ottwaw’s strategy here could (and I stress the word “could”) be seen as getting its ducks in a row for the start of the season. If you’re trying to figure out which incentives to tack on to ticket sales, you’re probably preparing to sell tickets.
Also, the club floated a potential December start date.
– For the pessimists: Ottawa is simply in PR spin mode and wants to gauge how badly the lockout has affected its ticket-buying base. Nothing more, nothing less.
Regardless of how you view it, this story is noteworthy because Ottawa — a team that ranked sixth in attendance last year, averaging 19,356 a game — is being proactive in assessing damage.
Not exactly the “hey, we’re in Canada, fans will come back regardless” strategy now, is it?
May 21, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Off to a surprising 2-1 series lead over Chicago.
May 21, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT
He’ll replace Peter Horachek, who was fired yesterday.
May 21, 2013, 4:49 PM EDT
(His brother is Patrick Roy.)
May 21, 2013, 4:20 PM EDT
May 21, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
Meanwhile, Logan Couture says he’s “all good.”
May 21, 2013, 4:01 PM EDT
Jarmo, talking tough.
May 21, 2013, 3:43 PM EDT
Montreal’s 27-year-old defenseman was hurt in April while trying to hit Milan Lucic.
May 21, 2013, 3:02 PM EDT
San Jose hasn’t lost at HP Pavilion this postseason.
May 21, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT
Edmonton’s new rink is set to open in 2016.
May 21, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT
The panel gets another goalie.
May 21, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT
It’s his old team, Dynamo Moscow.
May 21, 2013, 1:38 PM EDT
It’s been two weeks since they were swept by the Sharks.
May 21, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT
He’s “getting closer” to a return, though.
May 21, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT
Boston can take a commanding lead on the Rangers.
May 21, 2013, 12:27 PM EDT
Ray Emery sits…for now.
May 21, 2013, 11:56 AM EDT
The 29-year-old was on the ice for all five Boston goals in Game 2.
May 21, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT
He’s got the Red Wings two wins shy of a huge upset.
May 21, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT
“We’ve got a good home record, but we can’t rest and be comfortable with just being a great home team.”
May 21, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT
He underwent surgery two weeks ago.
May 21, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT
A look at that and the San Jose Sharks’ series against the Los Angeles Kings.
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- Video: Viktor Stalberg returns after head-first sprawl into boards 2
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- Playoffs Tonight: Blackhawks look to ‘ramp up our intensity’ vs Red Wings 13
- Report: Patrick Roy a candidate for Avalanche head coaching job 9
- Senators’ OT hero Greening had fiberglass pieces removed from face 4
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- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Discuss: Detroit takes 2-1 series lead vs. Chicago (88)
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