wprager wrote:The paid attendance was 18,111. A sellout is 18,572. So 461 short.
I tried to do the math with a friend the other day. We ball-parked:
- 1 million people in the greater Ottawa area
- Of those 1 million people, 50% are hockey fans and can afford to buy tickets. 500,000
- Of those 500,000, 25% live in areas around the city that make it too much of a pain to go to the game (Almonte, Orleans, Gatineau, Riverside South, etc). 375,000 remaining
- 50% of the 375,000 support the Leafs or Habs and would not buy tickets. 187,500 fans that would buy tickets in the city.
You then look at the stats about workforce diversity and determine:
- 50% of the city works for the government; many of which have/had Phoenix pay issues
- 25% of the workforce works for companies that support the government. They cannot buy corporate tickets and take their largest client to games.
- 25% of the workforce is non-government related; some in the service industry (retail for example) or other (tech, grocery stores - varies considerably)
- Students and many young professionals (assuming they are Sens fans) can't afford a $200 hockey ticket (plus beers). They go to Elgin Street or other bars which have all been jam packed.
- Many people also own 60+ inch TV's and prefer watching on their couch where they don't need to pay for parking, wait in lines for a washroom, pay $10 for a beer, etc. (my preference)
Out of my 10 core group of friends who grew up in Ottawa as Sens fans, 8 live in Toronto now and are not coming back. They have been back on weekends to go to games but not during the week.
So really the demographic in this city is misleading. While we have a large population, our fan-base is segmented to (by my estimates) 15-20% of the population who are willing to buy tickets. My office for example: I am the only one in my office who has been to a game. 1 out of 20 people (5%) of whom make $60K or more.
It is the same 150K-200K that are buying tickets. Many of those people will go to a game or 2 and that's it. At a 19K capacity, it's a huge financial burden to attend 9 home games x $150 per ticket = $1,350 plus concessions and parking.
Yes, the math is probably wrong but the logic is there. There is a lot of fan support for the Sens in Ottawa and around the country but the demographic does not support the market. I don't think moving to Lebreton will make much of a difference either. The Sens have to understand their market better, make games more affordable, find a way to attract part-time fans to games, and get full-time fans off their couches and to a game. I'm an example of this. I watch every game and probably went to 3 regular season games this year and 2 playoff games. They need to find a way to get people like me there.