Senators: business as usual for ticket sales, despite lockout fear
Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012 4:59PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:33PM EDT
The Ottawa Senators are forging ahead with ticket sales despite warnings of a possible lockout from both NHL owners and players.
Seats and packages for the 2012-13 Senators season went on sale Wednesday, with the home opener set for Oct. 13 against the Washington Capitals.
That date comes four weeks after a Sept. 15 deadline set by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for a deal to be reached between the league and its players, with the threat of a lockout like in 2004 looming if they don’t.
“I’m optimistic that they’re going to play and (my daughter) really wants to go, so we figured we would pick up our tickets today and hope for the best,” said Tim Chiasson at Scotiabank Place.
Others said they were feeling more pessimistic.
“I hope there isn’t a lockout but still, with just the possibility of it I feel I probably won’t buy tickets right now,” said another fan.
“It’s frustrating as a fan,” said another. “Hockey is like my escape from the real world, so when the real world gets brought in it’s no fun.”
The gulf between the two sides (led by Bettman and former Major League Baseball union head Donald Fehr) doesn’t appear to be as great as in 2004, when the fight for a salary cap and other issues caused the season to be cancelled.
This time around, the two sides are disagreeing about what percentage of revenue each side should get, along with other issues such as the length of player contracts and re-organizing team divisions.
Senators team officials said they’re hopeful the season will run as scheduled and ticket sales are the same as they were last year, when the team was coming off a disappointing last-place finish.
“We’re proceeding with business as usual,” said Jeff Kyle, vice-president of marketing with the Senators.
“We know fans are excited based on how we played last year and that’s what we’re seeing so far.”
If games are cancelled and you do have tickets, the Senators said you’ll be eligible for a refund or credit towards other games.
NHL owners and the players union are scheduled to meet Thursday in Toronto.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Ellen Mauro