Ottawa Senators: The Reason for the Sens’ Attendance Woes

The playoff run of the Ottawa Senators was infamous for its struggle to sell out games. Now it has come out that the Sens are among the teams whose attendance has dropped the most over 10 years.

The Ottawa Senators ranked as the team with the third biggest drop off in attendance over the last 10 years. Only dropping less than the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche this is certainly a cause for concern. The Sens’ attendance has dropped by 13.6% over the last 10 years. A team that sold out every game ten years ago is now on average only selling to 87.4% of capacity. What has happened in Ottawa to cause such a drop in fan interest?


Part of the reason for the dropping of attendance can be attributed to the consistent mediocrity of a team that used to be so dominant. In the early and mid-2000s the Sens were one of the best teams in the league. However, since then the Sens have struggled the string together playoff appearances. Although this cannot be the only reason for decreasing attendance as the Sens had a fantastic playoff run this year but didn’t sell out every game.

A Government City

The biggest reasons for the Sens’ attendance woes has to be attributed to location fatigue as well as the Phoenix Pay System. The location for the arena has always been terrible but it was the norm for Sens fans. However, with the news that the team will be building a new arena downtown fans may have become more aware of how much of a trek it can be to get to the arena.

The biggest reason for fans not showing up is because of the Phoenix Pay System. This is a system that was put in place that affected the pay of government workers. Problems arose in the system that resulted in many people being paid significantly less last year. With the federal government as Ottawa’s biggest employer this affected a large portion of the population. As a result fewer people could afford to go to the games in the past year.

Final Thoughts

The attendance issue was a stain on the Ottawa Senators’ otherwise fantastic playoff run. In the next few years as the problems with the Phoenix Pay System are resolved, and the new arena is built, there is hope that attendance will be on the rise again.