With the NHL lockout over, teams all over the league are coming up with ways to reach out to the fans that had to suffer through the labour stoppage. We've seen all sorts of things. Discounted merchandise. Full-page newspaper apologies. Free tickets. Weird spoken word poetry.
It's all sort of effective, but the gold medal for fan outreach has to go to the Ottawa Senators, who will be offering the following as part of their mea culpa campaign: free beer to all in attendance.
It's only for one game, but did I mention it's free beer? Because free beer. From Brian Morris, the Senators' director of communications:
Molson will be on hand at Scotiabank Place on Monday to provide fans entering the building for the game an invitation to sample a Molson Canadian product.
Those of legal drinking age will be able to sample (one per person) a 14oz Molson Canadian draft, while those who are not of legal drinking age will be able to receive a free coca-cola fountain drink.
The invitations will be valid from door opening until normal concession cut off time - end of second period.
Sure, sure, "sample".
They're bribing you with beer, Senators fans, and if I were you, I'd take it. It's free beer.
This is a great idea. I've been saying all along that, while the fans are going to come back, they're also going to feel a little dirty about it for awhile. But nothing takes that edge off like an ice-cold glass of beer.
It's worth noting that, back in December, this was one of our suggestions for how to win the fans back once the lockout was over:
5. Have One On Us, Hockey Fans
OK, now that we’ve got your attention, let’s spell it out: F-R-E-E B-E-E-R.
Send us vouchers via email. Give us coupons as we walk through the turnstile. Make it a happy hour before the game and through the first period. Who cares? Just bribe us. With beer. It because beer makes it better.
It's good to see someone listens to us. You're all right, Ottawa.
Good call on the "one per person" rule, by the way. Otherwise you'd probably have to offer rides home as well.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney