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The Ottawa Senators won Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday night. The announced attendance was 18,615 tickets distributed, which is above the official “capacity” of the building for hockey games of 18,572.
If you’ll recall, the Senators didn’t sell out Game 1 of their second-round series against the New York Rangers. Which was super embarrassing, and led to a lot of people trying to figure out why this happened. There was much blaming of the arena’s location. There was much blaming of the organization’s failure to cultivate a larger following. And there was some blaming of the fans who didn’t show up for a second-round playoff home game.
All of this criticism is fine … when the building isn’t sold out.
Which it was for Game 3 last night. And yet, on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto on Thursday morning, guest host Joey Vendetta and NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick roasted the fans for not selling out a game they actually sold out.
VENDETTA: “Before we let you go, I need your take on this. The Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. We know it’s not downtown, but it’s the conference final and it’s not sold out. What do you make of that?”
ROENICK: “Don’t get me going. Don’t get me going. Don’t get me going. Don’t get me going. It’s so frustrating to see a guy who’s so proud of his sport and loves the National Hockey League as much as it does to not know that a conference final game is not sold out.”
(Ed. Note: We have no idea what this means. We checked the full interview, and we still have no idea what this means.)
“Shame on the fans in Ottawa to not buy every ticket and have lines waiting down the street. They’re acting like they get to the conference final and get a chance for the Stanley Cup year after year. Get out there and support that team. They deserve it.”
VENDETTA: “I don’t know what the ticket prices are, and I know they get raised in the playoffs quite a bit …”
ROENICK: “It’s the same everywhere, it’s the same everywhere, it’s the same everywhere. Every building is packed. Every building is full. I said the same thing about Anaheim the other day. But in Anaheim they started early, people were still at work, and then it filled up later. I said the same thing about the fans in Anaheim. I’m not just saying it because it’s Ottawa.”
Here’s the full interview.
Look, Roenick has an easy out here, as he was led astray by the lazy research and erroneous information given to him by the guest host. Just apologize to the Senators fans that did in fact sell out Game 3 against the Penguins, and we all move on.
Then, maybe at some point during the summer, Roenick can do a modicum of research about the franchise and the market before blasting the paying customers as apathetic and entitled on the radio station owned by their arch rivals. Just a thought.
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