It appears the Belleville Senators are a hit in the Quinte region.
Following Saturday’s win over Hartford, the Sens crossed the half way point of their home schedule, and the crowds have been strong.
The average attendance through the first half at the Yardmen Arena is 3,527. The largest attendance has been a capacity crowd of 4,319 (four times), with the smallest being December 13th at 2,837 (Binghamton). There have only been three games below 3,000 fans (all Wednesday night games).
Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher says it is fantastic to see the way the community has embraced the players and the team.
Christopher says their main concern right now is parking, but there are a lot of wins with the team.
How does it compare with the Belleville Bulls? In 2013-14 (Bulls’ 2nd last season), figures from HockeyDB, the Bulls were last in the league at 2,340, a difference of nearly 1,200.
Belleville Senators General Manager (Ottawa Assistant GM) Randy Lee tells Quinte News, “The players and staff know that Quinte area fans are knowledgeable. They are understanding that at times this season there have been as many as eleven players out of the lineup.”
Lee adds, “ Some teams have solid AHL players that play in the league for a long time. With guys like White, Chabot, Chlapik and Harpur, these are legitimate NHL prospects that are working their way to prominent roles in the NHL. Fans of the B-Sens understand that.”
”Fans have also been supportive of the brand and merchandise and clothing along the way too,” finishes Lee.
Chief Operating Officer Rob Mullowney says they are happy with the fan support. “Early on we had a lot of games in a short amount of time (7 games in 14 days). In the first half we also had a lot of Wednesday night games, where attendance is not quite as strong as weekends.”
Mullowney tells Quinte News, “In the second half we are going to not only have more weekend games, but several games against strong rivals (Toronto Marlies x 5, Laval Rocket x 3).
“Our numbers are showing strong support for the team outside of Belleville. Other parts of the Quinte region, Cobourg, Kingston, Peterborough, the GTA, Ottawa and even upper New York State. Our challenge is to make sure to serve the community as a region and not just a city.”
Mullowney finished by saying, “the team has been looking at other ticket strategies, promotions and avenues, which they hope can push attendance even higher.”
Belleville is next in action Wednesday night, when they welcome Syracuse at 7:00 p.m., 6:50 p.m. for Eastern Overhead Doors & Deerhaven Farm & Garden.