Mar 04

Bring Back the Ottawa Senators, A Walk Down Memory Lane

The successful campaign to Bring Back the Senators began in 1987 with a land assembly in Kanata (now a western suburb of Ottawa) and picked up steam in 1989 with the launch of a season ticket drive which resulted in 15,000 PRNs (Priority Registration Numbers) being sold at $25 each.

Each PRN entitled the bearer to purchase one season ticket when and if the team was returned to the NHL after a nearly 60-year absence. The last game played by the Ottawa Senators was in 1933 before, of course, the modern era began in October 1992.

For their $25, fans got a thank you letter and a bumper sticker saying, naturally, Bring Back the Senators. More guerrilla marketing…

The parent company of the team spent $7.2 million acquiring 600 acres where Canadian Tire Centre now sits. The land in that area now trades for up to $550,000 per acre. They also spent another $2.5 million on the bid itself.

Some of those costs were offset by self-capitalization techniques like:

selling 15,000 PRNs @ $25 each

selling 500 corporate sponsors @ $500 each

selling 32 original corporate sponsors @ $15,000 each

selling arena management rights for $10m

selling media rights for $5.5m

selling pouring (beer) rights for  $1m

pre-leasing 100 suites @ $100k each per year each for ten years

Here are the slides* on the founding of the team

@ Prof Bruce

* note: large file size

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.