|Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk (left) answers a fan's question during Monday's season ticket holders' conference call while team president Cyril Leeder looks on.
Senators fans will notice much more than just some new faces on the ice when they attend games at Scotiabank Place this season.
In a conference call with season-ticket holders held Monday, Senators president Cyril Leeder unveiled a wide array of building improvements that figure to enhance the overall guest experience for fans.
At the top of the organization's priority list in the off-season, Leeder said, has been the search for ways to get spectators on their way home after the final siren has sounded.
"Parking is the biggest blessing for this building," he said. "There are 8,000 spaces and you can drive a car up and park within 500 metres of an NHL game, which is quite spectacular. At the end of the game, it's also our curse.
"That's what we're trying to deal with, at the end of the game, getting people off the site as quickly as possible."
More police officers are being brought on the job on game nights to help improve the post-game traffic flow.
|Senators general manager Bryan Murray (right) listens while goaltender Pascal Leclaire responds to a question from a season-ticket holder about the coming season during the conference call. |
"We've also reorganized some of the parking lots, particularly where the tour buses park," added Leeder. "We'll have better directional signage and we've added some additional exits. More importantly, the expansion of the Queensway (to four lanes beginning at the Eagleson/March Road exit) is going to make a difference for our fans getting home."
While they're at Scotiabank Place, fans will notice a number of changes. The former Marshy's is being replaced by Bert's Ottawa, which mirrors Bert's Bar in Barbados, a much-beloved hockey hangout on the Caribbean island for Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. Leeder believes the new establishment "is going to be a real hot spot for our fans."
As well, a second Deli 111 sandwich and carvery is being added on the main concourse, with the original 100-level station undergoing an expansion.
"Parking is the biggest blessing for this building. There are 8,000 spaces and you can drive a car up and park within 500 metres of an NHL game, which is quick spectacular. At the end of the game, it's also our curse. That's what we're trying to deal with, at the end of the game, getting people off the site as quickly as possible." - Cyril Leeder
Retail services are getting their own upgrade. A second, expanded Sens Store is being created on the main concourse and a third venue will be opened on the 100-level. Leeder calls the additions "part Sens Store, part museum and part fan experience."
All these new additions are expected to be in place in time for the Senators' first home pre-season game, slated for Sept. 16 against the Florida Panthers.
In addressing another fan concern, Leeder said enhancements have been made in the area of air circulation within Scotiabank Place.
"We've made significant improvements to reduce the amount of air blowing down on fans while also being able to maintain a high quality of ice with the proper temperature," he said.
Still a few years away is a new scoreboard for the building, although the planning has already started.
"We've done the investigation in terms of pricing and technologies and we've met with the two largest (scoreboard) manufacturers in the world," said Leeder. "It'll be part of our capital planning. I don't know if it will be next year or the year after. But sometime in the next five years, it's certainly in our time frame to get a new board."