Study: Fans still backing 'Gades

TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Ottawa's football fans aren't ready to give up on the Renegades ... or the Gliebermen, yet.

A study commissioned by the Renegades and obtained by the Sun last night suggests that while Ottawa football fans may not be thrilled with the recent on-field product, they're still willing to support the club.

The sample size for the study, by Boulder, Colo.-based Leisure Trends Group, involved more than 1,500 people -- a cross-section of fans from season-ticket holders, single-ticket purchasers and locations throughout the stadium. The poll was done during three home games -- against B.C., Winnipeg and Hamilton -- two losses and a win.

Asked: "How likely are you to come back to a Renegades game," 63% said absolutely, 27% said likely, 10% said maybe and just 0.5% said never. Fans in the South Upper side were the most positive, with 68% responding absolutely.

Asked: "Your interest level in the Renegades," 51% said higher this year (65% from the under-25 crowd), 45% said same as in the past, while just 4% said less than last year.

Another fact uncovered in the study, which could be released today: While the mean age of a Renegades fan is 37 (38 for men and 35 for women), the biggest percentage of fans is in the 40-49 grouping.

Thirty-one percent of those polled say it was a good idea to cancel the Mardi Gras Madness promotion, while 41% said it was a bad idea and 29% didn't care.

The videoboard came under criticism. Thirty-five percent of those polled gave it less than a five out of 10 ranking. The mean was 5.5 for men and 5.9 for women. The sound system may also need some work, with a 6.0 mean from men and 6.4 for women.

Parking availability was also addressed, with 12% rating it 1 out of 10. On the other hand, 11% said parking was excellent.

Music at the game scored well, with 68% rating it above average.

The dance team also scored very well, with a 7.4 mean from men and 6.5 from women.

The Renegades might want to work on their concession pricing. A whopping 31% thought the pricing was poor, with only 27% saying it was above average.

"This showed us clearly where the problems were," said Renegades president Lonie Glieberman. "(The concessions) stood out as negative."


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