Just tickets for Sens fans

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

The Senators' wealthiest booster is making it cheaper for others to attend games.

Calling himself a fan first and an owner second, Eugene Melnyk has introduced two initiatives aimed at solidifying the fan base, especially among kids.

Surrounded by 30 Grade 4 students from St. Anne Catholic School in Kanata, Melnyk introduced the team's two-headed Fan First program.

The Future Fans Pak is designed to get more kids to Scotiabank Place. For 13 of the the remaining 18 home games this season, a total of 10,000 tickets have been made available at $20 apiece. That price includes a drink and hotdog. A parent ticket is $29 in this promotion.

DOORS OPEN TO PRACTICE

The offer starts with the team's next home game, Feb. 3, against the Kings.

The second initiative is the Esso Game Day Experience, which opens the SBP doors free of charge to all fans for the morning skate on each of the five remaining Saturday home dates.

Along with watching practice, fans will see a video outlining players' game-day routines.

The first 500 kids through the doors will also receive a Senators poster.

"We want to acknowledge what I believe are the greatest fans in the world," said Melnyk. "These fans have been with us in tough times ... to great times when we were in the Stanley Cup finals.

"They are here with us when we have a bit of a slump. It overwhelms me to see the support. I put myself in their shoes and said, 'what can we do for them?' "

Melnyk is confident the Senators will survive the economic storm, even though the number of season-ticket holders is down almost 2,000 from the all-time high of 13,000 last year.


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