Arena staff get their game faces on

NELLY ELAYOUBI -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:38 AM ET

Ottawa Sens fans, you are the team's "seventh man."

"From the time they (fans) arrive here, we want them to get excited. The more excited they are before the game, the louder they are during the game and better it is for the team," said Jeff Kyle, the Sens vice-president of marketing.

For that reason, great time and effort and loyal dedication goes into the preparation of entertainment, food and beverages for fans to enjoy.

On any given home game night, 700-900 staff members work at Scotiabank Place. They are the people who pop the popcorn, slice the pizza, do the sound check and stack the cups that will later be filled with beer.

GREAT PEOPLE

"I love it. You get to know the people and the people are great," said 60-year-old Mary Thomas, dressed in her Sens jersey at a 100-level concession stand.

She's been doing it for 10 years and said the preparation she does starts three hours prior to game time. It includes counting food inventory, making sure the nachos are hot.

Hotdogs and beer are a popular combo, and pizza is a big seller too.

"We start with 30 slices and once they start selling, we just keep filling the case up," Thomas said.

Fifteen-year-old Peter Grajcar works a Rosie's Famous Beer Nuts concession stand. On a regular night, he'll sell 3,000 to 3,500 packages to nut crunching fans.

"It smells good and it tastes good," Grajcar said.

Glen Johnston was excited the playoffs had started.

A Goodwill Ambassador, he, along with a team of 38 volunteers, are the people who greet fans at the gates, handing them their "Rev Up the Red" thunder sticks.

"We have 20,000 to hand out for everyone," he said, dressed in his white Sens sweater and a red tie.

Come game time, the fans will not be disappointed.

Kyle said a team of five work for weeks to develop a hyped-up entertainment line-up.

"For a playoff game we add a lot of elements to it for entertainment and for the whole experience."

NELLY.ELAYOUBI@OTT.SUNPUB.COM


Videos

Photos