Sunday, December 3, 2006

Fans keep seats empty: Garden, league suffer

Fans keep seats empty: Garden, league suffer
By Douglas Flynn/ NHL notes
CNC Sports Reporter
Sunday, December 3, 2006 - Updated: 12:35 AM EST

The Bruins had just won seven of their last nine games. They were coming home Thursday fresh off back-to-back emotional wins against the division rival Maple Leafs in Toronto.

With the Red Sox in hibernation, the Patriots next game three days away and the Celtics heading in the opposite direction in the standings, the game was sure to be a hot ticket in town. Not quite. The matchup drew a season-low 11,150, leaving more than a third of the Garden’s 17,565 seats for hockey empty as the B’s pulled out a dramatic 4-3 shootout victory.

Empty seats are nothing new this year. In 13 home games, the Bruins have sold out just one, the home opener Oct. 19 against Calgary. And even with an official sellout announced that night, there were still a large number of vacant chairs in the building.

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