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Leafs' fans not welcome

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Okay, Winnipeg.

So the Jets lost yesterday and now have a 5-6-1 record.

It could be worse.

Just ask the Ottawa Senators, who have a 7-4-2 record but this week had to ask season ticket holders to stop selling tickets to fans of other teams.

Yes, you read that correctly.

In an email to subscribers this week, the Sens leadership offered a 20 per cent discount on tickets to Sens-Leafs games but with an odd condition.

"We are asking you to ensure that the tickets are used by Senators fans and not re-sold to the general public. Any seats being re-sold will be subject to cancellation and loss of privileges with respect to future additional ticket pre-sales."

They flat-out admitted they didn’t want the tickets to end up in the hands of rival teams’ fans.
One just can’t imagine Mark Chipman pleading with Winnipeggers not to sell their tickets to Minnesota Wild fans.

Granted the excitement around the Jets is in part driven by the newness of having the team back, and the Ottawa conundrum is driven by geography (Leafs and Habs fans can get to Ottawa easily, and tickets are often easier to come by than they are in their own cities), as well as by the fact before the Senators came along, most Ottawa residents cheered for either Toronto or Montreal. A lot of them never gave up that allegiance.

But if you go to a Sens game it’s not just Leafs jerseys and Habs jerseys that you see.

When this reporter went to a Jets’ game here in Ottawa last year, she feared she’d sort of stand out by wearing her Jets retro sweater. In actual fact, I would have been more unique if I’d chosen to wear my Senators gear. I was surrounded by former Winnipeggers all cheering loudly and the Jets even gave us a win.

Same holds true when Boston plays in Ottawa -- the Bruins’ jerseys at the very least rival the Sens gear in the crowd.

The only time Ottawa residents suddenly find their home team pride is during the playoffs.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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