Canadiens Sell Out Home Arena for Road Game 7 Against BruinsEben Novy-Williams
The Montreal Canadiens sold out their 21,273-seat Bell Centre for tonight’s playoff Game 7 against the Bruins in Boston.
Tickets for a viewing party in Montreal went on sale yesterday for C$10 ($9.20) and sold out in less than two hours, team spokesman Donald Beauchamp said today in a telephone conversation. That’s over C$210,000 in ticket sales for a game being played 310 miles (500 kilometers) away in a different country.
The Canadiens have a National Hockey League-record 23 Stanley Cup titles, 10 more than the next closest team. Montreal has sold out every home regular season and playoff game dating back to 2004, Beauchamp said.
The team began hosting Game 7 watch parties during the 2010 playoffs, according to Beauchamp. The Bell Centre, which calls itself the largest arena by seating capacity in North America, was sold out when Montreal beat the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road that season to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
The winner of tonight’s game, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. eastern time, will face the New York Rangers for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final. The Canadiens have not won a title since 1993.
Tonight’s watch party includes door prizes and booths selling Canadiens-themed tattoos and haircuts, according to the team website. Concession stands will be open, and Beauchamp said an unspecified portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and on-site purchases will go to Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation, which since 2000 has donated more than C$15 million do help underprivileged youths in Quebec.
The Canadiens averaged a sellout crowd of 21,273 for all 41 regular-season home games this year, third-most in the NHL behind the Chicago Blackhawks (22,623) and Detroit Red Wings (22,149), who use standing-room tickets to sell above their arenas’ seating capacities. Montreal has been in the league’s top three in attendance since at least 2000-01, according to ESPN.
The only Canadian team to reach the NHL playoffs, Montreal finished the season with 100 points, fourth most in the Eastern Conference. The team swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.
(An earlier version of this story corrected a currency conversion.)