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WHA Ottawa Civics Home Program and Ticket Stub - Very Rare
Lot #420

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WHA Ottawa Civics Home Program and Ticket Stub - Very Rare
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WHA Ottawa Civics Home Program and Ticket Stub - Very Rare
Lot #420

This orange program and ticket stub are from the first ever home game of the Ottawa Civics and 1 of only 2 home games the Civics would ever play. The Denver Spurs were a minor league franchise playing in the Western Hockey League from 1968 through the 1973-74 season.  When the WHL folded in 1974, the Spurs transferred to the Central Hockey League for the 1974-75 season.  Ivan Mullenix, owner of Spurs, had been awarded a "conditional" NHL franchise for the 1976-77 season. With their arena already complete by 1975, he looked to enter the NHL a year early, and the league attempted to broker an arrangement by which Mullenix would acquire the California Golden Seals franchise and move them to Denver in lieu of an expansion team.  The arrangement fell through, and with continuing franchise difficulties, the NHL called off the 1976-77 expansion. Mullenix then opted to move the Spurs to the WHA for the 1975-76 season.

Fans in Denver had been banking on an NHL team after three years of advertising, and did not consider the WHA to be a major league. As a result, fans stayed away from Spurs games. The first exhibition game, against Gordie Howe and the Houston Aeros, proved to be a microcosm of their brief stay in the WHA. No beer was available because the Spurs were unable to get a liquor license, there was no flag to face during the national anthem, the scoreboards didn't work and only 5,000 fans showed up. The situation didn't get much better during the regular season as they only averaged 3,000 fans in a 16,800-seat arena.

On January 2, 1976, without so much as a press release, the Spurs were quietly moved to Ottawa and renamed the Civics. The players only learned of the move at their road game that night in Cincinnati, when they stood on the ice in their Denver jerseys and suddenly heard O’ Canada being played. They played 2 more road games as the Civics (Against Houston and Minnesota), before playing their first home game against the New England Whalers.

On January 7, 1976, WHA hockey returned to Ottawa. A crowd of 8,500 was in attendance at the Ottawa Civic Centre as the Civics fell to New England, 3–2. After two more road losses the Civics returned to Ottawa January 15 against Gordie Howe's Houston Aeros. A sellout crowd of 9,355 saw the game go to overtime with the Aeros scoring the game winner.

On January 17, 1976, the league issued a brief statement that the Ottawa Civics had formally ceased to operate. The remaining players who had not been sold were declared free agents and a dispersal draft was held.  Because of the rushed nature of the move, the Civics never did adopt a logo or colors, and continued to wear the Spurs' uniforms with the front crest removed.

The final totals of the Civics franchise read like this:  7 total games played with only 2 played at home.  Here is your chance to acquire a program and ticket stub from the first game of a WHA franchise that only played two home games.  The program and ticket stub are in beautiful condition.  An incredible opportunity!