Jay Kopinski/Icon Sportswire
September 07, 2017

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk believes less could mean more.

Tired of seeing too many empty seats, the NHL club is reducing the capacity at Canadian Tire Centre by 1,500 to about 17,000. Rows in the upper bowl have been covered with tarps.

The team struggled to sell out last season, even in the playoffs.

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''The attendance shifts have been dramatic over a period of two decades,'' Melnyk said Thursday. ''The whole trend now is less seats and more clubs and frankly smaller stadiums. When you look at things like a new stadium downtown, we're not going to build a 20,000-seat stadium. It will probably be closer to 15,000-17,000 in there.''

Melnyk and team president Tom Anselmi wouldn't reveal season-ticket numbers, but are hopeful that by removing seats fans will feel the need to purchase season tickets with the potential of there being fewer tickets available on a walk-up basis.

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