Coyotes to reduce arena seating capacity next season

Posted: 21/03/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , ,

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The Arizona Coyotes will have fewer tickets to sell next season.

That’s because the team will section off the four upper corners of Gila River Arena for most home games in 2017-18, a move that will reduce seating capacity to 15,869. Only the MTS Centre of the Winnipeg Jets and the Barclays Center of the New York Islanders have smaller capacities.

“Removing some of this excess inventory and concentrating our great fans closer together represents an opportunity to improve the fan experience,” Coyotes spokesperson Rich Nairn told Brahm Resnik of 12 News on Friday.

It’s familiar territory for the NHL. In 2010, the Florida Panthers closed off nearly 2,500 seats in Sunrise’s BB&T Center, described as an effort to create a more intimate fan experience.

The Coyotes have the league’s second-lowest attendance, according to ESPN, averaging just under 13,000 fans per game, ahead of only the Carolina Hurricanes. Arizona also ranks 29th in percentage capacity, at 75.7 percent.

The Coyotes have a lease agreement at Glendale’s Gila River Arena through next season, while efforts continue to build a new arena in the East Valley or downtown Phoenix.

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