Melnyk deletes tweet touting 'robust' plan for 6K fans in Senators' arena

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk quickly backtracked Tuesday after sharing his plan to have thousands of fans attend games at the team's arena.

Melnyk tweeted out his vision Tuesday at around noon ET but deleted it less than two hours later.

Shortly before Melnyk deleted the tweet, Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said, "Those aren't the conversations we're having at this time," when asked if his team hoped to have fans in attendance at Scotiabank Arena, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Melnyk's plan, which he first publicized in an interview last week, is still featured on his personal website.

The longtime chairman of the club later all but admitted his plan was ill-advised.

"The Ottawa Senators are committed to continuing the development of a plan that allows fans to safely enjoy NHL hockey in-person - but only when the time is right," Melnyk wrote in a follow-up post on the site. "That time is not now."

He added, "We understand as an organization that we must do our part to control this virus before we can entertain plans to bring fans back into our arena."

Ontario continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 cases amid a lockdown that will extend until at least Jan. 23. It declared a second provincial emergency - including a stay-at-home order and enhanced enforcement measures - on Tuesday.

Melnyk deletes tweet touting 'robust' plan for 6K fans in Senators' arena
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