Melnyk: Ontario's capacity limits should and will be challenged

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Eugene Melnyk does not agree with Ontario's current capacity restrictions for sporting events.

"It's my first game with empty seats," the Ottawa Senators owner told Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch during his team's win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. "It's sad. I don't know who the people are that come up with these rules.

"They're misinformed and they're miscalculated. They should be challenged and they will be challenged."

Amid the surge of the omicron variant in December, the Ontario government reduced the maximum allowable capacity at sporting events and large entertainment venues to the lesser of 50% or 1,000 people.

Earlier in January, the province said it would allow the same locations to operate at 50% capacity or 500 people beginning Jan. 31, and restrictions would be eased to 50% capacity as of Feb. 21. The plan is to completely lift limits on March 14.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as the NBA's Toronto Raptors and Scotiabank Arena, is in discussions with the province in hopes of lifting the restrictions, according to Garrioch.

The NHL postponed 14 Senators games - including eight home dates - this season due to COVID-19 issues. All of those matchups have been rescheduled, with five of them planned for after Feb. 21.

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Melnyk: Ontario's capacity limits should and will be challenged
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