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Lightning increasing Amalie Arena to full capacity

Starting tonight, approximately 18,600 fans will be allowed to attend the Stanley Cup final.
Fans cheer as Canadiens goaltender Carey Price looks on after getting beat on a goal by Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov during third period of Game 1.
Fans cheer as Canadiens goaltender Carey Price looks on after getting beat on a goal by Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov during third period of Game 1. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 30
Updated Jul. 1

TAMPA — For the first time in more than two years, Amalie Arena will be at full postseason fan capacity starting with tonight’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final.

The Lightning have received approval from the league to expand their capacity to approximately 18,600 fans, which is the most the facility is allowed to normally hold given that some seats are required by the league to be reserved for media.

When the Lightning won the Cup last year, no fans were inside the bubble in Toronto and Edmonton.

The Lightning have gradually increased capacity throughout this postseason. Capacity for Monday night’s Game 1 was 16,300 and they played Game 7 of the semifinals in front of 14,805. The postseason opened with just 7,000 at Amalie Arena.

The crowd will change when the series moves to Montreal, where capacity has been limited to 3,500. The Canadiens were working with the government to increase capacity to 10,500. Game 3 is Friday at the Bell Centre.

The league has mandated improved airflow requirements in order to fill arenas to a certain capacity. Teams had to order HVAC system upgrades to keep increasing attendance. That’s why you’ll see large machinery and airflow tubes along the south side of Amalie Arena.

The extra allotment of tickets is available through ticketmaster.com.

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