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Florida Panthers to increase capacity (again) for Game 5 v. Lightning

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The Florida Panthers had an announced attendance of 9,636 for Game 1 of their playoff series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Capacity at BB&T Center is going up to over 14,000 for Game 5. // Photo by @GeorgeRichards

After playing to half capacity crowds for the first two games of their playoff series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers will have a higher capacity at BB&T Center for Game 5 on Monday.

The team announced on Sunday that the arena would be at just under 75 percent capacity for Florida’s must-win playoff game against the Lightning.

Florida announced crowds of 9,636 at both Game 1 and 2 last week; the new capacity would allow an attendance north of 14,000 on Monday.

If the Panthers reach that number, it would be the largest crowd at an NHL game since the pandemic started last year.

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“We’re excited about the opportunity,” coach Joel Quenneville said on Sunday.

“We’re going to have more fans in the building and the crowds have been outstanding, the enthusiasm in this playoff environment is something we love. Let’s look to take advantage on home ice.”

The Miami Heat plan on increasing the capacity at AmericanAirlines Arena to 17,000 for Game 3 of its first-round series with Milwaukee.

Nashville announced a crowd of 12,135 on Friday night; Carolina had 12,000 in Raleigh for Game 2.

The Lightning announced a crowd of 9,762 for Game 4 at Amalie Arena.

With the larger crowd, social distancing will be harder to enforce but all fans over the age of 2 are “asked to wear masks.”

Tickets are on sale starting at $62 and must be purchased in groups — a minimum of two and a maximum of five per the Ticketmaster.com site.

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