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Ottawa Senators Owner Clarifies That He Doesn't Think Fans Should Be In Arenas Right Now

He originally said he'd submitted a 'robust' plan to get 6,000 fans back in seats.

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk surely made Sens fans excited when he tweeted that he'd submitted a "robust public safety plan" that would see 6,000 fans return to Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre.

But just a few hours later, Melnyk had deleted the tweets and clarified that the time is not right to let fans come into in the arena.

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While the @Senators organization remains optimistic that we will have an opportunity to eventually welcome fans back to Canadian Tire Centre — now is not the time. Eugene Melnyk via Twitter

In his new statement, Melnyk said the Senators understand why having fans attend games was unfeasible at this time.

"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," he wrote.

"For the first time since I became owner of the Senators, my family and I will not be attending opening night. Like thousands of others, we will be watching and cheering the game from home," he continued.

"When the day comes that we can allow fans back to games in a safe way, you can rest assured that our organization will be ready," Melnyk wrote.

The NHL is returning on January 13, though it will look very different this year.

All Canadian NHL teams are in a division together, in order to reduce the amount of cross-border travel.

The shortened season will only last for 56 games.