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No more free tickets in Florida

New Year's Eve

Hockey fans wear New Year’s tiaras watch as the Florida Panthers warm up before the start of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)


The Florida Panthers didn’t quite have the lowest average attendance last season, at 14,177; that honor belonged to the Arizona Coyotes, at 13,775.

But there’s reason to believe the Panthers could finish 30th out of 30 in 2014-15. That’s because their new owners are vowing to stop giving away tickets.

“We are 100 percent ready for the reality that we’ll have smaller attendance this season,’' Doug Cifu said, per the Miami Herald.

“We want people who are there to be paying a fair price, the same price and enjoying a great product on the ice. We can get 15,000 in there if we gave away 5,000 seats. We don’t want to do that. It’s not fair.’'

Not fair to season-ticket holders who actually paid to sit in their seats, that is.

Cifu also reiterated that ownership is committed to staying in South Florida for the long run, despite speculation -- speculation that was fueled partly by ownership, it should be noted -- that the Panthers could relocate.

Related: Panthers to curtain off part of top deck?