Empty seats, within reason, is a good thing. Selling out regularly isn't good for the atmosphere. Ticketing is the reason now the atmosphere isn't up to much, fans can't get together with big groups of friends or with like minded fans. So those noisier fans can't congregate to create the atmosphere. This means that it takes more from what's going on on the pitch to get the fans going.
Too true. I went the game with the same group of mates for many years and stood with them or sat in the stands with them. Now, you mainly meet outside and then separate and meet at the end. It's definitely spoiled the day out with the lads feeling I used to have.