TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning and the City of Oldsmar today held a Grand Opening and dropped the first puck on the Oldsmar Lightning Made Street Hockey Rink, presented by Heritage Insurance. The ceremony was immediately followed by several youth street hockey clinics, conducted by Lightning alumni. The rink is the second of 10 being built in the Tampa Bay community as part of the Lightning's Build the Thunder 2.0 and Connect the Thunder initiatives.
"This facility is as nice as any outdoor ball hockey rink in the country," said Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. "We'd like to salute the leadership at the City of Oldsmar for investing in its youth the way it has and for partnering with the Lightning to grow the game of hockey in our community. We also thank Bruce Lucas and Heritage Insurance for their sponsorship commitment to this rink, in turn generating more healthy opportunities for the young people of Tampa Bay."
The rink, located in the Oldsmar Sports Complex at 3120 Tampa Road, is the first of its kind in Pinellas County. On hand to help open the facility was Griggs, Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel, Lightning Vice President of Community Hockey Development Jay Feaster, Heritage Insurance CEO Bruce Lucas and Oldsmar City Manager Al Braithwaite. Following the Grand Opening ceremony, the Lightning Community Hockey department and alumni held clinics for all ages, including 3-6-year-olds from 10-11 a.m., 7-10-year-olds from 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 11-15-year-olds from 12-1 p.m. and 16 and older from 1-2 p.m.
"The City of Oldsmar was honored to be selected as the first 'Lightning Made' site in Pinellas County," said Mayor Eric Seidel. "Our facility is second to none and presents a very feasible opportunity for hockey fans to learn and play the sport they love. All players need to bring with them is the desire to have a great time. The Lightning and the city will provide everything else!"
The outdoor, covered facility was funded by the City of Oldsmar, by the Lightning and by Heritage Insurance. The city's commitment to the rink ensured that it would be one of the best of its kind in North America. It features a shade canopy, scoreboard, spectator seating, and large motorized fans to provide playing opportunities year-round, protecting players and spectators from the Florida sun and the region's unpredictable weather. Hockey sticks and game balls will be provided. Plus, the adult leagues will offer free registration.
"We are a proud partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning primarily because of their philanthropy and community involvement," Lucas said. "Their core values align closely with our core values at Heritage Insurance. Sponsoring the Oldsmar facility is a great way for us to show our commitment to a community that we cherish."
The Oldsmar rink will be fully programed to make sure everyone can participate. From October 13 through November 1 kids 14 and under will be able to play from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with open play intended for high school aged kids to adults from 7-9 p.m. On Saturday's and Sunday's players 14 and under will have the rink from 9-10:30 a.m. with high school aged kids and adults playing from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All participants must have a signed waiver on file, while those under the age of 18 require a parent or guardian signature.
"I have not been able to wait for the facility's opening with all that the rink will provide to our community and most excitedly to partner with the best organization in professional sports, the Tampa Bay Lightning," said City Manager Al Braithwaite. "As a lifetime hockey fan, I also can't wait to PLAY!!!"
For more information visit Boltsmar.com.