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Lightning Home Opener Set for Saturday Night

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The home opener for the 16th season of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey is Saturday as the Bolts play host to the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Pete Times Forum. All fans will receive a Lightning schedule magnet courtesy of Bud Light as they enter, and the entire Lightning team will walk the red carpet on the Chrysler/Jeep Plaza before entering the building.

Saturday night’s party atmosphere will also include:

•    Live band, Rhythm Method, on the plaza (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
•    AST Dew Tour BMX demo & Mongoose bike giveaway
•    Rock-climbing wall
•    Four-station bungee trampoline
•    Shane’s Rib Shack tailgate party
•    Kids’ games
•    FanLand games
•    Busch Gardens Howl O’ Scream display
•    Verve Energy Drink sampling truck
•    Appearances from the Lightning Girls, Energy Team & ThunderBug
•    Debut of the Lightning’s new in-arena band, The Frozen Funk, presented by Music Showcase
•    Tampa Bay Rays ALCS game on the parking garage wall and concourse televisions

The 2008-09 Lightning have undergone a top-to-bottom transformation during the off-season, with some of the most exciting talent in the NHL joining returnees such as captain Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Mike Smith, Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger. Among the newcomers expected to help lead Tampa Bay back to the top of the Southeast Division are forwards Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi, Radim Vrbata and Adam Hall, as well as defensemen Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle, Lukas Krajicek and goaltender Olaf Kolzig.

Perhaps most exciting for Lightning fans in 2008-09 is the chance to watch 2008 No. 1 draft choice Steven Stamkos blossom into an NHL star. Former Los Angeles Kings coach Barry Melrose will lead the Lightning from behind the bench, along with associate coach Rick Tocchet and assistant coaches Cap Raeder and Wes Walz.

Fans arriving at the St. Pete Times Forum can expect unprecedented changes once they step inside:

- All Lightning fans will have many new food and beverage options throughout the St. Pete Times Forum.
•    Four new liquor bars at sections 111, 128, 209, and 306
•    Daily selections of fudge sold at section 108
•    Guests may now order their food and beverages through convenient kiosks and have the food delivered to their seat!
•    New kid’s meal option with choice of tenders/fries, hot dog, or PB&J
•    Sixteen ounce aluminum bottles offered at Bud Light Blue Line Club and Shots.
•    Test your “Rock Band” skills!  Rock Band, the game, will be available for guests in Shots for all to compete!
•    Looking for another beverage option?  JuiceBlendz is now available at sections 108 and 123 stands!
•    Verve, the Insanely Healthy Energy Drink is now the official energy drink of the Lightning and the St Pete Times forum and available at concessions and bars throughout the building.
•    The options just keep on coming!  Monstah Lobstah will offer their products at section 123
•    Everyone loves food on a stick!  Steak & chicken on a stick are now available!
•    White Castle burgers are everyone’s favorite and will now be offered at most bar locations
•    Richard’s Express Cuban cuisine and Wok Works Oriental stir-fry now available at the stand behind section 124
•    The St. Pete Times Forum will continue as a leader in “Going Green.”  Recycling efforts will continue to be expanded  

Building Additions

•    All new CCM Graphics Solutions Club - Located in section 213 with a great view of the ice, this club will host groups of 40-50 people for all hockey and arena football games.  It will also be available for many concerts and shows, and will boast an all-inclusive food and beverage menu. Guests can receive a “scrap booked” timeline of their evening, with pictures and a book prepared for the group leader by CCM Printing.

•    Kane’s Entertainment Center - Kane’s Entertainment Center is one of our latest additions to the St. Pete Times Forum.  Kane’s Entertainment Center will play host to the Lightning’s first live band, The Frozen Funk.  The Frozen Funk, presented by Music Showcase, will appear 17 times throughout the season.  The Lightning Girls will also perform from this new area each and every game!


Entertain in style with the best food and beverage selection in the Tampa Bay area!  There are 31 new items offered on this season’s menu along with enhanced favorites.  Also new:

•    Elimination of the 17.5% Service Charge on all orders.  You award your servers as you see fit!
•    “Green” Efforts
     •     Food Platters
     •     Menus on CD
     •     No paper event day menu in suite – permanent laminated flip stand
•    Make your event one to remember!  Customized ice sculptures are now available and carved by an in-house artist!

The hottest styles in Lightning apparel are only available at the St. Pete Times Forum!

•    Seventy new styles of hats, 80 new apparel items, and more than 30 new novelty items from which to select
•    All New for 08-09!! New Digital Garment Printer at the Jersey stand located at section 128.  This digital printer can make custom made shirts, golf balls, and apparel items.
•    Custom made embroidered hats and shirts will also be available at section 320 on our new six needle embroidery machine!

XO VIP Club and Channelside Club

Continually used as the example for the best all-inclusive concepts, the XO VIP Club and Channelside Club are always on the cutting edge.  These are just a few of the new items and amenities available to their members:

•    Eight new themed menus
•    Nightly fresh baked cookies
•    Dessert pizza selection
•    The Fudge Shop; six flavors made fresh daily
•    New action stations; sliders, pressed Cubans, lettuce wraps, Gyros, quesadillas, along with all the returning favorites
•    One of the coolest new amenities will be the ability to see the players work out from the XO VIP Club!   
•    XO VIP Club members now are super pass holders!  They will be allowed access to the Channelside Club as well to increase their food and beverage options.

Terrace Tables

•    Located in section 318, this area will play host to three tables of four guests. It offers In-seat service, allowing guests to purchase food and beverages from all Terrace Level concession stands.

Family Packs

•    This year’s Westshore Family Pack will include four tickets, four slices of Westshore Pizza, & four Pepsis

New Group Sales initiatives

•    Pre-game Performance on Plaza
Have your group perform on the stage outside prior to the game (examples include bands, cheerleading groups, dance groups etc) (20 minutes of time).  All you need to do is purchase 100 or more tickets for that game!
•    Penalty Box
Sit in the penalty box during pregame warm up and witness the action up close and personal.  Four people will get this unique experience with a 75+ ticket purchase.
•    High Five Tunnel
Your youth group of 10 people will stand outside the tunnel and high five the players as they take to the ice during warm-ups with a 75+ ticket purchase
•    Group Photo
Bring your group onto the ice after a game to get their picture taken where the pros play with any 50+ ticket purchase
•    Honorary Lightning Girl
Your daughter will shadow the Lightning girls for a period.  Be a part of the action and follow their every move as they entertain the crowd!  Ages 6-15 can take advantage of this fun night with a purchase of 50+ tickets
•    Shootout
With a 50+ ticket purchase, you can take a post-game shot on goal following Friday night games!

Back Again for 08-09!

•    Student Rush – show your College ID starting two hours before game time and purchase any remaining single seats for $20 on the lower level or $7 on the upper level.

•    It’s Florida………might as well Tailgate! – This package includes all you can eat and drink: Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, potato chips, beer, soda, and water. The pre-game tailgate starts 2 1/2 hours prior to game time and ends at game time. Located on the West Plaza. This package is available for all Saturday and Sunday games.


•    Trolleys at the Embassy Suites Tampa – Downtown is the new home of Lightning Hockey Hotline, the Lightning’s official post-game call-in show. Fans can join Bobby “The Chief” Taylor and Matt Sammon after every home game this season at Trolleys for Lightning Hockey Hotline on 620 WDAE. Drink and food specials will be featured.

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