The Tampa Bay Lightning have designated the final two home games of the 2011-12 regular season as Fan Appreciation Nights, designed to recognize fans for their dedication and loyalty to the organization over the past season.
Kids Rule the Rink Night, to be held on Saturday, March 31 vs. the Winnipeg Jets (7 p.m., Sun Sports, AM 970 WFLA) and Fan Appreciation Night on Monday, April 2 vs. the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m., Versus, AM 970 WFLA) will feature numerous enhanced fan experiences including contests, giveaways, and many food and beverage specials.
Beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the first 3,000 fans will receive a Lightning banner flag, presented by McDonald’s ®, and kids will be given a free mini thunder fan as they enter through the gates. Fans will be greeted by ThunderBug and the Lightning Girls, and face painters and balloon artists will be on the west plaza for children. As an added perk, goody bags will be provided at the MetroPCS Client Services Lounge for the kids of Season Ticket Members. Fans attending Saturday’s game will have the opportunity to purchase foam fingers, player sticks and pucks, puck heads and more for 50% off the retail price at the new Tampa Bay Sports fan store. Individuals coming to the game against the Jets can get free popcorn and cotton candy up until puck-drop on Saturday.
During the game on Saturday, kids will also have the chance to win hockey sticks through an in-game Twitter contest. Select kids will also participate in the high-five tunnel, sit with Ray at the pipe organ and sit in the penalty box.
For Monday’s Fan Appreciation Night, select fans will win the opportunity to receive a jersey on the ice immediately after the game from a Lightning player. Lightning players will take their jerseys right off their backs after the game and present them to the lucky winners. Season Ticket Members will be pre-entered into the drawing for a chance to win a cruise, two night stay at Lowe’s Don CeSar Beach Resort, an iPad 2 courtesy of CDW, Haier 32” LCD TV courtesy of Buddy’s Home Furnishing, gift cards, signed sticks and much more.
On Monday, fans are also encouraged to arrive early for player red carpet arrivals beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the west plaza. There will be face painters and balloon artists on the plaza pre-game as well as live music. Fans will also be able to register to win unique experiences and prizes on the plaza including signed player sticks and the chance to fire the tesla coils. The first 3,000 fans attending the game against the Capitals will receive a Phil Esposito replica statue, presented by Kane’s Furniture. Prior to the puck-drop, individuals can purchase hot dogs and sodas for a discounted price of $1 each. Additionally, scratched Lightning players will sign autographs for select PNC Bank Club and XO VIP Club members.