The Tampa Bay Lightning have designated the final three home games of the 2009-10 season as the centerpieces of Fan Appreciation Week, a celebration which recognizes the dedication and loyalty of the organization’s fans as well as the Tampa Bay community.
Fan Appreciation Week, to be held April 5-10, will feature numerous enhanced fan experiences including contests, giveaways, and many food and beverage specials. The Lightning’s final three games take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6 versus the Carolina Hurricanes (Sun Sports, AM 970 WFLA), Thursday, April 8 against the Ottawa Senators (Sun Sports, AM 970 WFLA) and Saturday, April 10 against the in-state rival Florida Panthers (CW 44, AM 70 WFLA).
Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, fans will be greeted by the Tampa Bay Storm Cheerleaders on the West Plaza and the in-house pep band, the Frozen Funk, will also play. Kids will be given the opportunity to create their own works of pre-game art at the MetroPCS Art on Ice area. Season ticket holders can present their membership card at sections 310, 327, 112 and 123 to receive a free gift, hot dog, popcorn, soda or water while supplies last. As an added perk, season ticket holders may present their membership card at the Lightning Locker behind section 126 to receive a 50% discount off any purchase in addition to receiving a number of additional gifts and upgrades. Season ticket holders at least 21 years of age may also enter to win a 19-inch flat screen television, courtesy of Bud Light, by submitting their entry in the MetroPCS Client Services Lounge before the second intermission.
On Thursday, April 8, and Saturday, April 10, fans are encouraged to arrive early on the Plaza to receive complimentary Bring It Back t-shirts, presented by the St. Petersburg Times, from the 2010 Storm Cheerleaders. Several autographed shirts will be randomly mixed in as well. Those in attendance at either game will have the chance to participate in some unique pre-game and in-game activities. Fans will have the opportunity to sign up to earn the chance to sound the goal horn, accompany in-arena public address announcer Paul Porter and visit with Lightning television analysts Rick Peckham and Bobby “the Chief” Taylor in the broadcast booth. Winners will be announced during the first period. The Sweetbay blimp will also drop signed player cards during the intermission.
On April 10 against Florida, Red Line Run, the winner of the Battle of the Bands contest, will perform during the pre-game festivities on the Plaza and face painters and balloon artists will stick around after the game in the Kids’ Club to provide fans with additional entertainment. Pro-Am golf pro Gary Koch will sign autographs for fans, and following the game, those in attendance can test their putting skills on the Outback Pro-Am green to enter for a chance to win green-hopper passes to this year’s tournament.
Upon the conclusion of the games against Ottawa and Florida, fans may test their slap shot on the ice. Pre-recorded player thank you messages will be played for the fans as well. In addition, those in attendance will receive 50% off of Lightning merchandise at the Lightning Locker.
Thunderbug, the Lightning Girls, PizzaVito and Pepin Distributing will also visit select suites throughout the duration of all three games. Autographed Lightning player t-shirts will be distributed to fans by the Bolt Brigade throughout the games, as well as free cotton candy, popcorn and peanuts outside arena concessions. Mr. Empanada will be giving away free vouchers for empanadas, good at any of their eight locations throughout the building. In addition, Gallagher’s will provide fans with $2 discount vouchers to be used at either of the two stands within the arena.
During all three games, fans will have the opportunity to enter to win an authentic jersey from 24 members of the 2009-2010 Tampa Bay Lightning by visiting the Lightning Foundation area behind Section 120. Tickets will be sold Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with winners being announced late in the game on Saturday. Fans do not need to be present to win. All proceeds will benefit the Lightning Foundation’s Annual Grant Program. The Lightning Foundation will also be working in conjunction with the Police Unity Tour, and will participate in the 50/50 raffle, throughout the week.
Fans may take advantage of a variety of great ticket offers to attend games throughout Fan Appreciation Week. The “Season Ticket Holder for a Day” program offers lower level end zone seats for $40 and terrace seats in the last seven rows for $10. April 10 against Florida has been designated as Bike Night, in which the first 100 fans to arrive to the game by motorcycle will gain entry to the game and admission to the Datz Tailgate for just $50. Students who show a college ID can gain entry to the game for $12, while also receiving food and drink, as well as a $5 IKEA gift card.
For more information on ticket discounts and other benefits, fans are encouraged to call 813.301.6600 or visit www.tampabaylightning.com.