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Eastern Conference Finals watch parties at the St. Pete Times Forum

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Games 1 and 2 of th NHL's Eastern Conference Finals will have watch parties for fans at the St. Pete Times forum (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Games 1 and 2 of th NHL's Eastern Conference Finals will have watch parties for fans at the St. Pete Times forum (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Before the 2011 NHL Playoffs officially got underway, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced plans for watch parties throughout the area for each road game during the playoffs. The trend continues during the Eastern Conference finals, but the locale has changed.

Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Final, road games at TD Garden in Boston, will have coinciding watch parties at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa. The press release by the team (posted below the jump) makes one think these viewing parties will take place on the wall of the West Parking garage, in the West plaza at the forum, as fans are encouraged to bring "blankets, lawn chairs" and other items.

The full release and the schedule can be found below.

LIGHTNING TO HOST PLAYOFF WATCH PARTIES FOR GAMES 1, 2

OF EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS VERSUS BRUINS

TAMPA BAY The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that it will host watch parties, presented by Bud Light, for each of the team’s first two road games of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, May 14, and Tuesday, May 17, at the St. Pete Times Forum beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Fans are advised to arrive an hour and a half prior to the puck drop to enjoy a number of amenities outside on the west plaza before the game, such as live music and entertainment, games, various fan activities and more. Individuals are also permitted to bring blankets, lawn chairs and coolers packed with food and non-alcoholic drinks, although various food items and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at the arena. There will be opportunities to score great giveaways including free tickets to an upcoming Lightning home playoff game and up to 50 percent savings on select food and beverage items. Each fan in attendance for Game 1 will also receive a complimentary Lightning playoff coffee mug, while the first 500 fans who arrive at the arena for Game 2 on Tuesday night will receive a free Bolts Nation fan pack while supplies last. Free parking will be available in both the Forum West Lot, as well as the VIP East Lot, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Director of Radio Programming Matt Sammon will kick off all the action on WFLA 970-AM beginning at 7:30 p.m. with the pregame show and will also wrap up the evening with a postgame segment complete with analysis from Lightning television color commentator Bobby "the Chief" Taylor. Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals will also take place at TD Garden in Boston before the series shifts to home ice for Games 3 and 4.

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