We're about a week away from the start of the (second) 2013 Tampa Bay Lightning training camp, and with camp reporting scheduled for September 11th and on ice activities scheduled for the next day... Well, why not get the fans involved too?
The Bolts sent out official an official press release (quoted in full below) about the next Tampa Bay Lightning Fan Fest, scheduled for next Saturday starting at 8 AM at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
(With large thanks in part to the likes of Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr, the Lightning held a public Fan Fest at the Forum back in January after the end of the 2012 NHL lockout.)
Along with three groups practicing at Times Palace and different distractions for everyone (autographs! Balloon animals! Cheap concessions! Oh, and hockey!) a charity "Battle of the Badges" game will be held around midday.
No, we don't have that game's roster yet. Patience, please...
Doors open bright and early and will be wrapped up around 3 PM. The team release is below.
LIGHTNING TO HOST FAN FEST NEXT SATURDAY AT TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM
Bolts to Welcome Fans for the Upcoming 2013-14 Season with Autographs, Open Practice
TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning will welcome fans back to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in preparation for the upcoming 2013-14 season with Fan Fest next Saturday, September 14 beginning at 8 a.m.
The Lightning's annual Fan Fest event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 8 a.m. next Saturday and fans should park in either the Forum East or Forum West Lot and enter through the main entrance. The team will be split into three groups, with the first group hitting the ice at 8:30 a.m., followed by the second group at 10 a.m. At 11:30 a.m. the Lightning will be hosting the Battle of the Badges Charity game presented by Bright House Networks between local firefighters and police officers. The third Lightning group will hit the ice at 12:30 p.m.
During the charity hockey game, the first two Lightning groups of players will be signing autographs in the concourse beginning at 11:45 a.m. The third Lightning practice group will head to the concourse at 2:15 p.m. to sign items for Lightning fans. The event will conclude at 3 p.m.
In addition to meeting the team and watching the Lightning prepare for the upcoming season, those in attendance will have the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets at the McDonald's ® Box Office. Fans will also have the chance to shop in the Lightning's official team store, Tampa Bay Sports, which will feature steeply discounted items. Concession stands will be open offering Lightning fans discounted food items, including $2 hot dogs, $1 sodas, $4 beers, $2 Little Caesars ® pizza slices, free popcorn and $2 coffees. The Lightning Kids Zone will offer young Lightning fans a chance to get their faces painted, receive balloon animals, as well as many other fun offers.
Full Season Ticket Members will receive a number of benefits just by wearing their STM jersey. They will receive free parking (space limited) in the West Lot as well as exclusive autograph opportunities on the Club Level. Full Season Ticket Members will also receive free hot dogs, popcorn, sodas and water in the Club Level from noon to 2 p.m. Fan Fest is also a great opportunity for Season Ticket Members to redeem their loyalty and rewards program benefits or pick up their STM jersey if they have not done so already at the Lakewood Ranch Client Services Lounge.
Additionally the Lightning will be holding a free hockey clinic following Fan Fest at 4 p.m. at the Times Forum. Participants will be divided into two groups: eight and under, as well as 12 and under. Fans that wish to participate in the free clinic are asked to register at www.tampabaylightning.com/LightningMade.