A couple of days ago, we made reference in Quick Strikes to the disaster of fan outreach that was the Toronto Maple Leafs "Fan Festival" last weekend in Toronto. High ticket prices for access and concessions made the event anything but an attempt at a fan outreach / fan appreciation.
An example of how Tampa Bay (in general with sports - not just tied to the Lightning) does fan fests is forthcoming with the Tampa Bay Lightning fan fest, scheduled for Saturday, September 27th at Amalie Arena. Tickets will be-- wait, tickets? No. You're not going to get charged for access. Parking fees for Lightning controlled lots will be dropped to $5 for the event. Autograph sessions will take place, a 45 minute scrimmage it to be had... You know, actually an event that embraces fans. Here's quoting the team press release on the subject:
The Lightning's annual Fan Fest event is free and open to the public. The doors to the arena will open at 10 a.m. and fans can park in any Lightning-owned lot for a discounted rate of $5 and enter through the grand entrance on Ford Thunder Alley. The team will be split into two groups and will scrimmage from noon until 12:45 p.m.
Half of the Lightning players will sign autographs for 45 minutes on the concourse beginning at 1:15 p.m. The second group of Bolts players will sign for fans from2-2:45 p.m. The event will conclude following the autograph signings.
In addition to meeting the team and watching the Lightning scrimmage, fans will also have the chance to receive discounted prices on food and beverages from concession stands inside Amalie Arena. The Lightning Kids Zone will offer young Lightning fans an opportunity to participate in fun activities.
You'll get access like this to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team; you'll get access like this to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. That's quite the contradiction to what a storied NHL market pulled with their long-suffering fan base a few days ago. Perhaps we're spoiled, not just because of this but traditional spring training access. Whatever the case, Bolts fans should make plans for the last Saturday this month.