Tampa Bay Lightning developmental camp clarification for the Fourth of July
There's been some confusion that has been popping up throughout the social media world with conflicting reports coming from the two ultimate sources linked to the Lightning's 2012 developmental camp: The venue and the franchise itself.
Let me just keep this short and direct in order to avoid further confusion: Contrary to information being spread to the fans this afternoon, the July 4th developmental camp remains open to the public and free as is almost every and any practice at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum. That fact has been confirmed and repeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning, via email from the Lightning's media relations manager Brian Breseman to a Twitter posting by team beat reporter Peter Pupello.
This contradicts the news that was being spread from Ice Sports Forum staff who were telling fans in attendance at today's development camp practice that the rink would be closed tomorrow. The same sentiment was repeated to fans that called the Ice Sports Forum to get an idea of when prospects would hit the ice.
Add social media to the equation and this spread quickly (...in 140 characters or less) on Twitter and elsewhere on in social media, leaving fans confused and frustrated.
At this point in time, I'd encourage fans to treat things exactly as they always would: Enjoy an open practice in Brandon, be prepared because parking goes fast out there. Have fun, congregate with fellow Bolts fans and celebrate Independence Day with the team and the sport you love.
At the same time, this illustrates a coordination issue between the Lightning and the Ice Sports Forum. The two entities are in a business relationship and are operating with their own interests in mind. Those interests have conflicted before with various anecdotes over the span of more than a decade, with the groups left in the middle of this being the players and the fans.