This week’s Tampa Bay Lightning fan poll: Free stuff!

This season, Senior Columnist Clark Brooks will take the pulse of Raw Charge nation with a weekly poll about current or future events and non-happenings, for the sake of accomplishing not much, probably.

The NHL Centennial Fan Arena Tour, a celebration of the National Hockey League's 100 years of existence, opened Thursday at Amalie Arena. It runs through Saturday and is free to the public. Justin has written a terrific article about what’s involved with that event that you should check out before visiting.

Compared to other sports, hockey can be a cost-prohibitive pursuit. Not only for players, but for fans as well. So it’s nice when something free comes along. There will certainly be more and bigger events like this when the All Star festivities get rolling in January.

But you don’t have to wait for the NHL to pack up some cool stuff and hit the road if you want to enjoy hockey on a budget of nothing.

  • Home games on the big wall - The TV feed for Lightning home games is projected from the arena on to the big, white wall on the east side of the South Regional Parking garage. And since there’s no charge to visit Thunder Alley (the courtyard outside of the main entry), there’s no charge to hang out and watch the games on the biggest outdoor screen south of the FunLan Drive-In theater on Hillsborough Avenue.
  • Road games at the beach - Many road games are the subject of team-sponsored watch parties at the Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach.
  • Practices in Brandon - During training camp, practices at the soon-to-be renovated Ice Sports Forum are free and open to the public. Not so much during the regular season, unless an event taking place at the arena necessitates making other arrangements.
  • Raw Charge - All this juicy Tampa Bay Lightning content for the crazy low subscription price of just zero dollars ($0)!/

I’m presuming most of you are already pretty savvy about these, but I’m interested in finding out what you think is the best of these options and others. Please vote for your favorite in this week’s poll. And if I’ve forgotten something, which is entirely possible, feel free to submit a write-in vote in the comments.

What's your favorite free Lightning activity?

Watching home games at Thunder Alley9
Watching road games at watch parties8
Watching practices in Brandon7
Getting autographs from current players and Lightning alumni at team-sanctioned signings in the area2
Getting autographs from players coming and going from the parking compound3
Fan Fest14
Charity exhibition games (Lightning alumni vs Team USA, Firefighters vs Police, etc.) 1
The delightful polls and other articles by Clark Brooks at Raw Charge (please don’t vote for this cheap pandering; as much temporary gratification as it will give me, ultimately it will make me sad for you)10