Lightning to host Launch Weekend, capping off with Lightning’s annual Fan Fest

click to enlarge The festive lightning bolt that struck down during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square. - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
The festive lightning bolt that struck down during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square.


This Friday, Sept. 18, at Amalie Arena, the Tampa Bay Lightning will host Lightning Launch Weekend, a three-day event to kickoff the 2015-16 season. The event starts Friday at 6 p.m. with Lightning Live, a free concert featuring UNRB, Tribal Style, Zulu Wave with DJ Kasper and DJ Lesage. The concert event will be held outside of the arena on Ford Thunder Alley and will include a live painting event by Pep Rally Inc. In addition, there will be live appearances by Thunderbug, the Lightning Girls, the Bolt Brigade and a Lightning player.

The festivities continue on Saturday in Clearwater at Lightning Strikes, a community hockey event supported by Chase. Lightning Strikes it set to takeover Clearwater Beach, south of Pier 60, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The community and street hockey event will feature Lightning alumni, the Rolling Thunder fan truck and street hockey for those in attendance. The Lightning Girls, the Bolt Brigade and ThunderBug will also be there to show their team spirit.

The weekend events will culminate with the team’s annual Fan Fest on Sunday at Amalie Arena. This is a free, but a ticketed event. Please visit tampabaylightning.com/lightninglaunch to receive your Fan Fest tickets. The doors to Amalie Arena will open to the general public at 11 a.m., while they will open exclusively to Season Ticket Members at 9 a.m. Season ticket members will have their tickets available on their MyBoltsNation accounts.

Entrance to the arena will be through Gates A and B, or the stairs behind Tampa Bay Sports store. The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of Florida Hospital.

Customarily to years past, Sunday’s Fan Fest will feature player autograph sessions, team scrimmages, selfie stations, food trucks, the high school hockey shootout and more. The Prince of Wales Trophy will also be on display. Season ticket members will have access to exclusive interview sessions and a scrimmage from 9-11 a.m.

Behind section 128, there will be a used equipment sale, Bolts alumni autographs from 11-11:30 a.m. and a live broadcast with 98 Rock and Big Rig at the RumFish Grill location from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Fans can meet Krystoff, the organist between the pipes, on the Terrace Level. The south end zone of the Terrace Level in the arena will subsequently be turned into the Kids Zone. Concession specials will be available throughout the arena.

Bolts fans are also encouraged to bring school supplies to Ford Thunder Alley to help the Lightning “Pack the PODs Container” to support the Hillsborough County School District.

For the Amalie events on Friday and Sunday, discounted $5 parking will be available in the Blue, Silver, Green, Pink, Brown, Red, Yellow and Orange Lots, as well as the South Garage.

Fri., Sept. 18 through Sun., Sept. 20., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Free admission. lightning.nhl.com.

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