Alert Guest Services! Tampa Bay Lightning and Fans show low tolerance to opposition fans
Those words come from Bill Wickett, the Lightning’s Executive VP of Communications and as he also said, “We’re not going to apologize for the policy.” Tampa claims that this policy of not allowing opposition fans to wear apparel supporting their team only impacts under 10% of the Amalie Arena. The Lightning have made this clear before you even buy a ticket.
In addition to the policy, only Florida Residents can purchase tickets! One person verified this to me via Twitter. Since his credit card wasn’t attached to a Florida address it wasn’t possible, meaning he had to seek other means to get into the building.
— Chris Kotwicki (@Kotwicki) May 23, 2015
Last night, I was notified of tweets sent out by Tampa Bay Lightning fans in attendance asking the team to address Ranger fans in their section. In other words, enforce your policy of zero tolerance.
Another fan, Jake Winderman was telling me that last night during Game 4, Lightning fans were calling security or police over to settle down Rangers fans in his section. “Basically, Ranger fans who were simply chanting back at Lightning fans and participating in normal fan interaction,” Winderman recalled. “Tampa fans had security and even the police called twice to our section [because of it].” Winderman did add that for the most part “everyone got along”.
This also took place in Tampa’s prior two series against Detroit and Montreal. One user posted himself sitting on his Canadiens jersey because he would’ve been removed from his seat had he kept it on.
— NICSOVL (@habsforlife97) May 23, 2015
This is an increasingly embarrassing situation for the NHL. While I fully understand trying to keep your arena stocked with your own fans, in a free market society it really isn’t just. Plus, it tells your fans that you do not have to tolerate the existence of others with an opposing view if you don’t want to. America does nothing but preach tolerance, shouldn’t its people and businesses do the same? This is all way to deep for a hockey game I might add.