As if the thought of traveling to Tampa Bay, the Cleveland of Southern Florida, wasn’t enough to deter Blackhawks fans from going to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning’s front office imposed a set of bizarre ticket purchasing restrictions aimed at keeping the red out.
These new rules include denying ticket purchases to any out of state billing address and banning opposing team apparel from certain areas within Amalie Arena.
As a result of these restrictions, attendance for Game 1 is forecasted at Tampa Bay Devil Rays levels (approximately 5-6 total attendees), which is roughly the same number of Tampa Bay Lightning fans that exist during the regular season.
While any out of state Chicago Blackhawks fans are barred entry to the arena Wednesday night, any bandwagon Lightning fans are welcome to attend the game and wear the Steven Stamkos jersey they bought yesterday.
Although experts believe these restrictions are only set to last about 2-3 games (before the Lightning are eliminated), owners and fans around the league seem to be shocked and slightly alarmed about the arena policies.