TAMPA BAY — The Tampa Bay Lightning will host Lightning Launch Weekend presented by Florida Hospital, a three-day event kicking off the Lightning’s 2015-16 season, presented by Florida Hospital, this Friday, September 18, at Amalie Arena. The weekend will feature Lightning Live, a concert and music event on Friday night on Ford Thunder Alley at Amalie Arena; Lightning Strikes, a community hockey event supported by Chase, on Clearwater Beach on Saturday; the weekend events will culminate with the team’s annual Fan Fest on Sunday at Amalie Arena.
Lightning Live will hit the stage to kick off Lightning Launch Weekend on Ford Thunder Alley stage Friday at 6 p.m. The event does not require a ticket and is free to the public. It will feature performances by some of the best in local bands, including Tribal Style, UNRB, Zulu Wave, DJ Casper and DJ Lesage, as well as a live painting by Pep Rally, Inc. There will also be live appearances by a Lightning player, the Lightning Girls, the Bolt Brigade and ThunderBug. The event will feature food trucks as well as food and drink specials. Discounted $5 parking is available in the Blue, Silver, Green, Pink, Brown, Red, Yellow and Orange Lots, as well as the South Garage.
Lightning Launch weekend will continue on Saturday when Lightning Strikes takes over 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. It will also feature appearances by the Lightning Girls, Bolt Brigade and ThunderBug. Lightning Strikes is supported by Chase.
The weekend will come to a close with the Lightning’s annual Fan Fest, presented by Florida Hospital. 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. This is a free, but ticketed event. Season Ticket Members will have their tickets available on their MyBoltsNation accounts, while general public is encouraged to visit www.tampabaylightning.com/lightninglaunch to receive their Fan Fest tickets. Fans are encouraged to park in the Blue, Silver, Green, Pink, Brown, Red, Yellow or Orange Lots, as well as the South Garage, for a flat rate of $5. They can then enter 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.
As in years past, Fan Fest, presented by Florida Hospital, will feature team scrimmages, player autograph sessions and ‘selfie stations’, food trucks, the high school hockey shootout, the Prince of Wales Trophy and more. Season Ticket Members will have access to exclusive interview sessions and a scrimmage from 9-11 a.m. There will be a used equipment sale behind section 128, Bolts alumni autographs (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 at Coors Light Between the Pipes, the Terrace Level will become #BoltsSocialLevel and the south end zone of the arena will be turned into the Kids Zone. The event will also feature concession specials 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.