June 1, 2015
Greg Boysen

“Please note: Amalie Arena is located in Tampa, FL. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of Florida. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside the selected area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.”

This is what it says at the bottom of the Ticketmaster page when trying to purchase tickets for a Stanley Cup Final game at the Amalie Arena.  In fact, this has been the ticket policy for the entire post season, as the Lightning have tried to keep out fans of the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and now you, the Chicago Blackhawks fans.

This is the same pathetic strategy that the insecure Nashville Predators used to minimal success in the first round against the Blackhawks.  The funny thing is, you never see teams like the Blackhawks, Rangers, Bruins or Flyers try and keep an opposing fan out. 

These franchises are staffed with great marketing teams that make local fans want to experience their product as many times as possible.  This is where these second rate franchises fail.  Market your team better to your local market and then you won’t have to look childish on the biggest stage the sport has.

The Lightning take it even farther than just limiting ticket sales, then also want to dictate what you can wear in certain areas of the their arena.  This is another notification when trying to purchase tickets online:

“Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2015 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning apparel (or neutral) will be permitted in these club and adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team apparel will be asked to remove them while in these areas.”

How the National Hockey League allows teams to put such stupid and petty policies in place is beyond me.  This is the league’s marquee series and you are letting an insecure, childish franchise keep fans from entering the arena or showing their support for their favorite team.  And some people wonder why the NHL is behind the NFL, NBA and MLB in popularity in the United States.