LIGHTNING STAFF, PLAYERS, TEAM UP TO WELCOME BACK FANS
PLAYER AUTOGRAPHS, STANLEY CUP, INTERACTIVE GAMES, SINGLE-GAME TICKET ON-SALE
HIGHLIGHT FREE EVENT AT ST. PETE TIMES FORUM
The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning will welcome fans to the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday, September 10 for IceFest, presented by Kash n' Karry, a free hockey festival designed to celebrate the start of the 2005-06 season. The special event will last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Lightning stars Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and new goalie Sean Burke among the players scheduled to sign autographs. The Stanley Cup will also be present for a fan photo opportunity.
Fans arriving for IceFest will enjoy FanLand games, live entertainment and merchandise specials at kiosks in the St. Pete Times Forum. Hot dogs and sodas will be offered for $1, and the Lightning Foundation will hold a raffle for merchandise and sell pink Lightning hats and copies of Winning Ways, The Making of a Championship Heart.
Lightning broadcasters will host a Q&A session with St. Louis and discuss the NHL rule changes, while ThunderBug and the TECO Energy Team will be on hand to entertain. Fans also can step on the ice to take a shot on net or have their picture taken on the Kraft Zamboni. Sponsors participating in the event include, Chick-fil-A, Chrysler-Jeep, Hungry Howie's, Ice Sports Forum, St. Petersburg Times and Walgreen's.
"On behalf of our players, staff and sponsors, I would like to welcome the friends and fans of the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Lightning back to the St. Pete Times Forum to celebrate the opening of the 2005-06 season," said Lightning President Ron Campbell. "We look forward to recapturing the winning feelings we all experienced in 2004 and I know our players look forward to interacting with our great fans once again."
In addition, September 10 (11 a.m.) is the day that individual tickets for the Lightning's 40 regular season home games (excluding opening night) go on sale at the McDonald's Box Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Plaza and Jeep Club Level seats for the 2005-06 season can still be secured through season ticket plans and mini-plans, and Lightning sales representatives will be available to help fans select their seats.
Individual tickets for the October 5 opening night vs. the Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 p.m.) will only be available through a lottery. On that special evening the Lightning will raise three championship banners commemorating the unforgettable 2003-04 season. Approximately 1,000 seats will be made available.
The Lightning will open their 13th training camp at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon on Monday, September 12.
Please be reminded that the St. Pete Times Forum is serving as a donation collection center for victims of Hurricane Katrina and donations will be accepted at IceFest.
The St. Pete Times Forum will accept monetary donations as well as the tangible items listed below.
· Bottled Water
· Non-perishable food items
· Convenience foods
· Can openers
· Baby food, Diapers, wipes
· Hygiene items
· Picnic supplies
· Small charcoal grills and charcoal
· Tools, gloves, tarps, plastic
· Over the counter medication
· First aid kits
· Flashlights, batteries and candles
· Trash bags
· Chain saws
· Hand tools
One hundred percent of all donations will be allocated for both front-line disaster relief and long-term recovery needs. Goods will be delivered to Hearts With Hands, Inc. for distribution to affected areas. Hearts With Hands, Inc. is a nondenominational, humanitarian, non-profit, 501 (C) 3, charitable organization providing physical, spiritual, medical, economic, and other necessary aid to victims of poverty, natural disaster or famine.