This article is a follow up to a story posted earlier Friday regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning Jersey Policy.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are back in the news this evening but not for their play on the ice. The Lightning and the Amalie Arena came under fire over night when a fan posted a YouTube video over his experience prior to the game. Brad Bargman and his 11-year-old son were in attendance for the Lightning and Panthers Game 6 matchup on Wednesday.
Prior to the game, two arena officials approached Bargman and his son and told them that they needed to remove their Panthers attire in order to sit in the section they had tickets. The father began to record the entire interaction and would later post the video on YouTube. The video would go viral on social media overnight and throughout the day Friday.
Home Ice Advantage?
The Lightning have enforced this policy since 2015 when they played the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Tampa Bay has had this policy for years and do so to try and promote a “great home environment”. Lightning executive vice president of communication Bill Wickett commented back in 2015 on the policy.
The policy which has irked opposing fans will now be lifted after the team announced through a spokesperson to ESPN.
The Tampa Bay Lightning will no longer enforce a policy that restricts fans from wearing gear supporting other NHL clubs in their premium seating areas, the team tells ESPN. This decision comes after a viral video featuring Panthers fans confronted by arena staff. More to come.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 28, 2021
The Lightning jettisoning this policy is the right thing to do. Fans of any team should be allowed to proudly support their favorite team home and on the road. The Lightning enforcing this policy might have been an home ice advantage but it doesn’t mean it was right.
The video which showed a female official threatening to get the Tampa Bay Police Department was inappropriate. Companies all across the country have de-escalation scripts and trainings to not elevate situations.
Any other arena’s and stadium’s that have the same policy should look to address it in light of the viral video.
The viral video helped change the policy in Tampa Bay and fans of Tampa Bay are unhappy over it. The Lightning will welcome the Hurricanes into the Amalie Arena for their next playoff matchup. One has to wonder how many Hurricane’s jersey’s will be seen in the lower section?
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