Vinik: Lightning In Good Spot Despite Early Playoff Exit
Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik said that the organization "didn’t feel a hit business wise" this offseason after being swept by the Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, according to Diana Nearhos of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. The Lightning "still expect to sell out" of their season tickets, for which Vinik "credited the 'tremendous' fan base." Vinik, speaking at the Lightning's Fan Fest on Sunday, said that he "sees growth of the brand across the country," as he "sees three times as many Lightning fans in other cities as he did five years ago." Vinik is "looking forward to the Lightning’s trip to Sweden in November" as part of the NHL Global Series, which will be a "good chance for the team and for the organization growing its brand." Besides the international game, Vinik has been "trying to bring an outdoor game to Tampa since he bought the Lightning 10 years ago." Vinik also "spoke highly" of GM Julien BriseBois, who is entering his second year at the helm, saying that he "couldn’t be more pleased" with the job he is doing (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/16).
ICE COLD: The Lightning have announced a new multiyear partnership with Cigar City Brewing, making the Tampa-based brewer the Official Craft Beer Partner of the Lightning and Amalie Arena. The deal includes a new Cigar City taproom off the arena plaza that will be open on event days and select non-event days (Lightning).