Can the rest of Tampa Bay’s teams copy the Bolts?

by Gary Shelton on July 6, 2015 · 6 comments

in general, NFL, Tampa Bay Bucs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Rowdies

Monday, 6 a.m.

As a sport, it grew up a long way from Tampa Bay. As an entertainment value, it took some growing pains. As a team, there were moments when you wondered if it would ever mature.

But here it is, 2015, and the Tampa Bay Lightning owns this town.

It has arrived, and it has taken the community with it. Suddenly, we are all skilled like Stamkos, and we are all fast like Johnson and we are all explosive like Kucherov. Suddenly, we are sturdy like Hedman, and we are reliable like Bishop, and we are tough

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick Martin July 8, 2015 at 6:01 am

I go to about 20 Rays’ games and see nearly the same between-inning entertainment game after game. That organization has hired the least ingenious entertainment folks ever. Minor league teams do a better job in keeping fans engaged. Can someone tell Sternberg that the Pepsi, Aquafina, Diet Pepsi bottle races fall into the tired and/or lame department? No excuse for the “sameness” for every game.


Richard Kinning July 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm

The Lightning have so many things going on during the game, even the non-hockey people have fun. Can you say that about any other team in town? NO. They don’t have a clue. There are more “fun” minor league baseball teams in the area, and the dreadful bucs, with their higher than everyone else pricing scheme is not winning many fans. Add to the bucs handicap of being in a league that is taking the fun out of the game everyone loved, and the bucs have a long road to haul back to respectability. Give me the Lightning any day!


scott myers July 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I heartily agree that Jeff Vinik, is by far, the best owner of the Tampa Bay based professional sports teams. However, it should be noted that he prevented fans from selling playoff tickets freely to the highest bidders and discouraged out-of-staters from acquiring playoff tickets, which thereby reduced our tourism dollars. Also, he is planning on having tax-payers pay for half of the next $25 million improvement to the Amalie Arena. Even with the $62 million that Jeff has invested in the venue, it is still majority paid for by the public.


Cecil DeBald July 6, 2015 at 7:11 am

You could make the argument that a fast-paced game like NHL hockey (or NBA basketball for that matter) is a more exciting fan experience than baseball or football with their moments of action wrapped up in periods of relative inactivity. But I think the more accurate argument is Tampa Bay, like many parts of the country, loves a winner. Let the Lightning morph into the Sabres (and it surely could happen) and the buzz will be gone, as will all but the real hockey fans. And if anyone thinks all the other fans will stick around because Mr. Vinik is such a great guy, Mr. Cooper is such a great guy, and the team has a bunch of fun players, well, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale…


Barry McDowell July 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm

I did a post about this last week (I appreciate Gary expanding on it) and I do believe the sporting event itself is key now in our short attention span, Twitter-based society. Tampa Bay loves a winner? Seems to me the Rays have been in exciting September races the past few years yet our attendance is constantly at the bottom or near it. Hockey means excitement, baseball is boring (and over 3 hours), and the Bucs play a boring game also despite the sport itself being exciting for the most part.


Cecil DeBald July 7, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Baseball is boring if you’re not a baseball fan; football is boring if you’re not a football fan; soccer is boring if you’re not a soccer fan; golf is boring if you’re not a golf fan; basketball is boring if you’re not a basketball fan; hockey is boring if you’re not a hockey fan. And all the “fans” that claim to be baseball, football, soccer, golf, basketball, or hockey “fans” but somehow find these sports boring except when their team is winning aren’t fans of the sport at all – they are simply sport groupies who want to self-identify with a winner to boost their sad little egos.


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