Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning fans #BoycottBradenton on social media

A photo tweeted by the Pittsburgh Penguins shows a "Let's Go Pens" towel sponsored by the Bradenton visitors' bureau. Photo from Twitter.

A photo tweeted by the Pittsburgh Penguins shows a "Let's Go Pens" towel sponsored by the Bradenton visitors' bureau. Photo from Twitter.

While the Tampa Bay Lightning was fighting to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night, fans on Twitter were having a battle of their own.

Some fans were not pleased when they saw the Pittsburgh team tweet out a photo thanking @VisitBradenton for rally towels during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.

The visitor bureau for Bradenton, an area close to Tampa Bay, promoted the fact that it provided the yellow towels that read "Let's go Pens!" with the words "Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key" along the bottom.

Bolts fans revolted via social media, creating the hashtag #BoycottBradenton. It trended as a main topic on Twitter Friday night.

 

 

Some took to their keyboards to let Bradenton know it would be just fine if they seceded from the area.

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau released a statement Friday night in response to the social media uproar.

Bradenton is the spring training destination for the Pittsburgh Pirates and has "multiple marketing campaigns with multiple Pittsburgh sporting teams" to help with economic development in the region, it said.

"As a destination, we have and will continue to support the Tampa Bay Lightning through our annual marketing initiatives and wish both teams the best of luck in the Eastern Conference Finals," the group's executive director Elliott Falcione said in the release.

But to some fans, the damage is done. They called it a reason to "never visit Bradenton."

 

 

The Bolts did beat the Pens 3-1 Friday. As of Saturday morning, the Lightning's official Twitter account had no mention of the boycott, just pride in the win.

Saturday afternoon, the Lightning released a statement:

"We understand that our region and our state have been built on the tourism industry and we acknowledge Bradenton's great long term relationship with the city of Pittsburgh and its people. We are all in the business of selling the state's assets — our beaches, the water, sunshine, great weather — as we continue working to grow and develop our regional economy.

"Hopefully hockey fans throughout the region, including our friends in Bradenton, can enjoy a competitive, spirited Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and the Penguins."

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.

Disgruntled Tampa Bay Lightning fans #BoycottBradenton on social media 05/14/16 [Last modified: Saturday, May 14, 2016 3:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-Louisville

    College

    1. One of the many hard-to-believe stats about FSU's underperforming defense: DE Brian Burns led all freshmen nationally with 9 ½ sacks last year; his first one this season came midway through the second quarter Saturday.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals runs the ball into the endzone for a touchdown during their game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) 775042617
  2. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's streak of 35 consecutive bowl appearances is in serious jeopardy after a last-second 31-28 home loss to Louisville on Saturday.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  3. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight

    Blogs

     

  5. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts

    Bucs

    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]