NHL rule nixes Game 7 watch party
The Lightning's fan party for Thursday's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final was moved from Thunder Alley at Amalie Arena to the nearby Channelside restaurant and bar complex to accommodate more fans, the team said.
But it also apparently was to fall in line with an NHL policy that allows each team only one official watch party per playoff round.
That policy is not new and all teams were reminded of it with a note April 12, NHL spokesman John Dellapina said Thursday. The Lightning held a watch party outside Amalie Arena for Games 1, 2 and 5 of the conference final.
The website Deadspin reported that the Lightning was threatened with a fine if it held another watch party, but Lightning vice president of communications Bill Wickett said that was not true.
One thought is that watch parties take away from TV ratings and that's why the league limits them. NBC, whose networks broadcast the NHL, declined to comment.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer