Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning: Early home attendance down

TAMPA — Victories are not the only thing the Lightning has lacked. Crowds generally have been thin as well.

Tampa Bay has averaged 15,783 in its five games at the St. Pete Times Forum, including a high of 18,552 on opening night and a low of 13,922 Tuesday against the Thrashers.

Officially, the average is down 2,909 from last season's 18,692, but the numbers reflect tickets distributed. Fans in the stands have been fewer.

"You'd always like to see more people in the building for your team's games, so, yes, there is room for improvement," team spokesman Bill Wickett said.

Tampa Bay is battling several fronts, including the Rays' success. Four home games have conflicted with Rays playoff games, and Wickett noted the high no-shows among season-ticket holders on those nights.

"We believe that is a direct result of Rays conflicts," he said.

The 5-2 Bucs also have stolen some focus. The Lightning's slow start hasn't helped, and the season-ticket campaign did not have a playoff season as a hook.

"We will continue to closely monitor the crowds and make sure we are offering our fans affordable options for attending Lightning games this season," Wickett said.

NOT TWO OF A KIND: Coach Barry Melrose said there is no sense comparing Sharks D Dan Boyle, 32, with Matt Carle, 24, who came to the Lightning in the Boyle trade.

"Totally different players, totally different points in their careers," he said. "Dan Boyle is a great offensive defenseman." He sees Carle as "an all-around, solid NHL defenseman."

Said Carle of the trade: "I never saw it me for him. I'm not trying to come in here and replace Dan Boyle. He's a great hockey player, and that's why the Sharks went after him. I think our D has elevated its game, and that's what I was hoping for when I came here, that all of us would step up and … work together to replace what Dan Boyle brought to the table."

SCORELESS STAMKOS: Rookie Steven Stamkos is without a goal in seven games, his longest streak ever, he said.

"And Canada is in an uproar," Melrose said. "Steven will be fine. People have to relax. He's 18 years old. Once the first one comes in, he'll score consistently, I have no doubt. He's going to be a great player in the NHL for a lot of years to come."

He is getting chances, though, with 11 shots his past three games.

ODDS AND ENDS: W Jason Ward played his first game of the season. … F Ryan Craig (groin) skated with the team; RW Radim Vrbata (groin) did not. ... D Janne Niskala was scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Early home attendance down 10/25/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 27, 2008 5:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. LSU advances to College World Series finals, awaits Florida or TCU


    OMAHA, Neb. — Caleb Gilbert held No. 1 national seed Oregon State to two hits in 71/3 innings, Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate and LSU beat the Beavers 6-1 on Saturday to reach the College World Series finals.

    Beau Jordan celebrates after hitting a home run during a victory over Oregon State, LSU’s second straight win over the No. 1 national seed.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …