TAMPA — In an email sent to season ticket members Monday morning, the Lightning informed them that fans will be allowed in the stands for the 28 regular-season home games slated to be played this season at Amalie Arena.
“We are set to begin the season with a limited capacity,” an accompanying Q&A read. “Capacity may be adjusted throughout the season based on local, state and federal governments, health officials and the NHL.”
According to the letter, season ticket members will receive first priority for purchasing seats. Additional details about arena capacity and ticket availability will be released in the coming days.
Due to physical distancing guidelines, the team said it cannot guarantee that season ticket members will be able to sit in their usual seats. The number of fans that will be permitted into the arena is unclear.
The Toronto Raptors, who are calling Amalie Arena home through at least the first half of the NBA season, played in front of 2,322 socially distanced fans sitting in pods of two and four for Friday’s preseason game. Their regular-season opener on Wednesday will be limited to 3,800 fans.
About 2,000 socially distanced Lightning season ticket members were allowed into the arena in September to watch Stanley Cup finals games on the giant video board.
“While we are eager to welcome you back to AMALIE Arena, our organization’s priority remains the health and safety of all our STMs (season ticket members), fans, players, coaches, and staff,” the letter reads. “Over the past nine months we have consulted local health care partners, city and state officials, CDC guidelines, the NHL, the NBA and fellow venue and team executives to create an environment at AMALIE Arena designed to ensure comfort and safety.”
The NHL is expected to release its schedule for the abbreviated 56-game regular season in the coming days.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.
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