Hockey is back, Champa Bay. The puck dropped on the Bolts’ preseason earlier this week, so we’re taking a look at what the 2023-2024 season has in store for our Tampa Bay Lightning.
In the news:
Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is likely out for the next two months after undergoing back surgery, the team announced this week.
Team captain Steven Stamkos is seeking a contract extension. This is the final year of his eight-year, $68 million contract. If he doesn’t reach an agreement with the team before next summer, he’ll become a free agent. Stamkos has only played for Tampa since being drafted in 2008, suiting up for more than 1,000 career games.
The best way to watch from home:
Sports bars to catch the games at:
- American Social | 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd., #107, Tampa | Daily, hours vary | Watch the action from the hopping bar’s massive flatscreens, while enjoying the waterfront views, ancho chicken quesadillas, and wings (of course).
- Hattricks Sports Bar | 107 S. Franklin St., Tampa | Daily, 11 a.m.-as late as 3 a.m. | The Lightning fans’ fave bar offers plenty of TVs and daily happy hour deals.
- LightHaus | 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa | Sparkman Wharf’s own biergarten is a popular spot for watching or pregaming the action-packed games.
- Press Box Sports Emporium | 222 S. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa | Daily, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. | During games, this sports bar has giveaways and drink specials.
- Park & Rec DTSP | 100 4th St. S., St. Petersburg | Tuesday-Sunday, hours vary | Play bucket pong and other games while watching the boys take the ice.
The games worth getting tickets to:
- First home game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators | Tuesday, Oct. 10 | 5:30 p.m.
- Rival game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes | Tuesday, Oct. 24 | 7 p.m.
- Rival game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins | Monday, Nov. 20 | 7 p.m.
- Rival game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights | Thursday, Dec. 21 | 7 p.m.
- Rival game: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers | Thursday, March 14 | 7 p.m.
Your must-bring stadium items:
- Your ticket. Download the Lightning app to access your mobile ticket, an interactive arena map, and more.
- Amalie only allows bags smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches. Here’s a clear sling bag or clear purse that will breeze through security.
- Lightning gear. If your wardrobe is sorely lacking in Tampa Bay blue and white, shop these official jerseys and this classic hat.
A quick Amalie Arena survival guide:
- Parking | There’s a wealth of parking lots located within walking distance of the area. Pro tip: Most only accept card payment, so make sure you bring that debit or credit card. You can also pre-purchase parking for games via ParkWhiz.
- Food | Amalie Arena is introducing new dining options this season like Wicked Oak Barbecue. Pick up hearty macaroni and barbecue nachos at the new spot (Section 124 and on the Budweiser Biergarten near Section 329).
- Check out the stadium’s own A-Z guide for any questions you may have.