Lightning Try To Keep What's Left Of Their Home Ice Advantage by @Williamahirsch - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Lightning Try To Keep What's Left Of Their Home Ice Advantage by @Williamahirsch

Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-enacted their policy of not allowing opposing fans to wear team gear in select pricier seats for the Eastern Conference Finals.

The absurd tactic was used last year during the Lightning's run in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's now being put in place again, for the Eastern Conference Finals when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.

For fans that think they can get away with just saying, "no," the Lightning will ask you to take your shirt off or if you don't have another layer, provide you with a neutral colored shirt. They can also ask you to move seats.

All-in-all, according to Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this rule will affect 10 percent of Amalie Arena.

The rule is obviously intended to help the Lightning keep their home ice advantage while playing a team that has a well traveled fan base. It's also Florida so it might be to curb the attendance and or the experience of Pittsburgh transplants who currently reside in Florida.

Whether you're a Pittsburgh transplant living in Florida or a fan who plans to travel to Amalie Arena and attend games three and four (and possibly game six) in Tampa Bay, this rule will infringe on your experience.

It is easy to see through this rule for what it really is.

That being the Lightning are concerned about their fans not showing up enough that they risk the crowd being surprisingly supportive of the Penguins. It's not a good look for the Lightning on television and certainly wouldn't provide any backing to those who want to keep the NHL in Florida saying it is a worthy hockey market.

Why punish hockey fans who are willing to spend a pretty penny to attend a game in enemy territory? Punishing transplants is one thing but what is most bothersome about it is the rule affecting those that are going to make the effort to add on travel expenses and time away from work to attend the Eastern Conference Finals.

In regards to profit, opposing fans pay the same amount, if not more, to attend games on the road. The Lightning still profit and the NHL is mostly for profits so why should the Lightning really care?

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