TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Amalie Arena is beginning a phased approach to allowing fans back into the stands.
Lightning and Raptors’ games are now open to a limited amount of players’ friends and family.
Those family and friends already made their way back inside Amalie Arena for the Toronto Raptors home game Sunday.
The Lightning can invite a limited amount of family and friends starting Monday.
Vinik Sports Group and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment believe this prudent opening of Amalie Arena for NHL and NBA games will allow them to grant access to season ticket members and other fans after March 2.
Both companies are still monitoring daily COVID-19 data for Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa.
Fans were told they would have to watch Lightning and Raptors’ games from home in January.
Vinik Sports Group said it was because of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations across the county and West Central Florida.
Although the hope is to get fans back inside after March 2, both Vinik Sports Group and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will review Covid-19 trends over the next few weeks before making any final decisions.
You can read the full statement below:
As we continue to monitor daily COVID-19 data for Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa, Vinik Sports Group and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, have elected to invite limited amounts of friends and family members to Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Raptors home games for the month of February. This plan is scheduled to commence with the Raptors’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on February 14 and Lightning’s game against the Florida Panthers on February 15.
We believe this prudent opening of AMALIE Arena for NHL and NBA games will allow us to grant access to our season ticket members and other fans after March 2. However, as previously stated, because of the fluidities of the pandemic, we are going to reserve the right to review COVID-19 trends over the coming weeks before making any final decisions regarding the return of hockey and basketball fans to the facility. The health, safety and well-being of our players, staff and guests will continue to remain at the forefront in our decision-making processes while we navigate this difficult time.