TAMPA (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Lightning have removed a controversial policy that restricted fans from wearing gear supporting other teams in premium seating sections.
The policy which started in 2015 did not allow opposing fanbases to wear anything adorned with other teams’ logos if their seats were in the Lightning’s Lexus Lounge.
This restriction also applied to seats against the glass and in the Chase Club luxury suites.
A Lightning spokesperson tells News Channel 8 the policy will no longer be enforced.
This decision comes after a viral video showed two Amalie Arena employees confronting him and his 11-year-old son.
The employees told the fan he could “check in” their visiting team gear for non-logo shirts, could continue to wear the jersey in a relocated seat away from the club areas or could be issued a refund for the tickets.
One of the employees said “if we come back down here, we’re getting [Tampa Police Department] because this is our building policy.”
In the video, the Panthers fan says a team representative had called him before the game to discuss the policy.
The Lightning released a statement to 8 On Your Side following the policy change:
After careful consideration the Lightning have elected to relax its visiting team apparel policy in the premium clubs for playoff games at AMALIE Arena. The policy was originally instituted in 2015 at the request of our valued ticket holders in those areas, but we realize we have grown as an organization and as a hockey market since that time and it is no longer necessary.Tampa Bay Lightning spokesperson
The Lightning face the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the playoffs, starting in Raleigh on Sunday.