In Tampa, Florida the city becomes known as “Hockey Bay” after the NFL season is over.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has taken the National Hockey League (NHL) by storm over the past decade.
Today they are one of the biggest games in town and quickly becoming one of the most popular teams in the league.
If you're in Orlando and looking to catch an NHL match don't fret because they're only an hour away, making it a great night out during your Central Florida vacation.
In 2004 the Lightning made history by becoming the first team to win the coveted Stanley Cup and never walk out of their arena and see snow on the ground.
In 2011 they went all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Boston Bruins.
They trailed the series 3-0 and nearly came back to win it.
Boston ended up winning the Cup.
In 2015 they made it back to the Stanley Cup Finals with the hope of bringing title back to Tampa Bay.
Going up against the Chicago Blackhawks made them the underdog, but that didn't stop the Lightning.
The Blackhawks proved to be a tough challenger and the Lightning went out in Game 6.
The 24th season for the Lightning will truly be one to watch and well worth a trip to Tampa.
The Lightning has a very young and exciting team this season with a few holdovers from the championship days such as Steve Stamkos and Tyler Johnson..
Tickets range from $36.50 to $305.00.
The tickets near the goals are more expensive in hockey than at center ice, which makes hockey a bit unique compared to football or basketball.
Hockey is perhaps the most exciting sport to see in person.
The action is so fast and furious.
Watching it at home or in a bar is not as thrilling as being in a fan filled arena, it's best experienced live.
The Tampa Bay Times Forum is only a streetcar ride away from Ybor City, a Bourbon Street-style club scene after dark.
So a night at the Lightning game can either be a place to take the kids or it can be a great adults night out in Tampa Bay.
Visit the teams site for game schedule.
By Marie Ospina
Tampa Bay Times Forum
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
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