A big night is in store for Tampa Bay Lightning Fans Thursday. Thousands are expected to pack Amalie Arena for the Bolt's opening night.
The arena is ready for a season full of action, but getting to the games this season could be tricky, especially because construction crews start closing additional lanes at 7:00 PM every night. Those closures are on Morgan Street and Channelside Drive, and occur at the exact same time fans will be making their way to Thursday night’s game.
Lightning leaders are asking fans to bring their patience, alongside their cheering voices, to games throughout the season. Construction is expected to continue until summer 2017.
The Lightning are one of the most beloved teams in Tampa Bay and they're ready to share in the fan's excitement, while hoping for another season that brings them within reach of the Stanley Cup trophy.
The players are ready after coming within one victory of the Stanley Cup Playoff last year, only to lose to the Pittsburg Penguins and reaching the final the year before--only to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks, so this season they're ready to be champions.
The Lightning's General manager is feeling pretty confident about a deep playoff run, especially after re-signing captain Steven Stamkos to another 8 years, with a $68-million-dollar contract.
Many of the top players will return to the ice in front of thousands of adoring fans this season.
The Bolts will take on the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 tonight. There are a couple tickets left but they start at $45 and go up to nearly $600 a piece.
The lightning are also doing a lot to reach out to the community this season, bringing street hockey to schools and another cool program: Getting more girls into the sport. 40,000 hockey sticks have been donated to 140 schools since the start of the Lightning Made organization.