NHL All-Star Weekend kicks off in downtown Tampa

By Laurie Davison, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 26, 2018, 9:27 PM EST

The puck has dropped on NHL All-Star Weekend, and thousands converged on the NHL Fan Zone outside Amalie Arena to enjoy the pre-game festivities.

  • Fan Zone full of interactive games, hockey-related activities
  • Steven Stamkos, other NHL stars on hand to sign autographs
  • Hours: 1/27 - noon to 11 p.m., 1/28 - noon to 3:30 p.m.

The Fan Zone is set up outside of the arena in the Silver Parking Lot and Cotanchobee Park. Visitors can take part in a variety of interactive games and hockey-related activities.

"Everybody's having fun, everybody is just going crazy, this is the best time in Tampa,"said Bridgette Angelini. "We waited for the All-Stars for so long and now we finally have it."

Nora Tirone celebrated her 11th birthday in the Fan Zone. She said there's nowhere she'd rather be.

"I love it because I love the Lightning," she said.

Tirone's mother, Carmen, said she knew bringing her daughter to the event would be the perfect way to celebrate.

"She is a giant Lightning fan," Carmen explained. "She can rip off statistics, she watches every game, she's got that app on her phone, she watches everything."

Several hockey stars, include Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, made appearances to sign autographs for fans.

"Oh, this has been great, it's wonderful to be out here, it's amazing weather and we get to celebrate the All-Star game being here," said Crystal Schwartz.

Visitors can also meet the mascots, see the NHL trophy showcase and have their picture with the Stanley Cup.

The free fan zone will be open all weekend.