TAMPA, Fla. -- Excitement for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals started very early for one group of fans.
- Tampa Bay Lightning help the community
- Offered discounted tickets to college students
- Lightning Foundation has donated millions to charity
The Tampa Bay Lightning offered cheap tickets to the first hundred college students to line up at the arena Sunday morning.
Dylan Schimka pulled an all-nighter to make sure he got tickets courtesy of the Lightning Student Rush.
"Fifty dollars. You can’t really beat it," Schimka said.
He like others brought chairs and waited in line before the sun even came up.
"I actually got a two-hour power nap and that’s the only sleep I got so far tonight,” Schimka said. “It’s worth it."
The team offered tickets for just $50.00 to the first hundred college students who showed up at the ticket office.
"We were dying to get tickets. Once in a lifetime," said Juliana Pinney.
The Lightning helping college students out with tickets is just another example of the things the team does all year round for the Tampa Bay community.
The more success they have on the ice means more they can do in the area.
As an example, team owner Jeff Vinik just committed to helping build a $3 billion Marriott Hotel on Water Street across from the arena.
"We’re very fortunate to have that type of ownership and leadership. We are part of the community and it’s a very sincere and authentic approach to who we are," said Eric Blakenship, VP of Marketing for the Lightning.
Since the first season 25 years ago, the Lightning Foundation has donated millions to charity. The team also honor local heroes each year making them an easy team to cheer for on and off the ice.
"We just love the lightning. We’ve followed them since the beginning and we just want to see them go all the way," Pinney said.