PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – As the Tampa Bay Lightning start a new season, two new street hockey rinks are opened in Pasco County.

What You Need To Know

  • Public hockey rinks are opening around Tampa Bay

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning have pledged to build 10 of them

  • The team is also donating equipment

The two rinks are part of the Lightning’s community efforts to expand the game of hockey in the community.

Keith Wiley, director of Pasco County parks, says the county is thrilled to offer the new rinks.

“I think the demand is definitely there,” Wiley said. “Once the community knew that these were getting ready to be opened up, the phones were off the hook.”

Though the NHL Industry Growth Fund, the Lightning have pledged to build 10 street hockey rinks around the Bay area, with several now open. That includes rinks in Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Lakewood Ranch, Ruskin and Brandon. Another one is set to be finished in Lakeland.

The newest rinks are at the J. Ben Harrill Rec Center in Holiday and the Wesley Chapel District Park, meaning each side of Pasco County now offers a place to play.

The goal is to expand the game of hockey to the local community. In addition, the Lightning also donated a lot of equipment, including youth hockey sticks.

Wiley says Pasco County is now planning out league play for youth and possibly adults. He is hoping to have those in place in the spring.

The rinks are open for anyone to use.