Watch above: The Tampa Bay Lightning are restricting playoff ticket sales to Florida residents and banning Habs jerseys from some areas inside the arena. The news has caused quite a backlash for Montreal hockey fans.
Hide your Habs jersey! The Tampa Bay Lightning are restricting playoff ticket sales to Florida residents only and banning Habs jerseys from some areas inside the arena.
The team has been warning potential customers on Ticketmaster.com that it is implementing restrictions on ticket sales.
The disclaimer says customers’ credit card data will be analyzed to determine whether their billing address is in Florida.
“Orders by residents outside the selected area will be canceled without notice and refunds given,” the warning reads.
Bill Wickett, the executive vice president of communications for the team told Fox News in Tampa Bay the policy was put into place to please season-ticket holders.
“Our season-ticket members don’t like coming to the building and sitting next to fans from other teams for the games,” he said. “We’re going to do the best that we can to reserve seats at Amalie Arena for Lightning fans.”
The team is also restricting Habs jerseys among the sea of blue-and-white Lightning apparel in certain areas of the arena. The team has also banned the jerseys of opposing teams from the upscale Lexus Lounge and Chase Club areas. Again, to please their season-ticket holders.
That doesn’t mean Habs fans can’t go to the next game in Tampa (if there is one); they just have to have a Florida billing address and be willing to wear a “shirt of neutral colour” which the Lightning are giving away so people can cover up.
Wickett told ESPN prior to the playoffs beginning, he didn’t “feel the need to apologize” for the policy.