Oct 9, 2015

The Amalie Diaries: Home Opener

As you can probably imagine, after such a successful season, things around the office have been pretty crazy. This off-season has been filled with new ideas, new promotions, new additions and essentially getting everything in place for another record-breaking year. What does it take to prepare for the return of 19,000 + fans and 1 Eastern Conference Championship team after a summer of multi-million dollar renovations?  We’re here to give you the inside scoop. Below, you’ll find what it takes for Ice Operations, Facility & Event Services, Marketing, and Public Relations to get ready for a Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey season.

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ICE:

Since last year’s success led to games expanding through mid-June, Ice Ops has had to kick everything into high gear. Including:

     -Building the 2 new penalty boxes.
     -Placing the new 2015 Faceoff banners on the ice (32 ft. x 8 ft., 5 ft.) which weren’t allowed to be visible during preseason games.
     -Construction of the new LED dasher boards. The league has mandated posts to support them, which Tom Miracle & his team have had to outsource in order to make it for the home opener last Thursday. 

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Ice Operations Manager Tom Miracle:

“Fans are just as excited as I am, coming back from the Stanley Cup Playoffs; it is exciting. We are all looking forward to another good season.”

Fun Fact:

Tom has pre-game rituals. He tries to do everything in the same pattern before every game. This includes small details like:

     -What time he turns on the lights and brings the temperature down.
     -His pre-game Ice cut process.

FACILITY & EVENT SERVICES:

Amalie Arena never sleeps. Between the renovations, community events, Storm games and headlining concerts like Ariana Grande, Kevin Hart and Sam Smith, this department has had an intense off-season to say the least:

     -With 45 less construction days than originally planned due to the incredible 2014 season, the renovation team immediately went into high gear. As each section is finished and turned over to Facility Services, they then focus on cleaning, resetting and finishing all of the small details necessary to produce a world-class building for our fans.
    -Staffing and training also occupied a chunk of the summer because of all of the new concepts and areas added to the building.

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Fun Fact:

They’re really excited for you all to enjoy the new Tampa Bay Club .The added technology, new concepts and fresh look will have you hooked as soon as you walk up! 

MARKETING:

With such a successful 2014 season (you see the theme here), the department has had to do more now than ever before in the shortest amount of time:

     -They are constantly planning; ready to execute new digital, social and live event strategies. Providing a world-class fan experience is at the top of their priority list.

     -This season, their key initiative is to be more strategic with everything they do.

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VP of Marketing Eric Blankenship:

“The brand is the strongest it has ever been; so our goals are higher than ever before” 

Fun Fact:

Tampa Bay Lightning marketing efforts touch every department in the building from guest relations to sales.

PUBLIC RELATIONS:

PR has tackled a lot in this short off-season:
         -2015 Training Camp
         -NHL Media Tour in Toronto
         -Team road trips
         -Organization announcements
         -Produced the team’s annual media guide
 

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What to look for this season:

     -Sit down interviews for Sun Sport’s “Inside the Lightning” series.
     -Tampa Bay Times: “Meet the Lightning” 
     -Pre-game meet & greets.
     -In-game vignettes with the players

Director of Public Relations Brian Breseman:

“Prepping for every season is intense, there is always more that you can do.” 

Fun Fact:

Brian subs in as goalie for fun during Lightning practices!