LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL (WWSB) – Suncoast hockey fans are celebrating the news the Tampa Bay Lightning and Lakewood Ranch are teaming up to build an outdoor hockey rink. Former Lightning greats Vincent Lecavalier and Dave Andreychuk among those on hand for the Wednesday morning announcement.
The rink will be built at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch and the project will be funded by a grant from the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association.
“You’re going to have lots of kids playing hockey and hopefully we build another 10 rinks in the next 3 years and just continue to grow the game,” says Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Steve Griggs. “And it’s not just outdoor hockey rinks, it’s ice rinks. Several new ice rinks are now open in the Tampa Bay area. We’re excited and we’re going to continue to grow it.”
The NHL hopes these outdoor rinks will expand hockey’s popularity in each of the league’s 31 markets. It also helps that the Lightning own the league’s best record after a terrific start to the season.
The Lightning also announcing the team has signed a multi-year partnership extension with Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc.
The announcement continues Lakewood Ranch Communities’ status as the exclusive residential real estate development partner of the Lightning and AMALIE Arena – allowing the Ranch the opportunity to leverage the team’s close proximity to the community, while also reaching key northern markets to grow its residential and commercial real estate businesses.
“We are delighted that Rex Jensen and his leadership team at Schroeder-Manatee Ranch have opted to enter a third consecutive partnership agreement with the Lightning,” said Griggs upon making the announcement. “Since first partnering in January, 2013, we have been able to mutually grow the relationship for the good of both organizations, the residents of Lakewood Ranch and the fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning. We look forward to continuing that partnership growth as we move forward.
Key elements of the partnership include the designation of the Lakewood Ranch Client Services Lounge, an exclusive area for Season Ticket Members, as well as ownership of two presenting nights during the 2017-18 season – October 26 versus the Detroit Red Wings and March 17 against the Boston Bruins.