TAMPA, Fla. - Amalie Arena was electric with Lightning fans watching on the big screen Sunday as the Bolts faced off against the Carolina Hurricanes. Sunday's watch party kicked off the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ended with some happy fans.
"It feels great to actually be able to come to enjoy it with other people. It's one thing watching it at home, but to be here and hear the noise. It's great," Lightning fan Greg Keller said.
Sunday's watch party kicked off the first game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. in the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It's nice to just be with the family, watch the game, get out of the house and also just support our amazing Tampa Bay team," fan Luis Guinand said.
Despite Sunday's matchup being an away game, fans say the atmosphere at Amalie Arena is still stronger than ever.
"They're almost more fun than the games because you get great seats. You get to get close. It's just the same atmosphere so it's a lot of fun," Keller said.
Tickets for the watch party were only $10 compared to the cheapest in-person playoff game tickets which go for about $130. The watch party offered fans the chance to enjoy special giveaways, concession deals, live entertainment, and appearances from Thunder Bug. All the excitement attracted long-time fans and new ones as well.
"I became a fan a year ago when I moved here and I'm just really excited to be here and really excited to support the bolts," fan Sofia Garantiva said.
Garantiva was one of the more than 1,300 fans allowed inside the Arena Sunday, hopeful the reigning Stanley Cup Champions can bring home the title once again.
The Lightning took a 1-0 series lead with the 2-1 win.
"It feels amazing just to be around people and fans supporting our city. I'm really excited to just be out here and celebrating with everybody else," fan Maria Laviosa added.