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Tampa Bay Lightning Announce Season Ticket Sales Increase

This past weekend, the Tampa Bay Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke had a startling quote in the St. Pete Times:

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"We're right at 10,000, maybe 10,005. We feel good about that...Our job is to sell out every game. We still have work to do to get to that. But to say we'd be at 10,000 right now, that's a heck of a target." -- Tod Leiweke, CEO

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When talking about hockey attendance numbers, it's worth remembering that hockey arenas hold less fans than baseball or football parks. While the Rays' seating capacity is around 35,000 and the Bucs can fit 65,000 fans, the Lightning only have a seating capacity of ~19,000. So when the Bolts say they have sold 10,000 season tickets, that means they have already sold half the possible seats they could possibly sell during the course of a season.

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That's....wow. Talk about impressive. Especially when you consider that the Rays' attendance is currently the third-worst in the majors (average of 19.7k per game), and the Bucs are talking about not being able to sell out all their home games for the second season in a row.

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No matter how you look at it, attendance is always going to be a hot-button topic in the Tampa Bay area. While there are many reasons for the poor regional attendance -- a poor economy, a glut of competitive teams to choose from, etc. -- these are teams that local fans should be lining up to go see play. Considering there all three franchises are competitive and exciting right now, at least one of them is starting to see improved ticket sales.

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For more on this story, see the wonderful work of Clark Brooks over at Raw Charge.

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.