TAMPA, Fla. — Lightning fans had to cheer on their Stanley Cup champions from afar on Wednesday as Amalie Arena recently banned in-person attendance.
“Just bring the excitement even though we’re not in the arena, we’re still always going to 'Be The Thunder' no matter where we’re at,” one fan said at a watch party downtown.
Amalie Arena is not allowing fans inside for Lightning and Raptors games through at least Feb. 5, citing rising cases of the coronavirus.
That’s just two days before Tampa hosts the biggest sporting event in the world.
With less than one month to go, the NFL has not said if fans will be allowed inside Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV.
ABC Action News asked Mayor Jane Castor if Amalie Arena’s decision should have any influence on fan attendance for the Super Bowl.
"First and foremost, we want to ensure the safety of all of our residents, the safety of anyone visiting our city," Castor said. “You’re talking about two different venues. You’ve got an indoor facility; you’ve got an outdoor facility."
For now, the City of Tampa has to set up a game plan without knowing exactly what to expect.
Mayor Castor said Wednesday she supports allowing fans who are vaccinated and fought on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“What better way to say thank you to our health workers than to allow them to see the Super Bowl firsthand,” Castor said. “It really does add to the game to be able to have fans in there.”
Earlier reports stated the NFL might consider allowing up to 20 percent capacity for the Super Bowl, much like what we’ve seen in some regular-season games.