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Fans, businesses agree Lightning playoff run good for local economy

Fans, businesses agree Lightning playoff run good for local economy
Posted at 10:35 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 05:33:06-04

TAMPA, Fla — Going into round two, Bolts fans said they've got one request from the team.

"I came to the Stanley Cup final game last year and I want to be in the house for it again this year," Melissa Dowlhe said.

As they wait to see if the Bolts will make good on that ask, they're coming out to watch, eat and support the team — and, the city itself.

Even when the team is away.

"It's really helping our economy, I've lived here for 12 years, and just to see it grow over the last five with everything with the lightning and everything [Jeffrey] Vinik has done," Elizabeth Kampa said. So, thank you Vinik. We appreciate you!"

Just up the street from Amalie Arena, sits Hattricks, a business that's had a front-row seat for the Bolts' growth.

"We've been here, as of the end of April, 25 years," Hattricks Partner David Mangione said.

Mangione said it's a boost many are grateful for.

"The Lightning doing what they're doing is great for all the businesses down here," he said.

But he added the team's fanbase also deserves some credit.

"I think one of the things that's really cool about the area is it's just a lot of people from a lot of different places that have all come in and kind of adopted the Lightning as their hometown [team]," he said. "I'm from Tampa, so having the Lightning here is a big deal to me."

Fans will gather for watch parties again Thursday as the Bolts took Game 1 over the Panthers 4-1.