The Tampa Bay Lightning are slashing season-ticket prices by an average of 10 percent for next season, with almost 4,000 seats available at the St. Pete Times Forum for only $239.
Reacting to a sluggish national economy, the NHL club kicks off its ticket renewal campaign today with price decreases for nearly 90 percent of the seats in the downtown arena. Single-game ticket prices for the 2009-10 season have yet to be determined, but new season-ticket buyers are eligible for the same significant discounts as returning customers.
"With one of the biggest arenas in the NHL, a difficult economic time facing our fans and team performance not where we hoped it would be, we know the right thing to do is to decrease prices in many of the areas," Lightning co-owner and governor Oren Koules said in a statement. "We continue to be very bullish about our future, excited for the organization and for our fans as we move forward."
The Lightning entered Thursday night's action in 13th place in the East with a record of 20-29-12, 16 points out of a playoff spot and only 10 points removed from the conference basement. Tampa Bay is 11-12-8 at home, where the average crowd of 16,353 represents 85.5 percent of the building's capacity.
Almost 1,300 upper-level seats have been reclassified to be included in the $239 season-ticket package that averages out to $5.69, plus tax, per game. Nearly 20 percent of the arena's seats will feature that $239 designation and half-season packages in the same area will cost $149.
The remainder of season-ticket prices in the terrace level will decrease by 20 percent and some season tickets in the plaza level will average as low as $35.69 per game, plus tax.
The club is also offering an eight-month payment plan for ticket buyers, allowing payment to be spread out and monthly costs lowered.
Fans who pay their season-ticket accounts in full by March 27 will receive a 3 percent rebate in Forum dollars, which can be used for food and beverage or merchandise inside the building at Lightning events.