On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the Tampa Connection class scored big with behind-the-scenes visits to two of Tampa Bay’s premier sports facilities. A great time was had by all.
We started off the day at Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. After breakfast in the Firestick Grill, the class was treated to a talk from two-time NHL all-star and captain of the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup Championship team, Dave Andreychuk, who shared stories from his 23 NHL seasons and the Lightning’s storied Stanley Cup run. Mr. Andreychuk’s presentation was followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of Amalie Arena’s premier seating areas, and we topped the morning off with front row seats to the Lightning and Los Angeles Kings’ “morning skate” before the big game that night (which the Lightning won with a score of 5-0!).
From Amalie we boarded the “Brew Bus” buses and made our way to One Buccaneer Place, which houses the offices and practice facility for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Upon arriving to One Buc Place, we were led into the main auditorium for a welcome and presentation by Ben Milsom, Chief Ticketing Officer for the Buccaneers. After Mr. Milsom’s informative presentation, we headed to the player and staff dining room, where we were treated to an amazing buffet lunch and encouraged to “eat like the players” (no small task, indeed!).
With full stomachs, we broke into two groups and were given tours of the facility, which for many included a visit to the players’ locker room and some personal interaction with a few of Tampa Bay’s biggest NFL stars. The visit was one our class members won’t forget any time soon! We wrapped our afternoon at One Buc Place up with a panel discussion which included Mr. Milsom with the Buccaneers, Dr. Andrew Goodrich from the University of South Florida’s Athletics Department, and Jason Aughey from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission. Time flew as an engaged audience asked thoughtful questions the speakers.
To celebrate a successful day, we hopped back on the buses and made our way to the Brew Bus Brewery & Terminal, where great food and drinks were enjoyed by all. Up next is Government Breakfast at the Tampa Club on Tuesday, February 28th!
As a way to say thank you for helping us put on a great Sports Day, please take a moment to download the apps for the Lightning and Buccaneers, which can be found at https://www.nhl.com/lightning/team/mobile-app and http://www.buccaneers.com/bucs-fans/mobileapp.html. We can’t make any of this happen without our great partners!