"Throughout the playoffs, the Lightning have been taking heat for their draconian ticket policies meant to limit attendance by fans of opposing teams. Here's the disclaimer on the team's Ticketmaster site: "Amalie Arena is located in Tampa, FL. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of Florida. Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside the selected area will be canceled without notice and refunds given..."
...In addition to disallowing out-of-state residents from purchasing tickets, the Lightning have effectively banned visiting jerseys from premium seating: "Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2015 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena only Tampa Bay Lightning team apparel (or neutral) will be permitted in these club and adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team apparel will be asked to remove them while in these areas." (Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg)
The Tampa Bay Lightning, a.k.a. the Bolts, will only sell tickets to people living in Florida. Chicago fans stay out.
Only Lighting emblazoned clothing and products, or neutral stuff will be allowed. No Blackhawk logos.
The owners of the Lightning make Hitler look like Mr. Rogers.
The NHL is silent on this incredible stupidity.
Chicago should show Tampa Bay we are better. Put out the welcome mat for Lightning fans. Then pull it out from under them.
"Welcome to Chicago. Now go home."
Mayor Emanuel should issue an edict refusing to allow Floridians into Chicago during the final playoff series.
The owners and management of the Lightning should not be allowed into Chicago. They should be put on notice to stay in Florida or be subject to arrest and incarceration until the series is over.
There is precedent for this. During the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, grain belt denizens who left their farms were refused entry into California. During the 1950's and 60's certain Italian men who belonged to the Mothers And Fathers Italian Association were stopped at California airports. They were put on the next flight back to where they came from.
California did not want undesirables in their state. California got away with these protective actions. Chicago can too.
Like the owners of the Bolts, Chicago should create a home town environment for the Blackhawks.
Any Floridian who escapes through the net will be quarantined until the series is over. This is to ensure infested Floridians do not spread Palmetto bugs- giant cockroaches- in our city.
Tampa Bay Fans should not be allowed into the United Center. The Blackhawks should restrict Bolts fans to a cordoned off area in one of the parking lots. They could watch the games on their electronic devices while tailgating. Porta-potties should be provided to make them feel right at home.
Anyone wearing Lightning themed clothing or carrying products with the Bolt's logo should be arrested as a threat to Chicago's security and their own. They should be judicially confined to one of our mental institutions for weeks or months of evaluation and treatment. We do not need fights or riots breaking out due to mentally unstable people wandering our streets.
Citizens should be informed. "See something. Say something." If citizens see people wearing Lightning logos, they should immediately call the police so Tampa fans can be removed from our presence.
Wealthy Lightning fans should not be allowed in any of the special boxes or other great seats. Their tickets should be given to poor neighborhood kids. Our children should experience the playoffs and get gourmet meals, probably the first they ever had.
Wealthy Bolts fans should be relegated to their hotel suites or our finer dining or drinking establishments. They can watch the games while running up astronomical food and bar tabs. Our hospitality industry should benefit.
These are reasonable common sense restrictions. Modest proposals to ensure the health and safety of our city and the creation of a winning hometown environment and advantage for our team.
After Chicago, everyone else comes first.
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