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The Tampa Bay Lightning are one of 31 teams that compete in the National Hockey League (NHL), playing its home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. They have won the Stanley Cup once, defeating the Calgary Flames in seven games in 2004. The team is currently a member of the Atlantic Division of the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Lightning were purchased March 2010 by an entity controlled by Jeff Vinik. The team and the arena they play in both committed to a complete brand and business transformation under the banner of Vinik Sports Group, LLC.
Since Vinik purchased the team, the Lightning have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs three times (2011, 2015, 2016, 2018), and went back to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. In six years, Vinik has privately invested more than $70 million into the publicly-owned Amalie Arena, turning the facility into one of the premiere entertainment destinations in Florida.
The Lightning have been led by General Manager Julien BriseBois since September 2018 and have been coached by Jon Cooper since March 2013. Their captain is Steven Stamkos, who has worn the ‘C’ since March 2014.
Under the new ownership and management group, the fans have responded, more than doubling the team’s season ticket base. In 2016, ESPN named the Lightning the No. 1 team in all of professional sports in its annual “Ultimate Standings,” which ranks organizations on a number of factors, including affordability and fan accessibility.
Vinik and the rest of his management team continue to move the organization forward with eyes on success on the ice as well as a world class organization off the ice.