19:06 PM

Tampa Airport and Lightning Hockey Team Join Forces on Marketing Effort

October 31, 2011

Parking at Tampa International Airport is always convenient. But now it also comes with a chance to win a four-pack of tickets to a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game at the St. Pete Times Forum. 

Beginning today, one winner will be chosen each day at the exit to the airport parking garages through the end of the Lightning season. 

The first winner was Paul Vlna, 35, who arrived home in Tampa on Monday from a wedding in Cleveland. “I was kind of shocked,” Vlna told reporters as he left the Short Term Garage on Monday. “I don’t ever win something like this.” He said he planned to take his mother, brother and son to the game. “My brother is huge hockey fan, so I can’t wait to tell him this.” In addition to his tickets, Vlna also received a special prize package from the Lightning as the first winner, including Lightning jerseys.

“I love this airport,” Vlna said. “No offense to Cleveland, but it’s so much nicer. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, you don’t feel rushed. There are shops upstairs before you go. The parking is so much easier.” Vlna and his mother paid $4 to park at the airport before winning their tickets.

The game ticket giveaway is one piece of a first-time partnership between the airport and the hometown hockey team that also includes:

  • Two pairs of round-trip tickets from Edelweiss Air, the airport’s newest international carrier, awarded at the Lightning’s home game on Oct. 20 and through a “seek the seat” Twitter promotion the next day
  • A “Go Bolts” wrap of the shuttle that connects the main terminal to Airside A 
  • The voice of Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier greeting passengers on the Airside A tram as they head to and from the main terminal 

“This is just one element of how we are incorporating the greatness of Tampa into this airport every day”, said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. He also commended the Lightning for the recent changes to the St. Pete Times Forum. “They are making hockey really, really fun and we want to be a part of that fun and excitement,” he said.

Lopano also said he is proud to be working with the Lightning and CEO Tod Leiweke, who has shown a commitment to growing the local tourism economy.

Leiweke expressed his enthusiasm for welcoming all hockey fans to the area, including those here to support the opposing teams. “We support visiting teams’ fans and encourage them to come here, because tourism is a critical, critical part of our economy,” he said. 

Tampa airport offers four parking options: Long Term and Short Term garages adjacent to the terminal, valet parking with optional detailing service, and Economy Parking for $9 a day.