Yelp Tampa Bay On Ice
The request: Be The Thunder. We obliged. At Yelp's Thunder and Lightning, Yelp TB was treated to a Party Suite at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for an NHL bout between the Buffalo Sabres and the hometown Lightning! If this event proves anything, it's that it truly is "suite" to be Elite! This was Michael C's first hockey game ever, and he came away impressed. "The facilities at the Forum were immaculate – the entrance/lobby was clean, the waiting area for the elevators was nice and removed, but with impressive wall-art all around. The suite level was a corridor that I felt out of place, but not unwanted." Jaima S claims she felt special before they even reached the party. "We found the Yelp suite and were greeted by Carolyn aka Nonni, and Paul who work for the Lightning. They were so friendly, warm, and accommodating that we felt welcome immediately. We checked in for the event just in time to watch the opening production. It was really a site to behold with the lights down low, loud music, lightning bolts flashing, and the crowd going crazy. Tampa loves their Lightning."
The main event is the boys on the ice, but the experience at the good ole' Hockey game is encompassed during your entire visit at the Forum. Jeff E vouches for the superior treatment at our downtown arena. "The Forum staff is possibly the most professional and courtesy staff I have ever seen at any event. I was greeted probably a good 30 times from the time I entered the building to making my way up to the suite." He goes on to rave about the eats of the night – "the food was amazing. I'm a wings guy, nothing goes better with hockey than wings. I also enjoyed the excellent spicy/cheesy/fried shrimp, roasted turkey, spring rolls, and some of the best tasting cookies I have ever had." You're not going to get much of an argument from Nolan R, who nom-nommed his way through the Bolts bout with Buffalo. "The food is great. I'm a picky eater and even I found some turkey I'd eat. The cookies... oh the cookies... they were awesome."
As always, Yelp events are about the phenomenal venues, the amazing food/drink, and rubbing elbows with fellow Yelpers that love having a great time. This was Katy T's first Elite event, which she notes "exceeded by Yelpspectations." Nice K-T! "What I enjoyed most about this event was getting to know some of my fellow Yelpers. I like hockey and all, but being the social butterfly that I am it was definitely fun getting to socialize while watching the game. After this event, I can't wait to partake in another Yelp Elite event!" And we can't wait to have ya! We'll just call Rich D – Mr. Agreeable on this one. "The one thing that stood out to me is that this type of venue offered up so many opportunities to meet 'friends' which have been on my list, but for one reason or the other, I've never been able to meet them personally. The openness of the Party Suite, the places to stand and eat/watch the game, and even the seating which allowed you to talk to folks all around you was great."
As a former employee myself of the Tampa Bay Lightning, I am fortunate enough to know some really phenomenal people behind the scenes that make up this world-class organization. The building itself, which wasn't even in bad shape to start with, is now completely unrecognizable due to the unbelievable renovations that have taken place over the last couple of years. Every employee in the arena walks around with a smile and helpful attitude. The new video board is one of the largest in the world. The list goes on and on. Imagine the challenge of building a successful ice-hockey franchise in Florida? Well they've succeeded at their mission... the only thing left is to bring home another Stanley Cup to Hockey Bay! I'd like to personally thank Lynn Wittenburg, Kelsey Carlson, and Erin Allison for their help in making this dream event a reality for us. I bow to you all! And as always, a special thanks to our super photographer, Gerardo Luna, aka Lord Gerry, for his stellar work as usual!