Over the past few years, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Student Rush ticket program has gained popularity.
The program gives students with a valid high school or college ID the chance to purchase the best available tickets shortly before game time at a fair price.
“We think it’s a great program for both sides,” said Patrick Abts, the Lightning’s Digital Marketing Manager who oversees Student Rush. “It allows us to fill some of the last remaining seats with some of our best fans.”
Students are allowed to line up for Student Rush tickets as early as 7 a.m. on game days, and remain in line until two hours prior to game time to be given a wristband with their number in line.
Thirty minutes before game time, the students are led to the box office where they can purchase the best available tickets at a discounted rate. For the playoffs, any remaining lower level seats will be sold for $50, which normally ranges between $100 and $300. Standing room and upper level tickets will be sold for $25.
“Student Rush is amazing,” said Kristen Thomas, who arrived at 9 a.m. for tickets. “We do this all the time. It gives us a chance to root on the Bolts when we normally wouldn’t be able to afford playoff tickets. “
Organizers believe that if the Lightning continues through the playoffs, the demand will continue to grow and ultimately exceed the supply.
“We’re guaranteeing 100 tickets per game for the playoffs,” Abts said. “We don’t know until game time whether they are lower, upper, or standing room, but we’re guaranteeing 100 per game and may have more depending on the game.”
Abts and his colleagues agree that the best way students can guarantee themselves a Student Rush ticket is to arrive as close to 7 a.m. as possible.