How can the NHL Allow Teams to Enforce Stupid Fan Dress Codes?

By: The Online Sports Guys

Thursday, May 10, 2018

For several years, the Tampa Bay Lightning have had a policy in place for the NHL playoffs restricting ticket sales to "Florida Residents" only. Which to me is one of the more insecure, dumb and paranoid ideas in professional sports.

Until I read the Lightning have a "New" policy in place for this years Eastern Conference Finals series vs the Washington Capitals.

The ultra paranoid Lightning who appear to be very concerned they'll have fans of other teams in their arena have decided they won't allow what they term "Capitals Fans" to wear anything "RED"  in their arena.

Which begs a really legitimate question: How do they determine if someone wearing red is a Capitals fan? They claim it is primarily to ban the wearing of Capitals jersey's...but that is not how the policy is worded.

The Lightning state the "Policy" only applies to certain sections of Amalie Arena. Off limits are supposedly "The Lexus Lounge" which includes seats up front near the glass or in Luxury Suites.

I want to know if they'd "Enforce" it for general admission?

Yeah, I'm aware the NHL has allowed teams to institute "Zip Code" policies for playoff tickets---something not all but some teams use. And it is patently a horrible idea.

Maybe the NHL and its teams don't care about perception. And in the case of a Tampa Bay team which is located in an area populated by a ton of out-of-state transplants with ties to other teams, I sort of get it.

But should not sporting events be available to ANYONE who wants to attend? If your home fans don't buy up all the tickets--should that penalize visitors? (Note--the series I believe is sold out---only resale tickets are available)

What if I'm in town from out of state on business or vacation and want to go see a game? Does that mean I don't get to go to the game just because I don't live in Florida? If I'm not a Capitals fan, should it matter whether I live in Florida or not?
 
Legally, I guess its tough to enforce or say "You have to open tickets sales to whoever wants them". Technically the NHL and its teams are not "Publicly" owned businesses, they can sell tickets to whomever they want.

It is just a bad look. The other major sports don't restrict ticket sales, if visiting fans outnumber the home team---that's the home teams issue. Which is the way it should be.

I'd love to see someone file a lawsuit against the Lightning just to see what happens. Someone from Texas or Iowa or someplace like that who buys an aftermarket ticket and wears red, walks into the arena just to see what happens.

If you get asked to change the shirt or leave...document it and then off we go.

Just my 2-cents about something that bugs the hell out of me every time I see or read about it....