Oldsmar scores partnership with Tampa Bay Lightning

The Oldsmar City Council recently approved an agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation to build a roller and street hockey rink at the Oldsmar Sports Complex, located at 3120 Tampa Road.

Oldsmar is fast becoming known for its diverse sports tourism industry.

In addition to the city’s Olympic-level BMX Supercross track, gold-level disc golf course and the only zipline aerial adventure park in the Tampa Bay area, Oldsmar officials engaged in a brief, and well documented, flirtation with the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Oldsmar Sports Complex recently played host to Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bull’s spring training camp.

Heck, the assistant city manager recently threw out the first pitch at a Rays game!

Now Oldsmar officials can boast about having a partnership with a National Hockey League franchise, as the Oldsmar City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 7 to approve a Cooperation and License Agreement with the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation, Inc., to build a roller and street hockey rink at the complex, located at 3120 Tampa Road.

(Tampa Bay Lightning/City of Oldsmar)

“We are very pleased to partner with the City of Oldsmar to provide the community with a place to play ball hockey,” Jay Feaster, Vice President of Community Hockey Development for the Lightning, said in a press release announcing the agreement.

“Having distributed more than 84,000 Lightning-logoed sticks and balls throughout the Tampa Bay region and donated more than 300-sets of gear to area schools, we are thrilled to now provide places to play the game!”

The new agreement states that the Lightning Foundation, through funding from the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association, will pay for the construction of the rink, reportedly the first “Lightning Made” site in Pinellas County, as well as provide equipment for community use, assist the city in setting up and running leagues, perform periodic clinics with Lightning alumni, and cross-promote the new facility.

The city’s initial costs will cover the engineering required to prepare the ground surface for the rink construction, and the concrete base itself, according to the agreement.

A young Red Bulls fan got to watch her favorite team practice at the Oldsmar Sports Complex on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis said he is thrilled to be adding another key component to its growing, and diverse, sports industry portfolio.

“We tried to get the Rays, we got the Red Bulls—for one season, at least—and now we’ve got a deal with the Lightning, one of the best franchises in all of sports,” Bevis said.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis.

“The Tampa Bay Lightning are true community partners,” he added.

“The leadership provided with this agreement and the financial contribution provided for the outdoor rink are only a portion of what makes this a win-win opportunity for everyone.”

He noted the facility would be located in a grassy area that currently serves as parking for the BMX track.

“It will be right off Tampa Road, in the middle third of a grass lot between the Supercross track and the soccer fields. So, it’s an ideal location. We’re really excited about it.”

Oldsmar City Manager Al Braithwaite, an avid fan of area sports teams who helped Felicia Donnelly “train” for her first-pitch toss, didn’t hold back when asked how he felt about the new deal.

Oldsmar City Manager Al Braithwaite poses with Assistant City Manager Felicia Donnelly and her husband, Jim, after Felicia threw out the cermonial first pitch at the Tampa Bay Rays game on Wednesday, July 14, 2018. (City of Oldsmar)

“In my thirty plus years in local government, I have never been more excited about a project than I am about this one, for the opportunity to provide another exciting recreational option for our residents, and to establish an ongoing relationship with the classiest organization in professional sports today,” Braithwaite said.

According to city officials, construction of the rink is expected to be completed sometime in December or January.

Related content:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *