FOUNDER PHIL ESPOSITO TO BE INDUCTED INTO LIGHTNING HALL OF FAME
Induction of 2023 Class Highlights Bolts Alumni Weekend March 16-18
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced that franchise founder Phil Esposito has been elected to the inaugural Lightning Hall of Fame, joining Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, both of whom are automatic inductees as the organization’s only two players to have their jersey numbers retired. The induction is the centerpiece of Lightning Alumni Weekend, which will take place in Tampa from March 16-18. More than 30alumni spanning all 30 years of Bolts hockey will be on hand to celebrate.
Esposito, along with a team including executive Henry Paul, founded the Lightning franchise, which began play in 1992 at Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. He served as the team’s general manager for its first seven seasons. Esposito joined the Bolts radio team as a color commentator during the 1999-00 season, a position which he still holds today, calling games alongside play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin. In 2011, Esposito was honored by the organization with a bronze statue, which is located just in front of the grand entry on Ford Thunder Alley at AMALIE Arena.
The induction will include a series of events which will get kicked off on Thursday, March 16 with the Reunion Classic, benefiting the Lightning Alumni Association. It will take place at Topgolf Tampa with registration beginning at 4:30 p.m. Fans can compete alongside their favorite Bolts alumni for a good cause. Private corporate bays with five tickets, priority alumni selection and more are available starting at $1,500. Bays and individual tickets priced as $200 are on sale now at reunionclassic.givesmart.com.
Esposito will be joined by Lecavalier and St. Louis when the Lightning’s inaugural Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes center stage on Friday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. on the covered ice at AMALIE Arena. Esposito will be joined by Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, who are automatically included in the Hall of Fame as part of their jersey retirement. General admission tickets for the induction ceremony will be available via Ticketmaster (https://am.ticketmaster.com/bolts/hof) for $30, $20 for Season Ticket Members. Fans will be seated on the west side of the promenade level to view the induction stage. Select concession stands will be open. Guests will be able to enter the arena via Gates A and B off Ford Thunder Alley.
Alumni weekend will conclude on Saturday night when the Lightning take on the Montreal Canadiens, along with head coach St. Louis. Before the game there will be a special Hall of Fame ceremonial puck drop along with the unveiling of the permanent artwork honoring Esposito inside AMALIE Arena. Attending alumni will walk the blue carpet at 5 p.m. before the game, while select former Lightning players will be available for autographs during the game. They will also be featured on Bally Sports Sun, Lightning Radio on 102.5 The Bone and in arena on LightningVision.
Great tickets to the game are available at www.Ticketmaster.com.
Alumni expected to attend (subject to change based on event):
St. Louis, Martin*
*Not attending Reunion Classic
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