Here’s a shock: Lightning enforcing dress code against Capitals fans

Philipp Grubauer, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Chris Kunitz Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Chris Kunitz (14) watches his deflection get past Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92), of Russia, and goalie Philipp Grubauer (31), of Germany, for a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
T.J. Oshie, Anton Stralman, Brayden Point Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) controls the puck in front of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6), of Sweden, and center Brayden Point (21) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Brooks Orpik, Ondrej Palat Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) and Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18), of the Czech Republic, scrap during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Devante Smith-Pelly, Tom Wilson, Andrei Vasilevskiy Washington Capitals right wing Devante Smith-Pelly, center, celebrates his goal alongside right wing Tom Wilson (43) during the second period of an NHL hockey game as Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), of Russia, and defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) look on, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Philipp Grubauer, John Carlson Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer, right, of Germany, celebrates with defenseman John Carlson (74) after an NHL hockey game as Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) skates away, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Dan Girardi, Braydon Coburn, Lars Eller Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi (5) and defenseman Braydon Coburn (55) battle for the puck against Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20), of Denmark, during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Washington. The Capitals won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Brayden Point, Braden Holtby Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) scores a goal past Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) and defenseman John Carlson (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Victor Hedman, Alex Ovechkin Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77), of Sweden, works for the puck against Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Devante Smith-Pelly, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Anton Stralman Washington Capitals right wing Devante Smith-Pelly (25) falls against Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88), of Russia, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. Also seen is Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman (6), of Sweden. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Alex Ovechkin, Dan Girardi Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, shoots the puck next to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi (5) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Braden Holtby, Steven Stamkos Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, right, reaches for the puck next to Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. The Lightning won 4-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Washington. The Lightning won 4-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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WASHINGTON — Oh, Florida. Hockey isn’t supposed to come with a side of fascism, but leave it to the Tampa Bay Lightning to break the ice on that one.

The team has changed its ticket policy for the upcoming Eastern Conference finals games against the Washington Capitals hosted at its arena. Now, anyone without a Florida ZIP code is barred from buying tickets through the team or Ticketmaster — a move called “geofencing.”

And the team plans to enforce a dress code at games in the “sunshine” state.

Fans won’t be allowed to roll with Caps’ colors in the Lightning Lexus Lounge or in the Chase Club luxury suites — a plot designed to make sure only Lightning fans rock the best seats at Amalie Arena.

To quote the team’s website:

Chase Club and Lexus Lounge ticket holders: Please note that for all 2018 NHL Playoff Games at Amalie Arena, only Tampa Bay Lightning-branded team apparel (or neutral apparel) will be permitted in these clubs and in the adjoining seating areas. Fans wearing visiting team-branded apparel will be asked to remove such apparel while in these areas.

The Lightning pulled the same stunt during their bouts against the Boston Bruins.

The team’s executive vice president of communications Bill Wickett told The Washington Post at the time that they “want to keep Amalie Arena blue for the playoffs.”

“Orders by residents outside of Florida will be canceled without notice and refunds given,” the team said.

And to be fair, the Caps restricted second-round ticket sales against the Pittsburgh Penguins to residents of Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

But the dress code is something new.

It’s a move designed explicitly to benefit the optics of Florida’s team.

If they’re concerned about keeping the Lightning’s home games “blue,” maybe Washington can make them see red.


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