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SOtampa Sampler: Vinik Announces “Build The Thunder” Campaign, TPA Launching to Frankfurt

TPA hosts German themed events celebrating new international connection

Soon you'll be able to fly to Frankfurt Germany direct from Tampa International Airport. The new connection has the city excited. Coincidently, the launch of the new partnership occurs during Oktoberfest and the opening of Tampa Bay's Hofbrauhaus.


Leading up to the first flight, TPA is hosting several events to make sure the excitement only escalates.

On Wednesday, September 16 Helmut Drews will perform music on his accordion. The event will run from 2-3pm in the Main Terminal on Level 3. He will also perform on Wednesday, September 23 from 2-3pm.

On Friday, September 18 Mein Heimatlund Musikanten with Gulf coast Enzianer Schuhplatter Dance Group will perform. The event will run from 4:30-6:45pm in the Main Terminal on Level 3. This event will feature authentic German food!


Lufthansa will be officially starting their Frankfurt to Tampa trips beginning on September 23. There will be five weekly Airbus A340-300 flights from the airport each week. 


Vinik announces $6million plan

*Photo via Tampa Bay Lightning

Amalie Arena was buzzing with anticipation yesterday waiting for a major announcement from Jeff Vinik. Lightning owner, developer, and Tampa visionary, Vinik is teaming up with the NHL and NHL Players Union to provide hockey to a new generation in Tampa.

"I am so proud to be able to share my love of hockey with the youth of the Tampa Bay region as we introduce an extensive program that will grow new hockey fans while also giving us the opportunity to feature Lightning players and alumni as role models and 'teachers' for our children," said Vinik in a release from the Lightning.

This $6 million "Build The Thunder" campaign is broken into five steps and will be instituted over the course of five years.

The campaign will first distribute 100,000 street hockey sticks to 3rd through 5th graders through a mass school outreach program. The program will provide 10,000 hours of progressive training opportunities for both players and coaches.

This campaign will also aid in cementing hockey into the fiber of the Tampa community. Vinik and the Lightning hope to increase the number of youth players (7-13 year olds) registered with USA Hockey in the Tampa area by 1,000.

The campaign will utilize Lightning players, coaches and alumni as life skills mentors to identify and work with 100 at-risk youth from diverse backgrounds.

The final step, "Create the Thunder," will establish 10 junior varisty hockey programs for aspiring high school hockey players.

This past season's surge to the Stanley Cup Finals certainly helped elevate the city's passion for hockey. The opportunity for local students in Tampa to discover, play and grow in the sport is huge for the community and the future of the Lightning in the city.

Interested in learning more about Build the Thunder and scheduling a visit for their school or youth group? Contact Josh Dreith by emailing or by calling 813 301 6722.


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