Lightning to celebrate Stanley Cup win with boat parade

FILE PHOTO: NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars

(Reuters) – The Tampa Bay Lightning are not going to let the COVID-19 outbreak get in the way of celebrating their Stanley Cup triumph as the team announced plans on Tuesday for a socially-distanced boat parade and fan rally.

Unlike typical Stanley Cup parades where players pile into vehicles that slowly wind through streets lined with hundreds of thousands of people, the Lightning will instead have a boat parade on the Hillsborough River on Wednesday.

Fans of the Lightning are encouraged to safely gather along the Tampa Riverwalk, following proper social distancing guidelines, including the wearing of face coverings.

Following the parade, there will be a free fan rally at the 65,000-seat home of the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers where socially distant pod seating will apply, with groups available for up to six people.

“Despite every challenge this past year, Tampa continues to ensure that our comeback is even greater than any setback,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a news release.

“Thank you to our team for working hard, playing hard, and giving our community something to celebrate. We cannot wait for Stanley to get that tan.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched the Stanley Cup on Monday with a win over the Dallas Stars in Edmonton, which was the site for the whole series and one of two cities used for the entire NHL postseason to help limit spread of COVID-19.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)