Panthers, Lightning Add Fuel to In-State Rivalry, Unveil Inaugural Governor’s Cup Competition

Governor's cupIt’s not uncommon for rival teams to add a little spice to their competition. Take the Red Sox, for example, who typically play a bulk of their Spring Training games against their Fort Myers, FL. cross-town rival Minnesota Twins just six miles down the road. Whichever team wins the most head-to-head matchups takes home the Mayor’s Cup. While winning the Cup doesn’t mean much more than bragging rights, it undoubtedly sells tickets.

Enter: Florida, where the Panthers and Lightning, bottom feeders in the Eastern Conference of the NHL, want fans to go their games. In a market where the only other place fans see ice is in their soft drinks (and many of those “fans” came to Florida to escape ice and the cold that comes with it in the first place), the cross-state rivals have developed a new competition to engage fans: the Governor’s Cup.

A new initiative, the Cup will be presented to whichever team takes home the best head-to-head record. Both teams will provide donations to its rival’s youth hockey initiative, as well as providing tickets to local students for Governor’s Cup games.

Of course, with the new alignment, the two will only play each other four times, meaning it’s possible that the series could end in a tie. Not to worry though, as tiebreaker scenarios are already in place. Regardless of outcome, everybody wins.

“The Sunshine State is a national leader in sports, and the creation of the Governor’s Cup is great news for Florida hockey. This competition is an excellent way to highlight the opportunities that Floridians, and our visitors, have to enjoy all of the wonderful activities that our state has to offer,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said.

Hey, they’re helping the kids. And, well, there’s always the Heat.

Photo via Twitter/PaulKennedyFOX

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