Led by 'Zeus,' Lightning fans ignite section 307 - FOX 13 News

Led by 'Zeus,' Lightning fans ignite section 307

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The fans in Section 307 have become the base of the fanbase.

"We love the Lightning, we do," they chant. "It's really very simple, put the puck into the net and we'll go freakin' mental!"

They sit upstairs, behind the net the Lightning shoot at twice.

Their idea to lead in-game chants, all game long, to boost the team and the crowd, was born during the team's less-fortunate days.

They've done this at game this year.

"The beginning of this year, my friends Ken and Michael and I, said, let's start a supporters group for the Lightning. We are tired of all these opposing fans coming in here," said Sean Ruane, one of the heads of the pack.

307 is symbolic of a growing Lightning fan-base. In 2010, after three-straight losing seasons, they were 21st in the league in attendance, averaging 15,500 a night.

Four years later, they're 10th, averaging 18,600.

It's a 20 percent increase.

Lightning legend Dave Andreychuk points out the increase started when Jeff Vinik bought the team.

"This organization, we put in community service hours. We want to give back," said Andreychuk. "And we are reaping the benefits of it."

The leaders of 307 call themselves Sticks of Fire, and they even have a mascot, Zeus, who comes with a playoff beard.

"That's something you don't normally see in a Tampa Bay team, but you've got boys over here like the Sticks of Fire, that band together, and look at this, this is amazing," said... Zeus.

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