The Lightning training facility, the Brandon Ice Sports Forum, has been shut down thanks to positive COVID-19 tests from players and staff.

Following news of the Philadelphia Phillies shutting down their Clearwater, Florida training facility after eight positive COVID-19 tests (five from players, three from staffers), another pro sports team facility in Florida is shutting down thanks to positive tests. That would be the training facilities of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, the Brandon Ice Sports Forum in Tampa (seen above during a 2018 ribbon-cutting after renovations). TSN’s Bob McKenzie broke the news Friday of positive tests there:

Joe Smith of The Athletic and Emily Kaplan of ESPN both confirmed that it’s the Lightning involved, with Kaplan noting that tests are in the works for the other players and staffers who have been at the facility:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have temporarily shut down their training facility after several players and staffers have tested positive for coronavirus, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Other players and staffers who have been at the facility are being tested. The Lightning and NHL will figure out how to proceed based off of the results of those tests.

These are not the first positive tests in the NHL. As of June 4, the league had 10 confirmed cases amongst players and staffers, including five Ottawa Senators players and one staffer, three Colorado Avalanche players, and one Pittsburgh Penguins player. But many of those previous positive tests came not long after the league’s shutdown in March. These latest tests come during Phase 2 of the NHL’s return to play program, which allows for only small (maximum six players) voluntary workouts.

The league currently requires players to report to full training camps (Phase 3) on July 10, and is expected to announce the hub cities it’s chosen for its 24-team postseason (Phase 4) next week. The Lightning, as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, are already qualified for the full postseason, but are expected to start with three round-robin games against the other already-qualified Eastern teams to determine final seeding. We’ll see if this news about positive tests winds up altering the NHL’s return-to-play timeline.

[Bob McKenzie on Twitter; photo from]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.