For the opening game of the NHL season at the Ice Palace, Tampa Bay Lightning vice president of game operations and creative director Killeen Mullen was looking for something different from the usual pre-game laser show. The organization had high expectations, but a limited budget. As LD, my challenge was to build something that would cover the entire ice surface and dramatically affect everybody in the building, but scheduling meant we would have minimal build and rehearsal time.

I staggered truss sections and trim heights while spreading them out to make it appear that we had more than we actually did. The center-hung scoreboard remained the centerpiece of the entire project. We needed to be as resourceful as possible with fixtures, knowing each one would be asked to perform multiple tasks. With that goal in mind, I wanted a conventional wash of ETC Source Four PARs with medium and VNW lamps, and we used Martin Professional MAC 500s and 600s for moving lights, provided by Maximum Productions.

A Pani Gold 6kW projection system, recently purchased for an outdoor project, was brought inside to incorporate Alltel, the corporate sponsor, into the show in a theatrical way. A designer friend also informed me that we might be able to use Barbra Streisand's custom sheer poly silk 10'×70' drapes after her final show in Madison Square Garden. George & Goldberg forwarded the drapes to us before they went back to California for storage.

Donny Gordon at All Access offered some fantastic roll drop units to help pull everything together. Keith Mitchell at Speed of Sound also jumped in, getting the trusses to head high just 30 minutes after the silks showed up from George & Goldberg. Each of these companies, along with Maximum Productions, all went the extra mile at the last minute to make sure the Lightning could have its greatest season-opening show yet. They all have earned their rank among the leaders of the industry.