July 16, 2024

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Stanley Cup Party Florida Panthers Beat Heat, Marlins. All Sports in South Florida

Stanley Cup Party Florida Panthers Beat Heat, Marlins. All Sports in South Florida

Some arrived as early as 6:30 on Sunday morning.

By 7:30, it was already late. By 9 a.m., there was no more room at the Fort Lauderdale bar known as the Elbo Room. Thousands of fans were desperate to get their seats for the Florida Panthers’ parade to celebrate the team’s first Stanley Cup.

The event caps a week-long celebration for a team that many thought would never make it to the NHL when it was founded in 1993-94. Thirty-one years later, the Panthers can say they hosted the best post-championship celebration in all of sports in South Florida.

Not the Marlins, not the Heat, and certainly not the Dolphins, who last tasted a title in 1974.

The Florida Panthers prepare Elbow Hall for the Stanley Cup celebration

The Panthers spent most of their tenure playing anonymously. Fans have always gravitated toward the more established franchises in the region, but winning equals support.

It started last year when they made it to the finals but lost to the Las Vegas Knights. He moved on this season as the Panthers cruised through the postseason before defeating the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.

Thousands of fans are on Fort Lauderdale Beach to celebrate the Florida Panthers winning the Stanley Cup

The party started the next morning, with Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk and others bringing the Stanley Cup to the Elbo Room, Fort Lauderdale’s oldest bar. Fans took pictures of the cup. Then I dived into the Atlantic Ocean. It was even used as a pasta bowl for Panthers legend Robert Luongo.

And Sunday morning is just the beginning of what should be an epic day for sports in South Florida.

Shandel Richardson is the publisher of Inside The Heat magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Twitter: @ShandelRich