Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is known for sharing his riches with Major League Baseball's poorest teams, but the latest group to benefit from his deep pockets is U.S. military personnel.
Steinbrenner donated more than 700 tickets for Game 2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the Montreal Canadiens on April 25 and another 350 tickets for Monday night's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The tickets were donated to personnel stationed at the MacDill Air Force Base, near Tampa Bay, and Tampa-area residents whose family members are fighting in Iraq. In all, Steinbrenner paid approximately $10,000 for the tickets, his publicist Howard Rubenstein said.
Steinbrenner, a military buff who attended the Culver Military Academy, has previously donated $1 million to the U.S. Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Rubenstein said.
"His commitment to the military and to all who serve in public safety is unparalleled," Lightning president Ron Campbell said.
Steinbrenner, a Tampa resident, is on the Lightning's "Founders" wall at the St. Pete Times Forum and has a suite at the arena and attends several games during the season. The Yankees' spring training site is also in Tampa.
Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at email@example.com