Amalie Arena

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Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Times Forum
Former names Ice Palace (1996-Aug 2002)
St. Pete Times Forum (Aug 2002-Jan 2012)
Tampa Bay Times Forum (Jan 2012-Sep 2014)
Location 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida, USA 33602
Coordinates 27°56′34″N 82°27′7″W / 27.94278°N 82.45194°W / 27.94278; -82.45194Coordinates: 27°56′34″N 82°27′7″W / 27.94278°N 82.45194°W / 27.94278; -82.45194
Broke ground 1995
Opened October 20, 1996
Owner Tampa Sports Authority
Construction cost $139 million
Architect Ellerbe Becket[1]
Capacity Ice hockey: 19,758
Basketball: 20,500
Concert: 21,500
Arena Football: 19,500
Tenants
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) (1996–present)
Tampa Breeze (LFL) (2009–present)
Tampa Bay Storm (AFL) (1997–present)
NHL All-Star Game (1999)
Survivor Series (2000)
ACC Men's Basketball Tournament (2007)
NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four (2008)
NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four (2009)
WWE Extreme Rules (2011)
NCAA Men's Frozen Four (2012)
2012 Republican National Convention

The Amalie Arena is an arena in Tampa, Florida, that has been used for ice hockey, basketball, and arena football games, as well as concerts.

It is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

History[change | change source]

The arena, located in Downtown Tampa's Channelside District was a secondary location chosen after the failure of Tampa Coliseum Inc. to secure funding to construct an arena on Tampa Sports Authority land near Tampa Stadium. It opened in 1996 as the Ice Palace. Its first event was a performance by the Royal Hanneford Circus. The first hockey game was the Lightning hosting the New York Rangers, which the Lightning won by a score of 5–2.

The arena was built as a new home for the Lightning after the club outgrew the older, smaller Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Prior to the opening of the Ice Palace, the Lightning moved to the Florida Suncoast Dome, which was nicknamed the "Thunderdome," in St. Petersburg, Florida, joining the Tampa Bay Storm, in 1994. Upon the completion of the Ice Palace, both the Lightning and the Storm, moved in. The Thunderdome, now named Tropicana Field, is currently home to Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays.

Control of the venue has changed hands three times since the building's opening in 1996. The lease agreement ties the arena to the ownership of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Naming rights to the Ice Palace were sold to the St. Petersburg Times, a daily newspaper sold throughout the Tampa Bay Area. In January 2012, the arena name changed to Tampa Bay Times Forum once the newspaper renamed itself the Tampa Bay Times.

On September 3, 2014, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced that the arena would be renamed Amalie Arena after they came to an agreement with Amalie Oil Company, an oil company based in Tampa.[2] Other entertainment events occasionally held in the Arena include concerts, NBA games, USF Basketball and NCAA Tournament games, tennis, professional wrestling, boxing, figure skating, and rodeos (as well as stand-alone bull riding events; the Arena has hosted an event by the PBR's premier tour, the Bud Light Cup (renamed Built Ford Tough Series in 2003), annually since 1998.)

Notable events[change | change source]

The building hosted the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, World Wrestling Federation Survivor Series 2000, and games of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 2003, 2008 and 2011. The Arena hosted 4 of the 7 games during the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals, as the Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 4 games to 3 to win their first Stanley Cup. The Arena also hosted ArenaBowl XII (1998) and ArenaBowl XVII (2003) and the 2007 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament.

The Arena hosted the 2008 NCAA Women's Division I Final Four Basketball Tournament on April 6–8. Tennessee beat Stanford, 64-48. In 2009, the Arena hosted the Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.

In 2009, Britney Spears performed at the Arena for her "The Circus Starring Britney Spears" tour. The show is also notable for a wardrobe malfunction and the remark, "Okay, my pussy is hanging out of this fucking --", after she performed "I'm a Slave 4 U" and didn't realize that her mic was still on. The incident later received notable attention and has received thousands of views on YouTube.

In 2012, Amalie Arena hosted the NCAA Men's Hockey Frozen Four championship finals; this was the first time the "Frozen Four" was held outside the northern US since 1999, when the University of Alaska Anchorage hosted the event at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, now the Honda Center, in Anaheim, California. The Frozen Four was hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the nearest NCAA hockey team to Florida.

WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown has been held at the arena numerous times. WWE held their three hour event inside of the Arena where Raw hosted their 800th episode celebration on November 3, 2008. WWE returned to the Arena once again for the December 21st edition of Raw where former New York Yankees and current Tampa Bay Rays player Johnny Damon served as the Guest Host at the time he was a free agent. For the first time in three years, SmackDown returned to Amalie Arena for the June 8, 2010 edition.

Tampa also hosted WWE Extreme Rules on May 1, 2011; it was the arena's first WWE PPV since Survivor Series 2000 in 11 years as it was originally scheduled to take place at the Amway Center in Orlando.

Amalie Arena hosted the 2012 Republican National Convention.[3]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Other links[change | change source]

Events and Tenants
Preceded by
ThunderDome
Home of the
Tampa Bay Lightning

1996 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
ThunderDome
Home of the
Tampa Bay Storm

1997 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
General Motors Place
Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

1999
Succeeded by
Air Canada Centre
Preceded by
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
Future Host of the
Frozen Four

2012
Succeeded by
Consol Energy Center
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Preceded by
Xcel Energy Center
Future Host of the
Republican National Convention

2012
Succeeded by
TBD