Amalie Arena

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Coordinates: 27°56′34″N 82°27′7″W / 27.94278°N 82.45194°W / 27.94278; -82.45194

Amalie Arena
Amalie arena logo.svg
Amalie Arena.jpg
Amalie Arena in 2016
Amalie Arena is located in Florida
Amalie Arena
Amalie Arena
Location in Florida
Amalie Arena is located in the United States
Amalie Arena
Amalie Arena
Location in the United States
Former namesIce Palace (1996–2002)
St. Pete Times Forum (2002–2012)
Tampa Bay Times Forum (2012–2014)
Address401 Channelside Drive
LocationTampa, Florida, U.S.
Public transitHeritage streetcar TECO Streetcar
at Amalie Arena
OwnerHillsborough County, Florida
OperatorTampa Bay Entertainment Properties, LLC, a division of Vinik Sports Group, LLC[1][circular reference]
CapacityIce hockey: 19,092[2]
Basketball: 20,500
Concert: 21,500
Arena football: 18,500
Broke groundApril 14, 1994[3]
OpenedOctober 20, 1996
Construction costUS$139 million
($243 million in 2020 dollars[4])
ArchitectEllerbe Becket[5]
Structural engineerWalter P Moore[6]
General contractorHunt/Morse Diesel[7]
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) (1996–present)
Tampa Bay Storm (AFL) (1997–2017)
South Florida Bulls men's basketball (2011–2012)
Tampa Breeze (LFL) (2009–2012)
Toronto Raptors (NBA) (2020–2021)

Amalie Arena (officially stylized as AMALIE Arena) is a multipurpose arena in Tampa, Florida, that has been used for ice hockey, basketball, arena football games, and concerts. It is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League.

The building was originally known as the Ice Palace. In August 2002, the building's naming rights were sold to the St. Petersburg Times, which became the Tampa Bay Times in January 2012; accordingly, the arena was known as the St. Pete Times Forum (2002–2012) and Tampa Bay Times Forum (2012–2014). In September 2014, the arena was renamed Amalie Arena when the naming rights were transferred to Amalie Oil Company.[8]


Tampa Bay Times Forum logo (2012-2014)

The venue, 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. The city of Tampa paid $86 million and the Tampa Bay Lightning paid $53 million for the venue's construction and infrastructure.[9] It opened in 1996 as the Ice Palace. Its first event was a performance by the Royal Hanneford Circus.[10] The first hockey game was the Lightning hosting the New York Rangers, which the Lightning won 5–2.[11]

The arena, built as a new home for the Lightning, was necessary because of the lack of a major league-sized arena in the Tampa Bay Area. The two existing arenas in the region, Bayfront Arena in St. Petersburg and the Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds, were too small for an NHL team. Prior to the opening of the Ice Palace, the Lightning spent one season at the Expo Hall,[12] and then moved to the Florida Suncoast Dome, which was nicknamed the "Thunderdome", in St. Petersburg in 1993.[13] The Thunderdome, now Tropicana Field, is currently home to Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays.[14]

The arena is owned by Hillsborough County and leased to the Tampa Sports Authority.[15][16] The authority leases the arena back to the Lightning, who operate it. The current lease agreement ties the arena to the Lightning ownership.

Naming rights to the arena were sold to the then St. Petersburg Times, a daily newspaper which circulates throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Other entertainment events occasionally held in the Forum include concerts, NBA exhibition games, USF basketball and NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament games, Frozen Four games, tennis, professional wrestling, boxing, figure skating, and rodeos (as well as stand-alone bull riding events; the Forum has hosted an event by the PBR's premier tour, the Built Ford Tough Series, annually since 1998).

In 2010, the Tampa Bay Times Forum was ranked as the fourth busiest arena in the United States.[17]

A $35 million renovation was scheduled to be completed before the 2012 Republican National Convention.[18] The renovation included a rebuilt grand plaza entrance, elimination of 2 lower-level suites in each corner (8 of current 28 suites) leaving views from the concourse area to the playing area, renovation of each suite, elimination of sections 323 and 324 on the terrace level (574 seats) for a bar and stage area that will feature a new digital theatre organ, more concessions areas on the terrace level, an 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) outdoor deck and party area overlooking outside plaza and facing the downtown skyline, new climate controls that improve both the ice surface and spectator comfort, new lighting, all new padded seats, resurfaced and redecorated concourse, combining Icons and Medallions restaurants into one venue, and updated restrooms.[18]

Also in 2012, the Tampa Bay Times Forum installed a new video display board. The board is billed as the largest of its kind in North America. Its two larger faces measure 28 × 50 feet (8.5 × 15.2 m), while its two smaller faces are 28 × 20 feet (8.5 × 6.1 m). In comparison, the arena's old display board measured 16 × 28 feet (4.9 × 8.5 m) on all sides.[19]

On September 3, 2014, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced the renaming of the Forum to Amalie Arena after coming to an agreement with Amalie Oil Company, a motor oil company based in Tampa.[20][21]

Also in late 2014, the arena debuted its 1-acre organic vegetable garden to help feed players and fans. Utilizing an outside area in the back devoted to cooling pipes and recycling bins, a deck was built along with 125 hydroponic towers.[22]

For the 2020–21 NBA season, the Toronto Raptors played their home games in Amalie Arena due to travel restrictions imposed by the Canadian government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.[23]


As home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena has hosted games in the Stanley Cup Finals, hosting games one, two, five, and seven of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames four games to three to win their first Stanley Cup. During the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, the arena was the site of games one, two, and five. Amalie Arena was also the site of games one, two, and five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals, where the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens four games to one to win their third Stanley Cup.[24] In the 2004 and 2021 finals, the Lightning clinched the Stanley Cup on home ice at Amalie Arena. It did not host the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals as all games were held behind closed doors at Edmonton's Rogers Place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the eventual champion Lightning (who defeated the Dallas Stars in six games) did hold watch parties outside the arena for select season ticket holders. In addition, Amalie Arena has hosted the National Hockey League All-Star Game twice, in 1999 and in 2018.

In college basketball, the arena is a regular host for games in both the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. The arena has hosted first and second-round games for the men's tournament in 2003, 2008, and 2011 (it was scheduled to host games again in 2020, only to have the tournament cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). In the women's tournament, Amalie Arena has hosted the Final Four of the 2008, 2015, and 2019 tournaments. The arena has also hosted conference tournaments, hosting the 2007 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament and the 2009 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, and is scheduled to again host the SEC Tournament in 2022.[25] The arena was also the main home of the South Florida Bulls men's basketball team for their 2011–12 season while the USF Sun Dome underwent extensive renovations.[26]

During the arena's time as home of the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League, it hosted the league's championship game, known as the ArenaBowl, on two occasions, ArenaBowl XII in 1998 and ArenaBowl XVII in 2003.

Amalie Arena hosted the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament Final Four.

The arena was slated to host an NBA preseason game in 2010 between the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, the league's two Florida teams. However, months before the game, the arena's basketball floor was treated with an oil-based cleaning solution that resulted in a slippery film forming on it. According to Magic players, the floor was so slippery that they had to walk through their shootaround. When it became apparent that there was no way to make the court playable, the game was canceled half an hour before the scheduled tipoff. All fans received a full refund.[27]

The Frozen Four of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament was held in the arena, hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the nearest collegiate hockey team to Florida. 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 in Anaheim, California. Boston College won the national championship game 4–1 against Ferris State. Four years later, Amalie Arena again hosted the Frozen Four of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.[28]

Marvel Universe Live! kicked off its national tour at Amalie Arena on July 10, 2014.[29]

The arena hosted AMSOIL Arenacross from 2015 to 2017.

The arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions in 2016.[30]

UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans and UFC Fight Night: Joanna vs. Waterson was held at the arena.

It has also held the World Wrestling Federation (now renamed to WWE) pay-per-view event Survivor Series (2000), as well as Extreme Rules (2011) and Battleground (2014). Tampa hosted WrestleMania 37 in 2021 but the arena was not involved in the festivities surrounding the event, as all weekly WWE events took place in a bio-secure bubble with zero ticketed fans in attendance called the WWE ThunderDome at the time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WrestleMania 37 itself was held at Raymond James Stadium in front of a reduced capacity audience over the course of two nights.

James Taylor has performed at Amalie Arena for several years. In 2010 he performed with Carole King during the 2010 Troubadour World Reunion Tour and he has also performed with his band at Amalie Arena.

The arena hosted Monster Jam from 2017 to 2019.

Amalie Arena is scheduled to host the 2023 NCAA Division I Men's Frozen Four, 2023 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, 2025 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four, and 2026 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball first and second rounds.[31]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning owner expands business portfolio with Vinik Sports Group". SportBusiness. 2020-02-25. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  2. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning Game Notes" (PDF). National Hockey League. October 8, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
  3. ^ Zizzo, Mike (April 17, 1994). "Bettman Scores Big With Innovations". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
  4. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "St Petersburg Times Forum". Ellerbe Becket. Archived from the original on 2009-06-10. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  6. ^ "Structural Projects Arenas". Archived from the original on 2000-07-08. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  7. ^ "Amalie Arena". Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  8. ^ News from Tampa Bay Lightning, September 3, 2014, retrieved 12 May 2015
  9. ^ "Appendix 5.4 to Sports Facility Reports, Volume 2, Number 2" (PDF). National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School. 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-08-24. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
  10. ^ Arena, Amalie. "History | Amalie Arena". Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  11. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning History 1996-97". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  12. ^ Scher, Jon. "SI Vault: Lightning's first season was full of shocks, challenges". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  13. ^ "Thunderdome Has Comforts Of Home". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  14. ^ "Tropicana Field Facts". Tampa Bay Rays. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  15. ^ "Timeline". Tampa Sports Authority. Retrieved 2016-05-25. December 30, 2004 - Tampa Sports Authority conveys ownership of the now Amalie Arena to Hillsborough County.
  16. ^ Hananoki, Eric (August 22, 2012). "Fox-Approved Convention Theme Contradicted by Publicly Financed Site". Media Matters. The Forum was built in 1996 by the Tampa Bay Sports Authority, which was created as a public agency in 1965 for the purpose of "planning, developing and maintaining a comprehensive complex of sports and recreational facilities" in the area. According to the Authority's 2011 financial statements, the Forum is actually owned by Hillsborough County, which then leases it back to the Authority.
  17. ^ "The Top 5 Busiest Arenas In America". Is It Packed. November 4, 2010. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Cristodero, Damian (February 2, 2011). "Tampa Bay Lightning Announces $35 million in Renovations to the St. Pete Times Forum". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on September 12, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  19. ^ "The Transformation Continues". May 3, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  20. ^ "Tampa Bay Times Forum has a new name: Amalie Arena". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  21. ^ "Deal gives Tampa's Forum a new name: Amalie Arena". Archived from the original on 2016-06-25. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  22. ^ "Organic garden at Amalie Arena feeds Lightning players, fans". Tampa Bay Times. 2014-11-03.
  23. ^ "Raptors to call Tampa home to open NBA season". 2020-11-20. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
  24. ^ "Stanley Cup Final schedule". Retrieved 2021-06-27.
  25. ^ "Championship – Men's Basketball". Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  26. ^ "media guide 20 21 web (PDF)" (PDF). USF Athletics. Retrieved 2021-01-19.
  27. ^ English, Antonya (October 23, 2010). "Tampa Exhibition Between Orlando Magic and Miami Heat Canceled Due to Floor Conditions". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
  28. ^ "Men's Frozen Four Road to the Championship". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  29. ^ Arena, Amalie. "Amalie Arena, Formerly Tampa Bay Times Forum, Ranked Third in the United States and Tenth in the World by Venues Today | Amalie Arena". Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  30. ^ "2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions takes center stage beginning Sept. 15". Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  31. ^ "Athletics to Host Three Upcoming NCAA Championship Events in Tampa". USF Athletics. Retrieved 2021-07-09.

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by Home of the
Tampa Bay Lightning

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

1997 – 2017
Succeeded by
Ceased operations
Preceded by Host of the
NHL All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Preceded by NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Home of the
Toronto Raptors

2020– 2021
Succeeded by
Scotiabank Arena