From 2011-2013, AMALIE Arena had more than $62 million in improvements that have clearly revolutionized the industry and made it the premier entertainment venue in the state of Florida.
With a wide array of venues spread throughout the United States, it can be difficult to find one that distinguishes itself from the others. That is not the case with the renovated AMALIE Arena, Florida’s premier entertainment venue and home of the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
Boasting unique features like lightning-throwing Tesla coils, the 11,000 square-foot Budweiser Biergarten with incredible views of the city and a massive five-manual, 105-rank digital pipe organ, AMALIE Arena consistently ranks among the very best venues in the United States. The best part? This is only the beginning.
A new era in Tampa Bay has arrived and it’s time you be a part of it. Our owners are committed to providing fans with a world-class experience at every game, concert and event.
The doors to the 670,000-square-foot AMALIE Arena (originally called the Ice Palace) first opened on October 12, 1996 with its first event, the Royal Hanneford Circus. The Circus was followed shortly thereafter by the first Lightning game played on October 20, 1996. The Lightning won 5-2 over the New York Rangers.
The arena has hosted numerous high-profile events including the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, the 2007 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2009 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2012 Republican National Convention, the 2012 NCAA Men's Frozen Four and more.
In 2002, the building was renamed from the Ice Palace to the St. Pete Times Forum as part of a new partnership with the St. Petersburg Times.
From 2011-2013, the publicly-owned AMALIE Arena underwent a $62 million transformation that was privately funded by Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment owner and chairman, Jeff Vinik.
On December 31, 2011 the St. Petersburg Times changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times, and the arena was unveiled as the Tampa Bay Times Forum to follow suit.
In August 2014, local Tampa Bay Company AMALIE Oil entered an agreement for the naming rights to the arena.
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Top Moments in AMALIE Arena History
Top Moments in AMALIE Arena History
- AMALIE Arena is consistently ranked a top arena in the country and the world by Pollstar Magazine, the leading industry magazine.
- Bon Jovi has played to more than 100,000 fans in the building over the course of five sold-out tour stops from 2003 to present day.
- Elton John and Billy Joel played to a sold out crowd in 2006 and again in 2009. AC/DC made an unexpected appearance on stage with Joel and John at the 2006 show.
- AMALIE Arena hosted the “British Invasion” when Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters all came to Tampa – the three shows in four days hosted over 40,000 guests.
- Tampa Bay got a beach when Jeff and Penny Vinik commissioned The Beach Tampa in AMALIE Arena over the summer of 2016. Thanks to the Vinik Family Foundation all guests entered the building for free, parked for free and received free ice cream on the way in.
- Farewell Tours love stopping at AMALIE Arena including Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Elton John and KISS just to name a few.
- The NCAA Women's Final Four Basketball Championship played at the arena in 2008 and still continues to call AMALIE Arena home.
- The arena hosted three great shows in December 2018 including for KING & COUNTRY, Jingle Ball and two sold-out Trans-Siberian Orchestra shows, drawing over 50,000 guests during one weekend.
- Billy Joel has sold out the arena nine times, most recently in 2020.
- AMALIE Arena is named after the locally family-owned and operated AMALIE Oil company. AMALIE is pronounced AM-uh-lee and rhymes with family.
Top Lightning Moments at AMALIE Arena
- October 20, 1996 - First game ever played at AMALIE Arena, a 5-3 win over the New York Rangers
- October 25, 1998 – Vincent Lecavalier scores his first career NHL goal against the Vancouver Canucks
- January 24, 1999 – The arena hosts the 1999 NHL All-Star Game
- November 15, 2003 - Dave Andreychuk records his 250th power-play goal to set an NHL career record in a 4-2 win against the San Jose Sharks
- May 22, 2004 - Lightning advance to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Final with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final
- June 7, 2004 – Winning Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final
- October 5, 2005 - Raising the Stanley Cup Championship banner in front of a record crowd of 22,120
- April 7, 2007- Vincent Lecavalier ends the 2006-2007 season with 108 points (52 goals and 56 assists).
- February 17, 2009 - Steven Stamkos records his first NHL hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks
- May 25, 2010- The Lightning announced Hall of Fame and former Detroit Red Wings executive Steve Yzerman as their new general manager.
- March 31, 2011 - The Lightning clinch a playoff spot for the first time in four years with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins
- May 4, 2011 - The Lightning complete a four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinal
- June 3, 2015- The Lightning make it to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history and lose in six games (4-2) to the Chicago Blackhawks.
January 13, 2017 – Martin St. Louis, the all-time leading scorer in Tampa Bay history, becomes the first Lightning player to have his jersey retired, his No. 26 lifted to the rafters in an emotional ceremony at AMALIE Arena.
- February 10, 2018- the Tampa Bay Lightning retired Vincent Lecavalier’s No. 4.
November 13, 2017 – Former Lightning captain and 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Dave Andreychuk is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
- May 11, 2018- The Lightning and Washington Capitals advance to the Eastern Conference Final and the Bolts lose in seven games (4-4) to Washington.
September 11, 2018 – Julien BriseBois is named the seventh general manager in Tampa Bay Lightning history, replacing Steve Yzerman, who stepped aside to become Senior Advisor to the General Manager.
November 12, 2018 – First ballot inductee Martin St. Louis is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Facts & Figures
The massive $62-million transformation from 2011-2013 made AMALIE Arena history. Here are some of the highlights:
- Annually hosts more than 150 events ever year, which ranks among the top venues in North America.
- Encompasses 670,000 square feet with three decks and seven separate levels.
- The building is 133 feet 10 inches in height and 493 feet in diameter.
- Contains 3,400 tons of steel, 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and 70,000 square feet of glass.
- Features 351 faucets throughout the building and each one is touchless to conserve water.
- Prominently features 71 suites.
- Two hundred forty-two new sport lights have been installed to increase our game night lighting by doubling our foot-candle levels, exceeding all NHL standards and enhancing HD broadcasts.
- LED display boards that circle the entire area feature 1.7 million square pixels for pure viewing pleasure.
Relax and enjoy your event from the comfort of your seat, or if you are feeling a little more social, take advantage of our party decks and bars located within the arena.
The Budweiser Biergarten is located on the trane terrace level at Sections 304 and 328. The spacious 11,000-square-foot outdoor deck offers a variety of food and beverage options, including plenty of cold Bud Light. Take in the spectacular views of downtown Tampa while enjoying the great weather.
Coors Light Between The Pipes Bar
The grand digital pipe organ is the signature centerpiece to the trane terrace level bar and fan destination. The digital pipe organ features five keyboards and 42 ranks of sounds, with a sound system comprised of 260 dedicated speakers. The litany of sounds this instrument makes actually rattles the arena’s very foundation! Any guest can watch the game from the bar.
Ford Thunder Alley
Ford Thunder Alley is AMALIE Arena's main entrance plaza that gives fans a place to meet, gather and relax before the game. There, fans can enjoy live music and interactive games, enter to win prizes in a variety of contests, meet ThunderBug, and enjoy food and drinks. You might also see and take part in Sun Sports Lightning Live pre-game television show. It’s a free show before the game as we count down to face off.
IOA Suite Level
Each of the building’s 69 suites have been completely reconstructed and finished with the most modern materials and technologies. With 20 suites less than 25 rows from the main floor, luxury seating options are in abundance for the most discriminating sports and entertainment fans.
Each of the suites have been enlarged with slick cool-to-touch in-counter stove burners and flat-screen TVs.
Over 75,000 square feet covering the arena’s concourses, Promenade and Trane Terrace level have been resurfaced and sealed.
Two hundred forty-two new sport lights have been installed to increase our game night lighting by doubling our foot-candle levels, exceeding all NHL standards and enhancing HD broadcasts for all events.
The Budweiser Biergarten located on the trane terrace level offers 10,000 square feet of gorgeous, unobstructed views of downtown Tampa. In addition to the views, the deck has five concession stands and beverage bars with 10 new points of sale available to all arena guests.
To help enlarge our Executive Suites, 72 restrooms have been removed and replaced with eight exclusive hallway restrooms.
Seven motorized Mac 3 theatrical lights bring a premier feel to every event.
New Digital Signs
New Daktronics LED digital signs with 360-degree views. A total of 14 new LED displays offer up 1.7 million square pixels for pure viewing pleasure.
The AMALIE Arena main restaurants have been transformed into one grand 9,000-square-foot dining experience called The Firestick Grill. The kitchen was replaced with four ovens, one broiler, 10 prep stations, three refrigerators, and a 320-square-foot freezer. Open for every Lightning game and on select event nights, enjoy our newest premium experience Interact Bistro @ Firestick Grill.
Powered by the People
Approximately 1,250 men and women worked non-stop on the arena transformation over four months. That’s over 175,000 hours on the job site. A total of 35 contractors have been utilized on-site at AMALIE Arena. 85 percent of the costs for the transformation has been paid to Florida firms for labor or products also supplied by Florida firms.
No Financial Burden to the Community
The $62 million in renovations to the publicly owned AMALIE Arena were privately funded. No financial burden was placed on the community.