Welcome to the start of the 2011-12 Tampa Bay Lightning season! We look forward to a thunderous season on and off the ice for your Bolts. In fact, if you haven’t heard, we are asking all fans to “Be the Thunder” this year and we appreciate all of your support as we fight for a playoff spot once again this year. So we hope to see you early and often at our games and we hope to hear you loud and proud when we’re battling down on the ice.
As you probably know, thanks to our owner, Jeff Vinik, we are in the midst of a $40 million transformation of the St. Pete Times Forum. With a goal of completing most of the transformation in time for the regular season home opener on October 17, we are asking you "pardon our dust" at the preseason game versus the Florida Panthers this Friday night, September 23. Many elements of the transformation will be completed for the Panthers game, including new arena lighting, the replacement of seats on the Club and Terrace levels, the renovation of all arena suites, new concourse flooring and carpeting on all levels. The main concourse will now offer view corridors into the bowl at sections 104, 112, 120 and 128, allowing fans on the concourse to have a feel for all the action on the ice.
Making their debut at our regular season home opener are the new seats in the lower bowl and exciting new features like live Lightning strikes, a grand pipe organ and performance stage on the Terrace Level, an 11,000 square foot outdoor deck (with concessions!) overlooking downtown Tampa, and new digital signage packages. Fans will experience a Forum that looks and feels like Tampa Bay and the home of the Lightning, with images and artwork that pay homage to our community history and heritage and celebrate our teams’ past successes and current stars.
Later this fall you will enjoy a completely redesigned West entry to the St. Pete Times Forum, with a grand staircase and terraces that welcomes you and connects you easily from the West Plaza to the box office and to the main concourse. The West entry will also feature a new team retail store and renovated deli/bar area. You can enjoy a great pre-game dinner in our newly renovated Club level restaurant as well.
Because some of our improvements are still in progress, fans attending the Panthers game this Friday should expect to see some partitions and some temporary signage - some areas of the concourses may take some time to navigate. Please be aware that the Club level restaurant will not be available Friday night. Our season ticket holder service area will be temporarily located in a tent on the West Plaza, as the West Entry will still be under construction. We also expect that our elevators will be in heavy demand. So, we invite you to please arrive early and allow plenty of time to enter the building and find your seats.
We know you’re going to enjoy your newly transformed home like never before.
The Players and Staff of the Tampa Bay Lightning