The Tampa Bay Lightning, in conjunction with Hillsborough County, will be spending $25 million on renovations for Amalie Arena over the next two summers, team president Steve Griggs announced today. The renovations continue an arena makeover which commenced in the summer of 2011, about 15 months after owner Jeff Vinik’s purchase of the team in 2010. To date, more than $60 million has been spent on the facility over the past four years, combining public and private investments.
“We are grateful to Hillsborough’s Board of County Commissioners for their continued commitment to Amalie Arena as it approaches its 20th anniversary,” said Griggs upon making the announcement. “Mr. Vinik and our management team are focused on maintaining one of the leading arenas in the nation, enabling us to treat our guests in a world class manner, while continuing to attract the best in concerts, family shows and championship events. County contributions are designed to maintain mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, facility infrastructure and services, and prevent any potential life safety concerns.”
Fan-facing upgrades include a nearly complete reconstruction of the club level, including the addition of 140-160 loge seats at the north end of the arena, new concession stands, rebuilt restrooms and an expanded exterior deck on the northeast quadrant of the club level. Two club level lofts (currently at sections 204 and 214) are being doubled in size, offering group buyers the opportunity to bring up to 80 people to games and events in a private environment. Additionally, some of the arena’s “vertical transportation” concerns will be addressed with a rebuilt stair tower in the northwest corner of the arena, creating access to the terrace level and the Bud Light Party Deck from the club level.
“When the arena was designed and developed in the mid-1990’s a true club level was contemplated but never constructed,” Griggs said. “Our goal is to build a club level with proper amenities for our season ticket members and other guests wishing to sit in this area. And our new loge boxes allow us to offer fans a seating option available in the most modern facilities today.”
Additionally, the arena’s event level – including locker rooms, performer rooms, and media and hospitality spaces will be modernized for the first time since the facility opened in 1996. Internet protocol television will be installed throughout the arena, allowing for computerized menu boards at concession stands and the ability for the arena’s 500+ televisions to be controlled from a master system.
Although the exact construction schedule is yet to be finalized, the renovations will commence at the conclusion of the 2014-15 Lightning season and will proceed through the summer and into the early fall. Additional renovations will take place in the summer of 2016.