The Tampa Bay Lightning will officially unveil the new name and logo of its arena, the Tampa Bay Times Forum, as well as commemorate a life-sized bronze statue of franchise founder Phil Esposito on the west plaza starting at 4:30 p.m. today.
The renaming of the building occurs as its naming rights partner, the St. Petersburg Times, changes the handle of the newspaper to the Tampa Bay Times, adopting a name that reflects the region that the Times reaches on a daily basis.
Tampa Bay Times Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Tash will usher in the new era and will be joined by Tampa Bay Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik, Lightning CEO Tod Leiweke and Lightning founder Esposito.
The ceremony will take place in succession with the unveiling of the statue erected in Esposito’s honor, meant to pay homage to the man that brought hockey to Florida, founding the National Hockey League’s first team in the Sunshine State.
Fans are encouraged to follow the ceremony on Sun Sports beginning at 4:30 p.m., and then watch the Lightning take on the Carolina Hurricanes for a special New Year’s eve start time of 5 p.m.