The doors to the 670,000-square-foot AMALIE Arena -- originally called the Ice Palace -- opened on Oct. 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, also home to the Arena Football League's Tampa Bay Storm, 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 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 building, renaming it AMALIE Arena.
When Expo Hall proved too diminutive for the Lightning after their inaugural campaign, the team moved across the Howard Frankland Bridge to St. Petersburg's ThunderDome -- now known as Tropicana Field, home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays -- for three seasons.
The move to the massive domed stadium, which was originally built for baseball, more than doubled the team's home attendance capacity from its former place at the Fairgrounds, giving the Lightning the ability to pack in more than 28,000 fans on any given night.
In April 1996, they set an NHL attendance record, drawing 28,183 fans to Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers -- still the most to attend a playoff game in league history.
The Florida State Fairgrounds' Expo Hall was the original home of the Lightning during the team's inaugural 1992-93 season in the National Hockey League. Holding a seating capacity of just 10,425, the indoor arena was deemed too dimunutive for the team, which moved to St. Petersburg's ThunderDome for their second season.
Expo Hall is still widely used today, hosting annual events, high school and college commencement ceremonies, concerts and more. Before the Lightning, it was the home of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, which used the venue for eight of their 16 home matches during the North American Soccer League's 1983-84 indoor season.