The Tampa Bay Lightning announced a nearly complete reconstruction of the club level at the Amalie Arena today, including plans to add up to 160 loge seats at the north end, new concession stands, remodeled restrooms and a larger outdoor deck. The renovations will cost $25 million and take place over the next two years. Earlier on Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Commission approved a plan to reimburse Lightning owner Jeff Vinik $12.5 million of the cost of those upgrades after they’re completed. “When the arena was designed and developed in the mid-1990’s a true club level was contemplated but never constructed,” Lightning President Steve Griggs said in a statement. “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.” Other upgrades to the arena will include two club level lofts being doubled in size to accommodate up to 80 people and a rebuilt stair tower in the northwest corner of the arena that would allow access to the terrace level and the Bud Light Party Deck from the club level. Construction is scheduled to start at the end of the Lightning’s 2014-15 season with work running through the fall. Construction on the remaining renovations will begin in the summer of 2016. The arena hosts Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm games but also has been home to major concert tours, the 2012 Republican National Convention and many other events. County Administrator Mike Merrill made the case to commissioners for financing half the cost of the renovations. Merrill pointed out that the arena belongs to Hillsborough County and that the Lightning sublease the building through the Tampa Sports Authority.
Renderings offer glimpse at $25 million Amalie Arena upgrades
Tampa Tribune | Mar 4