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Sports Spot Becomes Hot Spot For Shows

Arts & Entertainment

By Jenna Jean

Amalie Arena is becoming a hot spot for concerts and shows. Amalie Arena, formally known as the Times Forum, or as your parents knew it, The Ice Palace, has been well known for hockey, arena football, and networking expos, but is now hosting shows for many popular artists.

Why does Amalie make a perfect location for a concert? Christina Guarneri worked her way up through the system to a full time position as Event Ticket Coordinator. The arena is in a great location and easily accessible by guests. When artists go on tour, Amalie Arena has become a stop on their way to or from Miami or Jacksonville in the recent years. “Since Jeff Vinik has taken over, he has truly renovated the building to a place people want to back come to, for guests and promoters,” said Guarneri. She went on to say, “We can reach out to many different types of crowds. From a sellout crowd of teenage screaming girls for Ed Sheeran to a small theater setting for kids ages 2-5 for a Disney Live show.”

Other venues in Tampa do not always have as much accessibility as Amalie does. Raymond James Stadium would find it difficult to host a Cirque Du Soleil event because its venue is too large. The Amphitheater at the Fairgrounds has issues as well. It does not have the ability to move the stage based the size of the crowd. Amalie can transform into an end stage, half house, or quarter house, which allows it to bid for many types of performances. You can see the circus at the same venue that you can see Janet Jackson and even a hockey game the following weekend. “The arena is one of my favorite places to go for a concert recently. I’m not surprised to hear they were ranked 5th in the world. There are not a lot of blind spots due to the huge screen, either. What is most important to me is the audio system and it is great,” said Kyle Chermak, an SPC student.

In a recent ranking done by Venues Today magazine, Amalie Arena has been ranked 5th in the world for venues with seating exceeding 15,000 seats based on ticket sales for concerts, events, and family shows. In that ranking, it did not include hockey and arena football.

Some fans wait for certain shows every year. SPC Seminole student Shardia Persaud said, “I go to Winter Jam every year and it is always so fun. It looks like an actual concert hall because it is so big. You couldn’t of noticed it was home to one of the biggest hockey teams, plus it’s air-conditioned. I’m glad they are expanding their shows.”

Over this 2015 Hockey offseason, the entire 200 level (Tampa Bay Club) has been completely renovated. You can expect a new tater tot bar, as well as other new foods. In the bowl area, they removed almost 700 seats and added a new huge lounge and two lofts, which are already sold out, even though they are still in the process of being built. On the event level, they have renovated the locker rooms and performer rooms. “All of the construction being done has one sole purpose; to better the experience for our guests, whether they are a paying customer or a promoter with a show,” said Guarneri.

After a summer full of football and events, preseason hockey is underway starting September 22nd. Opening night for the Lightning will be October 8th. The Lightning are starting their season after an exciting playoff run last season. Tickets for these games can be purchased through or on

Other upcoming events include:

  • Janet Jackson- September 24th at 8:00pm. This is part of her ‘Unbreakable World Tour’.
  • Joel Osteen Ministries- November 13th at 7:30pm.
  • Trans-Siberian Orchestra: “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” will be playing two shows at the arena on December 13th at 3:00pm and 7:30pm. You can purchase tickets for both shows on September 18th at 10:00am.
  • Abel Tesfaye, who goes by “The Weeknd”, was a recent addition announced by the arena. Over the past year you may have heard his voice on Ariana Grande track “Love me Harder” or his solo song “Earned it”, which was in the film Fifty Shades of Grey. His performance is December 17th at 7:30pm.
  • Amsoil Arenacross will be spending two days at the arena February 20th at 7:00pm (professional class) and February 21st at 12:00pm (amateur class).
  • The final event to date for the Arena is the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New Jersey Devils on April 2nd. This will be the last game of the regular hockey season at home.

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