The Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) will be playing this season at Amalie Arena, as naming rights to the former Tampa Bay Times Forum have been sold to a local oil-products manufacturer.
The recently renovated 19,204-seat arena, which opened in 1996 as the home of the Lightning, will be hereafter entitled Amalie Arena. The arena naming rights had been controlled by the Tampa Bay Times (formerly St. Petersburg Times) since 2002. Although it cedes the naming rights of the arena to Amalie, The Times will remain the organization’s exclusive print partner.
“I am pleased that the Barkett family has chosen to partner with our organization in displaying the good name of its local, family owned company on our facility,” said owner Jeff Vinik. “Like Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, the Barkett family and Amalie Oil are heavily vested in our community, providing jobs and stimulating economic activity. The brothers share our vision and values and we look forward to a long and healthy partnership working together to achieve business and community objectives.”
Founded in 1903, Amalie Oil Company has been located on 29 acres in the Port of Tampa since 1977, employing 250 local residents, supplying motor oil and industrial lubricants to international oil companies, automotive retailers, distributors, mass merchandisers and private label customers in 50 states and more than 100 countries.
“We have been inspired by Jeff Vinik in the way he does well in business and how he does well by the community,” said Harry Barkett, Amalie President and Chief Executive Officer and one of the four Barkett brothers who own and operate the company. “We like how those two ideals can work together and we share those values.”
The Times’ new partnership includes the naming rights to one of the arena’s two club level hospitality lofts, interior and exterior signs (including dasher boards), full LED and game presentation during Lightning and Storm games, along with extensive community and hospitality functions.
“We appreciate and value our ongoing partnership with the Tampa Bay Times and its leadership,” said Vinik. “We are pleased to have helped the Times solidify its brand locally and nationally, and we remain proud to move forward with a continued strong relationship between the organizations.”