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Amalie Arena to Offer the Beach Tampa


For a very short time, Amalie Arena will be offering a unique beach experience.

In an event that is being billed as Beach Tampa, Amalie Arena will host an interactive art exhibit that simulates feeling of being in an ocean. Rather than using water or waves, the beach is actually made of translucent opaque balls.

Amalie Arena’s promotion was set into motion by Penny Vinik, the wife of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, after she learned of last summer’s Beach DC at the National Building Museum. More from the Tampa Bay Times:

The balls, about 3 inches in diameter, create a swash zone that surrounds every step with rolling balls. They move and carry the traveler, making it impossible to sink to the bottom but also difficult to stand. You swim. Or maybe belly flop. Landings are soft as you float atop hundreds of the opaque balls.

“The Beach Tampa transforms the familiar beach experience into a truly unique, visually stimulating and tactile experience,” said Penny Vinik. “It’s also just pure fun.”

Timed tickets are available through and the arena box office starting today. There will be free parking and even one complimentary ice cream treat per person waiting on the “shore” outside the ball area featuring a beach hut, beach chairs and umbrellas. About 500 visitors will be allowed inside the arena at any one time.

Admission to the event will be free, and users will have the option to store personal objects in lockers provided by the arena before entering the display.

It will be interesting to see if this display is eventually hosted by other arenas. While Beach Tampa may prove to be a popular offering at Amalie Arena, it will only be available from August 5-25. With a Drake concert scheduled for the 27th, it will need to be removed quickly. The scheduling would be a concern at other venues, but as arena operators look for creative ways to bring people into their buildings, the potential is there for this display or similar ventures to catch on during breaks in the schedule.

The promotion is being sponsored by the Vinik Family Foundation.

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