Amalie Arena could be in line for a major event, as Tampa Bay Lightning officials are making a push to bring some showcase gatherings to Tampa, including an NHL All-Star Game.
Under owner Jeff Vinik, the Lightning have made continual improvements to Amalie Arena. These changes have not only yielded some major overhauls to the fan experience, but have helped place a renewed focus on the 20-year-old venue.
Vinik and the Lightning are lobbying the NHL for an All-Star Game, among other events. While no firm date is in place, NHL officials are speaking highly of the organization and Amalie Arena. More from The Tampa Bay Times:
But when? It sounds like there might be momentum for the Lightning and Tampa Bay to host a special event sooner than later. A few league representatives visited Tampa last month as part of a multicity scouting tour for potential sites for the All-Star Game, draft and outdoor games, including the annual New Year’s Winter Classic, among other events.
NHL executive vice president Steve Mayer said the league hadn’t made any decisions but hopes to announce plans soon for 2018 and potentially beyond. And the Lightning pitch made a great impression, he said.
“There’s no question we are absolutely strongly considering Tampa in the mix,” Mayer told the Tampa Bay Times. “The city can house a world-class event. It’s proving it time after time after time.”
Also of note: The Times reports in that same story that the Lightning would like to bring an outdoor game to Tampa. While no timeline is in place, Raymond James Stadium—home of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers—could be a host facility.