St. Pete Times Forum has changed just a tad compared to this image.. (Bruce Bennett | Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Lightning play all of one game at the St. Pete Times Forum this preseason. That's not much of a change from recent years, as the team has spent more time on the road at third-party locales than at Times Palace.
This year, however, there is different reasoning why the Bolts are only playing one game at the Forum. Actually, it's somewhere north of $35 million reasons. The renovation to the arena continues, and will continue for some time yet. A good bit of the work will be completed for the home-opener on October 17th, but not all of it.
October 17th is 24 days away, and Friday's preseason game at the Forum is tomorrow... That should tell you that the building remains a construction zone / work in progress.
The team issued an advisory for those attending tomorrow. Preseason games usually aren't a major draw, but of course there will be those go to see changes to the Forum first-hand, up-close, as well as to catch some Lightning hockey action.
From the team:
As fans prepare to attend Friday's game against the Panthers (7:30 p.m.), Lightning management asks them to please take note of the following:
- The McDonald's Ticket Office (and will call windows) will be located in temporary facilities on the West Plaza near the parking garage
- The Metro PCS Client Services Lounge for season ticket members is being relocated to the Rolling Thunder marketing vehicle near the ticket office
- Doors to the arena will open at 5:30 p.m. to allow fans more time to enter through stair towers on the east and west side of the Times Forum, rather than the conventional entrances, which are being rebuilt as part of the new West Entry
Fans with questions are encouraged to call the St. Pete Times Forum before coming to the game on Friday at 813.301.6500.
It's also noted in the release that you should not expect the "wow" additions to be in use for this game: Don't expect to see the lightning firing tesla coils, or hear the pipe organ, or have a drink on the new party deck. Those officially begin use on October 17th at the home opener.