A 2004 photo of the Tampa Bay Times Forum as seen from Ft. Brooke Park (photo by Bill Erickson, used with permission)
Earlier in the month, I wrote about the off-season interruption that was going on at 401 Channelside Drive:
On Sunday, July 15th, Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment - the formal business name for what amounts to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm franchises - secedes control of the Forum to the Republican National Committee in preparation for their national convention. The RNC will have full control of Times Palace until midnight on September 13th. That's when their pumpkin turns back into our stagecoach and we can continue on our hockey journey.
There have been little notes here and there about changes to the building - changes which will remain long after this summer's festivities are over. The most recent one being improved acoustics. There are other changes such as cell reception int he building that fans will notice once this brouhaha is in the rearview and we're back to what we focus on at the Forum: Tampa Bay Lightning hockey.
Yet, before we get to September and the pre-season... Things will happen at the Forum. Things that they are preparing for right now. The Tampa Bay Times posted a time-lapse video of work ongoing at Times Palace and... Well, I find it outright painful to watch.
Yeah, it's just a building. It's an inanimate object. But it's our building, one that the powers involved in current retrofit don't need to concern themselves about past September 13th. Their focus is on getting the building ready for late August. That's what things have to be perfect for. After that, their job is done. It's not as big an issue to getting the building back to where it was. At least, that's my cynical take on it: