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Tampa Bay Lightning improvements won't stop at the uniforms as team has big plans for Forum



The Tampa Bay Lightning in a series of announcements is expected to unveil improvements it has planned for the St. Pete Times Forum. Many of the improvements will be ready by next season. Employees, before Tuesday's game with the Maple Leafs, got a quick preview as to what is planned with a presentation by minority owner and CEO Tod Leiweke. There also was a video presentation done with reporters in the press box.

The renovation actually is a continuation of improvements already made. The highlights of the expanded renovation includes changing out all the arena seats, part of making the interior of the arena conform to the team's new blue and white color scheme. An 11,000 square-foot party deck is planned and a pipe organ for in-game entertainment. No word on whether it will match the strength of the organ at the old Chicago Stadium.

The process is part of a housecleaning, so to speak, by Leiweke and new owner Jeff Vinik. It also is a continued sign of the seriousness they have on following through on declarations made when they came on board to give the organization a new look and direction.

Oh, and one other note on the 2-0 win over the Maple Leafs:

Defenseman Matt Smaby was indeed supposed to be scratched for a ninth straight game, coach Guy Boucher said, but was added to the lineup after forward Mattias Ritola did not feel well during warm-ups as the Lightning went with seven defensemen. Smaby played six shifts and 3:44. 

[Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:15am]


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