TAMPA — Amalie Arena employees have spent the summer getting the venue ready for the upcoming National Hockey League season.
Preseason games start this week, and construction crews are wrapping up a $2 million upgrade to the ice-level Lexus Lounge, a bar and lounge area for ticket holders who have seats in the first two rows closest to the ice. The lounge is available exclusively to these nearly 400 ticket holders, said Tampa Bay Lightning spokesman Bill Wickett. Most are season ticket holders, he added.
The Lexus Lounge includes two bars, plush seating and food service. It will be open during other events at Amalie Arena, too. Entry into the lounge is included in the ticket price on seats in the A and B rows on the first-level concourse at the arena.
Other improvements opening in time for the 2016-2017 NHL season include Big Storm Brewing Co. on the club-level concourse. Big Storm is a Pasco County-based brewery with tap rooms in both Pasco and Pinellas. Dunkin' Donuts will open four locations throughout the arena, Wickett said. The Dunkin' stands will sell coffee only.
Amalie Arena, which is 20 years old this year, has seen significant improvements in the past five years. Last year, several new concessions opened, such as Mise En Place, Smoke's Poutinerie and Irish 31. The arena added $25 million worth of new seating on the club level last year, too. Half of those renovations were paid for by Hillsborough County.
Team owner Jeff Vinik has poured more than $60 million into arena improvements since 2011.
Contact Justine Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.