Work on the St. Pete Times Forum is continuing at a fever pace to get the stadium ready for the Tampa Bay Lightning's home opener Monday against the Panthers. Earlier this week, the arena floor still was littered with boxes containing seats to be installed in the lower bowl.
Those will be installed as every seat in the house is being replaced. The pipe organ that took out two sections on the 300 level also is expected to be ready; its 250 dedicated speakers are being tuned this week. There is no guarantee, though, one of the most dramatic aspects of the $40 million makeover -- the lightning bolt-shooting Tesla coils -- will be ready, the team said.
The issue with the two coils, which are supposed to shoot lightning bolts about 20 feet to celebrate Lightning goals, is they need to be extensively tested. If delayed it would be because of "technical related issues," Lightning chief operating officer Steve Griggs said.
"Our goal is to have the majority of the changes completed," Griggs said. "But with the construction schedule going right to Monday there could be a couple things that could be off line."
As to perhaps not having the coils ready for opening night, Griggs said he would rather be sure they are working correctly than forcing the issue and hoping for the best.
"We want it to be perfect," he said.
Check out Friday's paper for an extensive look at what to expect in the renovated Times Forum.