History

The doors to the 670,000-square-foot Tampa Bay Times Forum (originally called the Ice Palace) first opened on October 12, 1996 with its first event, the Royal Hanneford Circus.

The Circus was followed shortly thereafter by the first Lightning game played on October 20, 1996.  The game resulted in the Lightning's 5-2 win over the New York Rangers. 

The arena, also home to the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm, has hosted numerous high-profile events including the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, the 2007 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2009 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, a rally for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the 2012 NCAA Men's Frozen Four and more. The Tampa Bay Times Forum is scheduled to host the 2012 Republican National Convention in August.

In 2002, the building was renamed from the Ice Palace to the St. Pete Times Forum as part of a new partnership with the St. Petersburg Times.

During the summer of 2011, the publicly-owned Tampa Bay Times Forum underwent a $40 million transformation that was privately funded by Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment owner and chairman, Jeff Vinik.

On December 31, 2011 the St. Petersburg Times changed its name to the Tampa Bay Times, and the arena was unveiled as the Tampa Bay Times Forum to follow suit.  

Top 15 Moments in Times Forum History

  1. Garth Brooks – Sells out four consecutive performances                 
  2. Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus has record-breaking runs from 2000 to the present day.
  3. U2's inspirational performance in 2001.
  4. Bon Jovi plays to over 85,000 fans in the building over the course of four tours from 2003 to the present day.
  5. Tim McGraw sings with the Stanley Cup on stage at sold out concert in 2004.
  6. Hundreds of volunteers fill the west plaza to collect supplies for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005.
  7. The Rolling Stones perform their second of two sold out performances in 2005.
  8. AC/DC makes an unexpected appearance on stage with Billy Joel and Elton John in 2006.
  9. AVP Pro Beach Volleyball hits the Forum grounds in 2007.
  10. The St. Pete Times Forum hosts the ACC Basketball Championship in 2007.
  11. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band perform for the first time years in 2007.
  12. The women's Final Four Basketball Championship is played at the arena in 2008.
  13. Elton John and Billy Joel play to a sold out crowd in 2009.
  14. The Forum hosts three great acts including Celine Dion, The Eagles and Dane Cook, drawing thousands upon thousands of guests during Super Bowl Week in 2009.
  15. Roger Waters performs "The Wall" in 2011.

Top 15 Lightning Moments at the Times Forum

  1. June 7, 2004 – Winning Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals
  2. October 5, 2005 - Raising the Stanley Cup Champions banner in front of a record crowd of 22,120
  3. October 20, 1996 - First game ever played at the St. Pete Times Forum, a 5-3 win over the NY Rangers
  4. January 24, 1999 – The St. Pete Times Forum hosts the 1999 NHL All-Star Game
  5. October 25, 1998 – Vincent Lecavalier scores his first career NHL goal against the Vancouver Canucks
  6. May 4, 2011 - The Lightning complete a four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals in the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals
  7. February 17, 2009 - Steven Stamkos records his first NHL hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks
  8. April 10, 2010 – Steven Stamkos scores goals #49 and #50 of the season against the Florida Panthers
  9. May 22, 2004 - Lightning advance to the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Final with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals
  10. April 8, 2004 – Nikolai Khabibulin records the first playoff shutout in team history against the NY Islanders
  11. November 15, 2003 - Dave Andreychuk records his 250th power-play goal to set an NHL career record in a 4-2 win against the San Jose Sharks
  12. May 25, 2011 – The Lightning win their fourth consecutive elimination game of the 2011 postseason to force a Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals
  13. November 8, 2002 – Vincent Lecavalier records his first career hat trick in a 9-0 win over Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins
  14. March 31, 2011 - The Lightning clinch a playoff spot for the first time in four years with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins
  15. April 3, 2007 – Vincent Lecavalier scores his 52nd goal of the season in 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
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