Updated January 4, 2019 - added beaches, attractions & museums info to 2nd post Welcome to hockey paradise! Yes, this is the place where you can wear shorts and flip flops with your hockey jersey/sweater and not get strange looks. You can get sunburned on our gorgeous beaches then cool off inside one of the best hockey venues in the League! LIGHTNING TICKET INFO Online – can purchase on the Official Tampa Bay Lightning Website via ticketmaster (which will include STMs reselling their seats), or at various online ticket resale sites. Arena Ticket Office – open until 5 pm weekdays and later on game days. Some tickets will be available game day, but probably not the choicest seats as the place is regularly sold out. Scalpers - there are usually a couple lurking near Amalie on game day To see what the view will be from your seat check out the Virtual Venue below. Just note that the prices listed on the Venue are a couple of years old. http://tampabaylightning.io-media.com/web/index.html LIGHTNING PRACTICES Game day practices are at Amalie Arena and are not usually open to the public. All other practices are held at the official Tampa Bay Lightning practice facility at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon Home and those are always open to the public. VISITING TEAMS They usually stay in one of the three closest hotels to the Arena - Embassy Suites just to the west of Amalie, Marriott Waterside just to the south or Westin on Harbour Island. Sometimes players walk to the Forum and enter through a door on the south side along the channel or the team bus picks the team up from their hotel and pulls into the player's parking lot on the east side. The usual entrance and exit for Lightning players is from their lot on the East side of the Arena. Many players will sign autographs for fans after a game, especially after a win. An Amalie Arena security person can direct you to the approved place to wait for players. 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida 33602 Official Plan Your Visit FAQ http://www.amaliearena.com/plan-your-visit Bags must be under 12x12x12 inches in size and no big backpacks are allowed. I've brought my drawstring Lightning bag many a time to Amalie Arena and it's been fine. Special Note: the $62 million in recent renovations to the publicly owned Amalie Arena were privately funded. No financial burden was placed on the community. One of many reasons we love Mr. Vinik!! THUNDER ALLEY Thunder Alley is an outdoor plaza between Amalie Arena and the South Regional Garage. It has a statue of 2004 Lightning Captain Dave Andreychuck raising the Stanley Cup and another (right in front of the stairs to enter the Arena) of our Founder/Godfather Phil Esposito. The yellow lightning bolt trio was brought over from the second home of the Lighting, the Thunderdome (now Tropicana Field and home of the TB Rays). There are banners/murals of our guys all over. There is a music stage where a DJ or a live band does music, a few food trucks and the Corona Beach Bar as well as the Tampa Sports Store (biggest Lightning goodies store). About a half hour before the doors to Amalie open (they open one hour before puck drop), the Bolt Brigade people (perky, peppy young adults with buckets of enthusiasm) appear and have a bunch of different games for kids/adults to play and there's often little kiosks set up of the various local radio stations/etc. with little freebies and occasionally a face-painting station. Thunderbug is usually wandering around, visiting with fans. There is definitely more kid-friendly stuff before a weekend game than weekday, naturally. TRANSPORTATION TO AMALIE Tampa International Airport is a good distance west of downtown Tampa. There are a few airport shuttles to the major downtown hotels, but if you’re staying near the airport, a rental car is definitely your best bet. Homepage | Tampa International Airport A historic streetcar line travels from Amalie Arena area through Sparkman Warf all the way up to Ybor City. Great option to park in Ybor City to eat/drink then take streetcar to Amalie. http://www.tecolinestreetcar.org/ Cross-Bay Ferry goes across Tampa Bay (yeah, the actual BAY!) from downtown St. Petersburg to Tampa with a stop at Sparkman Warf with an easy walk to Amalie Arena. This is a nice option for people enjoying the beautiful beaches of St. Petersburg/Clearwater who would like to catch a hockey game. Cross-Bay Ferry | St. Pete – Tampa Amtrak’s Silver Line does stop at historic Tampa Union Station in an older part of downtown. Taxis are available and there is a HART bus stop there as well. Not the best part of downtown though. Tampa Union Station Buses/Public Transportation - improving downtown, especially with the addition of the streetcar system and the pirate water taxis. Still has a looooooong way to go. Home | Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Subway - None, nada, zip, zilch. A very high water table and the quirks of Florida's geological foundations mean that there are no subways (or basements) in Florida. PARKING Arena-run Parking Lots - Green, Brown, Teal, Pink & the 2 Foundation Lots – mostly reserved through the ParkingPanda app, but some of them take credit cards too. Price can run from $15 to $25. The $ from the 2 Foundation Lots goes into the Lightning Foundation which gives huge amounts of gifts to various local charities, especially cancer research/patient related ones. The general area of downtown extending some blocks around the Arena is relatively safe and clean. The Silver Lot in the map below now has a building being constructed there. Best Deal/Closest – South Regional Parking Garage right across from Amalie Arena, it forms one of the ‘walls’ for Thunder Alley. Parking is only $12 but the number of public spaces is limited. I like to get to the game a couple hours before puck drop (doors open one hour before puck drop) and can usually find a spot. OTHER GARAGES WITHIN EASY/SAFE WALKING Whiting Street Parking Garage - monthly pass garage that changes over to event parking 2 hours before game time. $12 usually, but more during playoffs. 2 blocks from Amalie Arena. Fort Brooke Parking Garage - same pricing as above. One more block offset from Amalie Arena than Whiting. Tampa Bay Port Garage - across the street from Sparkman Warf (shops and eateries) and only a 5 minute walk to Amalie Arena. Little Known Spot Right behind Foundation Lot #1 is a small public parking lot under the Crosstown Expressway that charges a flat $20 on game night. Close, and a good option if the other lots are getting full. There are also plenty of other parking lots in the area that would love to take your money as well as some street parking spaces. Plus, any metered parking north of Kennedy Blvd. is free after 6 pm, but that's a bit more of a walk. CLOSE TO AMALIE ARENA Marriott Waterside - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/TPAMC-tampa-marriott-waterside-hotel-and-marina/ - next to Amalie to the South. Embassy Suites - Embassy Suites - Convention Center - Tampa Hotels - very close to Amalie to the West on the other side of the South Regional Garage. Westin Waterside - https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/tpawh-the-westin-tampa-waterside/ - short walk to Amalie. If you do an Expedia or Travel Advisor search, any hotels close to the Tampa Convention Center will also be close to Amalie Arena as it's a short walk between the two places. If you are staying close to the airport, you'll need a rental car to get to Amalie Arena. WITHIN EASY/SAFE WALKING DISTANCE Ferg’s Live – lively bar/grill directly across the street from Amalie with a big outdoor dance area and live music on the weekends. Bar, Grill, Live Music And Event Venue Tampa | Ferg's Live Hattricks – sports bar with strong hockey theme. Extremely popular before and after Lightning games, it even has the occasional players stop by. Excellent wings. Can almost always find the non-Lightning hockey game you're looking for on at least ONE of the giant TVs. Hattrick's Tavern | The Best Sports Bar in Tampa Bay Yeoman’s Cask and Lion – British pub only a couple blocks from Amalie Arena. It has a great rep for good food and also is very popular before and after games. Yeoman's Cask & Lion Jackson’s Bistro Bar & Sushi – on Harbor Island close to the Arena, it's upscale and pricey but good. Jackson's Bistro & Sushi Bar | Restaurant | Tampa, FL American Social - on Harbor Island near Jackson's, great place with burgers, sandwiches, and "upscale americana". Harbour Island, Tampa Restaurant & Sports Bar | American Social Colombia Café – just across from the Arena to the East connected to the Tampa Bay History Center, it's a satellite of the original historic Ybor City Spanish/Cuban restaurant. If you want real authentic, uniquely Tampa cultural cuisine, this is the place. Columbia Restaurant The Pour House - good spot for craft beers just a few blocks NE of Amalie. https://www.pourhousetampa.com/ Sparkman Warf - new updated version of old Channelside with a bunch of eateries and only a short walk to Amalie Arena. Sparkman Wharf | Introducing Tampa’s new outdoor waterfront space Ybor City historic district - just a short streetcar ride away with loads of places to shop, eat, drink and party. Can get rather wild on the weekends/late night. Ybor Chamber of Commerce OTHER FOOD IN THE AREA (car needed) South Howard (SoHo) Avenue area and Hyde Park has a bunch of restaurants/bars that cater to a mixed upscale/yuppie/hipster clientele. There's also some good places on the Riverwalk. Best Sushi - Soho Sushi on Kennedy Blvd. - take it from a sushi devotee who has tried pretty much every sushi place in Tampa, this little humble storefront sushi place is simply the best. Open for lunch and then again at 5:00 pm, it gets crowded VERY quickly. For more info, check out EAT: Tampa Bay a Tampa Food Guide written by Bryan Burns, the beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, originally for the All Star Weekend. Mostly full of the pricier places, but still a good guide.