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Economy / Business

Tampa Bay Times Forum is Kaput, Welcome Amalie Arena

Steve Newborn

First, it was the Ice Palace - a homage to its main tenant, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team.

Then, the then-St. Petersburg Times shelled out $30 million in 2002 for a 12-year deal to rename the palace the St. Pete Times Forum. That name shifted to the Tampa Bay Times Forum when the newspaper rebranded itself.

Now, it's the Amalie Arena.

In 2011, after Lightning owner Jeff Vinik purchased the Lightning, the naming rights deal was extended to 2018. Vinik announced today the Times is becoming the "exclusive print sponsor" of the 19,204-seat arena.

Why Amalie?

According to the Times, "Amalie Oil has been located on 30 acres in the Port of Tampa since 1977 and has 250 employees. It supplies motor oil and industrial lubricants to international oil companies, automotive retailers, distributors, retailers, mass merchandisers and private label customers in 50 states and more than 100 countries."

Amalie also partnered with the Lightning last year to gain naming rights to the Tampa Bay Storm’s football field, which also plays at the arena.

Naming rights has become routine nationwide. In the Tampa Bay area, Raymond James Financial paid a reported $39-million for 13 years for the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And Tropicana doled out an estimated $50-million over 30 years at the Rays' home in St. Petersburg.

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