ST. PETE TIMES FORUM UNDERGOES SUMMER OF IMPROVEMENTS
When patrons enter the St. Pete Times Forum for the Lightning's home opener Saturday vs. the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m.; Sun Sports, AM 620 WDAE) they will notice numerous improvements that have taken place in order to enhance the game experience for all Lightning fans. Led by the addition of the new "Player's Club," the improvements will allow the St. Pete Times Forum to maintain its status as the top sports and entertainment destination in Tampa Bay.
The Player's Club, located at the foot of section 104, is designed to enhance the game experience for fans holding seats in the first two rows of the Plaza (100) Level. This high-end private club features gourmet food, nine 90- and 120-inch high-definition projection televisions, and three 42-inch LCD high-definition televisions located behind a 78-foot-long maple bar with 28 taps serving 20 different beers. Patrons will also receive complimentary Platinum Valet service and a chance to get "up close and personal" with visiting players as they head to the ice.
Many other building upgrades will be readily apparent as fans approach the St. Pete Times Forum, from the new pavers on the Chrysler/Jeep Plaza to the new furniture outside Shots and the new surface in the VIP West parking lot. As fans enter the St. Pete Times Forum concourses, they will see new carpeting on the Jeep Club Level and new carpeting and tile on the Chrysler Suite Level, as well as new furniture on the Jeep Club Level. They will also notice new food options including Westshore Pizza and an authentic Cuban sandwich station.
Fans heading to their seats will be greeted by re-coated aisle steps in the arena bowl and new handrails that have been added for the Terrace (300) Level steps, and a new sound system will ensure a more enjoyable experience for fans in every part of the St. Pete Times Forum. Additionally, a unique new seating area, called "The Ice Box," has been created between the team benches, ensuring even more fans can experience the up-close excitement of Lightning hockey.
One of the most extensive undertakings this past summer was upgrades to the AFS Club. The former XO Club features expanded bar space, new food stands, more televisions, new furniture, new drink rails, new tile and fresh carpeting throughout. Almost 400 seats have been added to the club along with more than 4,000 square feet. Located on two floors of the St. Pete Times Forum and now encompassing approximately 60,000 square feet, the AFS Club currently caters to more than 1,400 members.
Other St. Pete Times Forum upgrades which won't be visible to fans include a renovated players lounge and an upgraded training room in the Lightning locker room, new storage space in marshalling areas and upgraded entry and surveillance systems.