The Arena Formerly Known as the “St. Pete Times Forum”

By on November 1, 2011

Rocket Sports & Entertainment Network file photo by Nick Bonariggo

“TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM” ON JANUARY 1, 2012       courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Naming Rights Contract Extended Through August 2018

TAMPA , FLA. — – Tampa Bay Arena, LP and Times Publishing Company announced
this morning that the St. Pete Times Forum is being renamed the “Tampa Bay
Times Forum,” effective January 1, 2012. Additionally, the companies
announced that the naming rights contract between the two has been
extended through August 31, 2018. The arena is the playing home of the
National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning and it will host the
Republican National Convention in August, 2012. The sponsorship was
extended on terms consistent with the current contract.

“The St. Petersburg Times has evolved into being a regional newspaper,”
said Tod Leiweke, Chief Executive Officer of the Tampa Bay Lightning and
the Times Forum. “As its management makes the significant step of changing
the name on the masthead to represent that progression, we are pleased to
announce the Times has elected to extend the naming rights to the arena.”

The arena originally opened as the Ice Palace in October 1996 to serve as
the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the hub of an economic development
zone in downtown Tampa’s Channelside District. The building’s name was
changed in September 2002 to the St. Pete Times Forum when Times
Publishing signed a naming rights contract with Palace Sports &
Entertainment, then the parent company of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Our good name is our most important asset,” said Times Chairman and CEO
Paul Tash. “As we take up our new name, we are delighted to raise it
above the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Jeff Vinik, Tod Leiweke and their team at
the Tampa Bay Lightning have proven themselves to be excellent partners
who share our values and our vision for the Tampa Bay region.”

The Lightning are currently owned by Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment
LLC (TBSE), an entity controlled by Jeffrey Vinik. TBSE owns the arena
operating company, Tampa Bay Arena, LP.


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