Amalie Arena is located in the Chanelside district of downtown Tampa. It is home to the Tampa Bay Lightening NHL team. Built in 1996, is one of a long row of civic-urban-image buildings — the Aquarium, the cruise ship port, the history museum, the arena, the convention centre, two large hotels. The landscaping along the waterfront consists of broad walkways and cycling paths. The scale of everything is HUGE.
The approach to the main entrance plaza is shown above. There were a number of statuary tributes to players and events. The plaza is elevated above a sunken street that runs across the front of the building, exiting on the far side of the plaza.
Other sculptures took advantage of the brite florida sunshine:
and the large building on the opposite side of the plaza is a parking garage:
The glazing and exterior finishes were were detailed and had a sophisticated higher-end office building look and feel:
walking around towards the south side of the building, it was necessary to descend from the elevated plaza, as shown below, with the garage to the left and the arena hidden behind the water park feature on the right, across the street. Note the street entrance to under the plaza:
Back up on the plaza, the view down to the street level reveals the size of the garage service road. Also visible is a streetcar from the downtown connector route that winds through several downtown neighbourhoods. It looked more like a tourist attraction than a serious crowd-hauling transit system:
Walking down the stairs to the left of this road … shows how deluxe the florida landscaping is around the “back” of the arena. Indeed, the arena is so well finished on all sides I hesitate to call any side of it the back.
Here’s the back, or far-side-of-the-Chanelside view of the building, which from a distance looks like a large office complex:
The least-developed side of the arena is shown below. The grand plaza is on the far side of the building, and the main street side is around the building to the right:
Continuing around the building to the right, we approach a secondary main entrance that leads down from the city street via a large [but not as large as the upper entry plaza] attendee forecourt:
The two pic above are taken from the street that passes in front of the arena. I was surprised that the busy street felt calm, that someone cared how it looked. The edges of the arena and the block that contained it were not all given over to parking lots (more on this tomorrow).
And even had a real entrance from the sidewalk:
The facade of the arena facing the street was essentially the same as that facing the chanel on the opposite side:
The Amalie Arena is still attractive two decades after it was designed, and beautifully landscaped and nicely integrated with the surrounding sidewalks and streets. The town planning part of the project is successful on the “chanelside” side, with adjacent parks, waterfront, walkways, and connections to other monumental civic structures. Of course, it is monumental that gives the clue: this is a big building, set amongst other very large buildings, with huge swathes of grand landscaping. Hockey fans can enjoy the winter sport and then wander outside in the evening warmth amongst the palm trees. But it is anything but intimate.
There is, of course, the matter of the parking garage bookmarking the other side of the grand entry plaza. Tomorrow we we look at just where all the other game goers actually park.