Amalie Arena, originally named "The Ice Palace", was completed in 1996, two years after the City of Tampa Bay was awarded its National Hockey League franchise, the Tampa Bay Lightning. At the time the franchise was introduced, the City of Tampa was unable to provide a facility large enough to meet NHL standards. In order to secure the franchise, the City of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Lightning owners ponied up $139,000,000 to have this arena built. The Lightning spent its first two years playing in temporary facilities until the Ice Palace was complete and ready to host Lightning games in 1996. In 1999, Amalie Arena was chosen to host the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, a honor often bestowed on new facilities.
The facility's event area measures 600,000 square feet. It was designed by Ellerbe Becket with structural engineering services provided by Walter P. Moore. After receiving numerous proposals from both local and international general contractors, the contract was finally awarded to the firm of Hunt/Morse Diesel out of Trenton, New Jersey. After winning a bid to host the 2012 Republican National Convention, the facility was given a $35,000,000 facelift in 2011.
Over the years, area fans have filled the arena in support of its beloved Lightning, which have had a decent amount of success. Aside from NHL games, Amalie has also been the proud host for a variety of other important sporting events. The arena is currently serves as the home facility for the Tampa Bay Storm, a professional arena football franchise. The Storm have thrilled local fans with five Arena Bowl Championships since 1991. On two occasions, this facility hosted the Arena Bowl (1998 ∓ 2003). Other major sports events held here include the South regional of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament (2003, 2008 and 2011) and the NCAA Women's Division I Final Four Basketball Tournament (2008, 2015 and scheduled in 2019). Finally, Amalie opened its door to college hockey when it hosted the 2012 NCAA Hockey Frozen Four championship finals won by traditional power Boston College.