Amalie Arena, situated in the bustling downtown district of Tampa, is the home of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. With a seating capacity of over 20,000, it serves as the premier indoor entertainment venue for not only sports but also some of the biggest concerts to go through Tampa. Amalie Arena has also hosted comedy shows, monster truck rallies, professional wrestling, and a wide range of events.
Being centrally located near downtown and must-visit attractions like the Florida Aquarium, Amalie Arena is the perfect place to plan a day around when you’re planning a trip. One thing you’ll want to familiarize yourself with is the arena’s bag policy, which for security reasons, can be strict. If you’re stuck with your luggage, you’ll want to look into an Amalie Arena luggage storage service like Bounce, which has dozens of storage spots around Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Amalie Arena bag policy
The Amalie Arena bag policy prohibits any bags larger than 12” x 12” x 12”. This clearly prohibits backpacks, briefcases, and all luggage. Any bags larger than a small clutch (which means larger than 4”x 6” x 1.5”) are required to go through an X-Ray scanner prior to entry. This applies to both Lightning hockey games as well as concerts and other events.
Medical exceptions are allowed but need to be resolved with Guest Services. Medically-exempt bags will need to be hand searched.
Bounce has a few locations near the arena, including one on East Jackson Street and our Channel District storage spot, which are both easy to stop by before heading to the game. It’s as easy as it gets, and you won’t have to fret about your bags walking up to the arena gates.
Amalie Arena food policy
As per the Amalie Arena food policy, each guest is allowed to bring in one empty (non-glass) water bottle to be refilled at filling stations throughout the arena. All other outside food and drink are prohibited. Medical and family exceptions can be sorted out with guest services.
Luckily, Amalie Arena has seriously beefed up its food and drink offerings in recent years. Fred’s Garage, located in Sections 109 and 301, serves up premium burgers, including vegetarian-friendly patties, along with stadium favorites like pretzels and funnel cakes.
Even better, Mr. Empanada (with stalls in sections 110 and 307) brings an iconic Tampa Institution to the Amalie Arena. The restaurant is aptly named, with a wide variety of these savory pastries filled with veggies, beef, and sausages. Fittingly, Mr. Empanada also serves up an exceptional Cuban sandwich, which is easily the most popular food item at Amalie Arena.
The best option near the arena for beer drinkers is the Cigar City Brewing Taproom, which offers craft brews from Tampa’s most popular brewery and various Cuban-inspired bites.
Amalie Arena transportation
Amalie Arena is located in downtown Tampa near the waterfront, so it’s convenient to get to via a variety of transportation methods. Here’s how to get to Amelie Arena:
If you're coming from St. Petersburg or the suburbs surrounding Tampa, it’s an easy drive to Amalie Arena. There are parking lots right outside the arena, but it’s best to arrive early to account for traffic.
Tampa offers limited public transit services like buses and the TECO Line Streetcar System, which has a stop nearby. It’s a slightly less convenient way to get around Tampa, but it’s the most inexpensive way to get around aside from walking or cycling.
Taxi and rideshare
You’ll be able to call an Uber or Lyft from just about anywhere in Tampa, so it’s one of the most convenient ways to get dropped off at the game. Taxis are less common, but they will be lined up at the designated pick-up stands after the game. Traffic can be challenging, so leave some extra time to get to the arena.
If you’re staying in downtown Tampa, it’s a short walk to Amalie Arena from most hotels. Even better, the gorgeous waterfront is right by the arena, so it’s pleasant to take a stroll before or after the game.
Tampa is very flat and has bike-friendly areas downtown and along the waterfront, so it’s certainly an option to bike to the game.
Amalie Arena camera policy
For concerts and events, the Amalie Arena camera policy prohibits all video and audio recording devices, which include GoPros. For Lightning hockey games, all cameras with a lens longer than 6” are prohibited. Selfie sticks are banned for all events. Tablets are allowed for Lightning games but not other events.
Amalie Arena is situated along the scenic waterfront, so if you're exploring the area, it’s a great place to snap some pictures for your trip. The nearby Florida Aquarium is another photogenic attraction to hit.
Amalie Arena rules
The Amalie Arena policies are fairly standard, but it’s still good to familiarize yourself before heading to the game. Here are a few items of note:
The size of banners and signs allowed in Amalie Arena is not clearly stated, just that large ones are not permitted. Objectionable, commercial, and political signage and language are strictly prohibited. Noisemakers, horns, whistles, and other items are also banned.
For Lightning hockey games, gates open 60 minutes prior to faceoff (or “puck drop”). Certain ticket upgrades like VIP Lounge, the Chase Club, or executive suites are all open 90 minutes before the game. Concerts and events generally have the same policy unless stated on the ticket.
The Tampa and St. Petersburg area is one of the country’s most underrated travel destinations, especially if you plan your trip ahead of time. In terms of bucket-list hockey stadiums, Amalie Arena is an excellent one to visit for a game. While the bag policy might be strict, you absolutely have a solid solution in Bounce. It’s as easy as it gets to stop by a storage spot on your way to the game, and Bounce’s reliability gives you peace of mind to focus on cheering on your favorite hockey team.