Goodbye Tampa Bay Times Forum for your two-and-a-half years of service and hello to Amalie Arena.
I’m sorry, what the hell was that?
The arena’s new name is after Amalie Oil Co., who operated in Port Tampa Bay for 37 years. I’m sure it’s a fine company, and there are similar oil companies that provide the same service adorning stadiums. Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis comes to mind. Turns out, they are a competitor.
But oh lawd, what a horrible name. It just doesn’t sound catchy at all. And even with the phonetic guide provided by this Times write-up, nobody is going to say this right. Emily? Ahh-ma-lee? Am-lee? Um-uh-lie? Or even this? The name almost sounds anemic. As in, let’s hope the Lightning doesn’t have an anemic power play this season.
This is the worst NHL arena name. San Jose had it when it went from the very awesome HP Pavilion to SAP Center, which most of us would say “sap” but you’re supposed to say each letter. I’d be telling my friends I’d be tapping the sap. Even Jobing.com Arena is being renamed to Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. Take a look friends, Amalie is just the worst.
It may be the worst out of the major North American pro sports. O.co in Oakland is all sorts of odd. BMO Harris Bradley Center now makes the Bradley Center sound like there was a guy named Harris Bradley. Nope, it was Harry Bradley. Sacramento’s Sleep Train Arena is unfortunate for a team linked to relocation there. I’m OK with Moda Center, the former Rose Garden, in Portland. Sounds like it’s moving and functional even though it’s named after Moda Health. Even not knowing what Moda does, it sounds cool.
I give Amalie credit in that nobody knew who they were before today. Now they do and maybe they know what they do, kind of. But regardless of their industry, it’s such an unfortunate name.
Vinik said he preferred a local sponsor in lieu of a national one, but Jesus, there are 50 better options in Tampa Bay. Here they are:
- It Works Forum (Palmetto company)
- Mons Venus Arena (Tampa h/t @hockeyhippie)
- Bealls Palace (Bradenton) [Only to be confused with the Bell Centre]
- Hooters House (Clearwater)
- Ker’s WingHouse Center (Largo)
- World of Beer Palace (Tampa)
- Checkers Center (Tampa)
- Outback Pavilion (Tampa)
- Bonefish Grill Forum (Tampa)
- Grow Financial Forum (Tampa)
- HSN Arena (St. Pete)
- Melting Pot Palace (Tampa)
- Publix Palace or the Publix Basket (Lakeland)
- Payless Car Rental Center (St. Petersburg) (Yes, can be mocked a la National Car Rental Center in Sunrise)
- Tampa Tribune Forum (heh, Tampa)
- First Watch Forum (Lakewood Ranch)
- Champs Palace (Bradenton)
- Pods Pavilion (Clearwater)
- Lincare Oxygen Center (Clearwater)
- Coldwell Banker Center (Sarasota)
- Benderson Development Palace (Bradenton)
- Boar’s Head Meat House (Sarasota)
- Cigar City Center (Tampa)
- Dolphin Tale Tank (Clearwater)
- Hogan’s House (Clearwater Beach)
And I’m sure there are 25 more without corporations that would make sense, even maybe in 25 years, the Stamkos Center.
There are worse things, like naming an arena in Tampa after a newspaper called the St. Petersburg Times. It took about nine years to right that wrong, only by virtue of the newspaper changing its name, in of itself controversial for the region, but made sense globally and for the Lightning arena.
I don’t know if I can say the same for this change.