Tampa Bay Lightning owner and Chairman Jeff Vinik announced Thursday he will invest six million dollars in the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum (ISF). The Ice Sports Forum owner Tom Bradley will also invest $500,000 in the project, which will break ground in September with a target completion date in the spring of 2018.
The Lightning and the Ice Sports Forum have agreed to a 10-year lease extension, ensuring that the Lightning will practice in Brandon through 2026-27. Lightning CEO Steve Griggs said the investment will pay major future dividends.
"We talk about world class all the time, working with Tom Bradley and the folks here at the Ice Sports Forum it was the logical thing to to to build a 20,000 square foot add on that really creates a class environment for our players and our coaches"
The new state of the art training facility will feature all new team spaces including a locker room, weight room, training room, dedicated press room,and expanded player lounge and more.
The Ice Sports Forum has been the training home for the Lightning since 1997 and for comparison Amalie Arena has a squarter footage of approximately 14,500 and with the 18,000 square foot addition to ISF the new training home of the Lightning will be well over 25,000 square feet. VP/GM Steve Yzerman is excited for the current and future players to come thru the doors of the finished product.
"I think for the young kids coming in and even our veteran players they are really going to appreciate it. It will make avery good first impression on them".
The facility also hosts youth hockey and recreational leagues and travel teams ranging from mini-mite through high school.