Tampa Channel District
||Industrial, funky, artsy, rustic, eclectic are some of the words that describe Downtown Tampa's growing Channel District. You'll find high-rise condos, renovated warehouse lofts, creative workspaces, restaurants and services. What once housed old Model T-Fords is now a house itself. The TECO Historic Streetcar can be boarded at several stations throughout the district carrying people between Downtown's business district, the Channel District, and Ybor City. The Channel District is one of the new, chic places to visit and call home.
Meridian Street, Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Channelside Drive, Beneficial Boulevard
Amalie Arena: The doors to the 670,000-square-foot Amalie Arena (originally called the Ice Palace) first opened on October 12, 1996 with its first event, the Royal Hanneford Circus.The Circus was followed shortly thereafter by the first Tampa Bay Lightning game played on October 20, 1996. The Lightning won 5-2 over the New York Rangers.
The arena, also home to the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm, has hosted numerous high-profile events including the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, the 2007 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, the 2008 NCAA Women’s Final Four, the 2009 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, a rally for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the 2012 NCAA Men's Frozen Four, and the 2012 Republican National Convention -- not to mention all the most iconic world-class concerts and entertainment productions. The massive $62-million transformation from 2011-2013 made Amalie Arena history.
Channelside Bay Plaza: Entertainment and shopping make Channelside Bay Plaza the perfect destination for a day or night out. The fun shops, restaurants, and an upscale bowling alley make this venue an excellent waterfront spot for people to play.
The Florida Aquarium: Since it opened in 1995, The Florida Aquarium has brought Florida's natural environment to the downtown urban core. The Florida Aquarium is ranked in the top 10 Aquariums in the country by TripAdvisor.com and ranked in the top 5 "Kid-Friendly Aquariums" by Parents Magazine!
Port Tampa Bay: The traffic in and out of Port Tampa Bay is an asset for the downtown community. It is one of the nation’s largest and most diversified ports, with fertilizer, gasoline and jet fuel, building materials, agricultural produce, and container goods among its many product lines. The port also has 1 million-square-feet of warehouse space and 8,500 feet of dock length and is just 25 miles from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, Tampa is also a popular departure port for cruises, serving nearly one million passengers annually.
Stageworks Theatre: For those looking for a little more drama in their lives, local theater company, Stageworks Theatre has made its permanent home in the Channel District’s Grand Central at Kennedy Condominiums since 2011. The intimate 99-seat theater provides a high-quality, professional atmosphere with productions celebrating the human spirit.
The SS American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship: Visitors can tour this restored 1945 merchant marine vessel that served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam conflict. By preserving and interpreting maritime culture, the Museum Ship gives visitors a clear understanding of how the crews on these ships operated day to day.
District Fun Facts
- Port Tampa Bay is the closest port of importance in the United States to the Panama Canal.
- TECO Line Streetcar stations are enhanced with local public art that reflect the character and history of the Channel District.
- What's in a name? Before being branded as the Channel District, over the years it has held different monikers including the Estuary, La Draga, and the Ybor Channel area.