Soooo.... a "barn" huh??
Many people in the Tampa Bay area are up in arms after a columnist for "The Oregonian", John Canzano, had some less than flattering comments about Amalie Arena as the site for the 2019 NCAA Women's Final Four.
I mean, I get it.
As my friend Tom Jones pointed out on Twitter, at this time of year SOMEONE has to publicly file a complaint about the host city and/or arena.
But this one makes about as much sense as a peanut butter and shrimp sandwich.
I've never been a beat writer who has had to travel across the world going from city to city experiencing all the different venues along the way, but I've experienced my fair share of venerable sports venues, both good and bad.
I've been to Yankee Stadium, "Jerry World" and Old Trafford, and I've also been to Nassau Coliseum and Tropicana Field.
-- For the record, I don't dislike the Coliseum or the Trop, but we all know that nationwide they have less than stellar reputations --
With all that being said, Amalie Arena is an EXCELLENT venue for many different kinds of events.
When the NHL backed out of the Olympics, they didn't hesitate to move the All Star Game to Tampa Bay and have Amalie as the host of the weekend's festivities.
Last time I checked..... Bruno Mars, Elton John and Paul Freakin' McCartney didn't think the building at 401 Channelside Drive was too "outdated" to have a concert there.
How about the Frozen Four? After it was hosted at Amalie in 2016, each one of the teams marveled at the job of Rob Higgins and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and were impressed how everything came together so smoothly.
Wrestlemania will be here in 2020 and you can bet your bottom dollar that the WWE will have ZERO hesitation in hosting their NXT Takeover event at the former St. Pete Times Forum.
And last but not least, raise your hand if you've been to a Lightning game since Jeffrey Vinik has owned the team.
Every game is more than a game. It's an experience.
From the on-ice graphics, to Greg Wolf's in-game entertainment, to the lovely National Anthem from THE Sonya Bryson, you always walk out of Amalie Arena knowing you got the best bang for your buck.
So yeah John it may not be the Moda Center, but it's good enough for Bruno, Elton, Paul, John Cena and Stammer.
It's our "barn".
And it's good enough for us too.