You no longer have to drive all the way to St. Petersburg or Clearwater to enjoy the ocean. A beach is coming to downtown Tampa at the Amalie Arena, thanks to the Vinik Family and architectural firm Snarkitecture. Now, this isn’t an ordinary beach. The Beach Tampa at Amalie Arena is a 15,000 square foot immersive environment featuring an “ocean” of 1.2 million recyclable and antimicrobial white balls. The Beach Tampa is similar to our childhood memories of jumping into ball pits but bigger and better.
Penny Vinik, the wife of Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, was inspired to bring a beach to the AMALIE Arena after visiting the sensational hit The Beach DC at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2015. The Beach DC drew a record-breaking 160,000 visitors. Unlike The Beach DC where visitors paid $16 to visit the museum, The Beach Tampa will be free to the public.
“After visiting The Beach DC last summer, I was inspired to share Snarkitecture's vision with Tampa Bay,” Penny Vinik said. “The Beach Tampa transforms the familiar beach experience into a truly unique, visually stimulating and tactile activity. It's just pure fun. Jeff and I welcome all of Tampa Bay to visit The Beach Tampa and look forward to seeing everyone there.”
The Beach Tampa will be in a signature monochromatic white room made of construction materials including scaffolding, wall panels, and perforated mesh. Visitors of all ages can go for a “swim”, enjoy the view from the water’s edge or stroll along the pier. The mirrored walls that surround the beach will create an infinite reflected expanse. Those who don’t want to jump into the beach can relax and hang out on the 75-foot wide shoreline with a beach hut, beach chairs, umbrellas and other beach activities. There will even be one complimentary ice cream treat per person waiting on the “shore” outside the ball area.
The balls are approximately 3 inches in diameter and designed to move and carry beach-goers along its shore. The white, opaque balls also make it impossible for swimmers to sink to the bottom, while also making it incredibly difficult to stand up. The balls are also protected using GermBLOCK, a “safe, powerful agent that provides antimicrobial protection for guests against 50 different germs and bacteria.” To learn more about the process of putting a million ball beach together, view the video at the end of this post!
Created by Snarkitecture, a New York-based design, and architecture firm The Beach Tampa at Amalie Arena encourages people to discover surrounding environments. Snarkitecture was co-founded by Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham in 2008 and has completed projects for Calvin Klein, the Kith sneaker emporium in Brooklyn and hotels across the country.
“The Beach Tampa is an interactive and immersive installation that explores the boundaries between art and architecture while inspiring play and relaxation,” said Mustonen. “With all of our projects, we aim to encourage visitor interaction and exploration of the surrounding environment in new and unexpected ways.”
When you do head to The Beach Tampa, make sure you use the arena-supplied lockers to store your belongings. More than 1,000 items were lost at The Beach DC during the summer of 2015, including cell phones, eyeglasses, Fitbits, flip-flops and even an engagement ring. The National Building Museum also found $433.24 in loose change on the sea floor when it was taken down after Labor Day, the Washington Post reported. Take this as a fair warning so you can prevent your precious belongings from being washed away!
The Beach Tampa at Amalie Arena begins August 5, 2016, in Downtown Tampa and runs through August 25, 2016. Tickets are free and available at TicketMaster.com, TheBeachTampa.com and on a first come, first serve basis at the McDonald's Ticket Office at AMALIE Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. About 500 visitors will be allowed inside the arena at any one time. There will be parking located at the South Regional Garage, free of charge. To access free parking, you must receive a parking voucher while attending The Beach Tampa to present upon exit from the lot.
Monday to Thursday: 12:00 - 8:00 PM
Friday: 12:00 - 10:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM