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Lightning owner drawn into Rays’ search for new ballpark

Sep 9, 2013, 1:33 PM EDT

Tropicana Field AP

This is definitely more of a baseball story (and has been covered extensively on HBT), but since it has a hockey angle now that may be of interest to Tampa Bay Lightning fans, we’ll pass it along anyway.

From The Tampa Tribune:

Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan has asked the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, Jeff Vinik, to consider a Rays stadium on land he partly owns across from the Forum in downtown Tampa. Vinik is a partner with a Colorado-based investment group in at least 14 acres across from the Forum, and he’s been planning a large-scale development project there.

Hagan said he asked Vinik’s group not to make any plans until the Rays’ standoff with St. Petersburg is resolved. Hagan said he’s not committed to Vinik’s property, which sits on each side of Caesar Street and just north of Channelside Drive, but wants to have several potential stadium sites available in case the Rays come knocking.

“What I have asked them to do is to not make any commitments toward their development until we have an understanding of how the Rays’ potential relocation efforts are played out,” Hagan said.

Vinik had no comment on Hagan’s request. He did, however, talk about his plans for the land in May, and they did not include a new ballpark.

The Rays currently play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Which, if you’re a baseball fan, you’ll know is a pretty brutal stadium.

Related: Lightning owner to close hedge fund, return investor money

  1. jcmeyer10 - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Cue every Rays fan saying the AC is the best part of the park!

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