Sunday, October 14, 2012

Does Vinik Want a Channelside Stadium? Or Just the Newspapers?

A day after the Tampa Tribune suggested a real estate deal in Downtown Tampa could mean the owner of the Lightning, Jeff Vinik, wanted to build a baseball stadium, the Tampa Bay Times followed suit.

"There would be enough land to build all sorts of things," the Times wrote of the real estate purchase by a group tied to Vinik.  "High-rise towers, apartments and hotel rooms, places to eat and shop and, theoretically, a baseball stadium."

Even Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the biggest Rays-to-Tampa cheerleader around, appeared hesitant to tie the deal to baseball.
"I think irrespective of whether baseball comes or not, it's a smart acquisition on his part," Buckhorn said. "If I were in his shoes I would want to do the same thing. Not only do you protect the front door to your major investments but, if you're as successful as I think they will be, it opens up opportunities to completely refashion the area."
We don't have to believe the Lightning are simply interested in the land for parking, but why not write an article about what the land could mean to Vinik's plan to buy the Channelside Bay Plaza?

Why not write a speculative article about what Vinik, a hedge fund manager by trade, could profit with the suddenly-valuable Downtown Tampa land by building condos or flipping it in a few years?

Any property owner could conceivably donate land for a new baseball stadium, but the Times - despite mentioning several recently-suggested plans - neglects the biggest question:
"But while LeClair has the drawings and Cantor has the dream, Vinik has the land."
How the heck will anyone pay for it???


  1. Com'on man, the Times ain't dumb, and they should be giving credit for saying w/out saying the reality. The proof is in the pudding, a minority owner of the red sox, that owns a lot of land around his NHL teams arena and entertainment plaza, coupled w/ the fact that the Rays ARE MOVING SOMEWHERE, and Vinik is apart of groups that has enough money to mow all of Channelside down and build a place bigger then Cowboy stadium that could host every major sport. Besides, Stu isn't dumb, financial mangers like them do want they want and money lots of money doing it...

  2. Two things to pay attention to:
    1) You assume the Rays are moving, but offer no evidence they can get out of their contract.
    2) You mention financial guys make lots of money - yet building a stadium isn't profitable by yourself, so it'll only happen when the Rays get help from outside revenue streams.

  3. 1)"Get out of there contract")(?), that the easy part, that just means they'll have to settle-out with St. Pete. 2) It can be profitable for anybody regardless how many people buy-in. Now, I, like most, don't really know YET on how there going to finance (whether it's privately funded, though Hills. county investing, or a lil' of both), BUT what I do know is that if the park and the surrounding area of Channelside will be what it could be, then someone(s) is on the verge of making a lot of money; I only wish I could throw some money into the pot...