Thursday, March 5, 2015

Vinik Finally Gets Bed Tax Money for Arena Update

Four years after Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced he'd pump $40 million into the Ice Palace - with or without help from the county bed tax - and millions more a year later, Hillsborough County approved a 50/50 split with Vinik on a new round of 2015 and 2016 upgrades, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Mike Salerno reports the $25 million renovation will include the arena's club level, restrooms, and concession stands:
Earlier on Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Commission approved a plan to reimburse Lightning owner Jeff Vinik $12.5 million of the cost of those upgrades after they’re completed.

“When the arena was designed and developed in the mid-1990’s a true club level was contemplated but never constructed,” Lightning President Steve Griggs said in a statement. “Our goal is to build a club level with proper amenities for our season ticket members and other guests wishing to sit in this area.”
In return for the community’s investment, Merrill said the Lightning agreed to extend their non-relocation agreement through May 31, 2021. If the team leaves before then, Vinick (sic) agreed to pay the county $5 million for operations and maintenance.
Other upgrades to the arena that won’t be as visible to fans include a modernizing of the locker rooms and spaces that performers and the media use, which haven’t been upgraded since the arena opened in 1996, the team said. There are also plans to install an internet protocol television system that will allow computerized menu boards at concessions and a master system for controlling the arena’s video monitors.
Flashback May 2012:

1 comment:

  1. County: "If you agree not to leave for 6 years, we can lock in this negative-ROI public subsidy for renovations that benefit you."

    Vinik: "LOL, k."

    Thought of the day: When you buy someone a stadium, are you really buying them just one stadium?