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SBD/January 17, 2012/Facilities
ICON Venue Group Named Project Manager For New Downtown Oilers Arena
Published January 17, 2012
LIGHTNING STRIKES? In Tampa Bay, Jeff Harrington cited Lightning officials as saying that Owner Jeff Vinik "has been approached and is considering taking a stake in the long-troubled Channelside entertainment complex that lies adjacent" to Tampa Bay Times Forum. Lightning CEO & Minority Owner Tod Leiweke said that a "number of potential buyers are looking 'and they think we would be a good marketing partner' given the team's proximity to Channelside." Harrington noted one "recurring rumor is that a dual sports deal could occur, whereby Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg would buy the New York Mets and sell the Rays to Vinik, who would then relocate the Rays from St. Petersburg to his newly acquired Channelside territory." It is "chatter the Lightning hopes to squelch." Lightning Exec VP/Communications Bill Wickett said, "Our organization enjoys a strong friendship with the Tampa Bay Rays and we look forward to deepening those bonds. We wish them continued success on and off the field, but any speculation that we are interested in anything more is unfounded and untrue" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 1/13).