LIGHTNING OFFICIALS FEEL A TOUCH OF GREY AS ARENA DEAL DONE
"It's a done deal; it is flat done," declared Lightning
Governor David LeFevre about the deal to have a downtown arena
built in Tampa, according to Tom McEwen in the TAMPA TRIBUNE.
McEwen writes the arena that is already under construction "will
see a shift into overdrive with three crews working near round-
the-clock" to have the facility ready for an October '96 opening.
He also notes an extensive marketing push expected to lease the
27 remaining luxury suites and start a club-seat licensing
program (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 8/10). Jeff Testerman writes the
Lightning ownership group building the arena, Tampa Bay Arena
Limited Partners, will deed the facility to the Tampa Sports
Authority upon completion. The Arena Partners will then lease
the facility rent-free. Arena officials will keep all revenues,
but pay all operating and maintenance costs. The group is also
subject to "severe" penalties if it seeks to relocate the team
any time during their 30-year lease (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 8/10).