Sorry, Mr. Tash, but developer Jeff Vinick’s not gonna help you move the Rays to Tampa.
The Shadow of the Stadium blog explains:
Citing “a significant legal hurdle, beyond our control, (that) could not be overcome,” Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik announced this morning he has withdrawn his bid for Tampa’s struggling Channelside Bay Plaza.
The once-popular-but-now-foreclosed-on complex, adjacent to Vinik’s holdings around the Tampa Bay Times Forum, is owned by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. However, it is controlled by the Tampa Port Authority. Which means, Vinik’s bid – the only one deemed worthy by the Port earlier this year – must get approval from both parties.
The problem stems from the fact that the Port wants whichever owner is best for Downtown Tampa, while the bank simply wants whichever owner is best for its bottom line. The Port Authority can reject any bank-approved buyer it doesn’t think has a good vision for Downtown Tampa. Likewise, the bank can reject any Port Authority-approved buyer it doesn’t think is bringing enough cash to the table.