Sorry, Tampa Bay Times, but it looks like Jeff Vinick’s not gonna help you move the Rays to Tampa

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Sorry, Mr. Tash, but developer Jeff Vinick’s not gonna help you move the Rays to Tampa.

Last week’s headline in the Times:

Today’s news in the

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hurdle, beyond our control, (that) could not be overcome,” Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik announced this morning he has withdrawn his bid for Tampa’s struggling Channelside Bay Plaza.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.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.