The Tampa Bay Rays played The Texas Rangers on October 4, 2011. The Rays ended their AL wild-card streak, losing 4-3.
The Tampa Bay Rays play the Texas Rangers for Game 2 in Texas! Final score: 6-8 (Texas)
The Rays beat the New York Yankees to clinch a playoff spot in the 2011 playoffs!
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn thinks the area just north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum would be perfect for a baseball stadium.
Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik is part of a group that just bought land north of the Forum for $9.5 million.
Coincidence? Yes say Vinik and Lightning spokesman Bill Wickett in a report in Saturday's Tampa Bay Times that presents an interesting view of what Vinik may be up to.
Either way his Crestline Acquisitions Group two weeks ago, reports the Times. plunked down the nearly $10 million to buy a five-acre strip that right now is mostly used for Forum parking.
"We care greatly about everything that happens in our neighborhood here," Vinik said. "Whether we are the ones to transform it and make it a great destination for the Tampa Bay region or whether it's some other party, the most important thing is it's done properly, it's done well, it does become a jewel of this area."
Vinik at the least admits that his plan is to build up the area around the Forum where his Tampa Bay Lightning plays. Some reports have the Vinik-funded land transforming into a major destination area with shops and plentiful entertainment options.
Wickett flat-out shot down the speculation that the Vinik purchase is with a baseball stadium in mind.
"While we are excited about our neighborhood and its potential development, we are not engaged in any discussions regarding any designs for baseball. We have too much respect for our friends at the Rays and the others involved to interject ourselves into the process," Wickett said.
The full story out of the Times is viewable HERE.