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Lightning Players May Be Sick, But Team Is in Good Health

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik.

The Tampa Bay Lightning won Tuesday night and remains in the playoff hunt – despite a team roster depleted by recent player trades, injuries and most recently the flu.

But, the team’s owner is in good health. We interviewed Jeff Vinik Wednesday for an upcoming episode of Florida Matters.

This Saturday marks the second anniversary of Vinik’s purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Many sports analysts are astounded that in such a short time he’s resurrected the bay area’s National Hockey League franchise.

Vinik also spent $40 million of his money to renovate the publicly-owned Tampa Bay Times Forum. It’s an investment that he’s ready to show off as the site of the Republican National Convention in August.

“It’s the biggest event to ever come here and this an opportunity to showcase this town of Tampa this whole region and our arena,” Vinik said. “We just think it’s a great opportunity and we’re going to do everything in our power to make this area look great.”

Vinik also is looking forward to August because that’s the month his family will move to Tampa.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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