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Jeff Vinik Agrees to Purchase Tampa Bay Lightning

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

Interview with pending owner Jeff Vinik

Jeff Vinik

While the proposed transaction now must proceed through the League's ownership transfer procedures, including Board of Governors review and approval, it is a positive step for the Tampa Bay franchise and its fans." - Commissioner Bettman

Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment LLC, which is owned by Jeff Vinik and a related family entity, has executed an agreement to purchase the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League from its current owners, the club announced today. The sale includes the Lightning hockey team, the company which operates the St. Pete Times Forum, and two parcels of adjacent land. Vinik will be the Chairman and sole person controlling Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment. The ownership transfer of the Lightning is subject to approval by the National Hockey League Board of Governors.

“Buying the Lightning and joining the Tampa Bay community is a dream come true,” Vinik said.  “I’ve been an avid hockey fan my whole life and I pledge to our fans that I will work my hardest to build the Lightning into a world class organization both on and off the ice.  I hope to bring a high level of excitement and intensity back to Lightning hockey, with a goal of having the team consistently compete for the Stanley Cup.  I have a passion for the game and will do my best to restore a winning culture at the St. Pete Times Forum that all of our fans and partners can be proud of.”

Vinik is purchasing the team from OK Hockey, LLC, whose Chairman and Governor is Oren Koules. “The day is a bittersweet one for us, as I believe we have established a strong foundation on the ice and begun to point things in a positive direction for the Lightning,” Koules said. “We look forward to seeing Jeff take the team from here and move it forward. I believe we are leaving him with some great pieces in place and hopefully he can build upon them to deliver a consistent winner in the future.”

Vinik, 50, is the founder and chairman of Vinik Asset Management and a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox. Prior to founding Vinik Asset Management, he managed Fidelity’s Magellan Fund, at that time the world’s largest equities fund. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Economics, Vinik went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School.

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