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Tampa port board pre-approves hockey team owner's Channelside revival vision

Tampa port board pre-approves hockey team owner's Channelside revival vision
July 2 update: CBP LLC was the winning bidder for the Channelside Bay Plaza at the auction by the Irish Bank Resolution Corp. Port Tampa Bay commissioners pre-approved a proposal by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to redevelop the ailing Channelside Bay Plaza entertainment facility adjacent to the cruise piers.

The plan for 'Channelside Live' would ease connectivity for fans of the professional ice hockey team to go from the Tampa Bay Times Forum to Channelside restaurants after games.

But first CBP LLC, an investment group controlled by Vinik, must get control of the property. Other parties are expected to bid for the facility, which sits on port-controlled land.

If the Vinik group's proposal is accepted as the winner at the July 2 auction by the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., the next step will be to seek approval by the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on July 15.

'We are extremely excited to be able to move forward with Channelside and work with a developer that will breathe new life into the complex and connect it to the other world-class attractions in the Channel District,' said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay president and ceo. 'The community and its citizens deserve a top-notch entertainment venue for many, many years to come.'