Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jeff Vinik group to manage USF Sun Dome

TAMPA — Five years after getting a new look, the USF Sun Dome is getting new management.

In a Monday afternoon news conference inside a Dome lounge area, the school announced it has signed a five-year agreement with a group controlled by Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to manage and operate the facility.

The same group, Tampa Bay Entertainment Properties, entered a 10-year multimedia-rights partnership with USF two weeks ago. Though a different entity from the Vinik-controlled organization that operates the Lightning and Amalie Arena, its objective will be similar.

Albeit on a mildly smaller scale. Seating capacity at the Sun Dome, which underwent a $36 million renovation in 2012, is 10,411. Amalie holds 21,500 for concerts and 19,092 for hockey.

"We see this as a great opportunity in the event business to operate the Sun Dome, with the goal of delivering more events, not only for the students, the alumni, the faculty and staff, but for the greater Tampa Bay community," said Steve Griggs, CEO of TBEP.

"There's a place in the event industry for this venue, a 3,000-9,000 seat venue (when configured for concerts) that we intend to fill that fits the exact niche of this building."

For the customer, that likely means more events annually.

The Sun Dome, which hosts roughly 120 non-USF sporting events a year, could attract more up-and-coming musical acts, classic bands, comics and popular novelty entertainers such as the Harlem Globetrotters.

Self-managed upon its opening in 1980, the Sun Dome has been run in recent years by Spectra, a Comcast Spectacor subsidiary. Its contract expires at the end of June, prompting USF to entertain a number of bid proposals for new management.

"(TBEP) won us over by their ability, I think, to bring more shows here along with just a customer service that is, frankly in my review, second to none," USF athletic director Mark Harlan said.

"So not only is it about the booking, it's about how we present our shows — and that includes our (USF) games."

The next potential noticeable change for the Dome: an expanded name.

As part of its multimedia-rights partnership, TBEP receives the right to secure naming rights for the Sun Dome, and receives 35 percent of USF's annual naming rights licensing net profit, according to the contract.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3350. Follow @ TBTimes_Bulls.

Jeff Vinik group to manage USF Sun Dome 05/01/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 12:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves

    Blogs

    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  2. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure

    Bucs

    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?

    Blogs

    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  4. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  5. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft

    Preps

    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]