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Naimoli in June 2006

Vincent J. (Vince) Naimoli was the founding owner of the American League baseball franchise in St. Petersburg, Florida, now known as the Tampa Bay Rays.[1]


Naimoli negotiated a naming-rights deal with Tropicana Products for Tropicana Field, with the team paying for improvements to the stadium and other auxiliary facilities. Naimoli oversaw a design for the stadium with asymmetrical outfield dimensions and dirt base paths, and seats located close to the field of play. FieldTurf was added before the start of the 2000 season.[2]

Naimoli is one of four children. His father was a second-generation Italian immigrant who worked for the New York City Subway system and became a self-taught stationary engineer. After attending Central High School in Paterson, New Jersey, Naimoli attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1959 and earning a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1962[3]. Naimoli still attends Irish athletic events regularly with his wife, Lenda, who retired after working for 24 years as an Eastern Airlines flight attendant. Naimoli has four daughters -- Christine, an Arizona State University graduate; Tory Ann Jarvis, Stephens College and Kellogg Graduate School alumna; Alyson, a '94 Notre Dame graduate; and Lindsey, a `05 Notre Dame graduate.[2]

As a long-time resident of Tampa, Naimoli received the very first "Bridging the Bay" award in 1996, recognizing him as the individual who has done the most to unite the citizens of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. He also has received similar community service awards from the Urban League, the Jewish National Fund, the Tampa Sports Club, Boys and Girls Clubs and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He received an honorary monogram from the Notre Dame Monogram Club in 1999.

Naimoli, who received an MBA in 1964 from Fairleigh Dickinson University, contributed $1 million in 2007 to be used towards the construction of a baseball complex at his alma mater. The gift will pay for the construction of the Naimoli Family Baseball Complex on FDU's Teaneck, New Jersey campus and will include an artificial surface, new lights and a 500-seat stadium, to be constructed at the site of the school's current baseball field along Route 4 and the Hackensack River.[4]

In 2006, Naimoli made a contribution of $5 million to his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, to be used towards a $24.7 million renovation project of the Edmund P. Joyce Center, an 11,418-seat multi-purpose arena that is used by the school's basketball and volleyball teams. A 16,500 square foot club / hospitality area which will include concession stands and restrooms, designed to accommodate 750 spectators, will be named for the Naimoli family.[5]


  1. ^ Chass, Murray. "BASEBALL: NOTEBOOK; Labor Board's Batting Average Could Favor the Players", The New York Times, March 12, 1995. Accessed December 23, 2007. "In one of the most bizarre presentations at a baseball news conference, the managing partner of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Vincent Naimoli, offered a five-minute discourse on fish after the owners approved a two-team expansion last Thursday."
  2. ^ a b Vincent J. Naimoli, Managing General Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Tampa Bay Rays. Accessed October 22, 2008.
  3. ^ "Naimoli: NJIT Outstanding Alumnus Award"
  4. ^ Staff. "FDU baseball complex gets bequest", The Record (New Jersey), December 18, 2007. Accessed October 22, 2008.
  5. ^ "Naimoli Donates Five Million To Joyce Center Renovation", University of Notre Dame press release dated October 20, 2006. Accessed October 22, 2008.

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