Sunday, July 8, 2012

Glazers' Financials in Spotlight

With Manchester United filing for an IPO in New York, details are being revealed of how the club has loaned money to its owners - and how debt has been paid by the Glazer family. Reuters has a good recap.

But also in interesting Glazer financial news this weekend, Bill Varian reports in the Tampa Bay Times that Hillsborough County is preparing to re-allocate $12 million in tax money set aside for a Buccaneers practice facility:
"It's not the Buccaneers' money," said commission Chairman Ken Hagan, a regular at Bucs games. "It's the taxpayers' money.

"With the increasingly challenging times we have, we cannot afford to leave that money in escrow."

Late last month, commissioners voted unanimously to start the process of taking that money back.

Of course, the Bucs have built something that looks a lot like a first-class practice facility. It opened on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 2007 at a price estimated at more than three times the set-aside.
But it's not the "practice facility" contemplated in the original stadium agreement.

That facility has yet to be built. And documents that called for reimbursement for its construction set no timetable for it to be built. Therefore, the county can't take back the money for the life of the agreement, which runs through 2028.

"We reserve our right to the $12 million allowance in perpetuity," Eric Land, former chief operating officer for the Buccaneers, told the Tampa Bay Times in 2007.
The Bucs didn't make a comment in the story, and it's not clear how tense the discussion would get between the team and the county.

However, any claim to the uncommitted money by the Bucs would seem to reinforce what I've written before: no matter how much revenues drop from tax collections, the money will always be there for sports teams.

To be continued...