Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Panthers Want New Handout Because Old Handout Wasn't Big Enough

You can make a stat say anything you want, but props to the Florida Panthers, who impressively claim they need $86 million in rent forgiveness to avoid losing tens of millions of dollars a year.

Of course, they could just ask the league for help, but as Neil deMause puts it, the Panthers "ain't 2 proud 2 beg."  The team wants the handout from Broward County without any trade-off in return:
[D]id somebody miss the part where Yormark and company wouldn’t actually be extending their lease at all in exchange for the added subsidies? The Panthers are contractually bound to Broward County through 2028, and would still be able to up and leave then even if they were awarded these rent breaks. So the reason for giving the team more tax money would be, I guess, that maybe if we’re real nice to them, we won’t make them mad?
This is an important lesson in how the entire cost of a stadium, as agreed to in a contract, is often not the entire cost of a stadium.  Time and time again, teams and leagues say, "sorry, we're turning a profit, but we'd like to turn a bigger one."  Just ask the Heat or the Timberwolves.

Sometimes, as with the Panthers or the Cleveland Browns, there isn't even an offer to extend their contract in exchange for the concessions.  SIDE NOTE: Broward Co.'s attorney said giving rent forgiveness would actually make it easier for the team to leave before the end of its contract, according to WPLG-TV.

Sometimes, teams actually pay for their upgrades themselves! (Buccaneers, Lightning)

But I'm still trying to find an example of a team offering to amend its contract in a way where it's the one making a voluntary concession to the city....

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