Monday, March 3, 2014

Florida House Unveils Proposal for Stadium Subsidy Controls

A Florida House committee Monday released a proposal that would add a ranking and qualification system to new sports subsidies from the state.  House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has indicated the qualifications were a priority of his. 

The bill would upset Orlando- and Daytona-area legislators hoping for money now, because all subsidies would be delayed until 2015.  It would also restrict the kind of projects eligible for state subsidies:
The eligible stadium projects would also have to be $100 million or bigger, eliminating projects like spring-training baseball parks from the competition.
The proposal would also eliminate MLS stadiums, like the one proposed in Orlando.  But wait...maybe not!!
The city is planning an $85 million soccer-only stadium downtown, but could add more amenities with the extra state dollars boosting th project over the $100 million requirement.
Oh, now that's a recipe for economic success.

The bill also had a clawback provision, which apparently was a sticky subject, according to the News Service of Florida:
Repayment, with a 5 percent penalty, would be required if a project fails to boost sales taxes by numbers projected in the application or if the team leaves a complex before the agreement expires.

For an existing stadium, improvements would have to immediately generate higher sales-tax numbers, while new stadiums would have five years before an analysis would be used that sets the benchmarks for repayments.
These are common-sense proposals, even if pro sports leagues are masters of making a statistic say anything they want it to.

1 comment:

  1. I really love that they’re referring to this bill as the “Professional Sports Facility Incentive Program.” That's a textbook example of how framing works in politics.