Thursday, November 20, 2014

Florida Teams Claim State Dollars Will Make Already-Underway Stadium Projects More Magical

We knew Florida's new stadium subsidy process would be a non-binding/rubber-stamp kind of exercise, but nevertheless, teams are still jockeying for that "high-priority" label that would earn them up to $3 million a year in state tax dollars.

So what were the good reasons the Jaguars, Dolphins, Orlando Soccer Club, and Daytona Int'l Speedway argued were worth adding state dollars to complexes that are already being built or renovated?

According to the News Service of Florida, renovations to EverBank field in Jacksonville will help lure more tourists from England.

A $110 million soccer stadium in Orlando (which only cost $84 million the city approved it) would increase tourism from South America, and would be a "one-of-a-kind downtown venue."  That, of course, must make the Magic's new Amway Arena feel like crap.

In Daytona, a $90 million contribution to the already-underway $400 million speedway renovation would all of a sudden mean the venue could start hosting "non-sports events" that bring "thousands of visitors to Florida."  Because that's worth $90 million in state dollars...

And the Miami Dolphins want $90 million too, even though their owner is one of the richest men in the world.

Care to read more?  The News Service of Florida may dissuade you:
The intent of the review process is to reduce lobbying for stadium projects.

Based upon sheer paper volume, Orlando and Jacksonville would be the front-runners in the new funding process.

The application from Jacksonville, supported by the Jacksonville Jaguars, stands at 954 pages.

Orlando, working to assist the Major League Soccer expansion Orlando City Soccer Club with a new 18,000-seat stadium, submitted a 1,144-page application.

Less bulky, Daytona International Speedway LLC filed a 110-page application. South Florida Stadium LLC, filing for the Miami Dolphins' home, submitted 219 pages of material.
I'm completely shocked - and unshocked - by what I read, so when you have a quiet moment alone to laugh out loud...try and read the whole story.

1 comment:

  1. Nearly 2100 pages worth of documents for the Jaguars and Orlando City projects, both of which would have received a rubber stamp from our ever-so generous state legislature, even if they were only 21 pages long put together.

    The part about OC's downtown (really Parramore) stadium being a "one-of-a-kind" venue rings really hollow too, since that's precisely what the Amway Center was supposed to be when the deal for that building was announced.