Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tampa Sports Authority Exploring State Stadium Funding for Bucs and/or Rays

With state legislators preparing to debate how to divvy up your tax dollars for pro stadium projects, the officials who operate Raymond James Stadium - and may also play a role in Tampa Bay Rays stadium discussions - are trying to learn more about state financing available for stadium-building.

A consultant for the Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) coordinated a December conference call between the agency's CEO, Eric Hart, and officials from Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). The call was regarding the process for receiving state stadium funds, according to a TSA spokesperson, even though he added few specifics were discussed.

The TSA could request up to $90 million from the state for renovations to Raymond James Stadium, which is approaching 17 years old, or a new pro sports facility in Hillsborough County. Previously, Hillsborough Co. Commissioner Ken Hagan suggested the TSA could take the lead in finding a new home for the Rays in Tampa.

For a renovation - or new construction - project to receive state dollars under a new 2014 law, teams and municipalities must first break ground on the project, then seek reimbursement under a "competitive" process.

The TSA spokesperson said the call was simply informational, with no imminent request expected.

I've spent the last month debunking dubious claims from four pro organizations seeking state tax dollars this year. But the hundreds of millions of dollars they seek are still on the table.

 PREVIOUS COVERAGE:2/19/15 - Jags threaten bad business decisions if state doesn't pay up
2/19/15 - Lawmakers kick can down road again on subsidy decision
2/12/15 -
Conservative group launches anti-stadium subsidy radio ad
2/11/15 - Lobbying ramps up after rankings come in


  1. Hi Noah,
    The 'up to $90 million' you reference - is that $3 million per year for 30 years?