After countless blog posts and several WTSP investigations on the poor ROI from the state's stadium subsidies, lawmakers ultimately decided this year to just return the earmarked money back to the state's general revenue funds so they can be used for the kind of things Floridians use every day, like schools and roads.
Of course, the four applicants last year proved my point that the scary repercussion of not publicly-subsidizing stadiums is teams just pay for them themselves. Daytona International Speedway, the Miami Dolphins, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Orlando City Soccer all continued their construction anyway without the public funds, with the soccer club ultimately pulling their application in May, saying they didn't need the money after all.
No word on if the Jags and Daytona Int'l Speedway will re-apply for the funds this year, but the Dolphins are, using their exact same application. Read the Dolphins application here.
In the application, the Dolphins aren't claiming the subsidies would create any new jobs or economy...just that renovations would allow them to rip out seats and charge fans more for tickets.
So who else is expected to apply this year? As first reported on WTSP-TV and this blog...the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
The big questions now - how many seats to the Glazers want to rip out, and how much more do they plan on charging fans post-renovation?
5/29/15 - GASP! Orlando City Soccer Didn't Get Expected State Funds & Will Now...Just Pay for It Themselves
4/11/15 - Pro Teams Want Tax Money So They Can Rip Out Seats (and Charge You More)
2/19/15 - Lawmakers Kick Can Down the Road...Again...on State Stadium Subsidies
2/12/15 - Conservative group launches anti-stadium subsidy radio ad
2/11/15 - Lobbying ramps up after rankings come in
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