Monday, November 2, 2015

Bucs Among Four Teams That Will Seek 2016 State Stadium Money

UPDATE: The story has been updated to reflect the Bucs' request for $1 million through the end of their agreement at Raymond James Stadium as well as the $100 million-plus estimated cost total of renovations.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers submitted an application to the state's Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Monday requesting tax money to help subsidize the cost of Raymond James Stadium renovations.

The Bucs already receive $2 million per year from the state for stadium bonds and the team is expecting $26 million in new renovations paid for next year by Hillsborough County. But the state cash - if approved by the Legislature - could provide another $1 million per year for as long as the team stays at Raymond James Stadium, where its lease runs through 2027.

The Bucs are currently negotiating with Hillsborough County on scope of the renovations, which could total upward of $100 million. But the team hasn't released many specifics yet beyond what the county's $26 million would pay for and negotiations recently broke down over the Bucs' demand for the right to play two of their eight regular-season games abroad.

ALSO READ: What the Oct. 1 Bucs renovation stories won't tell you

The Bucs' application wasn't available Monday evening due to the late hour the team submitted it to the DEO and the team refused to turn it over, citing its ongoing "policy of not commenting regarding this process"...even though they leaked the last set of renovation stories and issued a comment at the time.

Eric Hart, CEO of the Tampa Sports Authority, which manages the stadium, said his agency was not provided a copy Monday.

Applicants for the state money are required to show how stadium construction or renovation projects would create jobs and new economic revenue. But earlier this year, this blog focused a lot of attention on the poor return on investment state economists estimated from stadium subsidy projects, as well as the outrageous claims some teams made in their applications.

Those factors helped prompt legislators to deny all four subsidy applicants this year. However, all four applicants went ahead with their construction projects anyway.

ALSO READ: Why pro teams need your money to remove seats

Three of last year's applicants - the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Daytona International Speedway - are back again, resubmitting applications.  They join the Bucs as the four entities eligible for funds from the state next year.  If any winners are chosen, they can secure either $1 million, $2 million, or $3 million annually for a term of 30 years.

The DEO has until Feb. 1 to rank the four applications and submit the recommendations to the legislature for consideration in 2016.

READ: Daytona's 2014-15 application
READ: Jaguars' 2014-15 application
READ: Dolphins' 2014-15 application


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  1. And the Rays will be looking for handouts as well.... good luck to them.