Well, Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released its rankings of the four applicants today, and the three teams that made lofty claims were passed along to the legislature for possible funding; the application from the other team, the Bucs, was denied on the basis that it was incomplete.
The Jaguars, Dolphins, and speedway projects all failed to secure subsidies last year, but have returned again in 2016 with similar applications promising new jobs, new income for the state, and countless other ways taxpayers would benefit by spending money on pro sports. Even when it means removing seats and jacking up the price of tickets.
The Buccaneers' application for $12 million toward Raymond James Stadium renovations - as WTSP and Shadow of the Stadium first reported in October - was the only new application this year.
Conservative political group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) lobbied against the stadium subsidies in the 2015 legislative session and plans on doing so again in 2016.
"Taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars shouldn't go to profit-seeking billionaire sports team owners that already get fed at the ticket office, concession stands, and NFL revenue sharing trough," AFP spokesperson Andres Malave told 10News in November. "AFP will continue to work with taxpayers and volunteers to hold elected officials accountable."
AFP is also supporting a longshot effort in the legislature to ban pro teams from building or renovating stadiums on public property (HB1427), but a hearing on the bill was scarpped during a House committee meeting Monday and isn't expected to get much traction.
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