Florida Panthers Asking for $70 Million in Public Funds

panthers-logo-2014.jpg
The Florida Panthers is the latest South Florida pro sports team that has decided to throw on some rags, put on the fingerless gloves, grab a tin cup, and start chanting. "Alms for the poor!" to the public.

Yep. The Panthers -- a franchise owned by a billionaire -- much like the Marlins and Dolphins, are asking for public money to stay "alive."

And, of, course, this all comes down to them getting a new arena paid for by the people.

See also: Florida Panthers Sold to New York Businessman for $240 Million

The team is claiming that it's losing $20 million, and that it needs public funds to keep it from not existing anymore.

And what is South Florida to do without a professional ice hockey team??

Team President Michael Yormark says that the team has proposed that Broward County can use tourism taxes to help pay for BB&T Center arena costs, which comes down to $70 million.

The Panthers also want to develop 22 acres north of the arena for a casino-hotel.

Team President Michael Yormark says that the Panthers are asking to rewrite its contract with Broward County, claiming that the current contract -- which was put together back in the 1990s -- is unsustainable.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, team also says it wants to be able to compete as "an entertainment venue with the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and American Airlines Arena."

Broward County Commission officials say that they plan on voting on the team's proposal, but won't rush into anything.

On the surface, it's hard to find how the county would benefit from the proposal, according to the county auditor.

The team proposal includes taking $4.5 million of their annual payment off the books, and have it picked up by the county. The team is also asking the county to contribute $500,000 a year toward maintenance. In turn, the team will pay the $10.6 million in loans it took from Broward over the years, and will pay the Convention and Visitors Bureau $500,000 a year.

And, of course, they want that land for that hotel-casino.

Back in September, the Panthers were bought for $240 million by Cliff Viner and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment to a group led by New York businessman Vincent Viola.

The Panthers have had an operating loss of $12 million for the 2011-12 season and was worth $170 million, according to Forbes.


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18 comments
KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII topcommenter

"Back in September, the Panthers were bought for $240 million by Cliff Viner and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment to a group led by New York businessman Vincent Viola."

Does this sentence make sense? 

Jeremy Jensen
Jeremy Jensen

Yes, broward needs to keep the building broward owns state of the art. We don't need another sunrise musical theater here.

djzion6602
djzion6602

County OWNS the property. It is public record. So dont sound stupid like this writer does. Do some investigating before hand

Dan K. Alexander
Dan K. Alexander

The next thing we know the owner of the Panthers will turn around and donate $300 million to charity. The nerve of these assholes. You'd think selling $12 beers would be more profitable.

smdrpepper
smdrpepper

How much do you want to bet that these billionaires will get their money all the while the poor will end up being labeled as "takers" or worse?

Jeremy Jensen
Jeremy Jensen

Dip shit the this is the ONLY PUBLIC OWNED ARENA. Please start blogging facts.

FatHand
FatHand

Can we just all agree upfront that any County Commissioner who votes in favor of using tax dollars to in any way fund or benefit the Panthers or cut any payments that the Panthers owe now or in the future, can be assumed to be taking some sort of kickbacks from the Panthers and is therefore unfit to hold office and will never receive another vote? Let's just get that out there.

Jonathan Parmet
Jonathan Parmet

I'd like some public funds too- what a joke! We do not need to subsidize PRIVATE businesses! Corporate welfare.

redd
redd

Welfare for millionaires.


If they leave will anyone notice? 

redd
redd

" Arms for the poor  ?"

 I don't think you meant to use that word...  <facepalm>


ALMS for the poor....  

Hope that was a spell checker issue, not a lack of understanding

FatHand
FatHand

@djzion6602 What does that have to do with anything? County owns the arena, Panthers keep the profit. How exactly does the writer sound stupid? The county and the Panthers have a contract. The Panthers apparently want to amend the contract because they say they are losing money. Btw, these guys just bought the Panthers last year. If they are so concerned about losing money, perhaps they should not have purchased the team? No, this is just a scam.

djzion6602
djzion6602

If you rent an apartment will you pay out of pocket to fix it? The county OWNS this arena not the Panthers. Public record. Look it up

djzion6602
djzion6602

Do you think the panthers even care about all other events done in the building? This arena is set up the was sunrise musical theater was. The team pays to play there (yes when contract is up you negotiate or go some where else) the county also rents it to live nation, clear channel, and even lets schools use it for graduations. But the panthers are still paying for the maintenance, security,, parking, and anything else a rentor would normally refuse to pay for. The blogger sounds stupin by not mentioning any real facts. He doesnt even mention the county ownes the building and panthers just rent it. The blogger is trying to compare BB&T to Sun Life and thats like trying to compare apples to toilet paper. You just cant do it

FatHand
FatHand

@djzion6602 The fact the county owns the team does not change the fact the Panthers are trying to get out of their contract by claiming poverty. They are lying. Ownership of the stadium has exactly zero to do with why this is bullshit.

FatHand
FatHand

@djzion6602  That's just not accurate. I'm pretty sure that the contract has not expired...there's like 15 years left on it or something.  Also, while the County owns the stadium, the Panthers keep the profits from operating it. From the Sun-Sen: "The Panthers organization runs Broward's arena in Sunrise, bringing in more money from concerts and other events than from its hockey games, county records show. Financial records show the Panthers make a profit from arena operations."


The Panthers fucking better be paying for security...they're running the damn stadium and keeping all the profits. The fact that the county owns the stadium is sooo unimportant compared to who keeps the profits from the stadium. Like, I could own stadium but if I don't receive any of the profits, what am I getting out of it? The Panthers just use that fact to make it seem like it should be the county's responsibility...when that was never the deal.

djzion6602
djzion6602

This is about getting money to revamp a county owned property. Has everything to do with it.

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