SBD/18/Facilities Venues

WHILE THE INK IS STILL WET, GLAZER EXPLORES STADIUM OPTIONS

     New Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer made his presence felt in
Tampa yesterday, pledging to work with local leaders on solving
the area's stadium situation.  Glazer, who bought the team Monday
for $192M, visited Tampa Stadium for the first time and attended
a Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) meeting (Joel Poiley, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 1/18).  Although his offer included two-year commitment
and $35M penalty if he moves the team in the next 10 years,
Glazer did say "the Bucs would need a new stadium to remain in
Tampa Bay" (Rick Stroud, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/18).  Local
officials have had mixed reactions to the prospects of higher
taxes for a stadium.  A renovation of Tampa Stadium would be a
cheaper option, but would likely not keep the team in Tampa,
according to TSA director Rick Nafe.  Nafe said he would like a
25-30 year lease commitment from the Bucs if the TSA were to
build a new stadium.  The TSA will immediately begin looking for
designs for a new stadium and a renovated Tampa Stadium.  The
estimated cost for a new stadium could be as high as $175M, with
renovation at about $75-80M.  Among tax options mentioned: a
half-cent sales tax; tax on restaurant food and services, ticket
surcharges; and a tax on city licenses (Joel Poiley, TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 1/18).  On Tuesday, Hillsborugh County Commission Chair
Jim Norman withdrew a proposal to have voters approve a half-cent
sales tax to build a new stadium.  Norman's decision came after
county leaders said "private sources, not tax dollars should pay
the majority share of costs for a stadium project."  Norman said
leaders want seat licenses, luxury box rentals and club seating
to pay for the park.  But, he added:  "If I don't see some
movement, I'll bring back the referendum idea" (Kevin Walker,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/18).
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Facilities, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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