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WHILE THE INK IS STILL WET, GLAZER EXPLORES STADIUM OPTIONS
Published January 18, 1995
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).