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FLORIDA PANTHERS ANNOUNCE SIX POSSIBLE SITES FOR NEW ARENA
Published February 17, 1995
Florida Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga announced six possible sites for a new $100M-$150M arena for his hockey team. Locations include two properties in Ft. Lauderdale, Miramar, Sunrise, Hollywood and Dade, near Joe Robbie Stadium. The new arena would be completed by 1998. Within the next 60 days, Huizenga is "expected to decide whether his planned hockey arena belongs on a site with room to grow in suburbia, or squeezed into a few acres" along the water in Fort Lauderdale. Huizenga says he must move his team out of Miami Arena because his lease runs out in '98 and he is losing money playing there. He has been looking for a site for his Panthers since his plans for Blockbuster Park fell through last year. Wherever the new arena is built, the local government will be asked to "provide financial help to build it," according to Huizenga Holdings spokesperson Jim Blosser. Blosser: "This is a community effort. Unless there is a show of community support, we don't think it is going to happen" (Karen Rafinski, MIAMI HERALD, 2/16). LOOKING FOR BEST DEAL: Today's Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL reports that, "by shopping around, Huizenga may be playing the sites against each other to get the best deal." Many of the possible sites are offering incentives for him to build the new arena in their cities. Hollywood is offering a 25% rebate on city taxes, Fort Lauderdale has "assembled a panel of powerful business leaders to present its case," and others such as Sunrise, "are working behind the scenes to see how they can sweeten their deals" (Bendick & LaMendola, Ft. Lauderdale SUN- SENTINEL, 2/17).