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FLORIDA GOVERNOR APPROVES SALES TAX FOR TAMPA STADIUM
Published June 15, 1995
FL Gov. Lawton Chiles agreed to spend $60M in state sales tax money to held build a new stadium for the Bucs, according to Robert Chepak in the TAMPA TRIBUNE. Despite "concerns the team will leave Florida," the move by Chiles is "crucial to Hillsborough County's proposal to build a new stadium for the Bucs." Bucs GM Rich McKay: "It is a vital piece of the puzzle. This means the process is underway to begin to finance this stadium." Chepak reports the subsidy is only a portion of the expected $168M needed to build the stadium and the Tampa Stadium Authority will now turn to raising private money for the balance. State Rep. Jim Davis: "Without this bill, I think there are some serious problems with keeping the Bucs in the Tampa Bay area. With it, you have more of a fighting chance, but there are no guarantees" (Robert Chepak, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/15). The bill specifies that before the team can use the money, it will have to sign a 20-year lease in Tampa (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/15). FOUR WALK IN, ONE COMES OUT: Architects Lescher & Mahoney Sports of Tampa and Criswell, Blizzard & Blouin of St. Petersburg were the groups selected by a six-member committee of St. Petersburg officials and representatives of the Devil Rays to plan the estimated $50M improvements to the ThunderDome, reports Rob Shaw in the TAMPA TRIBUNE. Shaw notes the fact that the group was local "did not go unnoticed by the panel as Devil Rays Owner Vince Naimoli said he would rather see a local company get the contract" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/15). Kansas City's HOK, the firm that designed the ThunderDome, as well as Baltimore's Camden Yards and Denver's Coors Field, came in last in the bidding (David Rogers, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/15).