SBD/19/Facilities Venues

TAMPA OFFICIALS DEBATE WHETHER VOTERS TO HAVE SAY OR NOT

     Tampa officials in favor of a new Bucs stadium hope they
"will need less" than $50M of taxpayers' money to complete the
$170M project, but they also hope to keep the decision away from
a referendum, "fearing the public's distaste for tax increases
could kill the project," according to the TAMPA TRIBUNE.  But
Hillsborough County Commission Chair Jim Norman supports letting
voters decide on the issue.  Norman made his remarks at a panel
discussion on the value of sports franchises to cities at the
Florida Conference of Editorial Writers.  Yankees Owner George
Steinbrenner also spoke, adding that the stadium financing
"should be put in front of the voters."  Ray Barton, senior
manager with KPMG Peat Marwick in St. Petersburg, said that it is
"appropriate to have a public debate.  It's also a fact that
there's a public underwriting to professional sports today" (Jim
Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/18). In Atlanta, Len Pasquarelli writes
if the Bengals don't go to Baltimore, "look for the Buccaneers to
look hard at the lucrative deal" that city is offering (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 6/18).
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