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BUCS DEAL MAY HINGE ON FIELD PERFORMANCE
Published March 19, 1996
Hillsborough County Commission Chair Jim Norman proposed yesterday that the county's $2.9M ticket shortfall guarantee to the Bucs as part of a new stadium deal be contingent on the team having a winning record. Joe Henderson reports in this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE that team officials had no reaction to the idea, which Norman says would be an incentive to win. Stadium negotiators agreed to grant the Bucs the revenue guarantee if sales levels fall below certain levels. Norman pointed out, while the club was one of the most profitable during the '80s, it hasn't had a winning season since '82. In addition to Norman's clause, Henderson reports two "sticking points" to a deal: 1) The team's desire to take over stadium operations and receive a $4M subsidy each year for maintenance; and 2) What happens if the deal collapses -- the Bucs want the right to leave without being sued if the county cannot commit to the project by September. Meanwhile, Tampa-area state legislators indicated the 5% local rental car tax will have a "tough time" getting approved (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/19).