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BUCS STADIUM DEAL GAINS STEAM AS TEAM PLEDGES CONTRIBUTIONS
Published March 26, 1996
The plan to keep the Bucs in Tampa gained "a key player" when Hillsborough County Commission Chair Jim Norman pledged his support, according to this morning's TAMPA TRIBUNE. Norman had previously opposed the deal, but was "converted after a Sunday meeting with Bucs' officials where the team agreed to contribute up to $100,000 annually to the county's youth sports programs." The proposed deal, which will use public funds for much of the proposed $168M stadium, still needs approval from the Tampa City Council, Tampa Sports Authority, and County Commission. NFL President Neil Austrian will be at today's Authority meeting to push for approval. Norman had backed a controversial guarantee linking on-field performance to public funding, but the NFL rejected that idea last week. The team has agreed to contribute $7,500 for every regular season victory, or up to $100,000 per year, to charity from '98-07. The team will also set aside 1,500 seats for a family section which would cost no more than $150 per season for Hillsborough residents (Jim Kenyon, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/26). The ORLANDO SENTINEL notes the team also agreed to "freeze" advance season-ticket prices for the new stadium through May '98 and relinquish management rights to Legends Field and the Ice Palace (Charean Williams, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/26).