Blackhawks Building New Practice Facility Jax Mayor Wants Financial Assurance For Shipyards TCU Basketball To Play In Schollmaier Arena Alameda County Wants Out Of Coliseum Deal Bucks Turn To County For Arena Land Deal Atlanta MLS Club Nears Deal For DeKalb HQ Facility Notes San Diego Pitches Chargers Plan To NFL A's Reportedly Holding "Positive" Ballpark Talks Indians Eye More Ballpark Renovations
BED TAX BOOST IN BROWARD TOPS SUNSHINE STATE STROLL
Published April 25, 1996
The Broward County Commission has voted to raise the county's tax on hotel bills from 3% to 5% in order to help pay for the Panthers' new arena, according to the Fort Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL. The increase, scheduled to take effect July 1, means that tourists would contribute $8M yearly, or 55% of the cost toward building the $212M Sunrise, FL, facility. Stan Smith, spokesperson for Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga: "This was the last important step before moving into planning and construction." The Broward Hotel and Motel Assoc. agreed to support the bed tax boost -- but on the condition hoteliers receive additional money for tourism promotion. The Commission, which favored diverting a share of arena profits to tourism, "stopped short" of making a firm commitment (David Nitkin, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 4/24). Jack Neese calls Huizenga the "clear winner": "[Huizenga] got almost everything he wanted. He or the Panthers will own the company that manages the arena and profit from almost everything that happens there" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 4/25). ALL ABOARD: Huizenga was scheduled to tour the Molson Centre, Corel Centre and FleetCenter prior to last night's Panthers-Bruins playoff game. Despite being "besieged" with offers from architectural and construction companies, Huizenga and county officials have yet to choose a firm to build the arena (Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 4/24). THE HEAT IS ON: Even though election day is over six months away, Miami mayoral candidates "eager for headlines" are already "exploiting" plans for a new Heat waterfront arena, according to the MIAMI HERALD. Metro Commissioner Alex Penelas intends to make his opposition to the facility a "cornerstone" of his race, while arena backers Arthur Teele, Xavier Suarez and Maurice Ferre are "making their own arena plays" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/24).