SBD/8/Facilities Venues

HUIZENGA ASKS COUNTY FOR TAX BREAK; MARLINS TICKET SALES UP

          Wayne Huizenga has gone to court "in pursuit of a huge
     tax break that could cost Dade County [FL] nearly $3 million
     a year in property tax revenue," according to Don Finefrock
     in the MIAMI HERALD.  Huizenga wants the county to exempt
     Pro Player Stadium from local property taxes, and his
     attorneys say the exemption for the stadium, its scoreboard
     and concessions is "rightfully his."  The tax bill for the
     three amounts to "about" $2.8M a year.  Huizenga's attorneys
     said the stadium qualified for an exemption under a change
     in state law adopted in '94 to "attract sports teams" to FL. 
     The change "carved out" an exemption for sports facilities
     if private companies "lease government property for a public
     purpose or venture."  Huizenga's lawyers say Pro Player
     qualifies because the 10-year old stadium sits on 143 acres
     of land leased from the county.  Huizenga bought half the
     stadium in '90 and the rest in '94, but ownership passes to
     the county when the lease expires after 99 years (MIAMI
     HERALD, 1/8).  Huizenga attorney Stanley Wakshal said Pro
     Player is the only stadium in FL that hosts a major pro team
     that "still pays property taxes." In Ft. Lauderdale, Larry
     Lebowitz notes Huizenga paid more than $2.6M in property
     taxes in '94 on the stadium, not including scoreboard and
     concessions (FT. LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL, 1/8). 
          NO DOME -- FOR NOW: In Miami, Barry Jackson reports in
     that a dome will not be added to Pro Player Stadium in the
     "near future," but that Huizenga "will consider building a
     baseball-only stadium -- perhaps with a retractable dome --
     if the Marlins draw well this season" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/8).
          MARLINS TIX SALES: The Marlins have sold 1,200 new
     season tickets since their off-season "spending spree," and
     are on pace to surpass last year's season ticket total of
     12,500.  Marlins' VP/Marketing Jim Ross said it was
     "unrealistic" to expect the team to sell 21,000 season
     tickets, as they did in '93, but thinks 15,000 is
     "realistic" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 1/8).

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