FLORIDA PANTHERS ANNOUNCE SIX POSSIBLE SITES FOR NEW ARENA
Florida Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga announced six possible
sites for a new $100M-$150M arena for his hockey team. Locations
include two properties in Ft. Lauderdale, Miramar, Sunrise,
Hollywood and Dade, near Joe Robbie Stadium. The new arena would
be completed by 1998. Within the next 60 days, Huizenga is
"expected to decide whether his planned hockey arena belongs on a
site with room to grow in suburbia, or squeezed into a few acres"
along the water in Fort Lauderdale. Huizenga says he must move
his team out of Miami Arena because his lease runs out in '98 and
he is losing money playing there. He has been looking for a site
for his Panthers since his plans for Blockbuster Park fell
through last year. Wherever the new arena is built, the local
government will be asked to "provide financial help to build it,"
according to Huizenga Holdings spokesperson Jim Blosser.
Blosser: "This is a community effort. Unless there is a show of
community support, we don't think it is going to happen" (Karen
Rafinski, MIAMI HERALD, 2/16).
LOOKING FOR BEST DEAL: Today's Fort Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL
reports that, "by shopping around, Huizenga may be playing the
sites against each other to get the best deal." Many of the
possible sites are offering incentives for him to build the new
arena in their cities. Hollywood is offering a 25% rebate on
city taxes, Fort Lauderdale has "assembled a panel of powerful
business leaders to present its case," and others such as
Sunrise, "are working behind the scenes to see how they can
sweeten their deals" (Bendick & LaMendola, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-