NHL Panthers Get $7.7M Loan From County For Renovations To BankAtlantic Center
Broward County commissioners "overcame concerns about a lopsided deal for taxpayers and gave the Florida Panthers a $7.7 million loan Tuesday for arena renovations," according to Brittany Wallman of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. The Panthers' sister company, Arena Operating Company, "plans to plow the millions back into the county's BankAtlantic Center ... constructing a new club and mini-suites for top-dollar customers." The arrangement also "increases the profits the Florida Panthers organization can reap before Broward receives a share to use elsewhere in the county." The Panthers will "have to make $13.25 million in profits from the arena before Broward would start earning 20 percent." The threshold "had been $12 million." The newly approved deal states that after the Panthers "hit $12 million in profits, the first $250,000 in profit-share goes into a Broward-Panthers reserve fund for the arena -- not $500,000 as the Panthers had proposed before" yesterday's debate. It takes a Panthers' profit "of $13.25 million in order for that $250,000 reserve fund payment to be made." The Panthers "made $10.4 million in profits at the county arena in 2011 and expect to make $21 million this year" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/1).