In Orlando, Mark Schlueb reports city commissioners yesterday "picked Hunt Construction Group" to help oversee the $175M renovation of the Citrus Bowl. Hunt will be paid an estimated $2.4M "to be program manager."A selection committee "ranked Hunt highest among five firms." Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the ranking, but several said that they would "keep a close eye on the stadium project because of problems during the Amway Center's construction, including long delays in paying some subcontractors" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/5).
RAYS OF HOPE: In Tampa, Stephen Nohlgren reports City Council member Charlie Gerdes placed a proposal on Thursday's council agenda that would give the Rays "three years to investigate new stadium sites in either Hillsboro or Pinellas counties in exchange for an annual fee" of about $1.42M. Tampa Mayor Bill Foster "has refused to allow any stadium negotiations" outside of Pinellas County, but "pressure has mounted in recent weeks as the Rays presented their case for a new stadium to county commissioners on both sides of the bay." It is "unclear how Gerdes' proposal will be received" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/5).
JAX REAPS THE TAX: In Jacksonville, Matt Dixon reported two Clay County lawmakers this week will file legislation "making publicly owned stadiums -- like EverBank Field -- eligible for another annual $2 million sales tax rebate over the next 30 years." Current law "makes publicly owned stadiums that are homes to 'new or retained' franchises eligible for a similar tax rebate, which the city and the Jaguars have received since 1995." The new legislation would "expand rebate eligibility to publicly owned stadiums that want to 'meet or exceed government league standards,' which would give [the] Jaguars a second $2 million-a-year rebate." If the bill passes, EverBank Field would be "eligible for $4 million a year for the next 12 years as the two rebates overlap" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 2/1).
START YOUR ENGINES: Petty Holdings has renewed its partnership with Daytona Int'l Speedway, designating the Richard Petty Driving Experience as the venue's exclusive consumer NASCAR ride-and-drive program. The multiyear deal also includes Petty's Exotic Driving Experience, which debuted for two days in December '12 and will expand to 20 days this year. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed (DIS).