Broward mayor seeks analysis of costs of letting Panthers leave, ignoring 14 years left on lease

Well, now, this is interesting, kind of:

You might not be able to tell from her @bestmom39 handle, but Barbara Sharief is mayor of Broward County, and she here seems to be indicating that she’s asking an economic consultant to do a cost/benefit analysis of letting the Florida Panthers move out of the county rather than giving them $80 million. How much the Panthers’ presence is worth to Broward is a reasonable analysis to ask for — though given that the Panthers’ lease isn’t up until 2028, and Panthers owner Vincent Viola isn’t actually promising to stay any longer that I can tell in exchange for the $80 million, it’s worth wondering if maybe Sharief is asking the wrong question.


13 comments on “Broward mayor seeks analysis of costs of letting Panthers leave, ignoring 14 years left on lease

  1. Perhaps Broward fears a Coyotes-style managed bankruptcy and sale to Quebec, only this time NHL- approved?

  2. Is there a Jacksonville like buy out clause that says there are years left but is a trivial amount for someone if they where dropping a billion on buying a team to move?

  3. I would think a cost/benefit analysis of “not giving away $80m” is going to come in pretty close to +$80m.

    As for the arguments about “still having to pay” for the arena if the Panthers/Coyotes/Predators leave… it’s a red herring. Once a facility is built you have to pay the bonds/mortgage/loans regardless of whether anyone is playing (or living) in it.

    The only real calculation to be done is whether enough revenues are generated by the present tenant and accrue to the city/county that it makes sense to let them keep playing there (often for nothing… though in the NHL’s case they like to have their teams be paid to play in the arenas that the taxpayers built for them for free).

    In a sound hockey market with tangible spin off benefits and significant tax revenues from hockey related discretionary spending, it might make sense to do that. But in Florida (like Glendale) neither the interest nor revenues are there to make any of this worthwhile. The host cities wouldl make more money holding BMX events, wrestling, concerts and flower shows than they ever will off NHL hockey. Not enough to cover the annual debt obligations, I’m sure, but then, the hockey team was never going to generate that anyway.

  4. Well, I’ve conducted thorough research on this, and it turns out the Panthers are worth $350M/year to Broward County.

    Done deal, they need to stay, so Broward doesn’t revert to cowtown status.

  5. This may be related:

    http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-07-15/news/fl-metropica-sunrise-master-plan-20140715_1_developer-joseph-kavana-metropica-sawgrass-mills

    Sawgrass Mills is a gigantic suburban mall and we all know how their fortunes have been recently. With this new residential/hotel/office area going up, the Panthers may have already served their purpose in sparking new development.

    (Whoops. Scratch that last line. We’re not allowed to believe that NHL teams can spark development.)

  6. You’re allowed to believe it, Ben. You’ll just get asked for any evidence that it ever takes place.

  7. Step 1: Begin construction of an arena in 1996
    Step 2: Witness construction in an area that went from a 1996 metro area population of 3,514,403 to a 2013 estimated population of 5,828,191
    Step 3: Claim all development anywhere near your 1996 project, even if it means claiming items 18 years later
    Step 4: Proclaim arenas spur development booms!

  8. @ MikeM – Care to elaborate further on how the Florida Panthers, the Arena Operating Company, and Sunrise Sports & Entertainment are “worth” $350M annually for Broward County?

  9. @Ben.

    It’s been theorized that soon, if not already, the population of Florida will exceed that of New York City’s.
    So that’s in general. In specific, the Miami metro has blown up in recent years attracting a variety of folks, thanks to the warm weather, no state taxes, etc. I don’t see that just being in the proximity of a hockey team is going to ignite offices and hotels.

  10. Matt: I can only imagine that the $350m means Lebron James is going to play professional hockey for the Panthers.

    “I’m back, again, and what number should I wear this time?”

  11. So if the Panthers leave Broward County, back to Miami they go? Only this time at the American Airlines Arena.

    Has the mayor of Broward thought about what to do with the arena in Sunrise if the Panthers leave? Plan A? Plan B? Plan C?

  12. They can hold the occasional rodeo like Key Arena now does in Seattle. Annual revenues are like $300,000 a year for the entire building. The same city council that happily sold away the Sonics whines that Seattle Center doesn’t generste any money anymore.

  13. Oops. Meant to say income is $300,0000. The could buy and flip 4 moderately priced houses in this area in the next year and make more money.

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