So that whole thing from a month ago about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers planning a $100 million renovation of their stadium and only (“only”) asking the public stadium authority for $26 million of that? Forget all that, because the team is now more than doubling its public subsidy request by asking for some of those sweet, sweet state tax dollars that are being handed out:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers submitted an application to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Monday requesting tax money to help subsidize the cost of Raymond James Stadium renovations.
The Bucs already receive $2 million per year from the state for stadium bonds and the team is expecting $26 million in new renovations paid for next year by Hillsborough County. But the state cash – if approved by the Legislature – could provide another $1-to-$2 million per year for as long as the team stays at Raymond James Stadium.
This, you will remember, is part of Florida’s plan to authorize subsidies of between $1 million and $3 million a year to any sports team that fills out a form, otherwise known as the worst idea ever. It’s especially bad, Noah Pransky of WTSP-TV points out, because there isn’t even any quid pro quo here: When the Florida legislature has rejected subsidies to specific teams, they’ve gone ahead with the construction projects anyway, meaning any economic benefits from the Dolphins’ stadium having a new canopy (I know, I know, let’s pretend there are some) would accrue regardless of whether the state awards the team owner a never-ending stream of cash.
So far the legislature hasn’t actually okayed any applicants, meaning Bucs owners the Glazer family (whose patriarch Malcolm Glazer died last year, but is still running the team from beyond the grave, according to the team website) will have to wait in line with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Daytona International Speedway for state cash. A full $2 million of year could be enough to cover another $30 million in renovations, meaning if Hillsborough County approves its $26 million share as well, the Glazer will be getting the majority of their renovations paid for by the public. Which is only fair, since otherwise they’d have to dip into their $4.7 billion in net worth, and nobody wants to see that.