Florida to again consider $100m in sports tax kickbacks for projects already being built regardless

It’s time again for the Florida legislature to vote on the dumbest sports subsidies ever, wherein the state gets to hand out money from sales taxes to any sports organization that asks, to pay for venue upgrades they’re doing anyway, just because Florida, man. This year’s three candidates are the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins, and Daytona International Speedway, which are set to receive a total of $210 million over 30 years (about $100 million in present value); the state Department of Economic Opportunity insists that Florida taxpayers will get a return on their investment via increased economic activity, though given that the work is already underway (in the speedway’s case, actually completed) whether or not the team owners get the money, it’s hard to see how this could be true.

It’s all mind-numbingly idiotic, and should be laughed out of the legislature in a sane world. Instead, naturally, we have legislators only thinking it’s a bad idea because Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria ripped them off once:

“I personally have an issue where taxpayer money is being used to fund billionaires,” [House Economic Development & Tourism Chairman Rep. Frank] Artiles said. “If [Marlins owner Jeffrey] Loria actually tries to sell the Miami Marlins, he has a major windfall on the back of taxpayers.”

That Loria, he just ruined it for everybody.

12 comments on “Florida to again consider $100m in sports tax kickbacks for projects already being built regardless

  1. So the state wants to pour subsidies into the home of the Jaguars, knowing full well they do not draw jack in the way of a live audience (with the CBS affiliate there knowing this is a studio sport now), as well as the fact that there is no room to really expand the park…assuming a miracle happens. Are they smoking a killer blend in Fla?

    Also…why are they doing this babysitting act, while everyone…including my cats…know that if the logistics were cleaned up, the Jags would be in London. The owner is from there, they have an ongoing segment of the NFL International Series in their name…and last I checked….they draw better in their games at Wembley, than at the former Gator Bowl.

    Amazing…it’s as though logic is not in the ballpark, like a lot of Jags fans.

    • No one’s moving to London. The logistics are too impossible to be cleared up.

      • Keep this in mind: Goodell wants to have a team in London at some point. There has been and continues to be a fanbase for a team. Any team. Even it is the Jaguars.

        As for the logistics….if someone smells dollars, pounds or Euros…those can be cleared up PDQ.

      • Goodell is going to have to buy a team and move it there, then, because no team owner is going to move to London voluntarily. And I don’t especially see the Gang of 32 approving that expense.

  2. Its back on because the MLS teams decided not to bother after the rules for application were changed once soccer teams started to ask for equal treatment.

    • I thought the Rays were getting one. As in the place with a fabric-based, partially retractable roof on the waterfront. Oops, that was just a rendering.

      Something says the A’s will be here in Portland, with a new close to downtown park, before the Rays settle on the harbor or somewhere next to an old spring training site. Or they could split time up north at the son on Le Parc Jarry.

      • I love Portland but their baseball attendance was at the bottom of the PCL. Stick to the Timbers and forget about getting the Rays. Besides you can always go out and catch a Hops game.

        • Agreed to an extent about the Beavers and their lack of overall attendance.

          The one thing that is not mentioned in any discussion about the Timbers/MLS is that, even with the rabid fanbase, thanks to how the management of MLS is acting, there is the possibility of the sport almost going back to a ‘niche’ status. That is not being mean….far from it. It is that in some ways, they are acting like how the old NASL did.

          And it was not that the NASL or MLS have bad teams or even a bad product. Heck, watching the games on the telly is exciting at times. With that said, the same type of bubble in the sport that was mentioned in an old Bill Gallo cartoon in the NY Daily News (the one about the Eintract Oval), is lurking.

          As for the Hops…..for the time being…Hillsboro is the right location, in that the crowd demographics for baseball has changed. That is a fact. Uncomfortable and ugly…but it is that. And they do draw….have a family vibe to the games. This is or rather has been missing in some cities MLB level (various reasons for same as was pointed out on RealSports a while back). Now if that could be translated to the downtown area, assuming the A’s or Rays move here.

          One other item: HOK did publish, with the help of the folks seeking the MLB for the market…a lengthy study mentioning that Providence Park could work for both MLB and MLS…with a little work. Down the road…such a facility here could work. Without the need for a canvas sail, partially retractable roof

          • Not to dig too deep into the weeds here, but if Portland ever builds a MLB/AAA size park I hope they dont ruin Providence Park. Downtown at the Dept. of Education building (next to the Rose garden) would be a better choice. Sorry, didn’t mean to get off subject.

          • Far from too deep..

            The prefered site, of all things is Memorial Colisseum. Even with the seeking of landmark status…some want to tear it down and have the park, with a SW looking orientation there. in effect, a homer to right could fly out and break a window on the MAX LRT

            I am amazed no one suggested with the limited space at Providence, trying a Mile High or Aloha Stadium solution. Good old hydraulic, floating moveable stands. Hence, it could switch configurstions on a dime…and bring the capacity to about 30k. But with the luck of this area….someone would find a way to foul things up.

  3. I need to open a branch office of the Vikings down in Tallahassee and get in on some of this gravy!