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Florida Sports Teams Get More Public Money


It has been a good holiday season for two Florida sports ownerships as Jacksonville and Broward County have given the NFL’s Jaguars and the NHL’s Panthers some financial help although it is not clear whether either franchise actually needs more money from the public.

In Jacksonville, the city council has decided it is worthwhile to kick in $45 million to all the other subsidies and tax breaks that have been given now to two Jacksonville owners since the NFL awarded the city a franchise in 1993 when Jacksonville rebuilt the Gator Bowl to NFL specs. This $45 million is going into a $90 million project that will include a 5,000 seat amphitheater next to the Jaguars stadium, an indoor practice field and upgrades in stadium seating. There was the usual more people will come to Jacksonville with the amphitheater and better seats slogan which means more money for Jacksonville as people will come to the city to attend Jaguars booked amphitheater events. The Jaguars ownership will set all ticket prices and not split revenues with the city.  Jaguars owner Shad Khan does not play a full schedule of home games in Jacksonville and won’t for at least the next four years as his Jaguars play an annual game in London designed to increase Jaguars revenue streams.

In Broward County, the Florida Panthers ownership group got a nice holiday present from local politicians. An $86 million subsidy to keep the team in town although the franchise is allegedly locked into a deal with Broward County until 2028. This new agreement will allow the team to leave in 2024 if the franchise loses $100 million by then. By 2024, the Panthers building will be 26 years old. And sports owners keep asking politicians for more and more and the politicians always acquiesce. It’s been the season of giving for sports owners.

I’m Evan Weiner for the Politics of Sports Business.This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner


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