Friday, January 10, 2014

Florida Panthers Ask For More Public Dollars...Is Quebec City Watching...???

((HT: Sun Sentinel/Wallman))

And, now, we finally have it...

The Florida Panthers, the southern-most outpost for the Gary Bettman expansion into the Sun Belt, is finally asking for public funds to keep them in town...

Are you watching Quebec City...???

The team claims they're losing at least US$20-million a year and are asking for a rewrite of their contract with the city of Sunrise.

The building was brought forth in the late '90s for just under US$190-million.
It's still being paid off... for another 14 years...

More from Wallman:

Under the proposed change, for the 14-year balance of the current contract:

•The Panthers would shed the $4.5 million annual payment; it would be picked up by the county.

•The county would contribute $500,000 a year toward maintenance, and would pay any of the property insurance tab that exceeds $1 million.

•The Panthers would swap the land it has rights to build on, 12 acres south of the arena, in favor of 22 acres on the arena's north side, where the Panthers hope a casino-hotel or some other development could be built and brought onto the tax rolls.

•The Panthers would immediately repay $10.6 million in loans the county granted them in recent years.

•The Panthers would continue contributing $500,000 a year to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

•The Panthers would commit to investing in hockey team payroll "at a level competitive with the rest of the National Hockey League."

Short of Buffalo, Calgary, Colorado, and the New York Islanders, the Panthers are near the bottom in NHL payroll numbers with a cap figure of just over US$60-million.

Even teams like Columbus are spending more these days...

It will be interesting how Vinnie Viola, the Panthers owner, responds if the Sunrise council goes against the idea of less money in hand in the present for more dollars in the future...especially, if the Panthers continue to flounder in the Eastern Conference as they have for the better part of the last decade...

Kinda what they were asked to do when the BB&T Center went on line in the first place...

Here's what the Panthers did last time out- beating the Sabres (doesn't everyone...?)
((HT: MSG))

So, if I was anyone from Sun Media, I would keep a keen eye with everything going on in Florida- because, the rest of the hockey world knows you're ready...

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