FL Legislature Punts on Bill Blocking Stadium Subsidies

Giancarlo Stanton
The Associated Press

Floridians, like other Americans, have been fuming over state legislators subsidizing arena and stadium construction projects.

The recent construction of Marlins Park in Miami appears as one of those ventures that turned out to be misspent money. Attendance is in the gutter, and the $347 million estimated to build the stadium will actually cost Floridians close to a $1 billion dollars.

“The Marlins stadium deal is such an easy target because in no other case has the recipient of huge subsidies so brazenly turned around and slashed team payroll to lowest in the league,” Forbes notes. “Furthermore, the Marlins stadium agreement only required the team to pay nearly a third of the building costs, while it awarded Marlins ownership 100% of stadium-related revenues — not exactly what sounds like an equal partnership.”

The Florida legislature had the opportunity this week to cut sports incentives from the yearly budget. The Legislative Budget Commission (LBC) decided to table the motion.

Rep. Richard Corcoran (R), chairman of the budget commission and one of the loudest voices of opposition to using taxpayer dollars to fund sports projects, opined: “This is a reverse, perverse Robin Hood. We’re going to take from the hard-working taxpayers and give it to the rich people. I don’t understand that at all.”