Florida Panthers, losing $20 million annually, seek public funds
The Florida Panthers claim to be losing more than $20 million annually and are requesting a new arena contract and public funding to help stop the hemorrhaging, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Panthers president Michael Yormark presented a proposal in which the team and Broward County would rewrite their contract and use $70 million in additional tourism taxes to cover the team’s arena costs.
The team also proposes developing 22 acres adjacent to the BB&T Center to build a casino-hotel — similar to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and American Airlines Arena in Miami – pending state legislature approval.
“I think the community wants a healthy arena,” Yormark said. “They want a healthy sports team. They want the benefit that a professional sports team and world-class entertainment brings to their community.”
County records show the Panthers generate more money from concerts and other events than from hockey games, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Though financial records reveal the Panthers do make a profit from arena operations, the team itself is losing money.
“This organization has lost between $20 [million] and $30 million on an annual basis,” Yormark said, “and those dollars have been funded by our owners.”
The nine-member Broward County Commission said it will review the proposal in the near future.