It's a subject that I first raised here on the blog in a November 6, 2011 post titled, The Florida Panthers hockey team's owners & mgmt. are about to get a cold dose of economic reality falling on their head -no taxpayer money for you!
I was wrong about the "no taxpayer money for you" part, though, as on Tuesday afternoon, the Commission caved-in to specious reasoning by a vote of 6-2.
It was the worst sort of crony capitalism, as instead of just picking winners and losers, and in this case, one where one party will profit much sooner at the expense of the other -as so often has happened the past ten years in my own city of Hallandale Beach with CRA loans under the direction of Mayor Joy Cooper- the County Commission was given financial information days before the vote by County Auditor Evan Lukic that the deal as reconfigured from November would make taxpayers 'The Biggest Loser,' they went ahead and voted for it, anyway.
The most recent South Florida Sun-Sentinel articles on this anti-taxpayer vote:
Panthers deal enriches arena operator, not Broward, county auditor chargesBy Brittany Wallman, Sun SentinelJanuary 17, 2012 9:26 p.m.
Florida Panthers back at table with new loan request, $7.7 million Broward vote TuesdayBy Brittany Wallman, Sun SentinelJanuary 31, 2012 4:10 a.m. EST,http://www.sun-sentinel.com/
sports/florida-panthers/fl- panthers-loan-newdeal- 20120130,0,7432033.storyBroward Politics blogLobbyist Watch: Milledge says county shouldn't be looking for profit from PanthersBy Brittany Wallman, Sun SentinelJanuary 31, 2012 02:56 PM
Broward says yes to Florida Panthers $7.7 million loanBy Brittany Wallman, Sun SentinelJanuary 31, 2012 6:55 p.m. EST
My favorite take away is from the first one from January 21st:
Broward County has gotten the short end of the stick in its financial deal with the Florida Panthers, and a proposed loan would only tip the scales further, the county's auditor charges.
To date, the county has paid more than $90 million for the arena that serves as the Panthers' home, and gotten back just $331,000 in profit-sharing.
The Panthers side of the scoreboard is far brighter, according to county records. Since the doors at BankAtlantic Center opened 13 years ago, Arena Operating Co., the Panthers' sister company that runs the arena, has rung up a reported $117.4 million in profits. That's more than 353 times what the county has banked.
is opposed by the Greater Ft. Lauderdale hospitality industry, a preening, self-important and self-serving group to be sure, but one which most people would agree has a much better idea about what tourists do and do not want to do when they visit Broward than the County Commission, and going to a Panthers game on the outskirts of The Everglades near nothing but a huge shopping mall -Sawgrass Mills- is NOT one of them.
Yormark won't answer reasonable questions from an actual reporter from the area like Bob Norman, someone who WONT feed him marshmallow questions like Forbes.com's Executive Editor Mike Ozanian does.
Forbes.com video:, Winning Panthers Look To Cash In. January 11, 2012.
January 12, 2012 @ 3:12PM
Panthers Skate Towards More Revenue
Bob Norman's Blog
The BankAtlantic shuffle
Published On: Feb 02 2012 08:03:45 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 02 2012 08:26:55 AM EST