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Guest Opinion: Sports, stadiums are a homerun for local economy

March 27, 2014

Last year was a record-breaking year for tourism in Lee County, one that far exceeded expectations. We all know that the beaches are the N....

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Mar-31-14 6:29 AM

When a multi billion dollar industry fleeces a local citizenry for tens of millions of dollars under the threat they will move if they don't receive them....I say let them go. There is no earthly reason any pro sports franchise should receive any public funding...period. They will follow the money just like any entity would in a market driven economy. Local governments need to stop kowtowing to these people. The local economy was here long before the arrival of any sports stadium, many fail to remember that. It was the sun and shore that brought everyone here to spend, not local sports venues.

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Mar-30-14 10:47 AM

CCRider You are right there is a lot of info available on the true cost and how we, the taxpayers, are financing these stadiums. Look it up. The majority on the money to build them has been, and currently still is, being funded out of the general fund, NOT the tourist sales tax as you state. This has been stated openly in Commission meetings you can view on line. The snooze press did a in depth report on the actual cost to the taxpayers (in the hundreds of millions) that may or may not be repaid through the tourist sales tax money. Whether the money is repaid through the tourist sales tax is entirely up to the commissioners. Look how trust worthy they are. Some of whom (Frank Mann for one) have lied to us about 20/20 money, took tax money specifically set aside for parks in Lehigh for years and spent it on Jet Blue, spent $5,000,000 in taxpayer money to a company that was not even in existence for ten days but had a member of their good ole boy club as ceo. Do you trust them? I don't!

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Mar-30-14 3:32 AM

They can be a big strike out too. Congestion, congestion and congestion.

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Mar-29-14 3:50 PM

The amount that 'taxpayers' will pay is approx. $130M over 32 years, with much, if not all, of that coming from tourist sales tax monies. It is the maintenance costs for the upkeep of the the parks and ancillary facilities, which also get rented out. Their is a lot of specific information about this available on the web. The upside is the amount of tourist spending this brings, as detailed in preliminary reports coming out now are showing.

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Mar-29-14 11:02 AM

If everything is so rosy why then did Frank Mann and company dump the $500,000,000 plus bill for the construction of the ball stadium on us taxpayers instead of the billionaire owners of these clubs? For crying out loud the club owners got us to build living quarters and cafeterias for their players so they don't even spend money on our local businesses for their upkeep! The reason these events don’t show up on the local resident’s radar is because we are WORKING to pay for these*****things. We don’t have the time nor the inclination to attend them as we are struggling to pay our own bills plus the added burden. My question is why were we (the taxpayers) not given a chance to vote on these ballparks? Instead backdoor deals by Mr Mann and company (can’t wait for the final outcome with Ms Hall) forced these burdens on us. Seems the greed of the few outweighed the needs of the many.

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