Now the Florida Panthers Want A Public Handout: A $4.2 Million Scoreboard

Categories: Sports

PanthersLogo.jpg
First, the Miami Marlins duped their way to a deal that will eventually cost taxpayers $1 billion for a new ballpark. That's panned out about as well as early stock investments in Hindenberg, Inc. Then the Dolphins tried their hand with a campaign to get more than $200 million for Sun Life Stadium renovations. Those plans exploded up in Tally like a hydrogen-filled zeppelin.

Now the Florida Panthers want in on the public handout game. They're asking for $4.2 million to buy a new high-def scoreboard.

Let's clear this up first: The Panthers are a squad that once played a contest known as "hockey" in the downtown Miami Arena. In 1998, they packed up their ice skates, zambonis and -- uh, warm hats? Whatever else "hockey" players need, at least -- and moved to a new stadium in Sunrise.

The team has apparently used the same scoreboard ever since inside the stadium now known as BB&T Arena. So today, they're going to the Broward County Commission -- which owns and operates the arena -- to ask for the new scoreboard.

"We have puts tens of millions of dollars into this building since it has opened,'' team President Michael Yormark tells the Miami Herald this morning. "The county has not put one dollar into this building as a gift or as capital improvement. Not one. We've taken loans out, but we're responsible for those. It's their building. They own it."

At least one county official isn't buying that argument. County auditor Evan Lukic tells the Herald that the team "is responsible for replacing the scoreboard. We are not."

Obviously, $4.2 million for a scoreboard is pennies compared to the Dolphins' request and micro-pennies compared to the deal the Marlins crafted with Miami politicos.

But the team could hardly have chosen a worse moment to ask for any public largesse. Especially when Yormark's second argument to the Herald -- "The scoreboard is a permanent fixture. If the Florida Panthers leave tomorrow, we couldn't take it with us." -- sure sounds like it's walking that fine line of threatening to move without threatening to move.

It's a tactic sports teams have become expert at using and at heart, it's emotional blackmail of a fanbase that's just as despicable whether it's in the service of a $1 billion ballpark debt or a piddly $4.2 million scoreboard.

If Broward taxpayers want to buy the Panthers a new scoreboard, more power to them. Don't sign that dotted line because you're worried the NHL will pack up and leave town.

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19 comments
drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter


Every year, millions of taxpayer dollars are poured into stadiums, 
hockey rinks, baseball parks, and other arenas in order to attract and retain 
professional sports teams in big cities.  Often the money is spent by 
the cities after a team "threatens" to leave the city.When that happens, of course, the local news media act as the willing
accomplices of the billionaires who own the teams.When city and state governments build facilities for sports organizations which are owned by billionaires, and raise taxes as a result, it is clearly an abuse of power.


it time for more recalls /jail time


Welcome to the American dream--
a billionaire using public funds
to construct
a private playground
for the rich and powerful



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5InTud59RT4


Matthew Lewin
Matthew Lewin

They dont own the stadium so I think broward can pay part of it.

BSMIAMI
BSMIAMI

Maybe they should have done that instead of club red.

BSMIAMI
BSMIAMI

Maybe they should have done that instead of club red.

BSMIAMI
BSMIAMI

Maybe they should have done that instead of club red.

Roy Gonzalez
Roy Gonzalez

How about they score some damn goals first..or at least stop the other team from scoring!

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman

Helium isn't flammable, so a helium filled airship wouldn't explode.  Hydrogen is another story...

Kzm Ufc
Kzm Ufc

I say suck my balls.

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

No. Stop asking. Wouldn't it be cool if we actually spent the money on something that could actually do us some good? Like an electric grid that doesn't take us down for a month after a storm, or an expanded public trans?

Felix Cheshire Thompson
Felix Cheshire Thompson

When you score enough goals where the old one is obsolete then I'll consider that as a wise investment. Until then you get nothing.

Andy Cohn
Andy Cohn

This is slightly different because they don't own the stadium... and because I like hockey

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