Blog Entry

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:45 pm
  •  
 
Joe Robbie Stadium: Not enough bums, apparently. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's not that uncommon to hear players on bad sports teams referred to as "bums," but it could take on a whole new meaning if Senate Bill 816 in Florida is approved. The bill is designed to make sports teams in Florida give back any money they received from public funds, on the grounds that said teams cannot prove they were housing homeless people in the stadium during nights off.

No, you read that right: according to the Miami Herald, when the Florida legislature passed a bill in 1988 to get public money for stadiums, they worked a provision into the bill that requires Florida sports teams like the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Dolphins, Rays and Heat -- as well as teams like the Phillies and Mets who hold spring training in Florida -- to house homeless people in their stadiums on non-event nights.

"We have spent over $300 million supporting teams that can afford to pay a guy $7, $8, $10 million a year to throw a baseball 90 feet. I think they can pay for their own stadium,"  said Sen. Michael Bennett, R-Bradenton.  "I can not believe that we’re going to cut money out of Medicaid and take it away from the homeless and take it away from the poor and impoverished, and we’re continuing to support people who are billionaires."

Teams/stadiums are allowed to take up to $2 million per year according to the law. According to the Herald, Joe Robbie Stadium, built in 1994, leads the way with over $37 million taken from public coffers, with the Jaguars second at $35,166,737 and the Bucs sixth at just over $30 million. The Heat have also taken more than $27 million. And the grand total for all teams is $271,539,778.

But wait! There's more! Senator Bennett put another amendment in Senate Bill 816 that won't sit well with NFL teams: every game that was blacked would result in a fine to the franchise of $125,000, which would be used to purchase tickets to games for "foster children, active military members on leave and the less fortunate."

Senate Bill 816 already cleared the Community Affairs Committee and now must pass three more committees before heading for Senate floor. It seems unlikely that such a bill would pass, or that these franchises would cough up $300 million back the community.

But, hey, you never know. Politicians are crazier than any group of athletes. And it could ultimately end up explaining why the Bucs signed Albert Haynesworth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
  •  
Comments

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:53 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

Well, that means the next NFL expansion team in Florida will be called either the Orlando Hobos or the Gulf Coast Panhandlers......Cool



Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:33 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

You should come up to Massachusetts if you want to see liberal crazy law in action!!

You can't even believe what this state does since the State legislature is 85% Democrat, we also have Obama number 2 as the Governor (and I mean number 2), and the last 3 elected Speakers of the House are now Felons - aka - they have been accussed and were convicted of crimes - such a great state.  If you bring the Super Bowl up here we will increase the cost 10 fold easily!!!!  This is in the top 5 corrupt states in the Union!!!



Since: Jun 8, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:18 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

The Dolphins Stadium has hosted 4 Super Bowls since it was built. If the local economy gets on average $400,000,000 (400million) added per Super Bowl, then having the stadium has added 1,600,000,000 (1.6 billion). If they get just 5% (hotels get much more) tax thats $80,000,000. Not to mention all of the other events held throughout the year. Pretty good investment.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:48 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

What a nutty idea.  What are they going to do during games, kick them out until the game is over?  How about making them clean the seating areas, parking lots, and restrooms?  99% of the homeless don't want to work, just a handout and some booze.  I've lived in Florida and every year when it gets cold up north, all the "homeless" head for the warmer places to panhandle, loiter, litter, commit crimes, and look for trouble.  If you made them earn their keep, they won't head for Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, or any of the other warm NFL cities.  Work to a bum is like what kryptonite is to Superman.   If they had to work they will go to other areas.



Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:21 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

If the NFL used college football's BCS system, 

1) The championship game would be the Packers vs. Saints.
2) 20 of 32 teams would be eligible for a bowl game (7 teams with an 8-8 record)
3) TV ratings would be lower for every game.
4) The Giants and Patriots would never get a chance to play for a championship with ESPN analysts in favor of the BCS system would say this was the correct call.

Please explain why not having playoffs in college football is still a good decision?

Because the Dolphins owe millions to the state of Florida?



Since: Sep 30, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:18 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

So teams in Florida are supposed to either house homeless or pay back government money used to build and support their stadiums?  This is pure genious..............public funds should not be used to build stadiums or arena's.  Whether the franchises choose to perform a civic duty and set up a shelter program or they give back money it is a win win.  The community wins as they either get some homeless people off the streets for a while or they get revenue back to put towards addressing the homeless issue themselves and the teams win because they can take advantage of some serious good PR.  Imagine the legs a story about teams lending their facilities to nonprofit organizations in order to help with the homeless problem?
I'm sure there are billionaire's every where spitting on this idea as I write, but this is not about redistributing wealth; this is about not using public funds to support your billionaire efforts and it's about giving something back to the community in which you thrive.



Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:57 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

This article is very unclear.  So the bill that was passed in 1988, which is now a law, included a provision that required the teams to house homeless people in their stadiums on nights off.  Have they done that or not?  If so, then they lived up to their end.  If not, the state should get a refund of their tax dollars at least.  Why wouldn't tax dollars be used to help the public, since it is our money?  This is a common practice for any giant business that is getting public money for free.  The people still have to buy their products/services, why would we give them our tax money just for fun in addition?  The point is the business gets a new market to expand into and reaps nice profits, and the community benefits in whatever fashion is agreed to.  At least this is what savvy, intelligent, responsible, noncorrupt political leaders do.  In many places throughout the country, that is an oxymoron.



Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:29 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Nov 25, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 5:11 pm
 

Florida teams owe debt for not housing homeless?

Interesting... very interesting!



Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:53 pm
 

If the NFL used college football's BCS system

If the NFL used college football's BCS system, 

1) The championship game would be the Packers vs. Saints.
2) 20 of 32 teams would be eligible for a bowl game (7 teams with an 8-8 record)
3) TV ratings would be lower for every game.
4) The Giants and Patriots would never get a chance to play for a championship with ESPN analysts in favor of the BCS system would say this was the correct call.

Please explain why not having playoffs in college football is still a good decision?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com