Florida House Passes Bill Limiting Public Support for Pro Sports Franchises

Bill would limit team options on stadiums
Posted at 7:05 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 19:05:04-04

The Tampa Bay Rays' search for a new ball park just hit a new road block.

It's a money war in Tallahassee that's putting your tax dollars in direct conflict with your local sports teams.

The thrill of the game keeps Tampa Bay sports fans happy, but tonight Tallahassee lawmakers say Florida's sports teams are taking advantage of taxpayers.

Now state lawmakers may put a stop to the freebies.

The House, just passing a bill  that would ban professional sports teams from building or refurbishing stadiums on public land and would force sports franchises to buy public land at  fair market value.

The Tampa Bay Rays stand to lose or gain the most with the outcome of this bill, as they get ready for opening day and a new season , the same problems plague the team from record low attendance to the ongoing search for a new place to play.

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis is trying to lure the Rays to his city.

"I think when your talking about sports franchises we gotta be competitive with other states or at some point the teams will leave to a state that will provide them money," he says.

The Lightning, the Bucs, the Rays, and The Tampa Sports Authority all declined a chance to comment.

While the House passed the Bill, it's not a done deal. There's also a similar bill in the state senate.