Photo:Project: Daytona International Speedway. State incentives sought: $90 million. Received: $0. Cost of project: $400 million. Status: Completed.
Sports venues get no help from Florida Legislature
In the spring of 2013, International Speedway Corp. set out to rebuild the Daytona International Speedway. The company told investors it would spend up to $400 million redeveloping its flagship track and hoped Florida taxpayers would help foot the bill.
International Speedway wasn’t the only sports business working the halls of the Capitol that spring. The Miami Dolphins and the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted the state to help cover renovation costs for their football stadiums. The Orlando City Lions wanted help building a soccer stadium.
Each was an enormous project, with projected budgets of at least $100 million apiece. Lobbyists for the teams and venues suggested to lawmakers that the projects could collapse without financial support from the state, says Sen. Tom Lee, a Republican from Brandon. “This was pitched as economic development that was contingent upon the state being willing to provide these incentives,” he says.
So what happened when all four got no incentives money?
ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE: Joie Chitwood III; Sen. Tom Lee; House Speaker Richard Corcoran; Mark Lamping.
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