April 24, 2019
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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Title XIX
PUBLIC BUSINESS
Chapter 288
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
View Entire Chapter
Section 288.1162, Florida Statutes 2009

288.1162  Professional sports franchises; spring training franchises; duties.--

(1)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding pursuant to s. 212.20 and for certifying an applicant as a "facility for a new professional sports franchise," a "facility for a retained professional sports franchise," or a "facility for a retained spring training franchise."

(2)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding pursuant to s. 212.20.

(3)  As used in this section, the term:

(a)  "New professional sports franchise" means a professional sports franchise that is not based in this state prior to April 1, 1987.

(b)  "Retained professional sports franchise" means a professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has continuously remained at that location, and has never been located at a facility that has been previously certified under any provision of this section.

(4)  Prior to certifying an applicant as a "facility for a new professional sports franchise" or a "facility for a retained professional sports franchise," the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:

(a)  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369 is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the property on which the professional sports franchise facility is located.

(b)  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.

(c)  The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from the governing authority of the league in which the new professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1, 1987, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. The term "league" means the National League or the American League of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the National Hockey League.

(d)  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate that the new or retained professional sports franchise will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.

(e)  The applicant has an independent analysis or study, verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional sports franchise facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.

(f)  The municipality in which the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county if the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.

(g)  The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.

(h)  No applicant previously certified under any provision of this section who has received funding under such certification shall be eligible for an additional certification.

(5)(a)  As used in this section, the term "retained spring training franchise" means a spring training franchise that has been based in this state prior to January 1, 2000.

(b)  Prior to certifying an applicant as a "facility for a retained spring training franchise," the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development must determine that:

1.  A "unit of local government" as defined in s. 218.369 is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or operation of the facility for a retained spring training franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility for a retained spring training franchise is located.

2.  The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement with a retained spring training franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 15 years.

3.  The applicant has a financial commitment to provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a retained spring training franchise. The agreement can be contingent upon the awarding of funds under this section and other conditions precedent to use by the spring training franchise.

4.  The applicant has projections, verified by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, which demonstrate that the facility for a retained spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually.

5.  The facility for a retained spring training franchise is located in a county that is levying a tourist development tax pursuant to s. 125.0104.

(c)1.  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate applications for funding of a facility for a retained spring training franchise. Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2000, with certifications to be made by January 1, 2001. If the number of applicants exceeds five and the aggregate funding request of all applications exceeds $208,335 per month, the office shall rank the applications according to a selection criteria, certifying the highest ranked proposals. The evaluation criteria shall include, with priority given in descending order to the following items:

a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the construction of a new facility.

b.  The length of time that the existing franchise has been located in the state, with priority given to retaining franchises that have been in the same location the longest.

c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring training the longest.

d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease.

e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the future-use agreement having the longest duration.

f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to the largest percentage of local match proposed.

g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned by the applying unit of local government following the acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with priority given to the largest percentage increase of total active recreation space.

h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area of targeted development or revitalization included in an Urban Infill Redevelopment Plan, with priority given to facilities located in these areas.

i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local community, with priority given to the highest projected paid attendance.

2.  Beginning July 1, 2006, the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall competitively evaluate applications for funding of facilities for retained spring training franchises in addition to those certified and funded under subparagraph 1. An applicant that is a unit of government that has an agreement for a retained spring training franchise for 15 or more years which was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004, shall be eligible for funding. Applications must be submitted by October 1, 2006, with certifications to be made by January 1, 2007. The office shall rank the applications according to selection criteria, certifying no more than five proposals. The aggregate funding request of all applicants certified shall not exceed an aggregate funding request of $208,335 per month. The evaluation criteria shall include the following, with priority given in descending order:

a.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant for acquisition or construction of a new facility.

b.  The intended use of the funds by the applicant to renovate a facility.

c.  The length of time that a facility to be used by a retained spring training franchise has been used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority given to a facility that has been in continuous use as a facility for spring training the longest.

d.  For those teams leasing a spring training facility from a unit of local government, the remaining time on the lease for facilities used by the spring training franchise, with priority given to the shortest time period remaining on the lease. For consideration under this subparagraph, the remaining time on the lease shall not exceed 5 years, unless an agreement of 15 years or more was entered into between July 1, 2003, and July 1, 2004.

e.  The duration of the future-use agreement with the retained spring training franchise, with priority given to the future-use agreement having the longest duration.

f.  The amount of the local match, with priority given to the largest percentage of local match proposed.

g.  The net increase of total active recreation space owned by the applying unit of local government following the acquisition of land for the spring training facility, with priority given to the largest percentage increase of total active recreation space.

h.  The location of the facility in a brownfield area, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or another area of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to facilities located in those areas.

i.  The projections on paid attendance attracted by the facility and the proposed effect on the economy of the local community, with priority given to the highest projected paid attendance.

(d)  Funds may not be expended to subsidize privately owned and maintained facilities for use by the spring training franchise. Funds may be used to relocate a retained spring training franchise to another unit of local government only if the existing unit of local government with the retained spring training franchise agrees to the relocation.

(6)  An applicant certified as a facility for a new professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained spring training franchise may use funds provided pursuant to s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for a new professional sports franchise, a facility for a retained professional sports franchise, or a facility for a retained spring training franchise or to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.

(7)(a)  The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall notify the Department of Revenue of any facility certified as a facility for a new professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports franchise or as a facility for a retained spring training franchise. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall certify no more than eight facilities as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as facilities for a retained professional sports franchise, including in such total any facilities certified by the 1Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The number of facilities certified as a retained spring training franchise shall be as provided in subsection (5). The office may make no more than one certification for any facility. The office may not certify funding for less than the requested amount to any applicant certified as a facility for a retained spring training franchise.

(b)  The eighth certification of an applicant under this section as a facility for a new professional sports franchise or a facility for a retained professional sports franchise shall be for a franchise that is a member of the National Basketball Association, has been located within the state since 1987, and has not been previously certified. This paragraph is repealed July 1, 2010.

(8)  The Department of Revenue may audit as provided in s. 213.34 to verify that the distributions pursuant to this section have been expended as required in this section. Such information is subject to the confidentiality requirements of chapter 213. If the Department of Revenue determines that the distributions pursuant to this section have not been expended as required by this section, it may pursue recovery of such funds pursuant to the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.

(9)  An applicant is not qualified for certification under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a previous certification, unless the previous certification was withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development or the 1Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed pursuant to s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23, 1993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed pursuant to s. 212.20 for the second certification shall be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first certification have been distributed.

History.--s. 2, ch. 88-226; s. 3, ch. 89-217; s. 49, ch. 89-356; s. 3, ch. 91-274; s. 35, ch. 94-338; s. 2, ch. 95-304; s. 45, ch. 96-320; s. 32, ch. 97-99; s. 2, ch. 2000-186; s. 2, ch. 2006-262.

1Note.--Section 20.17, which created the Department of Commerce, was repealed effective December 31, 1996, by s. 3, ch. 96-320.

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