County Commission to Consider Options for Arena
Broward County Commissioners held a workshop on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, to discuss the Tourist Development Tax. The workshop included presentations on Broward County’s arena, The BB&T Center. Debt for the Arena, home to national league hockey team Florida Panthers, is funded in part by the Tourist Development Tax and the Panthers.
The BB&T Center is owned by Broward County taxpayers and operated by the Arena Operating Company and its parent, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment (SSE), which also owns the Panthers. The operating agreement between Broward County and SSE is a long-term agreement that runs through 2028. SSE and the Florida Panthers are seeking to restructure the Arena operating agreement, with terms that Broward County believes will help preserve the investment in the Arena and ensure its continued contributions to tourism and economic development.
While no property tax dollars are involved in the request or in operating the arena, it is important for taxpayers to understand what is at stake with this proposal. Broward County owns the BB&T Center, and is responsible for payment of outstanding bonds issued to finance its construction. As the BB&T Center's primary tenants, the Arena Operating Company and the Panthers pay to use the building and pay all operating and maintenance expenses.
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