Tim Polzer
Friday January 10th, 2014

The Florida Panthers are seeking tourism tax funds to help stabilize the franchise. (Miami Herald/Getty Images) The Florida Panthers are seeking tourism tax funds to help stabilize the franchise. (Miami Herald/Getty Images)

The Florida Panthers claim to be losing more than $20 million annually and are requesting a new arena contract and public funding to help stop the hemorrhaging, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Panthers president Michael Yormark presented a proposal in which the team and Broward County would rewrite their contract and use $70 million in additional tourism taxes to cover the team's arena costs.

The team also proposes developing 22 acres adjacent to the BB&T Center to build a casino-hotel -- similar to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and American Airlines Arena in Miami -- pending state legislature approval.

"I think the community wants a healthy arena,'' Yormark said. "They want a healthy sports team. They want the benefit that a professional sports team and world-class entertainment brings to their community.''

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County records show the Panthers generate more money from concerts and other events than from hockey games, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Though financial records reveal the Panthers do make a profit from arena operations, the team itself is losing money.

"This organization has lost between $20 [million] and $30 million on an annual basis,'' Yormark said, "and those dollars have been funded by our owners.''
The nine-member Broward County Commission said it will review the proposal in the near future.

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