The Tampa Tribune reported today that the Tampa Sports Authority and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are close to coming to an agreement over who should pay for extra security at Raymond James Stadium.

The 3 member executive committee for the Authority agreed on Monday to endorse an offer from the football team to essentially split the costs.

The Bucs will now pay half of the costs for the security “pat downs� authorized by the National Football League after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks.

Such as half of the security for “pat downs� that were ruled unconstitutional last year. That will amount to about $39,000 a season, as well around $35,000 per season for other security costs.

And around $80,000 for past security costs.

Patrick Mantiega is the Chairman of the Tampa Sports Authority’s Board……..He said the reason for the settlement is that there has been a change of attitude – and personel- with the Bucs

"We're very pleased with the Buccaneers new management and Eric Land has taken a lead positon adn trying to cooperate with the Sport Authority over a difficult problem that was caused by the terrorist attacks on 9/11. This puts us into some new expenses, created some new challenges for the Sports Authority. Challenges that neither the public or the Bucceneers could have ever imagined and for a long time we where at a stalemate. Mr. Land has been the Buccaneers for less than 2 months now. He came to us and asked to work with us and its the first time and I've been with the Sports Authority for 6 years and its the first time I've seen the Buccaneers work with us so well. We're very please with the outcome."

The Executive Committee will take its recommendation to the full 11 member Board on Monday. If approved, the threat of a lawsuit by the TSA against the Bucaneers will be history.

The Buccaneers and the Sports Authority had been at loggerheads for over 3 years now – but it appears that only after the TSA voted 9-1 in December to sue the NFL franchise that the Bucs got serious about making a deal….TSA Chairman Patrick Mantiega said the deal is somewhat similar to what had disputed for the past few years "We've had some numbers that have been kicked out they've been changed. They have been added to. And going through this process we found some other issues that on security they felt they were paying for some things that they shouldn't have and of course we felt we were paying for some things that we should have. What we've done with agreement is come to a full understanding on security and I think we've laid the ground work on how to deal with any future problems that amy arrise in regards to the cost of security.

Last fall, a Hillsborough County circuit judge halted the patdowns while season ticketholder Gordon Johnston pursued his legal claim that they violate his constitutional rights. The Buccaneers are appealing that decision.

The pat downs have been controversial in and of themselves within the Sports Authority. TSA chairman,Patrick Manteiga, elaborates

"Over a a three year period we had several votes on this I think. The NFL requested it a couple of times and we denied it after the NFL mandated it and we found that all stadiums we doing it or the majority of stadiums do it. And we felt that that alone created a security problem if we were the only one not doing it. So the majority of the board voted to conduct pat-downs. The majority of the board voted for the right to fight for that right to conduct pat-downs in court."

Mitch Perry: "What's your view on that?"

Patrick Manteiga:"I think I was the lone vote not to do that."

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