Hillsborough County Commission talks smack about Tampa Bay Bucs by Mitch E. Perry

09/20/06

When Hillsborough County taxpayers agreed to fund Raymond James Stadium back in 1996, they also agreed to fund $12 million dollars for a training facility.

Recently, the Bucs decided to build a facility with their own money, that cost over $30 million dollars. So the County would now like that $12 million back.

But an attorney for the Bucs said on Monday that the money was offered strictly for that training facility, and can NOT be used elsewhere. The Bucs signed an agreement with the Tampa Sports Authority to have over the ownership of that training deeded over to the agency, if they took those funds.

The issue was discussed at the Hillsborough County Commissioners meeting today, where frustrated Commissioners expressed dismay with their own staff and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership.

Henry Saavedra is the Executive Director of the Tampa Sports Authority. He said his agency has hired the law firm of Holland & Knight to help research the paper trail as to where that $12 million dollars originally came from (roll tape#1 o.q.�researching at this point�)

County Commissioner Kathy Castor said the County’s own Attorney, Renee Lee, has been asleep at the wheel in not being proactive in trying to snag the $12 million dollars (roll tape#2 o.q.�budget discussion�)

But nobody was more caustic in calling out the owners of the Bucaneers, Malcolm Glazier and his sons, for their history with sucking up taxpayers money from Hillsborough County, than Commissioner Ronda Storms (roll tape#3 o.q.�continue to push their agenda�)

Storms then recounted other incidents in which she says the Glazier family worked against the interests of County taxpayers as she advocated for the Commissioners to be prepared to put on an aggressive front to get back the $12 million dollars in question

(roll tape#4 o.q.’than what they already have�)
Commission Mark Sharpe then suggested that the County take Kathy Castor’s idea and go hard after the Buccaneers (roll tape#5 o.q.�stating our case�)

County Attorney Renee lee, perhaps taking exception to Castor’s comments, said that she and other County officials HAD been aggressive in trying to determine where the $12 million dollars was originally taken from (roll tape#6 o.q.�to the board�)

In 2002, The Bucanners flirted with purchasing County Land near Morris Bridge Road, infuriating local environmentalists…They ultimately opted to purchase land where the Tampa Bay Mall Center formally existed, across the street from Raymond James Stadium, their regular season home.

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