Hillsborough approves $29 million for Bucs stadium upgrade

Les Miller

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The Hillsborough County Commission overwhelmingly approved nearly $29 million for upgrades to the county-owned football stadium that’s home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The county’s chief financial administrator, Bonnie Wise, says the public funds come from the tourist tax, not general revenue.

Wise says part of the deal would increase the amount of profit sharing that goes back into the county general fund by about a quarter of a million dollars a year. With the deal the public’s $11 million obligation to pay for a Bucs practice facility is off the table.

During public comment Wednesday Molly Powell from Brandon represented Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group that organized a campaign to oppose the spending.

Brandon resident Fred Van Cleeve voiced his support.

Commissioner Les Miller supports this deal despite opposing the 1996 agreement to build the stadium in the first place.

Commissioners approved the deal on a 6-1 vote. Only Stacy White voted no.

On Tuesday the Tampa Sports Authority also approved the spending; the final approval could come Thursday at Tampa City Council.