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2016 Florida Statutes

F.S. 288.1162
288.1162 Professional sports franchises; duties.
(1) The department shall serve as the state agency for screening applicants for state funding under s. 212.20 and for certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise.
(2) The department shall develop rules for the receipt and processing of applications for funding under s. 212.20.
(3) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “New professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that was not based in this state before April 1, 1987.
(b) “Retained professional sports franchise” means a professional sports franchise that has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976, and has continuously remained at that location, and has never been located at a facility that has been previously certified under any provision of this section.
(4) Before certifying an applicant as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise, the department must determine that:
(a) A “unit of local government” as defined in s. 218.369 is responsible for the construction, management, or operation of the professional sports franchise facility or holds title to the property on which the professional sports franchise facility is located.
(b) The applicant has a verified copy of a signed agreement with a new professional sports franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 10 years, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, an agreement for use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years.
(c) The applicant has a verified copy of the approval from the governing authority of the league in which the new professional sports franchise exists authorizing the location of the professional sports franchise in this state after April 1, 1987, or in the case of a retained professional sports franchise, verified evidence that it has had a league-authorized location in this state on or before December 31, 1976. As used in this section, the term “league” means the National League or the American League of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, or the National Hockey League.
(d) The applicant has projections, verified by the department, which demonstrate that the new or retained professional sports franchise will attract a paid attendance of more than 300,000 annually.
(e) The applicant has an independent analysis or study, verified by the department, which demonstrates that the amount of the revenues generated by the taxes imposed under chapter 212 with respect to the use and operation of the professional sports franchise facility will equal or exceed $2 million annually.
(f) The municipality in which the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located, or the county if the facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise is located in an unincorporated area, has certified by resolution after a public hearing that the application serves a public purpose.
(g) The applicant has demonstrated that it has provided, is capable of providing, or has financial or other commitments to provide more than one-half of the costs incurred or related to the improvement and development of the facility.
(h) An applicant previously certified under any provision of this section who has received funding under such certification is not eligible for an additional certification.
(5) An applicant certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise may use funds provided under s. 212.20 only for the public purpose of paying for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise to pay or pledge for the payment of debt service on, or to fund debt service reserve funds, arbitrage rebate obligations, or other amounts payable with respect to, bonds issued for the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or renovation of such facility or for the reimbursement of such costs or the refinancing of bonds issued for such purposes.
(6) The department shall notify the Department of Revenue of any facility certified as a facility for a new or retained professional sports franchise. The department shall certify no more than eight facilities as facilities for a new professional sports franchise or as facilities for a retained professional sports franchise, including in the total any facilities certified by the former Department of Commerce before July 1, 1996. The department may make no more than one certification for any facility.
(7) The Auditor General may conduct audits as provided in s. 11.45 to verify that the distributions under this section are expended as required in this section. If the Auditor General determines that the distributions under this section are not expended as required by this section, the Auditor General shall notify the Department of Revenue, which may pursue recovery of the funds under the laws and rules governing the assessment of taxes.
(8) An applicant is not qualified for certification under this section if the franchise formed the basis for a previous certification, unless the previous certification was withdrawn by the facility or invalidated by the department or the former Department of Commerce before any funds were distributed under s. 212.20. This subsection does not disqualify an applicant if the previous certification occurred between May 23, 1993, and May 25, 1993; however, any funds to be distributed under s. 212.20 for the second certification shall be offset by the amount distributed to the previous certified facility. Distribution of funds for the second certification shall not be made until all amounts payable for the first certification are distributed.
History.s. 2, ch. 88-226; s. 3, ch. 89-217; s. 49, ch. 89-356; s. 3, ch. 91-274; s. 35, ch. 94-338; s. 2, ch. 95-304; s. 45, ch. 96-320; s. 32, ch. 97-99; s. 2, ch. 2000-186; s. 2, ch. 2006-262; s. 4, ch. 2010-140; s. 35, ch. 2010-147; s. 3, ch. 2011-3; s. 158, ch. 2011-142.