Will the Buccaneers and Jaguars be running homeless shelters?
As absurd as that sounds, it may happen, and it may happen this year if Florida state senator Mike Bennett gets his way. In fact there’s a number of other stadiums in Florida that may not have a choice in the matter.
The reason? A state law that was passed 25 years ago, and has been ignored by team owners the entire time.
Florida taxpayers have already contributed over $270 million to the various professional sports franchises with stadiums in the state, and to date not one has ever been compliant with the law.
You see, the law requires stadiums to shelter homeless people on off nights, and has for 25 years.
It’s never happened before, but now Florida lawmakers have some leverage to help solve the homeless problem.
The first step has already been taken, senator Mike Bennett has written a bill to require compliance with the law, and it’s already been passed unanimously by the Senate Community Affairs Committee last Monday.
Ironically the new Jaguars owner Shahid Khan didn’t see this one coming, nor did the Miami Dolphins, or the Florida Panthers, the Miami Heat, or any of the others.
If this bill is enacted into law each team will forced to comply, or be fined heavily until they do.
According to senator Bennett:
"The failure to comply with the law is “yet another example of how taxpayers are supplementing the super rich owners of sports franchises while the taxpayers of Florida are receiving very little in return.”"
Stay tuned guys, this isn’t going away any time soon, and it will get interesting.