Tuesday, July 01, 2014

It's Good To Be Bill Edwards Friend

Florida State Sen. Jack Latvala wrote a bill that would qualify the Tampa Bay Rowdies for a tax subsidy for a new stadium. Bill Edwards, the Tampa Bay Rowdies owner, gave $50,000 contribution to Latvala's political action committee Florida Leadership Fund.

Latvala was key in re-writing the stadium bill, which was originally designed to subsidize facilities for the "Big Four" sports leagues, considered tourist draws. But this year, in addition to adding NASCAR and MLS to the leagues eligible, Latvala made sure the Rowdies' North American Soccer League (NASL) was added as well.

Even though the NASL averages around 4,000 fans per game (the Rowdies have performed slightly above average), they now stand to qualify for $3 million a year in state tax dollars for new stadium construction. Edwards has indicated he envisions a taxpayer-subsidized soccer stadium on St. Pete's waterfront.

Do you really believe Edwards donation to Latvala's PAC had nothing to do with the tax subsidy to the Rowdies? This was a pure quid pro quo deal.

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