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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The future of a sport stadium funding budget may not look too good with just over a week left in a special legislative session.
Senate President Andy Gardiner wouldn’t declare the issue dead Friday, but he acknowledged there hasn’t been any movement on the issue.
“I haven’t seen anything that has indicated that it’s anywhere in any of the stuff,” the Orlando Republican responded when asked about stadium funding issue.
State lawmakers last year approved a new review process for proposals seeking sales-tax dollars to assist in stadium construction and upgrades. Lawmakers also set aside a $7 million pot of money for stadium projects. Applications were submitted from Orlando for a Major League Soccer stadium; Daytona International Speedway; Sun Life Stadium, which houses the Miami Dolphins; and EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
The Joint Legislative Budget Commission, comprised of seven senators and seven representatives, agreed in February to move the funding decisions to the regular spring legislative session. Stadium funding was added during the regular session to a Senate bill, but the topic sat idle in the House. Gardiner has been a proponent of Orlando receiving sales-tax dollars from the state to enhance a planned $115 million downtown soccer stadium.
On May 30th, Flavio Augusto da Silva, majority owner of the team Orlando City, announced the first year MLS franchise will self-fund a 25,000- to 28,000-seat stadium.
(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)