Florida Panthers new home!

The Florida Panthers are looking for a multi-million dollar face-lift to the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. The arena, valued at $185 million, opened in 1998, currently seats 19,250 people for hockey games. Management for the team is asking for a large list of upgrades that include a new interior, outdoor signs, and a scoreboard. Additionally, the Panthers are looking to include a 700-seat members-only club for patrons who purchase annual passes to the events, a patio bar where fans with lower-level seats could stand and drink beer while watching events, smaller suites,  and a new curtain system that would allow the top level to be blacked out so the arena could accommodate smaller concerts.

The Panthers are arguing that these upgrades, totaling to $15 million, are necessary in order to attract more fans and concerts. The Panthers owners have not explained how the upgrades would be paid for yet, but it is expected that they will propose public financing. When the arena was built in 1998, it was done with money acquired through public financing, with the argument presented that it would return profits to the taxpayers.  Yet, in 14 years this tax refunds has only occurred once. Many people support the expansion of the Bank Atlantic Center since it would bring in more revenue for the county and open up more jobs, but many are in disagreement over whether or not the public should have to finance such a large endeavor.

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