2014 Legislative Session Winner: Sports “Commish” Brian Ballard

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A major winner on the last day of session were sports teams that take to the field and racetracks in the Sunshine State. Legislation passed to set up an equitable process by which sports franchises can apply for state sales tax refunds in order to help pay for stadium construction.

The high profile winners were the Daytona International Speedway and two new soccer franchises, among others.  The Speedway, in the middle of a $400 million renovation to the iconic venue, was a major player in moving the legislation through the process this year.  And, the Speedway’s lead lobbyist, Brian Ballard, has firmly established himself as the new Commissioner of Florida Sports lobbying.

Ballard not only delivered for Daytona, but also for Major League Baseball Spring Training clients – the Yankees, Mets, Tigers and Astros – and delivered a nice birthday present for one of his newer clients, David Beckham, whose new soccer franchise in Miami also wins with this legislation.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.