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.