Dep’t of Economic Opportunity to review Daytona stadium funding

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Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity is studying an application from the Daytona International Speedway for $90 million in sales-tax revenue to help fund ongoing renovations at the racetrack.

On Thursday, DEO officials considered the speedway’s paperwork complete. Next, the agency will review the application for economic viability, according to spokesperson Jessica Sims.

The first of four stadium-funding requests to reach the review point as of last Friday was South Florida Stadium LLC, representing Sun Life Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins.

The process is part of a new funding process created by state lawmakers in the 2014 legislative session, where applicants faced a Nov. 1 due date. Under the rules, reviews do not start until the state declares the paperwork is complete.

The DEO Division of Strategic Business Development is working with Jacksonville and Orlando for additional information to complete applications, Sims said.

“The information submitted by each applicant was complex and different,” Sims said in an email to reporters. Four venues are competing for $7 million in state sales-tax dollars this year to be used for stadium projects.

Florida law mandates the state agency to provide to the Legislative Budget Commission a list ranking applicants by Feb. 1.

Seeking $3 million in taxpayer money each year for 30 years is Daytona International Speedway and South Florida Stadium. Jacksonville is asking for $1 million a year for 30 years to help finance upgrades to EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Orlando wants $2 million a year for construction of a Major League Soccer stadium, expected to cost $110 million.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.