Business Escambia County Pensacola

Buzz: Pelicans like Bay Center

August 31, 2017

The New Orleans Pelicans have made another round of visits with Escambia County Commissioners individually. We’ve been told that the NBA team is very interested in having its G-League team play at the Pensacola Bay Center.

The word is the Shreveport proposal may require a long-term commitment (20-25 years) from the team, which the team is reluctant to do. The Pelicans are mentioned every year as one of the NBA franchises most likely to relocate to another city. Seattle is the most likely new destination.

Pensacola offers a temporary solution that’s close to New Orleans. It will not interfere with any possible sale of the NBA team.

The questions for the county commission are:

1) Do they want to spend the necessary $$$ to extend the life of the Bay Center?
2) Will they add the extra penny of bed tax to fund the renovations?
3) Will Mayor Ashton Hayward and the city of Pensacola contribute any $$$ towards the project?

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2 Comments

  • Reply CJ Lewis August 31, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    A better solution would be for the county to sell the Pensacola Bay Center to the private sector. That way, government gets out of the money-losing business of hosting sports events for teams that do not want to pay the full cost of hosting them. An obvious outfit that might want the Pensacola Bay Center is whomever owns the adjoining hotel. Or how about lease the Pensacola Bay Center to the Pelicans for $1 a year and let them operate and maintain it?

    It is hard to believe that the county lacks the money to property maintain the Pensacola Bay Center. In addition to Tourism Development Tax dollars, the county can use Local Option Sales Tax dollars. It can also use other General Fund revenues to include property tax dollars and franchise fee dollars.

    Long-term, the Board of County Commissioners needs to start thinking early about the next budget cycle that starts on October 1, 2018. The practice of arguing about wants vs. needs “after” the county staff has already put together the budget largely in the absence of guidance is insane to include the county’s Budget Preparation Manual each year requiring no change in the Law Enforcement Municipal Services Taxing Unit (MSTU) to fund the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement function. Unless prohibited by state law, the board should use the Law Enforcement MSTU to fully fund the Sheriff’s budget with a corresponding reduction in the county’s general property tax millage rate. Using a single, dedicated source of revenue to fund the Sheriff would greatly reduce the annual budget process turbulence.

  • Reply L. Laird August 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Solution: County sell the bay center to the City and da Mayors buddies, let them take all the $$$$$ gamble. The old saying,, da Mayor, Money talks,, B.S walks…

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