Over auditor’s objection, Broward loans Panthers $8M for arena

January 31, 2012 04:30PM

BankAtlantic Center

The Broward County Commission approved a $7.7 million loan to renovate the Florida Panthers’ BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, CBS Miami reported, even after County Auditor Evan Lukic slammed the terms of the deal.

Though the county had contributed $90 million to the construction of the arena in 1998, it has recouped less than a million dollars from the Panthers. Meanwhile, South Florida’s hockey franchise has profited to the tune of $117.4 million. Already upset by this arrangement, Lukic also argued that the loan terms were “lopsided” and would continue to shut the county out of income.

But a majority of commissioners touted the benefits the arena, and the franchise it houses, brings to the community and agreed to provide the loan with slightly adjusted terms. Under the new agreement, the city would begin to recoup 20 percent of profits after the first $13.5 million goes to the team, as opposed to the current $12 million threshold. But once $13.5 million is reached, $250,000 will be placed into a shared fund for future facility improvements.

The Panthers expect to generate $21 million in profits this year thanks to the team’s performance and the renovations, CBS Miami said. [CBS Miami]