Walt Disney World seeks ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex expansion
Disney, International Speedway lobbying for millions in tax breaks
Walt Disney World and International Speedway Corp. are lobbying Florida lawmakers for a package of tax breaks that could save the two companies millions of dollars in state taxes during the next 20 years. Representatives for Disney and ISC called the proposal an economic-development tool that would give them and other companies added incentive to build sports-tourism facilities, which ultimately could draw more visitors to Florida.
The plan hatched by Disney and ISC calls for the creation of as many as five "Sports Tourism Economic Development Zones" across the state. To qualify, a zone would have to cover from 100 acres to 5 square miles and have hosted at least 15 professional or amateur events and drawn a minimum of 100,000 visitors within the past calendar year.
Disney said the incentives would help revive plans for a 100-lane bowling stadium on its property that were first announced nearly four years ago but which stalled when the developer was unable to obtain financing. ISC said incentives would both motivate it to spend more money upgrading its two Florida racetracks and help resurrect plans for a 71-acre entertainment complex next to its Daytona International Speedway that have languished since the real-estate collapse.
Disney spokesman Bryan Malenius called the proposal "an opportunity to draw millions of new families to the state, diversify its economy and fuel job creation." continue
by Jason Garcia
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