Tampa Bay Buccaneers could lose $12 million they can't use

Some 16 years ago, Raymond James Stadium was built with taxpayer money. As part of that deal, the Buccaneers received $12 million to build a first-class NFL practice facility - under the condition that the Tampa Sports Authority would own the complex. The Bucs built a practice facility in 2007, but did so with their own money and at considerably higher expense, leaving the $12 million untouched. That money has now been sitting in escrow since 1996, and with a practice facility already built, it really has no purpose.

That's why Hillsborough County is trying to reclaim that money, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The Bucs can't actually use the money, but they do still have the right to use it if they so choose, and they don't want to give up that right. The Bucs have suggested alternative uses for the money: building a practice bubble and upgrades to the stadium were some of the options, but nothing has happened with those suggestions. This looks like a conflict with no foreseeable end: the county wants the money back, but doesn't actually have any way to force the Bucs to give it back. Meanwhile, the Bucs have the money, but they can't use it. More likely, though, a compromise will be reached at some point, and we're now in the "posturing for leverage" phase.

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