Can Broward County balance the economic engines of the Florida Panthers vs. the beach and tourism?


The Florida Panthers hockey team and events at the arena draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area. But the Panthers are losing about $30 million a year.

The county currently contributes $8 million a year from a 2 percent bed tax on hotel guests to pay off the arena’s construction debt. The team is asking for a greater portion of the money generated by the bed tax for the debt, as well as help with maintenance and insurance costs for the arena.

The county’s lodging and tourism industries want to use a portion of the bed tax money for beach renourishment and tourism marketing.

Weigh in on this controversial Broward issue, as proponents and opponents each make their cases.


 Kevin Speidel, Area Management Director, Hilton Worldwide, managing all Hilton Brands located within Broward County, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) Executive Committee, FRLA Broward President, has been involved in the hospitality industry since 1988 on a local, national and global level.

Rory Babich, President & CEO, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is responsible for overseeing all of the organization’s operating entities including the Florida Panthers hockey club and the BB&T Center arena venue, the Panthers IceDen recreational skating and training facility, SSE Gaming, 360 Premium, and more.

 MODERATOR:        Todd Stone, The Stone Law Grou

SPONSOR: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance