Owner says Panthers 'losing $100,000 a day'

A man holds a sign reading

A man holds a sign reading "Future Markham Panthers???" as the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Florida Panthers during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto March 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:11 PM ET

The Florida Panthers are "losing $100,000 a day" and seeking a financial bailout to keep the team playing in South Florida.

And a majority of county commissioners informally agreed the Panthers are in dire need of a cash infusion during a public workshop Tuesday evening, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

At least six of eight commissioners will vote on a deal that will give additional tax money collected from tourists to the team. The exact amount is undetermined.

The team, which leases and operates the BB&T Center in Sunrise, is asking for an additional $80 million.

"We need help," Panthers President and CEO Michael Yormark said.

In 2013, the arena netted $9 million in profit from concerts and shows, the county auditor said, but not enough to make up for the $30 million in losses a year for the Panthers.

"We're losing $100,000 a day," said Doug Cifu, the team's co-owner. "So where I sit, time is of the essence."

Cifu and Vinnie Viola became the team's fifth owner last September, purchasing the Panthers for $250 million.

"I just got here," Cifu said. "We didn't come with the intent to relocate this franchise ... Vinnie and I bought this team to win the Stanley Cup. We are here to win in South Florida and we're here to stay."

The team is contractually obligated to stay at the arena until 2028, but the county wants to ensure the team doesn't leave due to mounting losses.


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