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Mutiny renews lease at RJS

The Major League Soccer team will pay more to stay at the Bucs' stadium through 2006.

By RODNEY PAGE

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 22, 2001


TAMPA -- The Tampa Sports Authority on Monday unanimously accepted a lease extension for the Mutiny that could keep the Major League Soccer team in Tampa through 2006.

The extension calls for a three-year term at Raymond James Stadium, with an option for two years.

The Mutiny's original three-year lease expires Nov. 30.

"I'm thrilled that we were able to get this over with quickly," Mutiny general manager Bill Manning said. "I think it says something that the league wants to stay in Tampa for another five years."

The cost of doing business will rise for the Mutiny, one of two clubs owned by the 12-team league.

Next season, the Mutiny will pay the TSA $30,000 a game to use RJS, an increase of $10,000. The cost escalates to $32,500 in 2003, $35,000 in 2004, $40,000 in 2005 and $50,000 in 2006.

Adding to the Mutiny's cost, the TSA will provide game-day personnel, including ushers, ticket takers, and parking lot and scoreboard personnel. Previously, the Mutiny provided the personnel, but it says it will be unable to do so in the future.

The TSA will add $4,000 a game to the game-day licensing fee.

The Mutiny's yearly office rent at RJS will also rise. It will remain $50,000 next season but will rise $2,000 each year, to a maximum of $58,000 in 2006.

The only change in the original proposal was the rescheduling of games. The TSA is allowed to reschedule two MLS games per season if the request is made within 60 days of the event. In the future, the TSA is allowed to reschedule one MLS game per season if the Mutiny is given 60 to 90 days notice.

The TSA will pay the Mutiny a $50,000 rescheduling penalty if the event is moved from a Saturday night and a $25,000 penalty if the event is moved from a Friday night. There is no penalty if the event is moved from a Wednesday or Thursday night.

The Mutiny was forced to move its Aug. 25 game against New England this season to Aug. 26 to accommodate a Bucs preseason game.

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