The Tampa Sports Authority on Monday approved the installation of inexpensive but comfortable bench backs at Tampa Stadium, which will probably mean an instant-replay scoreboard can also be added. The bench backs, which should be in place by the beginning of the 1990 Tampa Bay Buccaneers' regular season in September, will cost $550,000. The other seats under consideration, plastic folding chairs, would have cost $2.9-million.
"I think they'll be the most comfortable of the ones we tested," said Gay Culverhouse, Bucs vice president of administration. "I'm pleased and I think the fans will be pleased."
The TSA originally budgeted $3.5-million for the improvement, so the savings will go a long way to helping pay for a proposed, $3.2-million instant-replay scoreboard for the south end zone.
"There was no difference in the comfort or the accessibility between the two seat backs," said TSA board member Johnny Adcock. "Obviously, there was a big difference in the cost. That gives us room for a scoreboard."
The TSA also decided to allow the investment banking firm of H. Gilmer Nix to privately sell bonds to raise about $6-million for renovations and improvements, including the seat backs and widening of the field to accommodate the 1994 World Cup.
H. Gilmer Nix, the president of the firm, had been the TSA's unpaid financial adviser. One TSA member, Lon Hatton, said he was concerned about a possible perceived conflict of interest by naming Nix to be the underwriter of the bonds without at least seeing if another investment group was interested.
Yet the rest of the TSA was convinced Nix would do the best job and that no conflict existed. The TSA, however, did decide to have Public Financial Management, which is Hillsborough County's financial consultant, also be a financial consultant to the TSA.