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Tampa Coliseum gets tax break

Tampa Coliseum Inc. is on stronger financial footing after the State Legislature Wednesday approved a $60-million tax break for the proposed permanent home of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Coliseum will be able to keep the first $2-million in sales taxes it generates each year for the next 30 years.

"It's another step," said Marc Ganis, executive vice president of Tampa Coliseum Inc.

Tampa Coliseum is the first sports facility that will benefit from the state program that was passed last year to help lure professional sports franchises to Florida.

If the Coliseum is not built or if the Lightning decide not to play in the facility, the state will repeal the tax break.

Ganis said the Coliseum will take a construction period of 17{ months. That means construction would have to begin by mid-April in order for the building to be ready by the beginning of October 1993, the start of the Lightning's second season.

The Lightning will play its first season in the Florida Suncoast Dome in St. Petersburg.

Other news

Fuhr injury: Maple Leafs goaltender Grant Fuhr's right knee was not as badly injured as originally feared, with a magnetic resonance imaging test showing only slight damage. "We'll evaluate this after 72 hours and see how he responds," said team trainer Chris Broadhurst.

Anderson suspended: The Maple Leafs' Glenn Anderson was suspended for four games for high-sticking Minnesota's Marc Bureau, Feb. 3. Brian O'Neill, the NHL's executive vice-president, said tapes showed that Anderson swung his stick deliberately at Bureau. The suspension takes effect Feb. 20.

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