|JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one step closer to hosting more amateur sporting events, thanks to legislation sponsored by Sen. Ron Richard(R-Joplin). The measure, Senate Bill 585, was heard Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, by the Senate Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee, and is aimed at spurring economic activity in the state.
Senate Bill 585 would allow cities to capture a portion of revenue from a sporting event and then use that money in the form of a tax credit to provide incentives to attract other major sports events to the city.
"Amateur sporting events, like college championship games, are a huge economic boost to the areas that host them," said Sen. Richard. "This not only helps businesses in those cities, it can bring in a lot of revenue for our state, a very important goal as we continue to face budget shortfalls."
The committee heard testimony in favor of the bill from Jim Fraser, founder and former director of the Joplin Sports Authority and former football coach of Missouri Southern State University, and Craig Hill, current director of the Joplin Sports Authority.
"This legislation will benefit cities all around the state, including southwest Missouri," Richard said. "As we work towards improving Missouri's economy, we must consider measures that not only encourage job creation, but also bring in new state revenue to shore up our budget. This bill accomplishes both of those goals."
The committee plans to combine SB 585 with Senate Bill 588, a similar measure. A supporting vote by the committee members would recommend the combined bill be considered by the full Senate.