(a) Before certifying an applicant to receive state funding for a facility for a spring training franchise, the department must verify that:
1. The applicant is responsible for the acquisition, construction, management, or operation of the facility for a spring training franchise or holds title to the property on which the facility for a spring training franchise is located.
2. The applicant has a certified copy of a signed agreement with a spring training franchise for the use of the facility for a term of at least 20 years. The agreement also must require the franchise to reimburse the state for state funds expended by an applicant under this section if the franchise relocates before the agreement expires. The agreement may be contingent on an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.
3. The applicant has made a financial commitment to provide 50 percent or more of the funds required by an agreement for the acquisition, construction, or renovation of the facility for a spring training franchise. The commitment may be contingent upon an award of funds under this section and other conditions precedent.
4. The applicant demonstrates that the facility for a spring training franchise will attract a paid attendance of at least 50,000 annually to the spring training games.
5. The facility for a spring training franchise is located in a county that levies a tourist development tax under s. 125.0104. (b) The department shall competitively evaluate applications for state funding of a facility for a spring training franchise. The total number of certifications may not exceed 10 at any time. The evaluation criteria must include, with priority given in descending order to, the following items:
1. The anticipated effect on the economy of the local community where the spring training facility is to be built, including projections on paid attendance, local and state tax collections generated by spring training games, and direct and indirect job creation resulting from the spring training activities. Priority shall be given to applicants who can demonstrate the largest projected economic impact.
2. The amount of the local matching funds committed to a facility relative to the amount of state funding sought, with priority given to applicants that commit the largest amount of local matching funds relative to the amount of state funding sought.
3. The potential for the facility to serve multiple uses.
4. The intended use of the funds by the applicant, with priority given to the funds being used to acquire a facility, construct a new facility, or renovate an existing facility.
5. The length of time that a spring training franchise has been under an agreement to conduct spring training activities within an applicant’s geographic location or jurisdiction, with priority given to applicants having agreements with the same franchise for the longest period of time.
6. The length of time that an applicant’s facility has been used by one or more spring training franchises, with priority given to applicants whose facilities have been in continuous use as facilities for spring training the longest.
7. The term remaining on a lease between an applicant and a spring training franchise for a facility, with priority given to applicants having the shortest lease terms remaining.
8. The length of time that a spring training franchise agrees to use an applicant’s facility if an application is granted under this section, with priority given to applicants having agreements for the longest future use.
9. The net increase of total active recreation space owned by the applicant after an acquisition of land for the facility, with priority given to applicants having the largest percentage increase of total active recreation space that will be available for public use.
10. The location of the facility in a brownfield, an enterprise zone, a community redevelopment area, or other area of targeted development or revitalization included in an urban infill redevelopment plan, with priority given to applicants having facilities located in these areas.
(c) Each applicant certified on or after July 1, 2010, shall enter into an agreement with the department that:
1. Specifies the amount of the state incentive funding to be distributed.
2. States the criteria that the certified applicant must meet in order to remain certified.
3. States that the certified applicant is subject to decertification if the certified applicant fails to comply with this section or the agreement.
4. States that the department may recover state incentive funds if the certified applicant is decertified.
5. Specifies information that the certified applicant must report to the department.
6. Includes any provision deemed prudent by the department.