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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

School Cafeteria naming rights up for sale, only in Florida folks, only in Florida

From the Tampa Bay Times

by Ron Mattus

Florida school districts will be able to sell the naming rights for public school cafeterias under a bill filed this week.

Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton - who has also filed a bill that would allow advertising on the sides of school buses - filed the "Student Nutrition Enhancement Act" on Tuesday.

It would allow school boards to decide the details on naming rights, including where the name is displayed. It says revenue generated shall be used "to enhance the school district's school food service budget and to meet the nutritional needs of students."

In the midst of historically deep budget cuts for Florida schools, "this is a way to get private businesses to partner up with governments," Slosberg said Wednesday.

He threw out the possibility of cafeterias named after Publix or Whole Foods Market. "In that situation, we'd have to be selective," he said.

Slosberg has filed other bills that would allow advertising on government property.

One would allow the state to sell naming rights to state greenways, trails and parks. Another would allow it to do likewise for state-owned roads, rest areas or other transportation-related properties. He mentioned "Geico State Park" and the "Disney Turnpike" as examples.

Slosberg said he hopes his bills inspire local governments to look at similar means of raising money.

"You know what? We can name our ballparks Allstate Stadium or whatever ... to maximize the dollars," he said. "We should be looking around for every last penny."

Ron Matus can be reached at or (727) 893-8873.

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