The company plans to add 200 employees over five years as it further consolidates operations in Ellenton
BRADENTON, Fla. – Feld Entertainment Inc., which moved its global headquarters to Ellenton in 2013, announced plans to relocate its Illinois-based Motor Sports Division to Manatee County beginning in 2015. The move is expected to create 200 new jobs over the next five years, in addition to the current 408 employees, according to Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC).
“Feld Entertainment has already exceeded its original job creation commitment two years ahead of schedule. With the addition of the Motor Sports Division, the Bradenton area will benefit further from the company’s growth,” Hillstrom said. “As a global brand, Feld’s continued expansion here further validates the Bradenton area’s viability as a location for businesses with international scope.” The EDC assisted Feld in finding the Ellenton facility in 2012 and applying for state and county economic development incentives.
Feld Entertainment produces well-known, global brands in live family entertainment, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Feld Motor Sports. The company’s Ellenton facility, located at 2001 U.S. 301 North, includes more than 600,000 square feet of production space and corporate offices.
“Although we have a custom-designed facility with room to grow at our Aurora, Illinois facility, teamwork and support from the State of Florida, Manatee County and the Bradenton Area EDC encouraged us to take a harder look at locating the Motor Sports Division with other productions in Ellenton,” said Casey Rodgers, Feld’s vice president of finance and strategic planning. “The business-friendly climate and talented workforce in the Bradenton area make the location attractive for consolidating more of our operations here.”
Governor Scott said, “We are excited to announce that Feld Entertainment is once again expanding in Florida and creating another 200 new job opportunities for Florida families. This great news is on top of their recent move of their global headquarters to Florida from Virginia in 2013. We look forward to Feld Entertainment’s continued success in Florida.”
Feld Entertainment qualified for county and state performance-based incentives totaling $2 million. The State of Florida has committed to a Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund of $1,120,000, while Manatee County Government approved up to $880,000. To earn the incentives, the company must add 200 new jobs over the next five years. The average wage of jobs created must be twice the average wage in Manatee County, or $72,000.
The company may also receive a county transportation impact fee refund of $54,847 if it builds out additional office space for the relocating division.
“The Manatee County Board of Commissioners recognizes that Feld Entertainment has proven to be a growth engine for excellent jobs in our community,” said Ed Hunzeker, Manatee County administrator. “By judiciously applying economic development incentives, the county helps to expedite job creation and capital investment by companies like Feld Entertainment.”
Bill Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Enterprise Florida, said, “Florida offers world-class business amenities and an expansive infrastructure, not to mention a diverse and highly-skilled workforce of more than 9.5 million. The state makes a very compelling case for industry leaders like Feld Entertainment to grow here and we’re thrilled to announce their most recent expansion.”
Feld Entertainment previously qualified for state and county performance-based incentives for the headquarters move in 2013. Feld originally committed to preserving 148 existing jobs (then located at a long-time company facility in Palmetto) and adding 235 jobs by 2016. According to information the company reported to Manatee County Government, by the end of 2014, the company had retained the existing jobs and added 260 jobs. The average wage of the jobs, $82,800, also exceeded the original requirement of $66,900.
Manatee County offers several incentives to businesses wishing to relocate or expand in the community. A list of Manatee County’s economic development incentives is available at www.mymanatee.org/econ_dev.
About the Bradenton Area EDC
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton area’s nine communities located on the south side of Tampa Bay. The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting existing businesses to the resources they need to succeed. Information: www.ThinkBradentonArea.com.
About Feld Entertainment: Feld Entertainment, Inc. is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live family entertainment that lifts the human spirit and creates indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Feld Motor Sports. Information: www.feldentertainment.com.