a stadium

When fans are not in the stands and athletes are not playing on the field or court, sports arenas in Florida could start housing the  homeless.

Two separate bills are being considered in the Florida legislature that would force any professional sports team in the state that has used public funding to let homeless citizens use its stadium or arena for shelter when games are not being played — or give the taxpayer money back.

A 1988 statute actually already requires teams that take money from the state to provide shelter for the home- less at their arenas, but the law has never been enforced since it was en- acted, CBS Miami reported.

“I think they should follow the rule, and the rule was you took the money you were supposed to use it for a program for homeless people and you didn’t do it and therefore we want our money back,” said state Sen. Mike Bennett, who introduced one of the bills.

Professional teams in Florida have taken over $270 million from the state. Meanwhile, homeless advocates in Miami oppose the bill. Ron Book, chair- man of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, said putting the homeless in stadiums is not an “acceptable method to end homelessness.”