Stadium news roundup, special July 4th week haven’t-been-paying-attention edition

Catching up on some of the week’s news that slipped by while I was traveling (full reporting here will return late Monday, or maybe Tuesday depending on how much sleep I get on the plane):

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23 comments on “Stadium news roundup, special July 4th week haven’t-been-paying-attention edition

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  2. Does this targeted spam mean that Neil has done one too many posts about the Coliseum ?

  3. man, randy levine has been president of the yankees for 13 1/2 years? *That* makes me feel old. I still think of him as a giuliani stooge.

  4. STOP has been seeking a special election on the matter, rather than to have the question placed on the general election ballot, but Camacho said, “We’re flexible.”

    Because nothing screams PORK like having a special election with only one issue on the ballot (psst – they typically favor the party that spends the most,_Referred_Bill_48_%28June_1997%29 )

  5. Here’s one you missed: Orlando Citrus Bowl looking for additional tourist tax dollars from Orange County. Coincidentally (or maybe not) this is about the same amount of tourist tax dollars that the city is requesting from Orange County to fund the soccer stadium.

  6. The effort to gather signatures to put the arena up to a vote in Sacramento is picking up steam. We have gathered thousands of signatures and more as we speak. The Sacramento Bee article has informed people that there concerned citizens out there fighting for transparency and the right to vote on the arena- and those folks have expressed interest in joining our efforts. Check us out on Facebook at

  7. Well, here’s some unexpected news…

    Not entirely sure what it means, given that there is still time for the Rams to “not get” the $700m in publicly funded upgrades they were seeking, but be cruelly forced to accept $625m in publicly funded upgrades… or an entirely new publicly funded stadium… instead.

  8. re: St. Louis – The always reliable Mr Florio wrote a follow-up article:

    I particularly enjoyed his opening: “With 31 NFL stadiums and the useful life of each one in the range of 20 to 30 years…”

    Please, please, please, shut up.

  9. Right… let’s see how those London tickets sell for those exhibition games and then see if the London threat seems more credible.

    I would love to see San Paulo invite the NFL to play some exhibition games down there, with their refs. See if the players union blocks that move, nomatter what the subsidy.

  10. Not San, São Paulo (Brazil)

  11. I’d say there is a near zero possibility that the NFL will expand/relocate outside continental north america in the next 20 years.

    They’ll talk about it. They’ll investigate it and sound for all the world like they mean to do it. But they won’t.

    The sports welfare game doesn’t fly in England the way it does here. And locating a single team outside NA would be an appalling handicap both in terms of scheduling and economics.

    If any league goes international (or fully affiliated with a partner European league, as an alternative), I’d suggest it’s most likely to be the NBA.

    And I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one either…

  12. I never said it was actual news, Keith.

    My favourite in your linked article was Florio’s laughable contention that the Rams expiring lease gives them “extreme leverage”.

    Yes, nothing puts you in the cat bird seat like impending homelessness…

    People get paid for writing this crap???

    If NFL Europe had actually worked (IE: made back the sunk capital), I might be willing to believe that a 4 team European division could spring into existence. But even with a shockingly low salary cap, NFL-e failed. It became basically a German league, supported almost entirely by US expats and servicemen… along with large checks sent across the atlantic from the league office.

    Try telling small market US owners they need to put $25m of their TV money into a fund to support teams in Europe that no-one wants to watch… and then have to compete with them in the playoffs…

  13. What’s that you say? We’re tugging too hard on Florio’s marionette strings? Chuckle. Mike is just one of our many-splendored mouthpieces.

    I see NFL stadiums blooming all around the world, U.S. taxpayers. Get busy funding us or else!!

  14. One of our local news stations (I think it was channel 10) had a news story last week where they said that they expected to break ground on the arena in about a year (meaning June 2014).

    Even if you’re 100% pro-arena, I don’t see how that’s possible. They expect the agreement with the City to become a contract after the EIR comes out — in June 2014. How we get from EIR release to breaking ground the same month is a timeline I don’t think anyone expects.

    I only bring this up because of the generally very low quality of news reporting on this $448M gamble. Heck, we haven’t even had our first funding gap yet. They just recently asked for official quotes on the arena; I think people are in for a little surprise right about there.

  15. John: More to that point, there is no culture/interest in watching the NFL in London, where they now go to play an NFL game. That game sells well, but a large chunk of that is because almost every company with offices in London has an American client and they think that’s an excellent way to pander/schmooze/take care of. Etc. Not saying those are the only people—you will see fans of the respective teams turn up in London to build a vacation around that game, as well as curious locals—but as for regular watching and interest, it’s a joke. There is almost none by the English. There are two bars in London that show all the NFL games like a sports bar here would in the US. The more popular of the two draws about 25-30 people, most of whom are ex-pats and most of whom leave before the late game (time difference).

    There is about 1000x the interest in the EPL here as there is in the NFL there.

  16. “If any league goes international (or fully affiliated with a partner European league, as an alternative), I’d suggest it’s most likely to be the NBA.”

    Maybe if you put an entire NBA division in Europe. But anything less than a group of teams is only going to work for the NFL – everybody else plays too frequently to make the travel feasible.

  17. I’ll have more to say on this tomorrow (yes, I’m back from my trip), but the media *always* take expiring leases more seriously than they should be. Yes, the Rams can move more easily now that the CVC has rejected the $700 million reno plan, but all this really means is that St. Louis has said to the Rams, “Okay, fine, go get another offer if you think you can, and we’ll decide whether we want to try to match it.”

    The travel and time zone issues with London seem pretty horrible for placing a regular team there. And the upside would be … trying to get more TV money from the UK market? It might make sense for the league as a whole, someday, but it’s hard to see it making sense for an individual owner.

  18. Neil: Maybe Stan Kroenke wants to not have to travel as far to not watch Arsenal play.

  19. I thought the rumor was that Kroenke would move the Rams to London, not that he’d move London to Missouri.

  20. I agree, Keith. If the NBA ever adds European content, it won’t be with a single “outpost” team. It’s more likely that there will be some formal affiliation with the EuroLeague at some point – but probably not in the near future.

    North America lacks interest in the only truly global game… soccer (though interest is building, it is still a long way from European or South American levels). I’d argue that Basketball is the next “most global” sport, and after that it’s a real toss up. Selig has created a small niche for baseball outside of the Americas, but it’s still nothing like a global game. Many nations play hockey, but only 5 or 6 at a serious level. Rugby is building a decent following outside it’s traditional mainstays, but like hockey few nations play it at an elite level (probably ten or so, and that might be stretching it a bit).

    If any north american league expands to europe, it won’t be done so much to expand the product as to prevent rival superleagues forming. We’ve seen that in domestic leagues in the last 30 years, and there’s no reason to expect that it won’t happen elsewhere too.

  21. That’s true, Michael. But I see more and more of that kind of ‘customer demographic’ in our domestic league games as well. How many people at an average Giants, Cowboys, Knics, Laker or Leafs game are run of the mill ticket buying fans? What percentage buy tickets as corporate entertainment?

    Whatever that number is, the percentage of ordinary schmoes who can buy season tickets is falling nearly everywhere.

    At the London olympics, 70% of the tickets for the major events were officials, dignitaries and other comps. At the CL final last year, more than half the tickets were reserved for UEFA and political attendees.

    The greater the taxpayer subsidy to these events, the fewer taxpayers appear to be able to actually go and see what they have paid for…

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