Live members’ chat, today, noon Eastern

And away we go on this inaugural run. I’ll be here in the comments thread starting at noon Eastern time, but in the meantime, feel free to post questions, discussion topics, or tabouleh recipes to get us started.

(And once you’ve posted, hit “refresh” to see the latest comments.)

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43 comments on “Live members’ chat, today, noon Eastern

  1. I notice an ad on the left side of my screen showing ‘Bucs 2014 Season Passes Now Available – Learn More’. Does that mean you are getting money from the Bucs?

  2. It means I’m getting money from Google Ads, who are presumably getting money from the Bucs. The only advertisers here who directly pay me money are the text ads in the left and right sidebars. And, of course, you folks.

  3. I am reminded of the time the late, lamented Village Voice sports section, which was on the inside back page opposite the seamiest classifieds, printed a thanks to “the phone sex industry for their support throughout the years.”

  4. Cool,

    Do you have stats on how many hits this site gets per day, week, month, etc?

  5. I do indeed, though I don’t usually make those public. I will say it averages a bit over 1,000 visits per day.

  6. Sorry, multi-tasking here. (Stupid jobs and their demand for attention.)

    Was there a stadium issue that led to the creation of this site?

  7. My city hired a sports consultant and paid something like $19.5k/month for nearly a year for his services. If we invited the city council/mayor to this chat, what do you think you’d charge for an hour or two of public question/answer about stadium deals with them present ?

  8. Does Georgia/ Atlanta, have the highest concentration of shady/dumb stadium deals?

  9. Karl: Joanna Cagan and I first started researching stadiums back in 1995, when the New York Yankees were demanding a new stadium in Manhattan (at a time when NYC was slashing budgets, cutting library hours, etc.) and Cleveland, where Joanna’s originally from, was talking about building a new stadium to get the Browns back at the same time as schools were in receivership, etc. We thought, “Hey, two different cities with similar issues, what an odd coincidence!” It wasn’t until we started researching that we realized this was going on all over the country, and was a potential book topic.

    The site started originally as an adjunct to the book, to update readers on developments after it was published. It wasn’t until years later that I admitted to it being a “blog.”

  10. scott: Seattle
    Oops on math… $4.17/month.

  11. ChefJoe: As I’ve become increasingly aware, I’m terrible at valuing my time as a stadium expert. If I were Andy Zimbalist, I’d have already funded several new decks for my house this year.

  12. This place is so old it started before the Braves moved into the Ted, or like the 3rd year of the Georgia Dome.

  13. Karl: Atlanta’s getting up there, definitely. Though there’s also Indianapolis, which has two of the worst deals in the nation for the Colts stadium and Pacers arena. Cleveland just threw more money at three different venues it built in the ’90s … there’s a lot of competition for the “biggest subsidy” crown.

  14. Neil,

    Do you feel that your book and/or blog has made a difference in any way or in any city fending off greedy owners and stupid/corrupt/selfish politicians?

  15. This website started in 1998, so it’s one year younger than the Ted. Not that that doesn’t make it outmoded — clearly I need to demand funding for a new site, or threaten to move to Tumblr.

  16. Scott: In a “step by step the longest march” way, sure. I’ve spoken to city councilmembers in various cities, testified in a few, and occasionally it seems to have some impact. Someone recently told me that the Clark County comptroller cited Field of Schemes in successfully arguing against an arena plan in Las Vegas, which was nice to hear.

  17. Neil,
    Yes that would be very good to hear!
    Step by step, longest march is ‘right on’. Nowadays, everybody expects a handout to put a presence in a city, including private industries such as Amazon, Bass Pro, movie production companies, etc.

  18. Scott: That game goes back well before stadium subsidies took off, as discussed in chapter two of our book. First it was the car plants and computer chip factories, then the sports team owners began to think, “Hey, we should try to get some of that…”

    The movie production subsidies are the worst. Here’s a good report on how wasteful those are:

  19. Convention centers are another godawful one. In fact, I just got a preview copy of Heywood Sanders’ new book, “Convention Center Follies,” which looks like it does for convention center deals something like what I’ve tried to do for stadiums.

  20. Neil,

    Thanks for the link – it is timely – I will pass it on to the writers of an article yesterday in the Tampa Tribune lamenting that a movie production about Tampa might not get done in Tampa because the state subsidy fund is all gone and not renewed.

  21. Scott: *facepalm*

    This is good on film production subsidies, too:

  22. Scott:

  23. In my quick review of MLB, NBA,and NFL stadium funding, I found public money paid for 60% MLB, 50% NBA,and 70% NFL. Does that sound about right to you?

  24. Long, counting hidden subsidies like tax breaks, has it at MLB 78%, NFL 87%, and arenas (she doesn’t break it down NBA vs NHL) 70%. So pretty much the same ratios as you have, but everything is roughly 20% higher in public cost once you factor in hidden subsidies.

  25. I’d guess that this has a lot to do with the NFL’s ability to move teams anywhere without having to worry about market size, making it easier for them to play the threat game. Though Long also didn’t include the new Jets/Giants or 49ers stadiums in her book (she only went up to 2010), so that would skew football back downwards a bit.

  26. Neil,
    Excellent synopsis.

    Looks like I left Roger Goodell off easy in my letter to him where I said ‘we the people’ pay for 70%. When he writes back I will let him know that it is 87%.

  27. Neil,

    You are so right about the NFL not having to worry about market size. The #2 market in North America (LA) is vacant, and it “don’t make no never mind”

  28. Getting solid numbers on these things is nearly impossible, since no one can really agree on what “cost” is. I find Long’s numbers to be the most comprehensive, though.

  29. Neil,

    No further questions your honor.
    Just one request – how about getting your Brooklyn Nets to give the Miami Heat a competitive series?

  30. They are anything but “my” Brooklyn Nets.

    Okay, thanks everyone for participating — this was fun. I’ll try to do another one of these soon; if anyone (here now or checking in later) has a preference for times, either post here or drop me an email.

  31. On a site about sports arenas and public funding it’s amusing to translate the password from Iroquois to English.

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