Friday roundup: What arena glut looks like, and other news of our impending doom

Hey, I like this Friday news roundup thing! Let’s do it again:

  • A public hearing has been set for Elmont Public Library on July 10 to discuss the possibility of a New York Islanders arena near Belmont Park racetrack. Team owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin won’t have to submit their actual bid until after that, so who knows what everyone will be commenting on, but I’m going to try to go and report back, if I can figure out what time the hearing is, a detail that none of New York’s myriad news agencies seem to have reported on.
  • There’s a thing called the Canadian Premier League, apparently, though it’s more destined to be a second-tier league (think USL of the North) that can serve as development for Canadian soccer players. Anyway, assuming this gets off the ground, Halifax has approved plans for a privately funded 7,000-seat “pop-up” stadium on a public soccer pitch, which will be taken down once the season is over so regular folks can use the field — park users are a little gripey, as you’d expect them to be, but all in all it’s a far cry from the kinds of demands that minor-league soccer teams in the States are issuing, and promises to be far less of a disaster than most of the other things Halifax is known for.
  • Two out of three Hamilton County commissioners agreed to sign non-disclosure agreements before receiving details of FC Cincinnati‘s soccer stadium proposal, because it was the only way they could find out about the team’s plans. Apparently being on the deliberative body that will be deciding whether to give your team gobs of money just doesn’t hold the same kind of sway that it used to.
  • The Atlanta Hawks owners are considering building a mixed-use project around their arena similar to what the Braves did around their stadium, which Mayor Kasim Reed says is the result of the city handing over $142.5 million in renovation funds, no, I don’t understand that either. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution further reports that a new state law would allow local governments to kick back sales taxes to help pay for development in so-called “enterprise zones,” and okay, now it all starts to make sense.
  • One of the Detroit city councilmembers who voted to approve $34.5 million in subsidies for a new Pistons practice facility says she’s considering changing her vote after being deluged with complaints from constituents, but also said she believes the objections are “based on misinformation that I plan on trying to address or clarify at this public meeting on Friday,” so, we’ll see.
  • And finally, here is a photo showing three past, present, and future NBA arenas all side-by-side, because this is what 21st-century America thinks is a rational use of land, resources, and carbon footprint. Future alien visitors who find this as a relic of the civilization that once was, we can’t really explain it either.


18 comments on “Friday roundup: What arena glut looks like, and other news of our impending doom

  1. I’m from NS, and you’re the first American I’ve ever read to bring up the explosion. Good show.

    The Canadian Premier League is interesting because it’s the tail wagging the dog: A few of the new CFL teams have new stadiums and want tenants for them.

  2. I visited NS last summer, and my family was endlessly entertained by how the Halifax Maritime Museum presents the city’s two main claims to fame as 1) how city residents rushed to the site of the Titanic sinking, got there only in time to collect corpses, then had to throw half of them overboard because they didn’t have room for them all; and 2) that time that a munitions ship caught fire and everybody rushed to the harbor to see it and then all got killed when it blew up.

    Nice city otherwise, though, albeit with some downtown hyperdevelopment issues that reminded me of Brooklyn…

    • The public in Halifax has a really great consciousness of urban issues too, there’s usually a development controversy that’s the general topic of local conversation at any given point.

      Probably with the decimal point moved to the left a notch on the dollar amounts compared to Brooklyn, though.

  3. I know Bostonians that know about the Halifax explosion because Boston & Nova Scotia exchange a Christmas tree every year as a sign of thanks to the volunteers from Boston that came up & helped.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston%E2%80%93Halifax_relations

    • Your point is very valid.

      On an unrelated note, that might be the most Wikipedia-style Wikipedia link i’ve sever seen. Oh the format, wording, title, flow, ughhh.

  4. Any city that can spawn “Trailer Park Boys” can’t be all bad. Maybe FC Halifax (or whatever) can roll out Ricky, Julian and Bubbles for their inaugural game…temporary metal bleachers seem somehow appropriate.

  5. So pleased to see that the area across the street from the new new Bucks arena is just parking lot. After all, we know there will be a need for a fourth arena before 2040, and that should give the city plenty of time to pay someone to tear down the Bradley Centre and make that land into something else (why not an MLS stadium? Everyone is doing it….)

  6. The structure that the 3 arenas photo was shot from is very likely The Moderne. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele owns the most expensive condo -possibly in the state, in that bldg.
    I would not be surprised if it was taken by him, from his condo.
    Chris Abele was instrumental in approving funding for the new arena as it finally ended up.

  7. FC Cincinnati is literally lobbying for secret tax hikes in two different counties. This post describes the main act, seeking an approximately $100 million stadium tax hike in Hamilton County for a stadium.

    It gets even better. FCC is also very close to winning a stealth tax hike in bordering Clermont County for a practice facility. One of their State Reps snuck it into the State Budget, where it will stay unless Legislators decide to target it for removal.
    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/06/22/union-twp-official-blasts-secrecy-soccer-related-hotel-tax/418697001/

  8. Wow. I’m impressed to see Neil hating on Progressive governance in Milwaukee.

    The middle arena is coming down once the new arena is built.

    The arena on the far left would’ve come down long ago if not for some Progressives in Milwaukee government. They’re keeping it open to preserve a nicer basketball arena for the local state university (UW-Milwaukee) and to preserve more government jobs operating the arena. There was a push by Scott Walker and many Republicans outside of Milwaukee to tear down the arena on the left and use the $5 million or so per year that’s being spent on it to help fund the new arena, but the Progressives wouldn’t have it.

    • I hate on politicians of all stripes, if their policies suck enough.

      Anyway, though, my point is less “we should tear down old arenas quicker” and more “what kind of world do we live in where we keep building new arenas so fast that they pile up like cordwood?”

  9. In a sense there are 4 arenas in that Milwaukee picture. The Milwaukee Auditorium built in 1909 is behind the UWM Arena (now Miller HighLife Theater–the roof is visible between Bradley Center and UWM Arena) was a multifunction space that had sporting events like boxing occasionally (no permanent theater seating until after Milwaukee/UWM Arena is built).

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