On a super-tight schedule this morning, so super-quick lightning round:
- A judge in El Paso has confirmed that its new arena can only be used for concerts, not sports, because that’s the way their wrote the bond proposal for voters. Copy editors are important!
- North Carolina withdrew a plan to explore whether to sell a bunch of government building in Raleigh and give the land to a new MLS soccer franchise because it would be “premature,” whatever that means, but it sure doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.
- At a panel on whether Calgary should give a ton of money to the Flames, National Post columnist Jen Gerson asserted that while Edmonton may have been suckered into funding an arena for the Oilers, “we’re just not that pathetic, as a city.” I really really hope that “How pathetic can we be?” becomes somebody’s campaign slogan in the upcoming mayoral election.
- Nashville councilmember Jeremy Elrod is questioning the city’s plan to include a private development on public land as part of a soccer stadium project, noting, “I thought we were building an MLS stadium out of wanting to get a team here and not necessarily to help the team owners make more money.” Ah, but wanting to help the team owners make more money is always the reason why they demand stadium subsidies. I’ve got a whole book you can read about that if you want, Councilmember Elrod.
- Inglewood Mayor James Butts is surprised and steamed that Madison Square Garden, which owns the Forum and rehabbed it as a concert venue, is fighting against Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer’s proposed arena because it would compete with theirs. Somebody doesn’t know his history.
- Russia is ensuring that a new stadium in Ekaterinburg is big enough for World Cup games by building extra seats outside the stadium.
- Phoenix is selling off its Sheraton hotel for $255 million (great!), $50 million less than the city owes on it (not great, but better than continuing to only get a thin trickle of revenue from it), and will also give the buyer $97 million in tax breaks and $13 million in cash to use for renovations (hey now…) If the city now turns around and spends the money on a Suns arena, this will be the trifecta of badness.
- The Washington Nationals are again fighting with D.C. officials over who’ll pay for added late-night train service to postseason games, as this is what happens every time the Nats make the playoffs, at least for the couple of days before they’re elminated again.
- The San Francisco 49ers keep hosting concerts at their Santa Clara stadium that blow past the 10 pm curfew, and it turns out the $1,000 fine per infraction isn’t much of a deterrent. Never could have seen that one coming.