Friday roundup: Atlanta Falcons’ non-retracting retractable roof now can’t even keep rain out

Crazed billionaires are shutting down our nation’s news media when employees try to assert their rights, so let’s enjoy journalism while we still have it with another week in news briefs:

  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders‘ old stadium got blowed up real good.
  • The developers who want to build a $15 million modular stadium for the NASL team San Diego 1904 F.C. haven’t actually filed a development plan yet with the city of Oceanside.
  • The Atlanta Falcons‘ non-retracting retractable roof has already sprung a leak.
  • Asked by the New York Post about the New York Islanders‘ bid to build a new arena on state land near Belmont Park, team owner Jonathan Ledecky replied, ““I think we’re circling the airport, just waiting to be given a landing clue,” which doesn’t actually mean anything at all that I can tell, but it sure is an evocative image. Then he pointed to the team’s new $7 million practice facility on Long Island, with a “world-class chef” for players, as “emblematic of what we can do if we were granted the right [to build] at Belmont.”
  • Sacramento city officials want to use the Kings‘ old arena, now vacant after Sacramento built the team a new arena, as a temporary convention center while the city conducts a $125 million renovation of its regular convention center. The arena is an arena, not a convention center, and it’s still owned by the Kings owners, not the city, and I’m sure this is all going to go just swimmingly, no need to be concerned at all.
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12 comments on “Friday roundup: Atlanta Falcons’ non-retracting retractable roof now can’t even keep rain out

  1. Interestingly I was in Atlanta doing work this week, and every single resident I spoke to (~20) seemed to think that the roof works flawlessly. So there is definitely some misinformation out there. Literally every one was like “oh yeah there were some problems, but it works great now”.

    I was also surprised how much support for it their seemed to be (among fairly liberal upper middle class people. Lost of anger at the Braves deal and the stupidity of that, but people seemed fine with the Falcons new place and seemed to be convinced it was some sort of architectural /aesthetic wonder.

    It is fine. I am not sure I would say it is an attractive building at all.

    1. Apples and oranges in many respects. Much of the uproar over the Braves stadium was it moving out to the suburbs with Cobb County intentionally setting things up so poorer inner city people would have difficulties getting to it due to the lack of public transportation. The new football stadium is directly adjacent to the old Georgia Dome so those issues aren’t in play there at all.

  2. The Sacramento situation is a joke. The city wants to use it for something it isn’t meant for.

    The Kings own it but probably want something more than just renovation money if the city is going to use it.

    Lastly that arena is a joke.

    The whole situation from every is bad.

    1. I hadn’t considered the angle that SBH would make a boatload of money from the old arena. Hmm. I bet they’re going to do it.

      Heck, maybe just sell the old arena to the City.


  3. Neil,

    You have to admit that asking a perpetual money-losing company to let you unionize takes chutzpah.

    1. Normally Ben and I are staring across the void at each other, but I’m with him on this issue.

      While many media outlets are smearing Ricketts (crazed billionaire, Republican, “scummy fuck”, Trump donor), none of them are addressing his point. And when one side resorts to personal attacks without actually grappling with the question that has been raised, that’s when I tend to give more credence to the other side’s argument. Evidently Ricketts truly wanted to establish real local news outlets, and (from what I have read without digging too deeply) supported those outlets for years while losing money.

      He launched DNAInfo New York in 2009, so that’s eight years of support without a profit (again, none of the critics and scolds have mentioned making a profit, which leads me to believe that DNAInfo New York lost money the whole time). This makes me think that Ricketts was sincere in his efforts.

      Obviously unions are not popular in right-wing circles, for a variety of reasons. Ricketts was pretty clear that unionizing was a non-starter. While he cites economic reasons, I have no doubt that ideology played a part. The newsroom then decided to call his bluff, and found out he wasn’t bluffing. I am not sympathetic to either side in this instance.

      As Neil knows all too well, it is extraordinarily difficult to make money with online journalism (I am currently a free-rider to FoS, but I have contributed in the past). If the DNAInfo newsroom thinks that they can make the model work, they should know enough by now to give it a try themselves. If they try, I hope they succeed!

      1. I am on the center left (though not a democrat) and grew up a socialist.

        I work with unionized or pseudo unionized employees a lot for my job. They absolutely do more harm than good these days and are just a recipe for an ineffectual workforce that is both expensive and impossible to get rid of.

        And I have no idea what these particular people think their bargaining position is. They are brining very little to the table over what you can get for basically free.

        Supply and demand.

    2. Notifying a money losing enterprise (if that is actually the case…. I don’t doubt it is, but don’t know either way) that it’s staff is asserting their right to union representation may be foolish from an economic standpoint, but it is in no way a request.

      I am pleased that Ricketts announced this as a ‘decision’ he made, not as something he “had” to do economically.

      He is a very wealthy man. If he chose to, he could have funded several versions of these sites in many different cities out of what amounts to pocket money for him, and done so without impacting his or his family’s lifestyle one iota.

      I respect his decision not to do so, and his election to announce this as his personal choice.

      Capitalism (like life) is supposed to find unoccupied niches and fill them. As Ricketts suggests, lets hope someone else (maybe Dobkin and Chung?) starts up a replacement site soon.

  4. If it doesn’t open it isn’t retractable.
    If it can’t keep the rain out, can it really be called a roof?

  5. Update:

    That didn’t take long did it? I wish them all the best in this exciting and “new” endeavour.

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