Friday fun: Draw your own Rays stadium, Pacers make money hand over subsidized fist, and more!

Oh, has it ever been another week! Some things that happened:

  • The Indiana Pacers revealed they brought in a record $13.2 million in revenues from non-sports events last year. “We’re trying to be a good steward for this venue,” said Rick Fuson, president of the team that is getting paid $16 million a year by the city to run its arena without sharing any of its revenues with taxpayers and also may ask for more public money for arena upgrades soon. “This is about an investment into the economic vitality of our city and our state.”
  • UC Berkeley is going to bail out its terrible football stadium deal with non-athletic department funds, though it can’t say where exactly the money will come from other than that it won’t be student tuition or state tax dollars. You guys, I’m starting to worry that UC Berkeley may have a lucrative meth-lab business on the side.
  • The University of Connecticut is spending $60 million on three new stadiums, which it will presumably totally pay for out of student tuition and tax dollars.
  • The NFL is opposed to the language in the GOP tax bill that would ban use of tax-exempt bonds for sports stadiums, because of course it is. “You can look around the country and see the economic development that’s generated from some of these stadiums,” NFL spokesperson Joe Lockhart said with a straight face, either because he doesn’t understand that any sliver of economic development in one part of the U.S. from stadiums just comes at the expense of economic development in another part, or because it’s what he’s paid to say, or both. Meanwhile, speaking of that tax bill, there are a lot of reasons to be terrified of it, even if that stadium clause would be nice.
  • The Oakland Chamber of Commerce polled 503 “likely voters” and found that a large majority supported the idea of an A’s stadium at “a new, 100 percent privately financed site, near Interstate 880, four blocks from Lake Merritt BART and walking distance from downtown.” Cue the opposition poll describing it as a “cramped site wedged into an already-developed neighborhood with existing traffic problems” in three, two…
  • A website commenter got sick of waiting for the Tampa Bay Rays to issue stadium renderings and drew some of their own, getting on SBNation for it despite having failed to find the Fireworks menu in their CAD program. No, I don’t know why it has an apparent non-retractable roof, or how people in that upper deck in right field will get to their seats, or what’s holding up those seats, or lots of other things.
  • FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding says a stadium announcement is scheduled for next week and that it will involve Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, so presumably the team owners are now focused on building in Cincinnati instead of across the river in Kentucky, using Cincinnati’s tax kickbacks instead of Kentucky’s. Poor Cincinnati.
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10 comments on “Friday fun: Draw your own Rays stadium, Pacers make money hand over subsidized fist, and more!

  1. Outside of the top 20 revenue producing football programs. Every college football program at every level is paid with tax dollars and student fees ! Along with the 3-4 women teams established to meet Title X requirements .

    1. There are some teams like Kansas and Kentucky where the football program is subsidized by the insane revenues the basketball program throws off, but that is more the exception than the rule.

  2. I would bet most Americans are fully aware that the proposed tax plan will benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle and lower classes. While the President has said “it’s not good for me”, independent analysis of the one tax return of his that is in the public domain suggests he would save at least five and perhaps ten million in taxes per year under the new plan.

    People notice that sort of thing.

    The problem is that the tax plan will also benefit most of the people who actually get to vote on it as well as the lobbyists, their clients and major political donors on which the representatives jobs depend. So there’s really no chance that some version of this plan won’t pass, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans make far less than the amount required to really benefit from this plan.

    Let’s call it dimocracy.

    It’s a heads I win tails you lose proposition for the franchise owners too, since they will benefit from the tax cut and will simply replace the benefit they lose from the TEBs with additional demands from other agencies (ok, taxpayers).

    1. >The problem is that the tax plan will also benefit most of the people who actually get to vote on it

      It also benefits those who are actually paying taxes…

      That said I am not necessarily a “fan” of the plan. I would prefer something a lot more principled and revenue neutral. But almost any tax plan is going to predominantly help the well off, since they are you know, paying the taxes.

      1. High income earners are the prime beneficiaries of the current plan. That is only a feature of tax reform plans that are made to produce that result. There are many other options available for consideration.

        It is a myth that the highest income earners pay “most” of the taxes. They pay at a higher rate, and any given member of the elite will certainly pay more in actual tax dollars than a middle class earner.

        This is not about the effect on a single example of either middle or upper classes, it is about the overall effect on the two groups.

        Whenever leftists suggest raising the effective taxation rate on the highest earners, one of the questions raised is how much money doing so would actually generate in comparison with a small increase on the much larger middle class. Invariably, the increase in taxes on the wealthiest residents raises less total revenue than a small increase on the middle class.

        The 1% can’t have it both ways… saying “we pay all the taxes” (they don’t, btw) while also claiming it is pointless to raise their tax rate because there are so few of them.

  3. When the Pacers owner stated that he wants to keep the Pacers another 20-25 years in Indianapolis we all knew that was double speak for please open up your wallets. BTW the current lease for their facility is a whopping one-dollar per year. Not a bad deal considering that the Pacers get 100% of all revenue in that facility no matter what the activity is occurring. Oh and we get to pay the maintenance as well.

    1. but think of all the spinoff economic benefits of, um….. taxpayers paying all those business expenses for the Pacers and…

      Has anyone checked to see if they have actually paid the dollar?

  4. The Tampa Bay drawings look like the upper deck overhang could create some obstructed views. But if you only draw 9,000 people a night, shouldn’t be a big issue.

    1. The stadium drawing are hilarious. No cars! But it does include about 5 yachts, I figure they could get about 80 people to the game. Perhaps 60 employees could serve 20 rich people.

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