I’m busy trying to figure out whether Congress is really going to rewrite the tax code to give a couple of trillion dollars to rich people or will melt down at the last second like it did with healthcare repeal, so this’ll be in superbrief mode this morning:
- Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt may have to face a public vote if he wants to go ahead with plans to build a new soccer stadium in a public park in Austin and move the team there in 2019.
- The Rochester Rhinos will take a year off from the USL next year, while hosting other soccer events, as part of a showdown with the city of Rochester where the team’s owners are demanding more operating subsidies. At the same time, the team’s former owner claims he still owns all of the team’s office furniture and scoreboard video equipment. No, this whole thing is not going well at all.
- Qatar is going to build a World Cup stadium partly out of shipping containers, which would allow it to be disassembled and … turned into a bunch of smaller stadiums later, because that’s what Qatar really needs? I’m not entirely clear on the concept here, honestly, but there are some cool pictures if you like dystopian future architecture.
- Dave Zirin asked me if subsidy demands like Amazon’s have learned from sports stadium shakedowns over the past couple of decades, and I said no duh.
- Hamilton County may be again facing a sales-tax shortfall for paying off Cincinnati Bengals and Reds stadium debt, which means local property taxes will have to be raised to fund the difference. At least they won’t have to sell any hospitals this time.
- They’re going to blow up the Pontiac Silverdome on Sunday, since it’s taking too long to fall down itself.
- This actually was reported a couple of weeks ago, but I missed it at the time: Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg says he’s willing to pay about $150 million towards a new $800 million stadium, leaving — math time! — $650 million to be paid by somebody else. This week Sternberg said the team’s contribution “can certainly go up,” but warned that that would prevent him from spending to put a winning team on the field, and, sorry, why does he need a new stadium again if it would cost $800 million but only bring in $150 million worth of benefits? This really would be cheaper all around if he’d just ask St. Petersburg to buy him a first baseman.
- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said a New York Islanders stadium near Belmont Park would be perfect for the team, and there’s no Plan B if the bid isn’t successful, but the franchise won’t move out of New York regardless. Brinksmanship is hard! Also, a Twitter user named @IncarceratedBob tweeted a bunch of renderings of what he claims the arena would look like, though it’s kind of hard to see much past all the renderings of spotlights.
- Now it’s Dallas Cowboys fans showing up disguised as empty seats. Football fans really don’t like watching football with their own eyes, do they?