Friday roundup: Austin MLS vote, Rays demand $650m in subsidies, Islanders renderings, more!

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:

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27 comments on “Friday roundup: Austin MLS vote, Rays demand $650m in subsidies, Islanders renderings, more!

  1. Would be neat that if a Belmont Isles arena does get approved they make it look like a modern version of the Coliseum out in Uniondale.

    Those renderings look meh.

  2. I don’t understand what the shipping containers are doing? Are they the load bearing elements? Right now if kind of just looks like a regular stadium that is extra airy with some shipping containers tucked under it.

    1. From the linked article: “Each of these shipping containers will house things like removable seats, concession stands and toilets, and can be dismantled and moved off once the cup has been run and won.”

      Not sure how practical it is, but one of the reasons that the WC was awarded to Qatar was that they proposed these types of modular stadia and promised to disassemble the smaller ones (no longer term purpose for multiple WC stadia in the country) and give them to third world countries that do have a need for them.

      Like I say, it may not be practical and may not, ultimately, happen (or be something less than a ‘gift’ if it does). Nevertheless, these were features of their world cup bid. At the time, FIFA bods suggested the modular/moveable facilities was the clincher for the Qatar bid (IE: football legacy). As with every other WC bid dating back to the early 1970s at least, I suspect the main thing swaying delegate voting was cash. Only FIFA/Interpol truly knows…

  3. “The only concern I can think of is we have a finite amount of time to take advantage of this opportunity…”

    Precourt’s lobbyist is deploying the deliberate misrepresentation offense quite early here, no?

    The only deadline for a stadium or relocation is the one Precourt himself has imposed. Ergo, it is not a legitimate deadline and can be varied as needed for literally any reason.

    Let’s hope a public vote (not clear on whether this has to be done as part of a ballot initiative during a ‘scheduled’ election or can be done as a single issue plebiscite in Texas) is required and that Precourt runs head first into his own deadline.

    The only way this could be better is if finds he can no longer play in Columbus after 2018 and has no where else to go. Given that he owns the Crew stadium it would take some staggeringly foolish posturing on his part to make this happen (IE: bankrupting his stadium company before he has a new facility to put his team in etc).

  4. The Cowboys thing is almost certainly people protesting Anthem kneelers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a hater of both the NFL and people who demand that Players stand for the Anthem, this has to be a trying time for Neil.

    1. Not sure about that. People attended earlier kneeling games when the team was winning. 92,000 average. It’s a pretty huge stadium. 20,000 no-shows would sill give you 70,000 fans. 6K more than old Texas Stadium. 30,000 no-shows and you still outdraw a sold out Bears game. I’m putting my money on losing streak + oversize stadium = bad optics.

        1. Thursday night games are stupid and likely attendance killers. In a place as spread out as Dallas, getting 90k to a stadium on time would probably require a lot of folks leaving work at about 4PM. Given that it is a losing team where many buy 10 tickets or none, taking one off probably doesn’t hurt that much.

          European soccer teams play the same TV games and often have the same attendance issues on weeknights. It isn’t really what ticket buyers want.

      1. Stadium has 80k “seats” (includes boxes) + standing room. But yes, you can have a big crowd there and still have lots of empty seats.

        The before/after on Cowboys empty seats, local TV, and national TV is so striking that I have to say it’s Anthem kneelers. But, sure, we will never truly know. The stuff Neil cites could play a role.

        1. The NFL has been losing viewers for a few years now. No one knows for sure but here’s my stab at the reasons:
          1. There are more and more Cord cutters that aren’t watching games
          2. Demographics are changing the audience. Younger generation is just not interested in football.
          3. The games are not as compelling as they use to be due to watered down talent and the rise of the quarterback driven game plans. If you don’t have Brady or Brees, you have a mediocre quarterback and a mediocre team (parity sucks)
          4. Replay and TV time outs drive people away from the games.

          I think Ben may be (unfortunately) correct about kneeling. Lots of old white guys in this country don’t like the rise of young, talented African-Americans in sports and entertainment. As an old white guy myself, I am continually shocked at the attitudes of my generation. Racism is out of the closet and I weep for the future of this country.

          1. Good post James.

            For me it’s #3 and #4.
            I am an OWG too, but the only things that have driven me away from the games is the insane expansion of commercials and replay, coupled with rule changes that essentially prevent defenses from playing the game properly in the interest of protecting offensive players (but only some offensive players – the brain health of QBs is important. Kick returners just signed from the practice roster for one week at league minimum salary? No money for the owners in protecting them is there?).

          2. You must be watching a lot of Jemele Hill, Stephen A Smith and Dan LeBetard on ESPN to notice the rise of racism in this country.

        2. Well Ben, what does it tell us when supposedly upstanding, patriotic people react to the insult of kneeling for the national anthem by not showing up to stand for the national anthem at all.

          Oh, you said the concession lines were long? Well that’s ok then.

          As a veteran, I’d be happy if people didn’t “support” me like the emerging moron community among NFL fans.

    2. Maybe people were never really that interested in the Cowboys, they just wanted to be able to say they had been in the same room as Jerry Jones AND Prince Bandar.

      They aren’t the same guy, right?

  5. Regarding the Tampa Bay Rays quest for a new stadium…

    Brian Auld – president of the Tampa Bay Rays – is on record (2/9/2015 speaking at the Economic Club of Tampa) saying that in order for the Rays to field a competitive team, the new stadium needs to draw 10,000 more fans per game which would translate to about $20 million more per year in revenue. The Rays proposed contribution of $150 million translates to about $9.5 million per year at 25 years/4% terms.

    That means payroll could be increased by a maximum of $11 million. The Rays 2017 total payroll (25-man roster + disabled list + retained + buried) was $93 million and the MLB average was $152 million per .

    So all things being equal, that means the Rays could increase its total payroll from $93 million to $104 million, which would move the team’s rank up just one notch from 27th to 26th. Clearly, the Rays are not going to become more competitive because of a new stadium, even if they had to contribute just the pathetic and paltry $150 million to the cost of the new stadium.

    Then, here is still the major mountain of an issue of where the other up to $650 million ($41 million per year for 25 years) would come from. Clearly, a new stadium makes no economic sense for the taxpayers. Whether or not it makes economic sense for the Rays and MLB is their call.

  6. Incarcerated Bob, whoever he is has actually been a pretty good source for inside info over the years. He has leaked some stories way before the rest of the sports media.

  7. Word on the grapevine is that if the Islanders don’t get Belmont that they will be sold to Quebec investors. Ledecky and Malkin will recoup their investment rather than put up with the status quo.

    1. Who knows. If they can’t get an arena deal they like I would agree that a sale and relocation is far more likely than just a relocation… but either way they would be giving up a share of the NY market – something they did actually pay for.

      1. Islanders beat writer B.D. Gallof, who possesses good sources, has alluded to an Islanders sale on his twitter feed if they were unable to get the Belmont site.
        A little more here:

        1. That was 16 months ago, and he gives no indication who his sources are, and even if it was the team they could have just been floating the rumor to try to scare NYS into approving the Belmont plan. I’ll take it with several large grains of salt, at the very least.

      2. The Islanders largest source of revenue is the cable contract which runs at least another 10 years. Not a chance of replicating that anywhere.

  8. The implosion of the Silverdome failed this morning. It is truly the stadium that just won’t die. I propose it now be officially called the Pontiac Zombiedome.

    1. That was impressive, wasn’t it?

      If we are truly a nation of faithful we must take this as a sign that it was wrong for the Lions to ever have left the Silverdome and appease our deity by having the team move back in (after the structural steelwork has been repaired, hopefully).

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