Friday roundup: Beckham stadium opposition, Arizona bill to block “disparaging” team names, and oh, so many soccer stadiums

So. Much. News:

  • F.C. Cincinnati CEO Jeff Berding says the team still hasn’t decided among stadium sites in the Oakley and West End neighborhoods and one in Newport, Kentucky, while it awaits traffic studies and whatnot, though the team owners did purchase an option to buy land in the West End to build housing for some reason? Still nobody’s talking about the $25 million funding gap that Berding insists the public will have to fill, but I’m sure they’ll get back to that as soon as they decide which neighborhood hates the idea of being their new home the least.
  • Here’s really sped-up footage of the final beam being put in place for D.C. United‘s new stadium.
  • Indy Eleven is officially moving this season from Carroll Stadium to the Colts‘ NFL stadium, but hasn’t figured out yet whether or how to lay down grass over the artificial turf. Might want to get on that, guys.
  • San Diego is looking at doing a massive redevelopment of the land around its arena, and as part of this isn’t extending AEG’s lease on running the place beyond 2020. This is either the first step toward a reasonable assessment of whether the city could be getting more value (both monetary and in terms of use) for a large plot of city-owned land, or the first step toward building a new arena in some boondoggle that would enable a developer to reap the profits from public subsidies — Voice of San Diego doesn’t speculate, and neither will I.
  • Some Overtown residents are still really, really, really unhappy with David Beckham’s Miami MLS stadium plans for their neighborhood, and have been getting in the papers letting that be known.
  • “Can stadiums save downtowns—and be good deals for cities?” asks Curbed, the official media site of tearing things down and building other things to turn a profit. You can guess what I say, but you’ll have to wade through a whole lot of self-congratulation and correlation-as-causation from the people who built the Sacramento Kings arena to get there.
  • Tampa Bay Rays owner Stu Sternberg is still seeking as much as $650 million in stadium subsidies, with local elected officials holding secret meetings with lobbyists to make a project happen. WTSP’s Noah Pransky reports that “commissioners told 10Investigates there remains little appetite to make up the nine-figure funding gap the Rays have suggested may be needed to get a stadium built,” though, so we’ll see where all this ends up.
  • Arizona state rep Eric Descheenie, who is Navajo, has introduced a bill that would prohibit publicly funded stadiums in the state from displaying any team names or logos that local Native American tribes consider “disparaging,” which could make it interesting when the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Black Hawks, or Washington RedHawks come to town.
  • The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible racketeering and other charges around bidding on major sports events, including American consulting firms that may have helped Russia get the Sochi Olympics and this year’s soccer World Cup. If they can’t find enough evidence to prosecute, they’re not watching enough TV.
  • I didn’t even know there was a surviving Negro League baseball stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan, let alone that there was a cricket pitch on it. Who’s up for a road trip?
  • The town of Madison — no, not the one you’re thinking of, the one in Alabama — is looking to build a $46 million baseball stadium with public money because “economic development.” They’re hoping to get the Mobile BayBears to move there, at which point the Huntsville region will undoubtedly become the same kind of global economic engine that is now Mobile.
  • An East Bay developer wants land in Concord (way across the other side of the Oakland Hills, though developing like crazy because everything is in the Bay Area right now) that’s owned by the BART transit system, and says they’ll build a USL soccer stadium if they can get it. Have you noticed that like half of these items are about soccer these days? Of course, half of all sports teams in the U.S. will be pro soccer teams soon the way league expansion is going, so that’s about right.
  • Here’s a map of failed New York City Olympic projects and how they helped Mayor Michael Bloomberg ruin neighborhoods. Sorry, did I say “ruin”? I meant “improve,” of course. This is from Curbed, after all.

26 comments on “Friday roundup: Beckham stadium opposition, Arizona bill to block “disparaging” team names, and oh, so many soccer stadiums

  1. Arizona is getting on the ‘no taxpayer money for threats of relocation’ bandwagon.

    COMPACT AGAINST TAXPAYER FINANCING OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS STADIUMS

    https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/53leg/2r/bills/sb1453p.htm

    • That one I know about, though I haven’t been to see it, either. Nor the Great Falls of the Passaic, which is ridiculous since I drive within a few hundred feet of it all the time.

      • Both the Stadium and the Falls are absolute must sees (and basically within 5 minutes walk of each other). I was in the same boat–had been driving by Paterson for years and didn’t even know the Falls were there until the National Park was established. Do yourself a favor and make a stop for something incredibly unique on the East Coast–historically significant natural beauty.

    • If you read the article, it’s framed as restrictions on government speech, not individual speech. So anybody can still show up for games wearing whatever they want, but government-funded scoreboards can’t use those team names. (Whether this is actually possible within the constraints of operating agreements I have no idea.)

      • And how long do you think it will take for Descheenie and his fellow fascists to come up with restrictions on individuals or companies that sell things that Indian tribes think are demeaning (and we know he isn’t going to allow the many Indians who think they aren’t demeaning make that decision).

  2. The USL wants to become the US version of England lower divisions. Success stories of teams is creating long line of non billionaires trying to get in on the ground floor.

    • Ground floor of what? Without promotion and relegation, USL owners aren’t even in the same building. (Though I suppose a USL team could be seen as proof of concept when applying to buy an MLS franchise.)

        • Perhaps Orlando City is the Americans version of promotion. FCC & Sacramento are also in line for promotion. People who want the exact copy of England will never be happy.

          • My point is that “Let’s buy a USL team and hope to get rich when it ends up in MLS” doesn’t work. It’s more “Let’s buy a USL team and hope to get MLS’s attention, then maybe they’ll let us spend $150 million on one of their teams!”

            It doesn’t work all that well if you’re a non-billionaire, really.

          • Yes, that’s correct with the guys trying to set up in current MLS metro areas. Teams show their hands if they’re trying to build a 20k seat stadium.

          • American sports owners might be interested in promotion, but 0% like relegation. Won’t happen.

          • In December a friend told me that he planned on buying Bitcoin, I talked him out of it. Feeling somewhat intelligent so I will take a guess that Cincy buying vacant lots for housing from the Cincy housing authority is part of deal to get Cincy public schools to sell a West End stadium site to FCC. Don’t know why, but ownership might prefer West End over Oakley to get MLS approval.

  3. “I didn’t even know there was a surviving Negro League baseball stadium in Hamtramck, Michigan, let alone that there was a cricket pitch on it.”

    Hamtramck is either majority Muslim or close to it. The existence of a Negro League stadium there might be a surprise; conversion of it to a cricket field … not so much.

  4. ‘Gary’s total and undying loyalty to Arizona is admirable, yet baffling. The location of the arena remains a key point in why this franchise has yet to succeed. Add in a lack of playoff appearances, and the current overall poor performance of the team, and you have to wonder if this franchise will ever succeed. But Bettman has always been a believer. However, you have to wonder if the financial drain the Coyotes have been (both from a revenue sharing perspective and an overall debt service perspective) will finally push the commissioner into the camp of those who have said enough is enough, and move the team.’

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/shouldnt-expect-bettman-slow-anytime-soon/

    • I suspect he will never “give up” on Phoenix. The next commissioner will be left with that duty.

      The location of the arena does not help, but it isn’t the major reason the Coyotes are a failed business. There have never been enough fans in the Metro area willing to even watch the team on tv, much less buy tickets at NHL prices.

      This club has been in Phx for 22 years. Previous clubs have plied their trade in Phx since the 1960s. It’s no longer a new attraction trying to build a fanbase.

  5. Maybe some leftover slush funds from The “Clinton Foundation” would be able to pay for all of the stadiums and stadium repairs that are in the queue.

      • They must be in on the big conspiracy, I guess.

        Isn’t that how it works these days? Anyone who disagrees with your position on anything automatically knows that you are part of the conspiracy.

  6. That article on Golden 1 seems like it was written based on projections, not the actual flow of money. It only had 134 event-days in its first 12 months of operations, and in the second year, business is poised to drop about 10% from there. They based its success on a minimum of 120 nights a year, with a certain average attendance, and with a certain average spending per person. In its second year, they’ll be alarmingly close to 120 nights per year.

    I don’t see where this report talks about this at all. I want to see the actual performance, not the projections. Projections are utterly meaningless.

    Also, how’s business doing near the old arena site?

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