Friday roundup: The Case of the Dead Beer-Tap Inventor, and Other Stories

This was the week that was:

  • The Denver Broncos are finding it slow going getting a new naming rights sponsor for their stadium because a used stadium name loses lots of its value, thanks to everyone still calling it by the old name. Yes, this is yet another reason why teams demand new stadiums when the old ones are barely out of the cellophane.
  • Here’s a Los Angeles Times article arguing that if rich sports team owners are granted permission to evade environmental review laws, small business owners should be too. I am not entirely sure this is the best lesson to take from this, guys.
  • Pennsylvania is preparing to legalize sports gambling, and the owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates think it would be great if the state imposed a gambling fee and gave some of the money to them, the only surprising part here being that they actually said this out loud.
  • F.C. Cincinnati‘s ownership group is preparing upgrades to Nippert Stadium as the team’s temporary home while a new stadium is built, and “isn’t concerned by the cost,” according to WCPO. Yes, these are the same owners who said they couldn’t possibly build a new stadium without $63.8 million in public money. Also who said Nippert Stadium couldn’t possibly be made acceptable as an MLS venue. I’m done now.
  • Fredericksburg, Virginia has scheduled a July 10 vote on whether to build a new $35 million stadium for the single-A Potomac Nationals, and paying off the city’s costs by siphoning off property, admissions, sales, meal, personal property, and business license taxes paid at the stadium and handing them over to the team. I guess that would make it a PASMPPBLTIF?
  • And finally, a man found dead in a walk-in beer cooler in the Atlanta Braves‘ new stadium turns out to have been there to install a revolutionary new fast-pour beer tap he’d invented, and no one yet knows how he died. This is going to be the best season of True Detective yet! (No, seriously, this is a tragedy for the man and his family, and I hope that everyone involved soon finds closure, at least, by determining the true facts of what happened. But also, no, I’m not going to go back and delete the joke. If this makes me a monster, at least I’m an appropriately social-media-driven monster.)

22 comments on “Friday roundup: The Case of the Dead Beer-Tap Inventor, and Other Stories

  1. If you cannot laugh a little bit at death you don’t have your head screwed on right. The world, and particularly random internet blogs don’t need to be treated like a funeral service.

    And frankly even most funeral services would be wildly improved by some more jokes and lighthearted attitude towards death and the fleetingness of life.

  2. I know this isn’t sports-related, but the size of the subsidy FoxConn received from Wisconsin is absolutely stunning. If I heard it correctly, Wisconsin will pay FoxConn $250M per year to move there, a subsidy of $1,200 per resident, per year, for 13,000 jobs (or 15,000, depending on the news source).

    I can’t imagine this ever paying off. I think the break-even year is estimated to be 2043.

    Clearly, sports teams have demanded far too little. This is easily the most expensive job-creation program I’ve ever heard of. I think the reports estimated the State would make $181M in new revenues from this project, so they’ll have a deficit of $69M per year. This is supposed to attract new companies to Wisconsin, but won’t they just demand the same level of subsidy?

    • On FoxConn:

      https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/news/releases/good-jobs-first-statement-foxconn-groundbreaking-southeast-wisconsin

      • Thanks for that link. This is the third largest subsidy, then. It would be interesting to see how the top 10 have done.

        • Are you upset about me joking about the death at Suntrust Park, or are you a really big FoxConn fan?

    • Well a lot of these types of deals generally run in the $10k per job range. But that is generally one time, not ongoing.

      Then again often the jobs never materialize anyway, so the cost per job is near infinite!

      I will never forget when Northwest Airlines sucked MN dry for a couple hundred million for various facilities in exchange for jobs promises, didn’t provide the jobs, and then used that subsidy to make sure shareholders got a nice payday.

      Honestly the whole field of “economic development” is more scam and charlatans coming up with new and exciting ways to spend other people’s money on bullshit, than it is sound economic fundamentals. The “industry” should be ashamed of itself.

      • Frisco, TX paid around $130,000,000 for Jerry Jones to bring his team HQ to town. Most estimates say the team employs 200-240 people. Say them employ 195. That means the City spent 130,000,000/195 = 666,666.666666 per job, a number that seems wholly appropriate when Jerry Jones is in the discussion.

        • This would be $246,667 per job created, so, per person, Frisco “wins.” On the other hand, the Wisconsin “investment” is 28 times as large.

        • By the way, I think the arena in Sacramento has probably created zero new jobs. Sure, some jobs moved south, and some were created around the arena. But the new jobs around the new arena are offset by job losses near the old one. I still think Golden 1 Center is pretty far up this list, too.

      • If a development is economically viable, it happens absent subsidy. If it is not viable, why would anyone in their right mind subsidize it? The entire field of public subsidy for private business is based on the exact opposite of capitalism, and yet is lauded by apparent titans of the system as “necessary”.

        There is absolutely no difference between the Soviet gov’t paying a tractor company to build tractors no-one wants to buy and the US gov’t forcing taxpayers to pay GM to make cars no-one wants to buy.

  3. You’re not a momister, you’re a fucking asshole. Love your blog but I’m done now. A man died you piece of shit. Jerk off to some other stadium story.

    • This is the first time you’ve ever commented here (aside from the “piece of shit” comment above under a different name but same IP address), so I doubt you love my blog all that much. All the same, I’m sorry you feel that way.

  4. That Potomac Nationals story saddens me. Seems silly to demand state of the art stadiums for Single A and that they could easily re-renovate the current stadium they play at for much cheaper.

    Happy 4th of July to ya.

    • And it’s amusing that the team owner claims to expect current fans to be willing to travel to the new stadium. Because 30 miles on I-95 anywhere in Virginia is such a pleasant drive. It’s possible that Greater Fredericksburg will provide sufficient support for the team, but they will be starting from scratch.

  5. Not only will everyone forever call the Broncos stadium “Mile High” but they are also contending with the fact the last TWO naming sponsors promptly went out of business. Sports Authority was the most recent but Invesco bombed out just prior to that.

  6. After all the horror stories over the years from the previous stadium funding fiascoes, could someone explain to me how Cincinnati area politicians get away with throwing huge amounts of money on sports teams when the jurisdictions seem to be revenue challenged? This is clearly collusion between both the voters and politicians to let this type of stuff go on. Even the Glendale people seemed to have finally wised up, but there Cincinnati remains — a beacon to sports profligacy.