Friday roundup: Vegas MLB rumors, North American soccer superleague rumors, and everything just costs untold billions of dollars now, get used to it

I published two long articles yesterday — one on sports stadium and arena deals that haven’t sucked too badly, one on a particular non-sports subsidy deal that looks to be sucking pretty hard — so I wasn’t able to post anything here, despite a couple of news items that might have warranted their own FoS posts. But as the saying goes, Thursday omissions bring a shower of Friday news briefs (please don’t tell me that’s not a saying, because it is now), so let’s dig in:

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26 comments on “Friday roundup: Vegas MLB rumors, North American soccer superleague rumors, and everything just costs untold billions of dollars now, get used to it

  1. Not really stadium related, but I am going to die if las vegas gets an mlb team before montreal gets a team back. what a nightmare.

    1. Montreal will never get a team unless 100% of stadium paid by taxpayers and a government guarantee season tickets cluase by the city. Only reason the Toronto team is still around is because of Rogers Media. If they’re ever successful in unloading the team things will head south real quick.

      1. Why do you say that? Toronto is a massive TV market, even if you take into account the exchange rate.

        1. Your right, huge market and plenty of fans. I just feel that there wasn’t a lot of interest in the team until Rogers ownership. If Rogers sells that interest will head south. They just had one of biggest attendance drops in baseball. Bullet proof franchise doesn’t experience such swings. Also trends in Canada don’t favor baseball. If Canadian cities spend on teams like in the USA it will be to keep the NHL alive and not baseball.

          1. You can ‘feel’ that if you want, Steven, but the Jays were the first team to draw 4 million fans – and that was long before Rogers owned the club.

            You keep throwing out these ridiculous “facts” without backing any of them up… From demographic changes in Miami to no support for baseball in Toronto… how about some facts to support those claims?

            Yes, the Jays just had a big dropoff in attendance this year. That’s what happens when you go from two playoff appearances to bungling negotiations with all three of your best free agents to pulling an offer from the another after three days – leaving him to sign with a league rival for less money than you were offering, and ultimately to mishandling the inevitable fire sale of the remaining roster when you realize you have burned the franchise to the ground and are 30 games out of first place with 3 weeks to go in the season.

            Shapiro and Adkins have completely mismanaged this organization. The one (and only) bright spot is that they have managed to acquire and keep some solid prospects. The major league team is a dumpster fire and most of that is through their own meddling.

            And yes, good markets do suffer attendance collapse when the team is horrifically mismanaged… witness the Los Angeles Dodgers under the McCourts… where we saw attendances as low as 4,500 fans at one stage.

            Watch any Orioles game when they aren’t a playoff contender (which is nearly always the past 20 years). It’s friends and family in the stands, literally. The Braves routinely fail to sell out even when they are good.

            The list goes on… plummeting MLB attendance when a team is not competitive is the rule rather than the exception. There are only a handful of teams (5-6 that I can think of) where 40-50k show up to watch a 55 win team in September.

          2. Fair enough,, I could be 100% wrong if Rogers sells the team they might become the Cubs or the Braves after TBS sold. But demo’s do include more than race and trends do indeed have to be considered.

  2. In the old college tuition statement they used to include a thing called a Student Entertainment Fee. It was used to pay for concerts and other outside acts. It was basically the school saying, there’s no way this market can support a Blue Oyster Cult concert, but if the school covers some of the costs, BOC will come to our hick town. Instead of mixing sports costs with the general revenue, cities should do this. Say, “look Columbus, this city is too small for and an NHL team, but if we all want pay a City Sports Fee, we can have one, and maybe a BOC concert as well.” And don’t fear the reaper.

    1. Excellent point Cal.

      Dedicated levies are a very good way for communities to both attract ‘events’ or the like and to let the taxpayers know exactly what all this is costing them.

      When everything gets rolled into the municipal tax base these costs have a tendency to run away on (often negligent) administrations… it becomes a “fixed cost” when that is the last thing that wants (as opposed to needs) should be.

  3. From what I have read Pittsburgh and another city in Ohio have a 5% fee that provides enough for the arts. The reason it’s 7% in Columbus is to funnel renovation money to an arena that has become the Miami Marlins of Columbus. The biggest push back is coming from the Artists that would benefit from the tax. Fact is this tax is basically a done deal to make it this far. In the meantime Fools wonder why the Crew need to relocate.

  4. A North American super league would require awful travel schedules. That Montreal-Guadalajara or Seattle-Club America matches would be brutal.

    1. The flight times are not bad, all less than 6 hours. The idea is what’s bad. The leagues have little in common. Few crossover fans. Very little potential for regional rivals. Widely varying currencies and costs/standards of living. Reminds me of the Sears/Kmart merger. It makes as much since as an MLS NASCAR merger.

    2. My thinking is they do a North league and south league. Also perhaps split season. With some teams never facing each other except in playoffs. Can definitely see rivalries develop with Mexican immigrant heavy US cities with Liga MX teams. I still don’t see pro/ rel. I see Liga MX happy to abandon that concept. BTW if this happens it will be a done deal before 2026.

      1. Wasn’t that the idea of Chivas USA? Didn’t go so well.

        Maybe MLS would do better to stop overdetermining the preferences of “Latinos.” We keep hearing what “they” like, want, will do, etc. We are now at 3-4 teams that failed despite the “Latino market.” Very arrogant approach by MLS.

        Rivalries are usually regional (LA-SF), intersectional big cities (NY-LA), or teams that played each other a lot in big games (Steelers-Cowboys). I don’t think folks are going to give up commercial preferences because fellow language speakers are out there.

        1. Chivas USA had a bunch of organizational issues that they inherited from Chivas. Chivas tried to run the USA branch as a farm team as well and the MLS kept interfering.

          1. MLS interfered with people attending? Just proves my point—MLS (and MLB) assume “Latinos” will instinctively behave a certain way and really don’t do much analysis. See also previous MLS efforts in Florida.

          2. The only reason MLS back in 2004 approved the Chivas expansion was to get anyone to invest in the league. The hope was to get others to invest. Basically they needed the first sale to make additional sales. It was both brilliant and stupid .

          3. I meant interfering with using Chivas USA as a farm team. The MLS limited loans, trades, etc from Chivas to Chivas USA. The fact the team was so poorly run killed what fan base was there.

  5. Yeah global warming is pretty depressing.

  6. “The Oakland Raiders promised that their stadium project in Las Vegas would provide 18,700 construction jobs”
    LOL. Those numbers came from when the Raiders were thinking the stadium would be built in a single day like an old-style barn-raising.

  7. Looks like the Browns might be buying the Crew. Didn’t see that coming. Just my opinion no facts behind it.

  8. Curious what you’ll think about the news regarding Columbus Crew, who are apparently staying after all, which I definitely did not see coming.

    #LongCon to get a better stadium.

    1. Lamar Hunt couldn’t find a local buyer, but found one willing to keep them in town for at least five years. My guess is a Tennessee business man with a Cleveland connection to public subsides won’t wait nearly as long as Hunt & Precourt.

    2. “MLS, the Columbus Partnership and the investor group all agree that for the Club to be successful in Columbus, it requires strong local partners, long-term corporate support, a strong season ticket base and long-term plans for a stadium, practice facilities and associated sites.”

      All depends on whether that’s a promise or a threat…

      1. Sounds like the that 7% tax for Nationwide bluejackets renovations won’t be the only way taxpayers get screwed in the near future.

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