Friday roundup: Buffalo saber-rattling, Edmonton parking fee shortfall, Chicago music venues go to war against soccer plans

And in other news of the week:

  • This was actually last week, but I missed it then: Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait has led the city council in voting to conduct a new appraisal of the Angel Stadium property as Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno prepares to opt out of his team’s lease next year. Councilmember Kris Murray, one of the two no votes, argued that this was tantamount to telling the Angels to leave; Tait replied that knowing how much the land was worth would be crucial to any stadium negotiations the incoming mayor will have with Moreno. The Gang of Four is going to miss Tom Tait.
  • The owners of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres have hired consultants CAA ICON and architecture firm Populous to “give us options” for renovating or replacing the teams’ existing venues. This is not necessarily the first step toward demanding new buildings, but it’s more of a step than the Pegulas have taken thus far, so certainly bears watching.
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been giving away unused tickets for free to their season ticket holders, to try to fill up the seats at their underattended games. Finally something that Los Angeles Chargers fans can point and laugh at! Both of them!
  • The $8.7 million a year that Edmonton was projecting to bring in from parking fees outside the Oilers‘ new arena turns out to be somewhat less: just $2.5 million a year, leaving the city with a roughly $57 million hole in its arena budget. City councillor Jon Dziadyk immediately leaped into action, blaming the reduced parking fees on people not wanting to drive downtown because there are too many bike lanes.
  • Hey, remember that minor-league soccer stadium a major Chicago developer wanted to build as part of a major Chicago development, originally pegged to luring Amazon to town but now with a life of its own? Turns out the whole thing would be funded by tax increment financing kickbacks, and would include three to five new concert venues to be run by the entertainment giant Live Nation that local concert venue operators say would drive their non-subsidized clubs out of business. The Chicago Tribune reports that the fledgling Chicago Independent Venue League “already had its new logo, a peregrine falcon wrapped with a snake, printed on black tee-shirts,” which honestly is going to be tough for any soccer team to top.

10 comments on “Friday roundup: Buffalo saber-rattling, Edmonton parking fee shortfall, Chicago music venues go to war against soccer plans

  1. The Edmonton parking thing has to be due in part to Uber.

    It reminds me of early 00’s home builders spending $1,500+ to wire new homes for Ethernet. By the time the home was built, people just wanted Wi-Fi.

    • Has to? Or do you just want it to?

      Explain the Uber logic re: sporting events please… are you saying that people who want to go to the game want all the hassles of driving their own car to the game (no access to taxi lanes/drop off zones, waiting in traffic) combined with all the drawbacks of taking transit (significant wait after the game for pickup, paying for passage etc)?

      Have you seen actual cases where fans take Uber to large events of any kind rather than transit or cabs? I haven’t. Since most cities put on additional transit runs for major events, Uber would seem to be uniquely disadvantaged on that front… the driver wastes a great deal of time in traffic for a very small payment.

      Major event service seems like the exact opposite of what Uber is designed for to me.

      • Ok the rate case I go to a pro sports thing (mostly if I get free tickets from a client or whatever), I have someone drop me and guest off and then lyft home. Transit is worse option if you have more money than time, and lyft is much cheaper than parking.

    • Tend to agree with Ben and Bladen’s other comment. As a season ticket holder I’ve spent maybe $20 the last 3 years on parking.

      I either park a distance away and walk – FREE!

      I take the bus – CHEAP!

      Or I park in some nearby free spots. Tough to find but they exist.

      Driving downtown has become a nightmare as I found on Thursday night. Dealing with bike lanes looking for street parking proved trying. I can imagine I might be inclined to look for a parkade next time, pay a business owner and not the city and be done with it.

  2. Edmonton’s downtown continues to be a construction debacle… this does impact the number of people willing to drive downtown (especially for weekday/night games). However, I’ve no idea why council would have expected $8.7m from parking revenues annually when the arena is very close to multiple LRT stations…

    Even people going to the old coliseum but living close to transit used to take transit… it’s just so much easier, quicker and cheaper than parking at the arena. This holds true of out of town visitors too, as most will be staying in a hotel that is on or close to transit points.

    • Because “stadium math.” Nobody with a clue ever believed they’d really make $8.7 million but when you’re staring at a $57 million shortfall you don’t want to talk about a paltry $2 million coming back from parking fees. If they weren’t amateurs they’d have claimed parking would generate $80 million and bragged the arena would be turning a profit.

      • I remember their city manager (Fairbrother) telling council, when the arena cost was pegged at $480m all in, he did not believe there would be enough revenue from the CRL or other associated revenue streams accruing to the city to cover their obligations… and that the project as then contemplated would very likely be a drain on the general fund.

        Council fired him shortly after.

      • It is really just “development math”. A huge amount of development deals of all sorts are filled with this type of garbage. It is one of the more scammy and wasteful areas of government spending, but peope would rather worry about social welfare scammers than billionaire scammers for some reason.