Friday roundup: More Raiders temporary home rumors, more MLB expansion rumors, and pro cricket (?!?) in Texas

Was this week longer than usual, or did it just feel that way? The number of browser tabs I have open indicates the former — personally, I blame the moon.

  • Or maybe the Oakland Raiders will play in Arizona next year? When you have a lame-duck team whose new stadium in its new city isn’t ready yet, no idea is dumber than any other, really.
  • The University of Texas is reportedly building a new $300 million basketball arena at no cost to the state or the university, though if you read the fine print it’s actually getting Oak View Group (the same people behind Seattle’s arena rebuild) to build the arena in exchange for letting OVG keep a large chunk of future arena revenues. So really this is no different from UT building the arena themselves and using future revenues to pay off the construction costs, except I guess that OVG takes on the risk of cost overruns. Anyway, this is a good reminder that it’s not just about the costs, it’s about the revenues, stupid.
  • Las Vegas wants an MLB expansion team. It shouldn’t hold its breath.
  • There are lots of ideas for what to do with D.C.’s RFK Stadium site, and not all of them involve a stadium for Washington’s NFL team.
  • Queens community groups are protesting possible plans to build a soccer stadium for a would-be USL team called Queensboro F.C. on the Willets Point site cleared of businesses for redevelopment (including affordable housing) several years ago. This is a super-weird story that I’m still trying to get to the bottom of, so stay tuned for a more in-depth update soon.
  • Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk now says he’d consider letting someone else own his team’s proposed downtown arena if they’d pay to build it, contradicting what he said two years ago. Here’s a fun list of other times Melnyk contradicted himself!
  • Lots of public meetings coming up in Phoenix on the much-derided $230 million Suns arena renovation plan. The city has also posted the actual arena proposal, which among other things notes that the Suns’ rent is projected to go up from $1.5 million to $4 million a year in a renovated arena, which would help offset some of the public’s $168 million in costs, though it doesn’t say whether the rent (which is based on revenues) would go up in an unrenovated arena as well, so really this wouldn’t offset it all that much.
  • Speaking of the Suns, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that “it’d be a failure on my part if a team ended up moving out of a market.” Now that’s how you play the army protection racket non-threat threat game! Rob Manfred, take notes. (Actually, please don’t.)
  • And speaking of Manfred, MLB is reportedly considering letting teams take control of their streaming broadcast rights instead of running them all centrally through MLB.tv, which would be a huge deal in that it would allow teams in large markets to monopolize streaming revenue like they currently do TV revenue, forestalling an NFL-like future where TV money is a more level playing field. They could offset this through increased revenue-sharing, sure, but … you know what, let’s table this discussion until there’s more than an unsourced New York Post item to go on.
  • Allen, Texas, is talking about building a pro cricket stadium via a “public-private partnership,” leaving me with two big questions: 1) how much is the public kicking in, and 2) maybe would it be a good idea to wait until a pro cricket league actually exists before building a stadium for it to play in?
  • The Athletic has a strangely formatted article about how finished MLS stadiums seldom look like their renderings that’s a fun read if you’re an Athletic subscriber, which you probably aren’t. (I got the $1-for-90-days trial deal, so I can keep tantalizing you with paywalled stuff for another few weeks yet.)

16 comments on “Friday roundup: More Raiders temporary home rumors, more MLB expansion rumors, and pro cricket (?!?) in Texas

  1. Sources: Arizona Coyotes ownership change is imminent

    http://arizonasports.com/story/1778038/sources-arizona-coyotes-ownership-change-is-imminent/

  2. Melnyk’s group appears to have greater problems than his idiotic $700m lawsuit against his former partners (and their much less idiotic $1Bn countersuit). The NCC terminated their agreement with the LeBreton group yesterday according to TSN, meaning that neither group presently has any agreement or right of first refusal etc on development of the site…. which is a major loss for Trinity assuming they do not have a backup plan ready to go (I assume they do, but who knows…)

    This is one reason why Trinity’s countersuit seems of more substance than Melnyk’s… His group essentially refused to come to the table and their lawsuit effectively poisoned the well for Trinity and their accompanying development also.

    It will be up to the courts to decide (if either suit gets that far) which has merit, but one can certainly say with confidence that Melnyk’s CSMI group actions caused significant harm/damage to Trinity’s plans (which could have gone ahead with or without an arena which Melnyk is either unwilling or unable to pay for). Not so sure that CSMI can make the alternate case, honestly.

    Billionaires battling in court. Better tv than the NHL any day…

  3. I feel bad for the now Vegas Aviators. They finally get a new stadium only to now deal with rumors of major competition.

    Happy holidays & new year to ya.

  4. Not mentioned here but inklings of Raiders plating at AT&T Park. I’d rather see the place catch on fire and collapse into the bay than see the ****ing Raiders set a single cleat on that field.

    • It was in one of the linked articles, but yes… I’d have to think that the Giants aren’t going to be all that interested in playing landlord to the Raiders.

      They weren’t very happy with the XFL team playing there years ago (SF Demons?), and you just know this would be worse…

  5. And a hearty Merry Christmas to everyone from Tottenham Hotspur Football Club:

    www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/22/london-streets-too-dirty-claim-super-rich-spurs

    With behaviour like this, they’ll be on Reinsdorf’s radar in no time…

    • I read that. The neighborhood isn’t very grand, to say the least—and a tough place to get to.

      Not very sharp to be doing this negotiating AFTER building a big stadium. What are they going to do…move?

      • Neil: It has nothing to do with flies…

        In England dumps are often called tips. So fly-tipping, or tipping on the fly, is dumping your garbage/trash/rubbish somewhere non-sanctioned (IE: not a garbage dump) and running away (hopefully without being noticed). It is unlikely this is what is happening around WHL on matchdays or otherwise, but clearly Levy is looking for anyone and anything else to blame here.

        GDub: Yeah. It’s somehow news to Levy and co that the area around the former WHL isn’t beautiful? And even at that, how does any of this make it the borough/city’s problem to remedy (at least with respect to rubbish generated at or near games)?

        Still, he wouldn’t be the first rich dude to overspend on a new palace in a run down area and then complain that his neighbours should be forced to do something about their properties…

        Many PL clubs have purchased the properties near their grounds for commercial redevelopment. I think both LFC and Spurs had difficulty gaining control of all the property they wanted, so perhaps this is a new salvo in that particular war….

        • It was nice for Spurs to stick to their neighborhood after giving the Olympic Stadium a go–I’m sure there were commercial considerations along with the sentimentality.

          The most striking thing about the neighborhood is how run down it is. Not a slum (maybe by British standards), but just not very attractive. Very little in the way of amenities or anything to do. The stadium, as a relic of Victorian architecture, barely fit into it…hard to imagine a more modern stadium doing so. Most challenging of all is the transport–no underground close by, just commuter rail, which while nice enough limits the ability of the neighborhood to be radically changed. (my memory of Spurs is lots of people lining up for a train home, politely of course, and a horrific stadium with seats close to the field, and posts too).

          In a market as hot as London, anything can work, but it seems like Spurs have a tougher road ahead than the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham, and even West Ham with property with better transport links. But at least they have a nice club shop.

          • Agreed. It’s possible Levy knows about something coming down the pipe that will help this (IE: upgraded transit links etc), but plopping a £1Bn spaceship down just south of the N Circular was never going to be a good fit. It’s a bit dubious that major transit improvements will come anytime soon as there isn’t much undeveloped land in that area that would require/accommodate it. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time something like this was the “catalyst” for massive compulsory purchase, demolition and rebuilding would it?

            Only Levy, his partner and their friends in Gov’t can truly know…

            RE: West Ham… it’s the long game again isn’t it? They’ve alienated some of their old fan base by moving (well, and through general appalling management)… long term though, you wonder if they won’t find a more affluent fan base they can bring in from their new area?

            In the end, even in football mad Britain, paying fans are just a commodity to be exploited.

          • PS: Question GDub:

            Do you recall any discussion about Spurs looking at the former willoughby gasworks site? I’ve always thought it would have been a much better location for them, right on the rail line and adjacent to the N. Circular… still very much in their area but a much easier site to deal with.

  6. I’d like to suggest that the new Allen pro criquet team be named the Crickets, since that’s the ‘sounds of’ you will hear in the stands of an American stadium during a criquet match.

  7. The Texas Basketball deal looks solid. The State off loads the risk of cost overruns, as there always are, while giving up a chunk of the upside, still very good for a non profit university given the uncertain economic times. Can’t have it both ways. Let them use the $300 million for their true mission, educating students.

    Just don’t do it for their football team. A gold mine.