Friday roundup: Flames arena questions, Braves funny math, and more vaportecture renderings and videos of suite chairs than you can shake a stick at

I swear they keep making these Fridays closer and closer together:

  • Canadian economists have lots of questions about who’s going to pay for a new Calgary Flames arena, which is as should be because the city council won’t say yet how it will be paid for. And we apparently won’t know more for a while, because first the council needs to figure out who’ll be on the negotiating committee with the Flames, and it’s not even scheduled to meet until next month. I can’t be the only one thinking, “Excellent, lots of time for somebody to leak the details to the press before everything gets negotiated,” can I? Deadspin has a tips line, just saying!
  • The Atlanta Braves brought in $442 million in revenue last year, for a profit of $92 million, but blamed the team’s debt payments on their new stadium in Cobb County for not leaving enough left over to spend big on free agents. After public subsidies, the Braves owners are on the hook for less than $20 million a year in construction debt payments, plus $6 million a year in rent, so, um, yeah.
  • The latest Texas Rangers stadium renderings make the seats in the top decks look just as crappy as in the previous renderings, there are still clip-art fans with translucent heads, and the roof is open in all of them even though the whole point of the new stadium is to have air-conditioning, which won’t work if the roof is open. At least we finally get to see how fans will get to that deck suspended in midair in left field — via a brick-colonnaded walkway, of course — so we no longer have to worry about Rangers fans having to purchase jetpacks to get to their terrible seats.
  • And still more renderings, these of a USL stadium a would-be team owner wants to build in Fort Lauderdale on the site of Lockhart Stadium, the same site David Beckham has targeted as a training site for his Inter Miami MLS team. Are there spotlights pointing pointlessly into the sky? You bet! Is this, regardless of whether the USL stadium stands a chance of getting built, yet another reason to laugh at Beckham over how he can’t catch a break? Don’t you know it!
  • Here’s a video of what the chairs and shelving will look like at the new Las Vegas Raiders stadium. And here’s a picture of what the place settings will look like in the luxury suites at the new Golden State Warriors arena, but it’s just a still photo — come on, Ben Golliver, it’s 2019, don’t you know people want to see furniture in video form?
  • New York Islanders owner Jon Ledecky insists that the team’s proposed Belmont Park arena is still “on track for the 2021-22 season,” but what else is he gonna say?
  • Winnipeg will provide a total of $16.6 million in tax breaks and other operating subsidies this year to the Jets, Blue Bombers, Goldeyes, and Manitoba Moose, and bonus points to any non-Canadian who can name what sport each of those teams play. Economic Development Winnipeg CEO Dayna Spiring claimed that the public will make its money back — no, not through the taxes the teams won’t get breaks on, that’s a Wichita thing to say. Rather, Spiring said the public will earn its money back on exposure, via the value of Winnipeg’s name appearing on hockey broadcasts. Somebody please alert this Twitter account.
  • Tottenham Hotspur stadium opening update: still maybe early April! Also, it may be called Nike Stadium, or maybe not.
  • Wichita announced it planned to double down on its $75 million expense for a new minor-league baseball stadium for the relocated New Orleans Baby Cakes Triple-A franchise by also selling land around the stadium to the team owners for $1 an acre, with the mayor saying the city would make money on the $38.5 million in taxes the new development would pay over the next 20 years. This is still not how taxes work, but Wichita has since said it was putting off the land sale after Wichitans griped about the stealth subsidy, so I won’t belabor the point. For now.
  • And finally, NBA commissioner Adam Silver want to make watching basketball at home more like being at the game, via “technology.” Wait, isn’t one main problem pro sports is facing that fewer and fewer people want to go to games because it’s just as pleasant and cheaper to watch games at home on their giant hi-def TVs? I mean, no complaints here if Silver really wants to replicate the smell of Madison Square Garden in my living room, but it seems a bit, I dunno, against their business model? Unless maybe this will be some kind of premium feature you only get by subscribing to their streaming service that will be described as “Netflix for basketball,” yeah, that’s probably it.
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11 comments on “Friday roundup: Flames arena questions, Braves funny math, and more vaportecture renderings and videos of suite chairs than you can shake a stick at

  1. Just to point out…there’s netting nearly to the foul poles in “Globe Life Park 2.0.”

    Seriously, if that’s going to happen you’re bound to have a better time at a Nippon game.

    1. I take it you haven’t been to an MLB game lately? Pretty much all stadiums have extended netting now.

  2. Make watching a game at home more like being in the arena? Let me guess … the NBA is going to start charging me $12 every time I go to the kitchen for a beer and $20 for parking my car in my garage.

    1. This is pretty genius.

      Oh, I know how they’ll do it. They’ll make it so you can’t access the game feed without scanning the barcode of a recently manufactured beverage container. The official beverage of the NBA, of course

  3. I’m not an accountant so I’m not really sure what’s real income or not in financial statements companies put out. That $94 million in profit that people have been using for the Braves is the OIBDA profit. The Operating Income, however, is listed as $8 million. The difference is from “Depreciation and Amortization” of $76 million, and “Stock-based compensation” of $10 million. Are those 2 things not real costs and just accounting funny business?

    1. That’s an excellent question — depreciation is a longstanding form of bookkeeping voodoo, but I’ll see if I can figure out what’s going on here.

      I would also note, though, that $8 million in operating income is still a profit, contrary to what Liberty Media’s tweet claims.

  4. “I swear they keep making these Fridays closer and closer together…”

    You think this week is bad, next Friday actually will come sooner.

  5. As the only American who has watched more than 5 minutes of two or more CFL telecasts on espn 7, I can say, with certainty, that the Blue Bombers play some hybrid version of Arena Football* on a metric field with players apparently recruited from the Witness Protection Program*. They play a meaningless regular season, that starts in the heat of summer, which ends with just about every team making their playoffs to vie for some grey colored cup. It’s sorta a league for Canadians who won’t/can’t play hockey.

  6. Retractable roofs are a boondoggle. They’re attached to projects so the owners can appeal to as many people as possible when trying to get free money, but they never actually intend on using them in the open position because that would mean slightly inconveniencing the fat cats in their executive suites who couldn’t be bothered to deal with plebian concerns such as weather. I have yet to attend any sporting event in a retractable roof stadium where the roof was open, even on perfectly fine days. Sure there might be extra costs involved, but if the owners don’t have to pay for it anyway, why not shoot for the moon?

    1. They also allow the roof to be opened on off days so that grass will grow. Though for the cost of a retractable roof, you could probably afford to just buy all new grass fields for each home series.


    A public consultation is due to be published on four options for a new stadium / event venue for QPRFC in West London, of which one is realistic, and one has the field rising up to become the roof for concerts, exhibitions etc.

    They may wait until QPR’s form picks up to launch it though – the Rs have drawn one and lost eight of their last nine, I think.

    When it comes, expect downward-pointing searchlights, indoor fireworks, the full shebang.

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