Friday roundup: Sacramento soccer subsidies, Fire could return to Chicago, and a giant mirrored basketball

Did I actually write a couple of days ago that this was looking like a slow news week? The stadium news gods clearly heard me, and when they make it rain news, they make it pour:

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15 comments on “Friday roundup: Sacramento soccer subsidies, Fire could return to Chicago, and a giant mirrored basketball

  1. I don’t see why they are saying there is scant commercial development around Seat Geek stadium. There is a Circle K that opened there thanks to the stadium as well as a parking area for suburban Pace buses. They are now putting the finish touches on what appears to be a hotel and a group of stores that look vacant.

    1. Help us out here, which one is Seat Geek? Usually just city/league is good way to identify these things.

  2. That article does a good job of pointing out problems with the Bridgeview, but it doesn’t really prove that moving back downtown is the solution. Soldier Field was great for fans, (location and public transit) but had problems for the team. Little if any money from concessions, naming rights or parking.
    And scheduling conflicts with early season Bears games.
    Not sure if 20,000 fans at Soldier Field generate more revenue than 10,000 fans in Bridgview. ($20 to park with no realistic alternative lots or transport is a great revenue start for the team)

    1. Probably banking on 30 to 40 thousand fans as a target. The Soccer Specific Stadium thing was always just a white elephant waiting to happen. The idea came of desperation for league survival in the ’00s, when the league was trying to ‘break even’ drawing 15,000 to 20,000 fans on a $3 million hard cap, but was always shortsighted.

      1. Soccer-specific stadiums are more about having a stadium where the MLS team controls the revenues than anything else.

    2. 10,000 at Bridgeview?

      I’ve watched a couple of Fire home games (televised) and I would bet there were no more than 4,000 fans in the stadium at any point during either game. The off side (from camera) and behind goal stands combined had a total that would have been in the hundreds, not thousands. The main stand obviously had more people in, but still…

      I’ve no idea if this is the case throughout the season (I know attendance is awful in Sept/Oct as well, but maybe it picks up some in summer?), but this is not a sustainable model.

      I guess the question is, can the ownership afford the buyout fee in order to get back to the lakefront? Would there be enough revenue at Soldier field to make it worthwhile buying out this lease if they could do so?

  3. “I don’t think any cities had begun building or renovating venues specifically for these leagues”

    No, but reportedly the University of Central Florida let the AAF do a “bill me later” and are now out $1 million. Startup league and they got NOTHING upfront for the stadium rental?! The business ineptitude on all sides of the AAF is just staggering.

    1. Agreed. I’ve no idea what the principals behind the league were thinking… the first item on any prospective “new league” owner/founder’s list has got to be “Do we have enough capital/guaranteed revenue to make it through five seasons even if nobody buys tickets?”

      If the answer to that question is no, then you are wasting whatever capital you do have.

      I have respect for Polian, so I’m more than a little surprised that he was involved in this. The team names and uniforms looked like they were selected by a grade 3 class. There was not enough money to get through even one season let alone five… and some of the things they did spend money on were not items a ‘new’ league actually needed to have (instant replay etc)

      Makes me wonder if the prime motivation for starting this league was that “if we don’t do it now Vince McMahon is going to next year so…”

      Very very sad. For the players, the creditors and the tv partners too.

  4. “because that’s just how redevelopment works in a world where people with more money can move in and push you out as soon as you have nice things”

    It is just a market. People in high demand areas need to leave for lower demand areas if they cannot afford where they live. There is nothing crazy about that. No one has some particular right to live on some particular piece of land. Particularly if they cannot actually afford it. I never understand why people thing others should be free to choose to live wherever they like.

    It is like society owes people a castle if they like! Or a Lamborghini!

    1. “No one has some particular right to live on some particular piece of land.”

      Or to put it more accurately: “Whoever has more money to spend gets the right to live on a particular piece of land.”

    2. Juvenal: You might find the people who owned condos where Atlantic Yards now sits or the folks who owned property where the Atlanta Olympic stadium was built or the Angelinos who owned small holding farms in Chavez Ravine take issue with what you say.

      In many cases those were owners, not tenants or squatters. They never actually got the new social housing they were promised in the latter two cases. And I’m not sure if the Brooklynites were able to replace what they lost with the money they were paid either.

      We aren’t talking about entitlement or free stuff here. We are talking about rich people being able to take the homes of others just because they own politicians and officials.

      If they had just bid so much for these lands that the (poor) owners couldn’t say no, that’s business. When the city and state governments are used to evict the homeowners for less than FMV, it’s something entirely different.

      And in those cases, “those people” apparently do have some sort of divine right to live on the land that someone else presently owns without paying FMV for it.

      1. Well no one is going to come out for political graft or broken promises. Obviously people making deals should honor them, and politicians shouldn’t be acting against the wishes of their constituents in service of bribes or other benefits.

        But yes Neil allocating things like housing according to ability to pay is absolutely the most efficient way we have of doing it. And no more money does not create “a right”. Generally people don’t have to sell if they don’t want to. Happens 10,000 times a day around the country. You are free to turn down more money for your land if you would rather have the land than the money in the vast majority of cases.

        Most of the people who complain about gentrification aren’t owners anyway. They are people who are just mad they can’t have whatever increases services the area is experiencing when those devices drive rents up.

        Life is tough.

  5. Does the demise of the Ohio Machine mean that the pro lacrosse stadium proposed for somewhere else at some ridiculous cost is more or less likely to ever happen?

    Logic would suggest not.
    But then, it’s just a matter of time until someone “proves” that the reason the Machine folded is because a $15m stadium is just not enough so taxpayers have to spend at least $200m on lacrosse stadia or they are, you know, just wasting their money…

  6. Different day, same nonsense.

    A sale, once thought to be close earlier in the season, as I had been told and reported, is not imminent and there doesn’t seem to be much significant traction.

    One positive: there are two legitimate groups interested in purchasing the Coyotes, with a third rumoured to be in the mix. The debt inquired by current owner Andrew Barroway, however, is one major obstacle. The other: A new building. But a new building won’t happen until a new owner/ownership group is on board.

    1. Now, there is steam! (or is it really just another desert mirage?)

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