Running late on the roundup this week — I just published two new articles on the wastefulness of film tax credits and New York’s probably fruitless attempts to fight off sea level rise, plus I have another major writing deadline today — so let’s get to it:
- Jacksonville Jaguars president Mark Lamping declared that the team’s stadium is “a candidate for major renovations,” which led Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to respond with this remarkable statement: “I am not the expert on entertainment and sports stadiums, so whatever the organization thinks is going to be best for that district — for fans and best for taxpayers.” That’s not exactly grammatical English, but it seems to imply I don’t know nothing ’bout no sports stadiums, these guys are the experts so I guess let’s give them what they want, which is incredible even on the very low bar set by American mayors.
- Wondering how the Golden State Warriors owners are going to pay back the cost of their $1 billion San Francisco arena opening in the fall? How about luxury suites that rent for $2 million a year? That’s $50,000 to watch a single Warriors game with a bunch of your friends, plus a “video wall” so you can watch the game on TV if you don’t want to look at the actual court, and a butler to bring you wine from your personal wine cellar during the game. In case you were wondering: Yes, rich people in the U.S. are officially too rich now.
- David Beckham and Jorge Mas’s Inter Miami has hired Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s son as a lobbyist for their Melreese Park stadium project, but says since his dad is the county mayor and he’ll only be lobbying the city, this isn’t a conflict of interest at all. (Write your own Florida Man headlines.)
- When the AAF went bankrupt this month, it stiffed its Phoenix franchise’s landlord, Arizona State University, on $1.2 million in rent. I swear, if I were a stadium operator dealing with a sports league that hadn’t played a game yet, I would demand payment in advance.
- There’s a bill in the Texas legislature to allow other taxing jurisdictions to override city decisions to exempt buildings from property taxes, and Austin F.C. owner Anthony Precourt is mad because he doesn’t wanna pay property taxes: Precourt Sports Ventures President Dave Greeley told a state hearing Tuesday that the bill would “jeopardize the viability of Austin F.C.” Yeah, you don’t want to risk the team pulling up its barely-planted stakes and going back to Columbus … okay, it’s actually too late for that, but you don’t wanna make Tony mad, you won’t like him when he’s mad, okay?
- Oakland’s maritime industry is upset that a new waterfront A’s stadium could interfere with their business, but Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf says it can all be worked out. I’m not enough of a maritime shipping expert to say who’s right, but suffice to say that we’ve seen from the Seattle arena experience that dockworkers are not someone you want to have as an enemy.
- Speaking of Seattle, the Key Arena remodeling will now cost between $900 million and $930 million and won’t be completed until summer 2021, in case you had spring 2021 in the betting pool.
- New rugby stadium opening in Houston! I bet the roller derby and ultimate frisbee leagues are wondering when it’s going to be their turn to get buildings designed just for their sports. (Over/under at this rate: 2025, right after the opening of the first Minecraft stadium.)