Friday roundup: Lotsa new vaportecture renderings, lotsa new crazy expensive bridges

I’m traveling this week and next, so there will likely be some weird scheduling changes for posts, such as this Friday roundup appearing close to noon Eastern time. (I think. I’m not entirely sure what time it is here or anywhere, just that it’s hot, which doesn’t narrow it down much because it’s hot everywhere.) The news watch never stops, though, so here’s a somewhat abridged week of highlights:

  • New Los Angeles Clippers arena renderings! This vaportecture is honestly all starting to look more or less alike to me, though what appears to be a transparent roof on an arena is novel — the article refers to “indoor/outdoor ‘sky gardens,'” though, so maybe this is those, whatever those are. (Gardens open to the sky? Wouldn’t that be … “gardens”?) Anyway, constantly releasing renderings is a great way to show people that you absolutely are going to be able to build an arena, despite any lawsuits trying to block it, because everyone knows cartoons always come true.
  • And on the other side of the pond, Everton has released its own stadium renderings, with more lens flare and balloons and promises that 1.4 million more people will visit Liverpool just by Everton moving into a new stadium. (The balloons are probably the least fanciful of these predictions.)
  • Norman Oder has a long analysis of the New York Islanders Belmont Park arena plan laying out all the remaining questions about the project, from the value of land and tax breaks to how exactly the state expects a Belmont arena to host sports and concerts without cannibalizing shows from the nearby Nassau Coliseum. (Not that it should matter to the state if the Coliseum loses business, but if shows are just relocated, they’re not new economic activity. For that matter, if Long Islanders just go to more shows and fewer restaurants, say, that’s also not new economic activity. So very many questions.)
  • Dodger Stadium is getting a $100 million facelift this offseason, including a new centerfield plaza, new elevators and bridges for fan circulation, and a statue of Sandy Koufax. A hundred million dollars seems like a lot for that, but it’s Magic Johnson‘s stadium and his money, so whatever floats his boat.
  • And finally, the cost of the Atlanta Falcons‘ pedestrian bridge has now surpassed $33 million. up $6 million from the last accounting. On second thought, maybe $100 million for some bridges and a statue isn’t that crazy at all.
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15 comments on “Friday roundup: Lotsa new vaportecture renderings, lotsa new crazy expensive bridges

  1. The Clippers say its transformative and impressive a place for Clipper Nation to gather. Looks like a Pringles Potato Chip to me. YMMV

  2. My guess on cannibalizing the Coliseum is that the state plans to argue that every concert that comes to the new arena is one that would not have gone to the coliseum or any other of the 75268 arenas in the state of New York had not the 75269th been built. Lol

  3. The big news this week is that the Rays met with St. Pete on the Montreal plan. Both parties stayed mum on the meeting. Yup, the Expos will be back in ’22

    1. Link to that story? I’m only seeing reports of the Rays execs meeting with Mayor Kriseman.

      Also, regardless of who’s meeting with whom, it’s going to be tough for the Expos to be back in ’22, since Sternberg would need to reach a buyout settlement with St. Pete, and do it soon.

      1. https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/07/23/tampa-bay-rays-st-petersburg-leaders-to-meet-today-for-first-time-since-montreal-announcement/

        1. Oh, I misread your initial comment – yes, we saw the same article. Still, it explicitly says they did not discuss the Montreal plan, so…

          1. If both parties stay silent over the next couple months but confirm they are meeting, you would think it would be discussing relocating the team. Especially if nothing is proposed in St. Pete or Tampa

          2. That’s a big leap from “we met, but didn’t talk about Montreal.” Not saying it couldn’t happen, but it doesn’t seem any closer today than it did last week.

            Also, let’s not forget that Sternberg would need a stadium in Montreal, which no one as yet has proposed how to pay for.

          3. Aren’t the Rays still contractually prohibited from talking to anyone about playing games anywhere other than their current location?

            Maybe they were discussing promotion plans for 2028….

      2. Neil,
        I know one thing. I don’t know about you but I didn’t see this crazy Montreal/Tampa scheme coming. If you put the things we do know together, well, just expect the unexpected

  4. The sad thing about the Coliseum potentially losing business to a Belmont Arena is that Cuomo could of gotten the Sound Tigers to Uniondale if he tried.

    What was more important to the Islanders. The Sound Tigers in Bridgeport or that Belmont LIRR train station?

    Happy Friday to ya.

  5. The arbitrary decision by the Oklahoman journalist Berry Tramel to limit his consideration of venerable old sports facilities to the “three major leagues” unnecessarily excludes one of the other great success stories, Portland’s Providence Park. Built in 1926, it is much older than either Dodger Stadium or Lambeau Field, and with the completion of its recent renovation/expansion (privately funded I might add) is allowing attendance records for both the Timbers and Thorns to be broken in two leagues. This type of use and reuse should be recognized more broadly, as it proves wrong those who argue that old facilities have to be rebuilt in order to remain viable.

  6. That Atlanta pedestrian bridge just boggles the mind. $33 million and counting for a short little footbridge that’s really only going to be used 8-10 times a year. It’s emblematic of just how ridiculous the stadium scam has become. A functional but austere footbridge could have been built for far less, and it would probably already be complete, but because it’s a stadium amenity it has to be an overengineered luxury architectural showpiece. And it leads to a $1.2 billion stadium with a ridiculous novel retractable roof that has never worked well and artificial turf that has to be replaced biennially (so why even have the opening roof?). If these things are going to be built with public funds, they should at least be built favoring function over aesthetics; improvements over the comfort and appearance of the old ’60s donuts are fine, but there’s no need for gigantic video walls and iris roofs. I forget which stadium it was but I recently read something about one of the newer stadiums touting that it had hundreds of HD video screens, over half of which weren’t even in publicly accessible areas. We’re not even spending tax dollars on a place for them to play anymore, now it’s basically building an experimental mansion for the owner.

    1. Not to mention that the stadium the bridge leads to replaced an “iconic” venue that was only 25 years old when demolished. Atlantans apparently love wasting money.

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