Friday roundup: Developer dreams, MLB expansion dreams, and stadiums that only exist on your TV

Still traveling, so super-brief Friday roundup this week:

33 comments on “Friday roundup: Developer dreams, MLB expansion dreams, and stadiums that only exist on your TV

  1. Since the public funding plan in Portland is to divert player income taxes (done), and to pay for “infrastructure” upgrades (not done), I would argue that the site is critically important right now. Well that and getting a team.

  2. Neil,

    My understanding is that the Portland Diamond Project wishes to build the stadium privately. They are really only looking for infrastructure improvements. The 800 lb gorilla for them is zoning. That is what may kill the project .

    • Rezoning an old mall for a stadium site seems more like a 50 pound gorilla to me. Shouldn’t be that hard.

      • I’ll believe the “private stadium funding” promise when I see the private funding.

        • Marlin, I was talking the terminal 2 site. Given the difficulties of this site I am surprised this wasn’t the mall wasn’t first out of the gate.

          Neil, Craig Cheek said in an interviews when they did that radio a thon that public money is out of the question in Portland. So your guess is as good as mine whether they have the means to pull it off

          • Ever since the Yankees promised a stadium with no public money and then ended up asking for about a billion dollars in public money, I’ve learned to take these kinds of pronouncements with a large grain of salt. I mean, more power to Cheek if he can pull it off, but turning a profit after building a stadium and paying an MLB expansion fee, what with Portland-size cable TV revenues, sounds ambitious to say the least.

        • By “private funding” they mean funding coming from pricey citizens hotel and rental car taxes!

    • What market do you think would dish out $1 billion in public funds for MLB. A dying sport with dying fans

      • BTW, I love baseball but it just isn’t the dog that wags the tail anymore.

        • Actually, if you look at the Gallup polling, the percentage of people who call themselves baseball fans is pretty steady. Fewer people say that baseball is their *favorite* sport, but that’s different (and also true of basketball) — football and soccer seem to be edging those sports out:

          MLB attendance is down, but so is NFL attendance. I haven’t looked at the numbers in depth (yet), but I can’t help but assume that soaring ticket prices and massive improvements in home-viewing options bear a large part of the blame.

          Anyway, NHL teams are still able to get both private and public funding for arena projects, and hockey isn’t really popular among any age groups, so it’s clearly not millennial popularity that’s driving spending on either side.

          • Neil: I also think that the kneeling for the National Anthem played a role in the decline in the NFL( just like Hollywood’s politics have contributed to cord cutting). . i can say the NFL used to be my favorite sport but it has fallen behind baseball, the NHL and College Football. Why?.There is one thing that me and almost everyone regardless of political opinion can agree on. No empathy for unhappy millionaires and billionaires.

          • I think that while there are fewer NHL fans overall, and TV ratings bear that out, those in healthy hockey markets are more loyal to the game than some other sports fans.

            The absolute nadir of baseball was the mid 70’s where it wasn’t uncommon to see attendance figures under 10,000 a game for a number of teams. MLB is still relatively popular, but it’s also a lot more expensive than it once was.

          • MLB per-game attendance wasn’t great in the early ’70s, but it was actually even worse for much of the ’60s, and still worse in the supposed Golden Era of the ’50s:


        • This argument (essentially that baseball is a dying, 19th century sport doomed to extinction because demographics) has been around for more than half a century. I used to hear it quite often in the early 1970s and I’m told it was ubiquitous at least a decade earlier.

          It’s true that young adults and 20 somethings tend not to favour baseball as a spectator pass time.

          It’s also true that many fans who “leave” baseball as teenagers come back in their late 30’s and 40’s (college finished. career well under way. kids grown. etc).

          If it were true that the dearth of young fans (who are “lost forever”) meant the end of baseball, it would have ended in the late 1970s. Instead, it’s as financially healthy as it has ever been.

          And the increasing home delivery options (at modest cost compared to actual travel to stadium and seat/food/merch/bev purchase) is likely to increase that financial security going forward.

          I am patiently awaiting not the invention of holographic displays for sports teams, but the first team to build a sub 30k MLB stadium (and offer a VR like in stadium experience to home fans, natch… and if you are thinking they can’t charge you $9 for a beer that you have to get out of your own fridge you are absolutely dreaming…) because they no longer need the cheap seats or most of the mid range ones.

          Professional sports have already moved significantly upmarket. The next step is pretty clearly to make them exclusively upmarket. We already know rich people will pay huge amounts to sit in an area moated off from the great unwashed. So why not charge them a greater premium to sit in a stadium that the unwashed aren’t even allowed into?

  3. There was a version of the MLB The Show video game that “updated” the game to include advertising on the outfield walls from real sponsors. Not sure if the series still does this.

    • Did the sponsors have to pay MLB The Show separately to appear on the video-game walls?

      • Looking online this was first, and possibly only done for the 2009 version of the game. It was a partnership between Sony and an out of business marketing firm called IGA Worldwide. From what I can tell the advertisers were paying to have their ads placed within the game.

        The ads were even touted as bringing another layer of realism by David Winding of Sony Computer Entertainment in the linked article below.

        The site is really outdated but it’s the only reference I was able to find:

        One ad I specifically remember was for a certain fast food restaurant with a ping-pong ball clown head.

        The ads were patched into the game. They appear to have also been patched out. I just fired up the game and they no longer appear.

        • One of the best things about late 90s early 2000s sports games is that they tended to call up the image files from a short routine within the game ‘kernel’… which means if you are sufficiently interested, you can edit the embedded sponsor logo files so that when you run the game baseball stadia across MLB display deeply insulting messages and images about the used car dealer commissioner, Charlie Comiskey, Steinbrenner, Pete Rose, Ty Cobb or any number of other figures.

          Clearly, I had a bit too much time on my hands back then, but still…

  4. The Portland ANTIFA’s!!!..So fitting. So perfect. So Portland.

      • Yes just like the nazis were a bastion of socialism! Taking political organizations names at face value is beyond naive.

        • News flash. There is no organization named Antifa. It’s a label thrown around carelessly to paint large groups of people with a broad brush in an effort to diminish any concerns people might express about the rise of white nationalism in this country and around the world.

  5. News flash. There is no organization named Antifa. It’s a label thrown around carelessly to paint large groups of people with a broad brush in an effort to diminish any concerns people might express about the rise of white nationalism in this country and around the world.

    • Finally, somebody actually gets it… it’s just another insulting moniker like “Lyin Ted” or “Crooked Hillary”.

      When did piss ant six year olds in a playground start running major nations on this planet?

    • So, I guess since it doesn’t have a name it doesn’t exist? Interesting.

      Peace and love,
      Your friendly neighborhood piss ant. Muwah!

      • I think the OP’s point was that the name is something opponents gave this so called movement, not that it doesn’t exist.

        As with every march/movement in history, you quickly find that not everyone marching is there for the same reason…

        And unless you are the elected head of state of a major nation and have staggering behavioural problems, the comment I made did not refer to you…

    • Which is why they go around wearing masks and carrying 2 by 4s with nails in them to stick into policeman’s horses. Just like another group that wore hoods and was part of the Democratic party to intimidate Republican voters: the Ku Klux Klan.

      And “Lyin Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” are mild compared to the people like Joe Biden and Cory Booker who say they would like to beat up Donald Trump (imagine if Dick Cheney said that about Barack Obama). Or say Trump should be killed as Madonna, Robert DeNiro, Kathy Griffin, Snoop Dogg (a favorite of Gary Bettman’s NHL), Johnny Depp, Rosie O’Donnell and others say. And it isn’t just Trump. People like John McCain and George Bush were routinely called fascists and racists
      The Antifa thugs attacked journalist Andy Ngo. No wonder Joe Biden says Antifais courageous and Chris Cuomo of CNN praises the group.

      • If you are going there… don’t forget about this president’s lengthy history of not only encouraging but outright ordering attendees at his bizarre rallies to beat people in the audience who disagree with him.

        Plenty of blame to go around on this front… but worry not, it’s all part of the (early stage) collapse of the human race…