Friday roundup: Nashville and Miami stadiums still on hold, cable bubble may finally be bursting, minor-league contraction war heats up

Happy Scottish Independence Day! And now for the rest of the news:


12 comments on “Friday roundup: Nashville and Miami stadiums still on hold, cable bubble may finally be bursting, minor-league contraction war heats up

  1. I suspect it’s more likely that the Oilers gained value due to, you know, having the best player on Earth at their disposal.

    • And yet still managing to miss the playoffs every single year…

      The new arena has resulted (I’m told) in increased revenues. What used to be $7-8 half filled cups of not cold beer are now $12-13 half filled cups of not cold beer.

      Excepting the cheapest of the seats (of which there are few) available, the avg ticket cost has gone through the roof as well. I don’t know if it’s possible to sit anywhere below the nosebleeds that costs less than $200.

      Revenues are definitely up. And I doubt the wasting of Conor McDavid’s considerable talent is a significant factor in the price increases. Owners do this because people pay the prices. That is rarely related to any one player. If it was, the Knicks would be paying fans to attend their games.

  2. re: the story about the ill fated janitor.. very sad news. However, this never seems to matter to advertisers. I can’t be the only one who’s had an ad for a ‘feel good’ product pop up in the middle of a news video about a truly horrific crime.

    You’d think the Google or FB advertising contracts would prohibit your company’s ad being run as an interrupt or popup during a school shooting or similar story, wouldn’t you?

    • They already offer it — maybe advertisers aren’t being diligent enough about using the exceptions?

      https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/3306596?hl=en

  3. I guess I do not socialize with the right people as the Schadenfreude I was casting toward Las Vegas’s faulty bolts was based on naming their stadium Allegiant Field. With that name you are tempting fate and just asking the bolts to fail.

  4. Personally looking forward to public stadium subsidies being paid in Scottish-issued Euros.

  5. “The cash cow going dry” is an apt metaphor, indeed. Dairy cows are useful only as long as they are producing milk. When they “go dry,” their value to the dairy farmer disappears. Generally, a dry cow is either sick, or too old to be sold for butchering. In the old days, the farmer would slaughter such a cow for his own family’s consumption: ranch families got used to really tough steaks.

    A slight tweak of the wording, and the “mixed metaphor” become the perfect metaphor.

  6. Interesting that while Rob Manfred is threatening to cut out 42 minor league affiliates because it costs them too much to pay their Low A and Rookie League prospects peanuts, MLB teams have somehow been able to find enough quarters between the couch cushions to sign 89 players to contracts worth over $100,000,000 since Kevin Brown signed with the Padres for $105 million in 1999. Nice to know the Yankees are willing to eliminate the 35 jobs their Staten Island affiliate could provide (I’m guessing at MAYBE $1,500 a month per player) so they can afford to pay Gerrit Cole $324 million over the next few years.

    Maybe it’s actually a GOOD thing that fewer kids are playing baseball these days because potential jobs after they graduate high school are going to be drying up. Way to “grow your sport,” Rob.

  7. Related, I’ve been wondering: what do you think would happen if/when MLS collapses under its own weight? I ask because with so many subsidized stadia and deep-pocketed owners, I wonder if there would be any government intervention to prop the league up. A theory of mine with the rising expansion fees and subsidies is that it would make it much harder for cities and owners to walk away from contracting teams. Is MLS’s hope that a new league would just emerge from the ashes? What’s the endgame if the league goes pear-shaped?

    • What kind of a scenario are you picturing? The league’s expenses aren’t that huge, so at worst it seems like a bunch of owners would end up holding franchises that are worth a lot less than they paid for them, which, oh well.

      I guess conceivably they could end up in an Arena Football League-like situation where they get into a squabble with player over salaries and eventually disappear in a hissy fit. But I don’t think anyone plans for that other than to say “don’t let that be us.” The WeWork CEO didn’t have a plan for his bubble collapsing.

      • I guess the scenario I’m imagining is where almost the entirety of the league goes to the way of most Sun Belt NHL teams – bleeding tons of money, and cities like Columbus, Glendale, or Sunrise giving outright cash payments in response. I could see hemorrhaging happen if the cable bubble bursts right as labor/ownership issues boil over. I can’t imagine the current franchising model, nor the low salaries and Byzantine rules around player allotment, would last forever for MLS or the players. Also, it seems like a ton of clubs are running in the red currently, but everyone seems cool with that out of the assumption that eventually these assets will be be profitable. What if these clubs turn out to be the suburban tract homes of sports franchises, and rich owners decide to get out with nobody buying and the less deep-pocketed ones holding the bag? I don’t think a financial fallout in MLS is impossible.

        • The cable bubble shouldn’t have much impact on MLS, as they don’t get a ton of revenue from cable rights even now. (Maybe SUM does for national-team games, but that’s a slightly different issue.) I agree that the current business model doesn’t look sustainable over the long run, but there’s a long way between “can’t keep justifying ever-increasing expansion fees” and “league bankruptcy.”