Friday roundup: Missouri gov may okay $30m for St. Louis MLS after all, NYCFC stadium not entirely dead yet, and other end-of-decade hopes and fears

It’s the last weekly news roundup of another year, and another decade, and while I’m not going to do a full 2010s In Review article like some sites, I think it’s fair to say that the big story of the last decade is that we’re pretty much still where we were ten years ago: There’s billions of public dollars being spent each year on new private sports stadiums and arenas, and lots of citizen opposition, but that opposition usually isn’t enough to overcome team owners’ lobbying power or the various ploys that they use to justify demanding tax dollars for their projects — it’s an economic benefit, the team will have to move without it, it’s really about the development that goes along with it, you know the drill. There are certainly some positive signs where teams have paid their own way (or more of their own way) in the face of elected officials holding firm on subsidies, but it’s such extremely incremental progress that it’s almost hard to measure — I was about to say it’s a “glacial” pace, but with glaciers moving really fast these days, maybe it’s time to retire that word.

In any case, thanks to all FoS readers for your generous support this year, monetary and otherwise, and let’s get to the week’s remaining news:

  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson backpedaled somewhat on opposition to giving $30 million in state tax credits to a new St. Louis MLS stadium, saying he supports the project but “We were asked to make a decision in, like, 10 days on $30 million, and that’s just not the way I do business” and “we need to make sure it’s a good deal for the state of Missouri.” It’s hard to tell from Parson’s statements whether this is genuine reconsideration or just trying to show he’s willing to talk (so long as he isn’t taken to the cleaners), but given that from the sound of things the team is moving ahead with the project with or without the tax credits, one hopes he’ll take a real long look at exactly what the state would be getting for its $30 million.
  • Soccer site The Outfield has dug up some year-old renderings of a proposed NYC F.C. stadium in the Bronx, which make clear how it would require closing a major street that serves as access from an off-ramp off the nearby Major Deegan Expressway. More interestingly, the site also dug up emails indicating that city development officials have been continuing to meet with consultants and the like around the plan, so maybe it’s not entirely dead after all, despite no apparent action since it was first revealed in July 2018.
  • The Los Angeles Chargers‘ problem of having many fans rooting for the opposing team has gotten so bad that their quarterback is complaining that they can’t hear signals from their coaches, adding, “being someone who remembers what it used to be like at home games it’s pretty bad.”
  • Some North Carolina developers bought some land, so Raleigh is totally getting its own MLS team. Ha ha, just kidding, it’s really that everybody is getting their own MLS team! Anyway, local residents are both afraid that they will be priced out of the neighborhood and also looking forward to giving local kids “something to look up to other than gangs and the drugs [and] alcoholism,” according to the local radio station that interviewed all of two people.
  • The head of the Oakland NAACP is also afraid of African-American residents being priced out of the neighborhood if the A’s build a new stadium at Howard Terminal, though his op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News isn’t too specific about what’s at risk other than “thousands of good, high-paying jobs” currently on the site.
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders are not getting a roof on their stadium even though it was built to accommodate one because roofs are too damn expensive.
  • Here’s another study of the economic impact of a sports event that assumes everyone who traveled to and attended the event was only in town because of the event. I think I need to develop a form letter to the editor about these.


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4 comments on “Friday roundup: Missouri gov may okay $30m for St. Louis MLS after all, NYCFC stadium not entirely dead yet, and other end-of-decade hopes and fears

  1. Neil, the issue i hope you cover more this year and the next couple years is the TB Rays ballpark situation. As you know the main argument for public subsidies is that having a pro sports teams creates benefits that you cannot financially quantify like community pride,etc. This situation takes the cake because TB will not have its name attached to the team but the community is expected to dish out $400 million in taxpayer money. The fact is the Pols are entertaining this. If this gets through, get ready for the Pittsburgh-Indy Pirates. Heck why not the Pittsburgh-Indy-Raleigh-Austin Pirates. Everyone must pony up $400 million because a billionaire owner need 8 cable contracts to “compete”.

    1. I can hardly imagine covering the Rays situation even more than I already am, but I totally expect it to take up a ton of my (and everyone’s) time in coming years, especially if this two-city nonsense keeps progressing.

      For a while during the Expos move saga I was creating betting lines for where the team would end up; maybe it’s time to do the same for where the Rays will play in 2028? St. Pete 1-1, Tampa 2-1, Montreal 7:1, Montreal+Tampa 10:1, other cities 20:1 — how’s that sound?

  2. Sounds good. The tb market is too large to pass up especially since its growing leaps and bounds. What blew me away are Castor’s talking points.
    1. Attendance doesn’t matter. TV revenues do. (Ok then stay at the trop or build some super cheap outdoor stadium Sternberg can play for)
    2. They need more sponsorship deals so they need some from Montreal (explain how naming the team the Can am Expos Ray’s helps that. Why should tb taxpayers help with that

  3. The Rays would be the ideal test case for a pro sports team that plays in an HD TV studio. Why build seats and suites when no-one is going to occupy them?

    They would lose very little revenue in doing so.

    Of course, you could make the same case for the Marlins…

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