Friday roundup: Rattling sabers for Panthers stadium, leagues large and small seek bailouts, and a very large yacht

So how’s everyone out there, you know, doing? As the pandemic slowly feels less like a momentary crisis to be weathered and more like a new way of living to be learned (I refuse to say “new normal,” as nothing about this will ever feel normal), it’s tempting to occasionally look up and think about what habits and activities from the before times still make sense; I hope that FoS continues to educate and entertain you in ways that feel useful (or at least usefully distracting) — from all accounts the entire world being turned upside down hasn’t been enough to interrupt sports team owners’ important work of stadium shakedowns, so it’s good if we can keep at least half an eye on it, amid our stress-eating and TV bingewatching.

So get your half an eye ready, because a whole bunch of stuff happened again this week:


18 comments on “Friday roundup: Rattling sabers for Panthers stadium, leagues large and small seek bailouts, and a very large yacht

  1. I have looked at the studies of home field advantage. It is actually part of the reason some fans support new arenas and stadium because the new one is gonna have a greater home advantage. You are right to note that home advantage works through refs/officials/umps. The study you sited says it is impacted by how many fans are present but I am not sure how robust that is. The studies I have seen (and the data work I have done myself) tend to show that the correlation between attendance and home advantage is weak to non-existent (I have shown significant results in seasons where there is a negative impact of attendance but that result is not likely robust). That is, empty seats also appear to intimidate refs or players play better whether there is a lot of people or just a few friends.

    • Interesting, thanks! Is there a good central repository of studies of home field advantage, do you know? The last time I researched this (briefly, years ago), it was scattered widely across the interwebs.

      • You are right it is very scattered. You can calculate HCA using best power index to control for team differences and then flag all the game data for home, away, and neutral. The pain is getting game level attendance data (although some people have that data as well). With game level data you can get a lot more statistical power.

        I always do a simple calculation correlating average attendance and HCA published at TeamRankings.com in college basketball–last season Alcorn St. and NC-Central dominated the HCA with few people in the stands. That is where you can get lower average attendance have a significantly higher HCA.

        The crossing time zones was another area of statistical results with mixed conclusions. It seems to have an impact in certain directions and in certain sports but not as much in college/amateur sports (youth?).

    • San Diego…err I mean the Los Angeles Chargers are doing everything in their power to change the dynamics of home field advantage.

  2. From the cited article: “Tesla CEO Elon Musk — one of the leading proponents of a rush back to businesses…”

    Some rush. Apparently, according to the author, the best way to stay safe is “nobody make anything, anywhere, ever.” Yeah, we’ll definitely all be better off.

    • Not entirely sure how you’re getting from “Factories shouldn’t reopen until local health officials say it’s safe” to “Nobody make anything, anywhere, ever.”

  3. In the absence of the spin-off Convention Center Follies site – WA State’s is finding that it’s a really, really bad time to try to get $300M in funds from future hotel taxes. The expansion project voters didn’t really get a say in starting is now too-complete-to-stall.

    crosscut.com/2020/05/washingtons-18b-convention-center-expansion-danger

  4. Not sure where The Charlotte Observer gets its observations, but the presence of a dome, and a downtown location, were two of reasons the Rams St. Louis stadium was rated “the worst stadium in the NFL.” The dome made it “depressing.” (Not the stretch of 3,2,1,7 and 2 win seasons) And the downtown location made tailgating a drag. (not because tailgating for losers is for losers).

    • This is what they do though. Now they must have a dome. 20 years later they will say they need to leave this old dumpy domed stadium because we must have fresh air.

  5. I don’t think Sternberg was or is ever going to get two new stadia to split his team’s games between. Not that this will ever prevent him from asking for, say, three new stadia…

    If any kind of split were to happen it would most likely be as a Montreal franchise with a non domed stadium that plays it’s April and maybe early May games (hopefully at the former Legends…) in Florida because Montreal is too cold for early season baseball outdoors. The attendance might be crappy, but it won’t be much worse than it would be in the Montreal snow and cold.

    That said, the Rays new TV deal is likely as rich as (or better than) any they could get in Montreal, so I don’t see moving being a benefit from a financial standpoint. Attendance would have to rise a lot to make up for the fact the team will be earning local revenues in 75 cent dollars (tickets, TV, radio, sponsorships… the only USD revenues would be MLB revenue and a share of the US national TV deals, while effectively all meaningful expenses will be paid in USD).

    I don’t see it happening at all. But if there is any kind of split, it won’t be a true ‘shared’ team. That would work about as well as the Bills in Toronto series or Packers splitting home games between Milwaukee and Green Bay did.

  6. Last minute Bundesliga/2.BL/3.BL stuff:
    –1.BL and 2.BL playing this weekend.
    –Werder Bremen player put in quarantine before game–did not test positive but “in close contact” with someone who did
    –Coaches do not have to wear masks–they complained that it would limit their coaching abilities
    –The 3.BL continues on their roller-coaster to ????? There have been multiple votes, lots of announcements of imminent restarts, lots of plans on how to finish the season, lots of fighting. The German equivalent of a governor who had not allowed their 3.BL team to resume full practice (they had relented to allow individual/small group practice) said he felt political pressure from DFL/DFB to change public health measures. This has cause other politicians and no doubt an increase in new cases of COVID to drag feet on restart. Early in the week a restart on May 26th was discussed as a formality–now who knows.
    –There were lots of fights about promotion and relegation because it seems that everyone is trying to cover every possible contingency for how the restart goes and how the team plays

    • It seems every club is trying to ensure they get maximum advantage from this crisis.

      There are some cases (Liverpool, for example) where the result was not in doubt and they could reasonably be awarded the title. It does get much trickier where P/R is concerned… and while it might seem “fair” if no club were relegated from any league with the European seasons unfinished, this also means that the clubs leading the leagues below them will therefore not be promoted…something the may have already earned (or close to it) at the time of suspension.

      I was hoping that most top leagues would, in the event of a restart, conduct something along the lines of a tournament with all the relegation threatened clubs and the promotion hopefuls from the tier below playing for their places.

      Not going to happen, it seems.

    • The top two German leagues got through a weekend of games with only one cancelled. Watching bits of the games I could you could see there was lots attempts to do symbolic distancing despite the fact once the whistle blows there is plenty of contact (the league made a big deal about protocols for leaving and entering the field in 4 different waves but watching one of the games I saw players from different teams/waves interacting against protocol). They are making an effort but I suspect the actual following on new rules are going to be too hard for players.

      Another team, this time in the 3.BL has been put into teamwide quarantine, FC Chemnitzer.
      I wanted to make one media comment–ESPN did a decent job writing up the Bundesliga weekend but they oversold the injury angle. There did not appear to be any extra injuries during the games and if anything the games were less physical. They based their “more injuries” on Dortmund’s injury issues pregame which actually would not be unusual in a mid May game.

      • I watched the Dortmund game, and was impressed that there weren’t more injuries. There were some fist bumps, though, and plenty of incidental contact during play. It could end up being fine — harm reduction, at least — but there’s no way to tell other than waiting a few weeks and seeing if players start getting sick.

        • Yesterday, Bayer Leverkusen made lots of direct physical contact in all their celebrations. They clearly opted for the “we are already with each other all the time this is not going to make a difference” line instead of the symbolic gestures the league is trying to make with lots of forearm taps. It was a marked difference from the games on Saturday. Also, in the Bremen stadium those allowed in the stands were much more visible and sitting a bit closer than the sole spectator shots used in earlier games.

          Also, I HATE the way the TV production is doing the sound–they seem to want to create some atmosphere out of nothing but overamplifying (and then clipping) every sound including sounds that appear to come from inside somewhere is annoying. In one game they were picking up a low mechanical noise (related to advertising boards?) the whole game and even the announcers said it was annoying.

          • Well, at least one SK club has come up with an interesting work around for the missing fan atmosphere…

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/21/south-korea-football-league-imposes-record-fine-on-fc-seoul-over-sex-dolls-outrage

  7. MiLB should stay strong and goad Manfred into the nuclear option he threatened awhile back. Would be fun to see the MLB trying to make their own minor league system during a pandemic and severe economic downturn.

    • LOL. I suspect the MBAs that are destroying the game intend to use (their own plagiarized version of) strat-o-matic in lieu of minor league play in future. It helps save cash for MBA year end bonuses. We have to remain focused on what is really important in the game.