Sorry, getting a late start today, let’s get straight to the news without delay:
- The city of Sacramento is facing having to make cuts to city services in order to pay off its Kings arena debt, and since I’ve previously argued that it’s silly to act like public sports subsidies are a particular problem during economic crises, maybe now is a good time for a reminder that spending public money on stuff that doesn’t benefit the public is always bad if you want to have money left over for stuff you actually need! Sacramento officials acted like the arena payments were free money because they were supposed to come from hotel taxes and parking meter fees; that was never true, but it’s thrown into starker relief now that those taxes and fees aren’t coming in and the city will have to dip into the general fund — you know, the general fund that only isn’t getting those taxes and fees in the first place because the city carved out those revenues and handed them to the Kings. Is firing police and librarians to pay for a sports arena worse than never getting to hire them in the first place? So many ethical dilemmas in this pandemic!
- Not running short of money, meanwhile: The NFL, which just approved increasing its G-4 loan for the new Los Angeles Rams and Chargers stadium from $400 million to $900 million. plus given the teams’ owners a longer time in which to pay it back, which they can do with club-seat and ticket-sales money they normally would have had to share with the league. Maybe the NFL could loan some money to Sacramento on these terms? Or at least not complain too loudly about how they’ll go broke if they aren’t allowed to play games this fall.
- The Henderson, Nevada city council approved moving ahead with city subsidies for construction of a minor-league hockey arena for an affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, and the motion included yet another number for how much public will be involved: $42 million, or half of the $84 million total construction cost. Henderson had previously approved $60 million in bonds, with $30 million of it to go to arena construction, or maybe it was $25 million from the bond plus $17 million from other city funds, and then there was that economic impact report that seemed to involve just overturning a big box of random numbers and dumping them on the floor. What we do know is that the team will pay $150,000 a year rent on the arena, which will somehow produce a 106% annual return on investment because we’re in a national crisis, okay, there’s no time for math!
- Speaking of math, you know what would be a good way to help with the economic impact of a pandemic that’s expected to stretch into 2021 or 2022? Spending a whole lot of government money now to hold the Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 2026! Definitely nothing wrong with that logic.
- Here’s an article, and another article, and another article, and another article, and another article about how a Bronx events company is planning to hold a drive-in food and music festival in Yankee Stadium’s “largest parking lot” this summer, notwithstanding that Yankee Stadium doesn’t actually have any open-air parking lots. (It has parking garages, but an indoor drive-in sounds logistically difficult, and possibly epidemiologically unwise.) Nobody at Time Out, CNN, USA Today, WCBS, or Gothamist seems to have asked MASC Hospitality Group where they’re actually planning to hold this thing, but journalism is all about one outlet reprinting the press release and then everybody else quoting the first outlet, right? Pretty sure Edward R. Murrow said that.
- This is all too depressing, what’s a good way to lighten the mood and also get some good SEO going? Sex dolls! There, mission accomplished — Monday’s something called a “holiday” whatever that means anymore, see you all Tuesday!