A little distracted this morning with a new work project and the usual pandemic stuff and the not-so-usual riots on TV, but there’s a passel of stadium and arena news I didn’t get to, so let’s get to ’em:
- The Ohio state legislature may reconsider $20 million it had allocated to the Columbus Crew‘s new stadium and $4 million it had allocated to F.C. Cincinnati‘s new stadium as part of a potential $400 million in coronavirus-crash-related cuts to capital programs. Or it may not — sports and arts and education programs are just being asked to justify their expenses, so this may just mean the teams have to fire up their Powerpoint departments to explain how BECAUSE JOBS, but we’ll see.
- San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler says the Covid pandemic may end up delaying the Oakland A’s stadium plans, and Ballpark Digest cites a quote from Ostler’s article of A’s communications VP Catherine Aker confirming this, but the quote doesn’t actually appear to be in Ostler’s article, wha? Anyway, none of this stops Ostler from speculating that this could cause A’s owner John Fisher to 1) build a new stadium at the Coliseum site instead, 2) sell off his current players, or 3) sell the team entirely, with no actual evidence that I can tell but maybe that all got deleted along with the Aker quote.
- Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon has signed a five-year lease extension with Raleigh’s arena authority running through 2029, saying this “gives us time to work on something for the long term, whatever that is,” which the News & Observer cites as a reason the city needs to step up and work on arena renovations or a new arena, because when your arena is 20 years old and the local team owner just signed a new lease, clearly this is a sign that urgent action is needed. Oh yeah, and also the Hurricanes won’t have to pay any rent after 2020, though they apparently will share some revenues with the arena authority, and really this is the sort of thing that should have been covered in detail by the local newspaper since it involves millions of dollars in taxpayer money, but I guess that’s not happening, at least not today.
- Speaking of sports venue shelf lives, here is an article from the Chattanooga Times Free Press about how the city’s stadium “may have to last much longer than expected for Lookouts due to COVID-19 pandemic.” Chattanooga’s stadium is 21 years old but “may now have to last 25 seasons and then some,” according to the newspaper, an image of which now appears in the dictionary when you look up “letting the institutions you cover set the terms of debate.” (Also worth noting: Chattanooga’s stadium may not have to last much longer if the Lookouts never play another game because they got contracted out of existence.)
- Japanese baseball is getting ready to return on June 19, and Spanish soccer is getting ready to return on June 11, and the NBA is getting ready to restart play in Orlando in July even though it’s probably not ready, and Texas will allow fans at pro sporting events in outdoor stadium at 25% capacity starting in June if leagues get approval from the state health department, and baseball is maybe not getting to resume at all as owners want to slash player salaries and players are having none of it, and there’s probably lots more but as very little is set in stone or even written in dark pencil, it’s not worth getting too excited about any of it. Check back next week to see if there are any updates, and if the Bundesliga has been able to keep players from getting infected even as they keep insisting on hugging each other after goals!
- One of the worst kinds of modern journalism is the dreaded listicle, and one of the worst kinds of pandemic journalism is the look-back-at-random-things, but I will happily accept a listicle looking back at random things if those things are batshit stadium vaportecture. The swooping curves! The buildings disguised as green space! The so very, very many fans waving giant flags, including one kid in a throwback Dave Stewart Oakland A’s jersey for some reason! This truly gives me hope for the future — not that the future is going to look anything like this, because it’s increasingly clear that the future will be all disease outbreaks and social upheaval and probably water wars, but at least hope that we’ll have plenty to point at laugh at as the world burns.