Sorry if the posts were a bit light this week, but, one, it’s August (checks — yep, August, holy crap) and local governments are mostly out of session so it’s usually a slow month for stadium news even during what we used to call normal times, and two, I’ve been spending some time working on an FoS-related project that hopefully you will all enjoy the benefits of down the road a bit. (I also took a brief break to write about how Melbourne, Australia has declared a “state of disaster” and imposed strict new lockdown measures for virus rates that in the U.S. wouldn’t even get states to ban house parties.) If you were really missing me chiming in on the latest in baseball not shutting down just yet and instead adding a billion doubleheaders, maybe I’ll get around to a longer post on it next week.
For now, a quick tour through some of the news items that didn’t make the full-item cut this week:
- If you’re wondering what it takes to get a tax break passed for stadium renovations in the middle of a pandemic, having a literally crumbling historic Negro League stadium is a good start. (Plus a mayor who promises it will create jobs, of course.) The Paterson city council had demanded more time to discuss the subsidies for Hinchliffe Stadium and associated housing and a parking garage when they were first presented a couple of weeks ago — at which point the city hadn’t even indicated how much the tax breaks would be worth — but something changed this week, though not enough for anybody in the New Jersey media to actually report on the details. It’s only money, plenty more where that came from!
- Ha ha ha, economist Brad Humphreys saw my post about the Oakland A’s claiming their new stadium would be a boon to the environment and replied with links to a pair of studies showing that both stadium construction and baseball games themselves lead to more air pollution. Ball’s in your court, Dave Kaval.
- Construction of F.C. Cincinnati‘s new stadium paused for a couple of days so that contractors could hold anti-bias trainings for workers after a pair of “racist incidents” on the job site, which I guess is an improvement on just accepting that racist incidents are part of a typical American workplace?
- Major League Baseball isn’t the only league facing schedule disruptions as Covid outbreaks hit individual teams: The USL Championship has been postponing games as well after a couple of teams saw multiple players test positive. If you’re not going to do a bubble like the NBA or NHL, this is probably how sports — or, really, anything — is going to have to look during the pandemic; I’m not willing to write non-bubble leagues off as doomed just yet, though things will get real interesting once a league has reached the playoffs and a team suddenly has to quarantine for a week or two, which you just know is going to happen.
- The Washington Football Team (no, really, that’s it’s name now, it gets the boldface treatment) could be even more profitable for Dan Snyder now that it’s rebranding and can sell all new merchandise with less racist connotations, say sports economists Nola Agha and Andrew Zimbalist, which just goes to show that sometimes rich people do things less because they’re coldly maximizing profits than because they’re just assholes.
- MLB players have had to contend with life with no couches in the clubhouse so they don’t spread Covid, and Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon has tried to help by looking into booking a large room where players can “gather in groups to wind down after road games,” which seems like a terrible idea, unless maybe by “large room” he means this.