One of the more thankless tasks of being a CEO of any kind has to be trying to spin bad news or no news into a pretense that you have inevitable forward momentum for whatever project you’re desperately scrabbling to make work. This is obviously easier if you’re a natural scammer who even changes her voice to sound more authoritative, but it’s part of the job for everyone, even if you’re just a longtime sports exec who was hired to lead an MLS club that has been insisting for years that it’s about to build a new stadium, just as soon as it figures out the pesky financing details.
And so, we present NYC F.C. Brad Sims, telling YES Network (the sports cable network owned by his team co-owners the New York Yankees) how despite two years having passed since it first leaked news of a possible South Bronx stadium, and despite reports that the plan still faces numerous obstacles including decommissioning an entire highway ramp, things are going really super well:
“I think that’s something that remains a huge, huge priority of the club, something that’s extremely important to us. I know, I feel the fans’ pain. I know how badly they want it. I know how badly they want news on confirmation of it and I can assure all of our fans that there is no stronger sense of urgency possible than what we have right now to be able to deliver that to our fans. And we have a team that’s working on it full-time, 100 percent of the time.
“And we’ve made a ton of progress. We really have,” Sims continued. “And we’re very optimistic, as optimistic as we’ve ever been. Having said that, it’s a long process and for us arguably the most important part of that process is the community, the community input, working with community leaders and making sure that this project is something that reflects what they want and what’s important for their community. We feel that this is something — not just the stadium, but the overall project that we’re going to be working on — that’s going to be transformational for the South Bronx and we need to make sure that everyone is aligned with that vision.
“But we’re making progress, we’re feeling good about it and we’ve never been as optimistic as we are right now. And hopefully we’ll have some good news to share with our fans as soon as we can.”
That is an awful lot of words to expend on “nothing new to report,” but again, it’s not the content of the words that’s important but the tone: Progress! Optimism! Transformational! Those aren’t the words of a CEO overseeing a death ride to nowhere, but rather someone hard at work on a plan that takes time, you know these things do, but it’ll all work out in the end. I mean, look at David Beckham’s Inter Miami stadium, which took years but now … okay, maybe that’s a bad example. But anyway: Optimism! You gotta believe!