A quick programming note: The next two Friday roundups will be on Thursdays, since the next two Fridays are Christmas and New Year’s. Not that I’ll be doing much special those days — I’ve done pretty much nothing since March other than sit and stare at my laptop screen — but I’m doing this anyway as a courtesy to readers who may feel the need to go out and infect extended family members with a deadly disease or something.
And on to this week’s news remainders:
- Tennessee Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk has opened talks with Nashville Mayor John Cooper over upgrades to the Titans’ stadium, which was built way back in 1999, and so is made entirely of wattle and daub. Strunk had previously called the Miami Dolphins‘ $350 million stadium renovation “a very interesting model,” though it doesn’t sound like she’s committing to pay for the upgrades as Dolphins owner Stephen Ross did: Rather, the rumblings are of some kind of tradeoff where the city gets the Titans to re-up for a longer lease and the team gets some cut of the revenues from developing its stadium parking lots. The Los Angeles Angels‘ deal with Anaheim would be the financing model, then, which given that that deal was very, very good to Angels owner Arte Moreno, you can see why Strunk would be interested in replicating it.
- F.C. Cincinnati is getting another $16 million in state money for its stadium project, because … actually, none of the reporting gives any indication what it’s for. Probably Christmas presents for the construction workers? Anyway, added to the roughly $81 million worth of goodies the team was getting at public expense prior to this, we now have a total taxpayer price tag of $97 million, which is starting to turn into some real money.
- Knoxville’s city council has approved the creation of a sports authority, the first step toward building a $52 million to $65 million stadium to lure the Tennessee Smokies back to town from their stadium in the suburbs. The Knox County Commission will vote as well on Monday, after which people can start talking about who’ll pay for this thing. There’s already been preliminary talk about “public-private partnerships” and “mixed-use developments,” so you just know that whatever finance plan is arrived at, it will be as confusing as possible, the better to make voters’ eyes glaze over come election time.
- The Minneapolis Star Tribune sportswriters got so bored this week that they interviewed a Minnesota Vikings fan who went to a road game in Tampa to ask what it was like. Answers: “It felt like a normal gameday weekend. We tailgated with Tampa super fans a couple blocks from the stadium — maybe a few hundred people, minimum.” (Eeeagh!) Inside the stadium, “honestly, not a lot of people were wearing masks.” (Also eeeagh, though at least fans were distanced when in their seats.) He wouldn’t go to a road game in New Orleans, because of the “party atmosphere” there. (Harm reduction!) More on this breaking story as it develops.
- The “stadium construction is proceeding” story has a long history, but “St. Louis S.C. stadium has its foundation 60% done” is still a journalistic low point. The extended video footage of nothing much in particular is impressive — maybe they should have interviewed some of the rebar to see how it felt about its safety?
- If you haven’t had enough of me this week already, here’s a long Q&A with me about the San Jose Sharks hinting they’d leave San Jose if construction nearby messes too much with their parking. Features the line, “If you look at the number of teams that threaten to move in sports versus the number of teams that actually move, at least nine out of 10 move threats are nothing but hot air,” which really should be on my Wikiquote page, not that I have one — though a text-adventure superhero game I once wrote somehow does. The internet is weird, man.