I should probably have something to say about a week in which hedge-fund operators and day traders went to war over who could outgrift each other, but you know, I think let’s just leave that right there. On to the news!
- After a lengthy approval process that didn’t involve much in the way of public subsidies, Steve Ballmer’s Los Angeles Clippers project will be taking advantage of the city’s ability to seize land by eminent domain, after the city council approved the move on Tuesday. Eminent domain can only be used for projects that are for a public use, and the arena will be privately owned and operated, but the city’s lawyers say the arena qualifies because it will provide residents with “access to amusement, enjoyment and recreation.” For, you know, a price. I don’t know if Netflix has any plans for a new headquarters, but clearly they should be thinking of getting in on this racket as well.
- The other day when discussing plans to redevelopment St. Petersburg’s Tropicana Field site, I neglected to include images of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball stadiums that all seven approved developers provided as options in their proposals. Which is fine, as they’re pretty boring! One just slapped on a blue polygon with a Rays logo on it! But there is one with a pitcher throwing out of the stretch for some reason despite there being runners on second and third (or near them, anyway), so feel free to enjoy that.
- Speaking of grifting, MLS owners inserted a loophole in their new collective bargaining agreement with their players that would let them cancel the entire thing with one month’s notice if the pandemic kept cutting into profits, and now that’s exactly what they’re doing, probably leading to a lockout starting today, though the union offered $53 million in last-minute concessions last night. As always, you got to have a con in this land of milk and honey.
- The total construction cost of North American sports venues opening in 2021 is expected to drop to $5.8 billion from last year’s record $8.9 billion, when the Los Angeles Rams, Las Vegas Raiders, and Texas Rangers all opened new billion-dollar-plus stadiums. This will likely be a lull of at least a couple of years in part thanks to the pandemic and no one rushing to open new buildings when you can’t sell tickets in them yet anyway, but anyone thinking that this is some kind of permanent sea change hasn’t been reading this website for the last 23 years.
- On that note, $16.2 million in public money so a golf resort in North Carolina can build a new hotel? Sure, why not!
- Texas gives extra school funding to districts that give property tax abatements to developers. Really you don’t need to know anything more than that, but if you’re interested, click the link for a brief interview once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor.