Friday roundup: We have entered the Golden Age of minor-league stadium scams

Welp, that was another week. I know from comments that some of you think that the stadium and arena subsidy racket is about to come grinding to a halt, either because of the Covid economy or everybody already having a new enough stadium or something, but it sure looks like team owners didn’t get the memo — my RSS feeds are as hopping as they’ve ever been with tales of sports venue funding demands, and it’s still a rarity when local governments say no or even hmm, really? Check out this week’s roster, which, as yours truly predicted a couple of months ago, is especially jam-packed with minor-league baseball stadium plans:

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10 comments on “Friday roundup: We have entered the Golden Age of minor-league stadium scams

  1. In light of your correct observations about Worcester’s engineering problems I would like to call your attention (my favorite example) to an Ivy League Engineering building that has had a series of engineering mistakes. It has had several less newsworthy mistakes since but building a wall 10 feet away from where it was supposed to be was a huge one (and I thought you would appreciate the original headline in url): https://www.vnews.com/Dartmouth-halts-massive-project-after-hole-dug-in-wrong-place-26602507

    1. I think the obvious solution here would be a $65 million tramway people mover to get people moved the additional 10 feet needed to be inside the building. In fact the tramway should really be a project costing $380 millionmade of Mag Lev gondolas going over the 10 foot gap. On the ground in the open area, I would build a complex of mixed-use structures including residential, offices and entertainment venues (and one 10 foot wide GameStop). It will pay for itself using tax dollars disbursed in dogecoin.

      1. I like it. I like it a lot. And no matter how much it costs, you can’t put a price on iconic architecture.

        Look at the Great Wall. Sure, it cost hundreds of thousands of lives (both in accidents and just workers dying of exposure when they were left to build the wall in harsh winters without proper shelter or adequate food). But, I mean, it’s great.

        And you can’t put a price on that either. Only a developer can, and he’s not the one paying.

  2. Just curious about the impact of a Super Bowl. Most Super Bowls are in warm weather cities that tend to have a lot of tourists in February. So a place like Miami or Tampa probably already has filled hotel rooms at that point. How does it impact places like Minnesota or Indy?

    1. Still “not much at all”:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/sports/football/super-bowl-lii-minnesota.html

      1. I agree that much of the hospitality revenue goes to national/international companies (rather than local ones), but I call BS on high volumes of tourists going to places like Indianapolis and Minneapolis the first week of February.

        1. The numbers don’t lie: Hotel room usage just doesn’t go up all that much during a Super Bowl, even in cold-weather cities.

          And there’s another problem that the Times article doesn’t mention: Super Bowl hotel bookings are often required to be for the entire week, but many people only show up for the weekend. So while the rooms may be booked, they’re empty much of the time, which means nobody to go out and spend money at local restaurants, etc.

          1. Meanwhile the NFL manages to get breaks on taxes, and reduced hotel rates for people directly involved with the nfl, which is fair number of the rooms used.

  3. As an Indy Eleven fan, I feel like the move to Carroll Stadium is a step back for the team and was only done cause A) money and B) they didn’t like the restrictions at Lucas Oil Stadium (such as the supporters not being allowed to use smoke whenever the team scored and scheduling limitations). There hasn’t been much news on the new Eleven Park that they have kept mum about but out of the blue finally said “We’ll reveal it all in March… maybe.”, so while the diehards are likely happy to toss their smoke pellets once more, everyone else has to go back to metal bleachers, portable toilets, and frustrating emergency exit procedures in the event of thunderstorms.

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