Happy Friday! Still recovering from the double whammy of my second shot on Sunday plus learning that birds aren’t real, so I’ll keep the intro short this week and get right to the news:
- In the wake of J.C. Bradbury’s paper showing that the Atlanta Braves stadium had no statistically significant measurable impact on sales tax receipts in Cobb County, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that former county commissioner Bob Ott retorts: “A model is one thing. But I’m looking at what’s really there.” Former county commissioner Bob Ott maybe doesn’t quite understand what economic modeling is — Bradbury was measuring what was really there, but he had to create a hypothetical model to show what would have been there without the stadium, since he doesn’t have Naomi Wolf time-traveling nanoparticles — but since he’s no longer in office and Bradbury is, maybe it doesn’t matter too much anymore.
- Members of the St. Petersburg city council say they don’t want to consider any of the redevelopment bids that Mayor Rick Kriseman solicited for the Tropicana Field site until they hear from Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg whether he plans to stay or go when his lease is up in 2028, which kind of makes sense, though it does allow Sternberg to make himself an obstacle to redevelopment, which is always a good way to gain leverage when seeking public funds. Councilmember Darden Rice also called the standoff between Kriseman and Sternberg “a standoff between two people with very rusty guns and one bullet,” which is a very funny image and probably unfairly more convincing as a result, much as people are more likely to believe things if they rhyme.
- The Tennessee state bill to allow Knoxville to siphon off $65 million in state and local sales taxes from a quarter-mile around a new Tennessee Smokies stadium and kick them back to the team owner for stadium costs passed a state senate committee Wednesday by a vote of 8-0. Next stop for the bill: the senate ways and means committee, it looks like, though this legislative calendar is really not the easiest to read.
- The Las Vegas Raiders‘ giant outdoor video screen at their one-year-old stadium needs to be taken down and repaired, and the Minnesota Vikings‘ five-year-old stadium is getting $21 million of repairs done to its faulty drainage system, and how soon is too soon to start complaining that stadiums are broken-down and obsolete and need to be replaced? (Answer: Once a team owner can demand a new building while keeping a straight face, it’s not too soon anymore.)
- Some people in Delaware want to build a private indoor track and field facility, and say there are three possible ways to pay for it: find some private investor to put up the cost “because of the economic impact that it has on the community” (uh?), do a “public-private partnership,” or get the state to pay the whole bill. Yep, those would be the three possible combinations of public and private money; I guess they figured nobody would buy “Mexico will pay for it.”
- The Miami Heat‘s arena is set to get a new naming rights sponsor — some cryptocurrency company instead of some airline company, we don’t need to bother with the actual names here, they’re not paying us to use them — and unlike most other public sports venue owners, Miami-Dade County actually gets a cut of naming-rights money, so will get an extra $5 million a year from the deal, yay! Still not enough to make spending $200 million to build the place worth it or anything, but it’s better than a kick in the head.
- Marc Normandin has a great essay this morning about how boycotts are meant to be strategic actions, not ways to make you feel moral in an immoral world, so until there are picket lines outside stadiums, “you’re not a bad person for continuing to watch or attend MLB games just because the people who own the teams and guide the league’s direction are assholes.” It’s a useful reminder, especially in a world that increasingly insists that it’s up to individual consumers to fix things, not the people with the actual power to do so.
- I don’t have much to say about this New York Times article on a former Philadelphia Phillies worker who has written a self-published book about the three years he spent living in an empty concession stand at Veterans Stadium, but I figured you’d want to know about it nonetheless. You’re welcome.