Jacksonville Jaguars president Mark Lamping declared that the team’s stadium is “a candidate for major renovations,” which led Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry to respond with this remarkable statement: “I am not the expert on entertainment and sports stadiums, so whatever the organization thinks is going to be best for that district — for fans and best for taxpayers.” That’s not exactly grammatical English, but it seems to imply I don’t know nothing ’bout no sports stadiums, these guys are the experts so I guess let’s give them what they want, which is incredible even on the very low bar set by American mayors.
Wondering how the Golden State Warriors owners are going to pay back the cost of their $1 billion San Francisco arena opening in the fall? How about luxury suites that rent for $2 million a year? That’s $50,000 to watch a single Warriors game with a bunch of your friends, plus a “video wall” so you can watch the game on TV if you don’t want to look at the actual court, and a butler to bring you wine from your personal wine cellar during the game. In case you were wondering: Yes, rich people in the U.S. are officially too rich now.
David Beckham and Jorge Mas’s Inter Miami has hired Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s son as a lobbyist for their Melreese Park stadium project, but says since his dad is the county mayor and he’ll only be lobbying the city, this isn’t a conflict of interest at all. (Write your own Florida Man headlines.)
New rugby stadium opening in Houston! I bet the roller derby and ultimate frisbee leagues are wondering when it’s going to be their turn to get buildings designed just for their sports. (Over/under at this rate: 2025, right after the opening of the first Minecraft stadium.)
According to some guy’s tweet, the Chicago Fire owners are considering buying out the rest of their lease in Bridgeview and moving back to Soldier Field on the Chicago lakefront. Bridgeview has been a disaster for all concerned, most of all Bridgeview, but a buyout could cost as much as $125 million, which seems a steep price to pay; also, the above linked article notes that lame duck Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is involved in the move plans, which raises the possibility of public money being involved, so let’s all keep a close eye on this.
Pawtucket is looking to lure a baseball, soccer, or lacrosse team to McCoy Stadium to replace the Triple-A Red Sox when they move to Worcester (in 2021, because the planned ballpark site is currently still a vacant lot), which is a fine enough idea so long as they don’t pay through the nose for it. Also, apparently the Worcester team still controls territorial rights to the city it’s abandoning and can block a replacement affliated minor-league team, which seems like good grounds for an antitrust lawsuit — MLB’s antitrust exemption doesn’t extend to the minors, does it?
Tottenham Hotspur hasn’t even played a game yet in its new stadium, and there have already been a couple of articles worrying that it will gentrify the surrounding neighborhood out of existence. Fortunately, there’s little evidence that stadiums have all that much impact on development surrounding them — the Tottenham stadium’s “restaurant run by a Michelin-starred chef” may encourage more fans to eat at the game, but it won’t make anyone open a restaurant across the street — though they can get dollar signs to light up in the eyes of local property owners, which we’re already seeing happen in Cincinnati.
Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini has declared that “every Italian city” needs a new stadium because he’s “tired of committing thousands and thousands of women and men every Sunday in uniform to check what happens outside stadiums and inside them with old systems, without cameras, without exits or emergency access points.” I would have gone with “buy some security cameras,” but that’s just me.