I personally have been watching this 1988 game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos (spoiler: Randy Johnson is, as the announcers keep noting, very tall), while continuing to keep tabs on what passes for sports stadium and subsidy news these days. Let’s get to it — the news, I mean, not the Phils-Expos game, I have that paused:
- CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie told the Canadian House of Commons finance committee yesterday that the 2020 season most likely won’t happen, which should come as no surprise, and that this would be “terribly sad” and that CFL owners are “sports philanthropists” who “really have invested in Canada and Canadian culture and Canadian sport” and that teams could repay up to $120 million in bailout money by offering free ads so that “government can deliver important information,” which should probably come as no surprise either, but only because nothing should surprise anyone anymore. The Globe and Mail reports that Ambrosie was “chastised by members of the committee for not including the CFL Players’ Association in his proposal, and for framing the request as a ‘partnership with government’ rather than a bailout.”
- Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno is expected to announce by the end of May what he plans to do with the stadium land he got for a $175 million discount last December, unless of course the city council votes on Tuesday to give Moreno until September. Maybe by then Anaheim residents will even be able to attend council hearings to express their opinions of the plans, because that went so swimmingly last time!
- Taiwan’s baseball league started allowing fans back into stadium in small numbers today, in small numbers, with seats separated by one meter, and with masks required. (Though not for cheerleaders, for some reason, as you can see from the video here.) This could maybe show a way forward for other sports leagues, except that Taiwan (population 24 million) has only had 15 new Covid cases in the last 16 days, while the U.S. (population 328 million) has had more than 400,000, so maybe not just quite yet.
- MLB is planning to propose “best-case scenario” plans for a season restart to its players’ union for discussion even though things remain very far from a best case, and the NFL has moved its 2020 games from London and Mexico City back to the U.S. even though the U.S. has slightly more new cases per capita than the U.K. and way more than Mexico, and tennis is probably shut down until 2021 even though it’s a sport you can play while social distancing because it would require so much international travel (which, yes, is a good point about the NFL games), and college football is still totally ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Over in Europe, meanwhile, restart plans are still moving ahead, except for in the English Premier League where the teams in danger of being relegated are holding things up because they think that canceling the season would be a great way to call a do-over, which is the most wonderfully soccer thing ever.
- Four times as many people watched live Korean baseball at 1 am than watched people playing basketball video games, after both were televised on ESPN, which maybe indicates that e-sports aren’t quite the future just yet.
- The Brooklyn Nets aren’t paying all their arena workers even after promising they would, and the Arizona Coyotes aren’t paying all their arena workers even after promising they would, and lots of other teams still haven’t even promised to pay their arena workers. As in so many things right now, who gets paid and who doesn’t is increasingly looking like it’s going to come down to who has the best lobbyists, and who got their claims in first.