Happy Friday, and try not to think about how much you’re contributing to climate change by reading this on whatever electronic device you’re using. Though at least reading this in text doesn’t require a giant server farm like watching a video about stadiums would — “Streaming one hour of Netflix a week requires more electricity, annually, than the yearly output of two new refrigerators” is one of the more alarming sentences I’ve read ever — so maybe it counts as harm reduction? I almost linked to an amusing video clip to deliver my punchline, wouldn’t that have been ironic!
And now, the news:
- Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and other team execs made campaign contributions to Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and members of the Charlotte city council right before asking the city for $110 million to upgrade his stadium in anticipation of hosting an MLS expansion team. It wasn’t a ton of money — $6,450 total — but remember when elected officials and rich guys hoping to win their support at least made a pretense of political power not coming from the barrel of a checkbook? No? I could have sworn there was a minute or two there…
- The still-unnamed St. Louis MLS team owners (the owners have names, just not the team) say they’re moving ahead with stadium plans regardless of whether they receive $30 million in state tax credits, which raises the question of why the state should give them $30 million if they’re going to build the stadium either way? It looks like the state is negotiating for a lower contribution, but really $0 seems appropriate if the amount of additional development it will buy is also $0.
- The Florida state house is again considering a bill to eliminate the state’s sports-stadium-subsidy slush fund, which would be bigger news if not for that fact that 1) the house proposes this every year, and the state senate then lets it die, 2) nobody has been applying for money from the state fund anyway, and 3) the state already provided plenty of money for stadiums before the fund existed, just on a piecemeal basis, and no doubt will do so again if this program is eliminated.
- Hosting the Super Bowl is costing the city of Miami about $20 million in bonuses to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and additional security charges, but it’s okay because somebody has already placed an order for 300 chicken wings.
- The Oakland city council approved a bill to move forward plans for an A’s stadium at Howard Terminal, and KCBS reports that “there could be just one more vote by the city council before construction begins.” That seems ambitious given that nobody quite knows such teensy matters as whether the city would really need to spend $200 million on “infrastructure” and how that would be paid for, but hey, clearly not having any idea how a project will work is no reason to hold more than one hearing.
- I’ve seen a lot of softball headlines about non-news just to goose talk about possible stadium plans in my day, but Global News’s “Saskatoon architect tweets 6 places he thinks would suit new arena for the city” is right up there with the classics.
- Washington NFL team owner Daniel Snyder lobbied the state of Maryland to legalize sports gambling at a possible new stadium, and now everybody is talking about how Snyder is going to build a new stadium in Maryland. See how easy it is to get headlines? Nobody even had to tweet anything!
- New evidence has emerged that the state of New York negotiated with the New York Islanders development team about a hockey arena before issuing a request for proposals for the Belmont Park site, which the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the project say is evidence that the bidding was rigged from the start. This seems to me like the sort of thing that goes on all the time in local government — you wanna build something, okay but first we have to conduct due diligence, whatta pain — but I am not a lawyer, so we’ll see what a judge thinks of it all.
- The Beloit Snappers released new renderings of their planned stadium, and they’re subdued enough that I don’t have much to make fun of … though come to think of it, those one-way-facing traffic signals on a two-way street are likely to get that woman in the crosswalk killed by drivers who don’t see the red light, so that’s a concern.
- I read this headline and briefly thought there was a new minor-league team in Alabama called the Mobile X-Ray Scanners, which wouldn’t even be the worst team name in the state.
- The Milwaukee Brewers‘ stadium is getting a new corporate name, and I’ve already forgotten it!