Good morning, and thank you for taking a break from your coronavirus panic reading to patronize Field of Schemes. Please wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and we can begin:
- Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper hasn’t just talked about wanting a new stadium, he’s met with stadium architects, so you know he’s serious, or something. But first, as Tepper said recently, “People here have to agree to do things or want to do things,” which is code for I neeeeeed public moneeeeeey, but that’s okay because Tepper also said the economic impact of added Super Bowls and Final Fours would be “Forget about it. Knock their socks off economically.” Or not much at all, as actual economic studies have found — who’s to say who’s right, really, the guy who would stand to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars or the people using math?
- Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall now says that whole moving-to-Vancouver thing was just a contingency plan in case their roof got stuck open and it was too hot to play. (No, I don’t know how you move an entire baseball game to a different country on a moment’s notice if the retractable roof gets stuck, but Hall’s statement that “We left it open in case we wanted to or needed to and we certainly hope we don’t, because we anticipate this is where we’re playing forever, in Arizona” is certainly an excellent specimen of the non-threat threat.) Team owner Ken Kendrick also compared Chase Field to a “classic automobile [where] when you pull the engine back on a classic automobile, you find things sometimes you wouldn’t wish you would find.” The stadium is all of 22 years old, so I guess Kendrick thinks these are classic cars?
- NYC F.C. made it to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica’s San Carlos before a “home” crowd of less than 3,000 people after most of the NYC F.C. fan groups boycotted playing a home game at rivals Red Bull New York‘s stadium when both Yankee Stadium and backup option Citi Field were unavailable thanks to the grass there needing time to regrow before baseball season. The team could face the same problem for its upcoming home match in the next round, which is sure to increase the drumbeat for a new soccer-only stadium, which likely would be a thing already if NYC F.C.’s owners would just agree to step up and pay for it instead of dickering about tax breaks.
- Sports Illustrated writer John Wall Street (it’s a play on words, see?) writes that if Florida passes a bill to stop sports teams from using state hotel-tax or sales-tax surcharge money to build or renovate stadiums, sports teams will all move out of Florida. His only source for this: an NYU sports management professor who was formerly an investment banker and has worked as an NFL consultant. I am none of those things, but I would humbly submit that both California and Seattle have cracked way down on sports subsidies without any teams leaving (the Sonics did leave Seattle, but that was before the city passed its requirement that the public get a positive return on any sports venue spending), so maybe this is not so much cause for panic?
- The city of St. Louis could use eminent domain to force a holdout landowner to sell his property that sits on the proposed site of an MLS stadium. Eminent domain needs to be implemented for “public use,” and MLS teams are private enterprises, but the Supreme Court has pretty much said that anything that provides jobs is a public use, so this probably won’t be an issue except in St. Louis city officials’ souls.
- The city of Worcester has approved an extra $29.5 million in spending on the Worcester Red Sox‘ new stadium to cover cost overruns. (It was previously reported that $9.5 million will be covered by the team and the other $20 million by the city, which is presumably still the case, but the Associated Press can’t be bothered to tell us that.) If you’re wondering how this affects the already long odds against city taxpayers ever getting their money back on the now $120 million expense, the answer is: it’s not looking great.
- Erie County is looking to hire a lawyer to conduct stadium negotiations with the Buffalo Bills, which means we get more headlines about whether a new Bills stadium is imminent despite the team’s owners insisting that one is not. Trolling for clicks or trying not to bite the hand that feeds them, it’s so hard to tell the difference these days.
- Urban Milwaukee’s Bruce Murphy has another go at that laughable Milwaukee Brewers stadium economic impact report by the laughable Convention, Sports & Leisure, and comes up with some more hilarity, including that CSL attributed $38 million in state benefits to mentions of Milwaukee on TV. Does this mean that Wisconsin taxpayers also should have subsidized Laverne & Shirley?
- Here’s a long Nashville Scene article on how the Nashville S.C. stadium deal became 100% financed, which no it really is not. Maybe having your local alt-weekly bought by real estate developers isn’t the best thing for accurate news coverage? Just a thought.
- This has nothing to do with stadiums or arenas per se, but this article on how Philadelphia Phillies execs redesigned their Phillie Phanatic mascot to try to skip out on paying its original designers for the rights is a pretty fascinating look into the team owner mindset, and that’s before you even get to the part where one of the Phanatic designers also designed Miss Piggy.
- And finally, some fresh vaportecture, courtesy of New Mexico United, which released potential stadium designs that, well:
I don’t get why there’s a giant robot Muffler Man holding a team shield and kicking a giant soccer ball, nor what’s up with the tiny balcony that fans can stand on to watch other fans entering the stadium far below, nor how the lighting system seems to be supported solely by a fabric roof. But a team spokesperson says that they envision it being “used 365 days a year, something that’s mixed with art galleries, local coffee shops, and breweries,” so maybe the giant robot is really art? Or an enormous robot-shaped cappuccino machine? Cast your votes in comments!