Send money to Field of Schemes, I send you stuff! Just like a stadium deal, only you get stuff!

It’s been quite a year, 2016, both in the stadium world — from St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke turning up his nose at a $477 million stadium subsidy offer to go build his own stadium in Los Angeles, to the sad, hilarious Hartford Yard Goats endless road trip saga, to the city of Arlington voting to give the Texas Rangers owners $500 million to build a new stadium because their 22-year-old one lacked air-conditioning. (I think there may have been something else of import that happened on Election Day, too, but it’s escaping me at the moment.) I also published a new book, and got a new job. So, it’s been a busy time.

With this year finally winding down, that means it’s time for my semi-annual site supporters’ drive, where you send me money so I can keep on doing what I do here and I send you various tangible and intangible goodies. For 2017, the tchotchke tally will amount to:

  • Full supporters ($100 for one year, $50 for six months) continue to get a free banner ad at the top right-hand corner of this site — either supply your own 250×90 image, or I can design one for you. I reserve the right to reject inappropriate or inaccurate messages, though that’s never happened yet.
  • All full supporters will now receive a signed paperback copy of my new book The Brooklyn Wars, which features much investigation of my home borough’s new basketball arena and minor-league baseball stadium and their effect on development, plus other tales of the evolution of the world’s trendiest borough.
  • Everyone, including both full supporters and $25 mini-supporters, gets: a one-inch members-only pin (pictured at right); two limited-edition sets of stadium trading cards (one now, the other when I finish it, which will be real soon now I promise); and a reprint of issue #9 of Brooklyn Metro Times, the self-published zine containing the article by myself and Joanna Cagan that sent us down the road to our book and this site. Plus an electronic copy of The Brooklyn Wars in PDF, ePub, or Kindle format.

And if that’s not enough, you also get the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that I can take the time to keep bringing you daily news about the gotta-laugh-to-keep-from-crying world of stadium subsidies, which seems determined to keep on going indefinitely, despite a lot of people’s best efforts to declare it terminally stupid. And my eternal thanks, which I really do mean from the bottom of my heart — news blogging can be a lonely enterprise, and hearing from you all via your comments and emails and tweets and Grants and Benjamins helps me remember that this is important to you all, and that hopefully I’m performing a useful service by providing the latest news and analysis and a place to make crappy Simpsons-reference jokes about it.

Click the button below if you care to begin or renew a supporters’ subscription. And if you pay with Paypal, please remember to enter your mailing address under instructions, so that I can send you stuff without having to ask. (Who am I kidding — nobody is going to remember, and I’ll just email you. That’s fine.)

Thanks, have a happy holidays, and see you back here shortly with more news.

UPDATE: If you were having any trouble with the payment button earlier, try again — it should be working now.


If anything important happens next week, just, you know, crowdsource it

I’m going to be on the road the next week and a bit, so posts will likely be more sporadic than usual — if the Arizona Diamondbacks threaten to move to Moncton or something, I’ll be sure to chime in, but less urgent news will need to wait until I get back. Consider this to be your open-thread item to talk amongst yourselves on anything that needs discussing while I’m gone, and try not to break the furniture. Regular programming will resume on August 30.

Support Field of Schemes, get a free digital copy of my new book (plus other goodies)!

It’s that time again: My biannual appeal for you, the faithful Field of Schemes readers, to kick some money in towards letting me take the time each morning to scour the stadium-and-arena-shenanigans world and bring it to you on a platter of snark. In exchange, you get not only the warm feeling that you are allowing me to continue to cover these issues without worrying about how it’s taking time away from paying the electric bill, but you will also receive various rewards for your generosity:

Mini-Supporters ($25 for a year) get a Field of Schemes Supporter button, a reprint of the original zine article that launched Joanna and I to research and write our book, and both the original series of FoS stadium cards plus a new series that I’ll be designing this summer using the latest tragic hilarity from the stadium world. (If I can get good photos, the Texas Rangers’ stadium-that-may-be-torn-down-after-22-years-because-it-lacks-air-conditioning is a must.)

Half-Year Supporters ($50 for six months) get everything above, plus six months of ad space in the right banner section (I’ll design an ad for you if you don’t have an image in mind), plus a PDF copy of my upcoming book, The Brooklyn Wars, once it’s available in September. (It’s not all about stadium deals, but stadiums are far more integral to Brooklyn’s transformation, and in less expected ways, than I realized when I first started writing the book two summers ago.)

Full-Year Supporters ($100 for 12 months) get everything the half-year supporters do, but a full year of banner ad space. Plus a full year of my complete gratitude!

Thanks to everyone who can pitch in, to everyone who has pitched in during the past, and everyone who just contributes to the site by commenting, retweeting, or sharing on Facebook. I would have quit this long, long ago if it weren’t for you all, so I like to think you’re making the world a better place — or at least a more amusingly disillusioning one.

To start or renew a membership, please make a selection from the pulldown menu below and click “Pay Now.” And don’t forget to write your mailing address in the comments field of the resulting Paypal form, so I know where to send your goodies:


A warm thank you to all FoS Supporters, past and (hint, hint!) future

It looks like a slow news day today — unless you count MLS commissioner Don Garber trying to simultaneously leverage stadiums in two cities by saying Sacramento might jump ahead of Miami in expansion line, but probably won’t — so let me take the opportunity to thank all of our Field of Schemes Supporters for helping keep this site going into its (gulp) 18th year of reporting on stadium and arena shenanigans.

I know that crowdfunding is an accepted thing now, but I am still honored and humbled by the fact that enough of you are willing to chip in to support this site — a site you could read for free with no shame, and which thousands of other people do — that this has become, while not exactly a wildly lucrative way for me to spend an hour or two each morning, at least something that isn’t leading me into total financial ruin. You people rock, and I’m not just saying that to butter you up for more donations.

That said, if you would like to join (or rejoin) our happy crew, the signup form is below. All new members will get the pin and the first series of stadium cards and the zine reprint; if I’ve already sent you some of those, you’ll still get put on the list to receive any future tchotchkes that I put together in 2016. (FoS correspondent David Dyte is jonesing to have me use some of his football stadium photos for a second card series, for one.) In addition, donors at the $50 and $100 levels will continue to get ad space in the site banner, to use for whatever you like. And I’ll be keeping my brain peeled for other appropriate rewards — if you have any requests, feel free to suggest them in comments or drop me an email.

Seriously, thanks again for all your contributions — even if it’s just by providing an informative or hilarious comment that brightens my day — both past and future. I think this site both performs an important service and provides a valuable place for those of us fascinated by the sports stadium racket to discuss the latest shenanigans, and I cannot overstate how much your participation means to me.

Okay, enough sentimentality — send me cash! (Which I’m pretty sure is what Stan Kroenke said at the NFL owners meetings this week.)


Get your Field of Schemes stadium cards and zine reprints, hot off the presses!

I am very pleased to report that the Field of Schemes stadium cards first series and Brooklyn Metro Times original stadium issue reprints are now in the mail, and on their way to readers who’ve kindly donated to this site. Thank you all for your patience, and if you’re expecting tchotchkes and haven’t received them by next week, drop me a line and I’ll look into it.

And for anyone who’d still like to get in on this, I have some card sets and zines remaining, so please consider becoming a FoS Supporter at any of the three donation levels, and I’ll send out your goodies posthaste. Reader donations really are a huge help in enabling me to take the time to bring you the latest stadium and arena news every morning, and I appreciate them more than you can imagine.

Also, while I’m at it, thanks to FoS correspondent David Dyte for providing many of the photos for the cards. And check out his two photo books of Brooklyn and Manhattan, which are well worth some cash as

If I miss any stadium news, please slip it under my door for when I get home

Almost forgot to mention that I’m heading out of town, um, about twelve hours ago, and will remain on my travels for the rest of this week. I still have internet connectivity (obviously), so I’ll still be chiming in on the most important issues of the day when possible. But if I go a couple of days without reporting on the latest twists and turns in your favorite lawsuit, say, don’t worry, we’ll all catch up when I return.

In the meantime, feel free to consider this an open thread for comments on news that I haven’t gotten to yet. Regular programming will return July 6.

Become a FoS Supporter, get a copy of the zine that started it all!

And finally, it’s that time of year again: The time when I rattle my tip jar, point out that Google ads don’t go that far toward paying the bills around here, and ask for the generosity of my readers to help keep me getting up every morning to tackle what seems to be an ever-growing list of stadium and arena controversies. Plus, FoS Supporters get more for their contribution than my mere undying gratitude:

  • Anyone contributing even $25 for the year will get an FoS Supporter pin, plus the full set of FoS stadium trading cards (which will be printed and shipped real soon now, I promise), if you’re not already in the queue to receive them.
  • New supporters (or those extending existing memberships) will get an additional all-new tchotchke that I’ve dug up: reprints of the original self-published zine that contained the first feature article (by myself and fellow zine co-editor Joanna Cagan) that eventually turned into the book Field of Schemes and this website:BMT9
  • As always, anyone who digs deeper will also get the right to place an ad saying anything you want (within the bounds of reason and decency) in the top right corner of this page for six months ($50) or a full year ($100).

To contribute, just click here and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page. And if you want me to mail you your trinkets, be sure to include your mailing address in comments, so I know where to send them.

Thanks as always for your support, whether it comes in the form of cash money or just appreciative emails and comments. I never thought I’d be doing this for this long, but as there’s clearly still a need, I plan on keeping up this daily grind as long as I can afford to do so (and my typing fingers don’t give out).

Every time someone Likes Field of Schemes on Facebook, an angel gets 100 extra hits

A bit of blog business while we all wait to see if that Orlando City S.C. no-public-money stadium offer is for real (reply still hazy, ask again later): See that little blue “Like” button over to the right, underneath the baseball stadium photo? Clicking that will add you to the list of people who have Liked Field of Schemes on Facebook, enabling you to get notices of the latest stadium reports in your news feed along with your daily allowance of cat GIFs.

Even if you hate reading news on Facebook, though — it really does distract from the cat-watching — there’s a reason to click that button if you value the reporting that goes on here. That’s because, thanks to the magic of Mark Zuckerberg’s secret algorithms, every Like that this page gets is also a vote for it to be seen by more Facebook users. Eventually, Facebook starts even recommending pages to people who’ve never heard of them, which helps spread the news here to an even wider audience, which is kind of the point of doing all this. (And also somehow gets converted into money to pay me for me time in bringing you this news, or so the underpants gnomes tell me.)

Obviously, if you’re here to hate-read me and post comments about how unfair I am by subjecting your favorite team’s stadium dreams to the harsh realities of math, don’t click that blue button. (Hate-readers are still welcome here, I hope it goes without saying.) But if you’d like to help spread the word about Field of Schemes and all that we write about, it would be weirdly helpful for you to inform the Facebook bots that you feel that way. Thanks!

Anybody want some old boxes of papers? Uh, I mean, valuable historical research? Inquire within!

Joanna Cagan and I wrote the first edition of Field of Schemes so long ago that we actually did research by compiling physical pieces of paper and placing them into cardboard folders. (This should not be seen as a commentary on the current, all-updated edition of Field of Schemes, which was written entirely with nanotechnology while flying around on our jetpacks.) As was the way of things in the late 20th century, we then put the folders in boxes, and the boxes in closets, and forgot all about them.

As it so happens, both Joanna and I are looking to reclaim our closets (Joanna because she’s about to move cross-country, me because I just want more closet space), and these 17-year-old book research files need to go. At the same time, there’s no doubt some useful information in there for future researchers — let’s see, this first box I pulled out has some early article drafts, clippings from now-defunct newspapers (New York Newsday, R.I.P.), Nexis searches, hey, it’s the catalog (and my name tag) from that stadium finance conference where Jay Cross talked about how referendums are a good thing because you can always just buy the outcome if you’re worried. I have a bunch of original cassettes containing recorded interviews as well that I’d love to get out of my house make available to researchers.

If you are a librarian or archivist or know one who might be interested in taking possession of the Field of Schemes papers, please drop me a line here. We’re probably talking about six or seven file boxes total, to be picked up or shipped from New York City. No serious offers turned away, not even if you plan on using this material to craft a papier-maché effigy of Roger Goodell. (Actually, that might get you bonus points.)

Questions welcome in comments or via email. But hurry, because Joanna’s moving van can’t wait forever.