Happy baseball season, everybody! Last night the New York Yankees were leading the Washington Nationals 4-1 when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came out to explain the new playoff system in which 16 teams will make the postseason and the only advantage you’ll get from winning your division is home-field advantage in empty stadiums, at which point the baseball gods tried to kill Manfred by hurling lightning bolts at him and the game had to be called. This really could not be a more auspicious beginning.
Anyway, stadium and arena news, that’s what you’re here for:
- The group fighting against Henderson’s $30 million or maybe $42 million arena subsidy for the Silver Knights minor-league hockey team has thrown in the towel, after a ruling that their petitions to get a revote on the November ballot were invalid, partly because of a printing technicality and partly because Nevada law doesn’t allow ballot initiatives over specific projects. “We are going to re-calibrate and look at what more we can do to help the community and to help the community’s voice be heard,” said John Dalrymple of the Henderson Coalition for Responsible Government, which is pretty much what you say to save face when waving the white flag, but there’s no shame in admitting when you’re outgunned.
- The Inglewood city council approved the environmental impact report for the Los Angeles Clippers‘ proposed new arena, which means now the council just has to approve the land deal, but the project seems pretty fast-tracked to go ahead at this point. Just goes to show what wonders buying out the people who said they’d sue you can do!
- Hamilton has approved a $500 million plan to redo its arena and convention center and add residential development, and the developer will put up the money and also take over capital expenses on the facilities, and it all sounds great but this is also only the city government’s presentation of it and no more details will be available until “late 2020” when the master agreement is finalized, so keep an eye peeled for dropping shoes.
- Italy could start allowing some soccer fans back into stadiums by September, and China is allowing fans at full capacity for the basketball playoffs in August, and South Korea will allow baseball and soccer games at full capacity next month as well, now that Covid surges have been brought largely under control in those nations. In the U.S., meanwhile, some NFL teams think they’re going to have stadiums open at limited capacity by fall, but, yeah, probably not.
- The Toronto Blue Jays‘ plan to play home games in Pittsburgh this year after Canada said it wouldn’t let ballplayers to travel there from germy America to play games was turned down by the state of Pennsylvania, which didn’t want more germy Americans either, but Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says the Hartford Yard Goats stadium is ready to welcome all huddled germ masses yearning to breathe free, presumably because he wants to get something in exchange for all the public money the state is spending on the place, even if it’s just the Hartford skyline as a backdrop during Jays games.
- Mikhail Prokhorov will get another 14 days from Nassau County to renegotiate his Nassau Coliseum lease, because the middle of an economic meltdown is no time to be playing hardball about people falling behind on their rent.
- Did you know that half of all Coca-Cola sales are at stadiums, movie theaters, and other large entertainment venues? Me neither, and now it feels like public money for sports venues is a hidden subsidy to the sugary drinks industry, too.
- Washington’s NFL team will officially be named the Washington Football Team for this season, with players’ numbers on the helmets in place of a logo. Don’t worry, though, there’s still a chance for the team to get renamed after a fictional race of genocidal robots, so this fun may never end.
- Seattle’s new NHL team is officially the Kraken, but to they will forever be the Burninators to me.