A glacier in Antarctica just lost a chunk of ice bigger than Seattle twice the size of Washington, D.C. nearly the size of Atlanta almost as big as Las Vegas a third the size of Dublin, maybe it’s time to quit driving an SUV? Or maybe it’s just time to focus on some more human-scale disasters that involve small groups of people enriching themselves to the detriment of humanity:
- The Santa Clara city council voted unanimously to remove the San Francisco 49ers as managers of their stadium for both NFL and non-NFL events, on the grounds that the team owners were siphoning off lease payments that could have gone to the city. The vote is “just symbolic,” however, as the fate of the stadium’s management is already tied up in litigation ever since the council voted to remove the 49ers owners as managers for non-NFL events last year, so we’re not going to see the team forced to negotiate a lease to play home games just yet.
- The Richmond city council has killed the city’s $1.5 billion arena district plan dead, only maybe not completely dead given that everyone is just going back to the drawing board to concoct a new deal. The old plan to sink $300 million in tax money into an arena appears dead, though, so that’s something.
- The New York Mets have completed $57 million in upgrades to their Florida facility, almost all of it public money, with one of the highlights being a lavish clubhouse that only big-leaguers will be allowed to use during spring training, not minor-leaguers during the regular season, “to give minor leaguers a reminder of the status they’re working to earn.” As Marc Normandin notes in his subscription-only newsletter, “Apparently, the horrific wages, forcing players to pay for their own equipment, not paying them during spring training at all, and having five roommates who all sleep on air mattresses in a small apartment wasn’t enough motivation to be treated more like a person.” Plus the sandwiches and not even being allowed to bring your own lunch! The major-league Mets, though, they get comfy sofas at taxpayer expense, because that’s how American capitalism is meant to be.
- Washington NFL owner and full-time supervillain Dan Snyder is apparently using the promise of a new stadium in either Maryland or Virginia to press those states to legalize sports gambling, which sounds reasonable until you remember that whichever state wins the stadium likely “wins” a huge public subsidy tab as well. Maybe Snyder should threaten that he won’t go away unless the state legalizes sports gambling?
- Louisville is considering a 10% ticket tax on events at the KFC Yum Center plus a 0.25% restaurant tax surcharge in the entire city, all to pay off the arena’s massive debt load now that the plan to pay for it with a tax increment financing district was such a complete disaster. Friends don’t let friends pay for things with TIFs!
- Next Tuesday’s planned groundbreaking for a planned Palm Springs arena — set to be the home of a new minor-league hockey team — was unexpectedly postponed this week, with no explanation. Nobody from either the the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, whose land the arena will be built on, or Oak View Group, which is building it, is commenting at all, so feel free to read the tea leaves however you want.
- The Vegas Golden Knights‘ new minor-league affiliate that the team moved from San Antonio will play in the 17-year-old Orleans Arena until a new arena can be built, because who plays willingly in a 17-year-old arena, my god, what will the neighbors think?
- Six months to go before the Tokyo Olympics, time for the ceremonial sweeping of the homeless out of sight of cameras!
- If that news item about the state of New Jersey paying $20 million a year to NBC to shoot a TV show in the vacant Meadowlands Arena got you wondering how much you the taxpayers spent to subsidize this year’s Oscar-nominated movies, Kasia Tarczynska of Good Jobs First has you covered. If I and my fellow New Yorkers helped pay $9.9 million toward The Joker, shouldn’t we at least get, I dunno, free Netflix?