My endorsement of Hmm Daily last month was so successful that this week the site announced it’s shutting down. I am now officially afraid to tell you people to give money to any other particular site, lest I bestow the kiss of death on them as well, but you should give money to someone you like, because journalism is in bad shape, with dire effects on, among other things, the public’s ability to hold elected officials accountable.
Speaking of which, here’s this week’s news about elected officials doing unaccountable things, and the rich dudes who want to keep it that way:
- New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky told Newsday he’s “looking forward to breaking ground [on a new arena] this summer, that’s the best way to put it,” which sounds an awful lot like “we have no idea when we might break ground, but this summer should would be nice!” The state Empire State Development quasi-public development corporation has admitted that it’s going to blow its self-imposed June 30 deadline for an environmental impact statement, but says releasing one in July will be no problem for starting construction this summer. That’s assuming that local elected officials can be brought on board, though, which could require building a train station that breaks the laws of time and space, so that could be why Ledecky is hedging slightly.
- Wisconsin is likely next year to repeal the five-county sales tax surcharge that paid for the Milwaukee Brewers‘ stadium, which is good news only in that it won’t be around for the Brewers owners to demand that it be funneled into more stadium improvements. Though the stadium authority has already been socking away tax money in a reserve fund for future upgrades, so the tax can still be the gift that keeps on giving even after it’s no longer being taxed.
- Congratulations/sympathies to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, for getting picked as hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics. Even with the IOC backing down some on its demands for new venues and financial guarantees, Olympics have a way of going over budget and leaving their host cities on the hook for the extra costs, so we’ll have to wait a few years before we know whether to applaud Milan and Cortina for holding the line on IOC extortion, or to pity them for being the latest in a long line of suckers.
- Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke has finalized a settlement to pay $24 million to fans who bought 30-year personal seat licenses to Rams games in St. Louis, only to have the team move to Los Angeles after only 21 years. If this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s probably because the court ruling that Kroenke has to pay off PSL holders was way back in 2016 — at which point I estimated the cost would be “$15-25 million,” so yay me and my calculator — but the wheels of justice grind slow.
- Here’s a decent explainer from a Tampa Bay Rays blog on why having the Rays play half their games in Montreal wouldn’t be an economic boon to Florida (or to Montreal, for that matter).
- New England Revolution coach Bruce Arena said that “when the day comes that we have a stadium in downtown Boston we’re going to be fighting off people to come here and play,” which seems to betray a misunderstanding of both how MLS determines where players go and the attractiveness of downtown Boston, but more likely it’s just an employee shilling for his boss’s stadium demands, no doubt knowing that the Boston sports media couldn’t turn down a chance to pretend that a downtown stadium is actually happening.
- Oh, great, now Raleigh and Charlotte are seen as fighting against each other for a North Carolina MLS expansion franchise, as well as fighting against every other city in the U.S. that doesn’t already have a team. Bidding wars can never end well for the bidders.
- The Vancouver Canucks owners tried to hide $140 million in capital gains from taxation as part of their purchase of the team in 2005, and have now failed. The Aquilini brothers still plan to appeal, but it’s nice to see that at least some countries actually make their ultrawealthy pay their taxes.
UPDATE: Just realized I forgot to link to my Deadspin article yesterday on Stuart Sternberg’s Tampontreal Ex-Rays threat, Richard Nixon, Kinder eggs, and bird evolution. And now I have done so, so go read it!