On a tight deadline this week, so let’s get straight to the news:
- MLS indeed awarded St. Louis an MLS franchise this week as had been hinted, to begin play in 2022. “St. Louis has always been and will continue to be one of the great historic soccer cities throughout the United States,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber, failing to note that this soccer tradition didn’t help when St. Louis voters rejected giving sales-tax money to the team for a new stadium in 2017, but once the city and state went ahead and approved about the same $60 million in public funding in 2018, it was all good.
- Here’s an article about how Mesa, Arizona is “saving $22 million” by paying off $45 million in spring-training stadium debt early instead of continuing to make payments through 2032. Which, no, that’s not how borrowing money works: Yes, Mesa now gets to avoid interest payments, but it also no longer has $45 million sitting around, meaning it either needs to cut back on spending or take out new debt to pay for stuff that that $45 million would have paid for, which will result in, yep, more interest payments. Choosing when to pay off bonds isn’t a funding issue, it’s a bookkeeping one; I’m not sure why so many journalists can’t understand this, but it’s probably millennials’ fault somehow.
- And here’s an article about how Nassau County’s executive wrote an op-ed for another site calling the New York Islanders arena deal “a hat trick for Nassau County.” Remember, kids: If you study hard and eat your spinach and grow up to be an elected official, not only to you get to write in the newspaper about how great your decisions are, but other people will write articles about how your decisions are great because you wrote an op-ed saying they are!
- On the other hand, if you try to bill a company $50,000 for negotiating a stadium naming-rights fee with the public authority you’re in charge of, you might get in trouble and have to resign! Politics is only fun and games until somebody gets an eye put out!
- The Kansas City T-Bones indy league baseball team is getting evicted for nonpayment of rent on its stadium, and I, for one, hope it will involve a tractor parked on home plate.
- “Should the White Sox leave Chicago?” asks Chicago Magazine, apparently because the White Sox aren’t drawing as well as the Cubs, though they are drawing better than eight other MLB teams despite heading for their seventh consecutive losing record. Maybe they could move to Charlotte or Las Vegas, suggests the article, noting in a coup de grace, “The Chicago Public Library holds twice as many books about the Cubs (274) as the Sox (131).” I’m sold — Charlotte may have barely one-third the TV households as Chicago, but I bet the CharlSox would dominate the public library, and that’s priceless.