This week’s recommended reading: Girl to City, Amy Rigby’s just-published memoir of the two decades that took her from newly arrived art student in 1970s New York to divorced single mom and creator of the acclaimed debut album Diary of a Mod Housewife. (Disclosure, I guess: I edited an early version of one chapter for the Village Voice last year.) I picked up my copy last week at the launch of Rigby’s fall book tour, and whether you love her music or her long-running blog (guilty as charged on both counts) or enjoy tales of CBGB-era proto-gentrifying New York or coming-of-age-stories about women balancing self-doubt and determination or just a perfectly turned punchline, I highly recommend it: Like her best songs, it made me laugh and cry and think, often at the same time, and that’s all I can ask for in great art.
But first, read this news roundup post, because man, is there a lot of news to be rounded up:
- Three days after evicting the indie minor-league baseball Kansas City T-Bones from their stadium for nonpayment of rent, the city of Kansas City, Kansas welcomed new owners of the team with a new lease that will provide $1 million in tax money to help pay for $1.5 million in stadium upgrades. If this doesn’t quite feel like tough negotiating to you, does it make you feel better that the new team president is promising to bring shuffleboard, pickleball, sand volleyball, and bocce ball to the stadium as well? Can anyone truly put a price on getting to watch professional (?) pickleball?
- Most of the $30 million the Los Angeles Angels have spent on stadium “maintenance” over the last seven years actually went to building a new scoreboard, which has sports economist Roger Noll worried that the team is skimping on actual upkeep of the building as it negotiates a new lease. Also, the long-hidden appraisal of the Angel Stadium parking lots that team owner Arte Moreno wants development rights to has reportedly been leaked, but not to anyone who’s actually made it public, which isn’t really my idea of what “leaked” means.
- Still nobody is quite sure how much money St. Louis taxpayers will have to put up for a new MLS stadium, or for cost overruns that the city has promised to cover, or even where the stadium will be built. These are maybe things St. Louis might have wanted to work out before approving the funding plan, but it did land the city an MLS expansion franchise, and not everybody gets those. Not quite yet, anyway.
- The New York Islanders‘ new arena will reportedly include “smart jerseys” for sale that can change what player and number they feature, which seems not to have anything to do with the new arena per se? Regardless, I’m sure the Cincinnati Bengals will be demanding that county taxpayers pay for some soon enough.
- MLB TV ratings are up even though attendance is down, and MLS per-game attendance is down while TV ratings are up. One might be tempted to conclude that something is going on here other than MLB being a dying sport while MLS is the choice of a new generation, but far be it from me to ruin a good meme.
- Were you wanting an article whose headline reports that “new stadium buzzing is getting louder” for the Tampa Bay Rays when the only actual news in it is about a Rays stadium lobbying group shutting down? Florida Politics has got you covered!
- MLB is exploring ways to let investment funds buy minority shares in baseball teams, which I don’t fully understand the consequences of beyond “more potential buyers means you can charge more for shares,” but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that investment funds aren’t the best employers for workers and other living things.
- The XFL’s Dallas Renegades have released a schematic of how their football field in the Texas Rangers‘ old baseball stadium, and yeah, that seems about right.
- The Columbus Dispatch editorial board says it’s fine with the city’s soccer stadium costs having doubled — because who can put a price on keeping the Crew in town? — but just wishes someone in city government had mentioned it rather than forcing the paper’s reporters to go dig up secret documents, which was a lot of work, man.
- The New York Liberty are relocating to Brooklyn after two years in exile in Westchester after the team’s former owners, Madison Square Garden, moved the WNBA franchise there to make room for more lucrative concerts and such. This isn’t a huge surprise given that the Liberty’s new owner is also the new owner of the Brooklyn Nets and the arena, but as someone who will now be able to get to games via a 20-minute subway ride, I applaud corporate machinations finally working in my favor for once.
- With the Oakland A’s looking at building a waterfront stadium because fans dig waterfront stadiums, the Washington Post has investigated whether it’s really such a good idea to be building waterfront stadiums when sea level is projected to rise by several feet in coming decades thanks to the climate crisis. My favorite bit is where a University of Miami geologist does say that Miami is “not a long-term option” — not Miami’s stadium, mind you, but Miami itself, which should be a sobering notion for anyone concerned about the future, which of course is where we’re going to spend the rest of our lives.
- And speaking of Miami, please enjoy this moment in the Miami city commission’s continuing debates over Inter Miami‘s new stadium in which a city commissioner said to Miami’s mayor, “Let me call you Lord Mayor, so you get even happier!” I’m truly going to miss Florida when it’s gone.