In case you missed it, I revisited the question of MLB’s attendance decline for Deadspin this week, by way of picking apart a New York Times article on the topic that got a couple of things right and a whole bunch of things less right. The upshot is that team owners don’t really need lots of fans to show up, but they sure would like them to, but only if they can accomplish this without cannibalizing the luxury seat sales that are their bread and butter these days — all of which makes all the “Whither baseball?” handwringing even less justifiable. Lesson: Don’t try to measure the demand curve just by looking at product sales. (Okay, maybe that’s only the lesson I take from it, but it’s one lesson.)
- Some St. Louis business owners have had their leases terminated, and think it’s because their buildings are being sold to make way for a new MLS stadium. The stadium site (and the team’s name) remain mysteries according to the team’s official website, so their guess is as good as yours or mine or anybody’s.
- San Francisco Giants execs are considering moving their fences in because their team hit better on the road than at home, and has anyone told them that if they move the fences in, it has to be for both teams? Doing otherwise has been illegal ever since Bill Veeck tried it.
- Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer has pledged $30 million toward a new arena, which sounds better before you notice that the total construction cost is projected at $126 million. Andlauer says he’d take over maintenance costs on the arena, whereas the city pays maintenance on the existing one, but he didn’t say how much money that would be or if there would be a different share of arena revenues or anything, so it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions on this one.
- Anaheim city spokesperson Mike Lyster says that the appraisal of the city-owned land around the Los Angeles Angels‘ stadium that team owner Arte Moreno wants development rights to, which the city council voted last fall to release to the public as soon as it was ready, will be “share[d] with the community at the right time,” but right now “any release would be premature and potentially impact negotiations.” How does three and a half hours before the vote sound to you?
- Oakland A’s fans like Oakland Coliseum because it’s so unattractive that it’s cheap to go to. This actually says a lot about the role of new stadiums in team marketing and income (and enthusiasm) gaps between different kinds of fans and a lot of other things, even if it just sounds like a rehashed Yogiism.
- Cleveland is spending more to renovate the Cavaliers‘ arena than it spent to build it in the first place, reports the great Cleveland journalist Roldo Bartimole, while it and other local sports venues stiff the Cleveland school district on property taxes.
- Palm Springs is getting an AHL expansion franchise in 2021, and Oak View Group is building a $250 million arena for it to play in, and yes, you read that right, a quarter-billion-dollar minor-league hockey arena. Costs will be shared between OVG and the Agua Caliente tribe whose land it sits on, and OVG head Tim Leiweke says it will create “thousands” of construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs, which isn’t actually all that great for $250 million in expense, but who can put a price on minor-league hockey?
- Here’s an interview with Tiger Stadium Fan Club stalwarts Bill Dow and Dave Mesrey on the 20th anniversary of the closing of that Detroit ballpark, which I haven’t listened to all of yet because ew podcasts, but Bill and Dave are both great so if you like obtaining information through your ears, give it a spin.
- The Associated Press has noticed that some cities pay a lot for sports stadiums, and others don’t. Now all they need is an explanation of why, and they can write a book!