FC Cincinnati tax subsidy worth $17m approved last year wasn’t actually approved last year, it turns out

Turns out the city of Cincinnati overlooked something last year when it approved its share of $63.8 million in subsidies for a new F.C. Cincinnati soccer stadium: $17 million of the city’s share will come from local hotel taxes, which are controlled by the joint city-county Convention Facilities Authority, which now isn’t sure it actually wants to hand over the dough unless the city agrees to cover any shortfall created in paying maintenance and debt service on the city’s convention center.

If I’m reading this Cincinnati Enquirer article right, it’s the county holding up the shifting of the funds, which makes sense, since the county would be on the hook for any shortfall that the city didn’t fill.

There’s an authority meeting set for this afternoon, at which maybe a solution will be hashed out. Either way, it sounds like the hashing will take place between the city and the county, not the private team owners — heaven forfend anyone ask them to cover any shortfalls — though if there’s an impasse, it could force the team to either delay construction or borrow money at a higher interest rate. (The $17 million is meant to be seed money that F.C. Cincinnati’s owners would then borrow off of — if stadium finance doesn’t make your head hurt, you’re probably not doing it right.)

There’s also a city council vote set for this Thursday on rezoning the land the team owners want to use for a stadium entrance, which is opposed by the people who currently live in buildings located on the proposed entrance site and slated for eviction. The Enquirer says it’s “unclear” if the rezoning will pass, which is journalism code for “we either asked councilmembers how they’ll vote and they wouldn’t tell us or we didn’t get around to asking them before our publication deadline”; many answers remain hazy, in other words, ask again at the end of the week.

Inter Miami could get huge Trump tax break for building Overtown stadium (or Overtown anything)

Inter Miami owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham announced last week that they intended to close on a $9 million purchase of three acres of county-owned land in Miami’s Overtown that was needed for a soccer stadium — which was only weird in that they decided last year not to build a stadium there, but instead build one at Melreese Golf Course.

Now, the Miami Herald thinks it has an explanation: The Overtown land is part of one of Donald Trump’s “opportunity zones,” which would allow both the land and any businesses on it to be sold after ten years for a tax-free capital gain:

In the case of a soccer stadium, the owners could sell the land and the team after 10 years and any profits would be tax-free.

“When these stadiums get sold, they often come with the franchise,” said Peter Mekras, managing director of Aztec Group, a real estate investment firm. “If you make a major capital investment in an Opportunity Zone and the physical part appreciates in value and it’s a good business venture, you’re allowing a smart decision to be even smarter.”

Given that we’re talking an MLS franchise here, it’s not all that likely there would be much in the way of on-paper profits to get a tax break on — and stadiums tend not to appreciate in value, either. The only way Mas and Beckham could really score big would be if they can avoid capital gains taxes on the entire increased value of the franchise since Beckham bought it; remember, Beckham got an option to buy the team for a cut-rate $25 million, and expansion teams now go for $200 million a pop. Would the IRS let the team owners get away with claiming that Inter Miami was still only worth $25 million when it moved to Overtown, and the entire appreciation came while the team was playing there? I’ve been reading way too much about opportunity zones, and I couldn’t tell you for sure — this is ripe for further investigation by someone with more research time on their hands. (Hint, hint, Miami Herald.)

Of course, it’s also possible that Mas and Beckham have no intention of building a soccer stadium in Overtown, as they’ve repeatedly said is the case, and are just spending $9 million to finish the rest of a parcel that they can then either develop for something else or sell to another investor, knowing it comes with potential tax breaks. In which case the only real complaint here is that Miami-Dade County maybe should have charged more for the land if it comes with a bonus Trump gift coupon. This is why it’s generally a bad idea to have tax break programs with really confusing rules that were approved without public hearings: You’re very likely to end up with loopholes that investors can drive a truck through.

Friday roundup: Red Wings owner touts his “passion” amid sea of parking lots, cities are terrible stadium negotiators, newspapers are terrible newspapers

The cryptocurrency-based journalism startup Civil couldn’t have gone much worse, but it did spawn a couple of successes, none more welcome than Hmm Daily, the news commentary site from former Gawker and Deadspin editor Tom Scocca. Or as I will always think of him, the co-founder of Funny Paper, the now virtually unfindable-on-the-internet weekly(ish) political analysis of daily comic strips that was the greatest such enterprise until the great Josh Fruhlinger elevated it to an even higher art form. I’ve been enjoying Scocca’s excellent columns on the militarization of language and how big a giant bee is for months now, but I didn’t feel compelled to bite the bullet and kick in any money until I spotted this photo caption in an article by Scocca’s Funny Paper co-conspirator Joe MacLeod: “I have no beef with the M&M’s homunculus infesting the menu.” If you know me at all from reading this website, you know that I immediately pulled out my wallet and became a paying Hmm Daily subscriber (at the $5 a month level, though the reward at the $50,000 level is truly amazing).

Anyways, on to the sports stadium and arena newses:

  • The District Detroit development around the new Red Wings arena still consists mostly of some state-subsidized parking lots, but Red Wings exec Christopher Ilitch says that’s okay because “Our timelines may change. Our passion, the energy, the way we feel about this community has not.” And truly, who can put a price on feels?
  • The Voice of OC cites “experts” as saying that Anaheim may not be driving a hard enough bargain with Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno on a price for stadium parking lot development rights, and oh hey look, it’s me. Also Holy Cross economist Victor Matheson, who says, “Cities tend to be remarkably bad negotiators when it comes to professional sports,” which, yup.
  • Politifact Wisconsin did a fact-check on claims that the state of Wisconsin will get a “tremendous” payback on its Milwaukee Bucks arena subsidies and found that that’s only if you assume the Bucks would have moved without them, and assume that Bucks fans would have all stopped spending their money in Wisconsin without them, and assume that NBA salaries will quintuple by the 2040s, and further found that Villanova sports stadium researcher Rick Eckstein calls the revenue estimates “fantasy figures,” and concluded that this makes the claim Mostly True. It is just slightly possible that having staff members of the local newspaper that has a record of overarching credulity on the arena deal do fact-checking on it might not be the best idea.
  • The people trying to get an MLB franchise in Portland are running out of momentum as MLB waits for the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s to work out their stadium situations before considering expansion, but at least they got a meeting with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred — no wait, the news report has corrected itself, they didn’t even get that. Well, at least they have weirdly non-Euclidean renderings.
  • Speaking of MLB expansion hopefuls, Montreal’s would-be neo-Expos owner Stephen Bronfman has a deal in place on land for a new stadium … not on buying the land, mind you, but with a developer to help develop the non-stadium part of the land once they buy it. This could be a while.
  • And speaking of the Rays and of terrible newspapers, the Tampa Bay Times’ John Romano wants to know when St. Petersburg and Tampa officials will stop bickering and get to work on throwing money at Rays owner Stuart Sternberg already?
  • The New York Times is a significantly less terrible newspaper, but a profile on A’s president Dave Kaval with the headline “Can This Man Keep the A’s in Oakland?” is not only pretty sycophantic in its own right, but it assumes a lot about the team owners moving without a new stadium when they’ve already gone a couple of decades demanding a new stadium and not getting one and still not moving.
  • Henderson, Nevada, is giving $10 million to the owners of the Vegas Golden Knights to build a practice rink, which is dumb but less dumb than some other cities’ expenses on similar projects.
  • The Arizona Coyotes are getting a new majority owner and the Phoenix Suns are up for sale, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, who added, “as one NHL official told me yesterday, when I asked that very question, I said, ‘Does this new owner mean that there’s an arena closer to fruition?’ And the answer was, if you get a new owner, there’s a better chance of a new arena. So you can put two and two together, Steve.” Then the Suns owners and a report in The Athletic on the Coyotes completely refuted what Shannon said, so maybe you’re better off putting two and two together without his help.
  • I was about to write up this news story about a potential rezoning approval for Austin F.C.‘s new stadium, but then I saw that KXAN managed to write “Austin’s Planing Commission” and “this ammendment” in the first three paragraphs, and now I gotta go cry all day about the death of copy editing, sorry.

Residents of buildings set to be razed for FC Cincinnati walkway demand compensation for losing homes

The controversy over the residents of Cincinnati’s West End who are getting evicted by F.C. Cincinnati because of the team’s new stadium but not technically for the team’s new stadium is heating up, with tenants demanding that the team find them new housing and pay compensation for booting them from their longtime homes:

The letter, from Wade Street & Central Avenue Tenants United, was sent by Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition Executive Director Josh Spring, to the public Monday night.

“We should continue to live in 421 Wade and 1559 Central until this replacement housing is completed and each of us has suitable housing and FCC should pay all moving costs and proper compensation to tenants,” the letter said.

The twelve residents of the two buildings, which are set to be torn down to make way for not the stadium proper but for an entrance to the stadium, have been told they have to vacate the property by May 31, but according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “team lawyers have publicly said nobody will be kicked out on that date, though people need to find new housing,” which hunnnhh? While lobbying for taxpayer funding for the stadium, team president Jeff Berding had promised that no residents would be displaced, but now says he only meant no residents of the City West development nearby, not no residents at all.

While it looks like the conflict will be resolved by settling on a compensation payout, the tenants made clear that the real issue is that they don’t want to move, and are being forced to just so a soccer team can have a walkway:

The letter said Berding and FC Cincinnati officials “must not understand the gravity of this situation.”

“They are threatening our homes, our stability and our physical and mental health,” the letter said. “We live where we live because we like our neighborhood, we like our streets, we have relationships with our neighbors, our kids go to school and play nearby, we have close family and friends nearby, we can financially afford our current homes, our jobs are close by, we have access to transportation and our medical care can easily reach us.”

Which, yeah, sure, people get forced to move from homes they like all the time for lots of reasons, including just the capitalist housing market. But that doesn’t make it any less tragic when it’s happening to you, especially when you have reason to believe there were other options available.

Friday roundup: Nashville saves (?) $75m by giving Predators $103m, South Carolina offers to give $125m to Panthers practice facility (?!), Oakland A’s shipping cranes are multiplying (?!?)

Since last week I went off-topic to discuss a review (kindly) poking fun at some of the ridiculousness of Marvel movies, I should note that there’s a TV series that manages to create a fun, exciting superhero universe while simultaneously poking fun at the entire genre in ways that expose not just its ridiculousness but also its fundamentally Manichean politics, and which has now been canceled by Amazon, a company that has been at the forefront of scheming to shake down cities for subsidies in exchange for building its own facilities. Coincidence?!?!?!? Well, okay, yes, almost certainly, but here’s hoping The Tick ends up picked up by a less ethically compromised corporate entertainment giant, if that’s even a thing.

Where was I? Oh right, stadiums, what’s up with those this week that we didn’t get to already?

  • The Nashville Predators have indeed agreed to a 30-year lease extension as first reported last week, and how good or bad a deal it is depends on your perspective: The team’s $8.4 million a year in tax kickbacks and operating subsidies will be reduced to just $4.9 million a year in tax kickbacks, which would be $75 million in taxpayer savings but on the other hand the tax kickbacks will be extended to 2049 now instead of 2028, so that’s $102.9 million in additional taxpayer costs. (Neither figure translated into present value.)
  • A South Carolina legislative conference committee has approved $115 million in tax breaks for a Carolina Panthers practice facility in Rock Hill. Yes, you read that right, a practice facility. State officials say that the 15-year tax kickbacks of all state income taxes will pay for themselves, a conclusion that state senator Dick Harpootlian determined was based on, in the words of the Associated Press, “every Panthers player and coach moving to South Carolina and spending their entire paychecks here and the team buying all the material for the new facility from companies in the state.”
  • Speaking of practice facilities, the Washington Wizards‘ new one is costing $1 million more a year for D.C. to run than anticipated, which is not good after the city already spent $50 million to build the thing for the team’s billionaire owner. D.C. officials recently booked three new concerts for the arena, but expects to lose money on each of them; an Events D.C. board member said they would let “people know that they have a place to go, that this is a fun place,” which I guess is another way of saying they’ll make it up in volume.
  • Omaha is spending $750,000 on hosting an Olympic swim meet, which on the one hand is a lot cheaper than $115 million for an NFL practice facility, and on the other is for a one-time Olympic swim meet.
  • Two unnamed sources tell The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal that New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft is “on the brink of securing a stadium site,” which tells us nothing about the state of the Revolution’s actual stadium plans since this could be a planted rumor to try to gain momentum, but does tell us lots about The Athletic’s poor grasp of the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics policy on use of unnamed sources.
  • I wrote a thing for Gothamist about how the New York Mets banned backpacks because they have too many pockets to easily search, but not other bags with lots of pockets, pretty much on the grounds of “the light’s better over here.” The best argument either of the security experts could come up with for the policy is that fewer bags means faster lines which means less time queued up outside stadiums as a stationary target for any theoretical terrorists, which is frankly mostly an argument for staying home and watching on TV.
  • Journalist Taylor C. Noakes notes in an op-ed for CBC News that bringing back the Expos might be nice for Montreal baseball fans, but probably won’t do much for the Montreal economy since “the economic impact of a professional baseball team on a given city [is] roughly equivalent to that of a mid-sized department store,” which, yup.
  • The latest Oakland A’s renderings show it still oddly glowing amid a darkened rest of the city. Plus now there are shipping cranes on both corners of the site! I am about to start working on a theory that this entire stadium plan is just a dodge for John Fisher to build lots of shipping cranes.

Friday roundup: Predators sign possibly non-sucky lease extension, NYCFC stadium rumors reach code orange, and why are we laughing at fat Thor, anyway?

Sorry if I’m posting a bit late this morning, but I started checking Deadspin for any last-minute news, and ended up having to read all of Anna Merlan’s best Avengers: Endgame review ever. If you’re tempted to click that and go read it now, please wait until after reading this post because it will make you forget all about wanting to know about soccer stadium zoning regulations or whatever, and anyway this week’s roundup is relatively short and will let you get back to thoughts on Thor fat-shaming in due haste; if you’re not tempted to click that at all and are wondering how this post went off the rails so quickly, just skip ahead to the bullet points already:

Chicago Fire to pay $45m-plus to move from suburban soccer stadium to Soldier Field

The Chicago Fire, who for the past 13 years have played in a soccer-specific stadium in suburban Bridgeview that has been somewhat of a disaster for all concerned — attendance is meh, and the village of Bridgeview has taken a bath on the lease — have agreed to pay $65.5 million as part of a buyout so they can move to the Bears‘ Soldier Field starting next season, according to the Desplaines Valley News, “a household name in the southwest suburbs since 1913”:

The breakup, which had been hinted at for several years, became official Tuesday afternoon when the village board unanimously approved a Memo Of Understanding between the Fire and Bridgeview. The next step is formally amending the lease, which is expected.

Under the terms of the memo, the team would pay the village $60.5 million to escape its lease. That includes a $10 million payment upfront with the balance paid over the next 15 years, the village’s financial advisor Dan Denys told the board…

The Fire would also pay the village $5 million for the next five years for using the Bridgeview facilities for practice, Denys said.

Okay, that’s not really a $65 million buyout: The $5 million is rent on using the stadium as a practice field, and since $50.5 million of the actual buyout would be spread over 15 years, that’s a present value total of more like $45 million. (Which is a lot less than the previous buyout estimate of $125 million, though of course that was just an estimate.) Though the Fire owners have also reportedly promised to “make whole” SeatGeek if the move harms the value of the company’s naming rights deal on the Bridgeview stadium, which could add millions more to their cost. Plus we still don’t know what the Fire will pay the Chicago parks department (who if I’m reading the Bears’ lease right control Soldier Field on non-NFL days) to play in their new home.

All of which is interesting in that it shows how desperate the Fire are to get into a stadium that their fans can actually get to, but more to the point: An MLS team is choosing to move from a soccer-specific stadium to become a renter in somebody else’s NFL stadium did Don Garber just keel over and die or what? It’s been MLS gospel for years now that soccer-specific stadiums are a must, with the only exceptions allowed being for teams that at least play in a multisport stadium that they control; the Fire will apparently now be an exception to that rule. To every would-be expansion city being asked to build a new stadium for soccer when it already has another stadium that could be used — which is to say, all of them — this should set an example that it isn’t actually necessary; it may be nice for a team and its fans, but that doesn’t mean cities should be on the hook for paying for them because they’re told it’s the only possible way to have a successful team.

Friday roundup: IRS hands sports owners another tax break, A’s accused of skimping on Coliseum land price, Rays could decide this summer on … something

Happy Friday! Here is a fatberg of stadium and arena news to clog up your weekend:

  • San Jose Mercury News columnist Daniel Borenstein says the Oakland A’s owners could be getting a discount of between $15 million and $65 million on their purchase of half the Oakland Coliseum site from Alameda County, which is hard to tell without opening up the site to other bids, which Alameda County didn’t do. You could also look at comparable land sale prices and try to guess, which shows that the A’s owners’ offer is maybe closer to fair value; it’s not a tremendous subsidy either way, but still oh go ahead, just write us a check for whatever you think is fair is probably not the best way to sell off public assets, yeah.
  • St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman says he expects to hear by this summer from Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg whether Sternberg will seek to build a stadium in St. Pete or across the bay in Tampa. Of course, Sternberg already announced once that he was picking Tampa and then gave up when nobody in Tampa wanted to pay for his $900 million stadium, so what an announcement this summer would exactly mean, other than who Sternberg will next go to hat in hand, remains unclear.
  • Fred Lindecke, who helped get an ordinance passed in St. Louis in 2002 that requires a voter referendum before spending public sports venues, would like to remind you that the soccer stadium deal approved last December still has to clear that hurdle, not that anybody is talking about it. Since the soccer subsidies would all be tax kickbacks and discounted land, not straight-up cash, I suspect this could be headed for another lawsuit.
  • Cory Booker and James Lankford have reintroduced their bill to block the use of federal tax-exempt bonds for sports venues, but only Booker got in the headline because Lankford isn’t running for president. (Okay, also it’s from a New Jersey news site, and Booker is from New Jersey.) Meanwhile, the IRS just handed sports team owners an exemption from an obscure provision of the Trump tax law that would have forced them to pay taxes on player trades; now teams can freely trade their employees like chattel without having to worry about taxes that all other business owners have to, thank god that’s resolved.
  • Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, for some reason, revealed that “Seattle is having a meeting to try to bring back the Sonics,” but turns out it’s just Chris Hansen meeting with a bunch of his partners and allies from his failed Sodo arena plan, not anyone from city government at all, so everybody please calm down.
  • The rival soccer team that lost out to David Beckham’s Inter Miami for the Lockhart Stadium site in Fort Lauderdale is now suing to block Beckham’s plans for a temporary stadium and permanent practice facility there, because this is David Beckham so of course they are.
  • Publicly owned Wayne State University is helping to build a $25 million arena for the Detroit Pistons‘ minor-league affiliate, and Henderson, Nevada could pay half the cost of a $22 million Las Vegas Golden Knights practice facility, and clearly cities will just hand out money if you put “SPORTZ” on the name of your project, even if it will draw pretty much zero new tourists or spending or anything. Which, yeah, I know is the entire premise of this site, but sometimes the craziness of it all just leaps up and smacks you in the face, you know?
  • The Philadelphia Union owners have hired architects to develop a “master plan” for development around their stadium in Chester, because they promised the city development and there hasn’t been any development and maybe drawing a picture of some development will make it appear, couldn’t hurt, right?
  • Wannabe Halifax CFL owner Anthony LeBlanc insisted that “we are moving things along, yeah” on getting federal land to build a stadium on, while showing no actual evidence that things are moving along. “The only direction that council has ever given on this is ‘dear staff, please analyze the business case when it comes,’” countered Halifax regional councillor Sam Austin. “Everything else is media swirl.”
  • Never mind that bill that could have repealed the Austin F.C. stadium’s property tax break, because its sponsor has grandfathered in the stadium and any other property tax breaks that were already approved.
  • Hamilton, Ontario, could be putting its arena up for sale, if you’re in the market for an arena in Hamilton, Ontario.
  • And finally, here’s an article by the Sacramento Bee’s Tony Bizjak on how an MLS franchise would be great for Sacramento because MLS offers cheap tickets and a diverse crowd who like public transportation and MILLENNIALS!!!, plus also maybe it could help incubate the next Google, somehow! And will it cost anything or have any other negative impacts? Yes, including $33 million in public subsidies, but Tony Bizjak doesn’t worry about such trivialities. MILLENNIALS, people!!!

Indiana gov approves umpteen bajillion dollars in subsidies for Pacers, Indy Eleven

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed legislation on Monday approving a steady stream of checks for the Pacers and the Indy Eleven USL team, and here’s how the Associated Press reported it:

The dedication of nearly $400 million in public subsidies toward two Indianapolis sports stadium projects has been signed into law.

Close! As discussed here last week — citing coverage in the Indianapolis Star, so it’s not like it was exactly secret information — the total is actually $712 million: $600 million in arena renovation funds and operating subsidies for Pacers owner Herb Simon, and $112 million in stadium subsidies for Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir. In fact, the Pacers piece is actually $777 million over 25 years, but it’s fairer to call it $600 million because that’s how much it’s worth in 2019 present value since some of the payments are way in the future.

The AP seems to have left out the $12.5 million in annual operating subsidies for the Pacers (rising to $16 million by the year 2031) and $10 million a year in “technology upgrades” for ten years on the grounds that that’s not technically part of the bill Holcomb signed, but rather the lease Simon agreed to on condition of Holcomb signing the bill. (Only in the sports world does one get to say, “Okay, I’ll let you pay me more than $20 million a year to play in the arena you built for me — but only if you first give me a check for $295 million.”) Which is misleading to readers, especially readers who are stuck relying on a brief AP report, because nobody in the rest of the Indiana and national media appears to have assigned anyone to write about the bill signing.

At least one national outlet did cover the Pacers situation in depth on Monday: Deadspin, which assigned me to write about the spread of pay-to-play deals in pro sports and how local elected officials set them up by giving team owners lease opt-outs that let them demand new subsidies every few years. You can read the whole thing here, but for now I’ll just share the thoughts of two people with inside knowledge of sports negotiations — longtime sports administrator Jim Nagourney and former Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait — on why mayors keep doing this to themselves:

After one meeting, [Nagourney] recalls, he spotted Steve Hill, the chair of the [Nevada] stadium authority, and “suddenly there’s a dozen reporters sticking microphones in his face, like he’s general manager of the team. It’s a very heady feeling, for someone who’s been in the concrete business. And the teams know it.”…

“Everyone’s at the party, and you don’t really want to be the guy not at the party,” says Tait. “It’s groupthink, and you gotta really be pretty comfortable with yourself to say ‘none of this makes sense.’”

It’s a sobering notion that the main reason mayors love sports stadiums has less to do with economic consulting reports or grubbing for campaign donations or what have you, and more to do with peer pressure, but that really does look to be how it works. The main value in being very rich is that you can hire people (okay, lobbyists, but they’re sort of like people) to hang out around City Hall and talk incessantly about how these subsidies have gotta happen, you’d be crazy not to do it, like used car dealers who somehow invited themselves over for dinner night after night until you forget that they’re not your friends. American democracy is truly a strange and broken thing.

Boston Globe writes entire article about new $400m Revolution stadium based on fan’s tweet

It’s not every day that you have a story about a team’s stadium price tag going up when there’s no actual plan of what stadium to build or where, but that’s what we had this weekend with the Boston Globe’s report that New England Revolution owner and famed massage parlor enthusiast Bob Kraft is now looking to spend $400 million on a stadium … somewhere:

During a fan event last weekend, Revs team president Brian Bilello offered some reassurance that the hunt remains very much alive. Snippets from the event emerged on Twitter, including the mention of a new price tag. A spokesman confirmed that the Kraft Group is now willing to invest as much as $400 million in a roughly 20,000-seat soccer stadium. The location? Sorry, everyone. That remains a mystery.

This story was apparently entirely based on week-old tweets by Paul Foley, a “dad, oral care expert, soccer fan” and former contributor to a now-defunct sports talk radio show with a now-defunct Twitter account, who got to talk to Bilello (or at least transcribe his statements) at a pregame event. Foley responded on Twitter as one does:

I’m perfectly willing to believe that Bilello actually said “$400 million private investment supported by Krafts” as Foley says he did; what that means is another thing. Is Kraft really ready to build the most expensive MLS stadium in history on his own dime? How a new Revolution stadium would be paid for has been an official secret for even longer than where it might go — way back in 2015 he proposed paying for one with a ticket tax, which only would have worked with a ticket tax of around $40 — so you’d think Globe writer Jon Chesto would have asked the team for an official statement on this, but there’s no indication that he did beyond getting confirmation that Bilello used the $400 million figure. (Though he did get two sports economists, Victor Matheson and Andy Zimbalist, to say, in effect, “man, that sounds like a lot of money.”) As a Professional Editor of Journalism, I would have sent this back to the author with the note “needs comment from team on financial plan or indication that they refused to comment,” but I guess that’s not how the Globe rolls these days.