Okay, let’s do this thing:
- WTSP reporter Noah Pransky keeps trying to ask Hillsborough County commissioner Ken Hagan about how he plans to pay for a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium, and Hagan keeps walking away, and the video of this is fricking hilarious.
- An Atlanta attorney has filed suit against Fulton County, claiming that the Atlanta Falcons are ducking $13 million in property tax payments a year by having the state own their new stadium in name only while the team collects all revenues from it. Which, absolutely that’s what’s going on, but since that’s how pretty much every other pro sports team does it as well, good luck getting a court to rule that it’s illegal.
- Baseball America’s Tracy Ringolsby, who in recent years has made a specialty of griping that MLB teams should just move if fans won’t come out to see them in sufficient numbers, is reporting that baseball could soon expand to Montreal and Portland, according to … “a building consensus.” A consensus of whom? That’s for Ringolsby to know and you to find out.
- The Golden State Warriors are trying to skip out on $40 million in debt still owed on their Oakland arena, on the grounds that their lease only requires the team’s owners to repay it if they break their lease, not if they let it expire in 2019. “This predicament is entirely of the OACCA’s own making, as it bargained for a 20-year term in the license agreement while issuing 30-year bonds,” wrote the team’s attorney. I really need to quit this whole blogging thing and hire myself out as a stadium lease beta tester, don’t I?
- California has approved covering up to $270 million in cost overruns from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, if the city runs through its own $270 million first. Not that there will necessarily be this much in cost overruns, mind you, but that’s now $540 million that California taxpayers could be on the hook for; the idea that maybe L.A. should have said to the IOC, “Hey, you have no other options, we’ll happily host the games but no dice on that cost-overrun guarantee” is sounding better and better.
- Speaking of taxpayers, Splinter has an article on how we should all stop saying “taxpayer money” and say “public money” instead, since otherwise it implies that only rich people should have a say in how public money is spent, since they pay the most in taxes. I get their point, but given that we’re largely talking about state and local taxes here, and poor and middle-income people actually pay a way higher percentage of their income in those taxes than the rich, I’m going to keep using both terms, thanks.
- And since we’re on the topic of taxpayer money in general, I wrote an article for the Village Voice yesterday on how Amazon is trying to shake down cities and states for massive subsidies in order to be selected to host the company’s new second headquarters, and looks to be succeeding. Much like with the Olympics, everyone in the 100 or so cities vying for the prize should probably be hoping real hard right now that they lose, because the price of winning could just bankrupt you.