I am way too tired this morning from waiting for tranches of vote counts to drop to write an amusing intro, so let’s get straight to the news:
- San Diego voters have approved Measure E, which removes a 30-foot height limit on buildings in the Midway District, which will allow the construction of a $1 billion-or-so new arena complex, which it’s still not entirely clear how it would be paid for, plus there’s still a lawsuit against it, so tune back in later.
- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has told Sports Business Daily that holding the World Series at a neutral site every year is not “completely off the table” because “you can plan, you can take out travel, you can pick sites that eliminate weather problems.” Marc Normandin notes that this is probably just a trial balloon — “Manfred says a lot of things to gauge the reaction of them, and then attempts to move forward with the things he thinks he can get away with or that are worth MLB’s time regardless of fan reaction” — but also points out that MLB could require cities to bid for the World Series like they do the Olympics, or at least use hosting rights as a carrot for cities to build new stadiums (like they already do with the All-Star Game), which is likely a way bigger factor than how early John Smoltz gets to book his plane tickets.
- The MLS expansion team Charlotte F.C. is no longer looking to build a new headquarters at the former Eastland Mall, apparently as a Covid-sparked cost-saving measure. As a result, the city of Charlotte is cutting its subsidies to the team (at least for now) from $110 million to $39 million. There needs to be a new agreement worked out between the team and the city, but also the city council is voting on it on Monday, so maybe it’s already worked out?
- The Toronto Raptors could play the 2020-21 season in Newark to get around U.S.-Canada travel restrictions, because at least Newark is in the East. The safety of playing basketball indoors without a bubble remains unclear, but that big German indoor concert study shows that maybe it’s actually safe so long as there’s good ventilation and everyone wears masks and distances, which basketball players aren’t going to do, so never mind.
- D.C. United fired its security company to save money and then asked team staffers to take unpaid shifts sitting in the arena watching security cameras, which is very much not a good look. Adding “Volunteering to assist with security will certainly be looked favorably upon (and vice versa)” really didn’t help.
- Hotels in Tampa Bay are excited about the upcoming Super Bowl, even if it’s at reduced capacity, because absolutely nobody is staying at hotels in Tampa Bay right now.
- Portland’s sports-owner-friendly mayor Ted Wheeler was re-elected, and this guy is really happy because yeah sports!!!
- As if the San Francisco 49ers battle with the city of Santa Clara over their stadium operations isn’t weird enough, now the team has signed a parking agreement with the city and then asked the city to tear it up, which is both weird and probably illegal.
- SB Nation’s Minnesota Twins blog looks back at that time team execs ran an ad warning that if they didn’t get a new stadium and the team left town, outfielder Marty Cordova could no longer visit eight-year-old cancer patients. Also the kid in the ad had already died by the time it ran. That did not work out well, but the Twins still got their publicly funded stadium a decade later by doing an end run around the city and getting the county to pay for it, so all’s well that ends well or something.