I’ll keep this short today, in deference to any Texas readers who may be trying to save battery life thanks to that state’s power outages. Once your bandwidth is back, here’s a good reminder from the New York Times that climate change is expected to cause unseasonable cold snaps and winter storms as well as insane summer heat, so you have lots more of both to look forward to. Or, if you prefer, here’s an article on a similar theme from the Village Voice a few years back that I wrote a much snappier headline for.
Stadiums, right, that’s what you came here to read about! Let’s see what we’ve got:
- Miami-Dade County is finally getting $5.5 million from Jeffrey Loria’s sale of the Miami Marlins, which is a lot less than the $50 million or so the public thought they were owed from a revenue-sharing deal in Loria’s stadium-subsidy deal, but that’s what happens when you let an owner calculate his own profit margin. Though at least Loria didn’t deduct the cost of paying himself to negotiate the deal, like New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner once did with a cable contract. (Crap, hope I haven’t given Loria any ideas.)
- When I wrote a couple of weeks ago that various developers’ plans for redeveloping the Tropicana Field site to include a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium were “pretty boring,” I hadn’t yet seen this one that involves ripping off the roof and adding a weird semicircular scrim that doesn’t look like it would protect anyone from rain while building oddly tall tower-in-the-park edifices next door. Renovating the Trop to be open-air is an interesting idea, I guess, if it would cost less than building a whole new stadium, not that the proposal says anything about cost. Pretty pictures, ooooh aaaah!
- Finally a public sports funding project that is actually being rethought thanks to the pandemic economy: St. Louis County is holding off on $6 million in subsidies for a youth sports complex in Hazelwood what with the county being out of money as a result of Covid and, uh, also having already committed $6 million a year for 40 years to pay off the former Rams stadium. Okay, this seemed like more promising news before I finished writing that sentence, sorry.
- Buffalo Bills co-owner Kim Pegula says a new stadium is “our top priority in this off-season,” or rather doing a study of a new stadium is. Maybe that’ll get Gov. Andrew Cuomo off her case, at least for long enough that his governorship crashes and burns first.
- Still wondering how Nick Mastroianni, the guy who helped finance Nassau Coliseum’s renovations by selling green cards to wealthy Chinese investors before getting sued by investors for allegedly skimping on interest payments, ended up controlling the arena after former Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov bailed on it? Norman Oder’s Atlantic Yards Report has an explainer, though the explanation pretty much comes down to “some kind of backroom shenanigans,” which you probably could have guessed.
- Tennessee Smokies owner Randy Boyd is pointing to the Fort Wayne TinCaps‘ new stadium as a model for his proposed downtown Knoxville stadium and proposed $65 million in subsidies, so that means it’s time for another article by our friends at WBIR about how great the stadium would be! This time it’s an evaluation that the Fort Wayne project, which WBIR doesn’t mention it but it cost local taxpayers there $25 million plus millions more in tax credits for surrounding development, “worked out” — for which the evidence provided is that sometimes it’s used for farmers markets or Boy Scout sleepovers, and also there’s been downtown development since it opened and surely that must be because everyone wanted to be near the baseball stadium that was open for 70 home games a year, right? Make a note to check on that later, maybe, this story is already full with quotes from Fort Wayne’s mayor. (To be fair, WBIR did finally run an article interviewing Boyd’s critics, in which one called the Smokies plan “an absolute boondoggle in every sense of the word,” though it still just comes down to he-said-she-said and not any actual investigation of how the financing would work.)
- Speaking of terrible excuses for journalism, here’s Phoenix TV station KNXV reporting that “Downtown restaurants score big thanks to Phoenix Suns fans,” for which the evidence is that restaurants reopened what with the Suns allowing in fans again and … were hoping they’d show up to eat. Yeah, KNXV didn’t even wait around to report on how things actually went, that sounds like work, man.
- Finally, New Mexico’s KOB-TV can’t even get me to bother to read their article about Albuquerque’s proposed soccer stadium, except to say that they need to hire a copy editor for their headlines already.