It was a big news week, what with the Anchorage mayor who resigned after being slandered as a pedophile by the anti-masking news anchor he’d been sexting with before she was arrested and fired for beating up her boss/fiance, and the new book about the libertarian town in New Hampshire that was ravaged by bears, and probably something about the election, I dunno, who can remember? So you are forgiven if you missed some of this week’s stadium and arena news, much of which focused on fans breathing all over each other inside them, but not all, not by a longshot:
- Chesterfield County, Virginia, has offered to help build a new stadium for the Richmond Flying Squirrels if the city of Richmond agrees in return to help it run Henricus Historical Park, which is apparently a thing like Colonial Williamsburg only way less popular. This doesn’t seem to be a deal that would benefit anyone, except of course for the Flying Squirrels (owner: boxing promoter and minor-league baseball team collector Lou DiBella), who would get a new stadium at city and county expense. Apparently a new baseball stadium “has been on the city’s wish list for nearly two decades,” though, because the old stadium is “deteriorating,” having been built way back in 1985 … wait, doesn’t that mean that two decades ago it was only 15 years old? How fast did it begin deteriorating? Clearly we should have been keeping up with Richmond’s crazy stadium dreams instead of being distracted by its crazy arena dreams.
- A Davidson County judge has dismissed one of the lawsuits against construction of Nashville S.C.‘s new stadium, ruling that … oh, come on, “Blake Summers, Content Producer,” you really can’t be bothered to tell us what the ruling says? Here we go, the Tennessean reported on it as well: Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled that the plaintiffs failed to show that a soccer stadium couldn’t coexist with the state fairgrounds, so blow it out your ear hole. (The Tennessean doesn’t actually use the words “blow it out your ear hole,” but you can tell Lyle was thinking it.) The stadium is already under construction anyway, with the help of something like $75 million in public subsidies; check out these exciting photos of barren pits of dirt!
- Columbus Crew tickets in their new stadium will be more than double the price of equivalent seats in their old one, something that should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the history of past new sports venues. This is probably not a sustainable marketing plan for the long run once the honeymoon effect of the new building wears off, but who knows, maybe Columbus soccer fans are willing to pay a 100% premium to enjoy amenities like anti-gravity drink rails.
- An Oakland investor group says it’s trying to buy into the Oakland Coliseum property to share it with the A’s and build a new stadium for an NFL expansion team. None of this seems very likely to happen, because an NFL stadium would be probably the least lucrative use of the A’s Coliseum land imaginable, and the NFL probably isn’t expanding anytime soon, and nobody from this group seems to have enough money to meet the NFL’s rule that 30% of each team be controlled by a single owner. But they do have the claim to fame that they would be the first African American–owned NFL team, even putting that right in their name, the African American Sports and Entertainment Group; group chair Ray Bobbitt even said, “We’re the AASEG Oakland but this could be AASEG Memphis, it could be AASEG Cleveland, it could be whatever scenario lends itself to urban centers that can create this economic opportunity.” Urban centers! Economic opportunity! If you deny this group of businessmen the right to own their own football team, you’re keeping inner-city people of color from getting jobs! This is probably unlikely to sway league owners in deciding whether to grant an expansion franchise, but that’s not stopping plenty of would-be owners from trying it, even when they’re not African American themselves.
- A June hockey game in Florida — amateur, it appears, given the reported attendance of only one spectator — may be the first documented case of athletes spreading the coronavirus to players on the opposing team, after at least 14 out of 22 players tested positive in the wake of the game. Teams used separate locker rooms, so it sounds like the virus must have been spread while they were out on the ice; players didn’t wear masks, and the CDC concludes that indoor ice rinks are “likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another.” The start of the college hockey season has already been delayed indefinitely, but college basketball is set to begin on November 25; this should if nothing else give us lots more data points on how easy it is to contract Covid from opposing players breathing on you indoors at close proximity.
- Remember that Florida college football coach who wanted a packed stadium in order to give his team a home-field advantage? His entire team is now quarantined after 21 players tested positive. Ours is a random universe that neither rewards goodness nor punishes wrongdoing, but sometimes it gets it just right regardless.
- The NFL is maybe considering a playoff bubble after it worked out okay for other sports, and also maybe not considering a playoff bubble because of the “human, emotional and behavioral health toll of sequestration,” okay then.
- It may not have marauding bears, but there’s another weird story unfolding that can best be summed up as “the Buffalo Bills keep waiting for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to come look around their stadium to see if he’ll let fans in.” (Current status: Not yet.) If you’re not a New York resident, this may be initially puzzling — can’t the governor decide what’s safe without going and poking around himself? — but Cuomo loves nothing more than poking around things in person, especially if he gets to wear a hard hat, presumably because it looks more manly than reading CDC reports.
- Speaking of poorly thought out sports league virus protocols and misplaced masculinity, Italy’s Serie A soccer league has forced Napoli to forfeit a game after its players didn’t show up following three positive coronavirus tests, on the grounds that their remaining players could have played the game. On the bright side, with public health policies like these, maybe Serie A can be in line for an NFL expansion franchise.