Is public financing of sports venues worth it? If you’ve been noticing a bit of a dip in the frequency of posts on this site over the past few months, it’s not your imagination: I had a contract job as a fill-in news editor that was taking up a lot of my otherwise FoS-focused mornings. That job has run its course now, which should make it a bit easier to keep up with stadium and arena news on a daily basis going forward, instead of leaving much of it to week-ending wrapups.
That said, you all do seem to love your week-ending wrapups, so here’s one now:
- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Joe Musgrove says of poor attendance this season, “With the price of tickets now, I don’t know if I’d pay that much to watch a team that played like we did this year,” which is a pretty excellent summation of the conclusions that I and Rob Arthur came up with for MLB’s attendance drop.
- On the other hand, we have the Tampa Bay Rays, who are in the thick of a wild-card race and still can’t draw fans no matter what. Tampa Bay has some special problems.
- San Jose Sharks vice president Doug Bentz says of trying to keep attendance numbers up, “Our biggest competitor is Netflix.” Aw, does Bentz actually think that the younger generation is still spending its leisure time watching TV and not TikTok videos? That’s so adorable.
- The Texas Rangers move into their new air-conditioned stadium next year, and Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw says baseball won’t be the same with most games played under a roof. Time to build a new stadium, maybe with these!
- Pawtucket is considering bringing in a Single-A or independent league baseball team next year to replace the departing Pawtucket Red Sox, and studying “how much it would cost to remodel McCoy should a new team utilize the stadium.” I guess it can’t hurt to do a cost-benefit analysis of baseball vs. no baseball, but still I would say maybe check whether one of these lower-level leagues would even demand a remodeling before rushing out to price new furniture.
- Alan Trammell loved Tiger Stadium so much that he snuck in years after it was closed to walk around the dugout and wade through a flooded clubhouse.
- Halifax officials are proposing a $110 million CFL stadium with about $20 million worth of public subsidies, which doesn’t sound too bad, except the various options for how the subsidies will work are so up in the air that it’s tough to put a grade on this one just yet. But I’m so long as the stadium can still be used for soccer and football at the exact same, I’m not gonna complain too hard.
- Sports economist J.C. Bradbury has been appointed to the Cobb County development authority, which is way too late to do anything about the Atlanta Braves stadium subsidies, but maybe can at least give Bradbury a bigger platform to point out all the money the state of Georgia wastes on film subsidies.
- The Buffalo News still won’t let go of its dream for a new Bills stadium, and sent one of its reporters to Boston to look at supermarkets and “an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” to show what the future may hold.
- The Cleveland Browns owners still won’t say if they want a new stadium or a renovated stadium or what, and their lease isn’t up for another nine years, and why is this interview even considered news exactly?
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked its editorial board to consider the question “Is public financing of sports venues worth it?” and their answer was: No, no, yes, maybe, what choice do we have, sort of, maybe not, and yes. We’ll be back again next week!