Let’s get right to this week’s remainders:
- I read this headline from earlier in the week “Miami Open Moving to Dolphin’s Stadium” too quickly, and thought for a second “Yes! David Beckham has come to his senses!” But no, it’s the Miami Open tennis tournament that’s maybe moving to the Dolphins‘ stadium (and also not a single dolphin’s stadium as the punctuation might suggest), and anyway now the tournament probably isn’t moving to the Dolphins’ stadium because Miami-Dade County wants to get paid all that it’s owed for past tournaments first, and hell with that. The Miami Open could now move out of Florida or even the U.S., which … how does that even work? Can you just move a tennis tournament to Zurich or something and declare, “Now we’re the Miami Open of Zurich, everyone has to come play here instead”? Clearly I don’t understand tennis, which is just how I like it.
- St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green tried to stall the St. Louis Blues arena renovation subsidy agreement that she hates (with good reason) by signing the paperwork as a judge had ordered, but refusing to actually hand over the signed documents. That didn’t work.
- The Tampa Bay Times insists that giving the Lightning $61 million in tax money to upgrade their arena in exchange for a lease extension isn’t really a subsidy, because it’s tax money that couldn’t have been spent on teacher pensions anyway. Seriously, guys, how many times do we have to point out that money is fungible, so the hotel-tax money could be spent on some other tourism-related expense, and that could be used to free up cash for other things, including, sure underfunded teacher pensions? Didn’t the Iran-Contra affair teach you anything?
- One of the three contenders for Belmont Park property who is not the New York Islanders or NYC F.C. dropped out of the bidding this week, saying the requirements for the project “appear to create a selection process that has been predetermined.” That sounds like “too rich for my blood” to me, but Horse Race Insider insists it means the Islanders have this all but locked up, and who am I to question Horse Race Insider? If so, next question will be whether the team’s owners really go ahead with building a new arena there with their own money (presumably, since they haven’t yet hinted at asking for public funds), or just use it as leverage to shake down the Barclays Center owners for a sweetheart lease extension.
- A Nevada congressman is asking the conference committee deciding the final terms of the nightmare tax bill that if they won’t restore tax-exempt bond financing for stadiums (the House version would outlaw them, the Senate version wouldn’t), to at least include language grandfathering in the Las Vegas Raiders stadium on the grounds that “many communities across the country have benefited from the tax-exempt status of bonds for professional stadiums.” All the other kids’ moms let them!
- Things that didn’t pass the smell test this week: an affordable-housing deal in Brooklyn, Montana State University taking money from the Koch Brothers, the Edmonton Oilers losing a game to the Philadelphia Flyers, dog poop fines in Melbourne, Australia, opposition to marijuana legalization in Alberta, and Real Salt Lake‘s property tax assessment.