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September 10, 2006
Weekend update: Real Salt Lake, 49ers, and more
In which I see if writing a longer intro to one of these sum-up posts is less confusing to the bot that writes the Google News headlines:
- Jordan, Utah parents are not happy to learn that property taxes that normally go to local schools would be diverted to help pay for a new soccer stadium for Real Salt Lake, under the team's current finance plan. One wrote to the local school district: "If this is accepted, I will actively campaign against any sitting member of the school board and look into any potential litigation that could tie up such use of funds." E-mails and phone calls have been 100% negative, says school board member Lynette Phillips.
- The San Francisco 49ers are now considering adding a 12,000-seat arena, possibly for indoor soccer or arena football, to their new stadium project. The 49ers are selling the project as "privately financed," but would seek as-yet unspecified public land and infrastructure subsidies.
- Save Our Parks and the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the National Park Service ruling allowing the New York Yankees to take 22 acres of Bronx parkland to use for their $1.3 billion stadium project. No word on a likely court date, but in any case it will come too late to save Macombs Dam Park, which has already been bulldozed.
- Speaking of lawsuits, the church that owns the L.A. Forum is suing the Anschutz Entertainment Group for antitrust violations, saying AEG, which manages the Forum, has been illegally diverting events to the Staples Center, which AEG owns. Yet another cautionary tale about why arena glut is a dangerous thing.
- Possibly inspired by the success of their neighbors to the north in extracting more public money even after their new stadium was opened, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to get an extra $12 million from the Tampa Sports Authority; the money was promised for a new training facility, but with the Bucs having decided to build that on their own, they're now looking to get it on a gift certificate.
- Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff told the San Jose chamber of commerce recently that he was unlikely to move his team to San Jose, as the San Francisco Giants were unwilling to sell territorial rights to the city. A move to nearby Fremont and name change to "San Jose A's" remains a possibility, leading a cranky Santa Clara County assessor Larry Stone to predict: "The Giants' worst dream will come true. The A's will be marketing to Silicon Valley and San Jose and the Giants are not going to get a dime of compensation."
- Bentonville, Arkansas is considering building a 9,000-seat arena to lure a WNBA team. Write your own punchline.