I’ve already thanked everyone individually, but I’d like to give a collective shoutout to all the readers who signed up as FoS Supporters this membership cycle. The money you send translates directly into time I can spend covering stadium and arena news for you, and I remain extremely heartened by your support. If you sent me your mailing address, your magnets should be en route; if you didn’t, send me your mailing address already, these magnets aren’t going to ship themselves!
And speaking of covering stadium and arena news, let’s cover some stadium and arena news, why don’t we:
- The owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who won $115 million in arena upgrades as part of a sales-tax-hike project to fund mostly parks and social services because that’s the way Rick Horrow sells you your monorail, are now asking to get the first $115 million off the top to build a new scoreboard and install new seats and let the parks and stuff wait till later. City councilmember JoBeth Hamon says she would rather prioritize “things people would see out their front door,” get a load of her! How many megapixels do your trees have, hmm?
- Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir, who last year successfully got $115 million in state money for a new MLS stadium while wriggling out of a requirement that his USL team actually make the jump to MLS, may now be about to wriggle out of the requirement that he actually pick a start and start building the stadium anytime soon. A bill introduced by state senator Jack Sandlin, the main backer of the original stadium bill, would extend that deadline to July 2024, in exchange for absolutely nothing that I can tell, because the business of Indiana is Indiana’s business or something.
- The would-be Atlantic Schooners‘ would-be CFL football stadium project was already mostly dead, and now it’s completely dead, with the Halifax Regional Municipality declaring it was putting the plan on hold indefinitely since nothing was going on with it anyway. The Schooners ownership group says it still hopes to bring the plan back from the dead someday once the pandemic is over, though, because you never want to leave $20 million in subsidies sitting on the table if you can help it.
- Did I say the Worcester Red Sox‘ new stadium would cost a record $157 million? Make that a record $172 million, once you add in the $15 million in “infrastructure improvements” the city will also be on the hook for as part of the team’s new lease. Some of the money will come from state and federal dollars, but that’s still money that could have been used elsewhere otherwise, though I guess “let’s build the local sports team some new roads or else the state will just blow the money on Lowell or Pittsfield” has some logic to it if you’re extraordinarily provincial.
- Speaking of the Worcester Red Sox, the city of Pawtucket is suing the team’s owners of for failing to adequately maintain Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium before the team relocated after the 2020 season. (Really after the 2019 season, since there was no 2020 minor-league baseball season, which ruined a perfectly good road trip to Pawtucket I had planned.) Pawtucket is seeking unspecified damages.
- In case you’ve missed it, the NBA season is already a mess thanks to Covid outbreaks, and the league is trying to fix things by allowing players to keep playing maskless indoors in close proximity to each other for 48 minutes a night, but not allowing them to hug. Before that there was talk of holding off on playing games until the pandemic has stopped raging quite so much, but surely this will do the trick, no need to do anything crazy now.
- Speaking of Covid, it’s running rampant in Arizona, where baseball spring training is about to start in a month, but MLB wouldn’t agree to any delay unless the players agreed to take pay cuts, which they wouldn’t, so fingers crossed that the vaccine rollout speeds up, I guess.
- Part of Miller Park Way in West Milwaukee will remain Miller Park Way even though the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Miller Park is no longer called Miller Park, because locals have grown attached to the old corporate name, so there it will stand forever, apparently. Kind of like the Citgo sign.