How to spend tax money on a stadium while pretending it’s not tax money


The Tennessee Smokies‘ proposed new stadium is way over budget despite cutting way back on renderings spending, and team owner and local political bigwig Randy Boyd doesn’t want to have to be the one paying the extra costs, lord knows. But the city of Knoxville’s contribution is fixed based on whatever new sales taxes can be generated from the stadium and its surrounding district (plus a few other things, but never mind that right now). What to do? Why, redefine “surrounding” of course:

The Tax Increment Financing district surrounding the publicly-owned multi-use stadium is proposed to expand into the Magnolia Avenue Warehouse District – several blocks beyond what was originally planned…

“The stadium will be a catalyst that creates new economic opportunities in East Knoxville and brings new quality-of-life improvements to nearby families,” Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said. “It will generate additional investment and create jobs. By expanding the TIF district, those direct benefits to the community can come faster.”

Um, just no. Expanding the tax increment financing district — really a STIF district, since it’s sales taxes that are being siphoned off, not the more usual property taxes that typify a TIF — would just cannibalize more existing city revenues, something that economists have already pointed out will be a problem if spending in the stadium district is just displaced from somewhere else in the city. By taking several more city blocks and kicking back sales taxes from them to Boyd, the city would just be increasing Boyd’s take at the expense of the city treasury — I guess if you consider the stadium a “direct benefit to the community,” then giving Boyd more money to build it faster will speed that up, but I’m pretty sure treating English that way violates the Geneva Convention.

Boyd and Mayor Kincannon don’t even win the Tennessee state prize for most egregious explaining away of added public subsidies, though, because over in Chattanooga, where the Lookouts owners are seeking their own taxpayer-funded stadium, we have this:

City officials are refuting one source and telling News 12 that the size of the Lookouts Stadium tax increment financing district hasn’t ‘grown’ from 120 acres to 470.

It was always that larger size.

This despite a mayoral aide telling the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he and other city officials literally walked around the proposed stadium site, looked at neighboring parcels, and thought, “Why not include those? We said, ‘OK, that will be in the district.'” But you can’t really blame them, they were undoubtedly just trying to bring direct benefits to the community faster, and what better way to do so than to give more tax money to the local sports team owner? It’s like an isosceles triangle!

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Friday roundup: The rich get richer, subsidies for me and not for thee, and other American truisms


This has been a week, so we’re going to get straight to the news. If you want to check out what I’ve been doing in my spare time, though (other than this website), you might want to play my text adventure game Improv: Origins, which just placed 4th (out of 18) in an interactive fiction competition. It has superheroes, socioeconomic commentary, and oh so many rubber bands…

Anyway, stadium news is what you came for, stadium news is what you get:

The Denver Broncos‘ sale to Walmart heir Rob Walton for $4.65 billion is expected to be approved by the NFL next week, in what would be a record price for a U.S. sports franchise. The Las Vegas Raiders are selling a minority stake in their team for a price that would value the whole team at $6.5 billion. While it shouldn’t escape notice that Walton is thought to be looking to get public money for a new stadium and Raiders owner Mark Davis already did, it’s also worth noting that pretty much every NFL team is soaring in value thanks largely to massive national TV contracts — so while “these dudes are filthy rich, they don’t need our money” is legit, “these dudes are getting filthy rich by building stadiums on the taxpayers’ dime” is only partly true, since it’s just one factor increasing the filth.Americans for Prosperity is calling on Arlington Heights to pass an ordinance barring it from provide “corporate welfare” to the Chicago Bears, which is ironic to say the least given that Americans for Prosperity is a mouthpiece for the Koch brothers (well, the alive one, anyway), who have collected more than half a billion dollars in corporate welfare themselves. Though maybe it’ll pass, and one shouldn’t look strange bedfellows in the mouth, but nobody ever said one shouldn’t point out their hypocrisy.This article claims that the $279.5 million in California state money that the Oakland A’s owners want for their Howard Terminal infrastructure funding is definitely going to be used for that, which Mayor Libby Schaaf already claimed last year, but I for one will wait till I see the receipts. Anyway, still lots more public money that needs to be found under sofa cushions before the project can be a reality.Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says MLB’s new minor-league stadium requitements could cause San Antonio to lose the Missions if it doesn’t upgrade their ballpark, and it’s not worth renovations that could cost $5-10 million when you could build a whole new one for $75-150 million. I’ve read it three times, that what he said, you try to make sense of it.The Baltimore Orioles‘ Camden Yards changed sports architecture (arguably for the better) and sports stadium funding (inarguably for the worse). That’s nothing new — it’s a large chunk of Chapter 1 of Field of Schemes — but if you want to read a whole lot more words to that effect, some of which are “But here we get to the crux: Camden Yards is not categorically salvific,” The Ringer has got you covered.“Rays president offers new stadium details” promises the St. Pete Catalyst headline, which the article reveals to be: “It is inappropriate for me to get into some of the confidential details of those discussions.” They really don’t make details the way they used to.Share this post:
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A’s owners reportedly still hunting for Vegas stadium land, five months after saying final choice was imminent


There is news, of a sort, about the Oakland A’s owners’ perpetual claim that even as they seek a billion dollars in city money to build new roads and other infrastructure for a Howard Terminal stadium development, they’re working on a “parallel path” to move to Las Vegas if they don’t get what they want. Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Casino magnate Phil Ruffin is heading to the Bay Area on Tuesday to meet with Oakland Athletics brass about a potential site for a new ballpark, a source told the Review-Journal.

Ruffin has ownership of multiple properties in Las Vegas, including Circus Circus and the Las Vegas Festival Grounds adjacent to that.

I mean, sure, maybe? Kicking the tires on various Las Vegas properties doesn’t cost A’s owner John Fisher anything, and, like sending his execs to tweet from Las Vegas hockey games, it rattles sabers about the possibility of the team relocating. Not sure whether Ruffin’s property is supposed to be one of the five in Vegas that team president Dave Kaval said in March he was focusing on, though given that he said then that he hoped to pick a winner by April, either 1) words that come out of Kaval’s mouth are not to be trusted, 2) something went wrong with the other five sites and now Kaval is trying to drum up new options, or 3) both.

The more important question than which particular slice of desert Fisher and Kaval will target, of course, is who on earth would foot the price tag for a Vegas stadium, and nobody at all is talking publicly about that. Moving to a teensy media market for a sport that requires selling tickets to 81 games a year seems like a risk, to say the least, especially a market that could be uninhabitable soon thanks to climate change and the West’s water crisis; spending $1 billion or so in order to do so seems riskier still.

Over in Oakland, meanwhile, Fisher’s stadium dreams, currently waiting on Mayor Libby Schaaf’s continuing attempts to dig under the office sofas for spare change to spend on them, is facing a new lawsuit from a bunch of port unions that charge the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission’s June vote to allow the project to move forward was made “arbitrarily and capriciously” — that would seem to describe how a whole lot of government decisions are made every day, but in the U.S. anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason and usually does, so more power to ’em. The timing does raise the question as to whether the Review-Journal’s “source” leaked the news of a Ruffin meeting over Vegas land as if to say, “Yeah, go ahead and sue us, we’ll take our ball and go to Vegas, see if we don’t”; it certainly would be in character for sports team owners, let’s just leave it at that.

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76ers want to expand arena to take over Greyhound station, which could increase public costs


That plan for a new $1.3 billion Philadelphia 76ers arena across the street from Center City’s Greyhound bus station has a new twist: It would actually be so big that it would spread across Filbert Street and replace the bus station, according to the plan’s developers:

“We have that under contract,” confirmed David Adelman, the Philadelphia developer working with Sixers managing partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to build a new arena. He declined to provide more details about the arrangement, citing a nondisclosure agreement.

(Pause to boggle at a developer saying he can’t reveal details of his own plan because he made himself sign an NDA. Done boggling? Okay, let’s continue.)

Why should any Sixers fans, Philadelphia residents, or anyone else care about this news, unless they were planning to take the bus to games? Couple of reasons: First off, there’s that 30-year city property tax break that the mall the arena would mostly be built on top of gets, and which the team owners say they want to inherit. If the Sixers owners want to extend that to the Greyhound site — and it’s hard to picture how they would get a tax break on the southern half of an arena but not the northern half — then expanding the arena footprint could end up making for a bigger public subsidy.

Then, also, there’s the whole question of how the arena will affect the neighboring Chinatown, whose residents are already worrying about traffic and gentrification impacts, just as they did 20 years ago when the Phillies owners were looking at building a stadium on their neighborhood’s northern edge. The gentrification issue is slightly overblown — without getting too far into the weeds right now, sports venues mostly only seem to lead to massive neighborhood change when neighborhoods are already being targeted for redevelopment — but obviously tearing down the bus station, which right now acts as a partial buffer between Center City and Chinatown, would make it more likely that an arena leads to more redevelopment to the north. (It can’t help that local business leaders are openly pushing the Washington Wizards‘ arena as a model, since that building helped wipe out a good chunk of D.C.’s Chinatown after it opened in 1997.)

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that “Greyhound has lately asked for help from public officials in relocating to make way for the next user,” so clearly there are a lot of moving parts here that could end up requiring public money. Sometimes I feel bad for looking every “all-privately-funded” horse in the mouth, but mostly my reflexive cynicism ends up working out pretty well.

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Friday roundup: Jays plan $¯\_(ツ)_/¯ in SkyDome renovations, figure it out yourself, journalism can’t help you


Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but for me this was a great week: I got a new coffee mug, and also it’s now almost over! The week, I mean, not the mug. You’re smart, you probably figured that out already.

And now, how’s about some news:

The Toronto Blue Jays owners are planning $230 million in renovations to the stadium formerly known as SkyDome but now named for the team’s corporate owners, or maybe it’s $300 million in renovations, what is money, anyway, especially Canadian money? The CBC’s report says that the redo will include saying “goodbye to the nosebleeds,” as the top 500 level deck will be “completely removed and replaced with non-ticketed spaces,” and oh, here’s a rendering with the 500 level still very much visible, hmm. The stadium is owned by the Jays after Ontario built it and took a huge bath on it, so presumably the renovations will be funded by the team, though Jays president Mark Shapiro called this just a “medium-term solution,” so there’ll still be plenty of time to demand a new stadium later, don’t worry.WPRI in Providence breaks down why Pawtucket’s new USL soccer stadium will cost taxpayers $60 milllion and not $45.5 million like its developers claim, which is helpful and all, except when you add up all the numbers it actually looks more like $80 million? ($46.2 million in state tax breaks, $10 million from the city, plus $27 million in additional money redirected from state infrastructure spending — yup, that’d be more than $80 million.) The fog of stadium wars is soupy indeed.If the Philadelphia 76ers owners succeed in building their own Center City arena and no longer renting from the Flyers, “The companies that would benefit are Live Nation and AEG, because they would have two buildings in Philly to play off each other, so the rent expense would go down,” former Spectrum manager Ed Rubinstein tells Venues Now. “That’s the reason why we never wanted another arena built.” This would be the Sixers owners’ problem, on the one hand, but also Philly taxpayers’ problem if the idea of giving the Sixers arena a giant tax break would be to help the local economy when it would only end up shuffling concert spending around from one part of town to another.There are new Tennessee Smokies stadium renderings, and — oh, come on, you’re not even trying! I get that the plans need to be downscaled some because the stadium is over budget, but at least you can afford some clip art fireworks or people playing random sports. Show some self-respect.Somebody dug up this consulting report that everyone’s favorite economist-for-team-hire Andy Zimbalist did on mixed martial arts — okay, sure — and I must report that previous reporting that Zimbalist earns $225 an hour for his services is out of date: His “customary rate,” he wrote in the 2017 document, is actually $850 an hour. And that’s before any surcharges Zimbalist now imposes for supply-chain issues. Please draw your own conclusions as to whether that rate could be an incentive to report the findings that your client is hoping for, or at least look really hard for them.Your occasional reminder that sports team owners don’t have a monopoly on getting billions of dollars in public money for no damn reason: Here’s a report on Kansas giving Panasonic $800 million in subsidies for a battery factory in exchange for a commitment of zero new jobs, and here’s Bernie Sanders talking about how a new bipartisan bill to compete with China on electronics somehow involves giving $76 billion to microchip companies. The New York Times called the latter “a remarkable and rare consensus in a polarized Congress,” which is both true and all too telling about what our elected representatives (and major newspapers) can agree on.“It’s morally corrupt that new arenas for professional teams worth billions of dollars are majorly publicly funded — especially when the tax dollars could be going to other areas in the city in actual need of the money,” writes Norman Transcript sports reporter intern Clemente Almanza of devoting public dollars to a new Oklahoma City Thunder arena like the team’s owners want, “but” — you knew there was a “but” coming — “that comes with the territory of having a franchise. 18 of the 29 NBA arenas are owned by a government multiplicity” — he’s an intern, he can’t be expected to own a dictionary — and “losing the Thunder would cause catastrophic levels of damage that the state would never recover.” Um, you don’t want to recover the damage … hey, Norman Transcript, don’t you have any copy editors? No? I guess “let the intern sit down and keyboard out a column on why a new arena is necessary” is just how journalism goes these days — that coffee mug gets righter and righter every day.Share this post:
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Is NYCFC building a stadium in Queens? Reply hazy, try again later


Ugggggh, I’m going to have to write about this New York Post article, aren’t I? I hate doing so, because the Post is a terrible, terrible news outlet — “gossip and hate outlet” might be more accurate — that loves nothing more than to run “EXCLUSIVE” stories that are exclusive because they’re not actually true. But sometimes Post reporters do stumble across actual news, and this would be big news if true, so, hell with it:

Mayor Eric Adams is expected to announce that he is onboard with plans for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium to be built near Citi Field that will be home to the New York City Football Club, sources close to the situation said.

“A deal is close, but negotiations are ongoing,” a source said.

So, someone “close to the situation” — that’s not even “close to the negotiations,” so it could just mean “someone who lives in Queens” or “someone watching soccer on TV” — says that there are talks underway to reboot the long-dead plans for an NYC F.C. stadium at Willets Point, the former auto shop district across the street from the New York Mets‘ stadium that has been a rumored site for a soccer stadium since before NYC F.C. even existed. And Mayor Adams is expected to say he’s “onboard” (note to Post editors: actually “on board”) with the idea, which would mean … providing what, exactly? Who would pay for this thing?

It is not clear yet who would pay for the stadium, but sources said it would be privately funded.

Okay, these “sources” are clearly trying to gin up excitement over a Queens stadium — the mayor comes preinstalled! somebody who’s not you will pay for it! — and took this news to a paper that won’t ask too many questions like “What exactly do you mean by ‘privately funded’?” and “What would this mean for the 5,500 apartments that the city said would be built on the site when it cleared out the auto shops?” or even “What does the local city council rep think of this plan?” (The last one we can at least guess at, since it’s Francisco Moya, who loves building soccer stadiums and once bet the then-Bronx borough president a plate of empanadas that NYC F.C. would end up moving to Queens.)

There’s been talk before of NYC F.C. “feeling out” Willets Point as a site, so it’s certainly possible there’s some truth to this rumor — though that same report was mostly about the team, which is co-owned by the owners of the Yankees and Manchester City, reopening talks for a site on the Harlem River in the South Bronx, so there are rumors for anything if you look hard enough. I’ve now spent almost 500 words discussing something just because a guy who writes an alarming number of stories whose headlines cite “sources” got it into print, so let’s leave it at this: Where there’s the vague hint of smoke, sometimes there’s fire, and sometimes there’s just the feeble remnants of responsible journalism being burned to the ground in search of clicks.

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Rhode Island’s $80m subsidy for minor-league soccer stadium is okayed by governor and five pals he appointed


When we last left off with Rhode Island’s plan to bring a USL soccer team to Pawtucket, the stadium was wildly over budget, and Gov. Dan McKee and Mayor Donald Grebien were proposing to fill the gap by taking money that was budgeted for infrastructure for the surrounding development and putting it into the stadium instead. (The missing infrastructure money would be replaced by [waves hands in air, tries to distract taxpayers by promising them an ice cream cone when it’s all over].) So how’s that going?

The proposed and embattled Pawtucket minor league soccer stadium and adjacent development was approved Monday night by the Rhode Island Commerce board by the narrowest of votes — 6-5 with the chair, Governor Dan McKee, voting in the affirmative, breaking the tie and giving the project the green light.

Wow, a 6-5 vote of the … Rhode Island Commerce board? What the crap kind of weird government structure are these little New England states getting up to now?

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation works with public, private and nonprofit partners to create the conditions for businesses in all sectors to thrive and to improve the quality of life for our citizens by promoting the state’s long-term economic health and prosperity. We offer business assistance, access to funding and red tape reduction for companies of all sizes.

It’s a quasi-public development agency, in other words, with the power to spend public funds but none of the accountability, as has become common in most states and major cities. (Rhode Island Commerce’s board is entirely appointed by the governor.) Still, it’s pretty alarming to see that a $27 million public subsidy for a pro soccer team on top of the $46.2 million in state tax kickbacks and $10 million from Pawtucket was decided by a bunch of retired politicians and Chamber of Commerce and union execs — if Karl Wadensten, CEO of VIBCO Vibrators (not that kind of vibrators, though when the ad copy reads “stop jerking your hoist” it’s hard to be 100% sure) had voted no instead of abstained, this could have gone a completely different way.

Pouring more than $80 million in public money into a $124 million minor-league soccer stadium, plus whatever it will now cost for the infrastructure for the rest of the project, doesn’t sound like a great idea, and economists quickly told the Boston Globe as much, with Holy Cross’s Victor Matheson calling it “a terrible idea” while Kennesaw State’s J.C. Bradbury noted, “Everyone knows it’s a joke.” (“For once, I am not the most negative economist in the story,” added Bradbury on Twitter.) The Globe described this as “Some economists aren’t sold” and immediately countered with USL “senior vice president of club expansion and real estate” Dan Holman, who had this to say in response:

Economists tend to look at things in a silo, Holman said, while a soccer fan would be able to see the whole pitch.

“The economic impact is huge,” Holman said, “but it’s the community impact as well.”

There are several followup questions that the Globe reporter could have asked — “What is that even supposed to mean?” and “You do know that Victor Matheson is a goddamn soccer referee in his spare time, right?” come to mind — but that would not serve journalistic balance, so the article ends there.

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Cavalcade of vaportecture: Chicago unveils plan for $2.2B Soldier Field roof that Bears owners don’t even want


It’s been a billion degrees for a billion days here (Ed. Note: all figures approximate) and I don’t have the energy to do a whole analysis of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s three different proposals for renovating Soldier Field for the Chicago Bears, at a cost of $900 million to $2.2 billion. Can we just look at some of the pretty pictures (Ed. Note: all aesthetic judgments approximate) from Lightfoot’s new Re-Imagine Soldier Field website instead? I think I can manage that this morning:

That’s a lovely twilight view of the Chicago skyline! And there’s Soldier Field in the mid-foreground, with some kind of roof on it, held up by … stuff. Honestly, it’s not really clear what’s going on here, though if the intent is to portray Lightfoot’s plans as “the same old Soldier Field, only marginally less ugly, and costing a billion or two dollars,” then mission accomplished.

And here’s a football game! It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on in the game since the video boards are only informing fans that “CHICAGO DOME,” but it’s recognizably the current Soldier Field, sorta, only with one of those clear-ish plastic roofs like the Los Angeles Rams have.

Now we’re getting into some real vaportecture, with young people in casual partywear standing around at rooftop bars while watching a giant TV screen showing the words “GAME LIVE” instead of the actual game live. From the position of the Field Museum in the background, this would apparently be the new north end of Soldier Field, where you could pay good money to go to the game and not watch the game.

And finally, here’s a view of the redone stadium from the north, showing all those rooftop bars and the roof itself, which we now see is being supported by … yeah, still no idea. There are those big vertical structures at the four corners of the stadium, and some kind of trusses running the length of it, but whether the roof is hanging off of that or held up by the seating bowl itself is still a mystery. Maybe that $2.2 billion price tag is to invent some new field of physics that involves different gravity? All the kids are doing it!

There’s probably some engineering explanation for all this, but honestly, it doesn’t much matter since 1) Bears execs insist they have no interest in any of this, 2) it’s not clear why they would, since a roof wouldn’t do a whole lot for their bottom line, and 3) none of this stuff ends up looking like the original renderings anyway. Lightfoot, meanwhile, declined to say how any of this would be paid for, saying, “I don’t want to speculate and get ahead of ourselves, but we believe in collaboration and shared value and investment.” And don’t forget peanut butter!

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Titans CEO says giving his team $1.2B in tax money is “character-building”


Tennessee Titans CEO Burke Nihill spoke about his team’s stadium demands at the Nashville Business Journal’s Growth of Nashville event on Friday morning, no doubt knowing that speaking at a publication’s $75 paid breakfast is a good way to ensure that you get quoted at length in that publication. Given what came out of Nihill’s mouth, though, this may or may not have been a good thing for him:

“We are working really, really hard to identify a win on character-building that Nashville can be really proud of, but one that is based on a budgetary process,” Nihill said at the event. “Because the difference between the state contribution, whatever the city is comfortable contributing from capturing those revenue streams and bonds, and the final cost of the stadium, that’s going to be something that frankly, our owners are going to have to cover.”

For reference, Nihill and Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk are asking for $500 million in state money from construction and sales taxes in and around the stadium, plus $700 million in city hotel-motel and sales taxes. But since the stadium is currently projected to cost at least $1.9 million, Nihill is patting Adams Strunk on the back for kicking in about 37% of the stadium’s cost, calling this “a win on character-building,” though whose win and whose character he leaves open to interpretation.


“Our perspective through this is more about finding a collaborative way forward out of what is a challenging situation,” Nihill said. “We would like to see this real estate development as a catalyst for a number of city needs around the county and also revenue opportunities that would otherwise be lost over the next 17 years.”

Clearly Nihill stopped at a drug store on the way to the breakfast to stock up on buzzwords, because hoo boy: “Collaborative”! “Catalyst”! “Revenue opportunities”! There’s an art to asking for a $1.2 billion check and trying to spin it as why-can’t-we-all-just-get-along-ism, and Nihill has, if nothing else, been practicing the lingo in order to earn his weekly paycheck.

The upshot of Nihill’s talk, other than “everybody kicks in some money to pay for building it, no, everybody doesn’t then share in the revenues, that would be silly,” was to portray the $1.2 billion in tax money as not really tax money, because it can all be traced to spending on something that is some way related to the stadium or development around the stadium or people renting hotel rooms that may or may not be used to visit the stadium from. This is the Casino Night Fallacy, which we have covered here at length in the past, so go read that it you want a reminder of why it makes no damn sense. Making no damn sense is not a liability in public presentations, though, as another famous odd couple pointed out, so expect to see more statements like Nihill’s in the future, and be ready to point and laugh at them.

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Friday roundup: 76ers’ “privately funded” arena would require 30-year tax break and maybe state cash, this is why we can’t have nice things


Happy Friday! Hope you enjoyed the last 24 hours of hoping that the Philadelphia 76ers‘ $1.3 billion all-privately-financed arena plan didn’t have any hidden catches, because sorry to tell you, but:

Buried in a Philadelphia Inquirer article about what Philly locals think of the 76ers arena plan — some are tentatively optimistic, councilmember Helen Gym opposes it like the last 76ers arena plan and a Phillies stadium plan 20 years ago, Chinatown leaders are worried about parking and traffic impacts as you would expect they would be — is this news: “the arena’s developer has also said that the plan involves inheriting a 30-year property tax break for the parcel that Council gave to the current property owners.” Since that tax break is tax increment financing — all property taxes above a certain level are getting kicked back to the developers of the mall that was built on that site — the value of that tax break will presumably increase beyond the $127.5 million already committed once there’s a pricey new arena on the property rather than just a mall, but the Inquirer didn’t provide details. Oh, plus: “the team has also opened the door to receiving state funding.” Again, no details, but all this stuff will have to be approved by the city council, if not the state legislature as well, so we should have more info eventually. For now, though, the Sixers owners’ claims of “no public money” need to come with a nine-figure asterisk.“It almost seems like the NBA’s like, holding our city hostage, like, ‘if you don’t give us this, that the taxpayers don’t give us this arena, you know, like we’re going to move the team somewhere else,’” Oklahoma City resident Alex Coleman told KFOR-TV this week about Thunder owner Clay Bennett’s demands for a new arena. It’s not like that, Alex, it is that, though with the caveat that the gun the NBA is holding to the dog’s head may not even be loaded, but savvy negotiators and all.Without a floor vote or any debate, the Massachusetts House approved fast-tracking a New England Revolution stadium last Thursday, exempting a likely MLS stadium site on the Everett-Boston border from a slew of environmental regulations. If it passes the state senate as well, Revolution owner Robert Kraft would have three years to come up with money to build the thing.Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, who last month announced his desire to bail out Pawtucket’s planned USL soccer stadium by diverting an extra $20 million in infrastructure funding into stadium construction instead, uh, still wants to do that. First he needs to convince the board of the state Commerce Corporation, and board members have been reticent to do so, noting that, as the Providence Journal puts it, “by agreeing to put all of the incentives toward the stadium, the state will then have to fork out an unknown amount of money in the future if it wants the rest of the project built.” This is surprisingly level-headed for the board of a state development agency, but: Yup, it sure would! Another meeting of the Commerce Corporation board is scheduled for Monday.Regina, Saskatchewan is exploring building a minor-league baseball stadium despite not having a pro team (it has the Regina Red Sox, an amateur college summer team), and Jersey Village, Texas is exploring building a minor-league baseball stadium despite the region already being chock full of minor-league teams. Somebody needs to explain to them how increasing demand while the supply of teams is reduced is a good way to drive the price of teams up, but given that Jersey Village hired CSL to do its feasibility study, they may not be interested in hearing how money actually works.Share this post:
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