Neil deMause, fieldofschemes.com
The premier of the Australian state of New South Wales is selling off an entire governmental department to raise money to upgrade Sydney’s sports stadiums. I am not shitting you:
Hot on the heels of the privatisation of the state’s electricity poles and wires, the Baird government is selling the operations of the Land and Property Information Service – hopefully for a 10-figure sum – to help fund its $1 billion-plus upgrade of Sydney’s sports stadiums. Continue reading
(March 10) – Calgary Flames CEO Ken King is getting ready to present the city with his plans for a new arena, and Mayor Naheed Nenshi still doesn’t want to hear about it if it involves public subsidies:
“It can’t be public dollars to subsidize private benefit. As much as we’d love to have Madonna here, I don’t think that you could convince most people that it’s a good use of public money to subsidize Madonna.”
In case you needed reminding, Naheed Nenshi is a total stadium subsidy badass.
By Neil deMause, Field of Schemes
(Feb. 9) – Plans for an NHL arena in the Toronto suburb of Markham are long since dead, but the battle over them goes on: In the latest, the former head of the Markham Village Ratepayers Association, who in 2012 filed a freedom of information request for the economic impact studies conducted by the city for the arena, and who since then has been elected to the Markham city council, is trying to pass a bill to get the full reports released. But it’s not going that well:
(Nov. 26) – The owners of the Calgary Flames haven’t been too aggressive with their hopes for a new arena, beyond occasionally griping about their old one. That all changed yesterday, though, thanks to a major package of articles in the Calgary Herald describing how:
- Flames CEO Ken King “could be within weeks of announcing their vision” for a new arena
- The arena will almost certainly require, in King’s words, “some sort of public-private” funding scheme.
- Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the city council are vehemently opposed to giving King any cash, though some on the council may be open to providing free land.
According to the Herald, the arena talks have been going on for three years, if by “talks” you mean “the Flames owner asking for money, and city officials telling him to get lost.” More
Source: Field of Schemes
the New York Post and so probably pretty unreliable, but everyone else is writing about it so I suppose I might as well too: Wayne Gretzky is reportedly – wait, what’s that?
( July 7) – This is from
Wayne Gretzky’s agent is denying a report that the Great One is trying to bring an NHL team to Seattle…
Darren Blake, Gretzky’s agent, told The Canadian Press in an email that the 53-year-old Hall of Famer isn’t involved in any bid.
“As you can imagine prospective team owners from various franchises call frequently to gauge his interest in coming on board. Seattle is no different,” said Blake.
Oh, good, we can ignore this after all. And not just because what any prospective Seattle NHL team needs isn’t an owner, but somebody willing to build an NHL arena. How’s Gretzky with a trowel?
The University of Louisville in the American state of Kentucky turns a record $26.9m annual profit on basketball, yet the city takes $9.8m a year loss. Last season Louisville won its first title since 1986 by beating Michigan, but ever since Rick Pitino’s Cardinals moved into their publicly funded $238 million KFC Yum Center (that’s right, as in the Kentucky Fried Chicken Center) three years ago – a state-of-the-art arena resplendent with executive seating, parking and alcohol-laden concessions – they have delighted their bankers and monopoly backers just as much as their fans.
By Neil deMause
fieldofschemes.com (Nov 5, 2013) – IF YOU LIKE infographics, you’re just going to love this one from ESPN the magazine (see below). Giant blue Rick Pitino monster! Brightly coloured geometric shapes! The number “$25,800,000″ in really big type! It’s the perfect simulacrum of actual information, equally comprehensible for ages 5 to 55! Continue reading