Memorial Park in London, Ontario | Dave Chidley/CBC
London, Ont.’s Labatt Memorial Park has been around since 1877, and the Guiness Book of World Records recognizes the charming 5,200-seat stadium as the world’s longest continuously operating baseball grounds.
The streak looked like it might end at 143 years with the pandemic causing the cancellation of baseball seasons throughout Ontario, but a special exhibition game of Memorial Park’s main team, the London Majors, was organized to keep it intact.
The Majors Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) season remains cancelled due to the pandemic, but the Majors will take the field on Friday night to play the Guelph Royals in a matchup of IBL foes. Fans won’t be allowed in, but the game will be shown on local cable TV and on the Majors’ YouTube channel.
Some $2.4 million in public money went to design this 25,000-seat stadium at Shannon Park, and a half a million dollars more to study building a 10-14,000 seat stadium at Shannon Park, and then another million dollars to study building a 20,000-seat stadium at Shannon Park. Now the city is being asked to look at another stadium proposal for Shannon Park. Continue reading →
Exactly how bad is the new Calgary Flames arena deal? Neil deMause writes in the Field of Schemes website:
(July 26) – With all of four days of public comment period (expiring today at noon, July 26) allowed before the Calgary city council votes next week on its Flames arena plan, the media have been commenting like crazy on how it’s either terrific or godawful. Among the takes:
Toronto Star columnist Jim Cunningham says it’s “a pleasant surprise that somebody had actually decided to do something in this gloomy town,” and that despite the fact that the city will get little in the way of ticket taxes and naming-rights money, and Flames owner Murray Edwards could get a huge gift in the form of development rights to public land, it’s a good “compromise” because Calgary “badly needed a win on something, anything, after the debacle that was the bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.” (Ed. note: The “debacle” was that the Olympics bid didn’t happen because Calgary voters didn’t like it.)
Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples says the new deal “appears to be far more favourable to the Flames owners than the arena proposal that broke down in 2017 and also more favourable than the deal Oilers owner Daryl Katz got in Edmonton”: He says Edmonton paid 47% of the Oilers’ arena cost, Calgary would pay 50% of the Flames’, up from 33% in the proposal from two years ago. But he admits that the “details are murky,” and ends up noting that even pro-arena Edmonton officials say it ended up being good to have a lengthy public debate on that city’s plan, though of course their side still won in the end, so they would say that.
Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid says that the new arena is good because Taylor Swift and Paul McCartney will be more likely to play there.
Macleans writer Jason Markusoff writes that the Flames owners “sweetened the pot” by agreeing to pay a ticket tax, but mostly city officials wanted something they could “claim victory” on: “Nenshi and the council want to remember what victory tastes like and get the public excited about something, even at the risk of getting the public furious anew. After Monday’s presentation, Nenshi gathered King and other principal players in the talks for a handshake photo op, until an aide rushed over and reminded the mayor of the optics of shaking hands on a deal that was just opened to public feedback. Oopsie.“
Global News contributed a not-very-helpful listicle of costs of recent NHL arenas that didn’t include any details of how much the public paid for each, because that shit is too complicated for a listicle, man, do you know how many posts we have to write today?
The Japanese have taken note that only rational spending will lead to a success similar to that of Tokyo 1964, when the Asian continent hosted an Olympic contest for the first time, then described by critics as the “Perfect Games”
THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) is not removed from the fluctuations in the global economy, experiencing its recessions and slowdowns, elements that affect the host cities of its quadrennial Games. Continue reading →
After a closed meeting behind the backs of the people on July 22, the Calgary city council announced an outrageous pay-the-rich deal with the owners of the Calgary Flames of the NHL for a new 19,000-seat arena. It will be built on current Calgary Stampede parking lots to replace the Saddledome. Details include:Continue reading →
“It’s time we gave prestige and standing back to the Olympic Park and the Olympic Stadium,” [Québec Tourism Minister Caroline] Proulx told reporters at a news conference. “For too long it has been not loved or under-loved by Quebecers.”…
“We will be working on replacing the roof, it is mandatory to change the roof,” Proulx said. “We will change the roof. The business plan will be tabled in the next few months.”
This is not the first we’ve heard of Montreal’s Olympic Stadium getting a new roof — a year and a half ago, the previous tourism minister floated spending about $250 million on one, which at the time I called “just madness.” There are certainly times when stadiums need repairs — for Olympic Stadium, this has historically been “pretty much always” — but spending $250 million on a new roof, retractable or otherwise, is a hella expensive way to provide “standing and prestige,” especially when past roofs have only resulted in scandal and ridicule. MORE
Large sporting events — the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, what have you — as a rule are economic disasters and black hole budget items for governments. That’s because backers always oversell their ability to control costs and overestimate the economic impact of such games. Continue reading →
You really have to wonder about MLS and its leadership more and more every day, don’t you?
Having two weeks off between the conference semifinals and finals for an international break is just bad planning but at some level it was something they had no say in.
But the money-grubbing decision to shift Game 1 of the Toronto-Montreal series from Stade Saputo to the Big Owe in Montreal not only shows a callous disregard for the players and fans, it’s just a blatant attempt to stuff the pockets of the owners and league. Continue reading →
What is wrong with this twitter? First, there’s no people in the photo. ESPN could be saying that nobody is outside because they’re all watching the game between Cuba’s national team and the Tampa Bay Rays where the tickets were free, compared to the megabucks one has to pay in the US or the Rogers Centre. In other words, this was such an interesting game that nothing else much is going on. But then the photo – like all the hyperbole that Cuba’s sports infrastructure is “crumbling” – blew up in EPSN’s face, as MATT NOVAK documents.