News for 4/29/12
- The Kings arena deal was officially declared dead on Friday. Perhaps they were waiting for rigor mortis to fully set in. The team will stay for another year, after that? Who knows? I’m not generally a fan of boycott efforts, but if Kings fans really wanted to stick it to the Maloofs with both a fiscal and PR nightmare, they should boycott ALL games. The family may be struggling enough that a loss of $30-50 million in revenue could really hurt them, and force them to sell the team. That’s what the fans want, right?
- Many readers are getting a buzz off the news that Angels’ owner Arte Moreno met with AEG recently. As Bill Shaikin writes, they’d have a long way to go before they started doing anything. Moreno’s a good businessman, and as a good businessman should he has to at least hear AEG out and get some kind of dialogue going. It won’t force the City of Anaheim to do anything, so the leverage play isn’t there – at least not right now. I wrote last week about AEG’s business model and goals for the LACC expansion-cum-NFL stadium, and how baseball isn’t really on AEG’s map. AEG has its own somewhat weak leverage play in that they want to push the NFL to make a move on their behalf, but as recent discussions between the two parties have revealed, the league is not easy to budge. The NFL can at any time revive the Roski/City of Industry plan and favor it over AEG’s concept, and it would have every right to do so. The NFL doesn’t care about AEG’s desire to hold the Final Four or BCS championship game there, or about AEG’s interest in expanding LACC. All they want is a new, Super Bowl-ready venue. AEG, on the other hand, would have to strain to make a downtown ballpark work within its convention center plans. Since AEG wants an indoor convention hall, the ballpark would require a retractable dome instead of open air. The field would have to be moved out like University of Phoenix’s field, yet there’s no space for such a field-on-a-tray. Because of the rather bespoke nature of a ballpark, it would be difficult to put in the flexible seating system AEG would need to hold the Final Four. Plus there’s the issue of not having enough seats for large football events. Baseball may provide 81+ annual events, but you can bet that the revenue share for AEG will not be beneficial enough to cover the debt service on the venue. There are few compatibilities between what Moreno wants and AEG’s goals. That makes a downtown ballpark a non-starter.
- Minnesota lawmakers continue to work throughout the weekend on the tenets of a Vikings stadium plan. The big obstacle may be rank and file Democrats, many of whom who appear to have pledged to vote down any stadium proposal. Financing would come from a appropriations (state) bond, which means that debt would be serviced by an annual appropriation, to be paid back by gambling tax revenues and other sources. It’s certainly a “creative” public financing solution, though one that would never leave the budget committee in California.
- Barclays Center in Brooklyn putting on an exhibition in October between the Islanders and Devils to test out the hockey configuration, which is suboptimal.