Monday, June 06, 2016
It’s worthwhile to note that this isn’t just a case of the county spending general revenue on the stadium and having none left over for parks, which would be bad enough; rather, the county actually redirected tax revenue that had been earmarked for public parks to pay for the stadium bonds, even though the park project was approved by voters, and the stadium never was. I’d say something snarky here about Cobb County’s attitude toward democracy, but Lee has already managed that quite nicely himself.
Posted: June 06, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 54 comment(s)
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
How does property in San Francisco drop in value?
The Giants are asking the city for millions of dollars in property tax refunds, claiming that the value of AT&T Park has dropped well below the $200 million that the team paid to build it 16 years ago — even as home prices in San Francisco have more than doubled during that time.
In an appeal filed with the city, the Giants have asked that their property-tax bill be slashed in half for the years 2011 to 2014. That would come to a reduction of about $8 million total.
“All taxpayers have the right to have their property taxes set accurately and fairly and free from political influence,” the Giants’ senior vice president and general counsel, Jack Bair, said in a statement.
Two years ago, Bair said, city Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu retroactively raised the Giants’ property taxes for 2011 by “an astonishing 97 percent.” She carried forward similar increases for subsequent years, he said.
“We do not believe that this increase is justified, and have exercised our right to have the assessment reviewed by a neutral panel of experts as provided by law,” Bair said.
Friday, May 20, 2016
The Rangers appear destined for a new stadium.
And sooner than you think.
According to two major league sources, the Rangers and City of Arlington are about to announce plans for a new retractable-roof stadium that is expected to come on line earlier than the current lease expires following the 2023 season. An announcement could come as soon as Friday.
It is uncertain how far ahead of the 2024 season the new stadium could be opened—or how it would be financed—but getting into a new retractable-roof stadium ahead of time is likely to significantly increase the value of the club and add multiple years of new revenue streams.
Construction of a new stadium likely would be subject to an election by Arlington voters—probably to dedicate sales tax and potentially parking and ticket taxes to the construction effort.
Monday, May 02, 2016
Over the last 15 years, the Braves have extracted nearly half a billion in public funds for four new homes, each bigger and more expensive than the last. The crown jewel, backed by $392 million in public funding, is a $722 million, 41,500-seat stadium for the major league club set to open next year in Cobb County, northwest of Atlanta. Before Cobb, the Braves built three minor league parks, working their way up the ladder from Single A to Triple A. In every case, they switched cities, pitting their new host against the old during negotiations. They showered attention on local officials unaccustomed to dealing with a big-league franchise and, in the end, left most of the cost on the public ledger. Says Joel Maxcy, a sports economist at Drexel University: “If there’s one thing the Braves know how to do, it’s how to get money out of taxpayers.”
The Atlanta Braves own most of their minor league farm system, including, along with a Double-A team, the Triple-A team in Gwinnett County, Ga.; the Single-A team in Rome, Ga.; and lower-level teams in Danville, Va., and Lake Buena Vista, Fla. It’s an unusual arrangement. Major League Baseball teams always manage their players at every level, but they usually leave the day-to-day operations of farm teams to independent owners. The Braves prefer more control. “We can create a seamless thread all the way through our system,” says Mike Plant, the team’s president of development. The teams are all named the Braves and wear near-identical uniforms. Even the “Tomahawk Chop” chant is the same from Atlanta to Rome. “We definitely extend that Braves brand through everything we do,” says Plant.
The Braves are similarly methodical about using other people’s money to build their ballparks. In 2001, for example, while trying to persuade Rome to build a $15 million, 5,105-seat stadium for the Single-A Braves, who then played 150 miles south in Macon, the Braves brought local officials to Turner Field for executive dinners and to watch games from the owner’s box. “It was hands down the highlight of my life,” then-Floyd County Manager Kevin Poe says. That November, Rome voters approved a 1¢ sales tax to pay for the stadium by a 142-vote margin.
Friday, April 08, 2016
This is ridicules.
he warning tracks, however, that currently adorn every major league baseball field are essentially useless. (Did you see what happened to Matt Kemp on Tuesday night in Colorado? More on that in a moment.)
At Coors Field on Tuesday night, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp slammed into the wall, hurting his right knee and jaw.
We want to believe the warning track is this awesome alarm system that tells a speeding outfielder that the wall is coming up soon. But funny enough, there is no regulation size for a warning track—guess the 10-foot thing went out the window. In one stadium, you have enough room to rescue a beached whale on the track, but then you go to the next town on that same road trip and it may be too small for a guppie. So if you rely on standardization of safety features (which would make sense), you will be disappointed. Of course, if you get used to a larger track at home but find smaller ones on the road, you better get ready to call your dentist to get all green padding out of your teeth, because that one-foot shorter track is going to cost you your smile.
Posted: April 08, 2016 at 08:47 AM | 15 comment(s)
Thursday, March 24, 2016
I’ve had it with this type of baloney. The teams don’t need taxpayer money. Ever.
The county refused the team’s request in a letter Wednesday, saying taxpayers built the facility with $238 million in sales taxes. The letter also states the team, according to its contract with the county, is prohibited from trying to move until 2024.
Posted: March 24, 2016 at 08:58 PM | 49 comment(s)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
For all the issues the Raiders had with the city and Oakland and Alameda County, at least they were never evicted.
That’s what the High Desert Mavericks of the Class A California League are facing, with the city of Adelanto filing documents to evict the minor league baseball team from Heritage Field, The Sun News reported over the weekend.
Adelanto mayor Rich Kerr said in a release the city declared a fiscal crisis in 2013 and is ``still not in position to assume financial responsibility to pay for water, gas, electricity, landscaping and maintenance for the stadium for the next seven months to accommodate the team’s schedule.’‘
High Street Baseball LLC, which owns and operates the Mavericks, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers, contend the city is attempting to get out of a binding contract.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I thought the Nationals already had a stadium?
All this has to make any American baseball fan think: What if our national pastime finally got a national venue?
What if a stadium was constructed somewhere in the United States to serve as the official center of baseball in America? How would it work? Where would it be built? Would it make the game even more popular than it already is? Would it create even more indelible history and hallowed ground in a game that’s been built on time-honored tradition?
Here are thoughts on how this game changer of an idea could play out:
A serious Series venue
The creation of this stadium would fit perfectly as the natural annual host to the World Series. That’s a good place to start for this idea. Establishing a neutral-field situation for the sport’s ultimate championship might be controversial, as colleague Anthony Castrovince recently pointed out in a piece examining the viability of that particular scenario, but it could work, too.
All-Star Games could be in play, too, with one advantage being that fans could plan for months, if not years, in advance to help optimize their experiences at baseball’s jewel events.
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