Poor Pawtucket. Several years ago, they wanted to find someone to help them build a new stadium for their soccer team, the Rhode Island FC. Then in 2019, this mystery group, called Fortuitous Partners (FP), told city officials about their $400 million plan that involved building a soccer stadium downtown along with other amenities. Brett Johnson, a developer for FP, got everyone excited with talk of creating a “365-day-a-year destination with sports entertainment, retail, food, and then putting hotels and multifamily around them”. Specifically, the project would include a 10,000-seat soccer stadium, new apartments, offices, and a hotel to name just some. Maybe the best part? FP could have this ready for the 2024 season.
Over the last few years, the New Mexico United owners have really increased how often they push for a new stadium. But when you read old stories of these pushes, it is odd how often AHC is somehow involved in it. The team began play in 2018, but actually started their stadium push in 2020. In that same year, the city of Albuquerque released their yearly “Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy”. This report took input from several local groups. Yes, one of them was a member of the AHC. The report says that the city's plans for boosting tourism that year involved developing “a downtown soccer stadium, and other facilities that draw visitors for specific sports”. When one of your yearly objectives is to “Support a stadium in Albuquerque for the NM United soccer team”, it isn't hard to see what side of the fence you are on in this issue. What about strategies to expand the culture and history of the local area? “Support (for) NM Stadium” is the report's answer, among other things.
Santa Clara continues to claim that the 49ers are hiding financial information from the city. A civil grand report from last year claims that the city of Santa Clara hadn't seen any revenue from…events in six years nor have they seen any money from…events from the stadium's most recent fiscal year. When it was announced last year that a report was being done by a civil grand jury, the 49ers responded with an unusual act of having a 49ers executive follow, investigate and harass the jurors.
The city of Cleveland is going to pay for upgrades to the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the non-profit corporation who decides whether to approve these projects, Gateway Economic Development Corporation, also has no idea how, where or even if they can pay for it. Which does seem to be a slight problem?
Last year, 16 cities, including Seattle and Vancouver, were selected to be hosts for the 2026 World Cup matches. Then FIFA told every city to just shut up if anyone asked about expenses. FIFA was tired of answering questions from cities. It is well-known that the hosting cities are expected to pay most of the costs. But when cities like Chicago, Vancouver and Minneapolis tried to get a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns, FIFA ignored them. Cities had to decide whether they could figure out a number of huge and unpredictable costs without FIFA help.
The mayor of Albuquerque wants a soccer stadium. He wants it badly. Since 2021, he has been begging city leaders and the public to let him help New Mexico United build a new stadium with taxpayer money. Two years ago, he finally got the city to put up a stadium proposition for a public vote. He spent weeks begging residents to approve the proposal.
The Buffalo Bills public answer to all of this continues to be part laughable and part tone-deaf. On one hand, they continue to put out this idiotic PR language that just makes them look like idiots. The construction group for the stadium told the Buffalo News that, contrary to almost all evidence currently, they are in fact “working a well-developed plan.
The city's side, called the Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA), noted in a filing that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins both paid for their scoreboard upgrades. In fact, the Pirates really did the exact same thing as the Steelers. They made the video size bigger and the picture resolution improved. In summary, the city is saying that the scoreboard upgrade was a “major expansion” rather than just a simple upgrade.
Why are cities not making more money off this big event? Because they are paying millions upon millions in expenses mandated by the NFL. In 2016, local taxpayers in San Francisco paid the bill for hosting the Super Bowl and its many off-field festivities. The NFL, a multi-billion dollar company, pays nothing, let me repeat that, nothing during Super Bowl weeks because of a deal between the city and the NFL Host Committee. If you were wondering, local taxpayers did pay for the construction of the stadium in Santa Clara. There is a vast amount of evidence that suggests that the Super Bowl benefits are overstated and not worth the cost of hosting.
Yet even with the questions and people pre-selected, the Chicago Bears GM, Kevin Warren, still got “confrontational” and threatened people who asked questions. The original price of the Stadium and Entertainment District for the Bears new stadium was projected around $5 billion. Billionaires don't become billionaires without keeping every last cent that they can, and I can only guess that is the attitude that the Bears are taking.