Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Scary times, indeed

Another canary in the economic mineshaft: The Oakland Athletics, having dropped their grandiose plan of a ballpark village, are talking about a smaller stadium, right on a transit line.
Even Fremont Mayor and ballpark booster Bob Wasserman says he and his City Council colleagues "definitely" have to look at the idea, now that the tanking economy has forced the A's to put the rest of their "ballpark village" plan for 3,000 apartment and townhouses on ice.
Speaking as a layperson (oh, grow up), it seems like this is going to become more and more of a common thing, although it's hardly a ripple of evil since new stadiums don't necessarily enhance the fan experience, except for separating her or him from his money.

Over in England, Everton is going through a huge public inquiry over a stadium and retail project. This morning's Globe & Mail details how Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett just took out a huge personal loan, because he's hip-deep in red ink between owning Liverpool (Everton's rival), a string of auto dealerships and "up-market ski resorts."

Gillett evidently can do the debtor's dance better than a lot of businesspeople. It's going to make for a different sports landscape in a few years, but those who are thinking that pro sports are getting too big might not mind too much.

Oakland A's talk of new stadium closer to BART (San Francisco Chronicle)

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