I've largely stayed away from the stadium dealings. I never felt like
the team was moving or listening to LA. I never anticipated much issue
with them staying, or with them getting money to renovate. It's time to
do that, and it's time to ensure they stay. To me, having dealt with
seeing convention and meeting dollars flying around for years, this
isn't unusual - and while I'd prefer the city of Charlotte (of which I'm
not a citizen) or state to not spend money on foolishness, they will.
There's no denying it. They will. So, I guess, selfishly, I kinda
enjoyed that not only would it help my team out, but that it would come
from new money in visitor taxes, moreso than out of the general fund.
And in the grand scheme of things, if my opinion is to be known,
getting $140 million (I don't have the exact figure) to stay 30 years
(the last 16, and the next chunk just to round it off) comes out to $4.6
million a year. Do you think LA would pay that for a 30 year run with a
team? Do you think Baltimore would've? Absolutely. The franchise and
stadium were privately built, and good for them. To not have state
intervention for the first two decades doesn't seem that bad.
I wasn't really aware until this morning that Deadspin, clearly with
the help of someone near the organization, published financial reports
for the team suggesting a $112 million profit over two years.
Not ideal. The team counters, saying the net was more like $20 million
(and I'm sure, without having read that all the way through either, that
they'd argue that a net gain of $20 million on a billion dollar business
isn't that incredible.
But, the team's looking for government money to renovate, and that's a
tough sell. More than that, it's embarrassing for Richardson, who
spearheaded the early renegotiation of the CBA and suggested the players
were getting too much of the pie. Furthermore, the league as a whole
demanded that documents like this not come out. And there's no doubt
Carolina doesn't make the profits others do - no way Jerry Jones built a
billion dollar stadium on layaway.
Even the Deadspin documents don't bother me personally that much. A
team that generates around $100 million in local revenue per year is
worth a massive amount to the local economy. If you only prorate the
$140 mil over the 15 years the agreement ran through, that's $9 million
to ensure $100 million. Which is still a good deal for the city
(outside of the idea that cities really do seem to enjoy extending their
credit on bonds and new taxes like this). Compare that to $200 million
from just the city for Atlanta, reached in agreement this morning.
Is it ideal? Shouldn't the Panthers be able to compete without the
city money? Absolutely. But the business they're in at the city level,
it's subsidized. People throw money at other money to get that money
into hotels and into meeting rooms. You don't want to know the money
Charlotte spent getting the DNC here.
So, I don't know. The team did a good job getting itself to this
point, with the faux-LA meeting and the collateral earned from the
lockout. But it didn't see this coming, and like it or not, I don't
know that the public funding option survives this. Hopefully
Richardson's path from here is a reasonable one, because a spiteful
owner might start talking to LA - or the next owner might.