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Bull Schmidt

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  1. https://www.oregonlive.com/oregon22/2022/07/world-athletics-championships-in-eugene-drew-more-than-18-million-viewers-across-nbc-sports-platforms.html I can easily argue that Sunday was the type of day that would make people want to sweat again. It was off the charts, and there’s a TV crowd to prove it. I won’t judge whether the other numbers are worthy of mention, but let’s be honest… as a participation sport in America, Athletics is still up there. And it’s not like this soccer fan didn’t have some of these arguments 20 years ago when it didn’t look like MLS was going to make it. There’s at least a basis for growth, though some changes in presentation ought to be considered.
  2. That’s not a bad baseline from which to work. For that matter, I question if Hayward will bother to put up the temporary bleachers they put up for the Worlds when they (very likely) host the next Olympic qualifiers. 12,650 probably does the job for that. Back to Philadelphia for one more dream sequence… if the Sixers do get a downtown arena built (due date 2032, for now) and the Flyers decide to go with them (anything but assured), damn I’m clamoring for the “abandoned” Wells Fargo Arena space. It’s not perfectly central, but it’s on the subway from downtown. Meanwhile, a thought-provoking article regarding the sport from Alan Abrahamson about the position of the sport at present. https://www.3wiresports.com/articles/2022/7/26/dpo71oxg6btrfhx78dlb4jbae0pgs1 I differ with maybe half of this. But something to ponder. I think there was a Twitter response to this suggesting that Los Angeles would actually NOT be a good stage. Thought that was interesting. Then again, when “Mt. Sac” out in the distant suburbs sought to make stadium improvements to accommodate an Olympic Trials and the surrounding residents took them to court, it might be an indication of the limitations of going just any old place.
  3. I didn’t mention MLS stadium because I thought the league would buy into something like that… though if New York City made that a condition for a deal with NYCFC, the latter might have to accept. (Doesn’t seem like NYCFC is looking for a handout, just an acceptable plot of land within the city… which doesn’t seem to exist) Oh, BTW, any attempt to base an analysis on Icahn Stadium? Oh heck no. Islands should rarely be stadium sites, no? Not that New York City is going to be anything but too expensive for this venture. I meant that the size of that stadium is something a lot of cities have sought over the last few years because (1) it’s more likely to be used with the smaller number of seats than an NFL stadium, and (2) because MLS is not the all powerful 800-pound gorilla, and nobody else of import that would want a facility that small or big, a city might have a bit more leeway doing something. Frankly, I’m looking at Philadelphia. Temple would like to have something for football that’s not so big and not the other side of town. Philly Union already has their own park way out there. Penn has the facility, has the Penn Relays, and you do have to wonder if the Ivy League will still play football in 15-20 years. Some sort of deal where a new football stadium is shared (for now) and Franklin Field reimagined, or where Penn shares and a track stadium with ample room for bleachers (because we don’t actually have to have 30K permanent seats, or even 20K permanent) is created… I could argue that the odds aren’t zero, anyway. There’s another tradition; the Palestra was shared for all those years. So it’s not unheard of there, the schools in the area are not THAT territorial, so arguably the Big Five sharing a track facility doesn’t seem to be out of the realm of possibility.
  4. Get any notion of sharing with the NFL, and any notion this will be bigger than 30,000 seats, out of your mind. That’s not the angle to take. It has been easier in the last decade for cities to build stadia for MLS than it has NFL. There will be a city or two where the college football program dies and MLS exists elsewhere in the area and a 20-30K stadium can be redone for a broader set of purposes than what the NFL can offer in stadiums too big for most any other activity. By the way, when the Goodwill Games were in Husky Stadium, they couldn’t even sell upper deck seats because people outside the front row upstairs couldn’t see the track directly below them. Those upper deck expansions were never built for athletics. (Yes, I was there for a night)
  5. An addendum to what I just wrote… https://www.oregonlive.com/oregon22/2022/07/how-did-oregon22-go-locals-visitors-reflect-on-big-10-days-in-eugene.html
  6. I don’t know enough to know what is meant by “medals ceremonies” as baron-pierre references. You mean offsite as done at a Winter Olympics? What’s been happening in Eugene is the ceremonies taking place at the end of the session, with medals awarded for the previous night’s last event and all except for that night’s last event (the drug testing obviously a factor). Eugene has been running a Riverside Festival during the games, but last weekend, one of the local news broadcasts described the crowds as in the “hundreds”). Maybe I’ll tell my wife’s story in response to further comments, but we noticed that, if anything, it seems like many residents of Eugene decided to take vacations during these games. We had an easy time at an old friend’s brewpub further away from both downtown and the campus. That frankly helped, because hospitalizations have been up in the Northwest the last couple weeks. Suffice it to say my N-95s were on inside the stadium, and I wasn’t the only one. The only real crowds I saw outside the stadium were directly around the campus, and on the trails near the campus walking or running. Even a few people hanging around Pre’s Rock, but not too many (sadly, for having gone to school at U of Oregon, I had never been to that site… though I’d been at a couple parties at Hendricks Park in my time). The stadium is mostly wonderful. Somewhat larger seats even I could fit, rather steep pitch, so it can look like it holds 25,000 but is only 12,650 plus bleachers, more legroom than I’m accustomed to experiencing. Contrast to last night’s Timbers game in Portland, where one of the appreciably sauced fans above me had their foot all but in my crack for a minute. The flaw is the roof, which is not much of a roof if it rains, and some believe it acts as more of a magnifying glass when it gets hot and sunny, specifically in lower level seats. Fortunately, only about 3 days were what we here consider hot during these games. This event is missing the “freaking hot” by two days this week. The thing that struck me about these games… it felt like half the stadium had credentials. All the athletes, coaches, media, officials, handlers, volunteers from out of town… that’s a substantial population in itself. The 2nd night I attended, there’s a Ugandan athlete with a friend, the athlete taking one of my seats. I think they were speaking Swahili, but it was easy to tell to what they were reacting. They stayed until the last two races of the night. Meanwhile, there’s athletes peppered all over the concourse, there’s Jamaican fans with plastic horns all over, and I don’t soon forget Woo Sang-hyeok’s supporters. That’s the best part of this. So, while Eugene knows it’s Athletics, and while the pandemic arguably influenced a lot of what has happened this year, I’ll argue that even Eugene has suffered a bit of event fatigue at Hayward. In another circumstance, I would argue that this event DID overwhelm Eugene. Hosting the NCAAs every year perhaps shouldn’t be the aim (though it must be in the rotation)… the Prefontaine Classic will always be here anyway. Hayward is anything but a white elephant, HOWEVER, this event does belong in a larger American market. Thing is, someone has to meet IAAF halfway and build something that’s a permanent Athletics facility. Doesn’t have to be all permanent seats. But it would help with the sport, it would probably get used annually as a second Diamond League American facility annually, and it can take some stuff that’s frankly too much to be just in Eugene. Who wants to try?
  7. This is now a month away. I got tickets for two nights. I’m paying 30% more than market to stay 16 miles from Eugene for two nights (including the night before my first ticket). I messed up getting the third night, so me and my wife will spend most of the following week on the Oregon Coast. Availability in Eugene is, of course, gone except for some true holes in the ground… probably snatched up at 3-5 times market. It’s also driven up rates 45 miles away in Corvallis to 3 times at this point. And there’s been continuous advertising here for tickets for the event. Just saying. Oh, what they said would be 30,000, then 25,000? I counted the seats on the ticket sales site. 17,448. Give or take a handful, I’m sure. To some degree, I’d say IAAF deserves this. Yet we are in an environment where almost everything is downsizing, or should be. So while I’m working myself up from what I’ve written previously, it turns out in the end that all this is probably for the best. And I’m glad to have this opportunity.
  8. Please forgive me for comparing sports in USA for a moment, but as a soccer fan, I can’t help it. Major League Rugby has a considerably better presence in 2022 than what US Soccer had for a pro league when USA was awarded the 1994 World Cup. At least USA qualifies for RWCs; USA hadn’t qualified in soccer since 1950 and crashed out VERY early in 1985. MLR is at least on TV on a weekly basis if you have CBS Sports Network. The period between the death of the NASL and Paul Caligiuri’s goal in Trinidad was essentially a black hole in American soccer. We can argue if “considerably better” in this context means comparing plankton to fruit flies. MLR is a league that half-fills some small parks, though I can point out some surprising places that should consider larger stadiums: Utah. The Texas teams. Seattle. Maybe Atlanta. (I’ve been to a Utah game. Their Pacific Island community turns out for games in serious numbers.) Mind you, MLR has taken a step back this year by raising ticket prices. Most markets need to draw fans first. This also reminded me that my World Cup 1994 tickets basically ran $20 a pop (I bought first round packages for the Rose Bowl and Stanford), and even the spouses of service members I worked with at the time (most of whom had been on European tours in their lives) thought those prices to be more than reasonable. A RWC needs to be conscious of this. Another thing from which 1994 benefitted is the less crowded summer schedule, made even lighter by the baseball lockout that year. It’s being suggested that the RWC, if held at the normal time, will conflict with the early months of the NFL and college football seasons. Though I could argue that we’re probably witnessing a decline from peak NFL and peak college football, that timing can be problematic. So does a rescheduling (I’ll try to restrict my grumbling about 2022 Qatar to this). What do you do with that?
  9. Hmmm… The proper treatment of bowl games in the future SHOULD look like the following: Most should be played in places like flat stretches of Palm Springs golf courses. Maybe some bleachers for small student sections, but generally a series of sofas and recliners would ring the field on a platform over the sidelines and goal lines. Free icy mixed drinks included. This because expanding playoffs (which I suspect certain conferences are resisting, but it’ll probably eventually happen, yet not to the extent they should) are already making most of these games look like they’d get better revenue with my proposed setup.
  10. Updates. https://www.registerguard.com/in-depth/sports/college/track-field/2021/04/01/look-inside-university-oregons-200-million-state-art-track-only-hayward-field/4833035001/ It’s pretty nice. Official listed capacity is 12,650, expandable to 25,000 for the Worlds and for the Olympic Trials (so much for the 30,000 minimum, SMH). There are views from the open concourse that will probably be standing room along with bleacher space at the north end. If anything, the pandemic helped by allowing for this year’s shakedown cruise. OTOH, they’re already refunding Olympic Trial tickets for this summer due to a realization that larger gatherings are still problematic (Oregon numbers had surged the last two weeks) and it is unrealistic to expect major improvement by mid-June.
  11. In theory, we have had a year to get used to protocols, understand how the science works through the process, and do this safely. If I were involved in this process, I’d be advising that I think Tokyo can pull this off using the right measures. In practice, we have a substantial subset of several populations who think they know better than scientists and are off in their own reality. If the people of Japan were to ask me if those people can be kept away, I could answer that such people are far less likely to make the trip, but I couldn’t be 100% confident that some athletes wouldn’t go rogue.
  12. http://www.oregonlive.com/trackandfield/index.ssf/2018/04/snazzy_redesign_for_hayward_fi.html (This is a link to one of Ken Goe's articles discussing capacity)
  13. Do you have evidence stating the render is for 30,000? This has been a point of contention in the media ever since the release of this rendering...
  14. So this happened... http://www.oregonlive.com/trackandfield/index.ssf/2018/04/university_of_oregon_rolls_out.html Thing is, this is what the organizers say is the complete 12,500-seat POST-Worlds Hayward Field. What the organizers say is that they’ll put temporary bleachers in the gap in the northern part of the stadium. So that phallic errrrrrrrrrrr tower is a 9 story “admin and communications” building and observation deck... if that gap is it, the bleachers would have to be three times the height of that tower. A later interview “clarified” that they’d also stuff seats into the rest of the structure. Having been to enough Major League Soccer facilities, I’d argue that structure looks like it holds a lot more than 12,500. Of course, never trust a rendering. I’m not the only person who gets the sense, in the end, that they’ll SAY there’s 30,000 people without coming all that close. If that rendering is close, however, I could easily see a post-Worlds structure with extra-wide seats and all the latest party-deck what-nots. People in Eugene are upset that the east grandstand is not being preserved. It’s nearly 100 years old, really rather iconic, et cetera, but it’s Phil Knight’s money and the university is steamrolling ahead. They MIGHT even have it ready for the re-bid 2020 US Olympic Trials.
  15. This is already settled. I believe the pundits who surmised that Amazon already has a “general” metro in mind, but the bidding war will sweeten whatever incentives... ...that metro Washington can offer it. That’s to say the people who hacked Amazon and noticed a lot of inquiries being made about Arlington County VA leaked the info and all.
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