Pitch Points knows what a stadium is

Rounding up some of the relevant links from around the internet.

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Not breaking new ground here. At least in the figurative sense. If you’ve read Nashville Scene over the past couple months or have followed the MLS stadium proposal at all, you’re not really going to learn anything new here. It’s a good refresher for those who don’t pay attention to the day-to-day or have forgotten some of the details.

Does is guarantee an MLS team? (No! But Probably!) How will the stadium be funded? (The team owners will pay back an initial investment by Metro) Why is the city giving away 10 acres of valuable land? (The team owners demanded a parcel of land near the stadium – there’s not really a compelling reason for Metro to comply other than the price of playing ball).

Worth a read only if you’re not particularly versed in it, but definitely sets out some of the basics.

I will not let this tiny aggression stand, man. The Metro Council meeting at which the stadium resolution passed is a potential topic of greater exploration in later posts. For the time being though, I want to hop on something that really bugs me in hindsight.

One Metro Council member (I don’t remember which one, and I’m not out to embarrass the individual anyway, though “saying something stupid on-record” is probably an indication that you’re deserving) launched into an impassioned speech about how the voters of the state of Tennessee passed a referendum that the State Fairgrounds would not be able to change – essentially under any circumstances. Let’s go to a primary source from that 2011 referendum (emphasis mine):

All 164 precincts reported unofficial results. Some 22,000 voted in favor of ratifying an amendment that would increase the number of Metro Council votes needed to make changes to the 106-year-old exhibition grounds. About 8,300 voted against it. Early voting results were similar.

Saying “we shouldn’t disobey the will of the voters because it violates our charter” is either disingenuous, willfully ignorant, or displaying a level of intelligence that is low enough that it should be disqualifying for eligibility to serve on Metro Council. The vote increased (from 21 to 27) the number of Metro Councilmembers in favor necessary to make changes to the Fairgrounds.

A vote in Metro Council is specifically required by the referendum, and giving that argument immediately prior to a vote in Metro Council… well, I’ve already given my opinion on dude’s motivations, I guess.

The problem with youth soccer in America. This is going to be a frequent topic on the site – in fact, was one of the topics the site was specifically created to discuss. Pay-for-play has long been singled out as an issue – and it is one, no doubt. Let’s hop in on one writer’s opinion on the problem and some solutions:

This is all in contrast to American registration fees that run up to several thousand dollars per year even in community club programs, and is largely because of the increased cost of coaching wages which come with the assumption that higher paid means higher quality. This unfortunately feeds into another growing niche market in the United States which is the import of youth coaches from Great Britain

So what’s the solution? If we need to hold youth coaches accountable in order to justify their wages, then the Federation needs to be involved in the payment of those wages through investment and subsidies. But there’s too many players, too many teams, for the Federation to invest in and subsidize. Picking and choosing which programs to receive money from the Federation in order to do away with player registration fees opens a fertile breeding ground for internal politics and favoritism which would surely doom talented players just as much as excessive costs do today. There simply isn’t an easy solution to the problem.

“My solution is there is no solution” is not the most optimistic take for Christopher McCollum to present. He essentially advocates for parents self-policing and, like, posting Yelp reviews on their kids’ youth coaches as a possibility… but that’s effectively the situation were in now.

I do disagree in a major way on one of his points, and that’s the negative influence of British coaches coming to make a buck. First, I don’t begrudge those guys taking an opportunity to profit from their expertise. It also improves the overall caliber of coaching in our country, which is a long-term benefit. An increase in the number of suppliers of a product is also going to decrease the prices in that market. That supply-and-demand change something you literally learn on the first day of a high school-level economics class.

With more (and better) coaches available, the cost for lesser coaching is only going to decrease. It doesn’t solve the problem, especially for the lowest-income or least-access among youth who want to improve their games, but it should mitigate, not exacerbate, the exorbitant fees that keep many out of the US Soccer development train.

Michigan to take on Colgate. I’m not a huge follower of college soccer (and when I was in college, wan’t remotely knowledgable enough about the game to take a big-picture view, despite attending the majority of U-M home matches), primarily because my main focus is USMNT and there’s limited pipeline from NCAA to that level – a topic for a deep dive on another day. But when the old alma mater is in the Tournament, you pay attention.

The Wolverines will host Colgate Sunday at 5 p.m. after the Raiders knocked off UMass yesterday. The win is Colgate’s sixth in a row, making them what one would consider a “hot team” in the NCAA basketball tournament likely to overachieve (the most notable of those being the 2011 Kemba Walker UConn team).

However, I see a team that wasn’t over .500 until winning the Patriot League conference tournament, and indeed needed to win its final two regular-season games to make that conference tournament as the bottom seed. They knocked of No. 3, No. 1 (Loyola Maryland, themselves only the No. 59 team in RPI), and No. 5 to win the automatic berth. This is a team that was 5-10-1 less than a month ago, and they haven’t exactly been on fire during the winning streak: only the 4-0 victory over Boston University in the regular-season finale lit up the nets.

The No. 13 team in the country should be able to handle them.

The only way to watch is on U-M’s athletics stream, because the Big Ten Network is impressively incompetent at the way it runs its business (organizationally, at least. The broadcasts are unfortunately not any worse than other outlets covering college athletics).

Etc.: With MLS potentially coming to Nashville, I guess the topic of pro sports teams moving is relevant to us. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone – even an Austin resident and rabid soccer fan itching for a team to move to that city – to have a take other than “Anthony Precourt is a total piece of shit.” Soccer by Ives recap of the Portugal friendly. Caleb Porter resigns as Timbers coach… trying to be available for the USMNT?

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