Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

No! No more money for the Olympic Stadium

May 15, 2015

Not a dollar. Not a penny. Not even a lint covered button. No more money for the Olympic Stadium. Have we all gone mad? In the capital of protesting and ‘sticking it to the man,’ why are we not putting up more of a fight on related to expenditures on the Big Owe?

This spring, the Quebec government said that a sickening $200 million dollars has to be sunk into this sinking ship over the next decade – and that doesn’t even cover fixing the issues of the Swiss cheese-like current stadium roof to the tune of several hundred millions more! Factor in that it currently costs $1.4 million dollars to operate this near-abandoned structure annually and we’re talking about a disgustingly obscene amount of money.

Olympic Stadium

Photo:, March 2012, after a concrete block fell.

Why? Why are we doing this? Because the governments say that it’s a tourist attraction? Really? Have you ever actually met someone who has gone up to the top of this hideous structure? Ever heard a tourist from out of town say that they want to bypass downtown and visit the empty Olympic Stadium and ascend its leaning tower? Ridiculous.

Still, we never seem to get a plausible response as to why we keep the money flowing into what has become the ultimate money pit. The stadium has no tenant. It’s been called one of the worst buildings in the history of professional sports many times. It’s void of any real evening entertainment destinations within miles. Am I missing something here?

This is downright crazy. We’re throwing bad money after bad money, year after year, literally. And to what end? Are overly concrete, problem-riddled echo chambers going to come back in style in professional sports? Can you really picture this edifice serving any purpose in the year 2040? What are we doing here? Doesn’t any government official see the big picture?

It’s like spending $600 to repair a five-year old laptop instead of buying a new one!

Full disclosure, I am one of many advocating for a new stadium to house the return of the Montreal Expos. Everyone knows that. But this is more than about getting our baseball team back. This is about civic pride. When every metropolis in North America has a functioning stadium that doesn’t require the budget of a small country just to remain upright, it begins to border on the embarrassing.

Vancouver has a revitalized BC Place. Toronto has a decent Rogers Centre. Montreal has a weather-dependent facility problem.

Is it really a stretch to think that a fine organization like Evenko couldn’t bring in major acts to play in a new downtown stadium year-round? Yes, I said all year because I believe that we need a new stadium with a retractable roof. All sorts of musical, comedic and sports shows would take full advantage of a centrally-located crown jewel of Montreal. As a former boss of mine was fond of saying, “It’s a no-brainer.”

So you see, my desire for a new stadium coincides with trying to procure a baseball team, and isn’t just about attracting one.

Yes, I know what the naysayers want me to explain; how are we going to pay it?

It’s quite simple, really. First, with the average Major League Baseball payroll currently sitting at roughly $110 million, can you imagine the amount of income taxes that the provincial government would collect annually from the Montreal based players? Can we we not simply earmark those sizable funds towards paying the government back for a stadium? Next, we all know how stadium naming rights are worth a pretty penny. Can we not factor that revenue in as well?

Finally, there’s the Dominic Therrien white paper proposal of partially funding a stadium through a wealthy immigration program. It worked in Brooklyn (see the Nets and now the Islanders). Add all of these revenue streams up and you have a large portion of a new stadium potentially paid for – and we didn’t even mention a potential ‘buy a stadium brick’ public campaign. I’m no economist or financier, but surely there’s a starting point here.

At the end of the day it’s about common sense. Do we want to be the laughing stock of the country and continent by continuing to prop up failing infrastructure or do we want to lure a baseball team back and create a REAL must-see Montreal destination?

The choice seems obvious. But then again I have no interest in reaching the top of the Olympic Stadium for a great view of the nearby Insectarium’s roof.

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Getting Bumped, such is life …

July 24, 2008

So, the business trip was very successful, but it also had a disapppointment. Sure, the work with 980 Marketing went swimmingly, and the Speculation co-hosting gig on Sirius Satellite Radio went well. But, getting a last-minute bump from TSN’s Off the Record was a kick in the teeth. Not only do I look like a jackass to family, friends, acquaintances and to anyone else who knew I was going to be on, but not getting to experience it sucks.

But it’s not all bad. Such is life. You have to simply brush it off and look at the bright side. They didn’t bump me due to a lack of sports/verbal skills, but rather because of a scheduling conflict….etc… I will be back on the program in the near future, no doubt about it. You can’t work yourself up over the details in life. No one died. No one suffered (well, maybe my wallet a little for the extra day) and I probably endeared myself even more by taking it so well.

The thing is, I probably would have taken it quite badly a few short years ago. But, the love of a good woman, an impending child on the way and a budding solo career give me a ton of room for optimism and a great reason to chill the f@#^ out!

Toronto was ok. The hotel was fantastic but the incessant rain has been a little more than annoying. You try to exercise and go for walks, but you end up running for cover from monsoon-like rains. When did Hog-Town become the freakin’ North Pacific? Now, not only do they have a pretty subpar hockey team, but they also have more rain than the entire province of British Columbia. Ridiculous. It’s bad enough we suffer through brutal winters, now we have to sport silly umbrellas or run soaked and wet all summer. I suppose it’s better than tornados, earthquakes and forest fires.

At any rate, I return home to Montreal, Canada re-invigorated. The child is on the way soon, there’s a lot of work to be done business-wise and I return home to a city with some personality.

We’ll talk soon.

The Business Trip

July 19, 2008

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing, so here we go.

In the midst of preparing for our first baby, I have been feverishly working to get on the map. I am off to Toronto on a business trip, visiting a company I do some work for. I love the business trip. Now, I don’t travel enough to the point where it’s a regular occurrence, so I guess it’s still a novelty and a nice change of pace for me.

There’s just something about being out on your own in a different place (particularly if you are married) that re-energizes you and gives you that good kick in the ass to keep your professional efforts up. I love staying in hotels and doing the business cocktail thing. I also love the opportunity to showcase my networking personality. When you are married and depend mostly on yourself to make a living, you sort of get away sometimes from the “better” you.

Well, all I can say is that I hope the “better” me shows up in TO. I am scheduled to be on TSN’s Off The Record with Michael Landsberg, probably the biggest talk show (of any genre) in the country. It’s a big chance for me to compete with the big wigs of media and entertainment. I’ve done the show twice before, but not for a while. The format has changed, leaving me only with one segment to make a real impact, so the pressure is on. I am also scheduled to make an appearance on a Sirius Satellite radio program dedicated to sports gossip talk. So it could be a very good week exposure-wise for Content Servicing.

That’s all for now. I will try and write a blog from the road, talking about my experience in Canada’s Gotham city. I am not a big fan of Toronto, but it does have it’s moments. Let’s see what moments come my way next week. Have a good weekend, all. If you have time, check out my Montreal radio show this Sunday night.

The real Favre end result

July 14, 2008

Check out this blog posting on the radioon station site I do a show for…. It is the ONLY end result in 2008 for Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers


June 23, 2008

As I sit here at home working away on the computer, the inviting images of the classic Wimbledon tournament grab my attention from the background. Indeed, ‘the All England Club’s plush green grass, polite audience and rich tradition suck me in for a moment or two.

To me, the prime of summer always begins with the beginning of Wimbledon. Names like Graf, Agassi, Sampras, Becker, Williams and Federer have dominated this tourney and there’s no reason to believe we won’t witness something special over the next couple of weeks.

While I am usually someone that roots for the underdog, I find myself always championing Roger Federer. His class, dignity, effortless play and sheer skill are just all just so incredible that it’s impossible to dislike the world’s best player. Let’s hope he and Rafael Nadal square off in yet another epic battle at tennis’ famed venue.