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Does Chicago need another concert venue?

June 13, 2013 Comments off

(This is a companion piece to Rumble in the Garden. you can skip to the end if you’d like. There are videos down there.)

And the debate about DePaul and the publicly funded arena they’re associated with continues. If you don’t know, the City of Chicago has a deal with their McPier Authority to issue bonds to fund the building of an Arena on the near South Side – it will house the DePaul Blue Demons as a tenant, and also host some convention center events, concerts and… some other amorphous stuff.

McPier is the quasi-governmental agency that manages McCormick Place, the huge convention center – and also Navy Pier, one of the City’s big attractions. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is big on building a shiny Chicago that attracts business and conventions.

The public finds it tone deaf at a time when he’s also working to close 50 failing schools to save money (in the long term).

College hoops personality Doug Gottlieb (works for CBS), noted instigator but intelligent fellow, thinks that haters of the deal are being short-sighted:

As a Chicago resident who was attracted to the city in part because of the accessibility of the shows here, let me agree with those who have tried to correct Gottlieb a bit (and not just about the fact that the arena won’t be anywhere near Navy Pier).

Chicago is sick with mid-sized venues. House of Blues, Aragon, Riviera, Congress Theater, UIC Pavilion, the Chicago Theater, the Metro are all indoor venues.

Outdoors, the city manages to host Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Pitchfork Fest in Union Park, and – look, I lose track of all the damned outdoor fests. There are many.

AND THEN there are three to four street fairs each summer along the Blue Line (my stomping grounds) that bring in small to mid-sized acts (for a donation fee), plus smaller clubs.

Chicago is in no way hurting for concert/ show space. It is hurting for a convention center connected to downtown, but putting an arena in that dead zone between the South Loop and the Convention Center doesn’t necessarily connect things.

There could be some merit to not having shows go to the Sears Center (farther west) or the AllState Arena (technically not in the city) or to Toyota Park where the Chicago Fire play. However, many of the shows that end up in those venues seem to have more of a… suburban audience.

And you’ll see, there is not much “damn we shoulda gotten that show” spillover for the city of Chicago to worry about.

Toyota Park [Calendar] One big show – the B96 Summer Bash with Avril Lavigne [wait, what?], Ne-Yo, Macklemore, and Demi Lovato. Consider Jackyl. Do you even know who they are? You remember, the band with the singer who plays with a chainaw on stage? They played Full Throttle Fest last year and this year. It takes place in the Toyota Park parking lot. Bob Dylan is also coming with Wilco (who are ALWAYS playing Chicago).

AllState Arena [Calendar] Along with the WNBA games, the Arena has WWE Payback, Fleetwood Mac, and MegaDeth, and American Idol Live. And weeks of open events.

Sears Centre [Calendar] Feeling creepy? These events are for you! High school graduations! The University of Phoenix graduation! Gymnastics!

Best outdoor concert video

Speaking of outdoor concerts, this Gap Band video takes me to the happy place.

Or maybe you prefer St. Vincent going Chloe in the Afternoon (this performance! Not great quality, admittedly.)

DO you have an outdoor video you dig? Share it in the comments.

2010 Coaching Carousel: More teams hand out pinkslips

March 12, 2010 Comments off

An update on the coaches on the hot seat:

Auburn‘s Jeff Lebo, after a 15-17 season, is gone.

Oregon‘s Ernie Kent has told his players that he is not returning.

Iowa‘s Todd Lickliter might “resign.” Under duress.

The hot seat rumors were pretty accurate.  See my earlier post on each coach’s record at their school, in conference, and overall. Also see the post on evaluating up and coming coaches.

Addendum – and one I didn’t hear much buzz about before a week or two ago – Boise State fires coach Greg Graham.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.

Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

2010 Coaching Hot Seat: Hawai’i’s Bob Nash fired

March 9, 2010 Comments off

Bob Nash, longtime player and assistant coach for the Rainbows (or Warriors, as they call themselves now), was 34-56 in his 3 seasons as head coach.

Links

Pomeroy Page

Honolulu Advertiser: Nash fired as UH basketball coach

Aloha UpdateUH Coach Nash Fired After Disappointing Results

KHON: Offsetting the Cost of Coach Nash’s Contract Buyout

Hoop Dirt: Candidates at Hawai’i

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle , doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.

Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Binghamton staying home from America East conference tournament

March 2, 2010 Comments off

Binghamton University has decided not to continue playing the season after all the well-documented turmoil:

“With the controversy currently surrounding the program it is not appropriate we play in this year’s post-season,” Binghamton president Lois DeFleur said in a news release Monday night.

“This action is being done voluntarily as part of our commitment to move forward as we develop a comprehensive plan to address the recommendations of the recent review,” DeFleur added.

The New York Times indicates that the move was not voluntary on Binghamton’s part.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle , doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias.

Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Watching the NCAAs at NCAA Vault + Other Links

February 24, 2010 Comments off

Watching NCAA Sweet 16 games and up from 2000, online? What a way to not get work done. This NCAA Vault full video page with game highlights, cuts by “great plays” and “great finishes” and more…. Even though my team (St. John’s) isn’t in it, this is going to be the hottest thing this month. I can’t wait to watch the Seton Hall team from 2000. Even if that game is after the moment (near halftime, I think?) where Ty Shine said “f**k it” and played like a shooting combo guard against Temple, jacking shots like it was his backyard and ditching the idea of playing point like the hard-to-match Shaheen Holloway.

Also hot this month:

- the (loose, and without games) CBS Basketball schedule, including the air times for the March Tournament games. I expect it will be updated as they know more;

- and March Madness on Demand, which is incredibly good, and a reason I hope CBS doesn’t lose the NCAA Tournament with possible March Madness expansion.

Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your rss link.rss feeds; or follow by email linkemail.

Bye bye, Lawrence

November 30, 2009 Comments off

I suppose after a coach goes 0-17 in the NBA, a firing is in order. But New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank got screwed, and screwed hard, by a team and an ownership more concerned with clearing money for this supposed move to the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn than with putting a competitive team on the floor.

There is a little talent on the Nets. A little. There are a lot of injuries as well. And a lot of backups. Josh Boone and Rafer Alston – as much as I love the guy from my neck of Queens – shouldn’t be logging major minutes. Every trade shouldn’t be to cut space. Courtney Lee is not a starting 2-guard without some high-volume shooters around him.

And while Lawrence Frank may not have been a miracle worker, he was a good soldier, and a decent coach. A man with a lot of energy. He’ll land on his feet – take some time off, stop losing hair, sleep 8 hours in one night. Maybe he will coach college… that Rutgers job could use a tactician…

Big East Roundtable: Are your bloggers on Twitter?

September 23, 2009 2 comments

Now that we’ve discussed the serious questions of collage basketball, I asked my fellow Big East bloggers about communication – do they use Twitter? Twitter has become the way that athletes get in trouble for being prima donnas and jerks, where they make the off-color jokes no one ever told them were not funny, and where reporters break news or add pithy commentary. 140 words is a tiny limit, but as a device to let readers know when something hot is going on… maybe it has some merit.

Orange 44 (Syracuse) – O44
Hoya Prospectus (Georgetown) – HP
I Bleed Blue and White (Villanova) – IBBW
Villanova by the Numbers – VBTN
Eye of a Panther (Pittsburgh) – EoP
Black and Green Irish Blog (Notre Dame) – B&G
Chicago College Basketball (DePaul) – CCB
The East Coast Bias (St. John’s) – TECB

There are 7 questions in total in the roundtable, and they will be up in the next day. It’s a big league, after all, and large group of participants. Enjoy, spread on the message boards and forums, and comment freely (but with civility). Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 were published earlier, go take a look!


Q. Twitter has become influential in broadcasting basketball/ sports information. What’s your opinion of the service? Have you adopted Twitter for your blog? What have been the plusses and minuses?

Villanova Wildcats logoIBBW: I was the most anti-Twitter blogger you could find at it’s outset. But then after watching it on SportsCenter every morning, I realized it was here to stay. It’s a great way to get updates from people and news outlets you are interested in without having to click refresh every 10 minutes. I’m welcomed Twitter on IBBW and I’ve found that I’ve been able to reach a bigger group of people.

Syracuse Orange logoO44: I had been really down on twitter until around last May, when every blogger friend of mine basically demanded I jump on Twitter.  I took the New York Bar Exam this summer, so once that was concluded I joined Twitter (@BH_Orange44). So far it has been great, especially during the Orange football debut this past weekend.  I was tweeting from the Carrier Dome, and following several friends as we all shared in the collective experience of watching the game.  A lot of fun. The plusses are that you have instant interaction and can pass along comments and news instantly.  Even faster than a live blog.  It is boiled down to good, simple information due to the character limit.  The minuses are that it can limit you if you have something long and relatively important to say.  Also, while trying to keep up with tweets you are not really paying close attention to the game, which can defeat the whole purpose of your afternoon.

Georgetown logoHP: Twitter serves a purpose – spontaneous thoughts, breaking news, etc., but the wheat/chaff ratio can be frustrating. We haven’t adopted Twitter for our blog as we normally don’t break news and aren’t very spontaneous. Other Hoya blogs with boots on the ground use it, to better purpose than we ever could.

Villanova Wildcats logoVBTN: I like it, though I use it only “situationally”. I followed the World University Games via twitter, having the final scores hours before they were published by the news services. I have not adopted it for Villanova by the Numbers. In the days before I actually began the blog I spent time considering what I wanted to accomplish with VBTN. I decided to focus on the numbers, the state of the team (and program…and the game), more on the “play” rather than the “players”. Twitter is more valuable to me as a “news source/news alert” for events that I know will not get a lot of media attention initially.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish logoB&G: Twitter is decent for sports reporting, but I’ve had such an aversion to it due to its usage as a tool for reporting every aspect of one’s rather uninteresting life.  I don’t have an account and likely never will.

DePaul Blue Demons logoCCB: I really like Twitter (@Chicolball). I think that it allows you to share short opinions and links that you would normally write about. While most college basketball coaches use it as a way to broadcast boring messages, some of the good coaching Tweeters actually give relevant information.

Pittsburgh Panther logoEoP: I’m not personally a Twitter fan, but I’m surprised at how much actual news is broken there.  It makes sense for athletes and celebrities because they can spread news without having to run a website or go through the media.  Other than that, I’m not sure I ‘get it.’  I don’t use Twitter – I’m not sure I’m important enough to have people ‘follow me.’  And while I like the idea of athletes telling me what’s going on during a game, not sure why their coaches would allow it.  I’m also amazed that athletes will ‘spill the beans’ on Twitter while giving nondescript answers during interviews.

St. John's logoTECB: I am on Twitter and have found it very useful; it brings eyes from the East Coast Bias twitter page to the blog and allows me to write “micro” posts when a full blog posts seems indulgent and unseemly. The minus is that Twitter becomes another online location to check, and in truth, I still think it’s kind of silly.  It really tends towards some of the dumber aspects of people’s communication, trolls, nasty one-sided invective… it ain’t deep. But then, some things are best when succinct.

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