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What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
submitted by Soccervox to USLPRO [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Impacts on US/Canada transit for 2020-05-04

Slowly everything is getting back to normal. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "!!!" States that require a mask: MD, MI, NJ
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended. Limited access to NY Penn.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice)
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Impacts on US/Canada transit for 2020-05-11

😷 Just wear a !)#[email protected]( mask. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are requiring you wear a mask. Most ask you board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "⚠️" and are because of state orders.
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
Returning: Limited Acela starting June 1st
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. IA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until further notice: Toronto-Niagara Falls
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert
Suspended until Nov 1st: The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver), The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax)
Limited schedule service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (All-stop service, round trips on each line only)
No sleeper: Winnipeg-Churchill route (until Nov 1)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

East Coast

Mid-Country

West Coast

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452 u/blorgcumber
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Transit Impacts in US/Canada for 2020-05-18

😷 Wear a mask as you're coming back. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing.
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are requiring you wear a mask. Most ask you board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "⚠️" and are because of state orders.
If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!
(I have also taken the time to clean up and organize the list a bit)

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info 05-13
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
Returning: Limited Acela starting June 1st
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory 05-06
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. IA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until further notice: Toronto-Niagara Falls
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert
Suspended until Nov 1st: The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver), The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax)
Limited schedule service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (All-stop service, round trips on each line only)
No sleeper: Winnipeg-Churchill route (until Nov 1)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced Service - Canada - Improving

Reduced Service - Canada

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

East Coast

Mid-Country

West Coast

Michigan

Reduced Service - USA

East Coast

Mid-country

West Coast

Michigan

Hat-Tips

u/alitales u/NixillUmbreon u/Steaks_on_a_Plane u/voxadam u/cincy_transit_guy u/mohaas06 u/taxorenxuan u/earlyenrichment u/SojuCondo u/TTC_Tokens u/TC1827 u/InfiNorth u/Bombpants u/sebileis u/Pwheatstraw2000 u/Vectrex452
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

History of Clifton Hill Part 2: Boom Years

Thank you to everyone who read and commented on part 1, your feedback is much appreciated. If you haven't read part 1 or want to see the original poll that brought me here, scroll back in this sub or (if you're reading this in the future and it's long since buried) click on my profile and find them there in my posts.
By the 50s, it had become clear that using Clifton Hill as a series of budget, away from the falls tourist camps wasn't nearly as lucrative as the land could potentially be. Welland Securities opened the Quality Inn Fallsway where Dinosaur Adventure Golf now sits and the Park Motor Inn (later Venture then Comfort Inn) where Niagara Speedway now is. Clifton Touring Camp was torn down to make way for these, save for the snack bar where Wizard's Golf now is that was an original Zimmerman estate gate house. The guest house building and gardens of the estate that remained at this point were torn down, but the stable building was gutted, re-enforced and turned into the Welland Securities offices in the Park Motor Inn. This remained Welland Securities (now HOCO)'s offices until Comfort Inn was torn down in 2015 (and the nearly 150 year old stable building with it). Quality Inn featured a restaurant and nightclub in it's lobby building: the T-bird room. The T-bird hosted a variety of early rock and roll acts over the years until it's eventual transition into a Golden Griddle and Q-Balls Billiards Pub in the 70s. The hotel also featured 4 swimming pools: a large outdoor pool, an outdoor kiddie pool, an indoor pool and an indoor hot tub. The Park Motor Inn only featured a single outdoor pool and hot tub (area became an enclosed atrium in the 70s.) However, it featured a gift shop (where Kelsey's has been since the 80s), the Queen' Door Nightclub (became Rumors Nightclub in the 80s, now divided up into multiple things like the relocated Kelsey's bathrooms and Zombie Attack) and Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. Ripley's leased the land from Welland Securities. It was the second attraction in the Ripley company's popular chain of "Odditoriums", predated only by the original St. Augustine FL location. The Niagara Falls History Museum had opened a few blocks away in the early 1900s in the building currently occupied by the Bird Kingdom, but it was closer to a museum than a tourist attraction. Ripley's was the first real attraction to open up in Niagara.
Ripley's was a massive success, becoming Niagara's must visit location second only to the falls itself. It (along with Marilyn Monroe's breakthrough film "Niagara" in 1953) opened the floodgates, and by 1960, all the cabin courts had been demolished. In 1955, Charles Burland tore down his Niagara Falls Tourist Camp and bought all the land from the aforementioned field where Captain Jack's now is to Tussaud's. He tore down all the cabin courts on this land, building the Honeymoon City Motel (known as Travelodge since the early 2000s) in the place of Reinhard's Riverhurst Inn and his Niagara Falls Tourist Camp, a parking lot (now Castle Dracula) in the place of the Darling Cabins, and the Clifton Motor Inn (known as Thriftlodge since early 2000s) where Clifton Camp was. The Honeymoon City Motel had a restaurant where the Guinness museum now is, as well as the gift shop that's still there beside Guinness. Clifton Motor Inn had the Clifton Hill Family Restaurant in the old Camp Clifton restaurant building (still there), a "Bonanza" company shooting gallery (now replaced with a newer gallery) and the iconic Dairy Queen, which was then a Frostee Freeze. Burland responded to Ripley's in 1958 by opening the Life Museum in the former restaurant in the Honeymoon City and moving the restaurant a floor up (now Ruby Tuesday's.) The Life Museum was a bizarre attraction celebrating the life cycle from conception to death for both the male and female body, incredibly taboo for the time. Ripley's and the Life Museum would begin Clifton Hill's staple of bizarre attractions themed to the curious and macabre. In 1959 Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum had opened attached to the Foxhead Hotel where the building with the Pink Panther ride/former MGM attraction is now.
In 1960, 2 hotels opened between the Frostee Freeze and the old Victoria Ave. railway station at the top of the hill. These were the Clifton Motor Hotel (renamed the Pilgrim just 3 years later, now the building now occupied by Captian Jacks) and the Hilltop (the land now occupied by the Upside Down House.) With these hotels came Oneida Ln. running off Clifton Hill towards what's now Casino Niagara's Parking lot. Of course, in 1960, this was the parking lot for the Oneida Plate Factory that was the Casino Niagara building's original life. At the front of the factory between the 2 Falls Ave. hotels was the Antique Auto Museum, opened the same year, and a few years later in 1964 they would add a large observation tower sticking out the top as part of the factory tour, now the abandoned steel-plated tower that simply says "Casino". The Clifton Motor Hotel had a restaurant and gift shop on the main floor adjacent to the lobby as well as a pool on the third floor at the back of the building in a room with a glass ceiling. The Hilltop Motel's office was where Beavertails now is, and the motel contained a snack bar (now burger king), and 2 gift shops. One was in the current location of the Crystal Caves attraction. A fun history tidbit: this basement gift shop was leased out, and apparently a brother of the motel owner conspired with the gift shop operator in the mid 60s to run a bookie racket, but a Toronto investigator seemingly found out the jig fairly fast. This brother would mysteriously disappear years down the road in the 80s, which may or not have been related to his criminal activity nearly 20 years before. The other gift shop was what's now the first floolobby of the House of Frankenstein. The building was only one story at this point, seen here. The second story wouldn't be added until 1969, in a business move by local businessman Robert Dunham that would forever change the face of Niagara Falls, the world of animatronics, and the amusement industry as a whole. We'll cover that later in part 3.
Meanwhile, riding high on the success of Ripley's, Welland Securities leased more land to private companies for more attractions to be built starting in 1965. The first was a motel built between Quality Inn and the hill, the Cliffside. The Cliffside resided roughly where the employee parking space is now between Dinosaur Adventure Golf and the large cliff down to Victoria Park. It's driveway in off the hill was where the Great Canadian Midway now resides, as can be seen here. At the end of the motel farthest from the hill, it was adjacent to one of the wings of the Quality Inn. This often created confusion as to things like which lobby was who's, if guests from one were allowed to use the other's pool, etc. This confusion would end much later in 1989 when Welland Securities stopped leasing the land out and amalgamated the Cliffside into being part of the Quality Inn. Just down the hill from the driveway into the Cliffside was a small snack bar on land leased from Welland Securities by the same people as the Cliffside, with a miniature golf course on the roof.
Further up the hill, the last remaining gate house from the Zimmerman estate that was being used as a snack bar was torn down in 1965 to make way for a new attraction. Malcolm Howe leased the land from Welland Securities and would take 2 years to build a pivotal attraction: Movieland Wax Museum. Opened in 1966 in the building now occupied by Wizard's Golf and the Upper Canada Trading Co., the museum was on the main floor with a gift shop called Niagara Marketplace in the basement. All of the figures were sculpted by legendary halloween mask creator, artist Don Post at his Don Post Studios in Florida. Chances are, if you know anything about trick or treating from 1950 to the early 90s, you're familiar with a celluloid plastic mask created by Don Post. However, Post's artistic abilities went far beyond disposable plastic monsters. His team at the Florida factory, headed by sculptor Pat Newman, created 60 wax figures for the museum. The lobby was Egyptian themed, with two torches on either side of the door in to the white building and simulated Egyptian sandstone walls in the lobby. Beside the ticket booth in the lobby, just beside the entrance was Elizabeth Taylor dressed as Cleopatra from the 1963 film of the same name, with a cameraman and director filming her. The museum itself contained many stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Laurel and Hardy. The most impressive figure however was a 12 and half foot tall King Kong figure, the largest wax figure ever made at the time. The news article about his creation can be read here, however it incorrectly calls Movieland the "Hollywood Wax Museum". Noticeably absent from Movieland on opening day was a horror section. The notion of putting horror movie sections in wax museum hadn't caught on yet, with Tussaud's "Chamber of Horrors" being dedicated to torture methods and historical tyrants rather than film. This would later change and Movieland would receive a horror movie section as we'll cover in part 3.
To coincide with Movieland's opening, Howe also leased the land from Welland Securities just up the hill from the driveway into the Cliffside. On this land he constructed the 184 ft. tall Space Spiral Tower, built by Universal Design of Wildwood, New Jersey. The tower was half ride-half observation deck, with a large, circular, slowly spinning observation deck that rose up the tower that held 30 riders. This is exactly where the Fudge Factory now sits, as the store is circular because that was originally the loading area for the tower before it was demolished in 2006.
So by this point, the hill had gone from a budget, off the main strip camping and cabin area to a strip of motels and small attractions, with a large observation tower ride it's focal point. Motel strips like this could be found all throughout North America in the 60s, in tourist hot spots like Lake George, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach. But a single attraction was about to usher in a wave of arcades, haunted houses and testaments to the weird that would make Clifton Hill unlike anything else on earth... And it would all be thanks to a young artist, beloved city engineer, avid horror fan and technology wizard who was about to change everything. Stay tuned for part 3!
submitted by G-N-R to niagara [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Service Impacts in US/Canada 2020-04-14

The shutdowns keep hitting. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing:
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Hiawatha, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory (h/t u/InfiNorth)
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice), JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced service - Canada

h/t u/taxorenxuan, u/earlyenrichment, u/SojuCondo, u/TTC_Tokens, u/TC1827

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Reduced Service - USA

Michigan transit: (h/t u/alitales and u/NixillUmbreon)
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Impacts to transit in US/Canada 2020-04-26

The financial hit to transit is now taking hold. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing:
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "!!!" If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Note: All overnight trains (except Auto Train) will switch to Flexible Dining menus. Some Cafe service is suspended.
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory (h/t u/InfiNorth)
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice)
Canceled until June 1st: JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced service - Canada

h/t u/taxorenxuan, u/earlyenrichment, u/SojuCondo, u/TTC_Tokens, u/TC1827

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Reduced Service - USA

Michigan transit: (h/t u/alitales and u/NixillUmbreon)
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

Visitor's Guide to Detroit Red Wings hockey at Little Caesers Arena 2019-2020

Welcome to the 2019-2020 Detroit Red Wings season. This is the third version of this guide to help out visitors looking for some information from locals about Little Caesers Arena (LCA) and surrounding area in Detroit. I hope you find it helpful. Suggestions welcome!
submitted by spoonyfork to DetroitRedWings [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Service Impacts in US/Canada as of 2020-04-20

Further reductions and mask requirments are hitting. I'm posting these with a historical intent. Links where possible, and let me know if your local is missing:
NOTE: MOST AGENCIES ARE ASKING FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY -- MEDICAL AND SUPPLY RUNS, JOB TRANSIT FOR THOSE WHO PROVIDE THOSE SERVICES. STAY HOME! EXPECT DELAYS AS THEY RUN CRITICALLY LOW ON STAFF.
Many agencies are asking you wear a mask, board from the back, and are putting limits on passenger boarding. Mask requirements are marked with "!!!" If the agency has a pass app, please pay for the ride through it -- it helps the agency!

Country-wide

AMTRAK: Covid-19 info
Reduced: NEC, Hartford Line, Thruway Buses, Capitol Corridor, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Illini/Saluki, Illinos ZephyCarl Sanburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter (no service north of New Haven M-Sat, no service Sun), Wolverine
Split Service: California Zephyr (no service Reno to Denver), Palmetto (NY to DC only April 3-5)
Terminated before Canada, Reduced service: Maple Leaf (terminates Niagra Falls), Adirondack (terminates Albany, NY), Cascades (terminates Seattle).
Canceled: Acela, Keystone, Pennsylvanian, Winter Park Express, Pere Marquette, Carolinian, Downeaster
Replaced w/bus (Thruway): Hiawatha (4/24-5/25)
VIA RAIL (CANADA): Covid-19 advisory (h/t u/InfiNorth)
Meal service is reduced to snacks and drinks. Some sleeper service is canceled. VIA Rail will refuse passengers who are sick w/o doctors note.
Canceled until May 1st: The Ocean (Montreal to Halifax), Toronto-Niagara Falls (until further notice), JaspePrince George/Prince Rupert, The Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver)
Limited service: Montreal-Jonquiere/Senneterre (Friday/Sunday departures), Sudbury-White River (Weekend only), Quebec City/Winsor corridor (Kingston-Torronto-London is canceled, most trains canceled)

State/Provence and City

Shut down/demand ride only

Michigan:

Reduced service - Canada

h/t u/taxorenxuan, u/earlyenrichment, u/SojuCondo, u/TTC_Tokens, u/TC1827

Reduced Service - USA - Improving

Reduced Service - USA

Michigan transit: (h/t u/alitales and u/NixillUmbreon)
submitted by STrRedWolf to transit [link] [comments]

VERY VIVID DREAM

My dream two nights ago:
Please bare with me I know this is long.
There’s a lot but it’s because I wrote every detail down when I woke up.
I have edited it for grammar mistakes and for the sake of making it easier to understand. The language is the same as directions for a film. I’m very good at capturing details. Please, please take the time if you have it. It’s worth it, I hope!
This comes the second night of my tolerance break from smoking a lot of pot everyday. The first night I didn’t sleep at all and had nightmares every time I did fall asleep.
I would love feedback as this is the most vivid dream I’ve had in years!
Also I had no control over what happened. This was not a lucid dream.
I’m technically watching from third person point of view. Like a camera following the action. Except I know I’m the scrawny tall kid. Same kind of look as Jaeden Martell from the movie It.
I’m with my three best friends. I’ve never actually seen these kids in real life before, nor do I look like the scrawny kid that I’m playing as in this dream. There’s no showmance or love interests between any of us.
The two girls have older styled hair like nineties “poof” for bangs, maybe it’s right at start of the 90s decade.
My best friend is short, chubby with curly brown hair and freckles. He wears a red shirt and light blue cargo shorts. I’m in a dark blue shirt and grey shorts. The taller girl is blond with yellow hair and light pink tank top blouse. The other girl is chubbier in the face with puberty boobs. She’s in a light yellow tee.
We’re all probably 8th graders maybe freshman in high school. No older or younger. I wish I could voice what they sounded like. It’s so distinct in my head.
We go to the abandoned building, known as the Center, at our middle school because we hear of ghosts being there at night (it’s very vague why we’re here. I’m only assuming that’s why the dream started here).
It’s an actual middle school I recognize. It’s St. Louis School in Lowell, Ma. “Center” is what we called it after we turned our church into an repurposed event building for school plays and other things. Picture a long wide empty complex meant to hold probably 400 people. It used to have pews and a stage at one of the building. I’m in college now. I graduated middle school in 2014.
We go there at night and it transforms into this casino/museum/mansion/hotel. I could draw it if I had the patience.
The ghosts are everywhere. They’re not all old corpses or scary. Some are young looking and healthy. They look like regular humans not transparent ghouls. They’re dressed in different outfits from different decades but it isn’t clear what time period they’re from.
No one is from a super old time period so no romans or vikings. It’s like old American. No pilgrims. Their party is only there for a glimpse like a montage scene. The group and I aren’t there for that part.
I’ve had this dream before. I swear I have.
Then the ghosts go away and the Center is left as a wreck. Like after a huge party trashed. There’s old paintings covered up by big grey sheets/cloths and there are columns cracked and old like it’s been YEARS since that said party happened.
There’s a bunch of old coins and chips stacked on the floor and sprawled across it. There’s big heavy dark red curtains that fell from where they hung near the back walls.
It’s dark now, the lighting comes from high windows but it’s dimly lit. Still easy to see like watching a film in a dark theater. The windows are stain glass with different colors but the light remains consistently white balanced.
We’re not really walking a lot, we run but the camera angle I have is very steady and paced to a slower rhythm.
At one side of the center is an alter but it’s not religious it’s more of a stage that has marble stairs. We don’t go here till the end.
It’s not really scary ghost - until the end. It’s more of a fascination and fun adventure vibe.
We go to the hallway that’s opposite the stage and it’s got different rooms setup like classrooms.
We’re in this room with a huge statue that hums and she’s the first ghost we meet. She’s made of old red clay. Very Egyptian vibe. She’s beautiful but she can’t move her body except her neck and slight facial gestures. She’s very sweet and smiles at us a lot. She’s stuck in a red clay bird cage. The room itself is made of old red clay bricks too. It’s dusty.
She has us cling to the sides of her cage (again, when I have the time I can draw it), and we’re told a poem or something of a riddle. The floor opens underneath us and we’re dropped and plummet. We’re super scared at first.
We don’t understand how we’re back where we started in the dream. We go back to the hallway and repeat this again.
Skinny me figures out we need to find her something. I cannot remember what we needed to do, but I knew we had to go back to her. We drop again and we’re not going to the center we fall in a dusty red mud brick room like an egyptian grave. We had to do a task for her I cannot remember.
Then we go over to the librarian ghost that’s parallel to the Clay Room. He tells us we have to find a certain book. He’s kind of like a pervert and gets really close to my face. The camera view is a close up shot. He’s got a blue and yellow aura but for the most part he’s human looking. He looks like Paul Giamatti from Big Fat Liar.
Back to finding his book. It’s a white little soft cover book like the old books that have browning paper. The library space is so small and messy and books fill the floors. You can’t get to the back of the room because of the mounds of books stacked. We’re discouraged at first because we think the book he wants will be impossible to find.
Then I realize we have to climb a stack of books behind the door and then hold on to the door and try our best to stretch up and grab the white book with the little boy’s face in the middle of a golden circle.
I almost fall and it’s scary. The pedo librarian becomes somewhat dark and impatient now. I finally make a last ditch effort and grab the book.
From there we go to this other woman who’s a real OG ghost. She’s in a big poofy dress and also hums to herself. She’s transparent blue with some hues of baby blue but mostly dark navy and there are some pieces of her outfit that are black. It’s like a school uniform but dramatic. She’s around her 20s.
She asks us to do some task but I can’t remember it. We see a younger ghost that looks like the daughter from the Adam’s Family. She’s lighter blue and some black to her outfit. She resembles the ghost lady. We don’t make any connections.
The girl walks silently by but not in a creepy way. She’s kind of cute. Whatever we needed to get the ghost we get it. We do it.
And then she tells us a riddle about age and pipes and spinning the time that shrieks. It makes us confused so we play with the old, white-coated pipes that are built in the rooms around us. It’s a boiler room that’s at the end of the hallway in between the Clay Room and library. The pips have red circular handles that you’re able to turn. The ghost spins them easily without even touching them but we can’t seem to budge them.
Me and my boy best friend are so focused on the red wheels on the left side of the room while the girls split up and go to the other side.
The ghost is frustrated with us and it’s only when it mentions something about [i cannot remember what] and her ghost powers spin the pipes red handles that the two girls seem to get it.
The ghost leaves the room slowly and goes down the hallway. Find me when you’re done! She’s frustrated but somehow we know she’ll be at the stage at the opposite side of the Center.
Us boys find something? And we think we figured the riddle out.
Cut scene: we’re in front of the ghost at the stage.
We’re just finishing up singing “Happy birthday to you.”
We thought the ghost just wanted to be sung to and thought people forgot her birthday. The ghost is really confused and pissed off now. Her powers shake the whole Center.
The girls yell from behind us and the camera stays near us boys but the focus shifts to the middle of the Center.
“This what you wanted?” It’s the little blue ghost. It’s a younger form of the ghost herself. Or it’s her sister?
But oh! The ghost is happy and leaves them alone but the Center is already collapsing and fired start from her power.
Now those ghosts that were at the party are coming at us. They want more tasks done for them. We run and hide in the Clay room. We decide we can’t stay here forever and leave by falling through the floor like we did earlier. The Clay lady is the only one who’s not a dick to us.
We are dropped back to the Center and see it is an even bigger mess now. Random silverware scattered. Black and white feather scarves tattered. The red drapes have black smoke coming off them and fires start behind certain areas of the columns. Cracks form on the walls.
We are now running on a fancy rug of red and gold and end up in a new hallway decked out with gilded wall frames and paintings. Jazzy 20s music eerily plays from one of those weird looking record players with the big fancy horn on it.
We run into a new ghost, a casino host “help me with these tickets!”
And then two hostess with grey skin from the 30s “we need to make cocktails!”
And then some zombies that are just aging corpses and one grabs my arm. He speaks but he’s inaudible. We turn to run further down what feels like a forever hallway.
I don’t remember how or if we get out.
Cut scene.
I’m alone and in the middle school academic building. It’s day time and kids and teachers fill classrooms. I’m still the scrawny boy but my gang isn’t with me.
I’m running through the halls (it’s weirdly a perfect transition scene from how we were running in the Center).
I see this 5th grader who had a crush on me when I was actually in 8th grade. She swoons as she exits a classroom and sees me. Parallel to her this kid from high school walks out. He also was obsessed with me. I yell at him, “Fuck you his name.”
The next door I go through is a pre-K classroom. I see my pre-k teacher with a bunch of kids. I yell “Hi Mrs. Beth! I miss you.” And she gives a genuine smirk that she usually gives. She’s standing in the center of the room and was bent over helping kids with crafts before I came in.
I run up stairs to the third floor and realize I have to go back down to go out. For some reason I couldn’t go out the front door. I’m stopped by a teacher who looks like spring semester English Professor from Boston and the ghost librarian combined.
He’s rude and aggressive and wants to know what I’m doing and doesn’t leave me alone. He’s basically the strict asshole teachers of a catholic middle school who’s only sense of power comes from controlling kids.
I run from him and tell him I have no time to waste. I run to the opposite stair case and the teacher tries to grab my arm. I think thats totally crossing the line and yell at him to let go.
For some reason he can’t just let me be and is mad that I’m not letting him know what I’m doing.
He begins to lecture me about respect and I interrupt with a “shut the fuck up!”
I run down the stairs and even jump a few steps to the platforms. “When I get you I’m going-“ I interrupt again with “oh yeah, how fast can you get down these stairs?”
I run outside and the wind is strong and the sky is partly cloudy and red with even darker red clouds. A storm is brewing. Somethings wrong. This isn’t the real world it’s scarier.
I run around the building. I think my best bet is to trick the asshole into thinking I’m far gone when in reality I’m just around the corner. I step down the six steps that lead to the basement door. I hide there pushed up against the wall that will hopefully hide me from him. I can hear his footsteps.
I am the camera view again. I see how out of breath skinny me freaking out.
His footsteps get closer...
But then I woke up.
Ive had a dream in this center before. I remember its layout.
Thank you to everyone who actually read! I appreciate you so much.
submitted by hunchotho to Dreams [link] [comments]

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