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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]

GTA VI Credible Leak ?

UPVOTE THIS POST SO IT DOES NOT GET BURIED ... *** FOLLOW ME TO GET MORE INFORMATION IN THE FUTURE.
UPDATED WITH TRACKLIST AND RADIO STATIONS
here is my ID badge that i use to get in and out of work. ( Name and picture is blurred for my protection.) date 2019-2020.
https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR
Everyone has been waiting, a credible leak for Grand Theft Auto 6. I will not be stating my name or anything, this is a personal throwaway account, But I do work at Rockstar Games. This next addition to the title will be keeping the tradition of roman numerals, ( GTA VI ) but I will often refer to it as GTA 6, to make things easier.
be sure to read everything, as I have taken the risk and time to leak a lot of vital information.
First off I’d like to state that all previous leaks about GTA 6 is a hoax. All of the leaks regarding GTA 6 taking place in any other area than Vice City, is a hoax.
I will be breaking down the characters, storyline, and more.
Grand Theft Auto VI is designed to be the most developed video game in history, and redefine open sand box games, letting the player fully immerse in the world and storyline.
In Grand Theft Auto 6 the game will take place in Vice City, but the previous storyline leaks etc, is all fake. The plot is completely different,. The game will host 3 protagonists, one being a middle aged white man named Johnathon Brooks, but is often referred to as John. John is going thru a mid-life crisis, and lives on the returning area called Starfish Island. John essentially is a life long career criminal, and exposes the player to a new crime element, fraud. John was born in Carcer City, and moved to Vice City at age 17, after running away from his foster parents, not much is known about his previous life before then, except he was in a very poor family.
John got into the fraud game in the early 2000’s, and he is 38 in game. he earned his money thru many fraudulent activities like credit card fraud, bank fraud, and did a few small bank jobs, and laundered his money with his own car wash business. He lives in a $1.8m mansion that he bought with his illicit gains, and the FIB are on to him. He borrows money from the local gang in Little Haiti, where fraud is very prevalent, and he starts getting back into his older habits to pay off the gang. The FIB notices this, and he ends up doing dirty work for the FIB, in order to keep his freedom.
The second character is Samuel “Shotta” Stevens, who is a member of the Haitian gang. He is a black, Haitian based character with more character development, than Franklin from GTA 5. He is 26 in game. The game also focuses more on crime, and the gang element. The player will experience the brutal reality of the gang life in Vice City, in the slums of Little Haiti, from loan sharking and repossessing the unreliable clients, to brokering the sales, that being kilos of cocaine, for the South American Cartel. Samuel lives in a Section 8 apartment, in the Little Haiti Neighborhood with his grandmother, Amy.
Samuel just wants to move out of the hood, but loves the gang lifestyle, and this gets him caughtup in the FIB drama with John. The FIB cuts him a deal also, if he can snitch out his gang, which the player can choose to cooperate, or refuse. This will change the storyline of Samuel dramatically.
If you choose Option A: Snitch on the gang, You will snitch on the gang and work with John, who will show you the ropes of Fraud, and you both will defraud the bank of Schlongberg Sachs, commit multiple heists, and become a protege of John. Or of course you can choose, Option B: Refuse. Refusing will make Samuel a target of the FIB, and this causes him to gain more respect from his gang. The respect system from San Andreas is back, but new and improved. Samuel will expand his gang operations from Little Haiti, all the way to the Vice Keys, and beyond.
The Third Character is a man named Xavier Gonzalez. Xavier is a latino man born in Vice City, he is 40 years old, and a cocaine kingpin. He lives in Downtown Vice City in his lavish $1.5m penthouse. Xavier is friends with John from the beginning of the story. Xavier is apart of the story no matter what option you choose, providing cocaine to John to sell, OR, Providing cocaine to both John AND Samuel, to sell together, and to strengthen the gangs funds. The gang system is similar to Red Dead Redemption 2’s system, and also has elements of GTA San Andreas. Xavier is also tied in directly to the nightclub business as well, having stakes in the returning Malibu Club, now run by the Jimenez Family, a latino Mafia, who has ties directly to the South American Cartel.
Each Character has a different personality and lifestyle, and will be a exceptional experience for the player. Former characters from past GTA’s will be making appearances. Luis WILL be returning, being a manager of the Malibu Club, Stranger and Freaks missions are returning with a more in depth story for every one of them, and Michael De Santa and his wife, Amanda, will be returning also, living in a beach house, although their children will not make any appearances. The both do not play a VITAL part in the storyline, but will have stranger and freaks missions for any character, with all different outcomes. For example, passing by the state penitentiary, you may just recognize Lamar Davis, in a bluish grey jumpsuit, embellished with a pair of handcuffs wrapped around his wrists, demanding for a ride.
The map of GTA VI, will be bigger than GTA V and RDR2 combined, having several counties, having Vice City, based on Miami, the Vice Keys, based on the Florida Keys, The Everglades, based on the swampy Everglades in Florida. The game will also feature Orlando, which is named Corlado, and Tampa, named as Gulf Shore City, but downsized a bit. The game will feature sprawling countryside outside of Vice City and Corlado, with countryside towns, named Canisville, Centura, and Sentinel Point, along with towns along the Vice Keys. There is an Air Force Base, based of off Eglin Air Force Base, named Fort Sentinel. The Ocean is the Atlantic Ocean, with more shipwrecks to discover, plants and animals, and more. The game itself has as many animals as RDR2, and the player can hunt if they choose, although this is just a more of a minigame. Vigilante Missions will be back, along with Taxi Missions.
Character Customization will be better, from the belt on your waist, to the socks on your feet. Choose to your liking of luxury watches, rings, chains, earrings, featuring plain jane, to diamonds and rubies, emeralds, and more. Belts can be worn along with hightops, to lowtops and boots, and dress shoes. Pantlegs can be tucked into the footwear you choose, if the option is available. Tattoos will be back, along with hair customization. John is white so he can tan, or be sunburned, and the core system from RDR 2 is back aswell.
Tattoos will feature opacity and can also fade over time. You will be able to adjust the size of the tattoo. It will be able to be placed on over 10 different area of the body depending the size.
Since the core system is back, you will have to also bathe, to stay clean, otherwise you may notice changes in your cores.
You will have to eat to replenish cores, so you can cook in your safehouse, or go eat out in a restaurant, whether it be fast food or upscale. All characters can have relationships with women, similar to GTA 4 and GTA San Andreas. You will be able to buy extra safehouses around the map, and the amount of vehicles will be the same amount that are in GTA Online, and more. Every vehicle will be returning, and first person mode will be more enhanced, with more realistic vehicle interiors to immerse the player into every aspect of the game. South America will not be apart of the game, only Vice City and surrounding Areas.
Skills from GTA V is also being integrated back, along with exercising, to boost strength. Agility is a new added skill, and Strength will affect how hard you punch, kick, or melee in general.
Special Abilities so far, will not be coming back. This may be tweaked before release, but if they return, it will not be a major part of the game.
Car Customization is more advanced, different leather trims can be changed colors, along with wood trims and marble trims. You can add satellite radio, which lets you listen to radio stations in Los Santos, and Liberty City, but so far there is only two stations from each of those cities. You can also listen to all the radio stations across the counties. Neon is back, new spoilers and liveries as well, Along with different colors of tint. Subwoofers will be a standard upgrade as well.
Los Santos Customs is gone, and Pay and Spray is back, along with Viceland Kustomz, and Sentinel Bike Shop. You can also modify certain parts at the car dealerships.
The drug dealing system from GTA: China Town Wars is also returning, but a bit revamped. This is where the post office system comes in, from RDR2. Pounds of Marijuana sourced from Los Santos delivered by mail, to a post office near you. From weed to tabs of LSD, all the way to meth, heroin, and cocaine, you can reap major profits.
Casinos will be returning as well, one being a resort, others being small-time casinos. You will be able to rent a room in the casino and resort. The casino is named as the Malibu Casino and Resort.
Gunplay is improved with new realistic sounds. Interiors are just as detailed as GTA V or RDR2, if not more, I’d say. The insurance system from GTA Online will be integrated into GTA VI’s story mode, so losing a vehicle will not happen.
There is an abundance of new and old activities, that being over 50 strangers and freaks missions, drug supplying, or drug running, similar to GTA TBOGT’s drug missions. You can hunt, as stated before, but is more of a minigame than a money maker. You can fish as well, as fishing is a very popular sport, in modern day Florida.
There will be four strip clubs scattered around the map, one of them named Vanilla Unicorn South East, which is owned by Trevor Phillips, who is planned to make a cameo, only to be featured in a cutscene so far.
Nightclubs as I stated before, will be a thing. There will be 3 nightclubs, where you can take part in a few activities, like dancing, where you can meet your date in game, or drinking and smoking. Expect SOLOMUN, and BLACK MADONNA to return. You will see in game appearances of them DJing in the nightclubs. No other DJ’s will return.
Bounty hunting will not be a thing, but dirty work for the FIB throughout the story will be similar. Pool and bowling is returning, along with player skills, exercise and working out also is a thing, as stated above earlier.
Convenience stores and gas stations will feature many products you can purchase. Snacks, that being Phat chips, (different flavors yield more health and core restoration) candy bars, ( EgoChaser, Meteorite, Zebra Bar, and more) drinks, (E Cola, Sprunk,) Alcohol, (Pisswasser, Champagne, Logger) Redwood cigarettes, and cigars. The stores will be setup similar to RDR2’s store system. You can rob the stores, and also start a protection racket, and extort them.
Pharmacys will be in the game, to purchase portable med kits, or you can rob the pharmacy for drugs and money.
The way you eat can also affect your character’s health, and weight. Similar to GTA San Andreas’s system.
Merryweather will return, but won’t have the same presence as it did in GTA V. Merryweather ends up not being able to operate on U.S. soil, and goes out of business as a hit is put on Don Percival, by one of the returning characters from GTA V.
An advanced parkour system is integrated as well, similar to GTA IV’s.
Gun stores will be prevalent as this is based off of Florida. The homeless man who found the diamonds, from GTA TBOGT will also make an appearance as a gun store owner, as he has proceeded to purchase and start a gun shop in the area of South Vice Beach.
The black market for weapons is featured in this game as well, similar to fences in RDR2. You can also craft bombs/projectiles if you have learned to.
Realism is a goal of this game, without being too overwhelming. Guns and weapons will need to be cleaned. If you shoot a gun, you will smell of gun powder, this may be noticed by civilians or police officers, and they will make comments about it. If you have not bathed, you may just get absurd insults slurred at you. If you have blood stained on you, and you smell of blood, people may give you weird looks, or may just make a call to the local Law Enforcement.
As for those who DM me or ask about Strangers and Freaks, or mysteries and riddles, the paranormal world will be featured in GTA VI. You may encounter serial killers, or creepy sightings in dreary areas. Strangers and freaks will all have its own unique storyline.
The weather system is IMPROVED SIGNIFICANTLY aswell. Hurricanes do take place, but only during certain parts of the storyline, and floods may occur in marshland areas and anywhere away from mainland.
Melee Combat system is based off of strength, and Agility, which is a new skill, as stated above, and is improved heavily. Hand combat is influenced by strength and agility. Based on how hard you hit the opponent, you may bruise them, and bruise yourself. The chainsaw is returning as well. The limbs and gore is back from RDR2
Dialogue System from GTA San Andreas and RDR2 is back, and improved, with different responses every time.
GPS and Navigation System will be improved, showing the quickest routes, from alleyways to the freeway. Every street will have a name, and the GPS voice from GTA IV is returning as well, get ready to hear “Turn Left in 500 yards, Bing Bong.” Planes will have autopilot, and you can fly to each city with plane tickets, or on your own.
Driving mechanics will be similar to GTA IV’s, but combined with the smoothness of GTA V’s mechanics. Damage to the vehicle will be more detailed then ever, featuring airbag damage as well. EVERY Vehicle will have its own selected weight, and handling, to improve the player’s experience.
Six star wanted level is back, with FIB being the 6th star. There is multiple law enforcement agencies. VCPD, GSCPD, CPD, SPPD, Highway Patrol, FIB, IAA, Viceland State Patrol, as well as the NOOSE. You will not be shot by cops for just staring at them.
Being arrested results in you serving time, similar to RDR 1’s Jail time mechanic, showing you all of your charges while you sit in a cell. The first time you get arrested it will show your character being booked, and you will have to take a mugshot and be fingerprinted. Depending on the county or city you’ve been arrested in, you will be known to local law enforcement and even law abiding citizens, depending on how severe your charges are.
Random events are more realistic than ever. depending on the wanted level you’ve attained, there is a system similar to the bounty system of RDR2. The more crimes you’ve commited that have gained attention of law enforcement, you have a chance of getting your hotel room getting kicked in by noose, your safe house getting staked out by undercover FIB, even being pulled over if you have commited a number of crimes in the same vehicle. You may witness muggings, or even be mugged yourself. You will encounter situations with homeless people to the rich and famous, with all different outcomes.
Real Estate as stated before, will be available to all three characters. Businesses will be available, illicit and legal, from businesses to launder cash for the gang, to illicit businesses like credit fraud rings, to counterfeit cash.
Safe houses will be available as well. A penthouse in Corlado, a modern mansion on Starfish Island, a beach house on Ocean Beach, a small quaint house in Canisville, a traditional house in Gulf Shore City, a vacation-style home in the Vice Keys, to small apartments in small towns like Centura or Sentinel Point. Each character will be able to purchase any of these properties, but it will be tied to just the one character that purchased it.
Hotels and Motels will also be available to rent rooms and bathe in, one being the Gulf Shore motel, a dingy motel room for cheap, perfect for someone wanting a cheap stay. The Malibu Casino and Resort near Vice Beach, a 5 star luxury stay, with a two-story penthouse with a jacuzzi the player can bathe in, with views of Vice Beach, and the nearby Ocean Beach. There is 4 hotels and 2 motels scattered across the map, each with unique interiors and different amenities.
Purchasing vehicles you can enter a dealership, or purchase online and have it delivered to a garage. Pegasus Concierge is returning. Certain stolen vehicles will have trackers, and will not be able to be modified, same as GTA V.
The stock market is also returning, BAWSAQ and VLSM ( Vice Land Stock Market ) and can reap heavy profits as well.
Time goes by: This game is set in 2017-2019. Times will change thruout, buildings will be completed as they were in RDR2, radio stations will not play all of the music in the tracklist at first. Instead it will play newer music thruout the storyline. You will still hear older and newer songs too after completion.
Character customization is not just clothing, tattoos, jewelry and hair customization. You can also purchase 3 different phone models. an iFruit phone, based on the iPhone Xr, a Badger phone, or a Whiz Wireless. You will also be able to purchase ringtones, as you were able to do in GTA IV. You can also purchase an iFruit watch, based on the apple watch, which you can take calls on, if you change your settings.
Depending on how rough you play, clothing can wear and tear. Examples: jumping out of a moving vehicle, falling off/on rocks, tripping on certain props.
As stated above, NPC’s will notice the clothing you wear, the way you look or smell, the car you drive, and the jewelry you wear, and will make comments on it.
Crouching will be back, the same as RDR2, and the cover system is nearly the exact same cover system as RDR2.
ALSO Expect a Special Edition, AND Collector’s Edition, similar to RDR2.
The game is set in the summer of 2017 to 2019 as the storyline proceeds. This game WILL BE PS5 Exclusive, for the first month. The in-game experience is like no other, PS5 also has a new controller design as well. It is projected to not release until later 2020, AFTER holiday season BUT MAY BE DELAYED. I have broken down the storyline, key elements of the game, and if anyone has anymore questions I will be happy to answer. I know so much about this game as I’ve been working on it since the start, and I’m not afraid to get in trouble, as this is a throwaway.
I will not be responding to negative comments, claiming this is fake, because I will not waste my time with non-believers, only true questions.
all content is confirmed unless it has been mentioned by me to not be officially confirmed already, and anything may be scrapped before release as cut content, but is unlikely
*PLEASE UPVOTE. I do not want my effort and the risks I am taking to go to waste. I want this to not get buried. *
if you have questions or WANT MORE? (screenshots or photos as proof, radio stations, confirmed tracklists or more) Send Me A Chat.
You may see songs from previous games, as Rockstar may have the licenses still, or has renewed them.
CONFIRMED SONGS, AND RADIO STATIONS.
Satellite Radio: Liberty City
Beat 102.7- Hosted By DJ Whoo Kid
Beat 102.7 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/To0Wi8c
Liberty Rock Radio- Hosted By Iggy Pop
LRR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/5dCcVwB
Satellite Radio:
Radio Los Santos- Hosted By BigBoy
Radio Los Santos Logo- https://imgur.com/a/XUqjEed
Los Santos Rock Radio- Hosted By Kenny Loggins
Los Santos Rock Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/KxkMMd6
LOCAL RADIO STATIONS
NightRide FM Hosted By Kavinsky
NightRide FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/bb0hXDP
Corlado’s Hottest Jams 103.7 Hosted By Feliciá Williams and DJ Diamondz
CHJ 103.7 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/eWauMMj
V-Rock FM Hosted By Couzin Ed
V-Rock FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/9zQUsAE
Vice City’s Retro Mix , 104.7 Fm Hosted By Fernando Martinez
VCRM 104.7 FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wdrjsLH
Vice City Classic Hip Hop Hosted By DJ slick slim
Vice City Classic Hip Hip Logo- https://imgur.com/a/f859okr
Viceland’s Country Radio (VLCR) Hosted By Derrick Jones
VLCR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/VwZ1jw3
GSC-EDM FM ( Gulf Shore City EDM Fm ) Hosted By Gulf Shore City FM.
GSC-EDM FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/2zAlvsR
The Sunrise Fm ( Reggae music ) Hosted By Marshall Peters
The Sunrise Fm Logo- https://imgur.com/a/ea639SV
Vice Rap Radio ( VRR ) ( modern florida rap ) Hosted By DJ Josué Da Kidd
Vice Rap Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/F6qeX0U
The Groove 109.2 Hosted By Vaughn Harper
The Groove 109.2 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/vuon14i
Baila Ahora Radio (modern spanish station) Hosted By Amada Abrantes
Baila Ahora Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/TpBFTTd
Interesante Musica Radio ( modern and old spanish music ) Hosted By Selená Martinez * Los Hermanos Rosario, La Dueña Del Swing * los reyes del merengue, El Baile del Beeper - Versión Merengue * Celia Cruz, La Vida Es Un Carnaval * INDIA, Marc Anthony, Vivir Lo Nuestro * Felipe Muñiz, Marc Anthony, Deje de Amar * Ivy Queen, Dime * Monchy and Alexandra, Alexandra
Musica de Clásico FM ( Salsa ) Hosted By Pedro Simmóns
Flash FM ( 2000’s and 90’s pop) Hosted By DJ Toni
Flash FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/iWIYd8s
Ocean Beach Classics FM (80’s synth pop) Hosted By DJ Teri
OBC FM Logo- https://imgur.com/a/5C1JVGJ
The Wave 103 (Slow/Vocal Synthwave + Indie Synth) Hosted By Adam First, Trish Camden
The Wave 103 Logo- https://imgur.com/a/Ku0amCT
Centura County Country Hits ( newer country ) Hosted By Rick Hanson
Centura County Country Hits Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wppVRMu
The Keys Rock Radio ( mix of rock) Hosted By Gerald Ritsky
The Keys Rock Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/JpWpA8x
Viceland Lithium Radio ( Hardcore Rock, Heavy Metal ) ( VLLR ) Hosted By VLLR.
VLLR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/wOsEIlj
Trap House Radio ( Trap Rap ) Hosted By DJ BlueBandz
Trap House Radio Logo- https://imgur.com/a/lyG3FGA
Anarchy Radio 98.5 FM ( Alt Rock, Punk) Hosted By Jason Lavigne
Chatterbox Vice City Talk Radio
CBVCTR Logo- https://imgur.com/a/FKko1f1
CTR Corlado Talk Radio
-host, Lazlow - Fernando Martinez
Viceland News Network VLNN
VLNN Logo- https://imgur.com/a/yaBucdY
Host- Vanessa Hopkins, Weazel News. - Updates on weather and Weazel News
Ignore this below.
Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical. Ignore this below.
Legal Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with Rockstar Games or Take-Two Interactive, or its subsidiaries, In any way, shape or form, and should be taken as satirical.
Along with the No phone, No photos policy, It will be very difficult to get OFFICIAL screenshots. Here is a official, accurate sketch of the GTA VI Minimap and cores design
https://imgur.com/a/ghyoRb4
Here is the sketch of the mini map on computer.
https://imgur.com/a/D0Qj0EP
I will be uploading more sketches soon.
FOLLOW ME FOR MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON
Here’s my Rockstar badge / ID. it is dirty, apologies. The rockstar logo, imprinted on the card itself, along with my photo, blurred out, my name below it, and the expiration date, years 2019-2020. this is only an ID to get into the building. since i have released a bit of proof, stop spreading misinformation
https://imgur.com/a/eenWmAR
You can still trust my leak, but here is a legal disclaimer so I cannot be targeted.
Ignore this below.
-legal disclaimer. this is fictional and not proven, this post is not associated with taketwo or rockstar games in any way, shape, or form.
submitted by aFloatingPineapple to u/aFloatingPineapple [link] [comments]

PAYDAY 2: The Silk Road Update

Hello Heisters!
It's time to get back in the van and kick some ass. We here at OVERKILL have something wonderful for you. A big update to make up for the recent year of silence. We bring more content and fixes to the game we all love. So suit up and join the fray as we once again put on our masks; let's head south of the border to hunt murkies.
Outfits system
A new cosmetic Outfits system is introduced in PAYDAY 2 with this DLC. In addition to selecting a mask of their choice, players can now also select an Outfit from a selection in their inventory. Outfits are clothes that the character wears below the neck and are selected in the same screen as armor.
Improved UI
The general UI and menus have been given an overhaul and streamlined to make things more efficient and easier to navigate. This also, of course, includes added elements for managing the new outfits system.
Outfits
In addition to the outfits system itself, the following outfits are made available in the Silk Road update: Silk Road update (free) outfits:
Community Safe 8
Alongside the update, a new community safe is added to the drop pool. The safe contains 16 new weapon skins from the Steam workshop to customize your loadout with. It will have the same drop chance as all other community safes.
Border Crossing Heist DLC
The Payday Gang’s enemies, Murkywater and the Dentist, are moving money and illicit merchandise from the US to Mexico through a tunnel across the border. The Gang gets wind of this and formulates a plan. While some Payday Gang members are off rescuing Bain, others will travel to Arizona to hit Murkywater and the Dentist.
Tailor Pack 1 DLC
Tailor Pack 1 DLC outfits (each of these has 5 color variations, for a total of 20 outfits):
Cartel Optics Mod Pack DLC
The Cartel Optics Mod Pack DLC includes 10 new weapon mods to help you customize and improve the performance of your weapons in combat. The central theme for this mod pack is optics and sights. Mods included: 3 Sights 2 Pistol Sights 2 Optics Gadgets 1 Grip 1 Muzzle Brake 1 Compensator
Buy all 3 DLCs as a bundle here
It's time to make those helmets fly again!
OVERKILL_TestTobias
OVERKILL - a Starbreeze Studio.
Update 198 Changelog
Date: 2019-11-07 Update size: 2.0GB
GAMEPLAY
LEVELS
UI
VISUALS
TEXT
ACHIEVEMENTS
Special thanks to community member andole for helping us collect bugs! An additional special thanks to our volunteer translators, Big_Karma, Sylvanas_Windrunner, Shadai, Hoxi and Dagged for all their efforts in making sure that the new content is properly localized!
submitted by supermariozelda to paydaytheheist [link] [comments]

PAYDAY 2: Silk Road Update

"PAYDAY 2: Silk Road UpdateSilk Road Update is now live with lots of new content.Hello Heisters! It's time to get back in the van and kick some ass. We here at OVERKILL have something wonderful for you. A big update to make up for the recent year of silence. We bring more content and fixes to the game we all love. So suit up and join the fray as we once again put on our masks; let's head south of the border to hunt murkies.
Outfits system A new cosmetic Outfits system is introduced in PAYDAY 2 with this DLC. In addition to selecting a mask of their choice, players can now also select an Outfit from a selection in their inventory. Outfits are clothes that the character wears below the neck and are selected in the same screen as armor.
Improved UI The general UI and menus have been given an overhaul and streamlined to make things more efficient and easier to navigate. This also, of course, includes added elements for managing the new outfits system.
Outfits In addition to the outfits system itself, the following outfits are made available in the Silk Road update: Silk Road update (free) outfits:
Community Safe 8 Alongside the update, a new community safe is added to the drop pool. The safe contains 16 new weapon skins from the Steam workshop to customize your loadout with. It will have the same drop chance as all other community safes.
Border Crossing Heist DLC The Payday Gang’s enemies, Murkywater and the Dentist, are moving money and illicit merchandise from the US to Mexico through a tunnel across the border. The Gang gets wind of this and formulates a plan. While some Payday Gang members are off rescuing Bain, others will travel to Arizona to hit Murkywater and the Dentist.
Tailor Pack 1 DLC Tailor Pack 1 DLC outfits (each of these has 5 color variations, for a total of 20 outfits):
Cartel Optics Mod Pack DLC The Cartel Optics Mod Pack DLC includes 10 new weapon mods to help you customize and improve the performance of your weapons in combat. The central theme for this mod pack is optics and sights. Mods included:
Buy all 3 DLCs as a bundle here
It's time to make those helmets fly again! OVERKILL_TestTobias OVERKILL - a Starbreeze Studio.
Update 198 Changelog Date: 2019-11-07 Update size: 2.0GB
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Special thanks to community member andole for helping us collect bugs! An additional special thanks to our volunteer translators, Bad_Karma, Sylvanas_Windrunner, Shadai, Hoxi and Dagged for all their efforts in making sure that the new content is properly localized!"
submitted by LightForceUnlimited to linux_gaming [link] [comments]

Reposting GTA VI Leaks that got deleted

You’ve been asking for it, Credible Leak for GTA VI.
spoiler
Everyone has been waiting, a credible leak for Grand Theft Auto 6. I will not be stating my name or anything, this is a personal throwaway account, But I do work at Rockstar North. This next addition to the title will be keeping the tradition of roman numerals, ( GTA VI ) but I will often refer to it as GTA 6, to make things easier.
be sure to read everything, as I have taken the risk and time to leak a lot of vital information.
—WARNING— *

IF YOU DO NOT WANT A SPOILER ON THE MAIN PLOT OR FEATURES OF GTA VI, DO NOT READ THIS POST *
First off I’d like to state that all previous leaks about GTA 6 is a hoax. All of the leaks regarding GTA 6 taking place in any other area than Vice City, is a hoax.
I will be breaking down the characters, storyline, and more.
Grand Theft Auto VI is designed to be the most developed video game in history, and redefine open sand box games, letting the player fully immerse in the world and storyline.
In Grand Theft Auto 6 the game will take place in Vice City, but the previous storyline leaks etc, is all fake. The plot is completely different,. The game will host 3 protagonists, one being a middle aged white man named John Brooks. John is going thru a mid-life crisis, and lives on the returning area called Starfish Island. John essentially is a life long career criminal, and exposes the player to a new crime element, fraud. John was born in Carcer City, and moved to Vice City at age 17, after running away from his foster parents, not much is known about his previous life before then, except he was in a very poor family.
John got into the fraud game in the early 2000’s, and he is 38 in game. he earned his money thru many fraudulent activities like credit card fraud, bank fraud, and did a few small bank jobs, and laundered his money with his own car wash business. He lives in a $1.8m mansion that he bought with his illicit gains, and the FIB are on to him. He borrows money from the local gang in Little Haiti, where fraud is very prevalent, and he starts getting back into his older habits to pay off the gang. The FIB notices this, and he ends up doing dirty work for the FIB, in order to keep his freedom.
The second character is Samuel “Shotta” Stevens, who is a member of the Haitian gang. He is a black, Haitian based character with more character development, than Franklin from GTA 5. He is 26 in game. The game also focuses more on crime, and the gang element. The player will experience the brutal reality of the gang life in Vice City, in the slums of Little Haiti, from loan sharking and repossessing the unreliable clients, to brokering the sales, that being kilos of cocaine, for the South American Cartel. Samuel lives in a Section 8 apartment, in the Little Haiti Neighborhood with his grandmother, Amy.
Samuel just wants to move out of the hood, but loves the gang lifestyle, and this gets him caughtup in the FIB drama with John. The FIB cuts him a deal also, if he can snitch out his gang, which the player can choose to cooperate, or refuse. This will change the storyline of Samuel dramatically.
If you choose Option A: Snitch on the gang, You will snitch on the gang and work with John, who will show you the ropes of Fraud, and you both will defraud the bank of Schlongberg Sachs, commit multiple heists, and become a protege of John. Or of course you can choose, Option B: Refuse. Refusing will make Samuel a target of the FIB, and this causes him to gain more respect from his gang. The respect system from San Andreas is back, but new and improved. Samuel will expand his gang operations from Little Haiti, all the way to the Vice Keys, and beyond.
The Third Character is a man named Xavier Gonzalez. Xavier is a latino man born in Vice City, he is 40 years old, and a cocaine kingpin. He lives in Downtown Vice City in his lavish $1.5m penthouse. Xavier is friends with John from the beginning of the story. Xavier is apart of the story no matter what option you choose, providing cocaine to John to sell, OR, Providing cocaine to both John AND Samuel, to sell together, and to strengthen the gangs funds. The gang system is similar to Red Dead Redemption 2’s system, and also has elements of GTA San Andreas. Xavier is also tied in directly to the nightclub business as well, having stakes in the returning Malibu Club, now run by the Jimenez Family, a latino Mafia, who has ties directly to the South American Cartel.
Each Character has a different personality and lifestyle, and will be a exceptional experience for the player. Former characters from past GTA’s will be making appearances. Luis WILL be returning, being a manager of the Malibu Club, Stranger and Freaks missions are returning with a more in depth story for every one of them, and Michael De Santa and his wife, Amanda, will be returning also, living in a beach house, although their children will not make any appearances. The both do not play a VITAL part in the storyline, but will have stranger and freaks missions for any character, with all different outcomes. For example, passing by the state penitentiary, you may just recognize Lamar Davis, in a bluish grey jumpsuit, embellished with a pair of handcuffs wrapped around his wrists, demanding for a ride.
The map of GTA VI, will be bigger than GTA V and RDR2 combined, having several counties, having Vice City, based on Miami, the Vice Keys, based on the Florida Keys, The Everglades, based on the swampy Everglades in Florida. The game will also feature Orlando, which is named Corlado, and Tampa, named as Gulf Shore City, but downsized a bit. The game will feature sprawling countryside outside of Vice City and Corlado, with countryside towns, named Canisville, Centura, and Sentinel Point, along with towns along the Vice Keys. There is an Air Force Base, based of off Eglin Air Force Base, named Fort Sentinel. The Ocean is the Atlantic Ocean, with more shipwrecks to discover, plants and animals, and more. The game itself has as many animals as RDR2, and the player can hunt if they choose, although this is just a more of a minigame. Vigilante Missions will be back, along with Taxi Missions.
Character Customization will be better, from the belt on your waist, to the socks on your feet. Choose to your liking of luxury watches, rings, chains, earrings, featuring plain jane, to diamonds and rubies, emeralds, and more. Belts can be worn along with hightops, to lowtops and boots, and dress shoes. Pantlegs can be tucked into the footwear you choose, if the option is available. Tattoos will be back, along with hair customization. John is white so he can tan, or be sunburned, and the core system from RDR 2 is back aswell.
Since the core system is back, you will have to also bathe, to stay clean, otherwise you may notice changes in your cores.
You will have to eat to replenish cores, so you can cook in your safehouse, or go eat out in a restaurant, whether it be fast food or upscale. All characters can have relationships with women, similar to GTA 4 and GTA San Andreas. You will be able to buy extra safehouses around the map, and the amount of vehicles will be the same amount that are in GTA Online, and more. Every vehicle will be returning, and first person mode will be more enhanced, with more realistic vehicle interiors to immerse the player into every aspect of the game. South America will not be apart of the game, only Vice City and surrounding Areas.
Skills from GTA V is also being integrated back, along with exercising, to boost strength. Agility is a new added skill, and Strength will affect how hard you punch, kick, or melee in general.
Special Abilities so far, will not be coming back. This may be tweaked before release, but if they return, it will not be a major part of the game.
Car Customization is more advanced, different leather trims can be changed colors, along with wood trims and marble trims. You can add satellite radio, which lets you listen to radio stations in Los Santos, and Liberty City, but so far there is only two stations from each of those cities. You can also listen to all the radio stations across the counties. Neon is back, new spoilers and liveries as well, Along with different colors of tint. Subwoofers will be a standard upgrade as well.
The drug dealing system from GTA: China Town Wars is also returning, but a bit revamped. This is where the post office system comes in, from RDR2. Pounds of Marijuana sourced from Los Santos delivered by mail, to a post office near you. From weed to tabs of LSD, all the way to meth, heroin, and cocaine, you can reap major profits.
Casinos will be returning as well, one being a resort, others being small-time casinos. You will be able to rent a room in the casino and resort. The casino is named as the Malibu Casino and Resort.
Gunplay is improved with new realistic sounds. Interiors are just as detailed as GTA V or RDR2, if not more, I’d say. The insurance system from GTA Online will be integrated into GTA VI’s story mode, so losing a vehicle will not happen.
There is an abundance of new and old activities, that being over 50 strangers and freaks missions, drug supplying, or drug running, similar to GTA TBOGT’s drug missions. You can hunt, as stated before, but is more of a minigame than a money maker. You can fish as well, as fishing is a very popular sport, in modern day Florida.
There will be four strip clubs scattered around the map, one of them named Vanilla Unicorn South East, which is owned by Trevor Phillips, who is planned to make a cameo, only to be featured in a cutscene so far.
Nightclubs as I stated before, will be a thing. There will be 3 nightclubs, where you can take part in a few activities, like dancing, where you can meet your date in game, or drinking and smoking.
Bounty hunting will not be a thing, but dirty work for the FIB throughout the story will be similar. Pool and bowling is returning, along with player skills, exercise and working out also is a thing, as stated above earlier.
Convenience stores and gas stations will feature many products you can purchase. Snacks, that being Phat chips, (different flavors yield more health and core restoration) candy bars, ( EgoChaser, Meteorite, Zebra Bar, and more) drinks, (E Cola, Sprunk,) Alcohol, (Pisswasser, Champagne, Logger) Redwood cigarettes, and cigars. The stores will be setup similar to RDR2’s store system. You can rob the stores, and also start a protection racket, and extort them.
Pharmacys will be in the game, to purchase portable med kits, or you can rob the pharmacy for drugs and money.
The way you eat can also affect your character’s health, and weight. Similar to GTA San Andreas’s system.
Merryweather will return, but won’t have the same presence as it did in GTA V. Merryweather ends up not being able to operate on U.S. soil, and goes out of business as a hit is put on Don Percival, by one of the returning characters from GTA V.
An advanced parkour system is integrated as well, similar to GTA IV’s.
Gun stores will be prevalent as this is based off of Florida. The homeless man who found the diamonds, from GTA TBOGT will also make an appearance as a gun store owner, as he has proceeded to purchase and start a gun shop in the area of South Vice Beach.
The black market for weapons is featured in this game as well, similar to fences in RDR2. You can also craft bombs/projectiles if you have learned to.
Realism is a goal of this game, without being too overwhelming. Guns and weapons will need to be cleaned. If you shoot a gun, you will smell of gun powder, this may be noticed by civilians or police officers, and they will make comments about it. If you have not bathed, you may just get absurd insults slurred at you. If you have blood stained on you, and you smell of blood, people may give you weird looks, or may just make a call to the local Law Enforcement.
As for those who DM me or ask about Strangers and Freaks, or mysteries and riddles, the paranormal world will be featured in GTA VI. You may encounter serial killers, or creepy sightings in dreary areas. Strangers and freaks will all have its own unique storyline.
The weather system is IMPROVED SIGNIFICANTLY aswell. Hurricanes do take place, but only during certain parts of the storyline, and floods may occur in marshland areas and anywhere away from mainland.
Melee Combat system is based off of strength, and Agility, which is a new skill, as stated above, and is improved heavily. Hand combat is influenced by strength and agility. Based on how hard you hit the opponent, you may bruise them, and bruise yourself. The chainsaw is returning as well. The limbs and gore is back from RDR2
Dialogue System from GTA San Andreas and RDR2 is back, and improved, with different responses every time.
GPS and Navigation System will be improved, showing the quickest routes, from alleyways to the freeway. Every street will have a name, and the GPS voice from GTA IV is returning as well, get ready to hear “Turn Left in 500 yards, Bing Bong.” Planes will have autopilot, and you can fly to each city with plane tickets, or on your own.
Driving mechanics will be similar to GTA IV’s, but combined with the smoothness of GTA V’s mechanics. Damage to the vehicle will be more detailed then ever, featuring airbag damage as well.
Six star wanted level is back, with FIB being the 6th star. There is multiple law enforcement agencies. VCPD, GSCPD, CPD, SPPD, Highway Patrol, FIB, IAA, Viceland State Patrol, as well as the NOOSE.
Being arrested results in you serving time, similar to RDR 1’s Jail time mechanic, showing you all of your charges while you sit in a cell. The first time you get arrested it will show your character being booked, and you will have to take a mugshot and be fingerprinted. Depending on the county or city you’ve been arrested in, you will be known to local law enforcement and even law abiding citizens, depending on how severe your charges are.
Random events are more realistic than ever. depending on the wanted level you’ve attained, there is a system similar to the bounty system of RDR2. The more crimes you’ve commited that have gained attention of law enforcement, you have a chance of getting your hotel room getting kicked in by noose, your safe house getting staked out by undercover FIB, even being pulled over if you have commited a number of crimes in the same vehicle. You may witness muggings, or even be mugged yourself. You will encounter situations with homeless people to the rich and famous, with all different outcomes.
Real Estate as stated before, will be available to all three characters. Businesses will be available, illicit and legal, from businesses to launder cash for the gang, to illicit businesses like credit fraud rings, to counterfeit cash.
Safe houses will be available as well. A penthouse in Corlado, a modern mansion on Starfish Island, a beach house on Ocean Beach, a small quaint house in Canisville, a traditional house in Gulf Shore City, a vacation-style home in the Vice Keys, to small apartments in small towns like Centura or Sentinel Point. Each character will be able to purchase any of these properties, but it will be tied to just the one character that purchased it.
Hotels and Motels will also be available to rent rooms and bathe in, one being the Gulf Shore motel, a dingy motel room for cheap, perfect for someone wanting a cheap stay. The Malibu Casino and Resort near Vice Beach, a 5 star luxury stay, with a two-story penthouse with a jacuzzi the player can bathe in, with views of Vice Beach, and the nearby Ocean Beach. There is 4 hotels and 2 motels scattered across the map, each with unique interiors and different amenities.
Purchasing vehicles you can enter a dealership, or purchase online and have it delivered to a garage. Pegasus Concierge is returning. Certain stolen vehicles will have trackers, and will not be able to be modified, same as GTA V.
The stock market is also returning, BAWSAQ and VLSM ( Vice Land Stock Market ) and can reap heavy profits as well.
Character customization is not just clothing, tattoos, jewelry and hair customization. You can also purchase 3 different phone models. an iFruit phone, based on the iPhone Xr, a Badger phone, or a Whiz Wireless. You will also be able to purchase ringtones, as you were able to do in GTA IV. You can also purchase an iFruit watch, based on the apple watch, which you can take calls on, if you change your settings.
As stated above, NPC’s will notice the clothing you wear, the way you look or smell, the car you drive, and the jewelry you wear, and will make comments on it.
The game is set in the summer of 2018 to 2019 as the storyline proceeds. This game WILL BE PS5 Exclusive, for the first month. It is projected to not release until mid 2020, BUT MAY BE DELAYED. I have broken down the storyline, key elements of the game, and if anyone has anymore questions I will be happy to answer. I know so much about this game as I’ve been working on it since the start, and I’m not afraid to get in trouble, as this is a throwaway.
I will not be responding to negative comments, claiming this is fake, because I will not waste my time with non-believers, only true questions.
all content is confirmed unless it has been mentioned by me to not be officially confirmed already, and anything may be scrapped before release as cut content, but is unlikely
submitted by TypicalPoetry22 to Random_Texts [link] [comments]

After banning 'Star Wars' slot machines, Disney spends millions to change Florida gambling law to "protect" its theme parks and properties - including Galaxy's Edge

Today, I heard about recent efforts by Disney against the gambling industry. I thought you guys would be interested in hearing about it, as it also heavily involves Star Wars...and particularly, Disney's plans in 2019 for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and the Star Wars hotel, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
It also involves Disney's existing, popular offering "Star Wars Day at Sea", and other Star Wars-related plans for its cruises in 2019, which is parly based out of the Port of Miami in Miami, Florida, and Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida).
The tl;dnr of it is as such: (broken down into smaller sections)
The Walt Disney Company is one of the most successful media conglomerate companies in the world. Just about everyone has heard of the Disney theme parks stationed in Florida, California, and abroad. Just about everyone has seen classic Disney films like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Not everyone knows about Disney's relationship with the gambling industry, however, and it is a noteworthy one.
Over the years, Disney has acquired the rights to several major entertainment companies and their licensed characters. In 2009, Disney bought the Marvel Entertainment company, creator of the famed Marvel comic books and a slew of popular superhero characters. In 2012, it purchased all rights to LucasFilm, the parent company that created the Star Wars brand.
Disney announced its plans to phase out all Star Wars and Marvel-themed casino slot machines in the United States last fall. The multimillion dollar company has the power to do this, because it now owns all rights to these brands.
According to a Disney spokeswoman, the character-themed slot phase-out is not a new decision. As part of Marvel's “integration” with Disney, she said the decision was made several years ago to let the machines gradually fade out through attrition. Only a few Marvel license agreements remain at this point, and they are set to expire within the next several years. Star Wars-themed slots will also trickle away, but it will take a few more years for that process to complete.
[...] Disney wields a certain amount of power over casinos, both on land and online, because of these acquisitions. Instead of promoting Star Wars and Marvel characters via slot machines, the company prefers to use their likenesses in movies that serve to perpetuate the Disney brand.
As the owner of LucasFilm, Disney has another trilogy of Star Wars films currently in the works. [...] Fans can expect to see Disney continue to advance their brands through avenues other than the gaming industry.
Disney has made its opinion of the gambling industry known in Florida: It does not support the addition of more resort casinos to that area. Not only does Disney plan to phase out Marvel and Star Wars-themed slot machines, it also hopes to prevent the development of new casino resorts in the state.
As it stands today, Orlando's Walt Disney World is the top tourist attraction on the globe. Over 50 million people visit the entertainment resort every year and partake of theme parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. From a business standpoint, it makes sense that Disney would not want another tourist draw infringing on its potential customer base in the Orlando area.
Disney denies that self-interest is its main motivation for opposing new casinos. Andrea Finger, a spokeswoman for the company, said the corporation opposes casino expansion for “many reasons.” One of the primary reasons is the fact that Florida is a “family friendly” vacation spot; adding more casinos to the landscape would tarnish that. Finger lauded Florida's efforts in “research, innovation, and entrepreneurship” and indicated that adding more casino resorts would create an “inconsistent” atmosphere in the state.
Finger made no statement suggesting that Disney is protecting its own interests by objecting to more casinos. This inference has been made, however, by critics based on the connection between Disney and its Marvel and Star Wars slot machines that recently came to light.
Critics also cite the fact that increased Florida casinos might steal valuable convention contracts from the Mickey Mouse company. At this point, Disney hosts approximately 700,000 square feet of convention space in its Florida resorts.
Disney's ownership of Marvel and LucasFilm slot machines was brought to the public's attention by New York Times reporters Lizette Alvarez and Michael Snyder. Critics immediately began shouting hypocrisy at the fact that Disney, a vocal gambling opponent, owns and profits from character-themed casino slot machines.
The Times reporters asked Disney whether its ownership of the slots “undercut” its casino gambling stance. A spokeswoman responded that the company's affiliation with the casinos was only temporary, and that it would take a few years for current slot machine contracts to expire.
[...] When Marvel and Star Wars-themed slots do eventually disappear from casinos, their absence will be a blow to the gaming industry. Casino patrons are drawn to the colorful games touting Spider Man, Darth Vader, and other exciting Hollywood characters. Until the machines are completely phased out, the characters will continue to entertain casino patrons both online and on land.
The online gaming industry will definitely be affected by Disney's prohibition. The Spider Man Slot game, for example, is an enticing game for online gamblers that was introduced in 2012. Other Marvel-themed online slots include Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, and Wolverine Slots. The eventual loss of these games will leave a gaping hole in customers' palette of gaming choices.
[Possibly in response to Disney's decision], a group called the Associated Industries of Florida launched a new pro-casino campaign. This group is lobbying for more casinos in the area as a means of promoting jobs and stimulating the local economy. Analysts expect the battle between Disney and pro-casino lobbyists to become more heated as politicians compete for voter support in the upcoming election. (Source)
[However, Orlando isn't the only city that Disney is engaging in anti-casino efforts with.] The biggest challenger standing between [the city of] Miami and casinos is a mouse.
Walt Disney World, the giant resort near Orlando whose four theme parks draw more than 45 million visitors a year, has made preventing "destination" casinos a top priority. And few, if any, businesses carry as much weight in Florida as Disney, which employs more than 60,000 workers, generates nearly $600 million a year in tax revenue — and doled out more than $2 million to political candidates and causes during the past election cycle.
Some analysts say Disney — and, by extension, Orlando's entire tourism industry — has good reason to be wary of casinos. Though adult-oriented resorts in South Florida are unlikely to appeal to Disney's core audience of families with young children, they could siphon away travelers in narrower segments that are also important to the resort, from South Americans to conventions to weddings.
"Disney has lots of little pockets or niches that they're really good at getting market share in. And it adds up," said Duncan Dickson, a professor at the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management. "Disney doesn't want another Las Vegas anywhere close to them. Who needs the competition?"
[Case in point, Disney also has Disney Cruise Lines, based in both Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando).] Disney Cruise Line has revealed it will extend its popular "Star Wars Day at Sea" program through 2019, with the addition of nine cruises -- each of which will include a Star Wars-themed sea day, complete with special programming and restaurant menus. Family-friendly activities include Star Wars character meet-and-greets, movie nights (featuring new releases), Star Wars trivia, and a Jedi training show, where kids can learn lightsaber skills and battle Darth Vader.
Throughout the day, restaurants and bars also will serve themed foods and cocktails. The sea day will end with a fireworks show and deck party, hosted by Star Wars heroes and villains. All cruises span seven nights and depart from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida. (Source)
[...] Disney has always opposed efforts to expand gambling, [citing it as being againts its "family-friendly" image].
The Walt Disney Co., one of the most brand-protective companies on the planet, does not want to jeopardize its kid-friendly reputation by any association whatsoever with casinos and the taboo images they often conjure. The company's cruise line is the only major operator to sail ships without onboard casinos, which are typically one of the biggest generators of on-board spending.
"We've studied this issue carefully and remain opposed for many reasons," said Disney spokesman Mike Griffin, "including the fact that it is inconsistent with Florida's brand as a family-friendly destination, and with the efforts we've long supported to diversify Florida's economy through research, innovation, and entrepreneurship."
The legislation to be considered in Tallahassee would authorize three "destination" casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Each would boast a luxury hotel, shops, restaurants, convention space and casinos with every major game, from blackjack to roulette and craps. Any company awarded a casino license would have to spend at least $2 billion building the facility.
Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, both based in Las Vegas, and Genting, a Malaysian-based resort developer, are among the companies expected to seek licenses. Genting has already spent more than $300 million to buy bay-front property in downtown Miami and has announced plans for a $3.8 billion resort.
All have promised they will create thousands of jobs in South Florida, making the deal attractive to lawmakers hoping to lower the state's 10.6 percent unemployment rate.
Analysts say anyone that invests that much capital to build a resort also will have to spend lavishly to market the property. At a minimum, that will force Disney to ramp up its own spending on advertising, eroding its profit margins.
"Anytime you've got to fight and compete with more marketing dollars, which you know these folks have in abundance, it makes Disney's job that much harder to battle against," said Vicki Johnson, a tourism-marketing expert in Orlando.
More specifically, casinos could prove attractive draws in key markets for Disney. Executives at Genting, for instance, have said they would market heavily in Latin America.
Latin America — particularly Brazil, its biggest country — has become one of Disney World's most valuable markets in recent years. This summer, even as overall attendance at the resort was about flat with a year ago, Disney officials said traffic from Brazil was up by a double-digit percentage.
Though Disney doesn't disclose exact attendance numbers, national data show that visitation from Brazil is up 27% to more than 833,000 so far this year. And though Miami is the most popular destination for South American travelers, Orlando is growing more rapidly.
Disney says its business from Brazil is predominantly family-leisure travel, the group least likely to be swayed by casinos. But some industry followers say lavish resorts, when combined with the boutique shopping already in Miami, might be enough to peel away some of that business, especially Brazilians with older children or none at all.
"All of a sudden, it really cuts into their [Disney's] South American markets," Johnson said.
Group meetings and conventions business is also a growing profit center for Disney, which has nearly 470,000 square feet of meeting space spread among its hotels. It also routinely picks up lucrative private parties and other business tied to shows using Orange County's massive, publicly owned convention center.
Finally, allowing casinos in South Florida could lead to pressure to build more in other parts of the state. Already, some hoteliers in Orlando — led by Harris Rosen, owner of three major convention hotels — have made rumblings about bringing casinos to Central Florida. And officials at Port Canaveral — Disney Cruise Line's home port — are interested in casinos, too.
"Once they get their foot in the door, what's next? Orange County is going to say, 'Well, if it's legal in Dade County, why isn't it legal here?' " said Dickson, the UCF professor.
Disney has worked to enlist broader business groups to fight the casino legislation, most notably the Florida Chamber of Commerce, even though more than half of the businesses represented on the chamber's board of directors say they are neutral on the issue.
And the opposition from Disney has put casino boosters on the defensive during the past few days.
"Florida's identity cannot be changed because one casino or two destination resorts open in Miami-Dade County," said state Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, who is sponsoring the casino legislation in the Florida House of Representatives.
"Florida will always be the Sunshine State," he added. "The dominant trademark of Florida will always be Disney World. I don't think they have anything to worry about when it comes to that." (Source)
There have been multiple attempts to garner support in the state legislature for non-Native American casinos and other forms of gambling expansion in the state. Currently, the Seminoles control the ability of Florida to expand full-fledged casinos per their current compact. And the power of the Seminoles in the state is substantial.
In order to change current law, there must be a constitutional amendment backed by the voters of Florida. There is one such opportunity on the ballot for the November 6, 2018 election.
The Casino Gambling Initiative, if approved, would give voters the exclusive right to authorize casinos going forward, casinos being comprised of card games, slot machines, and other casino-style games. All ballot measures in the future would then require a citizen-initiated process by which a number of signatures of registered voters must be obtained for ballot consideration.
Currently, however, the Seminoles reserve the exclusive right to offer blackjack, craps, and roulette in Florida, which would present a problem that would have to be addressed. The agreement with the Seminoles was signed by Governor Rick Scott in 2015, and is effective for 20 years.
While this may end up in a legal fight, poker rooms are not an exclusive right of the tribe, and would not be an issue.
If Amendment 3 passes in November by 60% or more of the popular vote, a new day may begin for casinos in Florida. This will also drastically increase the opportunity for poker rooms throughout the state. (Source)
The US Supreme Court repealed the longstanding federal sports betting ban known as PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). The landmark decision allows states to dictate their own sports wagering laws.
That means sports betting could be coming to Florida casinos, should the legislature pass market regulations. But Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam said this week that if he’s elected, he would oppose such legislation.
[Putnam also echoes Disney's reasoning.]
“I’ve always been one who has said we don’t need to expand the footprint of gambling in Florida,” Putnam declared at a campaign stop. “It’s not who we are as a state. We’re a family-friendly vacation destination. We’re a small business-oriented state.”
“If I lived in the middle of the desert in Nevada, [like Las Vegas], maybe I would grasp onto whatever straw or life raft somebody threw me,” he continued. “But we live in Florida, and we’ve got unlimited opportunities, and we don’t need to sell our state short.” (Source)
Earlier this year, Disney also gave $400,000 to Florida Grown, a committee supporting Putnam's gubernatorial bid.
[...] Disney officials would not agree to an interview, but in a statement, Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resorts, wrote, “We support candidates who understand issues important to our company, and demonstrate strong support for business and tourism in Florida.” (Source)
[Meanwhile, Disney is busy constructing what it hopes will be its next big moneymaker: Galaxy's Edge, a Star Wars-themed land in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Disney also plans to construct a Star Wars-themed hotel and resort adjacent to Galaxy's Edge.]
The ongoing success of high-profile films, like the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, can play a big role in the theme parks ability to tap into new characters and storylines for rides and shows.
Experts have said the success in theme park rides today are built on characters and properties that resonate with visitors outside the park. Thus new lands themed after popular franchises have proven to be a boon — like Disney's Star Wars and Frozen attractions, and Universal Orlando Resort's success with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
[So far this year], the theme parks division for the quarter saw a 13% increase in revenue to $4.87 billion, up from $4.29 billion for the same time last year. The division also saw a 13% increase in revenue for the first six months of the year to $10.03 billion, up from $8.85 billion for the year-ago period.
According to the earnings report:
"Results included a benefit from a shift in the timing of the Easter holiday relative to our fiscal periods. The current quarter included one week of the Easter holiday, whereas the entire Easter holiday fell in the third quarter of the prior year. Higher operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was primarily due to increased guest spending, attendance growth at Walt Disney World Resort and higher sponsorship revenue, partially offset by increased costs.
Guest spending growth was due to increases in average ticket prices, average daily hotel room rates and food, beverage and merchandise spending. The increase in costs was primarily due to labor and other cost inflation, an increase in depreciation associated with new attractions and higher technology spending." (Source)
[Driving this growth are Disney's planned new additions, including Galaxy's Edge, which is currently under construction ("labor costs").]
Disney’s new Star Wars land won’t open until next year, but it is not too early to declare that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the most ambitious theme park land ever built.
The numbers alone might justify the claim. At 14 acres each, Disney’s twin Star Wars lands will be the largest the company has built at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. Disney has not confirmed a budget for Galaxy’s Edge, but the project is believed widely within the industry to be costing at least one billion dollars. (Source)
submitted by Obversa to StarWarsCantina [link] [comments]

2015 Offseason Review Series: Day 2 (Cleveland Browns)

Cleveland Browns

Division: AFC North

Intro

I don't think I need to pontificate too long one where the Cleveland Browns stand coming out of 2014. The Browns hit a promising 7-4 record after week 12, in spite of key injuries to Alex Mack and Jordan Cameron, with Josh Gordon suspended, and well-hyped rookie QB Johnny Manziel sitting on the bench. Most seasons, this would be considered a success of the new coaching staff and front office, and a sign that maybe the team was heading in the right direction for the first time in the Jimmy Haslam era, but things ended in a complete trainwreck by most accords: hometown hero QB Brian Hoyer wasn't playing up to snuff and would be benched for Manziel, who actually played worse. The lack of depth and internal drama within the coaching staff and front office became the headlines, and to make matters worse, Manziel would manage to find himself injured only 7 quarters into his football career during the Week 16 encounter against the Panthers.
Cleveland slammed the brakes hard and ended with a 7-9 record, with more questions than answers about the state of the team and the front office than ever. Hell, for most of this offseason, people have genuinely been wondering if Cleveland wasn't going to go out of its way to draft a replacement QB for Johnny Manziel, who barely played 2 games. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know how rough this season ended…
Having lived through awful regime after awful regime in the ownership (Randy "Aston Villa Enthusiast" Lerner), front office (Phil "How Much Can We Trade To Dallas" Savage, Carmen "Can't Wait to Go Back to Cali" Policy, and Mike "Worst Draft Gambler Of All Time" Holmgren), and the coaching staff (Butch "Arrogant Fuck" Davis, Romeo "Carl Winslow" Crennel, Eric "Mangina" Mangini, and Pat "Incompetent Shitbrick" Shurmur), all I'm hoping to get coming out of this offseason is a sign that things are on the right path for the first time in a while, and they may just be.

Coaching Changes

  • January 8, 2015: Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan leaves the Cleveland Browns after disagreements with the front office.
  • January 9, 2015: QB’s coach Dowell Loggains is fired.
  • January 15, 2015: WR’s coach Mike McDaniel leaves the Browns in a mutual end.
  • January 21, 2015: The Browns hire John DeFilippo as the new Offensive Coordinator from Oakland.
  • January 28, 2015: The Browns hire Joker Phillips as the new WR coach, his first stint coaching in the NFL.
  • January 31, 2015: The Browns hire Kevin O’Connell as the new QB coach, his first stint coaching in the NFL
So the Browns had a busy January. >_>
The issues with Kyle Shanahan and the Cleveland Browns became so prevalent near the end of his run that they nearly eclipsed the Manziel discussion (at least locally) during the 5-game losing streak to end the 2014 campaign. He clearly didn’t see what the front office saw in Johnny Manziel and there was a lack in synergy between him, Mike Pettine, and the decision makers. It was also clear that Dowell Loggains might have been a contributor to the problems, stemming all the way back to draft night rumors that he’d been texting Johnny Manziel about “wrecking this league”. The move was inevitable, but all things considered, the Browns went from young offensive minds to more young offensive minds in their replacements.
While losing Shanahan’s “prodigal” offensive coaching ability hurt, gaining John DeFilippo, who had been instrumental in working with a young Mark Sanchez in his best season and seemed to have a positive early influence on Derek Carr, certainly softened the blow. DeFilippo fits with what Pettine wants in hard-nosed guys, and hopefully will be a catalyst towards some change on and off the field with this group. Adding Joker Phillips, who is seemingly eternally better suited as a coordinator, and Kevin O’Connell, who seems to be exclusively working to find young talent a QB, might have a set-up in Cleveland made for beyond 2016. It's not a sexy group of coaches, but they will be capable; inexperienced nevertheless, but still capable.

Free Agency

Coming off a mass coaching exodus on the offensive side of the ball, it's no surprise a lot of change in on-field personnel was coming this offseason as well:

Players Lost

Player Position New team
Brian Hoyer QB Texans
Jim Leonard SS Retired
Miles Austin WR Eagles
Jordan Cameron TE Dolphins
Ahtyba Rubin DL Seahawks
Jabaal Sheard OLB Patriots
Buster Skrine CB Jets
Paul McQuistan OL Released
Spencer Lanning P Buccaneers
Nick McDonald OL Released
Christian Yount LS Released
Major Losses: Brian Hoyer, Jordan Cameron, Ahtyba Rubin, Jabaal Sheard, Buster Skrine
When you’re losing 5 freaking starters from 2014, it’s never a good thing.
Brian Hoyer may have completely fallen apart in the second half of last season, but it’s become more and more difficult to determine where it was lost; was it coaching? Did Hoyer just go cold or was he never that good to begin with? Were we in love with the idea of him more than what he really was; a hometown boy who was peaking too quickly? Any way you dice it, after a dismal finish, Hoyer left, hopeful for greener pastures in Houston. When Hoyer had a healthy offensive line and was on point, he wasn't setting the world on fire, but looked capable enough to work as a system QB. Maybe he'll never go on to be more than a backup in the longer term, but with what limited time he had, Brian Hoyer, in spite of a 19-19 TD/INT line, was 10-6 as a starter, which by most counts is a playoff team. I don't think anyone wishes him ill, we just wish he'd been more 2013 Brian Hoyer.
He would be followed out after a, frankly, confusing free agency mess over Pro Bowl TE Jordan Cameron, which involved Charles Clay ending up in Buffalo and Cameron turning around after an offer from Cleveland and signing with Miami the same day. I heard this entirely play out on the radio as our hosts seemed to have less of a clue than I did as to what was going on. Any way you dice it, Cameron's venture out to free agency was not a graceful exit, but Cameron was an excellent athletic target when he was healthy. He removes a big piece from the passing game and if Miami can tap into him and keep him on the field, he can be a top-tier TE.
On the other side of the ball, some would argue that Ahtyba Rubin became disposable after a somewhat pedestrian 2014, only logging 28 tackles on what was considered a significantly poor defensive line, but Rubin was a leader on defense since 2008.
The same could be said about Jabaal Sheard, who slipped a bit in production last year but was locked into an odd spot between Krueger and Mingo in the pass rush, is only 26 years old, and still has potential for success in New England; and the fact that he was rather active with the Cleveland fan base only makes it a tougher.
Buster Skrine at any given time was the most beloved and most reviled CB in Cleveland Browns history, but he earned his keep in 2014 with a strong campaign in spite of young challengers at CB behind him.
Minor losses: Jim Leonard, Spencer Lanning
More than anything, Jim Leonard was a good dude, who was an impactful player on special teams, with a wealth of knowledge for younger players. But retirement comes to all. There are still some great veterans on this squad, but at the end of the day, solid support from well vested veterans does matter.
I'll miss you forever, Spencer Lanning.

Players Added

Player Position Old team
Josh McCown QB Buccaneers
Brian Hartline WR Dolphins
Dwayne Bowe WR Chiefs
Tramon Williams CB Packers
Randy Starks DL Dolphins
Rob Housler TE Cardinals
Thad Lewis QB Texans, Bills, Browns, fuck, maybe Argonauts?
Andy Lee P Niners (Trade)
Major Additons: Tramon Williams, Randy Starks, Brian Hartline, Dwayne Bowe
The Browns were sitting on a ton of draft picks and still had a lot of talent (when that talent decided to play...looking at you Justin Gilbert) from last year's draft. They needed to get younger while providing leadership on defense, and that's what two of these signings did. The other two were simply pick-ups that were by utter necessity. But there was still cap space to be shed by the Browns, and although they approached FA lightly (so as to accumulate compensatory picks in 2016)
Tramon Williams got himself $21 million because if you're a CB, Mike Pettine wants you on his team. I believe we currently have brought 94 CB's to camp this year. But beyond Pettine's depth-in-the-secondary fetish, Williams is a solid cover-man who can help alongside Joe Haden to add veteran leadership to the motley crue of CB's. Yes, he's 32, and he did get a bit big of a pay-day, but at this point, if you want Pierre Desir, Justin Gilbert, and Ka'Waun Williams to reach their potential (that's not even counting the other 2 freaking CB's we drafted), you need more than Haden to get them there with Skrine departing.
In the same vein, Randy Starks. Starks isn't going to set the world on fire on that defensive line, but he will likely not be asked to be the anchor with some other additions this offseason in the draft, and can provide guidance to the young players on a defensive line that was frankly...well, shit, and has been shit for any number of reasons for several years. Be it the health of the team or the lack of talent, stopping the run was a key point from this offseason, and the Browns actually took action to fix it.
Rounding out the big pieces on the FA class, your 2011 fantasy WRs! Neither Dwayne Bowe nor Brian Hartline has been anything more than above-average in their long-term careers, and there's any number of things you could blame that on; poor QB's, poor coaching staffs and offensive schemes, or their own limited ability as WR’s, but both bring one thing Cleveland lacks; veteran targets. With the departure of Miles Austin and...well, something else we'll get to shortly, the Browns have no weapons for whoever ends up throwing the damn ball aside from slot guys like Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel. Even if the Browns get very little in the long term from either guy, they are going to be the Browns' receiving corps in 2015; and both have plenty to prove.
Minor Additions: Josh McCown, Rob Housler, Andy Lee
Let's be clear: the signing of Josh "It's Josh Fucking McCown, Do We Even Need a Nickname?" McCown was not because the Browns thought he was some incredible QB who could be the answer. He's 34, he's coming off an awful season, and I think we all know the McCown "career backup" legacy he and his brother Luke have created. Honestly, McCown is here to be a quiet backup. Although he may be called on to start a bit this season, he's not here to be the long-term QB. The Browns fielded him a bit extra money because of the cap room, but he's here as a very, very short bridge to either seeing what we have in Johnny Manziel or "Cardared Hackookiel" next year. And that's fine. I'm not a huge fan of it on the whole, but in that sense, it at least is rooted in some reason.
Another injury-bugged TE in Rob Housler, Housler at least offers some hope of finding a target at the position for a team that lacks it. And he's only 27; he's still got a little time to get it right.
The trade to the 49ers was an odd one (mainly because if I wanted a special teams player from San Francisco, it would be PHIL WE MISS YOU) but Andy Lee is a damn good punter who will do one thing; facilitate the defense. If the offense is struggling as it seems they may, Lee should be able to pin the opposing team deep in their own territory to allow the defense to try and make them make mistakes.

Draft

...wait, there was supposed to be an angry rant here. Where'd I put that?
....no. No fucking way. The Browns didn't completely muck up this draft?
Player Round, Pick Analysis
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington 1.12 The main commitment from the Browns this year was to fix the run D, and Feast Mode is here to do just that. Shelton is a big, BIG boy at 339lbs, and although most expect him to be a 2-down player, he's an animated, deceptively quick anchor NT who happened to do his workouts for the draft in a fucking lava lava. He then won the hearts of America when he attempted to hit Goodell with the belly-to-belly suplex. We already love this dude, his story is incredible, and I hope he becomes a fixture on the defensive line for years, maybe even as a 3-down player if his weight keeps in check. It's high time we got the D-Line right in the long term.
Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State 1.19 In the bar I was sitting in watching on draft night, almost everyone walked out when the Browns passed on Breshad Perriman. Perriman may turn out to be a fantastic WR, but this pick was honestly way smarter than Farmer's gotten credit for: One, it provides a safety net for if Alex Mack opts to leave Cleveland after this offseason, as Erving was a more than capable C at FSU. Two, it pushes Mitchell Schwartz and John "Get Pushed Back Seven Yards Every Play" Greco into competition on the right side of the line. If you aren't elite, shoring up the lines is never a bad idea, and this was an investment with not just 2015 but 2016 and beyond in mind. That's something you don't see in Cleveland often.
Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah 2.19 A theme of this draft was "Let's pass on Jaelen Strong and make JohnnyFire angry", but we made up for that getting a guy who was just an awesome fit. Orchard may have been a bit of a "one-year sensation", but he also fits exactly the character and play style that Pettine is looking for in the pass rush and will quickly make up for the loss of Jabaal Sheard, as well as pushing Mingo and Kruger to keep up. This seemed so obvious even dumb me was able to predict it on the /Browns contest this year.
Duke Johnson, RB, Miami 3.13 At this point in the draft I'd accepted the Browns were just not going to take a WR, especially since now all of the ones with any hype (aside from Sammie Coates) were well off the board. That said, Duke Johnson possess speed that Terrance "Instagram Failure" West lacks and escapability that Isaiah "Lunchables Enthusiast" Crowell lacks, and he can catch passes. Yes, the Browns maybe didn't need Duke Johnson, but who cares; if there's a special player available as the BPA, you get him, and if Johnson lives up to his potential, he could be a huge get for the Browns.
Xavier Cooper, DL, Washington State 3.32 Much was made post-draft of how heavily the Browns scouted the Pac-12, and this is true when they garnered (to some) the best two D-Line prospects in the conference. Cooper actually fits a bit more of the mold of Randy Starks, and although he is a raw talent, he'll have a great mentor and get time to develop. To sneak up and grab a second highly-touted piece to stop the run and improve the Front 7 was incredibly solid of this FO.
Ibraheim Campbell, SS, Northwestern 4.16 Oh hey, the guy I always grabbed using the First-Pick simulator to bump up my final score in the 4th round! Truth is that Donte Whitner isn't going to be around forever, and Campbell was a strong S prospect (albeit in a weak class) that could learn well from the veteran, and will contribute heavily on special teams with the loss of Jim Leonard.
Vince Mayle, WR, Washington State 4.24 Okay, Farmer, let's talk a moment. I love what you did with this draft. I really do. But this is the first WR you opt to take? Yeah, Mayle has prototypical size, and yeah, he could certainly be molded into a solid weapon due to his raw athleticism. But in order to get to this point, you left on the board Devante Parker, Breshad Perriman, Phillip Dorsett, Devin Smith, Dorial Green Beckham, Devin Funchess, Tyler Lockett, Jaelen Strong, Chris Conley, Sammie Coates, Ty Montgomery, Jamison Crowder and Justin Hardy. Many of those guys I honestly didn't even want, but this pick sadly reeked of just being too-little-too-late. But I'm gonna root for Super Smash Bros. Mayle and hope he develops quickly.
Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville 6.13 Mike Pettine has a fetish for CB’s, we know this. Gaines lacks a lot in size, and that's the main thing that kept him from getting over the hump, but working in the slot and using his speed, he could be beyond just a depth or special teams guy when called upon. An okay depth move all things considered.
Malcolm Johnson, TE/HB, Mississippi State 6.19 With the Browns going run-first in 2015, you need to get someone who can work better as a FB than...god, I can't even make a joke here because I can't remember the name of a Browns FB to save my life. Johnson will probably end up being asked to be an H-Back TE who could slot in at FB and help open lanes, or push forward.
Randall Tefler, TE, USC 6.22 Another Pac-12 find. I wasn't a huge fan on many TE's in the draft class, although I would've liked to see the Browns make an effort to get someone more dynamic. That said, Tefler is a solid blocker who will likely be used to add depth/replace Gary Barnidge or Jim "Forgot About" Dray in the blocker TE role. If nothing else, a low-risk depth move.
Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC 7.2 A very patient player who seemed to lack the killer instinct that other ILB prospects showed on the field, Pullard this late was a decent pick-up. He'll have a good mentor in Dansby and he can function well as a role-player and special teams guy.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon 7.24 I was actually watching the pre-Kentucky Derby at a casino in Cleveland when this pick was made, and there was an audible "HOLY CRAP!" from so many people around when the pick was finalized. There will be a lot asked for Captain IEO (He needs to moonwalk for his touchdown pick-6 return celebrations while "Another Part of Me" plays, real talk.) to get back to full strength in 2016, but if Ifo manages to get back to there and meets his expectations, this secondary could be fucking insane. Haden, Williams, a ton of young talent, and a guy who would've been a first round pick if he'd come out one year earlier. There was no risk in this; this late in the draft, see if you can't find your next Richard Sherman.
The main thing we didn't touch in this draft was WR, and yes, that list from earlier is true. I would've liked to see us add a pure WR1 here, but the commitment was clearly to round out this defense, which is exactly what the FO did. It was almost refreshing; a draft that wasn't going for splash players, but was made as honest-to-god building blocks for 4-5 years down the line. Using foresight in a Cleveland Browns draft, who'd have thought that was fucking possible?
Note: I also did a defending the draft piece which sums up most of what I said. Check out the whole series over at /NFL_Draft.

Other Offseason News That Affected The Team

...okay, fuck.
  • Johnny Rehab: Johnny Manziel basically hit the wall, and hit it hard, starting with a party on the Friday night before the season ending game in Baltimore, which resulted in a ton of drama and punishments for multiple members of the team. After every hot take that could ever be made about Manziel's ability to succeed and his potential dependency on the party life, Manziel finally checked into rehab on February 4th. I'm not sure where Manziel goes from this, honestly. Since his check out from rehab, he did have what seemed like a majonon-incident at a golf course, but he also left his party-enabling lavish apartment at "The 9" downtown to move to the suburbs, dropped the "Johnny Football" moniker, and by most accounts seems to be working his ass off after a first season that went absolutely off the rails. The Browns have dug themselves into a Manziel shaped hole, and 2015 is going to either tell us if Manziel can dig his own way out, both on and off the field, or just keep digging deeper until the Browns have to give up and try again in 2016. We'll see.
  • Text-gate-gate: Ray Farmer will be suspended for the first 4 games for sending texts down to the field discussing play calls. I'm conflicted, because it feels like Farmer is a good guy with an eye for late-round talent and UDFA's, who was jerked around in 2014 by Old Man Haslam. Was he doing Haslam’s stooge work here, or was he just passionate about righting the ship? Just...Ray, I like you for the most part. Please just stay out of trouble for 2015. I don't wanna turn over this organization yet.
  • Josh Gordon Suspended...Again: ..........sigh. Josh Gordon gets caught drinking on a plane after the regular season had ended during a trip to Vegas and gets tested upon landing. He didn't know he couldn't drink until the end of the entire season, and writes a passive aggressive letter about how he doesn't have a substance abuse problem and the entire team starts getting fingers pointed at, even drawing "Uncle" Phil Taylor into a response. Whether you think Gordon is an addict or not, it doesn't matter; he's been through the ringer and still doesn't fucking know better. If he's back in 2016 and can keep his moronic ass on the field, fantastic, because the Browns need him, but if not, this might be the end. Inevitably, he'll go win a Super Bowl somewhere else, we know this. But if you're trying to change the culture, you can't let this guy fuck up again, and they did. This many chances to play in the rules of the system he backed into on his own accord, it's frustrating to watch. He's got Megatron-level talent but his biggest enemy seems to be himself.
  • The new Browns, Same As the Old Browns: This year was Nike's rebranding for Cleveland, and things did not start well with the new logo, which was the same logo with a brighter gradient in spite of media hype and some internal push for how exciting the rebrand would be. It resulted in an insane amount of mockery early on as a result. Although the "brown was unchanged", the uniforms were not, and although the damn stripe that cuts off just before the shoulder pisses me off, they've grown on me a bit, so kudos on that much. Hopefully this is a catalyst to the culture change that front offices and fans in Cleveland have been dying for.

Projected Starting Lineup

Offense

QB: Josh McCown, followed by Johnny Manziel - Kind of hilarious that every pundit is suggesting that Josh McCown is being asked to be the long term starter for Cleveland as a 34 year old career backup, but I have a feeling that he'll be starting off the season. But at the end of the day, it's all down to Manziel to play this season. You must see what we have in this kid and take the good and the bad, because learning you have nothing is better than blindly hoping you have something. Or McCown.
RB: Duke Johnson - If you read into camp, Duke Johnson has been playing his dick off. I think that the RB1 role is going to be fluid with Crow and West, but Duke's pass-catching ability might move him into a prominent role faster than expected.
FB: Malcolm Johnson - We’ve got nobody else.
WR1: Dwayne Bowe - Bowe is the closest thing on this team to being a pure WR1 right now in the absence of veteran help or a true star, so he'll have this role.
WR2: Brian Hartline - Hartline worked well as a WR2 in Miami and he'll be called upon to be more of the same here. I expect Vince Mayle to be waiting in the wings.
Slot WR: Andrew Hawkins - After getting a...well, absurd contract in the steal from Cincinnati in 2014, Hawkins lived up to what was needed in the absence of big-bodied WR's in 2014 and should continue that trend. Taylor Gabriel and Travis Benjamin will be waiting.
TE: Rob Housler - This is honestly the biggest toss-up coming out of camp stories, because we don't know if Housler can truly make the jump this year. But I'd venture that Housler will be the top option with Barnidge getting some other opportunities and TefleDray getting blocking reps.
LT: Joe Thomas - ...duh.
LG: Joel Bittonio - ...yawn.
C: Alex Mack - ...zzz.
RG: Cameron Erving - Erving has been exponentially better as an inside lineman. I figure he will be moved between RG and RT as needed to see what sets work best with Greco and Schwartz, but I think he is ultimately an upgrade over Greco. His next best option would be to be at RT, and to move Schwartz into the RG role.
RT: Mitchell Schwartz - I believe this is his contract year, so he'll have a lot to prove either here or at RG, that he’s beyond his 5th round evaluation.

Defense

LDE: Desmond Bryant - Desmond played a tough 2014 campaign, and although Cooper will probably push him for this spot (along with Armonty Bryant), I think Desmond will have it locked down to start.
NT: Danny Shelton - Feast Mode is having a luau.
RDE: Randy Starks - Veteran presence wins out. Xavier Cooper might see some play time, but I don't see him completely lapping Starks. Expect Phil Taylor to also be in the mix here, if not at NT.
LOLB: Barkevious Mingo - Yes, a baby did eat my Mingo. Hopefully he can continue his progress into this season, because he needs to with Orchard nipping.
LILB: Karlos Dansby - A veteran leader coming off injury who should continue to be a spark in the LB corps.
RILB: Craig Robertson - I'd like to see Robertson make a stronger push this season into becoming a more well-rounded open-field defender, but he’ll do for now.
ROLB: Paul "T-1000" Kruger - THOSE EYES
CB1: Joe Haden - Haden's emergence as a leader and great talent at the CB position locks him in.
CB2: Tramon Williams - Tramon is going to have to battle to keep this all year; you've got a hungry bunch behind him in Gilbert/Williams/DesiGaines.
FS: Tashaun Gipson - Beyond the contract struggle, Gipson has been rock solid at the FS position lately and hopefully continues his progression.
SS: Donte Whitner - Twitter Troll Supreme

Special Teams

P: Andy Lee - Put 'em on the 1 yard line, Andy.
K: Not Billy Cundiff - At this point, fucking anybody. If I had to watch Billy Cundiff botch one more close distance FG I was going to lose my fucking mind.
KR: Marlon Moore - Moore's role on this team is pretty much exclusively this, but Duke Johnson and Travis Benjamin will likely challenge him. I hope Benjamin can turn back the clock and get his KR status back to the shape it once was.

Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses

Position Group Strengths Weaknesses
QB Manziel is still young. McCown won't do anything too stupid. Manziel is still a rookie. McCown won't do anything too smart.
RB Depth. Three dynamic backs bringing something different to the table with each. Lack of experience; two sophomores and a rookie.
WTE Lots of guys with a lot to prove. That proof needs to come fast: no proven talent, no proven game-changers, no proven big-bodied true WR1.
O-Line Depth has been added, the left side is fucking impeccable, could be a top 10 line this year if all are healthy. The weakest point (Mitchell Schwartz) will be pretty weak comparatively.
D-Line Heavy investment in developing the Lake Erie Buffet Line with Starks, Shelton, and Cooper. A few odd-men out in the rotation, need to get Shelton to speed quick.
LB Corps Strong veteran presence, Mingo getting better. But if the pass rush does improve, is it time to revamp again?
Secondary Deep as fuck, young, two strong starters and solid nickel options. I still wouldn't want to run sets with Haden not on the field; where does Gilbert fit?
Special Teams We don't have Billy Cundiff anymore. Our kicker is not Phil Dawson.

Training Camp Battles to Watch

QB - Manziel vs McCown: The obvious answer here. Will Manziel make enough progress to wrestle away the starting job from McCown before we need to go with McCown being forced into high-pressure situations? COULD CONNOR SHAW EMERGE AND DESTROY SOME WORLDS AND SHOCK EVERYONE?!
RB - Johnson vs West vs Crowell: Early line says Crowell will be the starter because he appears the most well rounded; West has a plow-forward play style that might be in better shape with the healthy offensive line; Johnson is a dynamic pass-catching back with elusiveness. I'm with the Duke, and all 3 should get touches, but who knows?
TE - Housler vs Barnidge: This is the closest thing to competition in the receiving corps we'll have due to proven talent ahead at everything else. I think Housler locks it down but both should find playing time.
RT/RG - Greco vs Schwartz vs Erving: How this eventually plays out should be interesting to watch; it's going to come down to whatever two make the most sense opening up on the line. For me, it's Erving at RG and Schwartz at RT, but it all depends.
DE - Bryant vs Starks vs Cooper vs Taylor vs A. Bryant: With Armonty Bryant and Uncle Phil healthy, there could be serious competition for the ends this year; Cooper and Taylor have to fit somewhere, and Armonty played his ass off in limited time in 2014.
CB2 - Tramon Williams vs The field: Can Justin Gilbert step up and take away the CB2 role from the veteran? Can a Ka'Waun Williams jump into the lead role, or even Pierre Desir? Is Charles Gaines capable enough to tap into finesse and take the spot?

Let's Talk Schemes, With JohnnyFire, Who Doesn't Know How Schemes Work For Shit

This was an optional point of the review, but hey, lemme attempt to work it out.
Offensive scheme: In case it wasn't obvious, with the offensive line shoring and the addition of another talented RB, the Browns are going to be working a run-first offense. Everything will be going through the ground game, meaning the interior of the line will be called on to open up big run lanes early. It also means that we're not going to be gunslinging, least of all with McCown in there. The short passing game and smart out-routes will likely be the staples for this offense until we get another weapon in 2016, so I expect Hawkins (and Johnson as an option) to get tons of looks. Long term, it’s also key that we play into what strengths Manziel actually exhibits, and not try to fit a square peg into a round hole here; Manziel's legs and deep-ball awareness can still be tapped into if asked. It's going to be a bit of a mish-mash ground-and-pound short-game offense in 2015, unless Manziel's skill set has expanded far beyond what we think.
Defensive scheme: Jim O'Neill's D shouldn't be changing up too much, only becoming expanded on with more playmakers. O'Neill suggested that although the Browns are currently running a 3-4, the talent they have could open up some 4-3 sets (likely meaning we would see a front 4 of Bryant/TayloShelton/Starks or Cooper, with a 3-rush LB of KrugeDansby/Mingo. That's very intriguing.) I wish I could go more technical into this, but quite honestly, it's not my forte; I just know that Pettine and O'Neill wanted a strong all-around D, and although we need to see what the new additions actually do, on paper, it looks like a strong squad now and moving forward.

Schedule Predictions

The Browns have a tougher schedule than they did in 2014, and with much of the same defense and an offense in transition, they went 7-9. The offense is now in limbo while the defense got better, so...ehhhhhh? I'll aim for as reasonable as I can.
Week 1: @ New York Jets: New York's revamped D is solid, but their offense could still sink them. If the Browns can make their offense falter early, they'll have a chance, but winning week 1 on the road isn't exactly easy. Let's assume the D is up to the challenge for NYJ right off the bat and make this a close defensive effort on both fronts, with Cleveland losing a tough one. Cleveland loses 17-13 (0-1)
Week 2: vs Tennessee Titans: Here's the coming out party for this defense and the first chance to see if this offense is good enough. Tennessee's team is just flatly lacking in overall talent right now, although they do have some playmakers here. The last thing the Browns want is to get spanked by oft-mocked-to-them Mariota. I think they can pull off a motivated home opener win. Cleveland wins 20-14 (1-1)
Week 3: vs Oakland Raiders: Oakland, in my view, had a pretty solid draft, but I'm not sure they've entirely turned the corner, even with the emergence of Derek Carr. I think a strong defensive front and the strong secondary can keep him in check long enough for whoever is slinging the ball to keep it together into a solid but close win. Cleveland wins 24-21 (2-1)
Week 4: @ San Diego Chargers: Unfortunately I can't see Cleveland heading out to the West Coast and dominating a still fairly tough Chargers team. Unless they rattle Rivers hard and fast right off the bat, but that's doubtful honestly. They could keep it competitive though. Cleveland loses 28-17 (2-2)
Week 5: @ Baltimore Ravens: The Browns have not won in Baltimore since 2007, and only 3 times since 1999. That's...bad. And Baltimore is still good enough to keep that trend up I fear after an offensive reload. Cleveland loses 35-20 (2-3)
Week 6: vs Denver Broncos: You have no idea how much I'd love to spank Peyton Manning at home, and I'd imagine this will probably be closer with the Browns getting some attention against the tougher team. But I can't doubt Denver just yet; I do think the downfall for Denver may be on the horizon, but not yet. Cleveland loses 31-21 (2-4)
Week 7: @ St. Louis Rams: Another "Tough D vs so-so Offense" matchup. My hope is by now the offense will have settled in with whoever's at the helm (I'd assume Manziel by this point) and can get the big road win, even though this could be a toss up if Nick Foles and the strong D finally make this St. Louis's "next year" we've been waiting on. Ah, fuck it. Let's call it an upset. Cleveland wins 18-17. (3-4)
Week 8: vs Arizona Cardinals: I have pretty high hopes for Arizona if they stay healthy, and at the mid-point of the season, that's pretty much all it will come down to. This is the start of a tough 3-game swing for Cleveland and if Carson and the D remains upright, I think they dispatch the Browns post haste. Cleveland loses 24-13 (3-5)
Week 9: @ Cincinnati Bengals: ALERT! ALERT! Primetime Andy Dalton Game! Primetime Andy Dalton Game! We probably will actually get blown out as revenge for last season, but fuck it, I have to rip on someone other than my own team at some point in these predictions! Cleveland wins 24-21 (4-5)
Week 10: @ Pittsburgh Steelers: Fucking Steelers with their good drafting and respectable organization and history of winning and Super Bowls. And then they have a solid 2015 draft too. But hey, their RB smokes weed and got caught and got suspended everyone point and laugh, please, my self esteem needs it, HAHAHAHA--we're not winning this game are we? Cleveland loses 30-13 (4-6)
Week 11: Bye
Week 12: vs Baltimore Ravens: Monday Night Football in Cleveland, OH. Reason dictates that this will be the biggest game of Cleveland's season, and coming off the bye and a tough in-division loss to Pittsburgh, I'm going to buck the trend here and say that Cleveland pulls off the upset and wins a key game in primetime in the division, shutting down the revamped offense and Sam the Eagle. Cleveland wins 27-21 (5-6)
Week 13: vs Cincinnati Bengals: Damnit, I wanted two games with Primetime Andy Dalton. If we take the jokes aside, the Bengals are a strong squad that will be in playoff contention, and this late in the season, this will probably be a must-win for them. Cleveland loses 28-14 (5-7)
Week 14: vs San Francisco 49ers: I honestly feel bad for San Francisco at this point. They're probably not going to completely fall off, but coming into a year wish such promise, there has just been so much turnover in that organization this year it's almost mind numbing. I'd hope Cleveland can keep their heads up and take advantage of it. Cleveland wins 31-18 (6-7)
Week 15: @ Seattle Seahawks: ......fuck. Cleveland loses 35-13 (6-8)
Week 16: @ Kansas City Chiefs: Because going from the loudest stadium in the NFL to the second loudest stadium in the NFL is just a thing that happens. Cleveland loses 27-24 (6-9)
Week 17: vs Pittsburgh Steelers: There is nothing more important in any given season than logging a win against the fucking Pittsburgh Steelers. At least until we get over this mental and metaphysical hump that has held the Browns down for so damn long in their own wallowing. After two tough challenges on the road, I think the Browns can pull off one season-ending upset in spite of everything to end the season strong and accomplish two things: match last year's record without an elite QB, and hit .500 in the division. Cleveland wins 17-14 (7-9)

Verdict:

Reasonably, I'd say between 6-10 (drop either the STL or PIT game) and 8-8 (win against SD early?) is pretty solid. Our offense just plainly is not good enough right now. If Cleveland shows up for some big games or takes advantage of their strength on defense early, they might be able to break .500, but I don't see this squad hitting the playoffs in 2015. The lack of a franchise QB limits my optimism for toss ups.

Wrap-Up

I said last year that the most important thing for Cleveland in 2014 was not to make a playoff push or to win "x" amount of games; it was to facilitate a culture change, to get away from the "LOLBROWNS" and the "woe is me" that has permeated the organization since their return from expansion. Many people have tried to make that happen, but stupid moves, or regressions, or giving up too early, or just plainly getting the wrong players at the wrong time, it's all added up to misery. With that said...this is the closest I've seen this team to having a long-term plan in place to get over that hump. Yes, you have some issues on offense, but the offseason, the draft, the move to get more compensatory picks in 2016, the feeling that Pettine and Farmer are locked in, it's a good feeling.
Are the Browns going to light the world on fire in 2015? No. But they don't need to right now. Get that defense up to working speed. Keep the run game and offensive line strong. Don't panic fire Pettine or Farmer because things don't add up to a 10-6 finish. Don't start scrambling around or getting cheeky with your QB if things go crazy. I no longer see this team as rebuilding, but rather finally fucking building; investing heavily in the trenches and crafting a strong defense. There have been growing pains of this regime, but unlike in the Holmgren era, or the Policy era, or the Savage era, it doesn't feel for naught. There is something being established, and if we as fans can have some patience for a change, I think we could see the second half of this decade be very, very fun if the course stays.
...or we'll be LOLBROWNS again. Such is the cycle of Browns fans.
Special thanks to admiralkit, TheFencingCoach, skepticismissurvival, TheVetNoob, everyone over on /Browns, and Dusty Rhodes. We been through some Hard Times, bay-beh.
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