19 February 2006

San Jose updates

I've spent the last week in the Rockies and Plains. Compared to the weather I've experienced over the last several days, in which the temperature never went over the teens and the wind chill dropped the gauge to -40 in North Dakota, the supposedly chilly weather here is downright balmy. While I've been gone, San Jose has made a few headlines:

Two more Diridon South properties are about to be acquired by San Jose's Redevelopment Agency. Both are on the block between Autumn Street and Montgomery Street, south of San Fernando Street. That brings the tally to three properties and three acres total. The big properties west of Montgomery - the SBC/AT&T site, the old KNTV studio, and the PG&E substation - are still to be acquired. The PG&E substation has extra costs associated with because it will have to be moved to a location nearby. If the ballpark were oriented north, the substation could be moved 200 feet to the north and kept in the same configuration with the same vehicular and service access it had previously.

This orientation makes it similar to Petco Park, which also has its field opened to the north.

San Jose also just lost a lawsuit against Santa Clara County in which it sought to block the County from building a concert hall on the Fairgrounds south of downtown. Should the County proceed with building the concert hall, it would be mainly in competition with SJSU's Event Center, UC Berkeley's Greek Theatre, and SF's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. All would have a 5,000+ capacity, but the new concert hall would presumably have better amenities and acoustics than its competitors. Personally I think the Fairgrounds is better suited for a soccer stadium/amphitheater with playing fields surrounding it, while a concert hall should be downtown as most concert halls are. There's hope that the two parties can set their differences aside, but the city is still looking to appeal and the emboldened county looks like it's moving forward with its plans.


Anonymous said...

no one would ever point a ballpark north in the bay area as it would point directly into the prevailing winds which range from west to north. as I understand it an original version of the giants park had it openeing towards the finacial dist until this came to mind

would make for some very cold evenings and short fly balls a ball park would have to face somewhere from east to south in this area as all the ones I can think of at this time do


Marine Layer said...

The wind and marine layer situation in downtown San Jose is nothing like what happens on the bay in SF or Oakland. It's a completely different microclimate. The afternoon onshore flow loses steam as it travels several miles inland. It's a full 10 degrees warmer at night during the summer in SJ than Oakland or SF on average, making night games less of a "bundling up" experience.

Anonymous said...

true the cold would be less extreme, but belive me in a former career that constantly required me to be aware of the wind direction in the south bay , no one would ever build a stadium facing north a big mistake and the wind situation in the spring summer throughout northern california is amazingy consistent

north really isnt an option and I doubt a plan would ever consider it

Anonymous said...

what about the smog in San Jose?

Marine Layer said...

I've done several days' worth of wind measurements at the north end of the ballpark site. Typical afternoon temperature in the summer: 75 deg, 10-12 mph NW wind. Night: 65 deg, 4-6 mph NW wind. Better than either SF or Oakland and not much to get excited about. East Bay fans have groused about how hot San Jose would be for games, comparing it to Concord. Concord and San Jose have different microclimates, with the latter not being nearly as hot as the former. I'll take 65 during the summer in SJ over 55 on the bay at night. I've been to enough games at the Coliseum, China Basin, and the Stick to notice.

If smog were really an issue, LA wouldn't have a team. I don't see how smog has any effect on a baseball game.