19 April 2006

San Jose news

This installment comes from San Jose City Hall's Council Chambers, where the third ballpark EIR outreach meeting is being held. There are less than twenty people in the gallery this time, due in part to Soccer Silicon Valley calling off the dogs for now. As new items come up during the session, I'll post them here.

Update (22:15): The Q&A was focused on perceived inadequacies in the Draft EIR. They ranged from expanding the traffic study to cover a larger area and the 6-7 p.m. timeframe, to questions about mitigation costs (not currently covered).

That brings up a source of consternation. While there have been recent updates to the Diridon/Arena and Midtown plans to cover new projects, there's a lack of clarity on how the ballpark will affect more than just the study area. The EIR aims to cover some of this, but there's a general feeling that there's no overall vision. Impacts from individual projects are narrowly studied and focused, so there's no sense of how they are woven into the fabric of the whole community. Whatever happens with the EIR, there will be some heated debate when the Planning Commission holds its hearing on July 12. The first mayoral election will have taken place and the results should at the very least thin the herd for a November runoff.

On the blog San Jose Inside, contributor "Single Gal" started a serious discussion over the ballpark, mayoral candidates, and the city's vision. She brought up candidate Michael Mulcahy and the notion that he may get votes simply because he's so close to the situation. Not to be lost in all of this is candidate David Pandori's swipe at Mulcahy over the weekend.

Yesterday, word came that Adobe is going forward with plans to acquire the 5.5-acre SJWC east parcel. There goes one major piece of a ballpark village, at least a viable piece for commercial use. As for the residentially zoned west parcel, nothing's been announced yet.

One bit of non-San Jose news that can apply universally: Phoenix is losing $3 million per year on a 2,800-space garage built north of Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark). Promises of 90% capacity as a multi-use parking facility never came to fruition. The garage only gets significant use during the Snakes' home games.


tony d. said...

I read Single Gals SJI piece yesterday. I decided not to partake in the discussion because (with the exception of Mark T.) there are too many naysayers, small-town thinkers and soccer lovers over at that blog. I'd rather debate/blog with OAFC/pro-East Bay partisans any day over SJ citizens with no vision whatsoever! Here's some thoughts that came across my mind today. Would there be Nationals Baseball in DC if the Orioles/P. Angelos had TRUE territorial rights to the region (vs. television rights) ala the Giants over SJ? And is Peter Magowan the real culprit thwarting San Jose's baseball dreams? Or is it his investors? Would he be clinging to his "rights" if he hadn't privately financed AT&T Park? Curious if anyone has any thoughts...have a great day all!

Kevin said...

I think the situation would have been no different had AT&T not been privately financed. In Magowan's eyes, SF and SC are the two prized counties in the BA in terms of corporate support.

It will be interesting to see what happens to fan support should a ballpark be built in Fremont or San Jose. I'm a season ticketholder, and I've been selling many of my tickets. Here's a rough breakdown of the location of my buyers:

East Bay - 50%
South Bay - 25%
Central Valley - 10%
Peninsula - 5%
North Bay - 5%
San Francisco - 5%

I wonder how may of those East Bay buyers will continue to support the team should they move to the south bay? Many of my buyers are in the Danville, Walnut Creek, Pleasanton areas. I should note that some of these percentages may be a little misleading because many of my Yankee, Red Sox, and Dodger tickets were sold to fans of those teams. I guess you couldn't consider them A's fans.

Georob said...

Tony, perhaps you'd rather debate those partial to Oakland because they have a much weaker turf to defend, hence giving you a better chance to win a debate.

The reality is that there are many in San Jose(just as in Oakland) that think this is a bad idea. And you know what? those people will come out and vote against any public referendum, particularly if MLB's official position remains against a San Jose move.

On one hand, you're going ad nauseum about San Jose being the "10th largest US city" and therefore ready for the big leagues, while at the same time dismissing your fellow civic bretheren as "no vision small town thinkers"

You won't get a team that way, buddy.

tony d. said...

Another note...I don't believe the opinions posted over at SJI are reflective of the entire SJ populace. I also believe that there are many more in SJ that want MLB, vs. those who think it's a bad idea (there's probably a lot more SJ citizens who don't give a dam either way). Look, many a family member/co-worker are in favor of SJ acquiring a MLB team...THEY JUST AREN'T BLOGGING ABOUT IT! For the record Rob, I don't think it's a matter of winning or losing a DEBATE (on this site or others); I blog mainly to vent my opinions, just as the naysayers do...and I will continue to dismiss them to the very end. Victory for myself, and many other SJ baseball supporters, would be to see MLB in Downtown San Jose (even if it is a long shot).

A's Fan said...

I think SJ voters are split 50/50 on wanting MLB in SJ. $300 million for a stadium is a hard pill to swallow and a new mayor getting rich off a land deal with public subsidies would make Gonzales look like an angel.

The downtown site is still a mess. Parking is not worked out and concert noise is going to be a killer for neighborhoods near the stadium.

If you follow SJI carefully, there appears to be some serious money behind the SJ mayors race. My bet is that Cortese thought he was going to lead this baseball effort, and then Chavez got the backing temporarily, and then Mulcahy decided to jump in. If Mulcahy does not make it in the June run off, who is the baseball money going to next?