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15 November 2006

Reaction from around the Bay

Housekeeping note: I'm now moderating comments using the moderation feature. The signal-to-noise ratio has been generally poor, let's see if this helps. If you've come here to bash Fremont, Oakland, or Timbuktu, it's not showing up.
The Trib's Monte Poole, who I saw leaving Cisco HQ as I walked in (after the press conference, no less), has a good beat on the circumstances of the deal.

The Merc's Mark Purdy, who not surprisingly paints a rosier picture on things,
gets into how the deal started - a hunting trip. Purdy's colleague Mike Cassidy gets in a good San Jose jab:

The Merc’s story this morning said Wolff and the Cisco Kid, John Chambers, promise the new stadium “will be filled with Cisco networking equipment.'’ Sounds like San Jose City Hall, without the whiff of bid-rigging.
Chron writer Patrick Hoge reports that the Coliseum Authority is already looking at ways to make other money now that the A's have announced their departure. Included is this delicious quote from Ignacio De La Fuente:
"To be candid, we made more money in one Rolling Stones concert than the A's made (us) in a whole year. We will deal with it," De La Fuente said.

There's only one problem with this. When the A's leave, who's going to become the Coliseum's main East Bay competition for large outdoor concerts? Cisco Field, of course. The Coliseum will obviously be larger and have BART, but how many concerts require 50-60,000 seats anymore? It's the Rolling Stones and little else, and at some point all that cryogenics/formaldehyde won't be able to help the eventually septuagenarian Stones take a big stage. U2 no longer plays large stadia in the States, and most pop acts work the 15-20,000-seat market covered by outdoor amphitheaters and indoor arenas. International soccer friendlies are nice, but they don't come all that frequently. Plus there's the end of McAfee's naming rights deal with the Coliseum, coming in 2008. There's a good chance they won't renew since the A's won't be there, and that means the subsidy to pay for the Coliseum's renovations ($22 million this year alone) will only get higher. The bright side is that the name should revert back to "Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum."

John Shea thinks the writing is on the wall regarding the "___ A's of Fremont." After seeing former San Jose mayor and Wolff consigliere Tom McEnery leave shortly after Poole, it's hard to not think along those lines.

Union City is gearing up for its TOD (transit oriented development) surrounding the planned rail station next to its own BART station. 10-20 story residential towers will be built by San Jose builder Barry Swenson. To get MTC funds for the station, planners have to hit a minimum of 2,200 housing units within 1/2 mile of the station, perhaps fewer units if some are sold/leased at below market rate. For BART stations, the bar is raised to 3,850 units. Could this approach help with getting more transit infrastructure around the ballpark village? Not at first glance, since Capitol Corridor fits under the realm of intercity rail as opposed to commuter rail. There's WSX BART, but the village is on the wrong side of the freeway and isn't within the 1/2 mile range, plus no residential is planned immediately around the Warm Springs station. Still, it can't hurt to ask.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wolfe has said he wants to develop or sell entitlement rights to several thousand housing units at the site to pay for the stadium. There will be about 120 acres available for that, open space, etc. You can put 30-50 townhomes/condos per acre in low rise structures , but I doubt the city can afford to provide services for 5000 units , besides the market saturation that would drive down prices . I expect 2000 units to be the target and financial sweet spot from the developers and the city's standpoints.

Anonymous said...

Mike Crowley said that there are as many season ticket holders live south of 237 as in the city of Oakland.

Anonymous said...

how many obstacles are there to actualy getting this stadium done? It seems like the A's are pretty confident, are there any foreseeable major obstacles that could prevent this from happening?

Marine Layer said...

No, Crowley's quote was "We probably have as many season ticket holders south of 238 as we do in the city of Oakland." Big difference.

Jeeves said...

The link to Gwen Knapp's "No" column is not working. Here is the link to her column on 11/9. Her column is pretty effective in summarizing the significant concerns with the site and the A's plan.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, ML. Big difference. I think there is a link to some A's demographic data in another thread.

Anonymous said...

Is the ballpark in Alberto Torrico's district?

Marine Layer said...

Yes it is.

Jeff August said...

So, if there are 2000 condos, and they go for an average of $500,000... does that generate enough revenue to pay for the 400-500 million dollars Wolff has projected?

Does anyone here know how much it costs to build a development like the one proposed?

murf said...

It seems everyone has an interest in what the eventual name will be, so here’s another $.02.

As reported by David Pollak, when Wolff was asked if the Giants territorial claim that kept a new stadium out of Santa Clara County would extend to the name, Lew’s response was “Absolutely not.”

While a regional name would be easily digestible to all, it probably would not be the most strategic approach. Keeping the “Oakland” tag would preserve some nostalgia. Easy to see the plus in that.

However, by naming the team “San Jose,” Wolff would elbow his way onto the front page of the Merc on nearly every game day and the day after. For free.

Take the Sharks as an example. Hockey is not nearly as popular in the Bay Area as baseball, yet the Sharks are on the Header of the Front Page of the Merc, and the Headline of the Sports section after almost every game. That’s not just because there are more Sharks fans in the South Bay than SF or OAK, but also because every time the Merc prints an article about the Sharks, because of the team and paper’s shared name and city affiliation, the Merc is putting it’s own name in print as well. It’s a symbiotic relationship that works to the advantage of both entities. Having dedicated attention from the periodical with the largest circulation in your geographical area is free spotlight promotion for a sports franchise.

And, the Sharks’ vacate their spotlight in the Merc every season right about the time of year that MLB begins. If the A’s were the San Jose A’s, the Merc would lavish them with attention and probably have a sponsorship role in all non-baseball events, like they do with the Sharks. The Trib ain’t gonna do it if they leave town, and the Merc wouldn’t get as jazzed up for the “Silicon Valley” or “South Bay” A’s because those names would not give the paper as much of an opportunity to self-promote.

anthony dominguez said...

Excellent post Murf regarding the article by D. Pollak; I thought I was the only one who caught that one. Lew Wolff, with Bud Selig by his side to boot, pretty much threw the idea of SAN JOSE A'S right in Peter Magowans face (yeah!).

Anonymous said...

My bad on 237/238. It was hard to hear because Crowley was not close to the microphone.

Yes, I heard the "Absolutely not!" comment too. I think he said he's not going to make a decision for 2-3 years which leaves plenty of time for fan discussion :-)

bartleby said...

The fact that Wolff said a decision on name will not be made for 2 or 3 years also suggests a leaning toward "San Jose." If the name were going to be "Oakland," (or any East Bay oriented name, for that matter), why not announce it now, as the 49ers did? The A's have to play in Oakland for 3-5 more years, and such an announcement would probably help ticket sales during that time. On the other hand, if the name is going to change to a South Bay oriented name, why announce it until the last pitch of the last season in the Coliseum?

I really doubt they're going to go with "Silicon Valley." First, it's just too clunky. Second, I doubt most East Bay fans would find it any more relatable than "San Jose." Maybe people in Fremont think of themselves as living in Silicon Valley, but Hayward? San Leandro? Berkeley? Lafayette? On the other hand, there are 1 million residents of a mostly-ignored city with an inferiority complex just 10 miles away who would be really pumped up by the name "San Jose."

drummer510 said...

I'm excited to go to Wolff's Disneyland/Mall/Cisco Testing Grounds/New A's Stadium as much as the next person. So, I was wondering, how do i sell my soul to the dollar? I'm interested to see your reactions, when the people going to A's games are the girls from Laguna Beach. I'll be stoked, bro. Surfs up!

drummer510 said...

How bad have comments gotten ML, so that you have to scan them?

Marine Layer said...

How many times can someone say that Fremont is bland and soulless or that Oakland is crime-ridden? Enough is enough.

anthony dominguez said...

R.M. or anyone...will the next WOLFFitzer artillery round fired at Peter Magowan be THE SIGNING OF BARRY BONDS AS D.H.?