17 January 2007

Giants say "Top that!"

Not to be outdone in the technology department, the Giants have fired a preemptive shot across the Cisco/A's bow Tuesday, when they announced the construction of a new high definition video/scoreboard. The Mitsubishi-made, 28-ton behemoth will replace the old monochrome scoreboard and Panasonic video board combo in centerfield. They're also adding 220 feet of color LED matrix boards to replace the old monochrome "in-game" boards down each base line, along the club level.

Some specs on the new scoreboard:
  • 103 feet wide x 31.5 feet high (3245 square feet)
  • 32:9 aspect ratio (double-wide HD)
  • 1480 x 832 resolution above the line score (128 pixels high)
  • 20 mm physical pixel pitch
It's not as large as the board installed at Turner Field in 2005 (5760 square feet), but it's still impressive. It's wide enough to put two HD feeds side-by-side. Or show Ben-Hur without letterboxing stripes at the top and bottom of the screen (2.76:1 aspect ratio). The display promises to be amazingly sharp. I suppose that will help the Giants' increasingly geriatric lineup check out their highlights. Or at the very least they could show a neat widescreen video of how Barry Zito's curveball travels.

How can the Cisco/A's match this? 1080p, baby.

It looks like the "A's real estate investment trust" is closing in on the important 25-acre parcel (blue rectangle in middle of pic below)

Total holdings could grow to 200 acres or more when all is said and done - about the size of CSU-East Bay.
During a Wednesday conference call, Wolff hinted that the financing mechanism could involve rebates of taxes associated with the ballpark village. Is that simply a repackaging of a tax increment financing (TIF) or PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) plan? We'll soon find out.


Anonymous said...

here it comes ... TAXES ... the poor citizens of fremont will soon realize that wolff is intent on getting as much public handouts as he can secretly get.

Anonymous said...

Fremont will still get NET taxes to cover expected service costs at the development - Lew's asking for a rebate ( or discount ) of some sales taxes in the short term, not a LEVY of new taxes on the citizens - important difference.

Jeff August said...

I don't know how I feel about the tax rebate question... on the one hand, the revenue wouldn't exist without the project taking place, so why not use those revenues to help fund the project. Provided that with the rebates, there is still some portion of tax revenue that continues to flow to the city. This would mean that it would still result in a positive revenue stream for the the city and the stream would eventually grow larger.

On the other hand, why should the A's get preferrential treatment in the form of a tax rebate when any other developer wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Any other developer wouldn't be building something that could result in the worldwide baseball audience tuning into a potential World Series matchup " live from beautiful Cisco Field in Fremont California " as the camera pans from Mission Peak to the Bay looking across to the sunset over the Peninsula . Homeowners ( think housing values ) and businesses generally like that kind of hype and civic pride , as long as there is a net benefit.
Lew mentioned ayt Tuesdays' meeting how not only the A's foundation , but Cisco's foundation are going to be " investing " in community programs in the city also.

Anonymous said...

because a sports team is slightly different from a regular business, even if wolff doesn't run it quite like haas did.

there are 30 major league baseball teams in all of north america, that number isn't going to increase much in the near future.

special treatment special / unique development projects is nothing new, and it makes sense on a free market level. if it is in the city's best interest for the a's to move there, it will probably be willing to provide them with certain incentives.

Bleacher Dave said...


Wolff has said that he'll need county concessions as well. What role does the county have? Would they normally get tax receipts?

Marine Layer said...

Property taxes are a county function. If they're talking TIF, they could "freeze" the assessment as of, say, 12/31/06. Any additional property tax revenue derived from rising property values could be siphoned off towards the ballpark. That's the way it's usually done. The inherent risk is what happens if there's a revenue shortfall? Who makes it up?

In this case, they'll probably use a different mechanism in which property taxes are paid but some portion is refunded later. Combined with private financing, the public agencies should be well-insulated from any financial risk. That brings up the question of whether the ballpark and village are on public or private land. If public, the assessment is only on the building, not the land - if the ballpark is owned by the A's. If it's private land, it's a full assessment.

Anonymous said...

Fremont has a long term plan that calls for no housing on the west side of the freeway. Wolff dangles a stadium and team to get them to override their own plan. No thought to schools or traffic... Wolff is a devloper, and a team owner as an afterthought. It's really no different than his unworkable plan inolving all the land from 66th to the freeway, and the length of a whole freeway exit. Either plan involves him making so much from development that the cost of a stadium becomes almost irrelevant...penciled out no different than a hotel pencils out a gym and pool cost being less than the present value of increased prices on the room rate.

The $64 zillion dollar question is whether Fremont will override their own land use plan, with no real solution POSSIBLE for traffic, schools, etc.

Marine Layer said...

If you really think "that the cost of a stadium becomes almost irrelevant" in Wolff's plan, you seriously need to brush up on your math. The ballpark and core village will be at least 25% of the development's cost, possibly $3 billion or more. Think about that.

SexFlavoredPez said...

Lovely, another brandname to pollute the other wise beautiful backdrop at AT&T park

Jeff August said...

I don't really see too many similarities between the Fremont plan and the Oakland plan.

The key reason the Oakland plan couldn't happen was there was not a single owner of the property involved.

That doesn't seem to be an issue in this plan.

Dean M. said...

The Oakland plan didn't have Cisco either.

Bleacher Dave said...


I know that property taxes are administered by the counties, but I thought you had made the point that the project was in a redevelopment zone. What is the impact of a redevelopment zone on the pass-through of property tax collections back to the zone?

What is the normal property tax split between county/city?

Marine Layer said...

Pacific Commons is already in such a zone. Most of the funds from the TIF zone went towards freeway interchange improvements. The city's redevelopment plan is up for revision in 2008, but I can't see them changing it so drastically just to support one developer. On the other hand, the freeway interchanges in question will be completed by 2008. One of the items in the 2003 plan is the Pacific Commons ACE/Amtrak station.

TIF funds are used for specific purposes outside the General Fund, so the General Fund is not impacted in a positive way. So if TIF is a method for financing the ballpark, it would belie Wolff's statements that project proceeds would pay for associated infrastructure such as schools.

Marine Layer said...

...and btw, regular property taxes in Alameda County are split as follows:
15% city
20% county
23% schools and colleges
28% ERAF city-to-schools shift
12% special districts
2% libraries

Anonymous said...

You just have to love the hysterical, reactionary shotgun-blast approach taken by the desperate OAFCers like good ole Anon 2:20. "I'm going to throw a bunch of accusations out there and hopefully people will agree with something in there and I won't have to feel emasculated anymore when their stadium is no longer within my city's limits!"

Fremont's plan calls for limiting housing on that side of the freeway. It's not some zero-tolerance policy. And no thought at all is being given to traffic or schools. I guess that's why they started building the stadium immediately following the press conference in November, huh? Then we try another red herring. As others have stated, this is nothing at all like the Oakland proposal. Oh, but I'm sure if that one could have flown, you'd be praising it up and down -- "traffic? what traffic?"

And the capper: no possible solution for traffic and schools. You're right. It's impossible to mitigate traffic issues or address the schooling needs of new citizens. Given this "truth" I guess we'll start sterilizing all the women in this country since we just passed the 300 million mark and it's impossible to add new people to a population. Actually, that's probably not good enough. We're going to have to start culling the herd. I vote we start with the OAFC.

Anonymous said...

8:33, All I can say to you my friend, is...BRAVO, BRAVISIMO!!!!

I am getting so sick and tired of the OAFs over at OAFC, and their naysaying ways...go over and check out their "unhappy fremont campers" thread, and you'd think the Fremont deal was dead. Diamond Shrill, changed the posting rules right after the Fremont press conference, when some of us said...HEY, a twenty mile move is NOT a bad thing and we got blasted for it...she said no more "rubbing it in, or gloating" when all we were trying to say was, its not the friggin end of the world........
All I want to say to you OAFS is that there are as many if not more people who are excited and happy that the A's are getting a new ballpark within Alameda County...Shrill has been bitching about Scott Haggarty having a conflict of interest, but i certainly dont see how - the last time i checked, Fremont was in Alameda County, and he is a COUNTY supe...

Transic said...

Points taken. But we still have to get to the heart of the matter: is the Fremont plan proposed by Wolff/Cisco workable for that area? Lots of questions have to be answered before we would know for sure.

I still wouldn't count out staying at the Coliseum, though.

linusalf said...

my biggest question is that if a ballpark in oakland was going to cost county money, why would a ballpark in fremont all of the sudden earn the county money?

Jeff August said...

I would rule out staying in the Coliseum. It is pretty clear that isn't going to happen.

City leadership isn't interested in keeping the A's there. The A's aren't interested in staying.

Linusalf... I don't understand the question. Could you spell it out for me? It isn't important, really, that I understand the question because who the hell am I? I just think it is a good question but I don't really understand how either costs county money or generates county money specifically. As in, what comment you are ref'ing to in the thread?