31 May 2007

Futbol Football

There's a bevy of articles about the 49ers' dealings with Santa Clara:
... and one in the Merc about the Quakes' dealings with San Jose.

For the Niners' stadium project, the previously unknown cost for moving and/or reconfiguring the on-site power substation now has a price tag: $20 million. In addition, a planned parking garage would need to be moved to accommodate the stadium. Demand estimates indicate that the area will face a shortfall of parking should football games run concurrently with Great America operating days. There will probably be 3-4 such conflicts every year. Remember that they have until July to figure this out. Glad it's not my decision.

Now on to the Quakes. Two months ago I put together a rough comparison of the A's ballpark village and the Quakes' project, which back then was a stadium shared with SJSU. Now the Quakes are going it alone, but the fundamentals are still there. A new memo from the City shows how the deal is structured, which really just confirms much of what we already know.

Two major differences exist between the plan as conceived for South Campus and the current one. Ancillary development next to the stadium is the big key. Almost as important is that Quakes and ancillary revenues will cover the city's $7.5 million per year in debt service on the recently purchased, 75-acre Airport West property. That effectively makes the deal a $7.5 million lease for the stadium and surrounding land. The iStar property proceeds will most certainly be used for the stadium and perhaps some of the ancillary development, but it's really important that revenues from new office, retail, and parking establishments foot the bill for the lease. It's unlikely that soccer revenues could contribute more than half of the lease requirement. One possible outcome: since a large amount of parking will be required for all of the various uses, I can see Wolff building a large multi-purpose parking structure which would also be used for airport long term parking. Airport officials have shown interest in using the existing long term lot for other airport operations.

Like the A's concept, it's a radical departure from typical stadium financing plans since the developer is taking the lion's share of the risk. If they can pull it off, more power to them.