Pages

22 November 2008

Fall 2008 Progress Report

It's time again for our seasonal progress report. Does it feel like the A's are treading water, while everyone else is passing them by? In a sense, other teams are. The greatest solace A's fans can take from the Cisco Field effort comes from the way they're pursuing the ballpark. The three parks opening next year all involve massive amounts of public financing, taxes, or even questionable land acquisitions. Sometimes the more honest slog is the harder one.

The funding component has been downgraded due to the delay in housing-related revenues. Should we see more information on the additional commercialization of Cisco Field, the meter can move a little more to the right. The political process remains the same, even though a major milestone was passed in the form of an election. I had not originally factored the election into the equation, only the process of drafting and certifying the EIR plus the business relationship between the A's and Fremont. Site acquisition and construction remain in stasis due to inactivity.

It looks like the Marlins have gotten the green light to proceed as Norman Braman's lawsuit has been officially struck down, all seven counts of it. Once they get the financing, the race will be on as they'll have about 24 months to complete a retractable roof ballpark. I mentioned earlier that the shortest construction time for such a stadium was 28 months. That stadium was Safeco Field, which you may remember opened in mid-July, 1999. Update: The Marlins announced that they will push back the opening date to 2012. They will either have to figure out a way to extend the lease at Dolphin Stadium one more year, or find another interim venue.

While I don't like how the Twins and Hennepin County managed to get a county sales tax hike passed without it ever getting to the electorate (a feat that would be impossible in California), I love the location and how they crammed a 40,000-seat stadium into only 8 acres. I'm planning a Midwestern version of the ballpark tour I did earlier this year, and if it happens Target Field will be on the list.

Citi Field has proven to be the less controversial of the two NYC ballparks, though not quite controversy free. There is some concern that the "Citi" part may not hold up, as Citigroup has taken quite a beating recently. Surely naming rights would be appealing to JP Morgan Chase or Bank of America, right? Maybe not.

I have a sinking feeling that given the escalating costs to build the stadium and the need for additional financing, the parkland replacement promised for the neighborhood will take far longer to build due to a lack of funds. At least they'll have the new train platform so that my friends from north in the Hudson River Valley can take the train in.

That's the last planned update for this month, folks. See y'all in December for the community workshop.

10 comments:

Transic said...

The latest on the Marlins ballpark:

http://www.miamiherald.com/416/story/786876.html

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081125&content_id=3691803&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Tony D. said...

Since it's pretty quiet around here, question R.M.: How in the heck were the Twins able to fit 40K seat Target Field on only 8 acres? Simply amazing!

Marine Layer said...

Target Field is a very vertical structure in that 8 acres doesn't provide a lot of room for girth. Concourses will be about average for a new ballpark. A cross-section can be found here. Other than the space conservation, it's not all that different from the other three-deck HOK parks in terms of its seating bowl design.

The Miami thing is no surprise. It could be seen coming a mile away.

Tony D. said...

Thanks R.M. I could see Target Field being the model if a Diridon South ballpark were ever possible; less acreage to work with due to PG&E Substation and Los Gatos Creek/future Autumn Parkway. Anyhow, enough dreaming for today. Happy Thankgiving!

Anonymous said...

I believe that Target Field is opening in 2010, not 2009.

Anonymous said...

Shocker News. Look for an interesting announcement from MLB re: the Santa Clara County territory rights issue and the possibility of the A's still moving to San Jose. The announcement will come soon or at the upcoming MLB winter meetings.

Jeffrey said...

Shocker news from an anonymous source on a blog? I'll believe that when I see it.

James said...

Not that I give the anonymous posting any credence either, but even if territorial rights were abolished, I don't think Lew would change course at this point. He's too far along in the process and has already spent millions on Fremont; the EIR is being finalized, public meetings have been scheduled, etc. And I simply don't see any point of abandoning everything that's been done simply to move the project a few miles down the road. I don't see anything of significant value to be gained by being in SC County.

Jeffrey said...

So how bout something relevant... what is the story with Measure B? I heard it passed but that there has been a lawsuit filed?(go figure, a lawsuit contesting election results)

Anyone know what the basis for the lawsuit is? I am too lazy to read about it on the merc's site.

Tony D. said...

As much as I would like to believe anon 10:17, I'm with Jeffrey: I'll believe it when I see it. I remember reading one blog which stated HP was moving it's world HQ's from Palo Alto to downtown San Jose (not holding my breath on that one). As for the Measure B lawsuit, it was filed by TRANSDEF and was thrown out today by an SF judge. TRANSDEF = A bunch of whiny baby's who didn't get there way on election day. Anyhow, Measure B has been certified and unless the sour grape loosers can come up with $400K for a partial recount, it's a done deal! BART to SJ!