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13 December 2008

Purdy fires up the SJ bandwagon

Merc sports columnist Mark Purdy has always been an unabashed San Jose partisan, and his column in Sunday's edition will start many more San Jose partisans' minds a-wishing. It's not only an affirmation of San Jose's potential, it's nearly a call to arms:

In a recent phone conversation with Wolff, he was relentlessly prudent when I tried to push him into saying San Jose was his intended alternate target. He simply kept repeating the letter's language. But earlier, Wolff told MediaNews that "I don't think there's any restrictions as to where" the A's can look. A phone call to Selig's office late last week seeking clarification was not returned.

Here is one thing many people don't understand: The Giants may indeed possess the territorial rights to the South Bay. But they do not control those territorial rights. Major League Baseball does. And if enough team owners vote to allow the A's into Santa Clara County, those territorial rights would vanish.

Long ago, a highly placed baseball source told me Selig could easily get such a vote passed on behalf of the A's. But he did not wish to do so — it would require political maneuvering with some big egos — unless a ballpark would definitely be built as a result.

That brings me back to the question I asked on Monday night: Why did Selig allow Steve Schott to start discussions with Santa Clara?

In 2000, years before this blog was first published, Wolff predecessor Steve Schott tried to get a ballpark done in Santa Clara. It was to be placed in the same location as the planned 49ers stadium. At the time there was no pressure on Oakland to get a ballpark deal done. There was no bidding war among cities. It was just Schott trying to get a deal done in a city where he grew up and maintained a business.

Bud Selig could've immediately put his foot down, stomped on Schott's plan, and reinforced the Giants' territorial rights. He didn't. He played wait and see with the plan and didn't slap it down for five months. Why would he wait so long? Probably because the A's were in a fluid situation, entertaining either a move to Santa Clara or a sale to out-of-area interests. News about that sale to Mandalay Sports was leaked in August 2001, forcing the Santa Clara City Council to end talks. Schott eventually got a ballpark built, but instead of a major league stadium, it was a smaller field for his alma mater, Santa Clara University.

Selig's stance on the Giants' T-rights has been consistent until Monday night, when he busted out the letter with the "other communities" phrase, a tantalizingly and maddeningly vague one at that. Does that sound like a consistent application of a rule or principle? Not to me. Selig's being an opportunist here. If he sees a deal that works for MLB and both the A's and Giants, he should be able to get plenty of support from the other owners. If not, he can cite territorial rights and lend the rule its mythical power.

That's why it puzzles me that so many believe T-rights are this entirely intractable situation. I wrote in Thursday's post that the biggest barrier to entry is not so much T-rights as it is money. It's not cheap or easy to move from one market to another. The costs involved can be absolutely staggering. That's why no movement has occurred in the NFL in a decade even though until recently four teams had outdated stadiums. I stand by my statement that territorial rights are obsolete, though I will amend that with the acknowledgment that the commissioner can use the rule to control discourse. Judging by his actions regarding the A's, that's exactly what he's done.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

So ML---any idea of timeframe and what the key milestones are for the go/no-go decision with Fremont--like alot of other folks I want to support a San Jose ballpark but don't want to get my hopes up again.

It would seem to me that the A's want to enter the season without ballpark distractions--meaning that they have a plan in place---either with Fremont or San Jose-

Dan said...

Nice to see Purdy echoing the truth of the territorial rights issue. That the Giants have no control over those rights. I've been saying it since the beginning. If MLB decides they want to revoke those rights all the Giants can do is vote against it. And they'll lose, because it's in MLBs best interest to have the A's in SJ over Oakland, Fremont or Sacramento.

Marine Layer said...

The EIR will go on as planned unless a major change is made causing a new Notice of Preparation to be submitted. That means the Draft EIR itself will be out in February or March. After the Draft EIR is made available, what follows is the typical comment/review period, at least 30 days (often 60). The City can then recirculate the EIR, this time addressing public comments and concerns. Finally, there's the Final EIR and certification process. The Final EIR may also be subject to a review period.

In other words, don't expect this to be completely done until summer at earliest.

Tony D. said...

I, like Bartleby and R.Ratto to name a few, have always felt that the onus was on San Jose to make a ballpark happen. In fact, Lew Wolff was quoted back in the Spring of 06 as saying "if they could get the A's, that would help" when asked what could further fuel downtown SJ's redevelopment. Hence Bud Selig keeping away a MLB vote on the Giants T-Rights UNLESS a ballpark was going to happen in SJ for sure. Perhaps that's also why Selig allowed Santa Clara to talk to the A's in 2000; only then to pull the plug once he knew there was no financing, public or private, for a Great America ballpark. Why go ruffle the Giants feathers if no South Bay ballpark comes to fruition. Maybe Selig/MLB learned something from those failed SC/SJ ballpark measures of the late 80's/early 90's. Now?...San Jose may be on the cusp of finally getting it's act together (I hope).

Anonymous said...

It really is the chicken and the egg scenario---but I have a hard time understanding how much more SJ could do without knowing that it can move forward. They identified a great site, they bought most of the land, they completed the EIR, they have shown with the Earthquakes stadium that they are willing to swap land rights so that more lucrative development could occur---what more could they do without MLB saying that SJ and the A's can directly negotiate a deal.

FC said...

ML,

The A's have been in talks with the surrounding retailers now for months. After all of these talks, the retailers still seem to be in heavy opposition to the project. This being the case, why would the A's (and perhaps the City) still pursue the PC site? Even if the council were to approve the project, the retailers would take legal action to stop it.

No doubt if the A's were to turn their attention to WS or SJ there would be those that oppose the project. But it certainly seems that moving forward with the PC EIR is a waste of time and money.

Jeffrey said...

Being a neophyte when it comes to EIR's, even after reading the document I am wondering if the San Jose plan includes those Buildings drawn in the the picture you have posted. If those buildings were developed by Wolff/Fisher wouldn't they have similar profit potential as the Fremont Pacific Commons plan?

Anonymous said...

I CALL FOR A BOYCOTT ON COSTCO, LOWES AND KOHLS UNTIL THEY SUPPORT THE BALL PARK IN PACIFIC COMMONS.

I really want the A's to come to Fremont, but I don't want them in Warm Springs. The reason Warm Springs comes up is because Costco, Lowes, Kohl's, etc are opposing the project in Pacific Commons. I think Pacific Commons is a great place to have the ballpark - lots of land which means there opportunity to develop roads and transportation AND it's not in any residents' back yards.

If they have concerns that their businesses will be affected by the park, wait to see what happens when they derail plans for the park.

Marine Layer said...

Jeffrey - There's only about 8-9 acres of land between the arena and the ballpark site that can be developed. A while back I did a projection on the number of housing units that could be built there - I figured 900. For now that's moot anyway since the housing market's in the tank. Some of the space will have to be used for parking garages so there's only so much to develop. Wolff does have some experience owning and running parking garages so I'm sure he's comfortable with that.

FC - The City still wants the sales tax revenues and the concept, that's why they've inserted themselves into the discussions. It's important to distinguish this issue, which is mostly about the business side, from the process work that the EIR typically covers.

Anonymous said...

So 3 urban sprawl big box companies from Wisconsin ( Kohls ) , Washington State ( Costco ) , and Lowes ( North Carolina ) get to determine the Fremont's residents' future of having an upscale walkable entertainment/housing /high end retail that is the Pacific Commons Ballpark Village :
http://thefremontbaseballvillage.com/
As if these carpet bagger NASCAR -sponsoring type companies care other than to see customers at the checkout line.
Fremont citizens - don't you see it's in their interests to keep you generically dumbed down and another ugly /urban sprawl " Anytown USA " suburb rather than having a community known nationally ? Time to step up to the plate ,Fremont pols and residents .

Anonymous said...

A baseball park in downtown San Jose would be wildly successful for both the city and the A's. SJ would get a summertime complement to the regular crowds at Sharks games. It would be completely activated like never before. The A's would get supported like you wouldn't believe. SJ is just dying for another major league team to call their own. A 35K stadium there would have no trouble selling out for at least the first 5+ years. If they're at all successful in that time, make it 10. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Purdy is a clown that doesn't ever do his homework. All he does is SJ Cheerleading ... simply pathetic.

Anonymous said...

A's investor group says it needs " no public money " to build a new stadium . They are not a charitable foundation , so bottom line IS the bottom line : which stadium and most importantly which associated REAL ESTATE DEAL/DEVELOPMENT will give these investors the highest return for their dollar.
Not which community's image will be enhanced .

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08- agree with your comments--at the end of the day Wolff is a developer who happens to own a baseball team. He is not interested in promoting one community over another---rather he is interested in what will ultimately be a profitable business deal. IFrom my perspective this is why he didn't focus on the Diridon site to begin with--no development rights around the stadium whereas the PC site offered this. Now with the economy being what it is he will have to figure out how to decouple the projects- stadium v. housing/retail which does make San Jose a more appealing site--especially if the city can provide future developmental rights to other parcels in the city---just like they are doing for the Earthquakes stadium--

Wolff is smart enough to know that the Bay Area is land locked and a few years down the road the ecomony will be fine again and housing will be in high demand.

Anonymous said...

Fremont has told LW's people ( and several prior developers who had approached Cisco/Fremont to turn the land into housing ever since Cisco had indicated as early as 2001 that they would never need that land for future expansion but were stuck with a 30 yr lease/option to Catellus/ProLogis for that 160 acres ) that no housing will ever be allowed at Pac Commons unless there is balancing tax revenue from retail/entertainment (incl now the stadium concept).
New home developments cost cities money for infrastructure/schools/police/fire /etc. So it gets , it seems to me, trickier for LW to build/get permission to build "Santana Row II" and townhouses /public school /playgrounds at Pac Commons w/o the draw of an adjoining family friendly small stadium if the latter is decoupled to another city.

Anonymous said...

I can see the stadium decoupled as long as both are in the same city- i.e- Warm Springs for a stadium- PC for future retail/housing development rights- Diridon for the stadium/somewhere else in SJ for the housing/retail.

So with that in mind, although WS would make a decent site because of the mass transit, why would Wolff want to put the stadium in suburbia---no different than Oakland today---you drive to the games and leave right after--no "economic" impact takes place beyond what goes on in the ballpark--no atmosphere---no "big" city to call home etc---

San Jose offers all of this--so if territorial rights are not really that big of a deal as some in this blog have implied than the Fremont sites make absolutely no sense over San Jose---unless your just out for the money that can be made with the rezoning of industrial land. Wolff could care less about either San Jose or Fremont--its all about the money----

Anonymous said...

To this investor group , 100 million dollars is still 100 million dollars - why pay territorial rights in a lump sum or over several years to the Giants owners when you can pay it to yourself from the future profits of this real estate venture ?
Decoupling WS /PC venues won't work - now you have two battles in the same town!
Don't assume the investors in this stadium/real estate proposal are all co-investors/owners in the A's baseball team .

Anonymous said...

Whether they like it or not the retail/housing is being decoupled from the stadium because of the economy--Wolff is now proposing to build the stadium alone and at a future date build the rest of it--assuming that it is still viable--this same concept was proposed when Arlington built the Texas Rangers stadium---still no retail or housing---nothing more than a suburban stadium. If I am the owner of the A's a stadium in an urban downtown setting with mass transit options is much more "valuable" than a stadium in the 'burbs that will lose its appeal after 5 years---build a Fenway/Wrigley type of stadium and your good for a long, long time---build it out in Fremont and it will be just like the Oakland Colisieum is today.

Agree that no one wants to pay dollars for territorial rights--but also recognize that a fan base in Fremont will be very fragmented-with no real "heart"---build it in San Jose and the same loyalty that is shown to the Sharks will be shown to the San Jose A's. So at the end of the day--I would argue that for long-term investment paying a few bucks for territorial rights today will yield significant returns in the future.

Last, not sure if the A's are in Fremont will they still retain small market status and continue to get their $15M annual payment? If so than by all means build it in Fremont--it makes economic sense but if you lose your status as a small market team than build it in an area that will identify with you and support you going forward.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:56 wrote

"So at the end of the day--I would argue that for long-term investment paying a few bucks for territorial rights today will yield significant returns in the future"

Again, the non-A's owners who are investing in this venture may gain little or nothing from the success of only a stadium in the short term or long term, so these " few bucks " that you call the $100 million does matter.

Anonymous said...

One more comment about " paying a few bucks ":
a friend has worked in the SJ commercial real estate biz for decades and knows LW . His best characterization of LW's business dealings is that " if he has even a quarter in his pocket, he knows if heads or tails is facing out " .Everything he decides is based on maximizing total return for every "quarter" he shells out .And you don't get that by "throwing away" $100 million .

Marine Layer said...

I like the debate here, but there's a fundamental misconception in the arguments. You're acting as if A's ownership is choosing between Fremont and San Jose. It couldn't be further from the truth. It's not a matter of weighing pros and cons between the two cities, as it's an apples and oranges comparison. They're trying to work a deal in Fremont, and if it doesn't get approved by the powers-that-be they'll look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I am not disagreeing with you on what Wolff's motives are---money--but I do question the wisdom. Teritorial rights could be paid off with the A's no longer being subsidized as a small market team--the $15M that wouldn't go to the A's regardless of Fremont or San Jose could be applied to buying out the territorial rights. As I recall the Nationals didn't pay any money towards territorial rights in DC--

Take the territorial rights payment off the table and you have two assets---the proposed development rights to some parcel of land and the value of the club. Since the value of the parcel of land is relatively worthless until the market returns than you only have the value of the club itself---which I think most impartial observors would agree that team located in a new downtown stadium in San Jose is worth far more than a team located in suburban Fremont--

Anonymous said...

ML- reportedly the only reason that the A's are working a deal in Fremont is because San Jose was off limits due to territorial rights. If Bud's letter is intended to include "San Jose" as one of the "communities" that Wolff can pursue, and assuming that the territorial rights could be managed without a significant cash outlay on the A's part (more akin to what the Orioles were afforded for DC) and couple this with the fact that the economic driver for a Fremont stadium has died with the economy than I would suggest that Wolff will make sure that the deal fails in Fremont so that he can locate where he wanted to when he bought the A's.

Remember, San Jose has today what Fremont won't have for at least the next 6-8 months---a completed EIR and a place to put it with the necessary mass transit infrastructure right on its doorstep.

Marine Layer said...

The O's didn't have territorial rights to DC. They had T-rights to several Maryland counties outside of DC. The sticking point for Angelos was regional TV rights, which was addressed by the creation of MASN and its control over the Nats cable carriage. O's-Nats is not a true precedent.

As for motive, I'm not assuming anything other than Wolff wants to build a ballpark. Everything else is up for debate.

Jesse said...

Is there anyone in the world not movitated by money. Whats wrong with money, since when is that bad. So Anonymous would you want the A's to go for the least profitable situation for the organization?

Anonymous said...

Jesse- I am not questioning the motive of money---I am questioning which location will make more money for Wolff when you look at future devlopment rights and the value of the club after a new stadium is built.

My point being, that the future development rights are not the driver at this point due to the economy. I would argue that a downtown ballpark in San Jose will create more value for the team, and its investors, than a suburban ballpark in Fremont.

Relative to the development rights, San Jose has to find something comprable no different than what they are doing for the Quakes stadium.

Relative to it always being about money---there are plenty of Philanthrapists who support community over always making a buck---but not in San Jose and not Wolff.

Anonymous said...

Another dimension to the economic analysis: Wolff already has MAJOR real estate holdings in downtown San Jose. A downtown SJ ballpark and related development increases the value of his existing holdings.

bartleby said...

Don't underestimate the game changing aspect of the approval of the BART-to-SJ tax and high-speed rail bond. I don't think it's a coincidence that Selig's letter came so quickly after the election. BART to downtown SJ (plus Caltrain plus light rail) makes a downtown SJ ballpark accessible to the rest of the Bay Area in a way no Fremont site can, but high speed rail makes a downtown SJ ballpark a realistic destination for folks in the Central Valley (and even Sacramento, eventually). As such, a downtown SJ ballpark would dramatically expand the market for Major League Baseball in the State of California without adding any additional teams. Don't think this hasn't caught Selig's attention.

James said...

Some of you guys seem to be overlooking a very important clause in the letter: I have decided that in the event you are not able to promptly assure the implementation of the desired park in Fremont...

The letter, in no way, shape, or form, has authorized Wolff to begin discussions with San Jose. Comparing SJ to Fremont is meaningless, because SJ doesn't even become an possible option unless and until Fremont falls through. Nowhere does the letter say "we'd like you to go to San Jose," or even that Wolff can explore any options to the south at this time. In fact, the letter doesn't even mention San Jose or Santa Clara County.

Anonymous said...

Recall that L. Wolff when asked about the "other communities" stated that there was "no restrictions as to where they can look". As background recall that Wolff is a fraternity brother of Selig's so to think that there is not clarity between the two of theme would be foolish.

Regarding Fremont, PC is on life support--Catellus is opposed---which is why all of the sudden WS popped out of nowhere--sure it was convenient to tie it to bart but the reality was that Fremont was getting ready to die---and hence the Selig letter to Wolff. With Catellus opposed to PC and the NIMBY's opposed to WS, which by the way will require an alteration and therefore more time to the EIR process, San Jose will become the most viable and attractive option to Wolff--which I will say again--is where he has always wanted to be.

James said...

Anon 1:33,

Um, no! The reason the WS is being discussed is (1) BART approached Wolff after the election about the possibility of a station-adjacent ballpark and (2) WS is the alternate site in the EIR.

And I would hardly say that PC is on life support. No need to be a drama queen, Anon.

FC said...

I think the fact that Selig sent that letter is an indication that the ballpark at PC is in jeopardy. No doubt Wolff has reported to Selig that negotiations with Catellus are going nowhere.

Still puzzled though as to Wolff's decision to release a copy of Selig's letter. I think it would have been better to have keep his discussions with MLB quiet. Continue to review all of the options in Fremont. Then have Selig issue a clear definitive letter giving the A's permission to talk to SJ. The way it now stands, any objections raised by Wolff would look as though he has one foot out the door.

Anonymous said...

Wow--referring to PC as on life support earns me a drama queen tag--not into the name calling--just the facts-- 2 years after announcing the PC site and still lots of loose ends---not to many people out there who wouldn't agree that PC is going to be a challenge at best---and that was before Catellus pubically came out against the project---traffic is the big challenge---and no amount of negotiation is going to fix the PC problem--so call me a drama queen or what have you---the facts speak for themselves

Marine Layer said...

FC - It's much better to have that whiff of desire than to reek of desperation.

The point of the letter is to get the long dormant Baseball San Jose machine moving again. That won't happen overnight.

FC said...

ML,

Sorry, my feable brain is not following you when you say "reek of desperation".

To borrow a line from your previous post, the genie is now out of the bottle. Wolff and everybody in the room now knows the Big Enchilada (SJ) is there for the taking. I know discussions will continue on in Fremont, but you have to believe Wolff is now smiling inside everytime some business, organization or individual comes out against building the ballpark in Fremont.

Marine Layer said...

If you're Wolff, all you know is that you've encountered resistance everywhere you've gone. So why would you grease the skids for Fremont to fail? If it fails it should be because everyone gave it their best effort and just came up short. There are no guarantees in San Jose. SJ has plenty of challenges on its own though they vary from the Fremont plan. You know what happens when you ass-u-me.

Anonymous said...

ML-

agree with your risk assessment--bottom line if Fremont does fail and Wolff is ok with it than its got to be because he is pretty confident in SJ coming through. Best case scenario is that Fremont looks shaky, MLB opens up SJ, and he is able to work both areas.

As I recall in SF, didn't the city agree to give the Giants the land provided that they build a privately funded stadium? I believe that this was a referendum that had to be voted on and passed overwhelmingly---estimated cost of SJ downtown land for the stadium was near $75M---maybe a similiar type of land give away will be required by SJ--

Marine Layer said...

Best case scenario is that Fremont looks shaky, MLB opens up SJ, and he is able to work both areas.

That's not how it's going to work. There will not be a period when Wolff is able to "work both areas." Fremont won't allow it. The whole Warm Springs option has muddied the water. Pacific Commons, which remains the only plan undergoing rigorous review, is an all-or-nothing scenario. If it fails, San Jose may be up next but it will be dealt with entirely on its own merits, with no linkage to Fremont or any other location for that matter. By no means is San Jose a far and away best case scenario. The A's will severely limit their revenue-generating possibilities in the short term by going to San Jose. It has its advantages as well, but again, it's not a matter of choice. It's a matter of letting the process work and then dealing with the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

ML-- you gotta explain your comment how the A's severly limit their revenue generation possiblilities near term by going to San Jose-

The "village concept" is gone--even Wolff admits this---even if Fremont moves forward. 3 key words in real estate are location, location, location--San Jose has it...Fremont doesn't---just as another data point--would you rather go to a concert at Oracle or at HP? One has atmosphere---where you can get dinner and drinks before and after--the other you drive to and leave right after---bottom line---the revenue at HP is higher because of its location in an urban downtown environment--and not along a freeway in suburbia.

Marine Layer said...

No, the village concept is not gone. If it were gone everyone could just wrap up the EIR process now and go home because there would be no point in proceeding. I don't see that happening.

Again, this is not a choice between Fremont and San Jose. That's not how this works. The A's don't have the latitude to weigh pros and cons. No one is beating down their door to offer a ballpark. You're looking way too far into the future by making these comparisons, and that's not a luxury the A's have at this point.

Honestly, I don't know how much more clearly I can make this point. Let me put it this way. There is another option that no one here is considering, and that is the A's talk to San Jose and they can't get a deal done despite all of the political will they may have in place. What then?

Anonymous said...

"The A's will severely limit their revenue-generating possibilities in the short term by going to San Jose. It has its advantages as well, but again, it's not a matter of choice. It's a matter of letting the process work and then dealing with the circumstances."

ML- the scenario you describe is one of reactive v. pro-active- a victim v. one who controls their destiny- Wolff didn't get as wealthy as he is by "letting the process work and then dealing with the circumstances"- rather he influences the process in order to predict the outcome.

There are not guarantees on any project--2 years of working in Fremont and you still don't have your prospective influential neighbors supporting you and now they are going public with their concerns. But remember--he was only up in Fremont because he had to be--not because he wanted to be. Why build a ballpark village if you have a ballpark city that already exists---provided that you can get the same development rights in another area of said city so that you can make money--

You can rest assured that Wolff has made it very clear to those in San Jose what type of deal he will need--just like he was before MLB said no to SJ---and remember--SJ continued to purchase property at Diridon after MLB said no---hedging their bets---you betcha--but not based upon a pipe dream but on feedback from Wolff himself that said be ready--"I'll be back"!

FC said...

ML,

I now hear what you're saying. But I'm not sure everyone involved has or will give it their best effort. I'm sure Wolff's position has changed with regard to making concessions since receiving word from MLB. For all we know, Selig could have verbally communicated what was said in his letter months ago. From that point on, it became a totally different ballgame. I fail to see how there could be any meaningful discussions when two out of the three parties (A's, Catellus and Fremont) rather see the team move to SJ.

I realize there are no guarantees, and we shouldn't assume anything. But it may be getting to the point where SJ may be the only option left for the A's, as strange as that may sound.

I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but I don't even want to talk about what happens should SJ fail.

Marine Layer said...

Sorry folks, I'll never be presumptuous enough to believe there's some kind of predetermination or pulling of strings. Too many factors, too many permutations. And to me, not a proper appreciation of how difficult it is to get these kinds of projects done.

Anonymous said...

ML,

I don't think you're on track here as far as SJ goes. The city always had supporters for an MLB franchise. They didn't close up shop until it looked as though Fremont was a done deal. I suppose they were satisfied that a satellite franchise was all they could reasonably expect. What I think you're overlooking here is the prior relationship between Wolfe and Selig. Wolfe is a developer, and as far as I know, has shown no prior predilection for becoming involved in sporting franchises. A SJ developer to be more specific. Don't you think it's reasonable to assume that Selig encouraged him to come on board? They are friends after all. It's not likely that he would screw a lifelong friend over at this point in his life. There had to be some sort of understanding between them prior to Wolfe buying into the team.

While I concede the point that SJ is to far off to prognosticate on, there's little doubt in my mind that Wolfe and Selig are working in conjuction with each other, and have been since day one.

Marine Layer said...

Wolff was once part owner of the Warriors, SJ Bees, and St Louis Blues. Any talk about the nature of working relationship between Wolff and Selig is pure speculation. I won't deal in that, I'll deal in the facts.

SantaTeresaHills said...

Lew Wolff and Bud Selig are fraternity brothers. I am not talking about being fraternity brothers in the cosmic sense where if you join a fraternity, you are a brother to all past and present members to all chapters of a fraternity. They were fraternity brothers at the same university at the same time. That is their relationship.

Marine Layer said...

Lovely. Being frat brother accelerates the difficult process of getting a ballpark built how, exactly?

Anonymous said...

OK, ML. What do you think will be the step or sign that would trigger Wolff really working on a San Jose option? The EIR not getting approved? Would that be the determining step? If so, would it be safe to say he might start efforts with San Jose by the end of next summer in that event?

Marine Layer said...

Anon 1:01 - You nailed it on the head.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the "formality" of when SJ becomes a public option but don't you think that after 2 years of working with Fremont that Wolff has an idea of whether or not he can influence Catellus into supporting the stadium at PC and hence having the Fremont City Council approve of the EIR?

Obviously, he has expressed some concern to Selig about the "probability" that Fremont will happen--the outcome of that discussion---the "letter" from Selig-

So ML---I agree that Wolff needs to complete the process in Fremont, but SJ is already in play-

Wolff isn't going to allow another season pass by where the only news on the stadium will be that it won't happen in Fremont---and you can bet that Wolff won't allow SJ to take 2 more years to figure out if it is a go/no-go decision.

Time is money in the development world---with land, material and labor costs dipping down substantially now is the time to be building not analyzing--

Marine Layer said...

I'll make a distinction. San Jose may already be working what they perceive are requirements for getting a ballpark in place. I described many of those in an earlier post. Other major infrastructural matters have to be resolved, such as Autumn Pkwy and Montgomery St. That's fine as Autumn Pkwy is among Mayor Reed's longer term stimulus items.

OTOH the meat of any business relationship between the A's and San Jose couldn't occur until Fremont is entirely done. That will be where the rubber meets the road: land lease or purchase, additional community development items, parking and traffic control agreements, etc.

FC said...

ML,

I guess I really don't have an appreciation for what it takes to put a project like this together.

Assuming things fall through with Fremont, and the A's start talking with SJ next summer, how long do you think it will take before ground can be broken? Would 2012 still be doable? I know, I'm really jumping ahead, but I was just curious.