18 January 2009

Wolff rules out City of Santa Clara

Not sure why the Merc's Internal Affairs even brought this up. They bothered to ask Lew Wolff if he'd be interested in the City of Santa Clara as a future home, given the Selig letter. As I mentioned on Wednesday, there isn't enough room for the A's, 49ers, and Great America. The 49ers and Santa Clara are committed to seeing their project through to this November's election. A ballpark would require a new EIR whether it were alone or paired with a football stadium. If, hypothetically, Santa Clara County were opened up this summer, Santa Clara the city would be at an immediate disadvantage compared to San Jose. It would have one distinct advantage in that it already controls land under consideration for a stadium. San Jose only has half of the Diridon South site.


Jesse said...

I was reading that online and thinking wow, ML's blog said the same thing days ago. Thats why I come here.

GMANCA101 said...

ML, I think that's a bit of rash criticism, don't you think? In the "Look South" post, you said you weren't sure that the city was ruled out.

Looks to me the Merc just made it a "known known."

Anonymous said...

I bet the comment was to avoid getting in the way of the 49ers plans.

Marine Layer said...

It probably was a bit harsh. I am glad they put the kibosh on whatever Santa Clara rumor was circulating - I wasn't aware one existed.

Anonymous said...

Great Site! Great updates!

I Love the Santa Clara Site.

First off Santa Clara/Great America area is the best site for any large entertainment venue. Great America Parkway has 6 to 8 lanes that feed two freeways, (try to find that anywhere else in the bay area).

Secondly The train and lightrail come right to the Santa Clara/Great America sites.

Thirdly Santa Clara owns more land in that area than most people know they own or control. Also Santa Clara has set a side RDA funds to build a large parking structure.

I think Fremont site is o.k. and much better than all San Jose sites and not mentioning all of San Jose's current financial problems.

But Santa Clara has it all with its own utilities and infrastructure. It all makes the most sense.

Lew job if He could pull it off would be to convince Bud Selig. That could be done with one phone call to Roger Goodell who knows that the 49ers have the best bayarea site in Santa Clara.

A deal with Cedar fair could and would be worked out because they do not own the land under Great America. You can build a Ballpark, Football Stadium in that area and you could still have over 100 acres to play with.


p.s. Keep up the great work with your new A's Ballpark site.

Marine Layer said...

Let's see what happens first with the 49ers plan before Santa Clara moves on anything else.

Cedar Fair is in a similar position to the big box stores at Pacific Commons. They are established and contribute more to their cities' bottom lines than stadia would. The difference is that Wolff apparently knows when to cut his losses. The 49ers are still hoping against hope. At least they haven't had to lay out much of their own cash in this endeavor so far.

Anonymous said...

ML- You mention that SJ only has 1/2 of what is needed at Diridon- my understanding is that they have 12 of the 14 acres and continue to work on purchasing the remaining 2 acres with the money reserved for these remaining parcels. Of course if the ballpark doesn't move forward they have made a very wise investment for future development. Just curious why you identified SJ as having only 1/2 of the site locked up?

Marine Layer said...

Anon - I'm basing that on what may be outdated assessor info. I have the city as owning:

Stephens Meats (of course)
The old Amtrak warehouse
Patty's Inn and house next door
Brick building at the Autumn/Montgomery fork
Old KNTV studio

That left the AT&T facilities, the PG&E substation, and the welding supplies/gases store. Perhaps one or more of those three were acquired in the last year?

Anonymous said...


I am not sure what makes up the last 2 acres but the story in last Friday's San Jose Biz Journal gives an update on the status of the land for the SJ ballpark as well as what the current activities are to secure the final peices. It indicates 12 of the 14 have been acquired and the city has set-aside $22M to acquire the remaining land. Also gives an update on what is required relative to the EIR in SJ which is basically nothing additional.

Marine Layer said...

Thanks anon. I'll push the info out shortly.

bbison said...


Santa Clara's highway and transit access isn't any better than Downtown SJ, and the NIMBY factor there is off the charts. They'd raise holy hell about 80+ events a year.

Selig has said before he prefers downtown ballparks--not that he put his downtown. Here's a nice summary of the dirty dealings in Milwaukee last decade:

I have relatives up there that are still so pissed off they've never set foot in the place.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the downtown SJ site is much preferred over the Santa Clara area. Putting the ballpark in an urban v. suburban environment creates much more atmosphere before and after the games. Not to mention the economic benefit of having 3 million people coming into the downtown core over the course of a season. With BART, CalTrain, Light Rail and HSR it is hard to argue that a ballpark at Diridon isn't the ideal location from a transit perspective.

The Santa Clara site is ideal for a football stadium and I hope that they can work that out with the 49ers---having NHL, MLB, NFL and MLS within 10 minutes of each other would be an awesome set-up for the south bay---where most of the fan support for these teams come from anyway-

Tony D. said...

"Ballpark Digest" also reported today that SJ has 12 of the 14 acres at Diridon South. For the life of me can't find the Friday SJ Biz Journal article anon was talking about; can you?

Marine Layer said...

Article here. Will have more on this Tuesday morning.

Jeffrey said...


In six months you might be able to tell all of us "San Jose is a Pipe Dream" ers to blow it out our ... well you know where I am going with that. I am excited for you! (and me if it means the A's stay in the bay area)

Tony D. said...

Thanks R.M. for the link, and thanks Jeffrey for your excitement. However, I am witholding any personal excitement and not even close to thinking about popping any champagne bottles; hopefully in 6 months.

One thing I find interesting, which other have also touched on, is that if in fact the Giants T-rights are no longer a barrier for the A's to explore San Jose, why on Earth are the Wolff's still making Fremont priority #1 and SJ as a fallback? As has been stated previously, the only reason they looked to Fremont in the first place was because they couldn't get into SJ. With SJ now open? Hopefully this is all part of some sort of "going through the motions" and letting the process play out in Fremont. With all due respect to Fremont, I don't see any reason to keep playing it up as numero uno, and DSJ as an alternative.

Again, witholding "excitement" and champagne till further notice.

Jesse said...

That San Jose Biz Journal article had a quote in it that confirms my optimism for a new ball park in 2012. Keith Wolff said, San Jose is "potentially another location".

I'm 100 percent convinced that this time year ground will be broken in either San Jose or Fremont.

If anyone disagrees please tell me why.

Anonymous said...

Selig said that "in the event that Fremont does not work...." Wolff is dotting his i's and crossing his t's. At this point he needs for Fremont pols to say that they don't have the appetite to pursue the stadium any longer. I would suspect that this is coming sooner than later if the WS opposition is as strong as it sounds-

Keep in mind that Wolff would more than likely want to retain the rights to develop housing/retail at PC---this was zoned industrial/commercial and would be changed to accomodate retail/housing.

Fremont is still important to Wolff--just not from the stadium perspective---