Pages

01 April 2009

Tight. Really Tight.

In light of the news emanating from San Jose's Redevelopment Agency yesterday, I figured it was time to do another mockup. This time, the ballpark has a ENE orientation, almost the same angle as the Coliseum.

The yellowish area to the left is the PG&E substation parcel. Its irregular shape is caused by the easement that extends north to Cahill and W San Fernando Streets. The easement is undeveloped save for a power transmission pole which connects to the rest of downtown. Both this easement and the small Caltrain-owned parking lot to the west are probably going to be acquired by the city as part of an updated Diridon/Arena Area plan. I don't necessary expect the land to be used for a planned high speed rail terminal. There's more room north of the existing station for that.

View Larger Map
I expect the Cisco Field footprint to be even smaller than what I've posted because my model doesn't employ long cantilevers or columns like the 360 model we saw previously. Going small comes in handy in this case.

Specs are still the same:
  • 32,000 seats plus
  • 1,000 or so standing room
  • 40 suites
  • 40 minisuites
  • Playing field 12 feet below street level

The 4 acres south of the ballpark have to be tantalizing as they're a blank slate. Some parking will go there for sure. I wouldn't be surprised if the A's/Sharks/SJRA figure out a way to stick a concert hall down there.

Comment away (please stay on topic).

31 comments:

Dan said...

Interesting. That design would definitely offer some nice views of downtown out beyond right field.

FC said...

ML,

A few questions.

1. There appears to be very little room, if any beyond the right field wall. Where would the visitor's bullpen be located?

2. Most ballparks have a central focal point. For ATT this is the main entrance at the corner of 3rd and King. Where would this focal point be for a SJ ballpark? The presence of a PG&E substation a stone's throw away from the main entrance of this ballpark doesn't seem very appealing.

3. Final approach into Mineta takes you over the HP Pavillion. Being that this ballpark would be just a few blocks south of HP, do you think aircraft traffic would be a problem?

Anonymous said...

I've got a question...if some East Bay fans don't have a car and rely on public transportation to get around, how would they get to the San Jose site in a reasonable amount of time??

Jeffrey said...

Looks like potential exists for a reverse fenway, or a baker bowl like high right field wall. That would be very cool, I have always loved the green monster for some damn reason.

Paul said...

For East Bay fans, they could take a bus or Ace train to Diridon Station. Or, drive to the Great Mall and take Light Rail.

Let me be the first to have a HR ball sail over the right field fence and hit my car on Route 87.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a tight squeeze, but boy would that be a nice park -- intimate with great views!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:26,

Unless a new park inspires some agency to start running buses, they couldn't. Welcome to our world.

Anonymous said...

I've got an answer to your question Anon 3:26...be a little patient and optimistic while they come up with a kick ass plan at the current Coliseum site in which there already is available land, Amtrak, AC Transit, quick and very easy freeway access and most importantly an already existing BART station.

I've got a feeling that Oakland isn't out of the picture quite yet. In fact I'll bet they've already begun to work on a well thought out plan which could begin to develop ASAP.

Regardless of the fact that I'm sure most of you believe that Selig's committee was all part of his master plan to help LW move to the South Bay. I'm sure if Oakland comes up with a plan that can still benefit everyone, the committee will stand behind that point out as well.

Remember, corporate dollars can come from anywhere in the Bay Area. A team does not need to play in the city where most of the sponsors would come from...as long as they don't move out of the Bay Area all together.

ezra said...

@Jeffrey

I completely agree. Move the fence in a little, raise the walls, and stick some premium green monster style seats out there for the idiots that don't really care about the ballgame. This leaving better seats available for those at the game to actually watch it.

LeAndre said...

thats insanely tight...those have got to be the worse bleachers I've seen on any ballpark...

I'm not trying to be a negative nancy or anything...but I really think this site is just a tid bit over hyped...that substation practically wall to wall with the park would look down right ugly, and SJ doesn't have much of a skyline at all, the buildings are very short there, so if those are the views some of you are referring to, I wouldn't find them as impressive as some of you are making it seem...I'm not trying to sound disrespectful, I'm just being honest in my opinion...

With aesthetics aside, it would still work...I would still prefer the coliseum parking lot or JLS though.

Anonymous said...

LeAndre,

If aesthetics are so important to you, how can you possibly prefer the Coliseum parking lot? You might have noticed, the Coli site has bigger atmospheric issues than short buildings. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

"I've got a feeling that Oakland isn't out of the picture quite yet. In fact I'll bet they've already begun to work on a well thought out plan which could begin to develop ASAP."

Yeah, that sounds like the Oakland city fathers we all know and love...

Anonymous said...

"Remember, corporate dollars can come from anywhere in the Bay Area. A team does not need to play in the city where most of the sponsors would come from."

In theory, no. In reality, yes. Corporate execs don't like fighting their way through traffic anymore than anyone else, and the Coli area is not exactly a draw. The Coli actually has perfectly adequate suites right now, but they sell for peanuts (and usually sit empty). There is a reason for this.

LeAndre said...

Anon 4:45,

You sound a little upset, like I said I wasn't trying to be disrespectful. The reason why I would prefer the Coliseum Lot over DS as far as aesthetics wise is...I don't want a bunch electrical substations rubbing up against the ballpark...I'm sorry its just ugly...further more, in my opinion the area surrounding DS isn't as grand as some of you make it seem...there are a lot of similarities between the two...But the JLS Estuary is still the hands down most aesthetically pleasing site, IMO...

Anonymous said...

Chances are good the substation will go away. If not, I'm sure they'll do something with the design of the park to make it less visible.

Anyway, you've got plenty of "electrical substation"-type ugliness all around the Coliseum.

Diridon is an easy walk from all the restaurants and nightlife of downtown. The other side of the site is more modest, but that will change once the park is built just as occurred in SF and San Diego.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly certain that the electrical station would be masked as much as possible. The entrances will not be near blighted areas and the neighboring lots will likely be developed into something more than what's there now. As for the truncated skyline, it is still quite visible from that close.

Anonymous said...

There will have to be a skyline blocking wall or unsightly very tall mesh screen behind right field to keep home run balls from smashing into windshields of cars driving by at speed. OTOH, if the A's owners want to keep paying $$$ to the injured , they can tally them with a " Crash Hits " board down the right field line similar to AT&T's " Splash Hits ".

Tony D. said...

Hey R.M.,
Now that's tight! Would there be seats in right field? Perhaps Autumn Pkwy will need to "hug" Los Gatos Creek a little more for some breathing room. I'm pretty sure the substation could be hidden well.

Will a revised/updated ballpark EIR also include alternate sites in the downtown area? There's that one area of the core that's looking pretty good compared to this tight squeeze. Just curious.

And for the record from an earlier post: the SJ Ballpark EIR was for a 45,000 seat ballpark (compared to the current 32k reality).

Anonymous said...

I like the tight footprint---dream for a second---make Autumn Pkwy a tunnel for this portion and you could have a great park running up to the creek outside of the outfield wall---like I said--dream not reality but it would be cool

Marine Layer said...

It doesn't need to be a mesh screen. They could use a series of retractable nets, similar to the ones used for football behind the goal posts on XP/FG attempts.

My thinking is that the nets would be used only on gamedays from BP through the end of the game. They'd be attached to poles that also hold pennants of some kind. I figure the RF wall would be at least 15 feet tall. I've seen the nets as tall as 45 feet. 60 feet of height should be enough, no?

Jesse said...

You say tight, I say intimate. Like Fenway, Wrigley and Ebbets field. Fits snug into he heart of the community, I like it.

Mike in MN said...

If the Twins can build a 40,000 seat ballpark on a tiny site, I'm sure the A's could to. Heck, we've got a railroad and a freeway running under Target Field. Tight and cozy, a 21st century ballpark on a 19th century lot.

Jeffrey said...

I thought of the Twins comparison instantly... isn't there site 9 acres or something?

As far as Oakland being in the game... I hope so. The two things I hope any stadium in Oakland isn't:

1. On the Colsieum Parking Lot. I understand the draw of the area, it's all about transit options, primarily BART. But it is ugly in the area and there is nothing there. Maybe Walmart will open a snack bar for post game slushies.

2. JLS- I don't like the idea of a copy cat AT&T Park. A waterfront stadium would be seen as that by many. I am a fan of the idea that the best way to be better is to be different. My heart still pangs for Uptown... sigh.

Anonymous said...

"Final approach into Mineta takes you over the HP Pavillion. Being that this ballpark would be just a few blocks south of HP, do you think aircraft traffic would be a problem?"

Anybody ever been to Shea Stadium? Don't know how the new Citi Field will be, but air traffic was definitely noticeable at Shea.

Have any studies of the effects of traffic noise from Hwy 87 been conducted?

No site is ever going to be perfect, but it seems this one might have some serious potential drawbacks. In addition to noise and traffic, the site itself might just be too small if the PGE substation is left in place. Sure would be nice to wander at will outside the park on a pleasant San Jose summer evening.

I still think 32K capacity is insufficent. Attendance could not approach what's possible for most other teams. Inasmuch as baseball is all about $$ and ticket sales account for more than half of a team's revenue, the only way it seems the A's would be able to compete financially would be to charge very high ticket prices. To see what I'm talking about, check ticket prices at the new Yankee and Mets parks.

Marine Layer said...

There's always going to be some give and take with the revenue potential of a larger ballpark against the debt service associated with building it. From what I can figure, going from 32,000 to 40,000 will cost $7 million or more annually. If the team's confident it can make that up consistently I think they'd do it. I'm not sure they have that confidence.

SexFlavoredPez said...

ML,

Any discussion about the substation being moved just south of Park to the current fire dept. training location? Also, downtown development keeps utilities all underground. Would the city be on the hook to make the changes needed for the substation in this area?

Marine Layer said...

Hwy 87 is 1/4 mile from the ballpark site. Noise from the freeways was almost negligible compared to planes and regular surface street traffic. The whole area is in 60 dBa noise contour.

Marine Layer said...

SFP, the substation move is still an option. Money will dictate whether or not it gets done.

Burying power lines is an infrastructure cost that might be borne by the city. Like the SJ City Hall project, burial would occur only around the project area, probably not anywhere else.

SexFlavoredPez said...

ML,

Wouldn't this need to be done either way? It's my understanding that the future HSR would be built over the current rail lines. Even if the substation stays where it is, is it a safe assumption that this type of 'burrying' would be necessary either way?

As far as noise - I live next door to Diridon station and believe it or not, the trains make far more noise than the planes do.

As far as downtown skyline goes - You'd have the same exact views as I do from the top floor of my townhouse in Cahill Park. Clear views of the Adobe buildings, the new Axis residential building, Hotel De Anza, Kight Ridder building, and so on and so on and so on....basically ALL of downtown AND the mountains in the background.

Has relocating the AT&T station been discussed too? I wasn't in the area the first time this site was proposed. Also, based on this model, wouldn't some VTA bus lines need to be re-routed? As it stands now, some buses would be pulling into Diridon station directly behind the LF bleachers.

Marine Layer said...

All of that will have to be done. Much of it has already been outlined in the current Diridon/Arena plan. If they start to put condos or medium-height towers in the area, utility burial will be a given. When that development occurs, the costs should be borne by the developer. It's important to lay out the plan, then work out the details of each individual project including the ballpark. There's a danger of certain costs spiraling out of control if it's not planned properly.

If you're referring to the AT&T building on S Montgomery, it's a work center. Those facilities are easy to relocate and don't have a ton of expensive switching equipment like the downtown central office on W San Fernando & Almaden.

gojohn10 said...

Anyone know of any detailed information about the Twins site plan? I found a bunch of information on the field itself, but was having trouble finding anything that describes the the site and how the park is being incorporated.