Ballpark EIR due soon + BART fed money update + Conspiracy Theory

A quick look at the SJ Redevelopment Ballpark page shows that the next Good Neighbor session is on Wednesday, February 17.

Topic: Ballpark Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

That indicates that the EIR will be out for review shortly before that. Normal rules dictate that something like this needs to be released at least 72 hours prior to a study session or meeting, and City, like many other government entities, often releases documents at the end of the day Friday. My guess, then, is that we’ll see the draft EIR late Friday, February 12. A 45-day review period would be expected to happen next (with public comments), followed by a series of steps leading to certification of the document.

Earlier today, the FTA officially did a 180 and declared the BART-to-Silicon Valley project eligible for up to $900 million in so-called matching funds. Without that crucial source of money, there is no way  the extension could be built. Of course, there is a catch. In order to put itself in the position to get the ruling changed, VTA (which is running the project) split the extension into two parts: Warm Springs to Berryessa (North San Jose), and Berryessa to Santa Clara through Downtown San Jose. The latter piece is easily the most expensive and hardest to justify. There is no current timetable for the final extension.

Even if BART schedule arrives on schedule to Berryessa in 2018, it will terminate 3+ miles northeast of the Diridon South ballpark site. There will be a way to transfer from BART to VTA light rail in Milpitas at the Great Mall, hopefully there’ll be a way to run express ballpark trains at that point. It’s not the only BART-to-light rail transfer in the Bay Area, as that’s already common practice with MUNI Metro and soon the eBART extension from Pittsburg/Bay Point to Antioch.

Finally, the Merc’s Giants beat writer, Andrew Baggarly, poses the idea that in playing hardball with Tim Lincecum, the Giants are trying to curry favor with the owners in hopes of getting their votes on a San Jose move – as long as they keep Timmy’s 2010 salary under $10 million. I instantly regretted reading the blog entry when I finished it, but I figured some might comment here on it so here goes nothing.

Gentle reader, if you honestly believe this nonsense, you probably also believe an inside straight is a good play. Because that’s exactly what the Giants are trying to get here, an inside straight. They’ve offered a ridiculous $8 million and Lincecum’s agent wants $13 million, much less than what many in the media were proposing for the half-Pinoy phenom. The two parties are headed for a collision course in arbitration, and the Giants are hoping that something, anything might fill that awful inside straight they’re trying to get. It’s not happening. Surely, the great litigator and negotiator Bill Neukom must have some sense of this, right? How about a more Occam’s razor type of explanation:

The Giants are being cheap.

It’s the classic case of throwing good money after multiple cases of bad money. I don’t blame them, since they are shelling out $40 million to Zito, Rowand, and Renteria this season. Sure, penalize the face of your franchise for your past sins. Brilliant moves as usual.

10 thoughts on “Ballpark EIR due soon + BART fed money update + Conspiracy Theory

  1. so ML, is this EIR news what you were hinting at a few posts ago, when you said someone or something ballpark related could drop in a couple of weeks?

  2. Unfortunately, the local scribes have become mouth pieces for the organizations they cover. It is sad really. The media becoming an extension of a given private entities PR Department. It surely isn’t limited to baseball.

    Does VTA have any express trains in operation now?

  3. Perhaps it’s just a case of Andrew being bored and telling himself “let me start up some Giants, A’s, San Jose $hit!” I like his suggestion about Silicon Valley being so important to the Giants in terms of corporate and fan support, yet completely ignores last years SVSE poll and the Giants own data of 18% of it’s “fanbase” (whatever the hell that means) coming from SCCo. Why some continue to believe that hard-core Giants fans in the South Bay will all of a sudden become SJ A’s fans is beyond me. One of the posters on his blog summed up brilliantly the current situation: the long-term health of all of Major League Baseball, including the A’s and Giants, far outweighs what the G’s pay Timmy in the short term. You’re right R.M., the Giants are being cheap with TL, plain and simple.

  4. Since this seems to be our own version of a link dump:
    I just went to the A’s website to buy tickets and noticed that the sections 316-318 are no longer the “all you can eat sections.” They are now the “Value Section.” Tickets are $12, $1 cheaper than bleacher tickets.

    • That is a great deal for those seats

      • I might have to get a seat there once or twice this year, for old times’ sake.

      • Can Lewser give up the ghost on the tarps yet?

      • Looks like the 3rd deck seats are $12 or $15 depending on the game but they come with $6 worth of food/merch (the plaza club seats also come with $10 food/merch).

        What may be more telling is that Diamond Level tickets are available on a single-game basis for the first time I can remember, and have gone from what was rumored to be $300 to $200/$225.

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