Notes from 10/30 Diridon Site Tour

gojohn10 was good enough to go on today’s Diridon site walking tour. He’s also shown up at some of the Fremont and San Jose functions. Here are his notes (edited ever so slightly) and some pictures, which include an update on how things are going in SJ.

SJRA Program Manager Dennis Korabiak (light shirt with jacket) leads the tour

  • Tour led by Dennis Korabiak again
  • Only about 10-15 people this time
  • We went to a room at HP Pavilion for a Q&A presentation
  • Korabiak said he met with baseball officials this week. Wouldn’t comment when someone asked if it was the BRC. He said it was a matter of public record and could be found on his boss’ (Harry Mavrogenes’ calender on the net). I checked and only saw a regular meeting with the two on Wed the 20th
  • No timetable for response but baseball seems impressed
  • If territorial rights are changed by December or early January, OK for March election
  • If ballot approved active negotiations begin with A’s to sell or lease the land [Ed.: City/Redev are on hold until that happens.]
  • Current estimate is $460 million for facility only
  • Officially need to have a vote, though theoretically not necessary if A’s buy land [Ed.: Only if holdouts are willing to sell, else eminent domain needed.]
  • Someone asked if SJ has $ for remaining parcels. He rambled a bit then said they are selling other assests and “getting good deals.” He thinks the answer is yes, they will have the money. As for Wolff buying the land he said “show me the $” [Ed.: Indeed. SJRA does have $140 million in assets, BTW.]
  • Substation is there to stay. Not required to move even for high speed rail. I asked if there would be any effort to make it look nicer. He said the A’s facility design should take care of that. [Ed.: I hope people like cinder blocks. Or freeway sound walls.]
  • Someone asked if MLB has approved park dimensions (right with ya, buddy). Korabiak said we’re not there yet.
  • Someone asked if the park will be at ground level. Korabiak said it might make sense to sink the field 10-25′ the the expensive seats on top are easier to get to (reaffirms ML’s take that the club seats are up high) [Ed.: Yep, figured as much]
  • If no vote on stadium the city will still buy land for BART and HSR
  • AT&T building eligible to be designated historical landmark (unfortunately I kinda missed this part). As for negotiations he says there is much more to it than AT&T being a Giants sponsor. Eminent Domain is on the table, but last resort and something they would like to avoid for tax reasons. [Ed.: AT&T can be designated a landmark, but it is still going to be demolished if the ballpark moves forward. Efforts will be made to document its history and value, including possible salvage. The same goes for the old KNTV studio next door, which has already been bought by City.]
  • I asked whether the Giants success has any effect. He said he didn’t know. [Ed.: I’ve given this some thought the last few days, and I think that if the Giants win the boost in ticket and merchandise sales could provide enough economic ballast to make arguments about economic hardship somewhat moot, at least for a few years.]

Korabiak answers questions about Diridon site plan at HP Pavilion

Much thanks to gojohn10 for taking the tour and reporting in. He’s also working with Jeffrey on another interesting feature we should have up soon. That and the usually post-World Series, post-election flurry of activity should make things interesting around here soon.

48 thoughts on “Notes from 10/30 Diridon Site Tour

  1. is bbsj or wolff gonna release a 3D video of this park? maybe not because the park’s design isn’t 100% in terms of how it’s eventually gonna get built.

    i know it maybe too early to do something like that but i remember the cisco field in fremont very early had a lot more photos and a video and i’d say this plan in sj is ahead of what fremont had with their park design.

  2. Some other notes I didn’t write down, but just remembered:
    – someone asked about finding historical artifacts once construction begins. Korabiak said Guadalupe River has been moving west over the years and most indian settlements were east of where the river now is located. Therefore the ballpark site, being west of the river, has a low probability of containing Indian artifacts. However, the possibility of finding something and having to stop work is built into the construction schedule
    -The Steven’s Meats sign will be available to the A’s if they want to do something with it in the park or just outside it. If not, it will be refurbished and put somewhere else in the city (e.g. museum).

  3. Bad timing for a Diridon walking tour. It’s all SF Giant’s 24/7 this last month.

  4. Thanks gojohn10 and Marine Layer for the report. Again, I do not know what I would do without this blog. Thanks for everything that you do.

  5. Regarding the potential March election, would we just need a simple majority for it to pass? I know that some polling was done last year that showed the ballot measure would probably pass.

  6. OT:
    Well all, its about to happen…our worst “nightmare.” The Bay is about to be Orange and Black for at least the next week: wild celebration, rampant ass kissing from the media, bandwagon-ism to the max!
    The Giants are on the verge of winning the World Series. But in the midst of all the hoopla and SF cheering, keep your head up.
    The offseason holds a lot of promise, and this November or December should give all us ballpark backers something to finally cheer about.
    So rejoice Giants and SF! We’ll be next to celebrate! Go A’s and Go SJ!

  7. a’s will always have the on the field success glory since both teams have played in the world series.

    even if the nightmare does happen, 4-1 a’s still. but yes the media butt kissing will be hard to stomach as an a’s fan.

  8. The Giants winning and making extra $$ is only good for the A’s. How much sympathy will the other owners have for Neukom and company after they just won a World Series 1-2 months before?

    They will have none and all the owners will scoff at them when Neukom starts complaining about MLB allowing the A’s to “explore” a ballpark in San Jose.

    The success of the Giants will only create more empathy for the A’s with the other owners and their case when it comes time to discuss this in 1-2 months.

    Probably MLB requires the Giants to put more $$ into revenue sharing after winning it all and they give the A’s a shot at San Jose.

    Being a Giants fan for 20 years and being from San Jose it is “shocking” seeing so many bandwagon fans (including my whole family) all over the Bay Area.

    I was living in Newport Beach in 2002 when the Giants choked it away to the Angels and seeing all the Angels fans celebrating nearby made it far worse. I “numbed” myself to this seasons playoffs and kept insisting the Giants were going to find a way to “choke” as they always do.

    But now up 3-1, I finally believe the Giants are going to win as no way they choke it away with Game 6 and 7 in San Francisco plus a chance to close it out tonight with Lincecum on the mound in Texas.

    It is great to see the Giants finally do it after all these years of suffering and it will be great to see the A’s get the new ballpark they deserve in San Jose after suffering all these years at the Coliseum.

  9. @Sid: Agree on all points.
    .
    The Giants’ success couldn’t come at a better time for an A’s-to-SJ move. As hard as it is for me, as an A’s fan, to deal with all the Giants fawning right now, it’s great for the more important goal of bringing the A’s to SJ.
    .
    Nukem will have a hard time crying poor. And it shows that there are a lot of potential fans that can be wooed to baseball if the product is good. The situation would be much more difficult if the Giants were having financial troubles.

  10. @Steve-Neukom’s not crying rich either. He said in today’s paper that the increased revenue is minimal in the playoffs, and that the league and players get the lion’s share of the first 4 games in each series. So the G’s need to throw game’s 5 and 6 and bring it to a game 7, then he can’t cry poor.

  11. Sid,
    Agree that your post was excellent, and congrats on the Giants pending WS Championship.
    Hats off to you and the rest of the “Croix de Candlestick” crowd. Its the Giants ownership, Bay Area media (most), and bandwagons I can’t stand.
    To be fair, if the A’s were in the same position as the Giants, we’d have our share of fair weather fans to.
    Hey RM, would you equate bandwagon/fair weather fans to independent voters? Always tilting in the wind?

  12. @letsgoas – I wouldn’t expect a video until after a decision is made by MLB. Then it’ll be a serious PR blitz.

    @jk-usa – Agreed on the relative small amount of revenue from the playoffs. Long-term effects, though, are massive. They should be able to sustain peak demand levels through 2012 and beyond if they play their cards right.

    @tony d. – Not really. Independent voters are that way because they don’t want to subscribe to a party philosophy. People tend to be bandwagoners because they don’t care enough to be loyal to a team. Big difference.

  13. @ML–the winning players share will be around 350k, the losers around 250k (walk around money for Zito). Back in 1989, the A’s got 114k, the G’s 83k. Back in 1972, the A’s got 20k, Cincy got 15k. Yet, the TV ratings are getting worse and worse. This one’s averaging around 12 mill viewers a game, the worst in at least 40 years. The NFL rules. MLB isn’t America’s past time any more

    • @jk-usa – It’s a good thing that Fox’s deal ends in 2013, not this season. MLB has to have a more coherent national broadcast strategy, that much is certain. Fortunately for them, it only means 10% of each team’s annual revenue, unlike the NFL where it’s close to 50%. So it’s not a life-or-death scenario for baseball.

      The downward trend of MLB ratings on broadcast TV somewhat follows the fate of the broadcast networks themselves. There’s not much they can do, though. MLB and the networks don’t have the weekly spectacle of “Game of the Week” now that every game is televised and 95% of them are available to the entire country via broadcast or internet.

      Besides, people tend to be too narrowly focused on the World Series ratings. If you really looked at it symptomatically, several things are killing baseball on TV. NBA and NHL eat its lunch early in the season thanks to those leagues’ playoffs. The NFL’s preseason has become more prominent, even though it shouldn’t be. And NASCAR has had its day in the sun too. If anything, MLB should capitalize even more on the serial nature of the game, which the other leagues can’t do. Does that help with national TV? No. But it helps with the identity crisis the broadcast strategy is now.

  14. …i mean pastime. Not getting the younger kids now to follow MLB like before. Just us old guys in our 30-50’s. It’s too slow for them, a bit subtle, and games can drag on forever, unlike the NFL and NBA.

  15. Thanks Tony D. your post earlier made me feel a little bit better. The MLB owners’ meetings in Orlando are less than two and a half weeks away already. I hope we hear some good news. If not, the torture continues…

  16. Regular season NFL games are winning out in ESPN’s “Which do you plan to watch this weekend?” polls, beating out the World Series. And MLB hums along, allowing a national team (the Yankee$) to forge on at the expense of small market teams where fans know their team either has no chance of winning or won’t win for long, once the Yankee$ drop boatloads of cash on their team’s star players.

    Wasn’t there Giants shortstop who visited an Oakland school a few years ago and all the kids wanted to know was what position he played for the Warriors?

  17. Many of the key games from this summer’s FIFA World Cup have received better TV ratings than this year’s World Series. An example of this is the USA/Ghana knockout round match which attracted over 19 million viewers (on ABC and Univision). This is just horrible for MLB.

  18. @jk-usa, an interesting question would be “have regional sports networks/MLB Network maximized regular season TV revenue to the point that World Series ratings are less important?”
    .
    Remember that in the old days (days you and I both remember) the A’s weren’t on tv much at all. Baseball was on Monday Nights and Saturday afternoon and 20 times a year in the local market… I am guessing MLB is growing regional fan bases much faster than it is losing a national one. Or at least, that would be the test.

  19. Here’s a good one to tell you how far baseball has fallen in the national conscience: San Jose City College, after already spending $1 mill, canceled construction of its baseball field after neighbors complained. Instead, the property will be used for “neighbor-friendly sports like cricket.” Let me say that again – a college in America canceled a baseball field in favor of “neighbor-friendly sports like cricket.” These same folks who complained can be expected to drop in on public meetings on the A’s ballpark, expressing great fear of “light pollution” from a stadium several miles away. .

  20. It’s neighbor friendly because so few people are interested in it compared to baseball. Plus you’re talking about a city college. Their sports programs are about as important as… actually there’s nothing as unimportant as they are…

  21. Eww, celebrating Gnats make me physically ill.

    • I just got off the phone with my Uncle Larry, a small, genial Jewish man who married into the family and converted to Catholicism. He’s been around long enough to watch all of the Giants tenure in SF, along with the Seals and the DiMaggio brothers. If there’s anyone that deserves a championship, it’s him. And he got it. For that, I’m happy for him. Even if he can’t bring himself to love the A’s. Congrats, Uncle Larry.

  22. Dr. K.,
    It must be nice though. 89 now seems like ancient history.
    NOW FREE SAN JOSE DAMMIT!

  23. as an a’s fan, as much as i HATE to say it, congrats.

    now mlb gives us a’s fans something we’ve been waiting for years and that’s the rights to build a new baseball park in sj.

  24. I have to redo my post because ML doesn’t like it.
    Screw it. Censorship is alive and well on here.

  25. saw some guy post on another board where ibanez one the biggeset sf honks here locally said the sfg won the bay area their first world title.

    my god, idiots like him and those i know who completely disregard what the a’s have done since coming to oakland including winning the area it’s first world series title and i believe the first three world titles become the w’s won in 74-75.

    still 4-1 and a’s will ALWAYS have bragging rights due to 1989.

  26. @jk-usa – How many times do I have to say “No political crap!” You are thickheaded.

  27. Okay, so now it is technically the “off-season.” That means we should be hearing a decision about San Jose any second now.

  28. My Uncle Larry, my cousin Nick, my cousin Sorelle, my friends a plenty… They all deserve to experience this. As much as we rail on the Giants, they have some fans that have stuck through some horrible, horrible years. That’s something we can all relate too. Now they can relate to us and the ultimate coolness of being the last team to win a game when it matters. Now for my Cubs and Indians fan friends…

  29. @LetsGoA’s–the “Oakland” A’s are still at .667 in WS play (4 for 6), and the SF G’s are at .250 (1 for 4). The G’s would have to go 3 straight and they’d still be at 4 for 7.The A’s will have to start all over if they go to SJ, because it is technically a relocation in my book.. I don’t count Philly in those WS totals.
    @ML–there is an important election tomorrow. Everyone please vote, regardless of political affiliation.

  30. idiot remark at 0:26

  31. You know (playing devils advocate), the man had to have mispoken and meant to say “San Francisco,” not “Bay Area.” Ibanez can’t be that stupid (can he?) or abhor the A’s that much to say such a thing. Isn’t the station he works for located in Oakland? Hopefully we get a correction/apology within the next 24 hours from Ibanez..

    Yes, like RM and Jeffrey, I know some pretty stand up Giants fans who I’m very happy for right now; many of them who catch a few A’s games when the G’s are on the road and who want to see a new A’s ballpark, whether it’s in San Jose or Oakland. But did some of you catch crowd outside of SF Civic Center; Some of them (simply wearing SF hats) looked confused when Brian Wilson struck out Cruz to end the game as if to say “Does that mean the game is over?” Gotta love some of those wagon riders!

    Believe it or not, I had this sense of extreme calm come over me watching the Giants celebrate at the end. No ill will or hating! Why? Because the season is finally over and we could now look towards the off season; in particular the Winter Meetings coming up in a few weeks. I’m confident we all will be cheering the future of our club and our long promised new yard very, very soon.

    FREE SAN JOSE!

  32. The sad irony is that KTVU studios are in Jack London Square. If that doesn’t speak volumes…

  33. it’s just hasn’t been ibanez over the past few years. b.mcgowen who used to work at knbr said the same thing and funny thing he is a raiders fan and now does the post game show for them on 1550.

    i’m sure a few others have said it before.

    i know ralph on knbr will have a field day this entire offseason. he’s been so quick to say that the 89 world series was taitned because of the roids issue but he is always bitching about the 02 world series, up until now you’d think, and that team was filled with as many KNOWN roiders than the 89 a’s. i’m glad ratto maybe a week ago came back after ralph made that 89 roid comment about the a’s and said as the sfg team wasn’t roided themselves back in 89. heck wasn’t guillen posted just a few days ago for using illegal substances, i guess that would make this 2010 ws team “tainted” too right?

    as a’s fans i guess we have to just live thru this nightmare that not only will last thru this entire offseason but well into next season too.

    just have to wonder if and when the a’s ever win again, whether or not the bay area media will give as much love to the a’s have they’ve done this entire postseason.

    • it’s just hasn’t been ibanez over the past few years. b.mcgowen who used to work at knbr said the same thing and funny thing he is a raiders fan and now does the post game show for them on 1550. i’m sure a few others have said it before. i know ralph on knbr will have a field day this entire offseason. he’s been so quick to say that the 89 world series was taitned because of the roids issue but he is always bitching about the 02 world series, up until now you’d think, and that team was filled with as many KNOWN roiders than the 89 a’s. i’m glad ratto maybe a week ago came back after ralph made that 89 roid comment about the a’s and said as the sfg team wasn’t roided themselves back in 89. heck wasn’t guillen posted just a few days ago for using illegal substances, i guess that would make this 2010 ws team “tainted” too right? as a’s fans i guess we have to just live thru this nightmare that not only will last thru this entire offseason but well into next season too. just have to wonder if and when the a’s ever win again, whether or not the bay area media will give as much love to the a’s have they’ve done this entire postseason.

      I’m so glad I don’t listen to KNBR or watch local news. And I’ll simply put tomorrows Merc straight to recycling! That’s all I’m going to say on the WS; good night fellow A’s fans and try to get some sleep!

  34. RM,
    How bout it; would an A’s move from OAK to SJ technically be considered a “relocation,” thus voiding the history post 1968? The A’s “starting all over” in SJ? Just curious.

  35. Tony D. From my perspective, no. It is only a few people with a ridiculous sense of entitlement that feel that way. If they moved to a different market, even Sacramento, absolutely it is a reboot. San Jose? Yeah, no.

  36. oh geez, fp on knbr mention vida as part of the great sfg who’ll basically get to finally celebrate a world title.

    yep i guess those world titles he won in oakland in the early 70s don’t count for vida eh? that’s something the a’s org has to do if and when they built that park in sj, is to celebrate the past of the team, yeah even the oakland years even though some may not want them to.

  37. Ugggghhh…as much as I am happy for the Gints and their suffering fans, the blast of bandwagon fans makes me ill. As if the A’s didn’t already have an issue attracting fans, this turn of events will turn the 2011 Coliseum into a mausoleum. To illustrate, every year I donate a game from my season tickets to a silent auction. While competing Gints tickets generally outbid my A’s tickets each year, this year my tickets went without a bid and unclaimed. If that doesn’t speak volumes.

  38. much respect goes to those 7k-8k fans who stuck it out in the stick. these bandwagoners whos become fans only since at&t opened, they get no respect from me.

  39. saw this posted on AN…

    I turned on the radio and Marty Lurie just said that “the Bay Area is starved for a world championship in baseball. It’s been 53 (57?) years….”

    yep, add lurie to the list now.

  40. Chronicle architecture writer John King has a good piece on AT&T Park’s effects on SF. It’s a good lesson in that while many ballparks try to achieve “magic” very few actually do. It takes numerous ingredients, many of which occur outside the ballpark.

    As much as San Francisco is defined by fine-grained charm – small warehouses here, Victorians in Noe Valley – it also needs large-scale catalysts that bring new housing, new jobs, new life.

    You can see why San Jose and Oakland would try.

  41. Just got my Hayward Review and there’s a big error on the sports headline. It says “Giants end 58 years of frustration” Huh? Should be 56 years. They last won in 1954 in New York. That’s a collector’s item like when Dewey Beat Truman. I wonder if the Mercury News had the same error? Do any of you SJ guys actually read a real hard copy paper besides online? I have, every day for almost 40 years.The Bay Area News Group has gone down hill so bad since they consolidated all their papers. Same sports writers in all papers: Mercury News, Hayward/Oakland, CoCo Times, etc… They all look the same now with no real eastbay or southbay perspective. The A’s are still are on page 5 and the Giants on page 1 in the Mercury for most games. I remember a few years ago before the merger of all the papers, the Mercury had no A’s beat writer for the road games and carried stories off the AP wire.Now they have a guy for the road, but it’s the same guy for Oakland/Hayward/Fremont, CoCo Times, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, etc..
    I thin I’ll fore off an e-mail to the sports editor on this big mistake.

  42. re: Chronicle architecture writer John King has a good piece on AT&T Park’s effects on SF. It’s a good lesson in that while many ballparks try to achieve “magic” very few actually do. It takes numerous ingredients, many of which occur outside the ballpark.

    …I thought the Fremont Citizens Network assured us a ballpark brings only “crime and chaos” to a neighborhood?

  43. lol at the sf fans for calling out the national media saying they didn’t get recognition all year long.

    hey welcome to the party and at least you dont’ get ignored like the a’s do by the local media even when they were doing well.

    just funny these guys thinks they’ve been ignored when you can say they have the biggest media butt kissers here in this area in the local media.

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