On Tuesday, San Jose’s City Council/Redevelopment Agency will hold a session (7 PM, Council Chambers) to approve the co-op agreement that was to be drafted after last Wednesday’s special meeting. At five pages, the co-op agreement (PDF) is short and is mostly concerned with setting aside funds for affordable housing projects. If the City Council approves, $58 million of funds currently on-hand would be set aside for those housing projects and other RDA activities, which would presumably include the ballpark project once proceeds from agency land sales became available.
Another item on the agenda is the long awaited Good Neighbor Committee presentation, which will go over the new Diridon Station Area Master Plan. The Plan, which came about after more than a year worth of meetings, divides the area into 3 sectors:
- North: Above The Alameda (Santa Clara Street) and west to Stockton Avenue. Most of the area is covered by HP Pavilion.
- Central: The ballpark land and the parking lots and other properties between the ballpark and The Alameda. If the ballpark is not built, an alternative including commercial or office space on the ballpark land.
- South: Area south of Park Avenue, including fire training land (future park) and area to the east towards downtown.
In other news… as part of the ongoing fight over redevelopment, Controller John Chiang is undergoing a review of 18 agencies throughout the state. The task?
“The reviews will look at how RDAs define a `blighted’ area, whether they are appropriately paying for low and moderate income housing as required, whether they are accurately passing through payments to schools within the community,” Chiang said.
The 18 agencies picked cover a broad range of agency sizes, from the enormous (LA, SJ) to merely large (Fresno, Fremont) to small (Hercules, Desert Hot Springs). San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has long been adamant about how productive SJRA is compared to some of its counterparts. We’ll see if that holds up. Oakland, whose agency is not part of the review, could stand to gain $10 million for the general fund (enough to fill its budget gap) if the elimination of RDAs statewide goes through. It also means that without ORA, the City would have to raise some other type of bond for an Oakland ballpark – one that would require a referendum.
The A’s will employ the dreaded dynamic ticket pricing system for “premium” home games this season. In the past, the policy was to simply charge more for those games, now it’ll be a baseline price that rises based on demand. This season, dynamic pricing will extend to Opening Night vs. Seattle and the home series vs. SF, BOS, and NYY. If you want to get those seats cheap, you’d best get them early – which is the whole point of the system.
Escondido will not rush to sell $50 million in bonds after all, because they wouldn’t actually be selling bonds. They’d be selling “bond anticipation notes,” which would not necessarily be immune to a RDA raid the same way actual bonds would be.
Rangers co-owner Chuck Greenberg talks about the new video board going up where the old one was at Rangers Ballpark, on top of the right field roof. Too bad the location is so neck-strain inducing from much of the park. He also talked about Cliff Lee and Adrian Beltre, if you’re into reliving that stuff.
This rather innovative beer dispensing system is quite brilliant.
Another new Cactus League ballpark is almost complete. This time it’s Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. IIRC it will be the only such ballpark to sit on tribal land.
The Hornets reached their attendance goal, which means that the team will be staying in NOLA until at least 2014, giving the NBA some time to find a new owner.
Finally, in Cleveland things are so bad at Progressive Field that the Indians are throwing in some serious perks for season ticket holders.
As the team announced Jan. 7, all renewing and new season ticket customers — including those who take advantage of a new offer of bleacher seats for $9 apiece — receive a free suite rental, two free tickets in the club section (where all food, fancy or not, is free) and free membership to the fine-dining Terrace Club.
I’d consider a bleacher full season plan for that. The big takeaway is that they overbuilt the premium facilities by having 121 suites in a three deck stack. While this shows the Indians’ desperation in selling the premium accommodations, there’s a danger in devaluing the premium product. Also, the number of full-season ticket equivalents is 8,000, a number that seems shockingly low and yet all too familiar.