News for 5/27/11

Sacramento has the feasibility study for its new arena at the its website, along with additional renderings. Besides the lack of financing plan that would have to be determined by the end of the “100 Day Plan,” I noticed one other thing. As part of the effort to cut costs, there is no separate club level. Instead, the club seats are largely confined to one side of the arena and courtside sidelines, with the club lounge taking up part of the main concourse.

Angle view of ICON Taylor arena interior. Club seats are colored blue-violet. Arena is designed to host a hockey team as well as the Kings.

While the Maloofs continue to maintain that the Kings are not for sale, as many as three groups have surfaced that could buy the franchise if it were available. Ron Burkle continues to be the popular choice, with the “mystery Nevada businessman” being second. Now a group fronted by former King Chris Webber has surfaced, and its chief moneyman is a Filipino businessman named Manny V. Pangilinan, or as he’s known in Manila, “MVP.” With frequent talk of Chinese interests getting a controlling piece of a NBA franchise, it would be somewhat poetic to have a Filipino be the first Asian to do so. FWIW, there are three national sports in The Philippines: basketball, boxing, and cockfighting. It’s not going to make me anymore a Kings fan than Erik Spoelstra (who is half-Filipino) being the head coach of the Miami Heat makes me a Heat fan, but it’s something to be proud of.

Another week, another arena proposal. This time it’s in Baltimore, a city whose 50-year old arena hasn’t fielded a major franchise in nearly 40 years. 92-year-old construction magnate Willard Hackerman is willing to pay for the arena as part of an elaborate redevelopment plan along the Inner Harbor. Like Sprint Center in Kansas City, the arena would be built on spec, without a major pro tenant. Baltimore has been without an indoor sports franchise for so long that it’s hard to know if one would be successful there. It appears that Hackerman is willing to give it shot. Hackerman’s company, Whiting-Turner, built M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.

ESPN’s Jim Caple came out with his “official” MLB owner’s rankings. Lew Wolff placed 17th, higher than I would’ve expected. Must be the national media bias.

Here on the blog, 980 Park concept originator Bryan Grunwald received word from the City of Oakland that his concept will in fact be part of the Victory Court EIR, hopefully as a full alternative. Unfortunately, Grunwald also was informed that there is no schedule for the release of the EIR. With MLB moving glacially and putting the A’s on the backburner, I suppose it affords the City time to be thorough. Weren’t they supposed to have the whole thing done (and certified) in around a year?

On the redevelopment tip, there are now three bills working more-or-less in conjunction to provide a less wasteful alternative to the current scheme, which is enshrined in the California Constitution. A fourth bill works against redevelopment, as wished by Governor Jerry Brown. Here’s the list:

  • SB 286 would restrict how projects are funded. Currently redevelopment dollars are a free-for-all as long as they can be applied to a “blighted” area. If this bill passes money for stadiums and arenas would require a public vote in the affected municipalities.
  • SB 450 seeks to rein in waste by capping administrative costs, while pushing the requirement that 20% of funds be spent on affordable housing, to the forefront.
  • SB 214 would allow the creation of new infrastructure districts whose purpose would be to finance infrastructure projects (roads, highways, sewers, etc.).
  • AB 101 is the aforementioned anti-redevelopment bill. Should any municipality’s RDA have any surpluses after obligations are met, those surpluses would vest with the municipality instead of being sandboxed for redevelopment purposes.

The University of Michigan wants to expand The Big House to 120,000 seats. Might want to fix the football program first.

If you wear a “Yankees Suck” T-shirt at the O.co Liseum next week, will you get thrown out as this lawyer did at the Trop last week?

Added 2:15 PM – The Minnesota legislative session ended with no action on stadiums for the Minnesota Vikings and St. Paul Saints. A deal would have to be done in a special session.

28 Responses to News for 5/27/11

  1. jeffrey says:

    Two things:
    .
    I went to Camden Yards this past weekend. Me want… that si easily the best stadium experience I have ever had… I noticed that the “Center Field Plaza” in the Diridon rendering is very reminiscent of Camden Yards. I wonder if we will get renderings in Oakland any time soon? It would be cool to see what sort of plaza they have in mind and where it would be in relation to the stadium. I think the Plaza at Camden/Eutaw Street and the Park at the Park in San Diego are the two coolest things I have ever seen at a stadium… Wouldn’t it be great to have some version of both in a new A’s stadium? Not really feasible in San Jose, but maybe something could happen in Oakland that would work.
    .
    Excellent that 980 is at least being studied.

  2. Brian says:

    The upper deck of the Sac proposal looks a lot like the new Devils arena, which also looks insanely high. I question the wisdom of making it hockey-able, as it would push many of the end zone seats further away than they need to be (compare the end seats at the Oakland and San Jose arenas), they don’t have a shot at an NHL team and I don’t think a minor league team (ECHL?) would bring in that much revenue in terms of rent. It’s also weird to have club and non-club patrons sitting right next to each other without even an aisle separating them (although this was the case at the old Pittsburgh Civic Arena or whatever it was later called).

    Are the ledge seats the “upper boxes” along the sides (with the loge seats below that and the luxury boxes below them)? Seems like not many boxes if they’re only on one level.

  3. Jeepers says:

    I hope like heck that KJ can pull this off. Communities with a track record of supporting their teams deserve to keep them.

  4. Marine Layer says:

    @Brian – It is insanely high. The highest seat is 83′ above the floor. The rows on the upper deck have a rise of 24″ – vertigo inducing. For reference, the Coliseum’s regular upper deck is 18 or 19″ (not sure about Mt. Davis). It doesn’t seem like the Stockton Thunder are going anywhere. As nice as the arena may become, the nosebleeds at ARCO were fantastic compared to other newer arenas.

  5. Ezra says:

    I question the wisdom of making it hockey-able, as it would push many of the end zone seats further away than they need to be (compare the end seats at the Oakland and San Jose arenas), they don’t have a shot at an NHL team and I don’t think a minor league team (ECHL?) would bring in that much revenue in terms of rent.

    According to a report by Portfolio.com (that I and ML have linked to before), Sacramento could support a NHL team in addition to a NBA team. It might not be on the top of the list for NHL relocations, but maybe they could get an AHL team (there is an AHL team in BC, so I would think they’d be happy to get more on the west coast). If the AHL team does well, that will bring Sac to the forefront for possible NHL relocations (eg Winnipeg). The top two ECHL teams in attendance for last season are in CA (Ontario and Stockton). And the Bakersfield (the only other CA team) was still above average. That shows there is support for minor league hockey in CA.

  6. Nam Turk says:

    Making it fit for hockey makes it fit for something like arena football, too.

  7. Tony D. says:

    Two things:.I went to Camden Yards this past weekend. Me want… that si easily the best stadium experience I have ever had… I noticed that the “Center Field Plaza” in the Diridon rendering is very reminiscent of Camden Yards. I wonder if we will get renderings in Oakland any time soon? It would be cool to see what sort of plaza they have in mind and where it would be in relation to the stadium. I think the Plaza at Camden/Eutaw Street and the Park at the Park in San Diego are the two coolest things I have ever seen at a stadium… Wouldn’t it be great to have some version of both in a new A’s stadium? Not really feasible in San Jose, but maybe something could happen in Oakland that would work..Excellent that 980 is at least being studied.

    Jeffrey,
    Respectfully disagree. Cisco Field’s “Eutaw Street” will be Montgomery Street between the ballpark and HP Pavilion, so that would be feasible in San Jose. A “Park at the Park” ala Petco, probably not so much, but I guess you can’t have it all. I still say the Kings wind up in Anaheim, but I’ll give credit to Sac: at least they’re genuinely trying to keep the Kings in town. 120K for Michigan football?! That’s 3-4 times more than your average Raiders home game, over 11 times more than your average A’s home game. Talk about love for a team/sport!

  8. Marine Layer says:

    @Tony D. – Montgomery and even San Fernando are too removed from the action to be anything like Eutaw St. Eutaw is great because it is right beyond the RF wall. The A’s may be able to achieve something like Yawkey Way outside Fenway.

  9. Tony D. says:

    @Tony D. – Montgomery and even San Fernando are too removed from the action to be anything like Eutaw St. Eutaw is great because it is right beyond the RF wall. The A’s may be able to achieve something like Yawkey Way outside Fenway.

    I stand corrected R.M. You’re right! Eutaw Street between Oriole Park and the massive B&O Warehouse is truly unique. Yawkey Way = future Montgomery Street; that will still be awesome!

  10. jk-usa says:

    @Tony–I know you like to rip everything Oakland and that’s fine and dandy, but get your figs straight at least, okay?
    The Raiders did draw lousy last year at 46k per, an NFL low, but 120k isn’t 3-4 times as much. Try 2 to 3 times. They did average 57k 2 years earlier.
    As for the A’s, just look towards the upper right of this page and they’re averaging 17,852 per, or 1/7th of 120k, not 11 times as you so proudly claim.
    BTW, that’s 300 higher than the “we make the playoffs every year” SJ Sharks.
    BTW2, those lowly Warriors averaged 18,692 last year. Over 1000 more than the Sharks. I know the Oracle has a bigger capacity than HPP, but still, not too shabby.

  11. tony d. says:

    For the record, this huge Raiders and A’s fan wasn’t “ripping” Oakland, just pointing out how much Michigan loves their football.
    I may have been a bit off on the actual fractions as they relate to attendance, but whatever.

  12. jk-usa says:

    @TonyD–No prob Tony, I’ll give you a break. I’m in a good mood, the A’s are winning (6-2 in the 8th!). I wish attendance was higher for both A’s and R’s. I miss the Raiders of the 70′s before they went to LA. Their fans weren’t jackasses like the ones now. The Snake, Dave Casper, Biletnikoff–great memories and packed houses. I use to talk to former Raider John Vella all the time at his Locker Room stores, but they’ve all gone under now. :(
    It is amazing the demand for Michigan football. Cal’s Stadium should be nice when it’s done in 2 years but capacity will be knocked down by 10k, like Stanford’s 35k reduction. College football doesn’t draw here like some areas in the midwest and south.

  13. Matt says:

    The thing about Michigan football is that there are already more than 15,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets (it’s $100 just to put your name in the queue). And that’s after the worst 3-year period in program history, not to mention the abysmal economic situation there. So if/when another 5,000 people add their names to that list, that will trigger the expansion. I’d bet on their athletic director–former CEO of Domino’s and a Wolverine football player in his day–to get it done.

  14. Jeffrey says:

    @tonyd, what ML said. Yawkey Way is a cool thing too, don’t get me wrong. I’d be happy with just that! However, Eutaw Street is ridiculously cool and San Diego’s Park at the Park is likewise fantastic. It’s like Stomper’s Funzone gone wild. No Coke bottle slide, just a huge high def video board. A wiffleball stadium and a real playground all without losing the vibe of being at the game.

  15. ST says:

    JK – The Sharks and their avid fans fill averaged 100% of HP Pavillions capacity, which is the only sunbelt team to do so. Your precious Raiders averaged 73.7% (while the Niners had 99.3% even in Craptastic CAndelstick). The W’s averaged 95.4% of capacity, and the A’s…even with 40K FB so called fans, had a dismal 50.7% average capacity turnout.

  16. David says:

    “so called fans”? Happy Memorial Day! Let’s beat the Stankees! Let’s Go A’s!!

    @ST – Lew doesn’t want us to go fill the stadium, but we should go anyway.

  17. Brian says:

    Lew really doesn’t want anyone to buy walkup tickets, so we should do that anyway!

  18. jk-usa says:

    @ST–i’m well aware of the attendance capacity averages, thank you. I’m going to today’s game in a few minutes, are you? Do you go at all, or just like to sit on the sidelines, waiting and waiting for the SJ park that’s not going to happen and rip everything Oakland in the meantime like others on here?

    To all: a perfect comparison between the A’s diehard fans and the Giant’s bandwagoners, which make up most of AT&T is that us diehards wear old jerseys and jackets from way back when , faded out caps, Mustache Gang, Billy Ball and Bash Brothers stuff, and our collection of 20 year old pins and the like. And those hipster Giants”fans” wear the latest collection of color coordinated stuff they just overpaid at the dugout store, thinking they’re so cool and all that.

  19. pjk says:

    Wolff, offering $2 seats, very economical downstairs tickets, etc, probably offers the best deals in all of sports. But still, the apathetic East Bay doesn’t show up for games. And now that he doesn’t want to donate a $500 mill ballpark to the East Bay, he’s of course cast as the rich meanie.

  20. ST says:

    @ David – yes, all 40K of you go anyways /rolleyes
    @JK – If you’re aware of attendance averages, why do you cite the stupidest statistic without any reference? Totally irrelevant when in the context of the big picture, but if meaningless arguments is your cup of tea…more power to ya bro. And what’s this feeble personal attacks questioning my fandom? Are fans that won’t make a measly 20 trek down south if…i mean WHEN the A’s move to SJ really considered diehards, regardless of grungy, stupid, and played out they look? Sorry old timer, your time as well as Oakland’s is coming up soon….

  21. ST says:

    BTW ML – When I read that “O.co Liseum” – i immediately interpreted E-Coli coliseum….Yikes…

  22. jk-usa says:

    @ST–”Sorry old timer, your time as well as Oakland’s is coming up soon….”
    What the hell is that suppose to mean?
    What a jerk. TonyD is almost saint like compared to you.

  23. David says:

    @ST – I know Lew Wolff gets a lot from A’s fans, but he’s the owner and “fair game”. Given that, I see no reason to be so hostile to another A’s fan.

  24. tony d. says:

    San Antonio de San Jose? Happy Memorial Day! Especially to all my fellow veterans.

  25. ST says:

    @David – Funny that you should say that because it’s the pro Oakland folks like yourself and JK that has basically alienated the fanbase…continually bashing SJ resident A’s fans aren’t going to get you anywhere in your futile arguments. If you guys continue to be jerk-offs and take a hardline emotional stance towards facts and then start questioning about how “diehard” folks are then you should have the sense to realize what kind of retaliatory comments may come back at you. Every day that i hear these stupid arguments makes me want to more and more disassociate myself from idiots like JK and question why I’m an A’s fan in the first place. I think I get more love from Giants fans then you SJ bashers. It’s no wonder the attendance is so low these days. Just plain A’s fans that just want to enjoy the damn game are getting caught up in the crossfire between all this Oakland bickering and getting sick of it. You guys reap what you sow…and when the A’s move, it’ll be interesting who sticks around…I know regardless if its in Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, or Santa Rosa, I’ll still go to an A’s game….will you?

  26. David says:

    I bash “SJ resident A’s fans”? Really?? Way to lump me in with someone you don’t understand. I won’t speak for jk-usa, but from my observations, he doesn’t bash other A’s fans … “jerk-offs”? Sports and the fans of sports teams are a tribal bunch. Oakland in particular, has a chip on its shoulder. Its not always rational, but it is what it is.

  27. jk-usa says:

    @ST—blah, blah blah…I’m tired of you and your posts.
    Get some more of that loving from them Giant’s fans..lol.

  28. pjk says:

    As for the A’s, just look towards the upper right of this page and they’re averaging 17,852 per, or 1/7th of 120k, not 11 times as you so proudly claim. BTW, that’s 300 higher than the “we make the playoffs every year” SJ Sharks.

    ….this gets the award for the most dishonest nonsense I’ve ever read in this blog. The Sharks sell out their 17,562-capacity building every night; the A’s 35,000-capacity building is usually less than half full (and it would be even worse than that if not for Wolff’s wise decision to tarp off the upper deck). Nobody, not Wolff, not even Haas, would donate a $500 million ballpark to a place with such dismal fan support.

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