News for 8/23/12
Items are starting to pile up, so it’s time to let loose.
- Yesterday I went to an A’s game at the Coliseum, followed by a River Cats game at Raley Field. While I paid for a $2 seat in Oakland, I ended up sitting along the covered (upper) part of the plaza level near the A’s bullpen, section 125. A regular-priced ticket there is $24. My ticket at Raley was a front row seat next to the River Cats dugout that cost $27 including Ticketmaster fees.
- The internet was abuzz with noise about Comcast/Spectacor’s proposal for a new arena in Virginia Beach. Then, partly because a Kings spokesman chose to go the non-denial/denial route, Sacramento and Hampton Roads media jumped all over the plan, concocting a Kings move to the Virginia Beach out of thin air. That forced the Maloofs to issue an actual denial of any rumored move. [Original article: Virginian-Pilot/Aaron Applegate]
- A burgeoning effort to overhaul state’s often restrictive CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) laws was tabled by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg earlier today. Business interests and trades unions rallied together to bring the issue to the floor, which would have pitted moderates against environmentalists within the Democratic party. The push was started by SVLG (Silicon Valley Leadership Group), which provided little more than guidance in how the law should be changed. For now the two sides are far apart: the moderates consider changes to CEQA to be common sense modernization and a reduction of red tape, whereas environmentalists see the changes as a gutting of CEQA. Steinberg pushed the matter out to the 2013 legislative session. We’ll follow it closely, as it could have a huge impact in how cities and developers plan projects. [LA Times/Michael J. Mishak]
- The Detroit-Wayne County Stadium Authority is refinancing $61 million in outstanding bonds for Comerica Park. Refinancing should drop the interest rate from 5.75% to 3%. The article is a good read because it chronicles how many times the public body failed in previous attempts to refinance the debt, which is important to know in light of the idea that the Oakland Coliseum JPA and the San Francisco Giants are looking to refinance their own respective stadium debt. [Crain's/Bill Shea]
- Speaking of the CEQA process, the Warriors’ proposed SF arena now has its own Mayor-appointed citizens advisory committee. [SFGate/John Coté]
- The Rays will, in fact, see a presentation about a developer’s plan for a new ballpark within St. Petersburg, yet closer to Tampa. It’s a start. [Tampa Bay Times/Mark Puente]
- The America’s Cup World Series is happening this week along the Marina Green. It’s a good dry run for the bigger 2013 America’s Cup races. There are plenty of places to watch the action for free. Races run through the weekend. [SFGate/Neal J. Riley]
- Finally, the Earthquakes are announcing something stadium-related before their Saturday game against Columbus. It’ll be in the form of a press conference at 6 at Buck Shaw. Perhaps a groundbreaking date?
More as it comes.