San Jose officials nixed an $80 million deal to build a soccer stadium near the Diridon South ballpark site. The controversial deal, which received little public scrutiny before it initially passed last month, involved a commitment from the city to build a SSS (soccer specific stadium) on city-owned land that currently houses a fire training site. Operating subsidies were included for the years in which the new San Jose Earthquakes expansion team were forced to play in Spartan Stadium while the SSS was being built. The plan also called for funds earmarked for public recreation facilities and parks to be rerouted to the stadium. MLS commissioner Don Garber visited San Jose two weeks ago and had meetings with the city.
This could affect the A’s interest in the team, since it is unclear whether there would be any public share for a SSS, and that’s what attracted Lew Wolff to the idea in the first place. After the $80 million plan was announced in December, Wolff expressed his interest and has been in touch ever since. The article states that the city still plans to meet with Wolff in the next 45 days, which could mean any number of things.
Does this mean that all hope of getting the Quakes back is lost? Hardly. I wouldn’t be surprise if a different plan came out of the woodwork. It may even be *gasp* a multi-purpose facility, though it wouldn’t be anything like the multi-purpose stadiums of decades past. Neither MLB nor MLS wants to share stadia with other tenants, but if it is a single ownership entity that owned both franchises, it might make more sense, especially from the construction standpoint. The difficulty lies in building a stadium that can capably handle both sports without compromising size, sightlines, or amenities in either configuration.