That group Stand for San Jose is at it again, choosing New Year’s Eve to write a letter to the City. In the letter, the group is demanding that the A’s guarantee revenues as defined in the September Economic Impact report. Nevermind that the A’s did not write nor commission the report; it was handled by the City. Have the San Jose Giants ever promised any kind of economic benefit for San Jose? I’m afraid not, yet they’re happy to go to the public trough and then have the temerity to attack the City after they’ve secured a ballpark deal of their own.
Regardless of what you or I think of the group’s machinations, the City has already set up guidelines for negotiating with the A’s if/when they get clearance to move to San Jose. While these are just the beginning and the devil will truly be in the details, the principles approved by the Mayor/Council (PDF) are a good start towards making sure everything’s on the up-and-up.
- The stadium development must generate a significant economic benefit to San Jose and have a positive impact on the City of San Jose’s General Fund.
- The Major League Baseball team, at no cost to the City of San Jose, will be responsible for financing and building the stadium structure and improvements on the approximate 14-acre designated stadium site.
- The Major League Baseball team will be responsible for financing all stadium operating costs related to its activities within the stadium site and surrounding area.
- The name of the Major League Baseball team must include San Jose.
- If the City or Redevelopment Agency recommend a contribution in the form of land or a financial contribution for any other ballpark specific items, a vote by the citizens of San Jose will be required on the stadium project.
Not known to mince words, Mayor Chuck Reed had a select few for Stand for San Jose:
“I think this front organization for the San Francisco Giants should go to San Francisco and talk to their puppet masters and tell them to get out of the way so we can negotiate some guarantees,” Reed said.
While City Attorney Rick Doyle called it “unrealistic” for any team to agree to such a money-back guarantee, he said reducing the city’s financial risk is “very do-able.” Doyle pointed to the 1990 deal between the city and the San Jose Sharks over funding the arena, now called HP Pavilion.
Furthermore, Roger Noll characterizes a revenue guarantee (beyond a direct lease payment) as “improbable.” And to end the article on an unintentionally humorous note, reporter Tracy Seipel notes that the letter asks for an “economic benefits report card,” similar to audits done by Phoenix and Washington, DC. Except that those two cities don’t do such report cards. The supposed “responsible government” in the District put together (thanks Robert Bobb) one of the most egregiously one-sided, publicly-financed ballpark deals in the last 20 years.