SVLG formally endorses San Jose ballpark effort

Not sure why this took so long, but here is SVLG’s endorsement, courtesy of Mayor Chuck Reed’s office.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorses San Jose’s effort to bring a privately built baseball stadium in downtown San Jose
Board of directors vote was unanimous

San Jose – March 11 – The board of directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group voted unanimously today to support the San Jose City Council’s effort to bring a privately built and operated major league baseball stadium that is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs and generate more than $5 million dollars a year of revenue for local governments.

“The stadium effort touches all the bases,” said Carl Guardino, CEO and president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “It provides jobs, strengthens our economy, offers a cultural aspect for our families and is a stone’s throw from the future BART station, already home to Caltrain, light rail and Amtrak.”

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said, “I want to thank the Silicon Valley Leadership Group for endorsing our efforts to bring major league baseball to downtown San Jose. Silicon Valley’s business and technology leaders know that professional baseball makes fiscal and economic sense for San Jose and our neighboring communities. As the largest city in Northern California and one of the most dynamic markets for sports in the U.S., the time is right for professional baseball to turn its attention to San José.”

San Jose has identified a fourteen-acre site at the western edge of downtown for a 32,000-seat major league ballpark. The was chosen because it is readily accessible by major public transportation facilities including Caltrain, VTA bus and light rail, as well as a future BART station.

Major League Baseball is currently reviewing site options and territorial rights for the Oakland A’s. Pending a favorable conclusion, a vote by the citizens of San Jose will be necessary. It is anticipated that this will occur in November 2010. The earliest a ballpark would open is Spring 2014.

48 thoughts on “SVLG formally endorses San Jose ballpark effort

  1. Timing is everything–you have unamious SJ city council support, SC county support, and now broad support of the business community represented by SVLG—with this level of committment coupled with EIR certification in 30 days or so and an ownership group that has made it clear that SJ is their preferred choice, MLB would look foolish to cave to the gints and risk trying to figure something out in fremont. We’re talking less than 4 miles to the SCC line and 13 miles or so to downtown SJ—and that is 13 miles further away from AT&T—

    It has taken years to get to this point and no other city is even close to where SJ is at this point in time. BS just needs to tell the gints that the games are over and its time to move forward–

  2. Wow, the Mayor, the City Council, and the SVLG are all in favor of a major leage baseball team coming to town, and financing it’s own half billion dollar facility? What a shock.

    • Just one more thing Oakland doesn’t have in it’s ballpark “effort”.

      • Normally, “effort” to attract major league sports means public financing. San Jose has probably shown less “effort” than any major city in America to attract major league sports. What if the A’s weren’t owned by a San Jose real-estate developer? How much “effort” would we be seeing? The residents of Oakland and Alameda County are already on the hook for tax payer financed sports facilities hosting 3 major league teams, plus BART. Nice how San Jose gets all the props for piggy-backing on that.

      • Interesting defintion–I would suggest “effort” involves site identification, acquisitoin, investment in EIR, gaining broad political and business support—using that criteria how does Oakland or Fremont stack against SJ’s effort?

      • “Interesting definition”

        I’m not defining anything, just pointing out a fact. Name any city in America with a big league franchise that has not at some point constructed a publicly financed stadium. If there’s so much wealth in the South Bay, why won’t they just build a stadium like the working slobs in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland, Seattle, Oakland, San Diego, etc.?

      • This is a rhetorical question, right? You of all people should know the political and economic realities of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

      • But aren’t the, “political and economic realities of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley…” pertinent to a decision by MLB to build in the South Bay? This is the disconnect for me. There’s insufficient political and economic backing in the community to even build a little baseball only stadium, and yet there are sufficient resources for the A’s to mortgage half a billion dollars there, and financially move ahead of the Twins, Royals, Rays, etc., becoming competitive with the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees in signing star players to big long-term contracts? I’m having difficulty going from point A to point B on this economically. Obviously the city would be a big winner (hence the pro-active support), and as someone with huge investments in the city, Wolff should score big too. But the team, the fans, and MLB? I’m not seeing it.

      • The political climate regarding stadiums is not static and isn’t transferable from market to market. Most of the Bay Area was friendly towards public financing until the 70’s, leaving the San Jose Arena the only major new, publicly funded venue in the last 30 years. Other markets can count on city, county, and even state contributions (PA) to make it happen.

        There’s no doubt that when it comes to this move, MLB’s desires come first. That means getting the A’s revenues up, which at least in the short term (10 years) will provide dividends. After that it’s up to the A’s to cultivate the fanbase to make the team sustainable for the next 30 years. That could be done in Oakland, it could be done in San Jose, maybe even Fremont. I just think that all the number crunchers are doing is a cold, political calculus and if it alienates several thousand longtime fans (the ones that actually go to games regularly), it’s not that big a loss. They won’t admit that, of course.

      • How about San Francisco? How about Los Angeles for their baseball and soccer stadium. How about Columbus for their soccer stadium. How about Roski in LA for his new football stadium… There are stadiums out there that were built without public funds.

      • Seems to have worked pretty damn well for the gints and MLB in SF—same type of deal to be negotiated in SJ—-so what’s the problem in connecting the dots?

      • But the Giants came to SF and played for 40 years in public facilities before building their own. There’s not a chance in hell, they would have moved to SF and built their own ballpark right away. And this is how it almost always works. The city ponies up and gets the team, and eventually either upgrades the facility for them, or the team decides to do it themselves, or the team moves to the next city willing to build new for them… There are a paltry few examples of teams just showing up and building right away. The Dodgers I will concede. But we are talking about a team arriving in Los Angeles, and having it all to themselves, something pretty unique. And that was 40 years ago. Nothing like that that I can recall has happened since then in MLB.I don’t think San Jose has the slightest chance to compete with Los Angeles as an entertainment market.

      • You imply that there is a “rite of initiation” required before building a ballpark with private funds–fascinating on its on merits–but lets keep in mind that the citizens of San Jose has supported both of the MLB teams since their moves west…in fact according to Neukom and the gints—SJ is the heart and soul of their fan base—so using your criteria I would suggest that SJ has already been accepted in the club as currently supporting MLB teams–

      • “…so using your criteria…”

        GoA’s, my criteria was “public finance”, as in, say, a half cent sales tax Not a thousand or so season ticket holders.

      • COMPLETE SPECULATION WARNING:
        The strange thing is, I imagine if Oakland was willing to put up public money to finance construction of a new baseball stadium they could make the whole debate almost moot.

        I don’t live in Oakland, Fremont or San Jose, but if it was my city that was contemplating public financing of a sport venue, I would vote “no” and not think twice. It is clear that when municipalities invest large amounts of money into a stadium project it really just helps the team’s bottom line and negates any economic benefit for the City as a whole. Limited investment, like what happened in San Francisco, is the way to go.

        I feel like the whole “Three Tracks Strategy” that MLB is following here is really a behind the scenes attempt to drive a bidding war of sorts. It’s clear, in my opinion, that MLB is going to continue on talking with all three cities up until they can’t really squeeze anything more favorable out of one of them.

        Maybe they still think they can get a deal as one sided as the Raiders got with Oakland.

      • Jeffrey–agree that a public subsidy (more than a cheap land lease and infrastructure improvements) in Oakland would need to be involved before private investors are going throw $500M on the table—regarding MLB trying to drive up the price–completely disagree—none of the 3 cities have anything to give—beyond what has already been discussed—I think that MLB is trying to figure out the deal with the gints regarding territorial rights and there will be two (2) options—what it will cost MLB if the A’s move toFremont (MLB most likely will need to agree to keep the A’s on the dole–i.e–small market team to make this happen since LW is not interested anymore) or what MLB might have to pay to the gints to free SJ where LW wants to build–either way there is cost involved that the lodge will need to understand in order to make their decision—

      • If it is a bidding war, then that’s just one more thing that’s broken about baseball.

        Something that might be interesting for Oakland to consider is the model the Pirates took — a sales tax skim from across the county. It’d be a difficult prospect, but considering the “East Bay” status of the team, it might work. You could probably cut out Cisco, too. Rename it the Oakland-Alameda Whatever. Or take Cisco’s money, and save tax-payers a few quid. Either way would work.

      • Not sure I agree with you on this one Jeff.

        MLB and the A’s have to know that any public subsidies will have to go before the voters. Given the current economic climate, voters don’t want to hear about their city and or county subsidizing a sports franchise. Why commit to subsidies, if those subsidies jeopardizes the project with the voters.

        I think the current delay is as a result of 1) trying to hammer out a deal with the Giants, or 2) making it seem as though they (MLB) are considering all options, even though they’ve settled on San Jose. Afterall, it wouldn’t make any difference whether a decision is announed now or say later in May. As long as they are able to get it on the November ballot.

      • “Normally, “effort” to attract major league sports means public financing…. The residents of Oakland and Alameda County are already on the hook for tax payer financed sports facilities hosting 3 major league teams, plus BART.”

        Please. Oakland had no intention of being “on the hook” for public money for the Raiders or the A’s; they just bungled the deal. You are confusing “effort” with incompetence.

        And as ML already pointed out, San Jose is the only city in the Bay Area to build a new publicly financed venue in the last thirty years.

      • And what the hell does BART have to do with anything? Anyway, Santa Clara County residents have already voted twice to tax themselves to bring BART to San Jose, by overwhelming margins.

  3. It’s my preferred option, but that would mean MLB would be forcing an unwilling participant in Lew to sit down with a seemingly ambivalent partner in the City of Oakland, and I don’t see it happening. If it does, maybe it’ll be impetus for Wolff & Co to sell.

      • Let’s hope? You mean you’d rather see the A’s sold and become Portland or Las Vegas rather than simply see them move 32 miles to the south? Just plain pathetic! Thankfully, Mr. Wolff selling isn’t happening. Better start hoping for something more realistic DH, like more sunny days ahead.

      • or Fremont

      • That’s one thing I’ve always hated about the Bay Area. When it behooves SF or Oakland they include San Jose as “part of the area” and “our market”. But suddenly when it doesn’t suit them the 35 miles between SF/Oakland and SJ is this insurmountable gulf that will destroy the world as we know it. Which is it folks? Either San Jose is your close neighbor or it’s not. Enough of this wishy washy crap.

  4. Lol @ This Planet Sux’s sour grapes!! Lmao!!

  5. I just received in my inbox the new san jose EIR draft.

    it’s long….so i’ll let rm or jeffrey to disect it 🙂

  6. It’s as good as done now. Welcome San JosA’s

    • SVLG who? ML…news on the A’s front must be very slow right now. You’re beginning to scrap the bottom of the barrel.

      • SVLG almost singlehandedly kept the HSR project out of Alameda County. If Oakland had SVLG on its side instead of an ad hoc group of business interests, there would be fewer worries there about keeping the team in town. SVLG is not to be underestimated.

      • Dennis H—that is a laughable comment that either shows your lack of understanding of the economic engine in the bay area or shows your jealousy of the support provided by SVLG. Other cities like Oakland could only hope to “scrape the bottom of the barrell” and gain this endorsement. In addition to the HSR ML mentions, this group has led the effort in securing not one but two
        votes of support for increasing the sales tax in SCC to pay for the BART to downtown San Jose extension. Both of which required a 2/3rd majority. They also have been active in lobbying DC to release $900M of federal funding for this extension—which the federal gov’t just agreed to include the SCC extension in their review process. Bottom line the group is very influential in all circles—-and gaining their unamious support sends a pretty clear signal to MLB that the business community in Santa Clara County is very supportive of the A’s move to downtown.

        Since you obviously know little about the group I thought I would give you some background so next time you can make informed comments.

        SVLG consists of 311 members located primairly in Santa Clara County and ncludes hi-tech, financial, academia, construction, utility, airline, public. By and large it is the Bay Area Who’s who in Fortune 1000 companies. The Board itself consists of the following 32 companies-

        Synopsys
        SunPower
        Citibank
        Applied Materials
        Wells Fargo Bank
        MetricStream, Inc.,
        IBM Corporation
        Webcor Builders
        KLA-Tencor
        Bell Micro
        University of California, Santa Cruz
        Pacific Gas & Electric
        SAP Labs North America
        Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
        Virgin Airlines
        McAfee, Inc.
        Bank of America
        Varian Medical Systems
        Hewlett-Packard Company
        Affymetrix
        Brocade Communications Systems
        S.J. Santa Clara University
        Wyse Technology
        AT&T California
        Monolithic Systems
        SpikeSource, Inc.
        BD Biosciences
        VantagePoint Venture Partners
        San Jose Mercury News
        NetApp, Inc.
        Bridgelux
        SVB Financial Group

  7. Selig says he’s still waiting for the report from the comittee.

    <>

  8. You’re absolutely right about the SVLG, Dennis.
    How can they be taken seriously if they don’t have Clorox on their board?

  9. So Selig hasn’t received a report or recommendation from the committee, yet he’s talked to them a lot? Uh, OK. Meanwhile, San Jose has approved the final $30 million for the rest of the ballpark site and the SVLG has finally given their blessing, which should definetely be part of the final report.
    Don’t you just love how the media still loves to throw out “The Giants are prepared to fight to keep their territory” when they know damn well they can’t fight! Oh well, sensationalism never hurt anyone I guess.
    Lastly, was that an early April Fools joke out of MLB: Ben Sheets 10 runs, no outs in the first?

  10. The basic ‘tude of those people, starting with Diamond Lil, is: We are the progressive OAKLAND A’s fans from the era when everyone knew the workers were good and the capitalists were evil and we’d rather see them in Portland or Las Vegas than belong to the corporate rich people in San Jose.

  11. One thing that could be holding up the final Bay Area committee report to Selig and MLB; the sale of the Texas Rangers from HSG to the Nolan Ryan/Greenberg group. “What?!” you say? Well, committee member/attorney Irwin Raij is also representing the Nolan Ryan lead group, and the sale isn’t expected to be finalized until April 1. Perhaps this is simply a case of priorities, with MLB and Raij putting the Rangers sale on the frontburner and the A’s stadium situation in the fridge for now. Considering that 1) SJ has yet to fully acquire Diridon South and 2) the revised ballpark EIR isn’t yet finalized, this isn’t an illogical thought; “We can, and have to, wait for now” could be the line of thinking for Selig/MLB. In their many talks with Selig, the committee has probably already made an under the table recommendation, but has put the A’s ballpark issue aside for now to take care of a more pressing issue.
    Lastly, from the SJ Mercury News front page 3/16/10: Why SJ gets a March Madness party? NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen, “It’s a great location for our fans, and the building (HP) is fantastic…It says a lot that it’s not a basketball building day-in and day-out but it feels like that when we’re there…we get the feeling that whole area embraces the NCAA Tournament, which is all we could ask for.” The “whole area” is also ready to embrace the A’s and MLB!

    • Tony- my understanding is that you won’t see the city acquire any more property until they get the nod from MLB that SJ is good to go–the money is there and things will progress quickly if they get the nod. My sense is that the panel is finalizing costs associated with the “4 miles”–from the proposed Fremont site (0 cost) to the SCC border–ultimately this is what the owners will have to approve and until that framework is finalized no one wants to go public—certifying the final EIR is important as it puts SJ 2 years ahead of the other cities.

      • I hear yah GoA’s! Isn’t it amazing (like the Pac Common days) that the Giants don’t (or didn’t) say anything about a hypothetical A’s ballpark 4 miles north of the SCCo. line, yet magically cross that line with a SJ proposal and they blow their tops!
        In regards to the Diridon site, up until recently the 13.5 acre plot was officially titled the “Downtown Mixed-use Site.” In fact, a few years ago the city put together a “relocation plan” for land owners within the site. I’m sure SJ will get the “nod” soon, but even if they didn’t I could see the city still acquiring the entire site for housing, retail or commercial development; especially with a high-speed rail/BART station coming in the future.

      • Dont disagree with you on the benefits of land banking in this area but unfortunately its all about priiorities with limited RDA funds these days—ultimately I would think that the city would work to acquire additoinal parcels in this area if the ballpark doesn’t happen but there would be no pressing need to do it within the next few months—

  12. R.M.,
    Any reason why posts originating from the bottom of the screen somehow wind up 6 slots up? A glitch in the Matrix?

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