I’m at a train “layover” in Spokane. They’re splitting the train so that one part goes to Seattle, the other to Portland (my half). Three more days, it’s been great so far.
- So far, home teams are 1-8 in the games I have attended (or in the White Sox case, was prevented from attending). The first win came Wednesday night, as the Twins beat the White Sox in Target Field. BTW, I’ve already written the longish post for that one, but it’ll have to wait until after the other Wrigley Field and Miller Park posts are up. Next game is a AAA game in Portland later tonight, perhaps one of the last pro games in PDX for a while.
- Lowell Cohn has another hit piece on A’s ownership, this time focused on the Fisher family’s vast art collection, which indicates they love art more than sports. Then he claims that ownership should be “sportspeople” as George Steinbrenner was. You know how good of a “sportsperson” The Boss was? He got New York State to fork over $160 million in public money to pay for Yankee Stadium in the mid-70’s. Hundreds of millions more in tax-free bonds were rammed through the legislature for the new Yankee Stadium. Do you think that any Bay Area owner is going to get a deal anywhere approaching that right now, Lowell? Hmmm???? Revenue sharing receipts are not a license to spend willy nilly. Major free agents aren’t coming here to sign long term deals (Rafael Furcal). Hell, they aren’t even going to the Giants. Here’s an proper response to Cohn’s non-sequitur:
- Both the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun are reporting that Mayor Oscar Goodman and Vegas interests are once again interested in a MLB franchise, possibly an AL team. Haven’t we heard this song before? And didn’t Goodman say barely two years ago that he didn’t want to be used as leverage against another city, say, St. Petersburg? Once he opens his mouth on the subject, which he is guaranteed to do shortly after someone calls, he and Vegas become leverage. Can’t blame him for wanting that legacy piece.
- Speaking of St. Pete, Pinellas County (FL) extended an existing 1% bed or TOT tax originally used for funding the Tropicana Dome. The tax, which was set to expire in 2015, could potentially be used as a $4 million/year source of funding for a new Other Bay Area ballpark.
- Finally, Baseball San Jose is organizing a Diridon site walking tour on August 30th at 6 PM. Jeffrey and I are both scheduled to attend. If you’re available, it should be informative. The prior tour I attended was a city-run affair and couldn’t address much about the baseball team and design in general. I’m hoping that because BBSJ’s booster status, we might get a little more specific. Side note: I’d love to do a walking tour of an Oakland ballpark site, though I’ve been told that there are no artist renderings of a ballpark site, nor has a site been specified (even though Victory Court is the big frontrunner).
- Oakland Mayoral Candidate Rebecca Kaplan will have a talk on August 25th at Linden Street Brewery about sports and keeping franchises in Oakland. Sure to be top discussion topics will be the A’s and Raiders.
- I’ve been sitting on the new pics from the San Jose Jazz Festival found at the Baseball San Jose blog. My only comment for now is that the RF addition, which would presumably follow the contour of Autumn Street/Parkway, is a good one. It’s a proper way to mitigate noise while adding revenue generating capabilities and even cheaper seats. However, it would likely require a major reconfiguration of the PG&E substation, instead of minor changes as has been discussed by San Jose Redevelopment. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they figure out a way to shoehorn it in there. 10:00 AM – Now that I’ve seen the overhead render, I’m changing my mind. It does look like they’ve managed to shoehorn it in there. Clever. I should add that my previous sketches on this are largely based on stuff HOK/Populous has done, not the more radical with-column treatment that 360 and the A’s are attempting. Doing that could reduce the footprint some 10-20%, by my semi-educated estimate.
Anything else to report? Drop it in the comments and it’ll be added to the post.