A while back, I had postulated that construction of both the A’s and Quakes’ stadia would be done together, sequenced to take advantage of lower combined materials costs and labor. Little did I know back then that this sort of packaging extended to stadium design as well. That’s exactly what has happened as Wolff/Fisher put out a press release revealing the combined effort.
The timing of the release is obviously to capitalize on 360’s involvement as principal for New Meadowlands Stadium, which is due to have its first regular season NFL game next Monday. Print media reviews should be flooding in over the next several days, allowing for further mentions of 360’s past and future projects, the latter of which should include whatever they’re doing in the Bay Area.
Beyond the possible PR mini-coup, I figure that this was also a smoke signal sent up to say, “Hey, we’re still here and we’re working on it.” In fact, they’ve been working on it for a while. While we figured that ownership had 360 on retainer while all the political mess was sorted out for the ballpark, it was expected that Rossetti would be the firm of choice for the soccer stadium, since they had done several others over the past decade. And since the Quakes’ renderings are basically the same ones from last year’s EIR draft, it’s clear the 360 has been working on the Quakes project for some time.
Try as they might, however, this doesn’t mean that MLB is any closer to getting anything done. Even if that were the case, we wouldn’t hear about it until at least November or the winter meetings.
On the technical side, the Quakes’ stadium and the A’s ballpark are a study in contrasts. The Quakes have their club seats at field level, whereas the A’s have theirs at the top of the stadium. The A’s will have luxury suites, the Quakes may not have any to start. The Quakes will have a planned development right next to their stadium. Something like that at Diridon for the A’s is much further down the road, and the A’s may have little to no control over it. The Quakes will have plenty of parking on the premises. The A’s won’t.
I suspect that this is by design. By offering certain amenities in one facility and not in another, they’re inviting the public to experience both in a mix-and-match fashion. If you’re looking at it from the perspective of a corporate seat buyer, you may have the ability to pick from different combinations of accommodations. It would take Jeffrey’s regionality idea and give it a twist, in that it bridges multiple leagues from a selling standpoint, not just business operations. And if the Quakes are still struggling to get corporate sponsors to commit to the Quakes stadium, it would make sense to leverage the A’s ballpark as a valuable selling point in the form of a package sponsorship deal. Combine that with, say, a future investment in the teams by the Sharks’ ownership group (SVSE), and the potential for further integration is huge. Now, I have no idea how the accounting would work with all of that, but we’re talking about an accountant as the managing partner – he probably has a few ideas. If you’re the Giants, this is most certainly something to watch. The Giants would love to be able to grab additional revenue streams by building a new SF arena for the Warriors, and this kind of flexibility has to be part of the game.