‘Tis the season to put up or shut up. We have a few examples at our disposal.
Robert Gammon reports that Oakland’s CEDA committee will examine the financing proposal for the $750,000 Victory Court ballpark EIR. The meeting is next Tuesday at 1:30 PM @ Oakland City Hall. If it is approved in committee, the City Council will vote on it the following Tuesday, December 21. There are three choices going forward:
- Choose not to pay for the study. Gammon expects that the only dissenter on the committee will be Ignacio De La Fuente, with IDLF and Nancy Nadel the two members of the City Council who are opposed.
- Authorize $350k for the initial traffic study. A complete traffic study hasn’t been completed in the JLS area for a decade, so the information could prove valuable for any number of future projects, including a ballpark.
- Authorize all $750k. This should cover the complete EIR, including the traffic study.
LSA Associates, the Berkeley firm that did EIR work for both the Fremont and San Jose ballpark proposals, is doing this one as well if approved. Traffic study work is usually farmed out to a different set of consultants, that’s why it can be separated out.
In the unlikely event that either the CEDA committee or the City Council voted against the study funding, the message to MLB would be in effect a white flag. They could just authorize the traffic study and either wait until MLB renders a decision or ask MLB for some funding help. Previously I wrote that the latter was a good idea, however when I read that MLB has paid for all of the work up to this point, maybe that’s not such a good idea. Oakland may have to pay the whole $750k just to show that it has some skin in the game.
Over in TV land, if you are a Dish Network subscriber and a Sharks fan, someone on high doesn’t love you much. Yet another carriage squabble has occurred, this time between Dish and Comcast over CSN California. The dispute has viewers blaming both parties. Dish has always been the “budget” satellite alternative, with DirecTV having long been the true sports fan’s choice thanks in large part to its exclusive right to broadcast NFL Sunday Ticket. Hopefully they’ll get this resolved before the A’s season starts, or Dish loses a ton of subscribers.
Down south near the border, Escondido continues to struggle with authorizing $50 million for a new ballpark for the now homeless Padres AAA affiliate, formerly the Portland Beavers. The ballpark proposal is being fast-tracked so that it can be ready in time for the 2012 season (17 months from now), which sounds like a bad idea. Unlike Santa Clara, which at least had three years to study the 49ers stadium deal, the similarly sized Escondido is only getting a few months. $50 million in redevelopment funds would tap the agency’s budget for the next decade. Padres owner Jeff Moorad is trying to buy the team, but the deal appears to be contingent upon getting the Escondido deal done. Portland is out of the question because PGE Park is being renovated for soccer. Tucson will be the interim home, though it’s possible Tucson could become the next long-term home. A MOU between the City and Moorad’s group is available here.
Speaking of fast-tracking, AEG’s Tim Leiweke is really pushing his vision of a retractable roof NFL stadium in downtown LA. The stadium, which would replace the West Hall of the LA Convention Center, would have “up to 72,000 fixed seats, 14,700 club seats and 40 field-level suites among its 218 skyboxes.” Apparently AEG isn’t demanding an ownership stake in whatever team moves there, though I’ll believe that when the ink is dry.