News for 6/8/11

Several weeks ago buzz surrounded SB 286, a redevelopment reform bill working its way through the state legislature. That bill has stalled in committee and has been replaced by AB 1250, written by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas). AB 1250 is working its way through committee, and the reasons why may be related to what it restricts and supports. Namely, the restrictions on redevelopment of military bases and new stadium projects are not in AB 1250, which leads me to believe that the big developer lobby had a hand in ensuring that those big ticket projects remained untouched. Language for projects involving casinos, golf courses, and race tracks is the same. The bill may face further amendments and is up against the session deadline, with Governor Brown still committed to abolishing redevelopment instead of reforming it.

The cost of the 49ers stadium has risen from $937 million to $987 million, with precious few indicators of how the team would pay for it.

The College World Series will kick off June 18 at its new home, TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. The ballpark has already had numerous dry runs thanks to it being the home of Creighton baseball, though the constant crowds will prove to be a new kind of test. Dismantling of Rosenblatt Stadium has already begun.

Cal has managed to use up two of its nine baseball lives this year, first by raising enough money to keep the program going and then by mounting a furious comeback over Baylor on Monday to win the Houston Regional. Cal’s Evans Diamond is not considered an adequate facility for the NCAA to host a Super Regional, so it was decided on Tueday that the Bears’ series with Dallas Baptist will be played at the newest baseball stadium in the Bay Area, SCU’s Stephen Schott Stadium. (Yes, that Steve Schott.) Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students/seniors. The schedule is as follows:

Date                          Time (PT)     Television
Saturday, June 11   Game 1    5 p.m.        ESPNU
Sunday, June 12     Game 2    7 p.m.        ESPNU
Monday, June 13     Game 3*   1 or 4 p.m.   ESPN2 or ESPNU
*if necessary

The San Jose Earthquakes, who play their home games on campus at Buck Shaw Stadium, are on the road this weekend in The District, so there should be no parking constraints. I think I’ll go to one of the games, not sure which one yet. Not to be forgotten, Stanford is also in the Super Regionals, but they are on the road at North Carolina. The 1,500-seat Stephen Schott Stadium, which opened in 2005, was shoehorned into a small lot across from the university. Apartments sit behind the right field wall, lending an additional air of intimacy. There’s no room for a berm or additional seats down the lines. The Caltrain station is two blocks away, though unfortunately, no Capitol Corridor trains from the East Bay stop at this station.

ESPN Page 2 writer Paul Lukas (Uni Watch) wrote a cool feature on closed captioning at ballparks, which hopefully will become more commonplace at stadiums all over the country over time.

NBC won bidding for the the next four Olympic Games through 2020 at a combined cost of $4.4 billion. NBC’s bid purportedly eclipsed those by rivals ESPN and FOX by at least $1 billion.

Richard Keit will replace Harry Mavrogenes as head of San Jose Redevelopment, whose staff was reduced to seven.

OT: Apple wants to land a spaceship/office building on the former HP Cupertino campus it bought for expansion. Steve Jobs visited Cupertino’s City Council session last night (YouTube) to present his vision.

Jobs may want to get working on the tube technology needed to move employees between the new campus and the old one. Plans are to break ground as soon as next year and move in by 2015. Amazing how businesses without antitrust exemptions tend to get things done faster. There’s an interesting exchange towards the end of his discussion with the City Council about why there’s no Apple Store in the moribund Vallco Mall.

Former Oakland City Manager and Nationals Park dealmaker Robert Bobb stepped down from his post as emergency manager for the Detroit Public Schools. Turns out he wasn’t only fighting corruption and financial mismanagement within the rundown school system. He was also battling cancer for more than a year. For now, Bobb has returned to DC, where he will run his consulting firm and write a book about his experiences at DPS.

18 thoughts on “News for 6/8/11

  1. Stephen Schott Field is one of the coolest places I have ever watched a game.

  2. Best wishes to Mr. Bobb, who got the short end of the stick when he was here. Oh, what might have been…

  3. It’s not the coolest place I’ve ever watched a game, but it’s a nice little park. Can’t get more intimate than 1,500 seats.

  4. @Jeffrey–agree with you–my son’s high school team got to play there a few times—like the way it is tucked into the site—very classy park also—realize it is much smaller but so much nicer than muni–

  5. IMHO, the prospect of the Raiders and Niners sharing a stadium just grew big time (and most likely will continue to grow).

  6. A joint Raiders-Niners stadium at the Coliseum complex (just replace the existing baseball half of the stadium with new football stands, club seats and luxury boxes and you have an almost-brand new stadium for half the cost) is a logical idea. Unfortunately, the Giants caging the A’s into Oakland puts a crimp in that plan. By refusing to let the A’s move to San Jose, the Giants are burning not just the A’s but the Raiders and maybe the 49ers, too.

  7. is keeping the mt davis portion of the coliseum really all that appealing. the luxury boxes are small and sub standard compared to the newer venues and the seats on top of mt davis are horrible and so steep also compared to the upper deck of most of these newer stadiums.

    imo if somehow the niners santa clara stadium falls apart and they get a joint raiders-niners football stadium in oak, i say just build a new stadium all together instead of using part of a venue that isn’t up to the standard of either franchise.

    i don’t know it’d def would cost a lot less if they did use the mt davis coliseum into a new football venue but i personally hope they blow up that venue and build something over it. i know a lot of niner fans would hate the idea of watching their team in OAKLAND. i know the media here would also reject to that deal, including knbr’s bruce who took a shot at oakland basically saying the niners would take a step down or two playing their home games in oakland in a joint stadium.

    really is the coliseum spot the only place to build a football venue? i’d love somehow to see a sports venue build near downtown in an urban area. the most likely place would be where the oak to 9th project was supposed to be built, don’t know what’s the deal with that project anymore, i think i read somewhere the deal is off. love to see a sports venue build away from the coliseum area where you don’t get a whole lot of development around the venue and be nice to get thousands of people in and around downtown oakland/waterfront 10-20+ times a year with football along with the other events a football venue would get you.

  8. re: i know a lot of niner fans would hate the idea of watching their team in OAKLAN

    The New York Giants and New York Jets don’t even play in the state of New York. Nobody minds. The Coliseum requires no property acquisitions, has excellent BART and highway access and plenty of parking. But they still have this baseball team using the stadium in its current configuration and they’d need a new home.

  9. @pjk I think ML and/or Jeffrey have previously posted on the cost savings which might be achieved by recycling Mt. Davis, and for various reasons they are far less than 50%. I also agree with letsgoas would be underwhelming enough to defeat part of the purpose.

    @letsgoas Downtown baseball parks bring life into the core and can help rejuvenate the city. Fans come 81 games per year, and frequently visit nearby restaurants and bars.
    Downtown football stadia tend to have the opposite effect. With twice the footprint and 1/10 the number games as a baseball park, they ensure that a giant tract of prime downtown real estate stays vacant and unused the overwhelming majority of time. Also, because of the strong tailgate culture associated with football, a smaller percentage of fans leave the parking lot to support nearby businesses even on gameday.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love going to downtown stadia such as in Pittsburgh or Baltimore on game day, but the rest of the time they’re just a big hole in the downtown.

  10. Now a downtown Oakland arena for the Warriors, on the other hand, could be cool…

  11. The Verizon Center in DC is pretty cool. Me likey the idea of a downtown arena.
    Oak 2 9th is not exactly moving forward right now. Now massive residential development like that is going to as long as housing prices are what they are. Part fo the land was included in a RFP response for a new Lawrence Lab extension.

  12. No, not Now in the second sentence of the second paragraph

  13. so guys–not to point out the obvious–but the reason the A’s aren’t building a new ballpark in Oakland is because they haven’t figured out how to privately finance it—how in the world would they privately finance a new arena for a team that wants to be back in SF as soon as their lease is up–and to assume that if Santa Clara falls apart for the ‘9ers that Oakland is the next destination is crazy–if there is money to build it in Oakland than it will be built in Santa Clara

  14. The 9ers/Raiders sharing a new stadium makes too much sense. The Coliseum area is perfect for this, with great tailgating, Bart, and good freeway access. Santa Clara/Great America is way too sterile of an environment and probably would limit tailgating. Also, it would screw up Great America’s Sundays for Sept. and Oct. (They’re closed Nov. and Dec).
    As for the Mt. Davis’ east side structure, I’d say tear the sucker down or rebuild it somehow. It was one big cluster-fu*k from the beginning. Poorly designed and not great for football and horrible for baseball. I’d settle for the portable bleachers they had set up all those great Raider years in the 70’s.

  15. As we all saw, Oakland is considering a plan to tear down and build anew at the Coliseum. Haven’t heard much in a while, however… (the plan did include public financing)

  16. For those of you too young to remember, here’s how the added bleachers looked when the Raiders played before they moved to LA. Capacity was just under 55k, but they had solid support filling it every season and great fans during that time. And when these bleachers were taken out, the A’s had their old bleachers still intact. Yeah, the field was screwed up the last month of the season for baseball, but no Mt. Davis and the views of the Oakland hills were as beautiful as ever.

  17. LOL @JK – “Santa Clara/Great America is way too sterile of an environment and probably would limit tailgating. ” I can’t believe you would compare Lafayette area of Santa Clara to 66th ave, a decrepit part of town with no nearby restaurant, shops, bars, etc. Tailgaiting was fine at the ‘stick, it would be fine in SC with better weather, parking, etc. Anyways, us 49er fans like “sterile” so we can have our wine and cheese! :p Let the Al Davis lovers stay in Oakland…. :X

  18. @GoAs “the reason the A’s aren’t building a new ballpark in Oakland is because they haven’t figured out how to privately finance it—how in the world would they privately finance a new arena”

    The situations are totally different. (1) The Warriors have half as many games to sell; (2) unlike the A’s, they have NO competititon; (3) because they have no competition, they can reasonably expect to tap into the SF corporate base in a way the As never could; (4) they have drawn insanely well in Oakland under the circumstances; (5) arenas are inherently easier to finance because they can be used year round and draw many more outside events. It’s not uncommon for cities to build arenas with no major league tenant at all (see Kansas City); it wouldn’t be terribly difficult in a large, affluent market like the Bay Area with an NBA team as an anchor tenant.

    Now, would ownership prefer SF? Perhaps, but it’s not that obvious to me how they would make that much more money. Sold out is sold out, and again, the Warriors have drawn well in Oakland even with mediocre product. Why mess with success?

    And of course, if Oakland had the Victory Court site and an EIR ready, it could give them a head start on SF.

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