Wolff: 2016 more realistic

In a session with the print/broadcast media yesterday (before the blogger session), Lew Wolff suggested that 2016 would be a more realistic date for Cisco Field to open due to the permitting process. To understand why this might be the case, it’s best to look at what’s happening with the Earthquakes stadium project, only two miles northwest of downtown San Jose.

Nearly a year ago the Quakes got a demolition permit for the Airport West/FMC plant site. A large industrial building had to be torn down and the ground had to be graded for the eventual construction. A soft groundbreaking ceremony was held, after which the demo took three months. Now it’s the end of a January 2012 and the actual building permit has yet to be granted, thanks in large part to objections by a neighborhood group near the stadium site. San Jose’s Planning Commission will have a hearing on February 22, at which point all grievances and objections should be aired in public. If you read this list of items to discuss regarding the project, you’ll see that it is on par with what has been (and would continue to be) discussed for Cisco Field.

If slipping to 2016 is real it brings up one critical issue for the franchise in that the “2014 situation” stretches out to 2014-15. Either a two year lease  (maybe with an option year just in case) would have to be negotiated with the Coliseum Authority or a two-year temporary home would have to be found, the latter seeming less likely. There may also be an inside baseball reason to slip a year: if MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig (thanks for waiting) has a compensation plan worked out that is too costly for the A’s and/or the other owners to swallow, allowing one less overlap year between the remaining mortgage on AT&T Park and the opening of Cisco Field may be more palatable. To me this is one of the more frustrating aspects of making such a deal. As I was pointing out to Lone Stranger yesterday, high eight figures or more in compensation is a big deal for anyone, including a billionaire who owns a franchise. I get that. Big picture, $75 million is only 1% of MLB’s annual revenue. Stretched out over three years, it becomes 0.3%. That amount shouldn’t cause extended bellyaching. It should be manageable.

24 thoughts on “Wolff: 2016 more realistic

  1. 2016? Yikes! That could give GM Beane time for two more tear-downs and re-builds!

  2. don’t tell me this could delay any decision regarding green lighting sj yet again just as most think we’re only a week or two away possibly in getting the decision in feb of this year for the past month or two.

  3. @Richmondrules: Yup. Next thing you know, Billy Beane will trade Jarrod Parker for a fetus.

  4. letsgoa’s, Wouldn’t this change be a result of the delay, not the cause?

  5. I’m glad they’re being honest about the date, 2015 always seemed way too optimistic to me given California’s reluctance to allow rich people to make more money.

  6. 2015 or 16; just as long as we get a decision from MLB soon and get the process going. RM, would demolitions be easier at Diridon South than FMC/airport west? Some of the site is already cleared, graded and there are no large industrial buildings to deal with. By the way, how long again to complete/certify an EIR again? Just curious and need a refresher.

  7. Let’s Go Oakland has that on their FB page as well. They now want to get behind the Coliseum City plan. How would Oakland get that going? Doesn’t appear doable to me.

  8. Meant to add and if course I could be wrong but its starting to look like It’s San Jose or bust.

  9. @Makhan Singh- How else do Oakland get it going? Through lip service.

  10. Coliseum City is nothing but an Oakland wish list for the 3 teams to pony up billions of dollars to build their own facilities, isn’t it? Wonder if this development will finally get Selig moving on approving downtown San Jose, since MLB has already rejected the Coliseum site.

  11. A definite shame. That would have been a beautiful and dynamic spot for a ballpark. It seems at this point it all depends on MLB’s decision. The A’s won’t look at Oakland until SJ is off the table, so those of us wanting the team to stay home and those who want SJ will have to continue playing the waiting game. Man, the idea of non competitive baseball for 3 -4 more years is very disheartening.

  12. It is San Jose’s to lose now. It’s a shame for Oakland. Victory Court would have rejuvenate Oakland’s economy. It was close to BART and all the wonderful restaurants downtown.

  13. I’m just disgusted with Oakland, let’s face it coliseum city is not a viable plan, when Oakland absolutely needed a plan in place to keep the A’s they choked and wasted the time of a lot of people, fans included. I’m an Oakland partisan but It’s kind of hard to keep a team when you have no plan and no one to execute that plan. At this point I don’t even believe Oakland has done enough to deserve to keep the A’s.

  14. Vince said: “Oakland’s Victory Court Plans are Dead”
    I’d say they were never really alive in the first place.

  15. re: The A’s won’t look at Oakland… The Wolff and Schott ownerships looked at Oakland for years and got nothing but “yawn” from the city until it was too late…

  16. Headline about VC should be: “Oakland Pols Do a Turnabout! Decision Is Made To Live In Reality! Yet The Reality Approach Is Short Lived”

    The funny thing is VC court has several elements that make it more realistic than ‘Coliseum City’. There simply is no way in the economic climate, this down real estate market, this political climate, this permit intense climate that the expensive, ambitious ‘Coliseum City’ is based in much reality. Decades ago Oakland could make it happen. Now? No way. And to be fair to Oakland, no where in the bay area will there be this kind of ambitious undertaking without big money from the feds and/or private corps underwriting almost all of it..

    Many here knew it was over for the A’s in Oakland. This latest announcement is just another harsh dose of reality for those who didn’t want to face it. And if MLB’s Blue Ribbon Panel speaks one positive iota of staying in Oakland, there simply has to be someone with a screw loose running that commission. MLB either relents on TR or the 2015 need for a temporary A’s home likely will NOT include playing in the Bay Area or California.

  17. For anyone thinking Fremont could be a backup plan to SJ: the city council just named vocal Fremont ballpark opponent Gus Morrison as interim mayor. Morrison replaces Bob Wasserman who recently passed away.

  18. Hopefully this will put an end to some of the acrimony between the two sides of the currently divided A’s fanbase. Oakland hasn’t been “in it” for year, but now it’s official. They’re done.

  19. I can’t believe the named Morrison the mayor… again. Still this really does confirm it. It’s San Jose or Adios for the A’s and the Bay Area.

  20. Yes, this really does give us a San Jose-or-bust scenario, given the pie-in-the-sky nature of the multi-billion-dollar Coliseum City idea. If MLB turns down San Jose, we know what we’re looking at, here.

  21. Is this the last piece for Selig to make a decision? He had to know this was coming.

  22. @daveybaby….I sure hope so. I anxiously await to hear from Mr. Selig

  23. California’s reluctance to allow rich people to make more money.

    Almost too boneheaded to respond to….

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