A brief respite (open thread)

This trip was supposed to include games in Anaheim and Los Angeles. Anaheim got scratched last weekend because I partied a little too hard. Dodger Stadium remains a possibility for either a tour or a game. The last week has been so full of news that it’s hard to breathe. I think I’ve done what I could to cover all of the news, not just the stories that fit a certain worldview.

Tomorrow I’m giving myself a break. I’m going to downtown LA to attend the Stadia Design & Technology EXPO 2012. For a stadium geek like me it’s my CES: full of vendors looking to peddle scoreboards and artificial turf to attending stadium and arena operators. Several design and architecture firms will also be present, so I may get to talk about different projects past, present, and future. Yesterday, to kick off the EXPO, AEG showed off another vision of Farmers Field, which not coincidentally would be next door to where the convention is being held.

If you’re interested in the technical stuff of stadia, check out the link above and put any questions or wishlist items in the comments. If you’re in LA and you have time, it might be worth checking out (admission is free). Other than that, consider this an open thread. Keep it civil, people.

54 thoughts on “A brief respite (open thread)

  1. Well if you go to Dodger Stadium, don’t park there, park in Echo Park or take the Bus. Stop at the Gold Room for free tacos and good cheap beers. I think what I would like to know more about is what the stadiums are doing to lower their energy and water footprint. In a place wear so much water and power are used to make the facility function, what is being done to lower the energy/water footprint. Greywater? Photovoltaic? Renewables? Recycling? I’d like to know more about that. Also, what are the new doo-dads that are going to be incorporated at the seat level to make the experience more interactve? Seat-side internet or audio. etc. Thanks ML, have fun. I’ll be back in LA next week, already preparing to get Tacos de birria

  2. Or take the joke of a shuttle from Union Station. With the new ownership taking control their first act was to lower parking prices. Now while that may play well to the masses, all it is doing is promoting Dodger fans to continue to drive to the game. The new ownership had a real chance to change things up – Do something innovative like create a shuttle with 5 minute headways and a dedicated right-of-way. In other words, something that could serve as a real alternative to driving. Instead they went for the low hanging fruit. They would have been better off to take the Arte Moreno route and lowered beer prices.

  3. I have to point out that there’s no game at Dodger Stadium tomorrow. If I do anything there it’ll be a tour.

    Expanding shuttle service is not an overnight decision. It requires a lot of planning and budgeting. Maybe next season.

  4. In that case try to take in Echo Park if you get a chance, I used to work there. In regards to the shuttle, many want to build a light rail to the Stadium. It’s a pretty expensive proposal, I think it either would have to come up Elysian Park Ave. from Sunset, or up from Elysian Valley, which means perhaps up Academy Road. To me it would seem pretty hard to do. I think in general it would be great to have it, but paying for it would be challenging.

  5. ML: Report back if you find a booth dedicated to advancing tarp technology? Tenkz, man.

  6. The Vikes, the Chargers, Raiders or Rams will be in Farmers Field. Mark my words!

  7. Vikes are already out of the LA sweepstakes. Minnesota just gave them almost 500 million in public funding two days ago. They won’t be looking that gift horse in the mouth. It’s now down to the Raiders, Rams and Chargers. And of the 3 the Raiders are the only ones not actively pursuing some form of stadium in their town. Though the Rams Ed Jones Dome renovation will likely be derailed when the details of the Rams counter offer to the city are made public Monday at 5pm.

  8. ” And of the 3 the Raiders are the only ones not actively pursuing some form of stadium in their town.”
    That’s not true Dan. Mark Davis and Amy Trask, as well as Oakland officials are on record saying the opposite.

  9. Too bad BC Place doesn’t have grass technology.

  10. eb, so far their only option is Coliseum City, which is again a non-starter. Davis’ other “option” is Dublin which has already told the Raiders to take a hike.

  11. @Dan Your doubts about Coliseum City are perfectly fine to have, but thinking something is a long shot or even non-feasible is vastly different than the Raiders “not actively pursuing some form of stadium in their town.” They clearly are exploring ways to stay in Oakland/East Bay.

  12. eb, not really. Not if the Raiders aren’t actually “actively pursuing it”. Seems to me that with Coliseum city the Raiders have been content to let Oakland try to figure it out starting with the soon to be state aborted EIR.

  13. @Dan Trask on a new stadium: “We’ve been working on this for quite a while. We engaged architects a number of years ago to do a feasibility study for that site. We’ve shared all that information with the city and with the county and with the joint-powers authority and we hope that there’s a sense of urgency at this point.”
    That’s just one example of either her or Mark Davis suggesting at the team’s due diligence. Are they looking at a broad set of options including Dublin, Santa Clara or LA? Yes, but so did the Vikings, Chargers, Rams, (looking at vast amount of options) or any team with similar stadium issues. They also need Oakland to take the lead with the Coliseum site due to the number of sports teams possibly in question and generally it’s the city that does take the initial lead in these scenarios. How exactly are the Raiders just sitting completely by the way side anymore than the Chargers or Rams?

  14. Dan, Nice name, my name is also Dan. Anyways your projections of the Raiders stadium situation is inaccurate and outdated. Mark Davis and Amy Trask have both recently gone on record saying Oakland is their first choice and Dublin is their second choice. As others have already mentioned the previous mayor of Dublin was against building a stadium in Dublin a few years ago, but the current mayor is more open to it. Here are four links about Mark Davis (two articles) and Amy Trask ( two radio interviews) giving their positions on the matter.



    [audio src="http://www.knbr.com/portals/3/podcasts/murphmac/050112amytrask.mp3" /]


    There is already an AFC Team in Southern California in the Chargers and I don’t know why so many seem to think they are a lock to stay in San Diego. They could easily relocate to Los Angeles seeing their stadium options in San Diego are almost non existent. The Raiders if they had to could share the new football stadium in Santa Clara with the 49ers and split the costs. Considering the sticker shock of the reported ticket prices, sharing the stadium would bring down the costs for both teams. Mark Davis and Amy Trask have both said that the odds of sharing the Santa Clara stadium are low, they haven’t completely shut the door on the idea either. The Chargers have no such option to share a stadium in San Diego. I get the impression the NFL would like an AFC and NFC team each in Northern and Southern California. Raiders and 49ers in the North and the Chargers and possibly the Rams in the South.

  15. I’m hoping someone can answer a question for me. There’s some Wolff bashing on the Chronicle today in regards to the cost of parking at the Coliseum. I was under the impression the three teams had a say, but very little say on the parking prices, and the JPA could set just about any price it wanted. Am I wrong in thinking that? If someone could answer this I’d greatly appreciate it.

  16. @LS – I remember last year that the A’s weren’t paying the tax. I don’t think that’s changed. Oakland sort of enacted the tax unilaterally.

  17. I went to Yankee Stadium. I have to say I wasn’t super impressed with it. The color scheme was a bit bland, I sat in the Left-Center bleachers. The concessions were okay, I felt like overall it was very sterile, didn’t have the old school with amenities feel that CitiField has. It’s not a bad stadium, but it doesn’t compare in my view to CitiField nor Citizens Bank.

  18. @Nicosan I agree.

  19. I’ve only seen New Yankee Stadium from the outside in ’09. I got to see Old Yankee Stadium in ’08 and went on the tour. That place was pretty bland too, since nearly all of it was from the mid-70s rebuild. I hoped NYS would’ve gone with a more apparent art deco vibe, esspecially within the seating bowl/field since that’s what’s going to be on TV/pictures 99% of the time. Stone/copper/glass would’ve been a better look to blue plastic and LEDs.


    Since the brick/greenseat revolution became the status quo, ballpark color schemes are pretty dull again. Dodger Stadium is a good example of looking bold while still looking classy. I’m excited about the yellow deck on Cisco Field, but would like to see a third color, like alternating rows of light and dark green seats on the lower level or something.

  20. Why are the Raiders still looking at Dublin when Dublin made it clear it does not want them?

  21. Yeah, I was underwhelmed by new Yankee Stadium as well. It felt like a hospital or something. Of all the newish ballparks I have been too, it ranks dead last in my view.
    I wrote about it when I visited here.

  22. Random question. Does anyone actually own a Windows phone? I’ve never seen one in the wild.

  23. I live in Pleasanton, not far from the site where Mark Davis keeps mentioning a stadium could be built.
    To be honest, I don’t see it happening. There really isn’t a lot of support in the Tri Valley for building Major League stadiums in the Tri Valley.
    Though, that doesn’t mean that the Raiders have to leave the Bay Area. The most logical solution is for them to play in Santa Clara. My original thought was that the most logical place for 49ers and Raiders to play was at the Coliseum site, but the needle hasn’t moved very much on that and the 49ers/Santa Clara got things done way before Oakland did and as a result… Two teams one stadium is only happening in Santa Clara if at all.
    For anything to happen at the Coliseum site it is going to take a loooooooong time. There are various reasons for this, but they can all be summed up by sayings a massive development like the one being pitched at the site has way too many moving parts and requires way too much funding to happen quickly. That doesn’t mean ti can’t ever happen, but it does mean it is unlikely to ever happen.

  24. Briggs, I don’t own one but I have seen them in the wild (I work in technology). Those I have seen in the wild were owned by employees of Microsoft 🙂

  25. they were prob free upgrades for the saps who bought the Kin.


    NYS doesn’t really look like anything. It doesn’t really make me think of NY the same way Fenway, Dodger Stadium or AT&T makes me think of their respective cities. I think the SF Chronicle Building aesthetic would look good translated onto a Oakland ballpark.

  26. I’d love, assuming it happens in Oakland, to see some kind of Nautical theme employed. Of course, that probably only works downtown on the water front… But it would be cool.

  27. Pjk, as was mentioned before the previous mayor of Dublin a few years ago was completely against building a stadium in the city but the current mayor is not completely against it. However this current mayor has said the Raiders have not approached him and said building a new stadium is not being considered at Camp Parks “right now” anyway. http://dublin.patch.com/articles/should-the-raiders-move-to-camp-parks
    I do agree with Jeffery though that building a new football stadium in Dublin is probably a long shot.

    I forgot to mention one important thing in my last post, dknight007 and others in this thread were stating that the Raiders will be one of the teams that will end up playing in AEG’s Farmers Field. However this is not going happen. When AEG made the recent management contract with the Oakland Coliseum Board, they requested that AEG added a clause in the contract that they will not target the Raiders for relocation. AEG agreed, so they are NOT pursuing the Raiders! The Raiders did not raise any objection to this legal clause either. This information can be found in the first link I provided in my last post.

    I think the possibility of the Raiders and 49ers sharing the stadium in Santa Clara will only increase. Both ownerships and fan bases may not be crazy about the idea but economic reality will dictate otherwise. The Giants and Jets had to share a stadium in New York, the country’s largest media market. I don’t see the Bay Area which is the fifth or sixth largest media market being able to support two $billion dollar plus stadiums.

  28. A’sRaidersFan…. I pretty much agree with everything you just wrote. The real targets for LA are the Chargers and Rams.

  29. re: The Giants and Jets had to share a stadium in New York
    …stadium is in East Rutherford, NJ. New York has been taking credit for NJ providing a home for these teams for decades now…

  30. @A’sRaidersFan – I wouldn’t feel too secure about the AEG non-contact clause. All bets are off once the Raiders’ lease is up. AEG is in the position to play Oakland/Alameda County and Los Angeles off each other.

  31. @ ML – Curious, if the Raiders do move in with the Niners, does the SC get 2 stadium grants/credits or just one?

    @ Briggs – I know someone at my work who bought a Lumia when AT&T had a credit deal where it was essentially for free. He seems to like it. If you have an jailbroken iPhone, you can mimic it via dreamboard. Seems nice enough, although I don’t like the fact that Metro squares seemed to have fixed app placement, at least from what i can tell.

  32. Wouldn’t it be the case, though, that private developers are all ready to go ahead building a football stadium in LA? They have a site, sponsorship, the $$$. All they need is a team.

  33. Thanks, Jeffery. Pjk you are correct that the stadium is technically located in New Jersey not New York. I was just making a point about the size of some media markets.

    Marine Layer, That scenario could happen of AEG playing different parties against each other. But as I pointed out in my previous post and you in your newest blog article, there is really nothing keeping the Chargers in San Diego long term. When the Raiders lease runs out the Chargers or another AFC team like the Jaguars could have already claimed LA for themselves. If the Chargers want a shot at a new stadium they can’t wait too long on it if LA tries to court them. Like I said they don’t have the option of sharing a new stadium in San Diego with an NFC team like the Raiders potentially do with the 49ers.

  34. @ ARFan – I think you are assuming that only 1 team will reside in LA. I think the NFL is thinking at least 2 teams minimum, and I think the Chargers have a bigger local fan base then the Raiders to make them stay put. Wild speculation here, but if SD does move to LA and the Raiders are still not happy about any Bay Area deals, whats to prevent the Raiders going down to SD given the larger media market then the East Bay?

  35. Anon, I not claiming to know what will exactly happen and the NFL most likely wants two NFL teams in LA. If an AFC team like the Chargers or Jaguars move to LA any talk or speculation of the Raiders going to LA gets put to bed. I have some friends and family in LA and SD who have have been following the issue for years and they recently have said that the Chargers have pretty much have run out of options in SD and that LA is pretty much there only shot at a new stadium in the region. Raiders have more options than the Chargers. They have Oakland, Dublin and Santa Clara if needed. Chargers don’t have these kind of options in SD. As far as the strength of fan bases, in my opinion and experience there are about the same. San Diego is not as far away from LA as the Bay Area if Charger fans had to go see games in LA.

  36. When I said the Chargers and Raiders had the same strength in fan bases, I was speaking locally in their own regions. The Raiders are much more well known globally speaking.

  37. @ ARF – I’m somewhat confused on your last statement. If the Chargers move to LA, whats to prevent them from renaming/relabeling themselves as LA Chargers? Classifying themselves as SD when it’s almost a 2 hour drive seems irrational and would drive off the locals in LA. I do agree with you that the Raiders have much more options, but again they’ll use it to bargain their way to the best deal they can get whether it’s in Oakland, SC, LA, SD, or Timbuktu regardless of their “preference”.

  38. @ ML – Confused by your statement. The G6 grant is on a per team basis and not stadium basis? Meaning, if 2 teams applied, both can get credit and use it to one stadium? I thought the Giants and Jets were only granted 1 credit?

    • @Anon – Teams apply once as their project is up for funding. If a project has two teams, the NFL can take that into consideration. The Niners applied solo for Santa Clara. Their loan structure can’t be amended to include the Raiders.

      FYI – The Meadowlands stadium was the last project approved as part of the old G-3 program, not the new G-4 program.

      Also – these aren’t grants. They’re loans directly tied to specific revenue streams (TV, suites). The league isn’t going to throw money around without strict rules in place.

  39. Anon, no if the Chargers moved they would be the “LA Chargers”. I was stating that the distance between SD and LA would not be too far away for many Chargers fans in SD to catch a game in LA. If the Chargers leave SD, the Raiders or any team is not going to relocate to SD. If SD could not get a stadium deal done for the Chargers, they would not have a stadium deal for any team football team, hence it cannot be used as relocation threat by any team.

  40. @ARF – While I understand your thought process, if the revenue generated in SD, even with the present stadium, was still higher than in the Coliseum. Wouldn’t you think that the Raiders would have some interest, especially given that the Niners are already in the Bay and have a majority of the footbal fans here? I’m by no means arguing that the Raiders while go there, because as i noted, it was wild speculation, but I wouldn’t discount this threat given the Raiders prior history with Oakland, LA, Irwindale, etc.

  41. @ ML – thanks for the clarification. Sucks the Raiders are lagging on a decision as it impact multiple cities , teams, and fans in various ways.

  42. Anon, Again I don’t know what exactly is going to happen, its always good to try to research these things as much as possible and keep the “speculation” to a minimal and also speak with people who live in areas that you want to know more about. I wanted to know more about the local politics and economics in SD and LA in relation to new football stadium possibilities. Some of the people I talk to are Raiders fans in Southern California and they would love nothing more for the team to return, but they have been objective in stating that a team like the Chargers are much more likely to relocate to LA this time around. They know their own region better than we would.

    The ability of the Charger fans to fill the current stadium and the ability of SD to get a new stadium are two different things. Teams like the Bills and Rams have pretty decent attendance but they are still in possible jeopardy of relocating to other cities where they could better afford new football stadiums with state of the art luxury boxes and other modern amenities. It wasn’t to long ago that city of SD was buying tickets using tax payer money for the Chargers to prevent local blackouts. This was considered controversial by many in the area. Attendance did improve when they were a competitive championship caliber team between the 04 and 08 seasons but that window has since closed and they are having slight attendance issues again, the economic downturn hasn’t exactly helped any team’s attendance though. Regardless of existing attendance in their current stadium, if SD can’t get a stadium deal done the Chargers will have to leave if they want a new stadium.

    As for the popularity and attendance of the 49ers and Raiders the in Bay Area, the 49ers may have the edge right now but that could change in the future. Plus if the Raiders were willing to split the risks and costs of the Santa Clara stadium, I don’t think 49ers would turn that proposition down. Since the passing of Al Davis, Mark Davis and Amy Trask seem to be making the right moves in improving the philosophy, image and accessibility of the team for the fans and local media. I think this will go along way in appealing to causal football fan and the sports media of the Bay Area.

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