Notes on 6/19/12 SJ City Council Session

I got to the session just as public comments were ending. YES!!!

Four artificial turf soccer fields would be built on land previously reserved for a BART maintenance yard.

Council has their questions, though they seem to be on the verge of approving the deal with few reservations. Observations:

  • One of the key issues is financing. The $10 million shortfall in funding would be covered by the sale of commercial paper (with either HUD approval or from city reserves) and a Parks Trust Fund loan of up to $8 million, or both.
  • The loan or other funding would be paid back by a projected $500,000 in annual revenue from renting out the fields. The Quakes would be paid at least $333,000 every year to manage the stadium.
  • It should be noted that the land that the Quakes stadium and the new soccer fields would sit on would remain City-owned in the end. The Quakes paid a $2 million option at the end of 2010 for the land, and would pay another $5 million. Under the previous agreement, the land would be deeded back to the City.
  • The picture from the previous post had shown three soccer fields. There will be four, and they would be artificial turf.
  • The Earthquakes would partner in the facility.
  • The Quakes would move their youth development soccer academy from Danville to the facility.
  • Team would also give away $78,000 in Quakes tickets annually to the community.
  • Councilman Don Rocha would prefer one of the fields be grass, citing his 8-year-old daughter’s tearing of her ACL on an artificial turf field elsewhere in the county. Staff indicates that if a single grass field were instituted they’d have to do a new revenue pro-forma and re-bid the project, temporary delaying the project. The facility’s business model is based on rapid turnover, which is impossible with grass fields. Note: the Quakes second team isn’t allowed to use the Quakes’ training field.
  • Councilman Xavier Campos would like some anti-gang nonprofits to have access to the fields, perhaps via a new scholarship program being put together by the City and the Quakes. Mayor Chuck Reed counters that the facility will be revenue driven, which could make an equal-access facility impossible. (*tension*)
  • Hunter Storm, the Quakes, and the City have had an ongoing dialogue regarding the development.
  • Each of the districts would provide $100,000 towards the construction of the facility.

Update 4:16 PM – Item approved unanimously, with an amendment regarding the availability of an extra suite for low-income or underprivileged residents also approved. Interestingly, Mayor Reed “rallied” staff to get both the stadium and public fields built by 2014, not 2013.

One other Cisco Field-related item – The City Council/Diridon Development Authority unanimously approved a resolution which allows for an extension of the Property Based Improvement District, defined as essentially Cisco Field, HP Pavilion, everything in-between, and properties north to Julian Street. In addition, properties within the district would be assessed $4,000 per year. Previously, a vote was taken among property owners. 91.4% were in favor.

29 thoughts on “Notes on 6/19/12 SJ City Council Session

  1. ML, is the Quakes stadium land only going to remain city owned until Wolff buys it or has the plan changed so that Wolff is not just leasing the land from the city for the stadium?

  2. @Dan – No, the developer(s) would still purchase the land (they’ve already paid a $2 million option and would have another $5 million option if approved) but as I understand it, they’d deed it back to the City. The practice facility would be leased for at least 15 years at only $24k per year.

  3. Oh that’s right. It has been a while since I’d thought about their land purchase scheme.

  4. In addition, properties within the district would be assessed $4,000 per year. Previously, a vote was taken among property owners. 91.4% were in favor.

    Wow! Pretty telling of the support in that residents within that district were amenable to the $4k additional property tax! /shock

  5. That’s frankly shocking. They’re willing to take a 4k hit by that margin?

  6. Any time table has to when construction would start? 2014 seems long for four turf pitches. Like the idea of at least one grass one tho.

  7. Doesn’t look like grass is in the cards due to it causing the whole project to start over.

  8. @ Dan – There’s probably some serious infrastructural improvements about to happen to the neighborhood. Lighting, landscape, maintenance. The Earthquakes will want to keep the area surrounding the stadium as spit-and-polish as possible, and that will only help the local residents.

    But also consider…yes it was 91.4%, but how many people voted, and out of how many eligible? This is San Jose you’re talking about, a city that is legendary for its voters being…less than motivated to get to the polls.

  9. Sierra, wrong stadium. It’s not the Earthquakes neighbors who voted to up their taxes, it’s the A’s future neighbors at Diridon.

  10. Or who would vote I should have said.

  11. Also, did that poll even include residents or was it commercial property owners only? (I’m not sure if there are any residents in that small area – perhaps just 8.6% of the land owners, lol!) A $4000 property tax assessment to a residence is massive. But to a commercial property owner it’s probably a lot more digestible.

  12. @Dude – I think it was all commercial property owners.

  13. I was going to say. I can’t imagine any residential taxpayer who’d voluntarily increase their taxes by that much.

  14. The Bay Area won’t grow to anymore than two teams.
    Looks like the Quakes are finally getting a real home. That’s awesome. I can’t wait to take my girls.

  15. SF pier 29 all burning…warriors want a waterfront pier again? lol….yeah right

  16. A’s will move to San Jose when the rapture comes…lol…in other words…never…wishing on a star

  17. I’m excited to go to the Quakes new stadium. Being a big soccer fan, I feel lucky to have all of these sports in the Bay.
    On another note, I was at last night A’s game and once again I was disappointed in the lack of fan support. Too many Dodgers fans there last night. Luckily we did send them home silenced.

  18. OT: If I could make a humble suggestion, how about Bauce = banned?

  19. OT: Since LE couldn’t buy the W’s or the Grizzlies, he’ll buy an Hawaiian Island instead? Maybe he’ll hire Nelson from nearby Maui and get a team going there?! :X

  20. To Marine Layer:

    Can you put a new banner on the following?

    SAVEOAKLANDSPORTS Next meeting: June 25, 2012, Red Lion Hotel, 150 Hegenberger Road, Oakland, CA

    Thank you.

    A’s observer

  21. Jeez, that’s one way to show up the NBA.

  22. Once again, when will construction start on the new Quakes stadium? Last I checked – yesterday – still no construction at all on the site. Just an empty lot next to Lowe’s.

  23. re: I was at last night A’s game and once again I was disappointed in the lack of fan support. Too many Dodgers fans there last night. Luckily we did send them home silenced.

    …The Dodgers fans brought the attendance to over 20,000 – unheard of for an A’s midweek game not featuring the Giants, Yankees or Red Sox. I find it hard to dislike the Dodgers, since they are the archenemy of the Giants.

  24. pjk, they’re saying by the end of the year. Wolff will be purchasing the land in August it is sounding like and they still have to finalize the design and submit it for building permits.

  25. Quakes just announced their game this weekend is a sellout against the LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium. 50,000+ fans depending on the luxury suite numbers. Easily their largest actual attendance in the team’s history (if you discount the BS double headers the team has occasionally played at places like Candlestick with the likes of Real Madrid).

  26. Only there due to fireworks.

  27. @D JR – And Quakes fans, general soccer fans, clubs like the ones I bought 6 tix from, area residents.

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