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