Two great pieces on Sharks ownership by the Merc’s David Pollak. Regarding the team, lead owner execs Kevin Compton and Stratton Sclavos remain committed to keeping payroll near salary cap levels ($70 million in 2013) despite the ownership group losing money on an annual basis. We don’t have access to their books so we can’t validate ownership’s claims, but they are saying that they regularly make cash calls of the ownership group. If that’s the case then there is something to what they’re saying.
The second piece is a wide-ranging Q&A covering multiple off-field topics such as the possibility of competition in the form of a Warriors arena in San Francisco, a looming lockout, and a reaction to the A’s heading 35 miles south.
On the possibility of the A’s moving to San Jose:
Sclavos: “You can always look at these things as a problem or an opportunity. In our discussions, we’re led to believe there’s probably opportunity there for us. We do a lot of things really well in sports marketing and ticket sales and sponsorship sales. We think those assets could be leveraged other places.”
Compton: “Our big concern would be to see that the fan experience doesn’t change as far as parking and traffic and things like that. We’re not going to compromise on that.”
You have to think that the two ownership groups have been talking a good deal about how to share the sandbox that is downtown San Jose. It’s good to hear, and a stark contrast from the bile spewing from the Giants. Compton also had an honest take on the impact of a SF arena. It hadn’t occurred to me that HP Pavilion is now the 6th oldest arena in the league. It makes me wonder what could done to improve the arena in order to raise revenues. More clubby stuff in the rafters like MSG? Changes to the seating bowl?
Compton’s concerns about parking were partly addressed when the Sharks struck a deal with the City for a garage north of the arena. The approved Diridon ballpark EIR calls for no new parking to be built at the ballpark aside for a small amount dedicated for team use. I’m more interested in what could happen with the old San Jose Water property, since that contains the largest lot in the immediate area aside from the arena lots.
This really makes me hope that there isn’t a lengthy work stoppage in the NHL this season. It would be a shame if the only hockey we had to watch this fall were at the Cow Palace.
There’s also a sidebar listing all members of the Sharks ownership group.