Sharks ownership speaks out

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.

12 thoughts on “Sharks ownership speaks out

  1. Nothing about the possibility of the Sharks moving to a Frisco arena. Good.

  2. Will we look back and see this as the ‘opening salvo’ for a new SJ Arena? I wonder what is the possibility of getting a new SJ Arena, maybe across the street from HP. It probably wouldn’t work if the city were to pay for it, and I’m not sure the Sharks ownership would be willing to pay for it, but is there enough money in the area to fund NFL, MLB and NHL arenas being built within 5-7-10 years? Since it’s been proven that the Sharks can continually draw, I think they’d be willing to up the capacity a few thousand. HP is 17.5k, the largest is Bell Centre in Montreal at 20.2k. Even if they raise the fixed seats just a little, you have to think it lets them build another level of suites, either throughout or just between the blue lines.

  3. Actually ML it is 5th oldest by my count. And of the older arenas MSG has undergone an extensive rebuild over the last two years, Nassau Coliseum isn’t long for this world, and Joe Louis Arena isn’t going to be around much longer if Detroit gets their way.
    Still not sure if I buy it that they’re not making money given how many suites they’ve sold out, how many tickets they sell, and that SVSE garners revenue from every event held at HP. If anything I think they’re trying to bolster their own position ahead of a request for enhancements to the SJ Arena.

  4. LS, the city will never have to pay for it. An arena plan with apublic financing component would never pass voter muster in SJ, just as it won’t in SF or Oakland.

  5. I think the main difference between HP and some of its similarly-aged brethren (Honda, ScotiaBank Centre, Copps, Bradley) is that both the City and SVSE have gone to great strides to make sure that the arena remains NHL-spec in as many aspects as possible. The only real fault (hockey-wise) for HP is the ice quality later in the season, and that’s more environmental than anything else. With the normal springime ambient temperature and humidity, nothing short of a climate-controlled dome over the structure, or several kajillion additional tons of AC capacity, is going to help that.

    If there was going to be a “new” HP Pavilion built, it would probably be located on the SJWC parcel; failing that, if the A’s to San Jose thing were to fall through, it is entirely possible that a “new” pavilion could be constructed down at Park and Montgomery, on the old KNTV site. Of course, that’s in the 20-year time frame, for I believe the Pavilion has that much useful life left in it, with the caveat that if the Pier 30 arena in SF gets built, HP’s useful lifespan drops down to about the time required to construct a replacement.

  6. SJ’s arena was built at the start of a wave of new arenas all built from about 1993 to 1998. Chicago, Boston, Saint Louis, etc. It’s not like SJ’s arena is decades older than most of the others. It’s more like a year or two older. Anaheim’s arena opened about a week before SJ’s, so technically that one is older even though the concrete was drying on both of them at the same time.

  7. The old San Jose Water property is now owned by Adobe. They planned to put more of their office buildings on the the rectangle part. The plan for the triangle plot across the street is condo towers which was originally planned by San Jose Water. That said, I haven’t really heard anything from Adobe since they bought the land. Regardless the city of San Jose doesn’t control that land and they approved what Adobe was planning to do.

    I think the city of San Jose is planning to use the existing and/or new parking garages on the other side of 87 and have them walk to the A’s ballpark. Since light rail and Caltrain are already there with BART eventually, they are counting on a certain amount of people to take public transportation. The Caltrain parking lots are planned to be office towers with restaurant/entertainment retail on the bottom floor(s). With the restaurant / bars in between HP and Cisco and the dispersed parking away from Cisco, they are counting on the traffic being dispersed geographically and also by time.

    A lot of people currently park near the San Pedro’s restaurants and bars which lessened the amount of parking right next to the HP Pavilion. The reason that they are building the parking garage is because they eventually will lose all of the surface Caltrain parking lots south of HP Pavilion.

  8. Please don’t blast me, just thinking outside the box: how about a new SJ arena just south and adjacent to the convention Center? On Market street where the hideous blue tent now exists? You’d have to cut in slightly to the existing CC and perhaps acquire private parcels a bit further south, but it would be similar to what LA is planning for Farmers Field and the LA CC. You might even be able to tap into the current CC Mello Roos for funding of arena, CC “expansion.” Still convenient to Diridon Station via light-rail line and would really bring up SoFa District.
    Anyhow, we’ll probably see a major upgrade of HP Pavilion within the next 10 years, not a new facility.

  9. hp is like us cell of mlb. both parks were build right before the stadium/arena boom that took place in each league. us cell made drastic renovations over the past half decade to where before it was seen as stark and uninteresting to the point after that it’s better looking than a lot of the newer park built imo over the past decade. i don’t know how much renovations or what else they could do to the arena at hp but i doubt a new arena would be that much of an improvement over what they have now.

  10. I agree letsgoas–the Tank is an awesome place for hockey—I guess I could see the boxes brought down from the top and stacked on top of the concourse boxes–believe Anaheim is like this—but unless there is going to be an nba team playing there I wouldn’t do much to it—it was really well planned and is maintained perfectly–

    Interesting that SVSE has worked so hard with Ellison to get an NBA team to SJ–given that it would directly compete with the hockey season and revenue streams–baseball by and large is off season to hockey so a better fit–

  11. letsgoa’s, not sure I agree. The Tank is just as good an arena as most of the ones that followed in the early to mid 90’s. It has the same number of suites, that are just as classy, etc… Only difference is the orientation, and it hasn’t impacted how much they sell for our how many they sell.

  12. I plan on being at the Tank on December 20th when/if (Hopefully no lock out) they play my Kings :). HP Pavillion is one my favorite arenas in the country, and I always liked sitting amonst Shark fans. Oops wrong blog. Just wanted to say thanks Marine Layer for the insight on the A’s/Sharks stadium issues over the last 3+ years.

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