First, an advisory for tonight’s game, which will run concurrently with a concert at Oracle by the Mexican band Maná.
On Friday, September 14 the Oracle Arena is holding a dual event beginning at 8:00 p.m. The A’s recommend traveling to the Coliseum by BART. If arriving by vehicle, the A’s recommend early arrival. Parking availability is expected to be limited by game time. Parking gates open at 4:00 p.m. and stadium gates open at 5:35 p.m. Parking is $17 until 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m. parking will cost $35.
The A’s are expecting at least 30,000 for tonight’s game. A really good walkup crowd could make it a sell out. Get there early, folks. Or take BART and avoid the hassle.
And now the news.
- The Santa Cruz City Council approved the now-$5.4 million arena plan on Pacific Avenue near Laurel, thanks in part to the City applying concessions revenue to the $4.1 million loan. If the Surf-Dubs leave before their seven-year term is up, the team will be considered in default of the loan. The City may try to bring UCSC sports teams downtown to play at the arena, though historically the athletics program at Division III UCSC hasn’t been much for bringing out crowds. [Santa Cruz Sentinel/J.M. Brown] Note: The “South Hall” tent at the San Jose Convention Center is seven years old this year and is scheduled to be demolished soon as it has reached end-of-life.
- Seattle approved its arena deal with SF hedge fund guy Chris Hansen, holding out until Hansen guaranteed loan repayment, set aside $40 million for infrastructure improvements around the SODO arena site, and threw in $7 million for improvements for what would likely be the tentative venue, KeyArena. No word so far on a NHL team to partner up with the NBA franchise. KFBK-Sacramento’s Rob McAllister thinks that Hansen could buy the Kings from Maloof family for $450 million. The NBA’s relocation fee to Seattle is expected to be around $30 million, far less than the fee for the Kings moving to Anaheim, where the SoCal market already has the Lakers and Clippers. [Seattle Times/Jerry Brewer]
- Speaking of hockey, we’re less than 36 hours from the beginning of the NHL lockout. Players currently get up to 57% of revenue, owners want 47%, players have countered with 54%. Arena operators have already been told that if the lockout happens, the first month (October) of game dates can be cleared for other events. As for businesses around HP Pavilion, it’s not looking good. [AP/Ronald Blum; SJ Mercury News/Mark Purdy]
- The 49ers announced that they’ve sold $670 million worth of club suites and suites at the new stadium. 72% of the suites, which cost $100-500k per year to lease in long contracts, have been accounted for. That’s important because I estimate nearly half of the pledges are coming from suites. Three years ago I wrote about the tough task the Niners would be faced with in financing the stadium. They’ve been up to the task, mostly because the premium accommodations are priced as much as double the price of other new stadia. For the Niners that’s a distinct first mover advantage in a largely untapped market, Silicon Valley. It would make sense for the Niners to wait to extend an offer to the Raiders to share the stadium until after certain sales targets are met. The Raiders could benefit from a less onerous lease package, but they’d also be somewhat shut out of Silicon Valley. [Merc/Mike Rosenberg]
- Save Oakland Sports’ fundraiser was held at Ricky’s in San Leandro last night. Proceeds will go towards either the construction of venue(s) or “community projects associated with” the venue(s). [KRON/Brian Shields]
- Long term lease talks between the Buffalo Bills and New York State/Erie County broke down, resulting in a one-year lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Bills aren’t seeking a brand new stadium, but they are trying to get around $200 million in improvements to the 39-year-old stadium. The team will miss a deadline to apply for the NFL’s G-4 stadium loan program, forcing the negotiations to move in the short-term direction. NY Senator Chuck Schumer wants the NFL to modify G-4 so that teams won’t have to complete loan payments when a team is sold, a touchy situation considering Bills owner how Ralph Wilson’s advanced age and sensitive health may affect the team’s ownership situation in the near future. [AP/Michael Virtanen; Buffalo News/Tim Graham; The Score/Devang Desai]
- The independent St. Paul Saints, last at the trough, received $25 million in economic development grants for a new ballpark to replace Midway Stadium. Renderings of the ballpark are unlike other ballparks.
Enjoy the game tonight and the fireworks. That other miracle team of destiny is in town. I’d dress in my Boba Fett costume, but that would look pretty stupid as I asked Bob Melvin questions during today’s blogger event.