News for 10/31/12

All Hallows’ Evening edition.

  • The state’s Department of Finance nixed a settlement that would’ve satisfied the 49ers and Santa Clara Unified School District over the split and repayment of $30 million of redevelopment funds. The district, city, and county will appeal on November 26 with a ruling expected by December 18. If the deal remains rejected, the 49ers will sue in March. The ongoing dispute over the $30 million will not stop stadium construction, which is already starting on the upper deck. [San Jose Mercury News/Mike Rosenberg]
  • Speculation: Following along from that last story, I don’t think a deal between San Jose and Santa Clara County over the Diridon land will pass muster, even if the County finds money to fill the gap. The State appears to be putting its foot down to restrict redevelopment, at least through the rest of Governor Jerry Brown’s term. That’s not to say that Wolff/Fisher won’t be able to get the land. They may have to go through the normal sale process to get it, that’s all. [Sacramento Bee/Loretta Kalb]
  • The 45-day window for the Dodgers and Fox to negotiate a new TV deal has opened. Per the terms of the current deal, Fox has first dibs for the duration of the window. Guggenheim Partners paid $2 billion with the idea that the next TV deal would be a bonanza, so it would be not be a shock if no agreement emerges from the talks. There is a catch: the Dodgers have to name their price during the window, effectively setting the market. How much is too much for Fox, which has lost the Lakers and Pac-12 sports in the past year and has two channels to fill? We’ll see. [LA Times/Joe Flint]
  • Speaking of channels, Time Warner Cable SportsNet launched without carriage on DirecTV, Dish, and any SoCal cable operator other that Time Warner and Charter. The Pac-12 Network continues to be unavailable on DirecTV, AT&T U-verse, and Verizon FiOS.
  • From the Department of Audacity: the City of El Paso’s Proposition 3 asks voters to approve a ballpark deal. However, only recently was it revealed what would happen if voters said “No”. If that happens, the $50 million ballpark will continue to move forward, but not financed by bonds backed by a hotel tax. Instead, it’s highly likely that the general fund would have to be tapped to fund the ballpark. Cray cray. [El Paso Times/Cindy Ramirez]
  • Today an architectural review of Barclays Center was published, which I read with glee. NY Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman talks of the arena’s rusting metal panels being akin to “ancient chains binding a giant Gulliver”, or its technological excellence, including an “underground turntable for trucks that may sound eye-rollingly dull but makes traffic engineers like the city’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, swoon”. The latter half of the review rightfully critiques the arena’s lack of integration into the neighborhood and Brooklyn in general. [NY Times/Michael Kimmelman]
  • The Texas Rangers continue with $12 million in improvements to Rangers Ballpark, highlighted by an extra row of high-roller seats and a club area behind home plate. That brings the total of improvements over the last three years to $35 million. [Dallas Morning News/Sarah Mervosh]
  • For tonight’s home opener, the Philadelphia 76ers are unveiling the world’s largest (and scariest) T-shirt cannon. [The 700 Level/Enrico Campitelli, Jr.]

Be safe out there on Halloween.

17 thoughts on “News for 10/31/12

  1. RM,
    if the city and county (as the RDA successor agency) agree to sell the Diridon plot at market rate and disperse the funds to local schools (as now intended), why would the state care. Under that scenario, the following the law as now stated. The state may be putting its foot down re redevelopment, but its definitely not against economic development (which the ballpark is). Trick or treat!

  2. Meant they’re following the law, not “the.”

  3. There was a news story on TV the other day about how San Jose’s waiving of fees for developers is bringing about some big time development downtown. No outrage over the waiving of the fees, like we’ve seen from the city’s discounted land deal for the A’s.

  4. I was reading the other day about how Brown’s killing of redevelopment basically provides a Band-Aid approach to the state’s budget problems now while ensuring less economic activity for the future. Apparently, the confiscation of redevelopment assets did not make all that much of a dent in the budget deficit. Brown’s move basically fixed it so his hometown will have one whale of a time trying to keep its baseball team, though.

  5. @pjk: based on what I’ve seen, many cities and counties (as successor agencies) are arguing to the DoF that spending money to finish projects will result in higher long-term property and sales tax revenue. But DoF doesn’t care. They want property tax money now. The bean counters look at the date on a contract. If it’s after June 28, 2011, they deem it invalid. As a result, ambitious, often green and transit-friendly, multi-phase development projects will now stop, unfinished after the first or second phase. Some property tax revenue will flow to the public school system, that’s true, in the short term; and some of the shamefully wasteful uses of redevelopment money SOME cities and counties indulged in will stop. But that’s it. And a lot of good projects are now in trouble.

  6. I’m assuming that some of the improvements on The Ballpark at Arlington will include raising handrails to help prevent fans from taking the Nestea Plunge onto the concrete below???

  7. I enjoyed the NYT piece on Barclays Center. On its own, I like its overall appearance. As for for fitting in with its surroundings? Well. It’s in Brooklyn. You can’t very well put 20k seat arena in a pair of skinny jeans, white Chuck Taylors and pastel Wayfarers.

  8. Hipster jokes don’t really fly here, I can tell. Sigh. Speaking of ballpark upgrades, is there any policy against the Raiders and A’s going dutch on some new scoreboards, or are those sorts of changes required to be made by the JPA? Since LED strips and boards have been the new standard for several years now, you’d figure they’d me more affordable, especially when split between two major sports teams.

  9. The A’s and Raiders spending Big $$ on a 46-year-old facility that both want to leave? I doubt it.

  10. To be fair they’re not the only ones refusing to upgrade their aged public facility in even little ways (ie: modern video board and/or LED strips). The Niners never did such a thing at Candlestick before they were announced moving out, and the Chargers have also not done anything of the sort at Qualcomm Stadium (and in their case they need upgrades even worse than the A’s/Raiders).

  11. Improvements to any stadium are usually part of a separate capital improvement agreement between the operator and the tenant(s). That’s because it creates a clear funding arrangement and management structure. Don’t have that and you’re setting yourself up for litigation if work is done. At the Coliseum, the only arrangement is that teams get reimbursed if they fix stuff that breaks, such as the oft-mentioned plumbing problems.

  12. I made the mistake of going to AT&T today for a science fair. It felt more like a Giants game with all the people decked out in their new gear. Best line of the day was from my 8-year old, who had never been to AT&T –“I really like this park, but that doesn’t mean I have to like the Giants.”

  13. You should interview. He offers some great perspective of what it is like to be an A’s fan in elementary school. I’m sure some other posters’ kids could do the same.

  14. My daughter and her buddy protested a sign in their daycare YMCA that said “Let’s go Giants,” and made the Y director make another sign that said “Let’s go A’s.” So they all got to work, and now there are both signs on the wall.
    Couldn’t be a prouder dad.
    Now if we can get a “Go Quakes” on a VTA bus every once in a while, or a “Go A’s” (God forbid), that would be good.

  15. You can’t start the little ones too early on the A’s. I am without child, but have a hadcore Giants fan brother with a toddler daughter. Naturally, she worships me. I got her some A’s gear and she loves marching around in her A’s cap. For all the petty childhood squabbles I’ve had/have with my bro, this settles them… for now.

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