Giants refinancing ballpark debt to fund other development

The Chronicle’s John Shea confirmed something I had heard about the reasoning for the Giants’ AT&T Park debt refinancing.

The Giants’ plan to pay off their stadium debt by 2017? No longer in the works, we hear. There have been steps to refinance the $170 million loan to help fund their proposed development on parking lot A across from McCovey Cove. There was a time the Giants said they had to limit their payroll because of the $20 million annual mortgage.

Remember how, in 2009, SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera threatened to sue baseball over the perceived financial threat posed to the City if the A’s were granted territorial rights to the South Bay? Well, I’m glad for everyone’s sake that the Giants feel it’s safe enough to take on even greater debt to grow their empire. I was so worried for a while there.

Meanwhile, a group of East Bay mayors including Oakland’s Jean Quan and Berkeley’s Tom Bates are trying to upend legislation introduced by SF assemblyman Phil Ting that would help smooth (or bypass) some of the environmental review and approval process for the Warriors’ arena. It’s not strange that they would pursue this route, since it is local politics at work. The irony is that whatever new law helps the W’s arena could provide a blueprint and pave the way for an A’s ballpark at Howard Terminal, which makes sense because both are on waterfront sites and face the same restrictions.

Of course, if Howard Terminal never gets past the talking points stage no one ever has to find out how expensive it’ll be to build there.

5 thoughts on “Giants refinancing ballpark debt to fund other development

  1. RM,
    re the Giants refinancing ballpark debt to fund development; how the hell would that work? Just thinking along the lines of home loans and refi’s: if I have (say) a balance of $150,000 left on my loan with 10 years until payoff, and I then refi the $150k back into a 30-year loan, how could I then get funds to build a massive add on or buy other property? Just curious.
    So when will they now pay off the ballpark debt and what will their annual debt payments be? No comment on the actions of Oakland pols re an SF arena or Howard Terminal..

  2. @Tony D. – The Giants should have about $100M of existing equity just from paying off the current loan (with balance to be paid) and more they can tap into from the value of the stadium.

  3. Ahh, like home equity; get it now. Thanks. BTW, regardless if Giants loan paid off in 2017 or beyond, it still looks like Cisco Field 2018 (?).

  4. I find it very amusing that the Giants are trying to utilize their land assets to generate more income for themselves, while they are blocking and preventing the A’s from building a ballpark at a potentially more profitable/desirable site of their own respective choosing.

  5. @llpec,
    I’m not so sure the Giants are now “blocking” the A’s SJ efforts. Two years ago, perhaps. Now? I’d reference the Baer softens his stance thread of January for the current situation. Heck, their stance has been soft for over a year now. The only real things “blocking” the A’s at this point is a Coli lease announcement and San Jose getting ALL its ducks in a row (not just some).

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