Field of Schemes
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September 10, 2006

Weekend update: Real Salt Lake, 49ers, and more

In which I see if writing a longer intro to one of these sum-up posts is less confusing to the bot that writes the Google News headlines:

  • Jordan, Utah parents are not happy to learn that property taxes that normally go to local schools would be diverted to help pay for a new soccer stadium for Real Salt Lake, under the team's current finance plan. One wrote to the local school district: "If this is accepted, I will actively campaign against any sitting member of the school board and look into any potential litigation that could tie up such use of funds." E-mails and phone calls have been 100% negative, says school board member Lynette Phillips.
  • The San Francisco 49ers are now considering adding a 12,000-seat arena, possibly for indoor soccer or arena football, to their new stadium project. The 49ers are selling the project as "privately financed," but would seek as-yet unspecified public land and infrastructure subsidies.
  • Save Our Parks and the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the National Park Service ruling allowing the New York Yankees to take 22 acres of Bronx parkland to use for their $1.3 billion stadium project. No word on a likely court date, but in any case it will come too late to save Macombs Dam Park, which has already been bulldozed.
  • Speaking of lawsuits, the church that owns the L.A. Forum is suing the Anschutz Entertainment Group for antitrust violations, saying AEG, which manages the Forum, has been illegally diverting events to the Staples Center, which AEG owns. Yet another cautionary tale about why arena glut is a dangerous thing.
  • Possibly inspired by the success of their neighbors to the north in extracting more public money even after their new stadium was opened, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are trying to get an extra $12 million from the Tampa Sports Authority; the money was promised for a new training facility, but with the Bucs having decided to build that on their own, they're now looking to get it on a gift certificate.
  • Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff told the San Jose chamber of commerce recently that he was unlikely to move his team to San Jose, as the San Francisco Giants were unwilling to sell territorial rights to the city. A move to nearby Fremont and name change to "San Jose A's" remains a possibility, leading a cranky Santa Clara County assessor Larry Stone to predict: "The Giants' worst dream will come true. The A's will be marketing to Silicon Valley and San Jose and the Giants are not going to get a dime of compensation."
  • Bentonville, Arkansas is considering building a 9,000-seat arena to lure a WNBA team. Write your own punchline.

COMMENTS

The owner of the A's is also looking to build a soccer stadium in either San Jose or Santa CLara for the "on-the-shelf" San Jose Earthquakes MLS team.

Posted by Bertell Ollman on September 12, 2006 09:30 AM

Yeah, covered that months ago:

http://www.fieldofschemes.com/news/archives/2006/05/a_is_for_soccer.html

Posted by Neil on September 12, 2006 11:28 AM

Re: Macombs Dam. Looks like there's still a park there.

Posted by james joseph on September 12, 2006 01:49 PM

If you mean the trees on the far side of the fence, those are street trees on Jerome Avenue. I haven't heard whether the Yankees will ultimately remove them or not.

Posted by Neil on September 12, 2006 02:16 PM

I'm not talking about the trees on Jerome -- I'm talking about the park. They can put the dirt back and the track, probably an improvement in the process. This is not just about trees, is it?

Posted by james joseph on September 12, 2006 03:18 PM

Well, the parkland is still there. The park, if by a park you mean the trees and rocks and fields that were there the last century, is gone. It can absolutely be rebuilt (well, not the rock), but that would take time, especially to regrow those 100-year-old trees.

Posted by Neil on September 12, 2006 03:22 PM

"Bentonville, Arkansas is considering building a 9,000-seat arena to lure a WNBA team. Write your own punchline."


"We play for less."

Posted by spycake on September 16, 2006 09:51 AM

Citizens of the Kansas City suburb of Johnson County, just across the state line in Kansas, are fighting the new Wizards owners to prevent the building of a taxpayer subsidized stadium for their team. Using a very clever tactic, the county Parks & Rec. has placed a $75 million bond issue on the Nov. 7 ballot, claiming, "It's for the kids." It will be used to build 24 tournament caliber youth soccer fields. These 24 fields are the lynchpin upon which a 300 acre complex of stadium, youth fields, and retail depends. Parks &Rec. will spend $22 million for 140 acres. This astounding price of $157,000 per acre is because the site is in middle one of the most affluent residential areas of the county. The land of the fields is so poor that estimates for reclamation are $300,000 per acre. That brings the total cost to over $400,000 per acre. NOTE: soccer land elsewhere in the county goes for $35,000 per acre.
The rest of the complex will not require a vote of the people. It is entirely in the hands of the Overland Park city council. It looks suspicious since the Overland Park site was not selected by the city. It was selected by the Wizards who will use public parking around the youth fields for overflow parking during Wizards games. The bond election is November 7, 2006

Posted by Wayne Flaherty on October 3, 2006 12:24 AM

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