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July 23, 2010

Selig "disappointed" San Jose moving ahead on A's without him

Okay, so much for my theory that Bud Selig secretly gave San Jose the go-ahead to move ahead with a stadium vote in order to pressure the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants into reaching a territorial rights settlement. Selig responded to the news of the potential San Jose referendum today by saying he was "surprised and disappointed" that Mayor Chuck Reed wants to set a November vote on a stadium plan, stating, "We were not part of the process and had no knowledge that a decision to proceed with the election had been made. A ballot referendum is premature."

Unless, of course, Selig just wants everyone to think he doesn't want San Jose to have a vote. But then, the Giants owners would probably know he knows they know he knows...


It's not so much that Selig/MLB gave San Jose a "secret" go ahead for a vote; more likely they have told San Jose that nothing will happen re: territorial rights UNTIL we know 100% for sure a ballpark will be built as a result. Tally of Bay Area ballpark measures that went down in flames: Santa Clara County/San Jose 2, San Francisco 3. Only when public fund contributions were minimal did stadium measures pass: SF 1996 for PacBell Park and SC 2010 for Niners Stadium. As for Selig's statement today re: San Jose's November ballpark measure...WHAT THE HELL ELSE WAS HE SUPPOSED TO SAY! What he didn't say was SJ was now out of the running because of their actions; now that speaks volumes! But of course, you're all for Neukom and his ridiculous T-Rights to the nations 10th largest city, so why do I even bother with you?

Posted by Tony D. on July 23, 2010 09:05 PM

He told San Jose not to hold a stadium referendum until the commission report is out because the commission won't make up its mind until a stadium is finalized?

Is this that reverse psychology all the kids today are into?

Posted by Neil on July 23, 2010 09:51 PM

Not just Selig should be disappointed, also the citizens of San Jose. We get to vote on a vague ballot measure as opposed to the term sheet to see the real cost of this handout of public RDA money to a team. Vote No, join !

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 24, 2010 01:12 AM

Resort to insults when on the wrong side of an argument. Is that what the old folk are into these days?
You should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Not one dime will be spent on ballpark construction. Infrastructure improvements will happen regardless of ballpark and will provide jobs, jobs, jobs!
Stop with your salacious lies and trying to keep San Jose a "colony" of San Francisco.
"Better" San Jose? Try WORSE SAN JOSE!
By the way Neil, your credibility is now gone as someone who's against greedy/selfish owners and direct public funds for stadium construction.

Posted by Tony D. on July 24, 2010 12:52 PM

what a joke, lew-lew bud-dy and the newkom bow-tie all in a absurdly idiotic dance. contraction is the answer.

Posted by paul w. on July 24, 2010 01:02 PM


(1) "jobs jobs jobs": according to the City's Economic Impact Report there will be "138 net new ballpark specific jobs" -- also consider that these are actually FTEs: many more people will therefore need multiple low-paying jobs to survive (and depend on City's welfare services), any high tech office park would actually provide *real* jobs that people can live off

(2) construction jobs: does not matter what gets build there -- like you say "infrastructure will happen no matter what"

(3) City is broke, would actually prefer to postpone some of these expensive infrastructure expenditures

(4) "not one dime": who do you think pays for the land giveaway that the RDA spent tens of millions to acquire ?

(5) "not one dime": we need to see the term sheet *before* the vote: the stadium probably will not pay any property tax (M$500 * 0.1% = K$500/yr) that pays for schools fire police

Nuf said. Vote NO -- join

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 25, 2010 02:03 AM

Oh great, another Giants front organization...

Posted by Dan on July 25, 2010 09:31 AM

@Dan: Not so: get it into your skull that you can be against a stadium at Diridon without being a Giants supporter. This is not about baseball !!

Better Sense San Jose is a community based all volunteer organization founded to promote open and transparent government, and sensible, prioritized spending in the City of San Jose. We are registered with the California Secretary of State as a political Committee and all our donations have been from concerned citizens of San Jose.

Vote No !

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 25, 2010 12:45 PM

I think the ballpark will get built. If Santa Clara proved anything to me is that the greater San Jose metro-area wants to have pro-sports in there area. The Santa Clara Stadium made sense for the 49ers because it's a central location to get fans from San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to go to the games.

Just like Ed Roski's City of Industry Stadium because they can get fans from Los Angeles, Orange County and Riverside.

San Jose will get the ballpark built, then I'm sure they'll make a play for an NBA team before 2015 and get one there too. I'm sure Larry Ellison will be the man to make it happen since he was screwed out of owning the Golden State Warriors.

Posted by MLB in San Jose on July 25, 2010 05:30 PM

Why vote no? You oppose private enterprise spending their money in San Jose?

Posted by Dan on July 25, 2010 07:16 PM

(1) we oppose private enterprise asking for a community hand out (M$70 or so in free land and no property taxes -- again this will be in the term sheet which the voters do not get to see before the November ballot).

(2) we also oppose the Significant and Unavoidable impacts (see both EIRs) on our environment, most importantly the severe gridlock this will cause (double the size of the Pavilion), the parking issue (who will pay $40 to park in a garage when they find free parking in the surrounding neighborhoods), the noise (organ, fireworks), the increase in emergency vehicle access times to people around the stadium, etc.

(3) we also oppose the use of a prime piece of real estate -- right next to the future nexus of transportation infrastructure (HSR, BART) -- for something that will not be used every day or even the entire day.

(4) question for the forum: the M$500 Fremont stadium was going to be financed by selling condos nearby -- where do you the M$500 of construction costs will be coming from at Diridon with no nearby vacant land ??? Probably not from Wolff's piggy bank.

Vote No, read

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 25, 2010 10:49 PM

While I don't live in San Jose so won't be able to vote on the A's stadium issue, I do travel in/out of San Jose and patronize businesses and facilities (San Jose Rep, Center for the Performing Arts, Lyrical Theater, San Jose Ballet, etc.) and I'm very concerned about the traffic issues. We're taking about 4 nights/week of 7 pm games when games are played at home (that's the current A's schedule - M, T, Th, Fr at 7 pm, plus Wed. afternoon games). 101, 87, and 280 are already nightmares at commute hour through downtown San Jose. The fact that the San Jose City Council does not care about the additional extended delays that commuters will face with a baseball stadium in that location is appalling. The working people of San Jose and surrounding communities are the people who pay the bills - the property and sales taxes - that fund much of San Jose's budget. This is a bad location for a baseball stadium, just based on the 7 pm game times and the effects on traffic (freeways and intersections downgraded to a level of 'F', which means gridlock).

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 26, 2010 12:55 AM

In addition, the San Jose City Council/Lew Wolff is playing the same game with the ballot language that the Santa Clara City Council majority/Yorks played - saying no new taxes and not including the dollar amounts. Voters should be very very suspicious when their elected leaders aren't up front about costs. Voters deserve honesty and transparency in the costs, and instead get promises that have no guarantee of being kept. Taxpayers across the bay were promised that the Raiders return would cost nothing - and look how that turned out. They are really putting the cart before the horse by having a vote without any sort of a Term Sheet agreement.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 26, 2010 01:03 AM

I like the logic of the Diridon guy above--opposes it because it will create gridlock and than opposes it because the property wont be used 365 days a year.....talks about people parking in neighborhoods...and yet HP/Sharks/City have shown that this issue can be addressed and is a non-issue---goes on to identify it as prime real estate and yet this property, which by the way which is very distressed most likely generating very little income for the city---and than SCCT is concerned that she wont be able to get into downtown for the Rep or Ballet....hummmm----how do they do that in do they do that in SJ when the Sharks play and the Rep is there etc....and if so many people are going to stay away from downtown because they cant there than why is the downtown SJ association a big supporter of the ballpark? Personally when I look at the construction industry facing a 35% unemployment rate in the valley and you have someone willing to put $500M of private funding that will generate significant jobs for the construction industry and you have these 2 individuals complaining about personal impacts....unbelievably selfish...

Posted by SanJoseA's on July 26, 2010 01:36 AM

better get that "$500M" in writing...

Posted by paul w. on July 26, 2010 05:10 AM

better get that "$500M" upfront and/or in writing...

Posted by paul w. on July 26, 2010 05:11 AM

Get this through your thick skull: the land the city bought will BE LEASED to the A's; it won't be free! Secondly, RDA funds can't be used by law on city services or to balance the budget; stop with the damn straw man arguments! Lastly, the $70 million for Autumn Parkway does not constitute a subsidy for the ballpark because it will be built regardless to improve traffic flow to the area; but I think you knew that already! I'm going to visit your pathetic web site give you the facts about what will really make San Jose better!

Posted by Tony D. on July 26, 2010 04:54 PM


You do not advance your cause by insulting those who disagree with you. You admonished the owner of this website earlier in this frame not to resort to insults. I suggest you take your own advice.

Just a question, but do you work for or are you allied with the "pro" stadium lobby in any way (beyond simply supporting their position, I mean)?
I'm not 'accusing' you, just asking for disclosure.

Some infrastructure improvements would no doubt be made whether the ballpark is built or not. However, that infrastructure will have to be significantly increased in capacity if a 'destination point' for 40,000 people is included. Whether we are talking about a ball park or an opera house, every development places some additional load on infrastructure.

None of this changes the underlying financial basis of new stadium building: If there was a sound financial case to build a new stadium (or car dealership or big box store), it could be built with private money entirely. I'm not against stadium building, just against public subsidies for private businesses (whether they are direct or indirect, openly admitted or carefully hidden in other costs)

Posted by John Bladen on July 26, 2010 05:39 PM

John D--not sure if I agree with you that the proposed Autumn Pkwy will be expanded because of the ballpark--first and foremost it is landlocked and therefore doesn't have the abilty to "add" additional lanes--second, the number of car trips to a ballgame may not exceed the number of projected car trips on this road for access to businesses in the downtown--i.e--it is being built to provide quicker access to downtown and remove traffic from the Alameda--bottom line--the Autumn Pkwy extension will not grow or shrink dependent on a ballpark being built--

The key question is whether or not the investment that the city of San Jose makes in infrastrucutre improvements results in a reasonable return on that investment---thats the point of the economic study that shows it more than would--but even better is what has happended in SF with the building of AT&T and closer to home--the building of HP Pavillion and the benefits it has generated for the city.

Posted by San JoseA's on July 26, 2010 06:46 PM

Why is it considered "insulting" or admonishing when I'm just stating the truth? And it's OK for this NoDiridon character to talk about "thick skulls," yet when I reply in kind all of a sudden it's "insulting"? Talk about hypocrisy. I'm an SJ native/citizen/military veteran who wants San Jose to have what other great American cities have...OUR NATIONAL PASTIME THAT IS MLB! What's good for that smaller city 40 miles to the north will be good for San Jose. And if you're against public subsidies for private businesses, well, let me tell yah something...THAT'S HOW SILICON VALLEY WAS BUILT! Think we'd have Cisco, Ebay, Adobe, Brocade, etc. without some sort of public subsidy? Look, whatever "public subsidy" the city invests in the form of transportation improvements/land acquisitions, Lew Wolff/A's will invest nearly half a billion in their own money downtown. And by the way, 32,000 (the actual capacity of the proposed ballpark) won't all drive to The Yard; I myself will take light-rail (others Caltrain, Amtrak, ACE, future BART/high-speed rail). Peace.

Posted by Tony D. on July 26, 2010 08:25 PM

Dear TonyD,
please do not fall for the old "RDA dollars are just mickey mouse dollars": at the end of the day, the dollars in the RDA account are just as much (property) tax payers money as those in the general fund. Of course the major/council are doing their bestest to obfuscate this simple fact.

Dear SanJoseA's:
there is a big difference between infrastructure peak and average capacity: dumping an entire stadium's worth of cars completely overwhelms the scarce capacity. Remember that the Pavilion is only half the size as the proposed ballpark (and everybody hopes the SanJoseA's will attract more than the few that still show at the Coliseum) -- also with a Pavilion being in the top three most booked arenas in the country (hockey + concerts) overlapping events will be hard to avoid (see SVSE letter to planning commission).

vote NO -- read

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 26, 2010 08:25 PM

For the record: Nobody is allowed to say "Get it through your thick skull" here.

I really don't want to have to start removing posts, so everyone just hold to one simple rule: You can say whatever you want about someone's argument, but you can't insult them personally. So "that's the craziest thing I've ever heard" is acceptable; "when did you go off your meds?" is not. Fine line, but a clearly marked one.

Posted by Neil on July 26, 2010 09:05 PM

Dear Neil and Dan,

I apologize for using the "skull" expression, I just felt insulted about being called "another Giants front organization" (Dan 7/25 09:31 AM), which was such a blatant attempt at a put down.

Read the real arguments at -- a grass roots organization of tax payers and proud citizens of San Jose. Vote NO !

Posted by DiridonStadiumNo on July 26, 2010 11:03 PM

DSN--for the record SVSE has removed their objections to the ballpark and fully support it---as a season ticket holder of the Sharks and hopefully the A's I am more than comfortable dealing with the traffic caused by events at either venue--in fact taking the Light Rail in from Campbell makes the journey a peice of cake--

Also- DSN--I am well aware of peak v. off-peak traffic--you never answered my question--if the proposed Autumn Blvd is land locked and no way to add additonal lanes to it and it will be built anyway...than how does the ballpark increase the cost of this proposed infrastructure? Also, I think you need to be honest--as I understand you live in the Shasta neighborhood and from your perspective you prefer to avoid any additional development downtown--not just a ballpark---once again I personally find that to be very selfish---2 data points that I like from your area--ex Mayor Janet Gray Hayes who lives in your neighborhood and admits she opposed the Arena for traffic and blight concerns admits that she was wrong and agrees that it is a wonderful addition to downtown SJ--in fact she is on record in support of the ballpark as is ex Mayor Susan Hammer who also lives in your neighborhood--

Posted by SanJoseA's on July 27, 2010 12:36 AM


Do you believe that because SV was "built on subsidies" (not true, but they certainly got their share... at least high tech jobs can/do provide living wages for employees - something sports facilities invariably do not), that sports facilities should too?

Funny thing about Lew Wolff and his $$$$. He has a completed plan for a soccer stadium that would only cost $64M, yet he can't find the $$$ to build it. Hopefully the city will make sure his $500M is actually $500M, not just some vague notion of how $500M could be generated (by someone else, from someone else).

I appreciate the fact that you are a veteran, but I don't understand what relevance your national service has to the stadium discussion?

I have no problem with SJ 'having' MLB in town. It would be an attraction. I am only opposed to ordinary citizens (many of whom exist well below the national average income) being asked to pay for it when many/most cannot hope to afford tickets. If it makes economic sense for the club to build a stadium in this location, and if people truly want and will support it, there is no need for any subsidy.

The fact that the NYY, for example, received $900M in subsidy for their new stadium is not a reason for San Jose, San Diego, or Bakersfield to do the same.

Posted by John Bladen on July 27, 2010 12:58 AM

JB--define the "subsidy" that you are referring to--preparing land and leasing it to an private enterprise to invest 1/2 billion dollars is not a subsidy---many of the building towers in downtown sit on city owned land that is leased back to their owners--comparing what is proposed in SJ to what was provided to the Yankee's in NY is more than a little absurd---why not cite AT&T in SF which is the same deal being proposed in SJ? Is/Was that a bad deal for SF?

Posted by SanJoseA's on July 27, 2010 01:42 AM

Lew Wolff in San Jose will get the $461 million no problem because he has the ties in the area to local investors and corporations.

In Oakland he has neither which is why he went after Fremont so hard because it is close enough to Silicon Valley for these people to invest with him. Hence...Cisco Field.

Cisco didn't do the partnership with Lew Wolff and the A's for a new place in Oakland it was for a new ballpark near Silicon Valley.

In Oakland, why would anyone in their right mind privately build a ballpark with the limited corporate sponsors and investors in the area?

If there is anyone, please step up and buy the team from Lew Wolff now and get his going in Oakland.

Oakland in reality needs to put in public money to get this done and we know that is not happening.

Now the real estate crash made things tough hence why the Quakes haven't started construction yet. Plus it's SOCCER....Enough said there.

In San Jose, the City Council I am sure sees Wolff is not doing any kind of real estate development in the area and just the ballpark. I am sure they are going to let him "in" on a few redevelopment projects in the area as a favor to him for bringing San Jose an MLB team.

San Jose is the best bet and Chuck Reed just made life so much easier for Selig and his committee. Now they can sit back and wait for another 4 months before making a decision as this vote will make their decision crystal clear.

San Jose A's in 2014.

Posted by Sid on July 27, 2010 04:00 AM


Tell me what that land will be leased for? If it is leased at FMV, then it isn't a subsidy. If it is leased for a notional amount, then it is a subsidy.

As for the Giants stadium, I have little interest in that. The common perception is that it was 100% privately financed. Perhaps that's true in the case of the SFG, or perhaps not. I know of several facilities that claim to be privately financed, but in fact included either subsidies or infrastructure improvements totalling 40-50% of the full project cost.

If Lew Wolff is willing to 'write a check' to pay for the ballpark, then that's great. I just don't believe he is. Not for one minute.

Posted by John Bladen on July 27, 2010 01:04 PM

The Giants ballpark is about 90% privately financed: It got free land, plus the city paid to relocate a transit facility (I think it was bus parking) that had been on the site.

Posted by Neil on July 27, 2010 01:14 PM

The Giants financed their park by building it with investors and corporate sponsors during the boom. Peter Magowan and Co. took advantage of the biggest corporate spending spree ever in the late 90s.

Magowan even went on record stating what he pulled of years he could have never done after the crash in San Francisco.

All the City of San Francisco did was donate the land via a vote by the citizens and build out a muni line to the stadium.

A great deal for city as the ballpark spurred a largely dead China Basin area.

In San Jose, the downtown area is already built out and the A's would come in and only make it better.

Lew Wolff will write the "check" with investors and corporate sponsors helping him out to put Silicon Valley on the map with the common person.

I ask to Pro-Oakland fans.....Why would any smart person build a private ballpark in Oakland when you can do it in a far larger and more advanced city like San Jose?

Especially with the "Great Recession" going on?

At least the A's will stay in the Bay Area and East Bay fans can drive OPPOSITE of traffic for the most part to the games still and not lose the team.

This is the best bet for the A's and the Bay Area to keep two teams.

Posted by Sid on July 27, 2010 02:59 PM

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