Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lew Has Stadium Financing Lined Up, Except When He Doesn't

Perhaps it's the ever encroaching deadline to put a stadium referendum on the ballot in San Jose, or the fact he's been at this game for eight years now, but there seems to be an extra amount of rhetoric coming from Lew's mouth these last few days. Lew's latest take comes courtesy of AP Writer Janie McCauley, in which Lew claims that he "already has the financing in place" if only territorial rights would magically go away.

How true is this? Well, considering the many delays the Earthquakes Stadium has suffered before being built (still no naming rights sponsor), we find this hard to believe. Keep in mind that, starting in 2005, when the 66th Ave.-to-High Street plan was announced to all the way up to the present day in San Jose, Wolff has revealed ZERO details of how this thing would be paid for. have been revealed. Yes, in Fremont there were supposed to be land entitlements, and a housing-financing scenario where condos would sell for one million dollars each or something. But, even then, the details were fuzzy and controversial. Ever since Fremont fell through, ballpark-plan details have gone from blurry to downright dark. We have never known the true full estimated cost of the proposed ballpark, either, a key detail that should be mentioned if this thing were to go to San Jose voters.

Ray Ratto On Dale Tafoya's Athletics After Dark is convinced that the money is not there and that the whole thing is in serious jeopardy. Quote:

This is about one thing and one thing only, and it’s always been about this: Do the A’s have the money to put a shovel in the ground? If they had the money to put a shovel in the ground, we would’ve gone to Bud Selig and said, “We’re ready to go now.” And then Bud Selig can either tell the committee to produce a report or he could just go without it and start harvesting votes if they really want this to happen. I think it is incumbent upon the A’s to show that they’re ready to go right now and the fact that they keep saying, “well we haven’t seen the blue ribbon report…” You know what? That’s due diligence and you’re supposed to do that. If you’ve got that stuff down you’re already working at that.

…In the current economic climate, where you really need help from cities and states to get buildings done if you don’t want to go into your own personal debt. I think that the idea of a San Jose stadium is really fading. It may be dead at this point. It’s taken too long for the A’s to get what ducks they have in a row, in a row. So I think the problem here is the A’s needed more help than they let on and now they’re stuck.

Interesting. What we have here is two conflicting views on what is really going on. Who do we believe now? For a more objective analysis, take a gander of what Neil DeMause at Field of Schemes says is needed to make this happen:

To make a San Jose A's move work, then, you'd need to generate enough new revenue to:
* Pay off the Giants' indemnification demands for giving up Silicon Valley;
* Generate around $30 million a year extra to pay off the estimated $461 million construction cost of the San Jose stadium that Wolff says he will build himself (California being probably the hardest state in the nation to get taxpayer stadium funds approved in, given its stringent public referendum requirements); and
* Leave some money left over to pay all those free agents that Rosenthal insists would come a-running as soon as the A's were out from the shadow of Mount Davis. Figure $50-60 million total at minimum--and it would all need to come from new San Jose fans, less the number of lost Oakland fans.
It's a tough mathematical nut to crack, even when you don't have two sides playing North-going Zax and South-going Zax.
Like Neil suggests, the numbers don't add up for Lew. Despite his pleading for "fairness," the Giants WILL be compensated. That's how MLB works, Lew. Its not fair that we here in Oakland have had to deal with you for the last five years, either, but that's business, too. Does Lew have all that money lined up? We shall see, but we have difficulty believing him.

1 comment: said...

I actually found this Oakland Oaks Vintage T-shirt online. Wereh't they in the PCL 100 years ago?

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