SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

South Bay | Arts + Action

Downtown baseball stadium is a bad idea for San Jose
by Troy Davis
Monday Oct 24th, 2011 2:10 AM
Downtown baseball stadium is a bad idea for San Jose
give the money to the unemployed!


Downtown baseball stadium is a bad idea for San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- is moving forward with plans for a potential new baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics.

The city council on Tuesday unanimously approved a revised environmental impact report for the project. The report recommends increasing parking fees to encourage use of public transportation and preferential parking for those who carpool.

The Athletics are considering a move to San Jose. But the team would require the approval of baseball and other team owners because the San Francisco Giants hold territorial rights to the area.

The San Jose Mercury News reported the San Jose Sharks, who would play near the proposed stadium site, dropped their objections to the report after the city agreed to allow them to build a new parking lot. the expected cost for this new baseball stadium $116 million



But in reality Downtown baseball stadium is a bad idea for San Jose

We can't afford it.

The San Jose budget is in crisis, with a $116 million deficit this year, and no immediate relief in coming years. Deep and painful cuts to community services are coming:

cuts to police and fire department services (including removing crossing guards at many intersections);
cuts to road maintenance;
cuts to parks and recreation, including pool closings;
closing libraries, cutting library hours;
closing community centers;
The city is considering sales tax increases, and has asked city employees to take 10% cuts in salary and benefits. The Redevelopment Agency budget and staff are likely to be decimated.

Yet the city seems eager to spend money to buy and prepare land and road infrastructure for a baseball stadium, and then effectively give it away to wealthy team owners and forgo the property tax revenue.

This makes no sense. Baseball doesn't need our money; we do.

Stadium is poor economic deal for San Jose

Claims that a stadium will bring economic benefits to San Jose - jobs, tax revenue, and new spending - exaggerate the benefits and ignore the costs. The truth is the baseball stadium is not free for San Jose, and it is a very poor investment.

land purchases and infrastructure improvements for a stadium will cost San Jose an estimated $100M in present value initially, plus a loss of roughly $1M a year from foregone property taxes.
the net ROI (Return on Investment) for San Jose is 2% or less, while the Redevelopment Agency bonds supplying the capital cost 5% or more per year. A bad deal.
a stadium will create just 138 new, seasonal, mostly low wage jobs at stadium; with $100M in public costs for the stadium, the cost for the 138 new stadium jobs is almost $725,000 per job. That's a terrible value.
a stadium will not by itself create new businesses, and will not increase property values (according to San Jose Neighborhood Economic Impacts of the Proposed San Jose Stadium.
Baseball is emphatically a minor league economic player, with good publicity.

Stadium is poor use of Diridon Station land.

Giving the Diridon site away to private developers for a baseball stadium is a short sighted and old fashioned idea that hurts San Jose's future.

The site, immediately next to the emerging major transportation hub at Diridon station, is unique. It is potentially one of the most valuable and attractive sites in the city for businesses and residents. Recent market forecasts (see here - slides 20, 21) predict a demand for up to 3.6 million square feet of new office space and 4,500 new residential units in the Diridon Station Area. Office space is the land use that benefits the greatest from improved transit access, and high density development generates the greatest tax increment revenue. Office development at the Diridon site would create four times more economic benefit for San Jose than a baseball stadium, generate twice as much tax revenue, and create thousands more (and better) jobs. Over its 40 to 50 year lifetime, a stadium would represent a loss of billions of dollars of taxes and economic activity, and a loss of thousands of jobs.

In addition, a stadium would stunt San Jose's urban development. The Diridon location should and can become symbolic of San Jose's status as a 21st Century city. It should and can become San Jose's front door and drawing room - a lively everyday center of urban life. It is people living and working in a neighborhood that give it life throughout the day and year. Most of the time stadiums are empty and lifeless, creating a large dead zone around them.

Major Impacts on Neighborhoods, Downtown, and Freeways (full article)

The proposed stadium site is very close to established neighborhoods and to vital downtown facilities. No stadium in North America is located in such tight proximity to other critical uses. Even the Sharks are worried about the problems this will create.

Gridlock from 5 to 7 PM on almost all freeways around and through downtown - SR87, 280, 680, 880. Traffic levels will go to unacceptable levels, creating a necklace of gridlock for commuters on their way home and for anyone heading downtown.
Parking shortages throughout the downtown area, disrupting downtown residents and existing downtown businesses and theaters.
Permit parking will become required for many neighborhoods within a mile of downtown.
Surrounding neighborhoods will face increased noise, on top of the already heavy noise from the airport, trains, and traffic.
Traffic problems, cut through traffic, and traffic controls will increase in neighborhoods.
An estimated $100M will come from funding for police & fire service, and from low income services. in efect "taking from the poor to entertain the rich.

It is time for the people of san jose to stand up and say NO! to this foolish idea. below you will find a list of city officials who want to sneak this program past you and take money from the mouths of the poor, cut programs for seniors, and fire dozens of emergency services workers.
e-mail them all, call them (ring their phones off the hooks) keep the pressuer on untill the mayor and the city councle stop this waistful spending on another team we don't want or need.


Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800 (call collect)
allan.selig [at] mlb.com
Office of Mayor Chuck Reed
200 East Santa Clara Street San José, CA 95113
tel. (408) 535-4800 fax (408) 292-6422
mayoremail [at] sanjoseca.gov

Pete Constant
District 1
408-535-4901
District1 [at] sanjoseca.gov


Ash Kalra
District 2
408-535-4902
District2 [at] sanjoseca.gov


Sam Liccardo
District 3
408-535-4903
District3 [at] sanjoseca.gov

Kansen Chu
District 4
408-535-4904
District4 [at] sanjoseca.gov


Xavier Campos
District 5
408-535-4905
District5 [at] sanjoseca.gov



Pierluigi Oliverio
District 6
408-535-4906
pierluigi.oliverio [at] sanjoseca.gov



Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen
District 7
408-535-4907
District7 [at] sanjoseca.gov


Rose Herrera
District 8
408-535-4908
rose.herrera [at] sanjoseca.gov

Donald Rocha
District 9
408-535-4909
District9 [at] sanjoseca.gov

Nancy Pyle
District 10
408-535-4910
District10 [at] sanjoseca.gov




Industrial Development Opportunities Richard Keit
email:richard.keit [at] sanjoseca.gov
phone: 408.795.1849
Economic Development
200 East Santa Clara Street, 17th Floor San José, CA 95113
tel. (408) 535-8181 fax (408) 292-6719
economic.development [at] sanjoseca.gov

San José City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street San Jose, CA 95113
Main: (408) 535-3500 Fax: (408) 292-6731 TTY: (408) 294-9337
e-mail: customerservice [at] sanjoseca.gov

allan.selig [at] mlb.com