Council Welcomes Ballpark Report

The San Jose City Council continued its overwhelming support of bringing major league baseball to San Jose at Tuesday’s council meeting, voting unanimously to approve the findings of an economic impact report on the potential ballpark.

Before putting their official stamp on the report, council members took turns repeating their previously voiced sentiments that the planned stadium would be a huge asset if the city scored in its efforts to bring the Oakland A’s to the South Bay.

Issued earlier this month, the 88-page analysis estimated that there could be $130 million in economic benefits and 2,100 jobs generated by the 14-acre project near the Diridon Station.

“This is the right project, at the right time, in the right place,” said District 8 councilmember Rose Herrera.

Several council members expressed feelings that if the city doesn’t act now in nailing down a big-time baseball team, that the right opportunity might never come again.

“We’ve got one shot, and this is it,” said District 3 Councilmember Sam Liccardo. “This stadium allows us to move forward now, when we need it the most.”

The consultant firm that compiled the report for the San Jose Redevelopment agency found that a 32,000-seat stadium playing 81 home games a year could have a $2.9 billion cumulative economic impact on San Jose over three decades. Additionally, they calculated a yearly return of $1.5 million to the general fund through property and sales taxes.

District 7 Councilmember Madison Nguyen said that though she is excited about the potential jobs that would be generated by the project, she urged caution if building goes forward, to make sure the city fully understands the impact a ballpark will have on the San Jose general plan.

Mayor Chuck Reed said that he found that the report was actually too cautious when it came to estimating the potential sales tax revenue that could be generated by the project for the city.

“There is more sales tax that would be generated here locally,” Reed said. “It’s important that we don’t try to oversell this, but it’s a good deal.”

Though Major League Baseball isn’t expected to give official word on whether they will be turning over Santa Clara County’s territorial rights to the A’s until November 2010 (the San Francisco Giants currently has dibs on the South Bay), the wheels are already turning, and the city seems to be welcoming a new ballpark with open arms.

Shortly after the entire council anonymously approved the report, Reed once again pulled out a baseball metaphor, as he has at several preveious meetings, shouting “Play Ball!”

The effect that the potential ballpark will have on the area around the building site will be discussed at a Diridon Station Area Good Neighbor Committee meeting on Sept. 24. An addendum to the project’s environmental impact report is due to be released early next month.


  1. I do have concerns about the A’s project and its impact, but I do respect the City Council favoring an impact report which does make sense about the benefits of a stadium in the area.  I hope there not too many nitwits bugging the City Council.  In Santa Clara we have people calling themselves “God” opposing the stadium, ex Mayors like Gissler who are working for engineers trying to get rival stadium proposals, a leader of the anti stadium movement, Bill Bailey making racist comments about African Americans living near Hunters Point, McLeod working secretly with Newsom to defeat the project, and even people claiming that the stadium will be subject to nuclear terrorism and jet plan crashes.  So San Jose City Council, do your best, you are tying as our Council is doing, to work for the future of San Jose.  Hunker down, and do what you think is right.

  2. The notion that San Jose is “Giants country” has never made that much sense to me, because if the A’s did move to San Jose, the Giants are still a heck of a lot closer to go to for games for East Bay baseball fans.

    Sure, it would siphon some Giants fans, but it’d probably be made up for by fans in the East Bay who would find it easier to go to SF than down to SJ to see the A’s.

  3. I agree with James R. on concerns for the baseball stadium in downtown San Jose for the A’s.  Specifically, the fact that the stadium proposed site (as well as the proposed 49ers stadium in Santa Clara) are near or on the takeoff and landing paths of San Jose Airport.  How will flights into and out of San Jose Airport be addressed during games?  Hopefully the impact report will reflect this question.

    My other concern is about the Giants team currently in San Jose.  (As the ones currently playing at Municipal Stadium where a deciding 5th game of their 2nd-round series against Bakersfield will be played TONIGHT at 7:00pm.) Where will the San Jose Giants end up playing, should the A’s stadium finally be constructed?  Certainly San Jose Giants baseball tickets are far cheaper than San Jose A’s tickets will likely be.  How often will coupons for two FREE tickets to a San Jose A’s game be made available for playoff games?

    Things to consider as this issue and questions are debated and answered in a civil manner…

    • Eugene:

      This has come up before, but I don’t recall your presence on the other threads. Basically, there’s no conflict between aviation and Major League Baseball. The New York Mets play within spitting distance of LaGuardia as can be seen here:,-73.849325&spn=0.030163,0.055189&t=h&z=14

      Ever been to a MLB game? It’s noisy as can be, with all the cheering, booing and noise.

      I’m a cynic and don’t believe the promises that this baseball stadium will magically appear at no cost to the taxpayers, but proximity to SJC is not a factor.

      • Hugh:

        Thanks for the dirt.  Given my obvious focus on the current (nationwide) transit crisis and its affects here in the Valley (on top of other things) I haven’t kept up much with SJI. 

        The last MLB game I went to was at the former Shea Stadium in 1985.  Mets were playing the Dodgers.  Jury is still out on Citi Field.  No planes that day when I went. 

        I’ve known that any sporting event nowadays is quite noisy (depending on how the home team is doing).  Nowadays sporting events get rowdy, especially if you are wearing the visiting team’s uniforms. Ask any Chargers fan who attended the Monday night game in Oakland on what happened to them when they are found wearing a powder blue uniform.

        I’m playing wait and see on this new ballpark, and doing my own research on its potential impact.

  4. If this report is valid, it surely means that Oakland would lose that same number of jobs and fantastic economic benefit. Of course, that is good for us here in SJ, but it’s not creating a new industry, it’s just moving it from one place to another.

    If the report is invalid, then being approved by the City Council is not going to change that fact.

    • Yes, but without a new stadium somewhere, the A’s are likely to leave the Bay Area altogether (Sacramento) or even the state (Las Vegas).  If that happens, jobs will be lost in the region that won’t be recovered elsewhere in the region.  In addition, the difference between 15,000 attendance and 20,000 attendance (a conservative estimate for the first few years) is additional dollars in the economy and additional jobs.

  5. Play ball indeed!  And to those that are still against this, you’ll grow to love Cisco Field just like you love HP Pavilion.  By the way, can someone explain how the “Shark Tank” has negatively effected San Jose economically; I.e. Lost city services, draining of the general fund, proving Greg Perry right?
    10 mhz: simply put, Oakland had it chance for the A’s, 15 years to be exact to get a ballpark together.  It’s San Jose’s time to shine!

  6. Would a baseball stadium be an asset to San Jose? – yes. Would there be economic benefit? – yes. But how much time should City officials and staff spend pursuing baseball compared to allocating those resources to attracting other businesses that could provide equal or possibly greater long term benefit to the economy and well being of San Jose citizens?

    Specifically I would like to see even 1/10 the effort spent on baseball devoted to attracting major league healthcare facilities to downtown San Jose – especially considering that the gap left by the closure of S.J. Hospital has never been filled. The downtown of one of largest cities in the country is without a hospital or large scale clinic. According to the San Jose Business Journal, the #1 and #6 employers in Mountain View and the #2, #4, #5, and #11 employers in Palo Alto are healthcare organizations. Similar to baseball, these facilities are hubs that serve a region(including many San Jose citizens), and generate jobs and tax revenue, in addition to providing a core community service.

    While professional baseball and green tech jobs may be key ingredients to economic development in San Jose, the mundane business of healthcare delivery, represents another enormous economic development opportunity for San Jose. Let’s act on that front too.

    • To get an answer to that question, you will have to contact HCA, the people who own both the current abandoned San Jose Hospital as well as Regional Medical Center (the former Alexian Brothers Hospital). 

      There is a move to bring a major clinic into the downtown area (the Chavez building at 14th and SCL), but HCA will not surrender any rights that would allow any acute-care facility to be constructed in the downtown area.

      Too bad – I’d like to see a UC-Santa Cruz Medical Center (similar to UCD Med Center in Sacramento), being staffed by nurses and nursing students from the SJSU program, etc.

      • Let UC Santa Cruz focus on Environmental Science and let’s build the new UC San Jose campus to focus on Engineering, Medicine (biotech), and Education.

  7. Baseball Stadium, sure would make sense if it could attract a team without major subsidies.  I don’t know whether we could achieve the urban ballpark thing like they have in SF just by sticking it by the Train Station and I suspect they’ll short the parking as part of some eleaborate scheme for parking swapping between the arena, train, and stadium that will leave everyone pissed off.

    But it never hurts to look long term, and think long term rather than just muddling through from crisis to crisis.  I actually thought former SJSU President Cassing was unusually wise to turn down the soccer stadium plan because it was a short term payoff for the schools major long term asset, land, which they’d only get one shot at developing like that and if they gave away too much to a developer or team owner, they would have robbed the institution of the chance to real grow and profit from the land in the future.

    I wonder if that same thing applies here?  I don’t know, seems like these stadium things only last about 15-30 years these days, so whatever we get or build will probably be torn down in the not too distant future, so what the heck….

    Can we also build a factory to build rolling stock for the new high speed rail line somewhere in San Jose while we’re doing all this investing in our economic future?

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