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More news pointing to a SJ move...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19493558

Mark Purdy: More signs point to San Jose for the Oakland A's

By Mark Purdy Mercury News Columnist
Posted: 12/07/2011 08:31:59 PM PST
Updated: 12/08/2011 09:53:22 AM PST

The saga continues. The A's ultimate ballpark destination remains up in the air, a high and deep fly ball, with the entire Bay Area waiting to see in which glove it lands.

And despite what you hear, nothing is certain. Major League Baseball's so-called "blue-ribbon panel" still has not made public its report. Commissioner Bud Selig has not ruled on whether the Giants' territorial rights claim to San Jose should be overturned. Or whether A's owner Lew Wolff can pursue a San Jose stadium project.

However, the fly ball seems to be descending rapidly. Two recent developments -- a pointed comment by a powerful baseball owner and a lawsuit filed by a front group for the San Francisco Giants' interests -- seem to indicate that Selig and MLB are leaning toward a San Jose solution to the A's problem.

That should come as no shock. If the idea is for MLB to have two healthy Bay Area franchises, common sense says they should be located in the region's two largest cities, more than 40 miles apart, with both teams residing in modern new ballparks. That's instead of the current situation, with the Giants and A's just a short drive across the Bay Bridge from each other and the A's playing in a substandard, outdated and bleak hunk of concrete.

That common sense, however, acquired a strong voice this week at baseball's winter meetings in Dallas. Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was "totally supportive" of Wolff being able to pursue a ballpark project in San Jose.

"He needs to be there," Reinsdorf said. "It has to come to a head soon."

The "soon" probably translates to sometime in the next few months, most likely at an owners meeting in Arizona scheduled for next month. And for those who believe Oakland might still be in the picture, Reinsdorf threw in jabs at both the Oakland Coliseum and Oakland, saying the stadium was "past its time" and so was the city.

"Oakland's had plenty of opportunity to build a stadium and hasn't gotten it done," Reinsdorf said.

Those words could not have been spoken casually and cannot be overestimated. Reinsdorf has owned the White Sox since 1981. He is not only one of MLB's longest-tenured proprietors but also one of the most powerful, known to have Selig's ear. Reinsdorf also led the relocation committee that oversaw the Montreal Expos' move to Washington, D.C., and conversion into the Nationals.

Reinsdorf's statement about Oakland, meanwhile, outlines a chapter of the A's stadium pursuit that many East Bay citizens either forget or refuse to acknowledge. The chapter dates to 1994, not long after the Haas family sold the team to Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann. The two men had big plans for remodeling the Coliseum into a fine baseball-only structure. They requested a meeting with the Coliseum commission.,

"Here's what we'd like to do," Schott told the commission, outlining his remodeling ideas.

"That's all very nice," the commission replied, more or less. "But we have some news. The Raiders want to come back to Oakland, and we've got a financing plan to make it happen that will include building a new center field addition. You can't fight this, because the important people in Oakland want it to happen and they'll make it difficult on you if you try to get in the way."

Schott and Hofmann acquiesced. From that moment forward, the A's long-term future in Oakland was probably doomed. Years later, after Wolff and partner John Fisher bought the team, Wolff did assemble a new ballpark proposal near the Coliseum site. His plan involved mixed-use redevelopment and required Oakland's assistance to acquire the necessary land. The project went nowhere when the city did not or could not cooperate. Wolff then looked south to Fremont and spent years on another failed plan before finally settling on San Jose as his last, not first, resort.

All of that information is contained in the "blue-ribbon" report. The hunch here is that Reinsdorf has already seen it, which explains his assessment about Oakland.

It is possible, in fact, that the Giants also have seen the report, which might be why they backed a lawsuit filed last week by a group called "Stand For San Jose," which curiously is represented by a lawyer and public relations firm from San Francisco.

The lawsuit cites flaws in the environmental impact report for the proposed downtown San Jose ballpark and charges that the city's decision to give Wolff an option on the proposed ballpark property is illegal because the public didn't vote on it -- even though no ballpark could be built there without a public vote. Attorneys will hash out the whole thing. But we all know what this is about: The Giants want to delay and/or subvert any San Jose deal.

Clearly, the Giants are afraid that Selig will soon decide against them. Otherwise, why file the lawsuit at all? Why not let the other MLB owners decide the right thing to do? Perhaps because, as Reinsdorf's comments demonstrate, the Giants already know what that decision will be.

And that fly ball may plop into San Jose's mitt before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
 

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http://www.mercurynews.com/traffic/ci_19501030

BART-to-San Jose extension could open 18 months ahead of schedule

By Gary Richards

Posted: 12/08/2011 05:34:38 PM PST
Updated: 12/08/2011 09:56:24 PM PST

BART trains could begin running in Santa Clara County before Christmas 2016 -- nearly 18 months ahead of the projected 2018 timeline.

Using the promise of millions in incentives for construction companies to finish early, project director Mark Massman said it was very likely "that by the end of 2016 we should be ready to roll the trains."

The news came Thursday as the Valley Transportation Authority approved spending $772 million to begin construction of the $2.3 billion, 10-mile extension from Fremont to the Berryessa area of San Jose east of Highway 101. All that remains now to ensure that the BART extension becomes a reality is approval by the Federal Transit Administration in February of millions in federal funding for the project.

This is the first major contract to be awarded for the project, and as the unanimous 12-0 vote was announced the 150 people in the Santa Clara County supervisors' chambers broke into a long, sustained applause.

VTA board members called the vote historic, monumental and the most significant milestone in realizing the six-decade-old dream of bringing BART to the South Bay.

And the winning bid came in $77 million under the VTA's estimate.

"It's $77 million under budget and over a year ahead of schedule," said VTA vice chairman Sam Liccardo. "What's not to like? This is a no-brainer."

Work will be overseen by Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog, which ranked highest among the four engineering and
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contractor teams that submitted proposals.

The winning bidder can get $100,000 for each day it finishes early. It can also be charged $75,000 per day if it finishes late.

"We made the schedule a big part of the bid," said Massman. "We wanted them to know we are serious about the schedule, and they all had to figure out a better, faster way to go.

"Essentially they are four separate projects, and they'll be working on them simultaneously. We are not going to build from end to end as you sometimes do, which means work can be done faster."

Work is now under way in Alameda County, and earlier this week Kato Road was reduced to one lane in each direction to begin working on the new BART train crossing. Crews will spend most of next year moving utility lines and razing buildings in Milpitas and San Jose, where two stations will be built.

"In 2013, 2014 and 2015, you'll see a major explosion in construction," Massman said.

The VTA estimates that the work will create 9,400 jobs, with 3,800 additional jobs created to support construction of the station areas, nearby roads, parking structures and transit centers.

"Our estimate is that this will mean 13,000 jobs over the course of the project," VTA General Manager Michael Burns said. "This is a significant economic engine for the valley. Obviously it could not come at a better time."
 

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Earthquakes stadium sketch filed with the Planning Department
Not bad at all but they could of made it completely round without cutting the seating part and replacing it with TV/Score board. They could of just put those Large TV's on top of each of the sides like its common in European futbol stadiums. After all, its about time they got a new stadium,and GOOD team! Shame how a million city still has no stadium for its team, although thats most likely due to the lack of fans+not too many people like soccer.:eek:hno: Hopefully they will be able to build it!

P.S I'm also in San Jose but really check this section as I'm mostly on European Forums. ;)
 

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From the sanjoseca.gov website the approval of the project in 2009 called for a seven story hotel. I'm not sure what new changes have developed since then. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/planning/n...l/Skyport_Marriott-SpringhillSuites_Hotel.pdf
About 3x that high would be perfect... but 7 floors is pretty disappointing. Is it better have a development at 7 stories starting next year, or wait 5-10 and get something more substantial. I personally would rather wait in this instance.
 

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Speaking of SJC, why doesn't Light Rail go there? I know there's the Free Airport Flyer but it requires a transfer at the Metro/Airport LR station. Any plans of a direct line between downtown SJ and the airport? (Apologies if this has been discussed before.)
 

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cl76 said:
Speaking of SJC, why doesn't Light Rail go there? I know there's the Free Airport Flyer but it requires a transfer at the Metro/Airport LR station. Any plans of a direct line between downtown SJ and the airport? (Apologies if this has been discussed before.)
Who knows? Why doesn't VTA connect downtown with Valley Fair Santana Row? Why doesn't go south down 1st/Monterrey rd to Spartan Stadium or the Plant on Curtner? Frustrating. Cause I would actually use it, it went to those places.
 

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And the route will use 787s =)
I hope this route succeeds and other airlines follow. Dreamliner flights to Kong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Mumbai or Saigon could be a reality. Maybe we'll even get a return of the YYZ or CDG flights...

Speaking of SJC, why doesn't Light Rail go there? I know there's the Free Airport Flyer but it requires a transfer at the Metro/Airport LR station. Any plans of a direct line between downtown SJ and the airport? (Apologies if this has been discussed before.)
It doesnt go there because that would make too much sense and might increase ridership. I'm convinced LR was designed by freeway planners to say "Look, we have mass transit and it just doesn't work-- nobody uses it."
 

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The thing about LR to the airport is that it's an easy fix... And I don't mean by having a LR to bus connection. All they would have to do would be to take either Skyport or Old bayshore/airport parkway and run 1 set of tracks down the street, under 87 and into the airport. Then have one train run back and forth every 15 mins. Bam! Done! And both streets have the space to fit it too!
 

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inShare Oakland A's reportedly granted permission to move to San Jose

Great news. It looks inevitable now.

:banana:

http://www.mercurynews.com/athletics/ci_19614944

By Joe Stiglich

[email protected]
Posted: 12/24/2011 12:33:49 PM PST
Updated: 12/24/2011 12:33:51 PM PST

A's general manager Billy Beane declined comment on a report that the A's will receive permission by February to move to San Jose.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted Saturday morning: "All signs and top MLB sources say that the Athletics will be granted permission by Feb to move to San Jose."

Beane said he was unaware of any such news when reached by phone Saturday and didn't want to comment further. A's co-owner Lew Wolff could not be reached for comment, and team spokesman Bob Rose said the team continues to wait for Major League Baseball's report on the A's stadium situation and would have no further comment until then.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee to research the A's stadium options in March 2009, but there has been no public revelation of those findings. But Beane has expressed optimism this winter that a decision will come soon.

Beane's reasoning for his optimism has remained vague, but he did say on a media teleconference Friday night: "We just keep hearing (a decision will come) soon. Any other information I have I'd probably rather keep to myself."
 
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