Friday, December 3, 2010
Oakland's Victory Court Proposal: Not a Purdy Picture
The Mercury's Mark Purdy is unimpressed by the hoo-hah surrounding Oakland's last-ditch effort to keep the A's. The so-called Victory Court site was officially unveiled last night in Oakland—well, sort of. It was really just the first step in initiating an environmental impact report (EIR), which, at the earliest, would be completed in 2012 or 2013.
Purdy, as frustrated as any of us about the glacier-pace at which this whole process has moved, sizes up the cities' competing plans:
Oakland has not even begun an environmental impact report for its ballpark site.
The San Jose site's EIR has already been completed, revised and certified.
The proposed Oakland site is not entirely owned by the city and is currently occupied by 16 businesses. All would have to be relocated. This could involve a lengthy eminent domain process and cost millions.
All of the parcels on the San Jose site already are owned by the city's redevelopment agency or are being purchased by that agency -- which, admittedly, is having financial issues. However, Wolff has said that, if necessary, he would loan money to the agency for purchase of the land. He wants to get on with it.
The proposed Oakland site is tucked away next to Interstate 880 with uncertain parking and traffic issues that could clog roads. The nearest BART stop is five blocks away.
The San Jose site is literally on the doorstep of Diridon Station with links to light rail, Caltrain and Amtrak. Thousands of parking spots are nearby. The traffic model has already been tested by Sharks games at nearby HP Pavilion.
In San Jose, members of MLB's so-called "blue ribbon panel" have visited San Jose City Hall at least twice in the past two months. They reportedly have been going over the stadium drawings and plans in detail, right down to the height of light poles in relation to the airport's landing path.
Oakland has no detailed ballpark drawings to examine.
The ballpark-naming rights in San Jose have already been negotiated with Cisco Systems, which is eager to see "Cisco Field" built in its hometown.
Oakland has no company publicly stepping up to commit naming-rights money.
Doesn't get any clearer than that, does it?
Of course, overreaching Oakland boosters and lazy reporters have made much noise about the missed March election deadline in San Jose this week. But as we've pointed out, unlike Oakland, this city has its ducks in a row. Just give us the go-ahead, and San Jose is ready to roll.