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A's Stadium has opposition in San Jose: Better Sense San Jose

Over all of the talk about an Oakland A's baseball stadium in San Jose instead of Oakland, the San Jose Murky News failed to mention the organized opponents in the form of Better Sense San Jose.  

Better Sense San Jose describes itself as:

a community based all volunteer organization founded to promote open and transparent government, and sensible, prioritized spending in the City of San Jose.

It has a simple position on the Lew Wolff proposal, stating that San Jose can't afford it, and that it's a "poor economic deal" for the city and a lousy investment. Here are the reasons Better Sense San Jose gives:

- 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.

While this blogger would quibble with the stadium jobs estimates, the point is, there's an organized opposition to it.  The website is just part of their efforts to kill the proposal, but some members claim the San Jose City Council is trying to ram it down the collective throats of the people of the city.

There's also opposition to the stadium from the perspective of those who say San Jose's redevelopment tax increment revenue production ability is being harmed by "tax base erosion," which is caused when industrial land uses are converted to residential uses.

In fact, there's a meeting tonight on that issue at 7:30 PM, according to San Jose District 6 Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio, who calls it Tax Base Erosion Night in his blog, San Jose Inside. The SJ 6 Council Dude says that San Jose's suffering a "death of a thousand cuts" with so many requests to change land use to fit residential plans.

That includes A's Owner / Manager Lew Wolff's proposal to convert industrial land to housing in the case of land owned by something called iStar Financial, a commercial mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that's not doing well, with $3.5 billion in non-performing assets it reports.

Wolff tried, and failed, to get San Jose to pay him for a soccer stadium, but the City Council balked at the land use.  But from SJ 6 Council Dude Oliverio, it looks like the proposals coming back to them, but with a baseball stadium instead of soccer.

This is what Oliverio wrote:


was proposed as a conversion from industrial to housing so as to give a higher land value and therefore money to the developer to pay for soccer stadium however that did not go forward since it is not really appropriate. However I would not be surprised if it resurfaced

This is why Oakland must makes sure it has all hands on deck, and that its baseball effort has a clear leader in the form of the Mayor of Oakland.   San Jose has three major problems in the pursuit of an A's stadium: the Major League Agreement being against them and for Oakland, the opposition, and the San Francisco Giants.

(Oh. If I see one more article in either the San Jose Murky or the San Francisco Chron that fails to mention the Giants fan base in San Jose, I'll scream.)

Got an issue?  Don't get stadium and baseball business dynamics?  Ask this blogger and play his game.
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