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Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by TyffaneeSue, Aug 4, 2011.
The BIN saga continues, book 5.
I'll wait for all the books to come out before reading this epic series. I can then read all volumes one right after the other. I hate waiting for sequels.
Where were we. Oh that's right.
Lew publicly stating the stadium will cost $50 million and that it'll seat between 15-18k (ie: they're not sure yet). Also they're only on step 7 of 10 and they have yet to actually pull the trigger despite the demolition and other stuff we've been fed as positives. The stadium remains literally "proposed" until Lew feels he has the necessary ancillary events for it (such as corporate events). But for some unfathomable reason he still doesn't think this region can support luxury suites (despite the fact a place like Columbus can). And most disturbing is that Lew doesn't think this region can support more than his 18,000 at best number...
Regarding the 15,000 - 18,000, isn't that the same old 15,000 regular seats and we'll stick 3,000 people on the berm along the open end if we ever make the playoffs again? So, make that zero positives to take away from Lew's statements.
Actually, more seats wouldn't necessarily have made it better anyway. Since Lew does not believe in soccer and will not promote it nor spend to make the team successful, except by whatever blind luck befalls us, the 20-22,000 seats that many of us thought reasonable would take up more of the paltry stadium funds on offer and stand empty more often than they should.
As a reference for what a half-full 22,000 seat stadium looks like:
From what I've been told, the 15,000 - 18,000 seat range they're deciding on is fortunately for the regular seats.
GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!
A $51M stadium with 15K seats gives a per seat cost of $3400
A $51M stadium with 18K seats gives a per seat cost of $2833
The Home Depot Center's per seat cost is $3222 ($87M for 27K seats) plus they've spent millions on air condition suites and stadium club that most fans will never enter. Remove those cost from the calculation and the HDC's per seat cost is substantially less.
Stanford Stadiums per seat cost is $1636 ($90M for 55K seats).
I'm still interested in opinion about this:
We've had discussions before about what fans want to have in a stadium and made lists of ideas. Lately, the discussion has been on what amount of money is bush league (cheap and minimal stadium only a few ideas from the wish list are there) and what amount is first-class (LiveStrong, Red Bull, everything on your list is there), and whether fewer dollars can be spent smarter and still have a good stadium.
So if the Quakes said to you, what do you think, specifically, makes one place better than another (without discussing the dollars it took to get there), what would you say? In other words, you would have to prioritize the necessities and amenities. Wolff appeared to say you need "a place to go" with noise and fans as close as possible to the field.
What features or amenities, in priority order do you say would constitute a good Quakes stadium, an OK Quakes stadium, and a poor stadium?
For example, if I thought sitting as close as possible to the field was essential, and then a roof to create noise and atmosphere as my second choice, I might have another 8 items that were important to me in descending order of importance.
If I had nine or all ten I would say it was a good or great place I would want to go to.
If I had my top 2 and a few more I might say that would be only an OK place and I'd go but not be thrilled.
If I only had the close seating but no roof or other "amenities" I might say that is a poor stadium stadium, I won't be going.
Dude, what's with all the negativity? Kaval has said he's going to build us a "World Class Stadium." He's only been on the job eight months or so, and the economy is still in the tank. Here's a thought, maybe he's had trouble raising money because the companies and people that have money have been worrying about whether or not our dollars would actually be worth anything?
Look at Comrade FUAEG's numbers. Lew's going to build us a very cool stadium.
And, there's still the matter of the permits that we need which can't be done yet for another few weeks anyway. I'm sure Kaval realizes that our current rented stadium is inadequate. Lew knows that too. They'll build us a new one.
Fire Frank and JD!!
You're still choosing to up amounts to make them more favorable to your argument.
A $50 million stadium (the amount he stated, not $51 mil) with 18k has a per seat cost of $2777. Same stadium with 15k has a $3333 per seat cost. Yes at the HDC some of that per seat cost went into suites as I'm sure some of ours will be going into our full roof.
But the HDC numbers were also at construction rates a decade ago which were substantially lower than today even with the down economy thanks to inflation. Speaking of inflation, that $87 million in 2002 dollars you're using for the HDC would equal $104 million in 2011 dollars further altering the argument in favor of the "Lew being a cheapskate" position since in 2011 dollars $3851 per seat would have been spent on the HDC's seats today. And by any measure the HDC isn't a cutting edge stadium by today's standards to boot.
Kaval may be saying we're getting a "world class stadium" but used car salesmen use similar lines all the time and frankly for a guy in his position I wouldn't expect him to say anything less (it would be foolish of him to say otherwise). But the reality is the numbers just don't add up to our stadium being world class at all. It won't even be near the class of MLS. It'll be a stadium that we own which is a good thing. And it's likely the ONLY way we get one. But that doesn't mean it'll improve our future since so little hope for the future seems to be put into it by an ownership group that is equally as pessimistic about the future as their stadium design.
No, he hasn't.
We have close seating now. That's a necessary but not sufficient condition!
I say a roof (or some architectural contrivance) that intensifies the sound to create a sense of excitement. I assume there is a whole science around stadium acoustics, and you can't achieve optimal results with just any roof. You've got to have the right one.
Sound system. Again, you could spend a lot of money here because there are some pretty bad sound systems, but I think this is key.
Lighting. (I hosted a big event last year in an otherwise blah facility...lighting made all the difference.)
Rows properly spaced, reasonably comfortable seating, stands not so steep that you feel that if you trip you'll roll all the way down and onto the field. While I'm at it, can the area under the seats be designed so that if your cell phone falls out of your pocket, it doesn't end up in another section or 20 feet below in the dirt?
Similarly, walkable non-slip surface, no big gaps to catch your heels (if you are dumb enough or short enough to wear heels to games as I sometimes do). Works for people with strollers or wheelchairs too.
Clean and easily accessible bathrooms.
That is my must-have list. There are many other amenities that would be nice to have, like a STH-only area where you can get a beer and watch the game, or colors and decoration used to convey excitement even when the stadium is empty. (A year ago we visited the Bernabeu...that place reeked atmosphere even without anyone else there, and the bar/lounge area was sublime...I realize we do not have a Real Madrid budget, but still, I'd like to aim high!)
Things a great stadium would have...
Wide spacious aisles and seats (no more knees in my back and my knees in someones back)
Seating close to the field
A full soccer roof (not a dome)
A supporters section
Suites for the corporate types
Field suites/seating for the rich corporate types who are also more in tune with soccer
A restaurant and/or bar
Made of concrete and steel, not aluminum (or our current wood)
Good lighting and sound
IMO these are the basic necessities of a good professional stadium. And in an area like the Bay Area they're a must to compete with the other sports stadiums such as Pac Bell and the Arena which have their sport specific equivalents as well.
" . . . as David Ficklin, Sporting's vice president for development, said: 'We had to overdeliver after 15 years of underdelivering in this market. This was our chance to reset everyone's expectations.'"
Ficklin is from Palo Alto, by the way.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOdWxf1tRmI"]I Want It All‏ - YouTube[/ame]
Here's my list of ten items, in order. I put beer and food at the end because those are easily changed after the fact. So really, my list is only eight items.
Actual stadium seats with cup holders.
Seats as close as possible to the action. (One great feature of Buck Shaw!)
Enough space between rows that tall people's knees don't bash the seat in front of them.
Steeply pitched seats, so that that tall people do not obscure my view!
Plenty of large clean bathrooms.
NO horizontal concourse between the rows until at least row 15.
Concessions midlevel behind the seats.
Veggie food options.
I don't care about corporate suites because I won't be sitting in them. I don't care about a jumbotron, because I don't watch those anyway. I think it goes without saying that the pitch be at least 75 x 115 yards, flat, and grass. I don't care about a stage, a berm, or child care facilities. I'll be able to get there on the train or light rail, so that will do the trick for me.
if its nothing like the old anfield, i dont want any part of it
And from a fan on the Sporting KC BigSoccer board:
". . . it disappoints me that SJ is going to try and build something for 50mil. With the MLS 2.0 stadiums coming on line, what I see from Suputo Stadium in Montreal and with the new proposed SJ stadium disappoints me. It feels like 1999-2005 plans in 2011 and beyond. I understand any stadium is better than their current digs in Buck Shaw, but I'm not sure how much a 50mil $ stadium is going to capture the imagination of the bay area the way LSP is doing in KC.
"I agree the attendance numbers are inflated some, but the numbers ARE up and considerably. Couple that with the amount of media coverage that seems to be increasing every week and the amount of merchandise I see people around town wearing and sporting on their car (pun intended), and the overall effect of the stadium and re-branding has to be considered a huge success, and it's still in its infancy.
"With the team trending up and our ownership proving that they'll do whatever it takes to win, we have the potential to be one of the flagship franchises of this league. I mean this with all do respect, but I don't see the San Jose plan as currently devised, as having near that effect. I wish that market the best though, b/c there is no reason why the Bay Area can't succeed as a market."
As well as a flat, natural grass total field that can support a playing field of 75 x 120 yards with enough realistically-safe room between the touchlines and the stands for the players (oddly enough, Buck Shaw Stadium currently has that aforementioned room).
GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!
I do care, since even if I ended up never sitting in one again, the mucho dinero they'll bring in will help with acquiring DP's (or other such helpful stuff), which I absolutely do care about!
However, never say never about ever sitting in one! By a twist of fate, I actually did sit in one for a game at Spartan Stadium in 1998 (I think it was against the Columbus Crew). It was pretty ancient by today's standards, but it was still pretty awesome - and it didn't distract me from watching the game one bit.
I do care, and it should be a 16:9 HD or 32:9 HD JumboTron (or similar brand), which is understandably standard now in modern stadiums and arenas, even in modern-day MLS SSS's.
Which should also be air-conditioned, especially since the season runs throughout the summer.
GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!
GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!
The grass has to be perfect, a lush carpet of green, but that is not part of the stadium design. Why would you even consider not making the field wide/long enough?
I believe it was Alioto who said that. (Wolff might have also, but I'm not sure). Kaval may not have said it, but I believe most of the fans who came back in 2008 and have been in Buck Shaw for close to four seasons would expect the franchise (whoever might be in the FO) to honor that pledge.
I'd be willing to bet you a case of your favorite beer against a case of mine that the stadium doesn't pass the acid test.
I'll play along,
Here is my prioritized list
1) A plan to build a truly successful franchise (on and off the field)
2) A real grass full sized pitch
3) Real Seats no Bleachers
4) Great Site Lines
6) appropriate spot for the supporters group(s). Ideally behind both goals.
7) Adequate concessions/bathroom facilities
8) First class appearance inside and out - Need to create the impression in the marketplace that Soccer, MLS and the Quakes a first tier sporting entity.
9) Enough revenue generating features to enable the team to compete with the best in the league (suites, club section, Merchandise store?). I actually don't care much about any one these things, but I better not hear the team use the fact that they don't have them as an excuse for not signing a DP or being able to compete on the field with NY, LA, Seattle etc.
Everything above this line is absolutely essential
10) Wide Concourses
11) Even if they start with a smaller capacity they need build with an eye toward expansion (see #1 above)
12) Great atmosphere outside the stadium (bars, restaurants, tailgating)
13) The little things - Player entry from midfield, Integrated team benches etc (see #8 Above)
A few posters throughout the various stadium threads actually have.
GO SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES!!!