San Jose Business Journal - Stadium Critical to A's owners' SJ soccer plans

Discussion in 'San Jose Earthquakes' started by DougO, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. DougO

    DougO Member

    Jan 2, 2001
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    published today:

    "A private investment in excess of $50 million to help fund construction of a soccer-specific stadium in downtown San Jose is well within the Oakland Athletics ownership's budget, says Lewis Wolff, the A's managing partner and a real estate developer with interests in several San Jose properties. A 25,000-seat soccer-specific stadium could cost in excess of $155 million, according to some estimates.

    "It doesn't scare us," Wolff says. "While there may be a subsidy needed to jump-start it, the new owner will need to help build a stadium, no doubt about it."

    Stadium Critical to A's owners' San Jose soccer plans

    Funny how they don't mention that poll they ran and the 79% YES votes on whether public money should be spent on such a stadium... :cool:

    DougO
     
  2. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    This is one of the most encouraging things I've read in quite a while in terms of the prospects of a stadium actually happening.

    "I think an urban setting would be great for soccer," Wolff says. "Think of it: a place where they can meet their families, go to dinner and then a game."

    "A private investment in excess of $50 million to help fund construction of a soccer-specific stadium in downtown San Jose is well within the Oakland Athletics ownership's budget, says Lewis Wolff, the A's managing partner and a real estate developer with interests in several San Jose properties."

    "The drive for a new MLS soccer team is part of a larger strategy of the A's owners to acquire new assets, Wolff says. The ownership group is also looking at acquiring a National Hockey League franchise "somewhere in the country," he says.

    Professional soccer in San Jose -- or somewhere else in the Bay Area -- has been an interest of the ownership group for sometime. The main hangup has been the lack of an acceptable stadium."


    I think the guy is serious about this and it's not necessarily just a trojan horse for a baseball stadium. I think what he really wants is San Jose to do more things to make downtown happen, given his other interests there. Then combine that with the group's apparent interest in acquiring more sports franchises. And combine that with the idea that the stadium can be multi-use, suitable for a number of different events, and it seems to make some sense for them.
     
  3. bluelightningdad

    bluelightningdad New Member

    Sep 29, 2003
    SJ Quake Area
    Jeez. I'm starting to think their so-called interest in the San Jose MLS franchise is not so-called after all. Instead of just some mollifying comments agter their buddies shafted us, maybe these guys really ARE interested . If so, combine their interest with Chinger's comments as well as Tim Hanley's about talent wanting to be here (ie, not there), and I like the idea of supporting this idea 100% to make something happen ASAP, while the iron is still in the fire.

    I can hear the chant again

    "Go San Jose, Go San Jose, Go San Jose Gooooooo, Hey Hey Hey!"

    Wouldn't it be great???!!!
     
  4. bluelightningdad

    bluelightningdad New Member

    Sep 29, 2003
    SJ Quake Area
    I know, I know, there's a real deal in there somewhere. There's some real flesh on dem bones. Those details he just fed us were real. I love it. Let's go!
     
  5. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    Heck, if he makes it happen, and drops serious money toward the project, I'd be willing to thow a "Lew Wolff" somewhere in that chant.
     
  6. scaryice

    scaryice Member

    Jan 25, 2001
    As long as it works out, who cares what the real reasons are.
     
  7. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    Oh crap! I'm starting to get the vapors again...
     
  8. sonofapitch

    sonofapitch New Member

    Feb 11, 2002
    Novato, CA
    I think this is great! I don't believe the Wolff proposal is posturing for Oakland because:

    He is on record stating that acquiring a soccer team (and now mention of an NHL team--financially starved Pittsburgh, I'll bet) would be a logical next step for his management team that is seeking a new challenge.

    He has said that the numbers involved in building a stadium "doesn't scare us" and he says this about a cost that might even approach $150M.

    He already owns hotels and properties in downtown SJ which means that he has a vested interest in making downtown more profitable AND he obviously has already established a working relationship with SJ city officials and forged political allies. Plus, SJ city knows he's legit and can back up what he says.

    A stadium would be a great $$-making vehicle for him, just as it would be for AEG. We said that we didn't like the fact that AEG was trying to get the stadium built just so they could control it--that they didn't really care about the Quakes. Well, if that is truly Wolff's longterm motive....fine. He is offering to BUILD A STADIUM FOR US AND RESURRECT OUR FRANCHISE! Right now, we have nothing. I prefer to get our team back first, then worry about the owner's motives later. Besides, if AEG wanted to do it and Wolff also wants to do it, that suggests that there are a lot of tycoons looking to turn some coin from downtown SJ. At some point, someone will....why not Wolff? At least it isn't AEG!

    Bottom line--all I want is our team back. Wolff's emergence has made me feel strangely confident that this will get done. I'm not sure how long it will take--maybe beyond 2007 but I plan on still being here beyond '07...just get our Quakes back. The rest is business for another time.

    I LOVE that this is even being discussed. I really believe it will happen! :)
     
  9. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    Wolff's stated interest in building a stadium is welcomed news. It has brightened my day thinking about it!

    There is an intruiging quote at the end of the article: "Our feeling was, if (the Earthquakes) did move, we were interested in a soccer franchise somewhere in the Bay Area," Wolff says. "We haven't figured out why soccer hasn't worked in San Jose. We've got a lot to learn about soccer."

    Mr. Wolff talked to AEG president Timothy Leiweke after the Sharks talks collapsed but by then AEG had already made a commitment to move to Houston.
    "I got the feeling that the ship had already sailed."


    This tells me two things:

    1. AEG had no intention of keeping the Quakes in San Jose past the 2005 season. Wolff and his partners may not know much about soccer but they do know business. They got the impression AEG had decided to move the team long ago. See also some comments on this blog:
    http://logansrevenge.blogspot.com/ (thanks to Ballsac for starting that thread)

    2. Wolff & Co. are willing to not only finance but to learn about what would make a team work in the Bay Area/San Jose. That statement right there is indicative of what their commitment is/would to a new team. This bodes well for the fans.

    I wonder what we as fans could to to help Wolff in fulfilling his desires to build a stadium and operate a club.
     
  10. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok troops, whatever Lew plans to do he is going to need backing from the City Council, and then the public. I think it important that the fans make a strong showing at the next council meeting. I believe it is on the 10th, and starts in the early afternoon? Not a good time for most, but anyone who can attend should try to make it and dress in blue. We do need to keep the pressure on and not let them forget us.
     
  11. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 12, 2005
    The hills above town
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One thing I like is that our potential stadiumn is now up to 25,000, after starting at 22,000, and then dropping down to 17,000. :cool:
     
  12. bluelightningdad

    bluelightningdad New Member

    Sep 29, 2003
    SJ Quake Area
    I'm sure SSV will have some ideas. Attending the City Council mtg in Blue is a good idea too. Keep the ball rolling while it has some momentum.
     
  13. Olson50

    Olson50 New Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Durham, England
    No kidding. AEG had been saying that for a long time, but a number of people kept on saying that they were bluffing. Well, they weren't and their words in that respect (though not necessarily in many others) should have been taken at face value. Had that happened, maybe the movers and shakers (no pun intended! ;)) in San Jose would have acted sooner and with a greater sense of urgency and Quakes Mk. III would not have been moved elsewhere.

    Be that as it may, and as sad as I am that Quakes Mk. III is gone, I'm glad that AEG is out of the equation as far as the future of Earthquakes football is concerned. Quakes Mk. IV will be all the sweeter because of the trials and tribulations we'll have had to go through to get our club back!
     
  14. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    Well, there is already debate about uniforms and coaches going on in other threads but the fact remains, we do not have a team! Yet. I am just glad AEG is out of the picture. I hope MLS does not want the new team, if we get one, to have any association with AEG. That is the only condition I must place on a new team in San Jose.
     
  15. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I still wonder if this thing will ever happen. I'm sorry for being ever the skeptic. Maybe if the A's buy and build their own park but I just don't seeing voter approval on this.
     
  16. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    Falvo, I too have worries about voters not being sympathetic to a stadium plan. Now that Wolff and his positive comments on helping to finance a stadium has stepped forward, I am a bit more optomistic about it. I hope San Jose voters realize that with Wolff's real estate expertise and coffers, the city will not have to bear the full brunt of finacing a facility. I think this is going to be one of the keys to success in getting our team back. Believe!
     
  17. Fulham Fan

    Fulham Fan New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Bay Area
    Do you think this could be marketed as a larger, sort of stadium/restaurants/etc., give-downtown-an-identity thing? The Quakes might not be enough, but the stadium could be in constant use, host international friendlies. The neat thing about an SSS is that it can seemingly convert into being anything for anyone in the offseason.
     
  18. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    I think having a downtown "spot" is what Wolff is after and says so in the interview (see the first post in this thread). He already has holdings in downtown San Jose and this is a logical extension of his holdings.
     
  19. Fulham Fan

    Fulham Fan New Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    Bay Area
    Right. I'm just trying to guess what sort of an approach would appeal to voters.
     
  20. bluenblack

    bluenblack New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    San Leandro, CA
    Off the top of my head, I would think the plan that costs the city less would appeal most to voters! :D
     
  21. JazzyJ

    JazzyJ BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 25, 2003
    Let's see: Vote for the stadium and get free beer at your first stadium event? :)
     
  22. jägermeister

    jägermeister New Member

    May 18, 2004
    Hannover

    How about a multi purpose venue?
     
  23. jägermeister

    jägermeister New Member

    May 18, 2004
    Hannover
    Oh yeah, do you guys know what his guy is doing right now?

    He's fishing. He's putting out a hard number of what he would be willing to invest, while giving an estimate of total cost.

    He wants to see if a "real" 50 mill (sure that would go higher under the proper circumstances), instead of those fake numbers thrown up recently, will get any politicos to bite and say let's talk. It's still, you invest two and I invest 1, but there is real cash here.

    Question, will there be a response? Let's hope. The guy is local and has money. What has been looked for all along.
     
  24. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Well the voters voted against the soccer specific stadium in Columbus at first but then Lamar Hunt proceeded with his own plan soon after that and the SSS opened in 99. I forsee something similar. If Wolff is donated the land and he funds building Ihen I can see it.
     
  25. Olson50

    Olson50 New Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    Durham, England
    If Lew Wolff wants San Jose to be a viable potential option for the A's in future (and I actually hope the A's stay in Oakland or at least Alameda County but consider the South Bay the next best option for them), what better way to show the people of the South Bay that his organization can get things done in a mutually-beneficial partnership with local government(s) and enterprise than to make things happen with the Quakes revival? The price would not be exorbitant for someone of his means, it puts him on the San Jose sporting map and it has potential benefits for his non-sporting commercial and real estate interests in the city. It's a potential win-win for everybody.
     

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