Wednesday, April 16, 2008

San Jose close to a stadium deal - City agrees to $132m deal

The Earthquakes return to San Jose is close to becoming permanent as the city and team owner Lew Wolff have agreed to a $132m deal that could lead to a stadium by 2010.

Although this is great news for the club, there are still a number of hurdles such as getting City Council approval for the deal.

So what is in the agreement? Wolff will purchase 66 acres of land by the airport (click on map to see the site) from the city for $132m. Wolff will set aside 18 of these acres for a possible stadium, while the other 48 will become home to retail, office and a 300-room hotel.

However, in order to build the stadium, Wolff still needs the city to rezone 78 acres of land he owns elsewhere in San Jose from industrial to residential. If they do, Wolff will take the profits from the development of that site to pay for the stadium out by the airport.

Before any of the residential development can take place, the city needs to change the zoning, an environmental study needs to take place and Wolff must find a developer.

If all these items happen and if the City Council approves the $132m airport land deal, as expected, then the Earthquakes will likely have a new home.

If this does not happen, could San Jose become the first city to lose a MLS team twice?

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