I spoke to City Manager Fred Diaz today, and I called him too close to my deadline.
A few things:
On how much money the city has spent on the new baseball plans:
Between $90,000 and $100,000 — mostly on consultants who had helped the city with the previous plan and mostly on analyzing the infrastructure costs.
On the estimated $62 million in infrastructure costs:
“We think it’s a wise investment with our without Major League Baseball,” he said.
On buying the land:
Some outside agent, quite possibly the county, would have to help buy the land and help with infrastructure.
On a new concept that has more public money:
Diaz said the Pacific Commons plan included rezoning 125 acres to residential, which would have generated a lot more money for the team.
On whether this was done in secret:
“I informed the council what I was doing. “I told them I though it was a great idea and a whole lot of opportunities could come out of it. This was such a good idea that staff worked hard to preserve the option for the council.”
On how it went down:
He said the city had mostly talked with MLB about the breakdown of the Pacific Commons plan until Toyota announced in August that NUMMI would close. The city was working on the approach in mid November when baseball told them that they had to have the approach submitted by the end of December, Diaz said. By the time the city had determined that the infrastructure costs weren’t deal killers it was December and the council was going on break, he said.
On the recommendation for a non-binding vote:
“We think that people ought to way in,” he said. “It’s really a political recommendation on my part. A lot of what I heard is that people didn’t have an opportunity to weigh in.” He said there was a lot of support for a stadium.