New Soccer Fields Will Relieve Pressure on City’s Existing Parks

Last week, the City Council spent nearly two hours discussing the development of four new recreational soccer fields that would be located next to the new San Jose Earthquakes soccer stadium by Lowe’s and In & Out Burger on Coleman Avenue. The soccer fields were a specific line item under Measure P, which voters passed in November 2000.

The larger parcel was purchased in 2005 under the guise of “economic development.” The land was purchased with lease revenue bonds. These types of bonds do not require voter approval and were the same type of bonds used to buy land for golf and the Hayes Mansion.

The general fund is currently leveraged at about $800 million for these type of bonds. We currently pay $4.5 million in debt service for the land. In my view, the city should keep industrial land zoned industrial and not convert to housing. If we did, then we would not be so inclined to buy land for “economic development”—which usually takes money away from our general fund. I like to call this land banking without spending money.

Quite a bit of the repetitive discussion at council was spent on the fact that each council district will put $100K towards the new soccer fields. This money comes from a fund that is restricted for park use and could otherwise be used to fix playground equipment. Some felt that $100K was a huge amount of money and that it really was not equitable, because people will have to pay to use the soccer fields and not all residents can teleport to the new soccer fields.

These fields will be run like our other playing fields in San Jose, where users pay a fee. The hope is that the fees from people who play soccer will make this pencil out, otherwise we do not build the soccer fields. Unfortunately, the golf course fee to play does not pay the entire cost and the city subsidizes golf for more than seven figures.

San Jose has public transportation options, but we will not be providing point-to-point transportation. If each council district wants their own soccer field then it is a matter of available land and money. For example, a soccer field requires nearly three acres of land, which costs approximately $2 million an acre for a total of $6 million. But this is just the price of land, assuming you have a willing seller. The cost to build out a soccer field with artificial turf is $2.8-3.8 million, depending on whether there will be a restroom, parking and other public works improvements. 

I am looking forward to the soccer fields for co-ed adult and co-ed young adult teams, so that the neighborhood fields that we do have can be made available for neighborhoods.

Pierluigi Oliverio represents District 6 on the San Jose City Council.

11 Comments

  1. Hi Pier, I thought we were in the midst of a financial emergency, as you and the mayor said not too long ago. So glad to see that is over with.

      • Prescient,

        You summed it up perfect. “My Town”,  that is why this major city of almost a million people is a JOKE, thanks to Chuck + five.  San jose is know as a joke.
        !
        Thanks SJI for adding the ads to the right which blocks reading all of what
        we are typing.  Fix it please!

      • absolutely , More crime, More Violence , More Gang activity, more Public safety leaving for greener pastures. AND lets not forget lawsuits that will cost the taxpayers MILLIONS Upon MILLIONS.

  2. Yes I for one will be glad that the unorganized adult leagues that have overrun and ruined the grass on our neighborhood baseball fields will finally have a plave where they can relieve themselves – next up the dogs who use our children’s play area’s as their bathrooms. 

    This field plan won’t do f-all to releive pressure on local parks.. It WILL put more money into Lew Wolfe’s pocket becasue his Earthquakes organization will be managing the facility. 

    PLO what is wrong with you?

  3. It would be next to impossible to identify a location more removed from this city’s families than the site chosen on Coleman Avenue. It’s as if the state relocated the state fair in Crescent City, just south of the Oregon border, in the name of serving all Californians. Not only is Coleman Avenue many miles from where 95% of this city’s residents live, it’s miles from where any child—at least any kid not attending Bellarmine, goes to school. Coleman Avenue is dangerously unsafe for bicyclists and not much better for pedestrians. Of course, I complain as if the site were chosen to serve the interests of the public, when the actual priority was serving the interests of Lew Wolff, Earthquakes owner and big man around town.

    Of course, Lew Wolff will be running the complex for the city; he was the only bidder, which is not surprising since he stands to profit from it to a degree unmatched by anyone else who might be interested. Wolff’s sweetheart deal includes what amounts to a long term cost-of-living guarantee—one that doesn’t include any stipulation should the city declare a fiscal emergency (take that, retirees!).

    And finally, a warning for you parents. This site will not benefit from regular police patrol. It’s isolated, the speed limit is too fast for effective observation, and the noise level from the airport next door will drown out all but the most well-timed of screams for help. Not a good place to drop off your daughters, especially with a stadium next door serving beer to a predominately adult male fan base.

  4. How much does the city pay to subsidize the Rose Garden? I wouldn’t go jabbing at a golf course that serves a predominantly under-resourced community, when a garden in your own district is subsidized to grow pretty roses for a predominantly afluent, and quite honestly selfish, neighborhood…