http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2006/10/06/sharks-in-pleasanton


Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 6, 2006

Sharks in Pleasanton?

Council OKs look at Sharks ice rink on Staples Ranch

by Jeb Bing

The City Council Tuesday voted 4-1 to consider a proposal by a San Jose Sharks affiliate to build a four-rink ice hockey arena on a proposed 17-acre park site in Staples Ranch, a vacant unincorporated parcel just east of the city limits at Interstate-580 and El Charro Road.

Under terms of the proposal, the San Jose Arena Management company would finance and operate the 83,000-square-foot facility, leasing 10 acres of the parkland for $1 on lease terms yet to be negotiated. The organization operates all of the facilities associated with the Sharks, including the HP Pavilion where the hockey team plays, and "Sharks Ice" rinks in San Jose and Fremont which are similar to what the group plans for Pleasanton.

Jon Gustafson, general manager of the Fremont facility, said the Sharks Ice rinks offer everything related to any type of ice sports. These include both competitive and amateur hockey; hockey and skating teams for boys, girls, men and women; special ice hockey programs for the local high schools; figure skating and recreational skating.

"We'll have competitive meets that will draw crowds from throughout the region, adding to the economic benefits to this community," he said.

The Sharks affiliate also would help finance the development of the remaining 7 acres of the park, which have been eyed for lighted baseball and soccer diamonds. Part of the parkland could also be used for senior sports, such as bocce ball courts, as part of a 600-unit Continuum Senior Care facility also planned for Staples Ranch.

Staples Ranch II, as it is legally called, is a 124-acre undeveloped site bordered by Pleasanton homes where West Las Positas ends at Kirkaldy Street, the freeway, El Charro Road and land to the south that is part of the Livermore Airport flight path.

Last April, the city negotiated a deal with Alameda County, which owns Staples, to annex the property as parcels are approved and sold for the senior care facility and a new Auto Mall. As part of the agreement, the county would continue to control a stretch of land at the end of Stoneridge Drive that would allow its extension through Staples to El Charro if a future City Council would favor the project.

All five members of the current council are opposed to extending Stoneridge, although they have not formally voted on that decision.

Although the ice rink won favorable votes from Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and three others on the council, Councilman Matt Sullivan voted against it, calling Tuesday night's process "backwards." He said the city Parks and Recreation Commission had yet to plan the 17-acre park or to solicit public views on what should be placed there.

"It seems like we are carving out this piece to go forward and then asking the Parks and Rec Commission what they want to do with the rest of it," Sullivan said. "We're setting up expectations in the community for this hockey rink when we haven't even thought about what should go on the site."

But others called the proposed arena a perfect fit for the Staples site "This seems like the perfect sports facility and we have a place for it to go," said Councilman Jerry Thorne, who encouraged the Shark's affiliate to seek Pleasanton's approval. "I'm very excited about it. It looks like a real win-win for everybody."

Gustafson said Sharks Ice would offer a wide range of programs from competitive ice skating, hockey and trilling, which is like bocce on ice and fast-becoming a popular sport in Europe.

"I think this will be the crown jewel in ice for Pleasanton," Gustafson said.

If the proposed facility is approved by the Parks and Recreation and Planning commissions, the final plan would be considered again by the council, possibly as early as next year.

One stumbling block identified in Tuesday's meeting is how the public would reach the ice rink. If it is accessible only along a stub of Stoneridge Drive extended to the park and ice rink, others from outside Pleasanton would also have to use city streets to reach the facility. If its main entrance is off El Charro Road, Pleasanton customers would have to travel out Santa Rita, east on I-580 and then south on El Charro to the rink.

Comments

Posted by I, a resident of Las Positas
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:13 pm

AWESOME! hurry up and build the rinks!!!


Posted by Great addition, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 8, 2008 at 11:23 am

More kids in our area play hockey than most realize. Families have had to trek far and wide to enable thier kids to play the sport. How lucky is Pleasanton that the Sharks picked Ptown to be its east bay home!

The Sharks do everything right as an organIzaion! Let's hope for a Stanley Cup next!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2008 at 2:30 pm

What a spooky to introduce kids to alcohol, drugs and violence...through sports!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 12, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Dear Plutonians....do not allow your kids to be involved in any way whatsoever with violence.

Like bullfighting, hockey is all about VIOLENCE!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Haha like other sports are any different? Have you ever seen angry soccer parents?


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 13, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Yup...soccer parents are LUNATICS! Kids don't play anymore, they compete.

They compete for their parents and dry up inside. Sad...


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 15, 2008 at 11:40 am

Shark steaks on safe at SAFEWay!


Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2008 at 9:21 am

In all the excitement over this Sharks Ice approval for Staples Ranch, somebody forgot that there already is hockey in Pleasanton.
Except its pretty much dead. The outdoor roller hockey rink at Val Vista Park run by the City has been ignored for so long that its now a haven for black widows and hornets. I for one am not pleased that they spent so much money to build it and treat it as if its not there. Go on down there. Its sad. I guess my buds and I will keep playing out of town at rinks that care about hockey.
How do you build new hockey rinks when they cannot even run the existing ones?
Somebody at the city needs to answer this problem fast.


Posted by Brett, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

I totally agree with the last comment regarding Val Vista. It's a total waste to build an existing rink and NOT maintain it. And while you're at it, put a cover over it, add lights, and improve the surface (so we don't have to swap out our wheels to play there). Then, you're going to see players come out of the woodwork to play there. Right now, I drive to Oakland once a week to play in an adult league.

One has to wonder if the City of Pleasanton did their homework when the built it. It's too hot to play without a cover, you can't play at night, and you have to spend 40 minutes changing out your wheels from indoor to outdoor. If you're going to make the initital investment, you might as well do it right. Now would be the time to make the improvements becuase getting an inline program going would feed players to the future ice rinks. It's much cheaper and less time consuming to play in-line that ice.

As for the people who say hockey is voilent, it's no worse than soccer, football, or basketball. And, it's far better to have kids playing sports in organized leagues than out "tagging" street signs and public buildings because they are bored.




Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 22, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Then there are the players that prefer the ice to the street...

I started out playing roller hockey. After I caught the bug with ice hockey I doubt I'll ever go back on rollerblades...