Town Square

Sharks unit cancels plans to offer outdoor holiday skating downtown

Original post made on Oct 22, 2008

A subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks that is seeking city approval to build a multi-million-dollar ice rink in Pleasanton's yet-to-be-annexed Staples Ranch has reneged on a promise to provide a downtown holiday ice rink during the coming holiday season.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 6:33 AM


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Posted by SharkFan
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2008 at 9:20 am

The city has had almost a full year to put this holiday rink plan together.
Was proper due dilligence and research done by the city for feasibility?
Were all the pieces in place to ensure the success of the holiday rink?
If the mayor indeed made those statements Mr. Bing, it does not bode well for future negotiations and should not be published.
This community needs any support in recreation it can get and the demands that are being placed on the Sharks are almost unfair.
Why not build a new city hall while you at it so that in future this little town can handle big town projects that will ultimately benefit our residents?
The Sharks are in the ice entertainment biz. They happen to be pretty darn good at it. Hard to place blame there.
This thing stinks.
Good talking point for the mayoral debates.
Why can't this town get things done.

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Posted by MainStreetDiva
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:07 am

How disappointing! It would have been fun to have an outdoor rink this winter. Sounds like someone, somewhere, dropped the ball.

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Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 11:47 am

I take it that there was no contract here? Do we only do business on handshakes?

I wonder what else The Sharks will default on once they get what they want? Let's make sure we get everything in writing, our officials obviously are in over their head when it comes to negotiating with these companies so we need to do some CYA.

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Posted by anon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

How can you let a deal go over $200k when they are leasing 7 acres @ $1 a month for 30 years? That is prime realestate with a lease value of over $200k a year!

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Posted by Not Necessarily a Fan
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 22, 2008 at 1:39 pm

As to SJAM’s desire to build a multi-million-dollar ice rink on Staples Ranch, I put the city’s demands in the following categories:

Reasonable -
* Provide ice time to phys ed programs and school hockey teams, and offer discounts to Pleasanton residents.
* Help pay for a 5-acre neighborhood park on Staples Ranch, along with the other developers of the property.

Unreasonable -
* Contribute to the Firehouse Arts Center Foundation fundraising drive. (Someone from the fundraising committee is going to call them anyway, so let the Sharks make that decision)

Over the Top -
* Make a substantial contribution toward more sports fields on the Bernal property to compensate for athletic fields the ice rink would occupy.

All this, in addition to installing and operating a downtown ice rink for two months during this holiday season, before the council even gets around to signing off on the ground lease.

We don’t have all the facts, but the city is obviously dealing with serious, business-minded folks who aren’t necessarily willing to do “whatever it takes” to put a rink in Pleasanton. Who can blame them? It seems reasonable SJAM would decide to wait until 2009 to install the downtown ice rink, giving city leaders enough time to make this deal work.

Although having the downtown rink this year would have provided a much-needed boost for downtown merchants during what is typically the busiest shopping season of the year (with the exception of this year, perhaps), consider first the long-term, positive economic impacts a Sharks Ice facility will have on our community before looking selfishly at the current situation and throwing ice balls at SJAM.

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Posted by DocFeelGood
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 22, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I think that SJAM should not have agreed to the downtown holiday rink before the deal was done.

But to back out of a deal is a bad show. What other items will they 'bail' on?

I dont think we really need the rink, I think the land can be put to better use, but that is me.

I would love to lease land for 30 years at a buck a year.

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Posted by IcePro
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 1:55 pm

After 4 decades of being in and on the ice, its the same story again. Every town in North America that has this type of land use lease proposal knows that the city holds the cards. Very few cities are capable of developing their own skating centers due to high expense. The land value in this region is also a huge financial consideration. SharkFan offers the correct perspective in that many towns do not know enough about the skating industry to make the right deal, but do value their real estate. This whole thing is just part of the posturing for the deal at Staples Ranch. Unfortunately it managed to get into the public and it may raise questions of confidence in the parties involved. Walnut Creek has contracted their Holiday Ice for several years and now have brought economic stimulus to their downtown. To do this, they commited funding to improvements that were needed to stage their annual skating event. Pleasanton can do the same thing, but must be ready to make specific equipment commitments and location modifications. I have lived here for 18 years and know this town like the back of my hand. MainStreetDiva is right on!
Viva la glace.

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Posted by Ceaser
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 23, 2008 at 5:36 pm

An outdoor skating rink sounds like a good idea.
However, it is not a panacea to downtwown blight.
If you go downtown, your options are as follows:
A very expensive dinner
A facial, pedicure or Botox injection
Banking.........9 to 5
Oh yeah, one more thing. You have a selection of wacky overpriced specialty stores.

The downtown needs to be redeveloped to encourage a wider array of resaurants, bars and chain stores. It is doubtfull that the Downtown Association will discuss any of these measures. Instead, they'll probably get Mayor Hosterman to exhort us to spend our money downtown to no effect.

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Posted by backpack
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 27, 2008 at 2:10 am

Timothy T,

You are absolutely correct. We are over our heads when it comes to negotiating these land deals. We end up in court over every land deal we get ourselves into, like with Neal Elementary, San Francisco Water and Urban Habitat. Everybody takes advantage of Pleasanton.

And people think these guys can write a land use ordinance under Measure QQ and keep us out of court? I'm putting my vote on the citizens by voting for Measure PP.

And I also wouldn't mind seeing the Sharks take their rinks to another city.

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Posted by Hello?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2008 at 12:23 am

Backpack, you better vote no on both then because Measure PP las lawsuit written all over it. Remember, both Kay Ayala and Cindy McGovern (backers of PP) had their hands all over the Neal School fiasco. No thanks.