Sharks say SJ's proposed development could force them out


Could the Sharks' days in SAP Center be numbered?

Yes, if you ask the team.

Sharks president Jonathan Becher indicated Thursday in a tweet and post on the team's website that they don't want to leave SAP Center, but development projects in the area surrounding the building could mean they are forced to leave the arena.

According to Becher, the proposed development of the Diridon area surrounding SAP Center by the city of San Jose and Google could impact fans' ability to get to the area.

"For more than a year, we have been sharing our concerns with you regarding the proposed, massive development projects within the Diridon area of downtown San Jose, which surrounds SAP Center," Becher wrote in a letter to Sharks fans.

"For the past several years, we have been sharing those same concerns with city of San Jose officials and Google. Unfortunately, those discussions have yielded limited results and the planners of these projects appear intent on moving forward in a manner that could force the Sharks out of San Jose."

The Sharks claim that the proposed development would bring seven times the amount of car traffic to the area while lanes directly outside SAP Center will be reduced.

Becher also wrote that Google's Downtown West project will bring tens of thousands of new employees to the area, and that there would be an inadequate number of parking spaces to satisfy fans attending a Sharks game or other events at SAP Center.

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The Sharks' last objection to the project revolves around the impact they believe the construction would have on fans' ability to reach SAP Center for the next 10-15 years.

After playing the first two seasons of their existence at the Cow Palace in Daly City, just outside of San Francisco, the Sharks moved into SAP Center (then San Jose Arena) in 1993.

Based on Becher's tweet and letter, it's unclear if the Sharks would be forced to build a new arena somewhere else in San Jose or have to move to a new city in the Bay Area if they have to leave SAP Center.

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