I called it!

Forgive me for having a Stephen Colbert moment. Robert Gammon cleared up much of the site confusion that started with last week’s Matier & Ross report. The sites, according to Gammon’s sources, are (drum roll please):

  • Oak St & 3rd St (west of the OFD Training site)
  • Howard Terminal
  • Area north of Jack London Square and Howard Terminal
  • Coliseum parking lot

Why am I patting myself on the back? Well, I did write about a possible alternative just north of Howard Terminal three months ago (not in depth, but at least it wasn’t one of the “recycled” ideas often put forth). Gammon mentioned that the site currently contains the offices of the East Bay Express, which would have to be moved if the A’s moved in.

Since Wolff has already dismissed the Coliseum and Howard Terminal, the choices really boil down to OFDT (Oak/3rd) and MLK/3rd (for lack of a better term). For anyone that wants to keep the A’s in Oakland, this is a good thing. Why? Because it can allow the community to coalesce around one or at worst two sites, instead of debating three or four sites and creating factions. Really, what the City and boosters need to do at this point is to pick one and run with it. The future of the A’s in Oakland depends on this choice. Knowing this, there is an obvious, crystal clear choice based on some simple facts: MLK/3rd. I’ll explain after the chart.

taleofthetape

Transit – BART is closer to Oak/3rd than MLK/3rd because of the proximity of the Lake Merritt station compared to the 12th Street station. Either site would require a transfer for some group of fans, though that isn’t any different than the current situation at the Coliseum. The ferry terminal, which admittedly would get far less use than BART, is only two short blocks from MLK/3rd. Proximity to Amtrak is roughly the same as with BART, except that the JLS station is on this side of 880/980. No one talks about buses, but they shouldn’t be ignored. MLK/3rd is almost adjacent to Broadway, which is the spine of Oakland’s AC Transit routes. Oak/3rd’s closest existing bus stop is at JLS Amtrak, making it a bit out-of-the-way.

Downtown access – MLK/3rd isn’t tucked into a corner, making it easy for fans to walk from Downtown and even Uptown to the site. Oak/3rd is tucked into a corner, sandwiched between 880 and the active UPRR line. There are far more restaurants and bars between the 12th Street station and MLK/3rd, creating a natural synergy.

Available parking – I put TBD here because there are several variables. It’s not known how many public and private spaces would be available for MLK/3rd, but the potential could be greater. At Oak/3rd, the wildcard is Laney College, which could make lots of parking available for weekend games but not necessarily for night games (due to night classes). Both sites would have access to parking located underneath the 880 viaduct.

Freeway access – On/off-ramp capacity limitations that affect the OFDT site also affect Oak/3rd. MLK/3rd’s more central location makes for a better distribution of traffic among current on/off-ramps. MLK/3rd is also closer to the 5th St exit from 880-South, which means less surface street driving for fans.

Integration with JLS – MLK/3rd is two blocks away. If one of the City’s concerns is properly filling the space between Downtown and JLS, a ballpark is a pretty good way to do it. Oak/3rd is, again, out of the way.

Aesthetics – Neither site is going to beat the old Coliseum’s view of the hills, especially with 880 in the foreground. At least MLK/3rd won’t have an unadorned overpass going over Lake Merritt Channel in the view. For those who might like it, there will probably be a way to design a MLK/3rd ballpark so that fans can see BART trains pass by as they enter/exit the subway portion.

Construction difficulty – Oak/3rd is just above the designated tide line, but much of it may also be landfill, just like China Basin. If so, needed foundation work could prove more expensive than at MLK/3rd.

Political/Legal difficulty – Oak/3rd has a complicated ownership situation, as Caltrans, Union Pacific, and the CPUC all have interests in the area which may not be easily negotiated. Both sites have some number of private owners, so they should be on equal footing in terms of acquisition costs.

I’d say it’s pretty clear which site makes the most sense, although I’m sure some of you will debate this. However, the key to getting anything like this done is political will. As the rest of Gammon’s column notes, Mayor Dellums has challenges he has to deal with before turning much attention to a ballpark. Unfortunately for Oakland, it’s a matter of timing. If Dellums decides not to run for re-election, his lame duck status will render him unable to see a big project like this through since it’ll take over a year to approve. If he does run and wins, he might spend too much time in the interim on other more pressing matters or his campaign to wage a development battle like this. If he runs and loses, his replacement (perhaps Don Perata) might choose to scrap existing plans and move forward with his own. The question is, will that be too late?


Note: While doing some quick research on Oakland recently, I noticed that on the relevant page on everybody’s most trustworthy information source, Wikipedia, someone posted that Oakland’s 2009 population is 645,345. I was absolutely perplexed by this. There are multiple “citations” for this figure, but none of them report that figure or anything remotely close. The census 2006-08 estimate is 362,342, a 9% drop in population from 2000. I don’t know who put that up there, but I’m hoping someone – a reader who edits Wikipedia articles – could look into that and correct it if necessary. There’s no need to fudge something like that. Oakland’s population is now listed as 404,155.

71 thoughts on “I called it!

  1. MLK/3rd is by far the best site Oakland has in its pocket. Now if they can just aquire the land, convince MLB they have the will to see it through and show Wolff it can and will be a profitable venture for many years. Not to be pessimistic but if all the pieces fall into place, we could see a new ballpark in Oakland in what, maybe 2016?

  2. need the colbert I CALLED IT picture. Preferably in Gif form.

  3. BAA’s hit it on mark–assuming all goes very well we are looking at a new ballpark in 2016–that’s assuming that Oakland has $40-$50M to acquire the land–has the political will to actually get something done and that you have a willing owner who is willing to invest $500M of their own money in Oakland. My guess is that if MLB continues to delay the decision that you will ultimately see LW and Fisher sell the team…..and the odds of a new ownership group willing to invest $500M of their own money is not all that great—I’m all for a new ballpark in Oakland…I just want to be alive when it happens…

    • I believe the site falls within the central city redevelopment district, so that money could come from CEDA and not need to be tacked onto the already straining general fund.

      • Chris—assuming that the redevelopment agency has any money left—Sacto is taking most of the money to close budget gaps and has no plans to re-imburse city’s—-SJ has already purchased most of the property—Oakland will need to figure out where to get the $40-$50M for site acquisition but I wouldn’t plan on a RDA over the next several years—

  4. 2016 seems to lengthy to take seriously. Selig has already announced his intention on retiring in a couple of years. That will most certainly change the dynamic between Wolfe and the MLB front office. I’d imagine that something gets done sooner rather than later. For all I know, Selig may well intend on cramming the TR’s issue down the Giants throat as he no longer has to worry about long term ramifications.

    Either way, I can’t see Wolfe slogging on endlessly without the support he currently enjoys. I think we’ve entered the end game one way or another. It’s hard to enjoy kicking Oakland when it’s down, but I just can’t see it being a long term solution for the team. I dread the idea of the A’s being forever banished to third tier status because of the stadium situation.

  5. That piece has a lot of “could be” and “might mean” and etc. which I don’t really trust as good analysis. Matier and Ross infuriate me by the way. The most important part of being a muckraker is getting it right. I have seen Matier on Channel 4, when he interviewed City Atty. Russo about ballparks and he knew absolutely nothing about the questions he was asking. Speaking fo which, whatever happened to Mr. Russo and his bloviation? Is he part fo the group trying to refine sites ro what?

    I have to humbly disagree with my favorite blogger in the universe… it will be a good thing when the City picks a single site (either of these will work, they are as close to good as it will get in Oakland, meaning there is no perfect site anyway and these are reasonably feasible on the surface). It isn’t just the local constituency that needs convincing. If you sit down with MLB and say, in effect, “Well, we have two new sites that you may find acceptable” I have to imagine that will fall really flat… the time for multiple choice is over.

    Geez I just hope this comes to an end at some point soon. I don’t care if the outcome is Oakland or San Jose as long as there is a realistic direction and a stadium breaking ground.

    Oakland needs to pitch a site.

    • No harm, no foul on the reportage. If the panel decides that there is a viable site in Oakland, it will be up to Oakland to fulfill the promise of that site. After that, there really aren’t any excuses. I think that’s fair.

      • Guess the question is what constitues a “viable” site. Merely throwing a few more on the table of “potential” sites does nothing. Has Oakland had discussions with land owners that they are willing to sell, have they identified the cash to purchase the property etc etc? Oakland has had more than a few mulligans—lets hope that by “viable” they mean it rather than “potential”.

      • I agree. Pick something and move forward already…

  6. Though the MLK/3rd site seems to be more attractive than anything else proposed in Oakland, I hope the BRC and MLB looks at not just whether a site is condusive for a ballpark, but whether a ballpark in any particular location can and will insure the long-term success of the A’s.

  7. Good sites, for sure, but shouldn’t Oakland have done this years ago? This doesn’t really even the playing field as San Jose is well beyond the point of suggesting “hey how about this area by the train station?”

  8. well. I live right around the corner from the MLK site, so that would certainly be interesting to watch.

    But I still don’t think Oakland has the leadership to get this done.

  9. Things have moved so slowly in Oakland that it is sad this site, with great potential, has taken this long to surface. In waiting so long to issue a decision, the BRC is not only giving SJ a chance to have all their ducks in a row, but it is also giving Oakland one last chance to prove they are serious, whether or not that was the intended effect. I think Oakland deserves one more chance, so here’s to hoping they can move quickly on this.

    • .
      It looks lke the question now is:
      .
      Are either of the two “good” central Oakland sites so much better than SJ Diridon that their superiority makes up for the several-year development schedule disadvantage that they carry?
      .
      Or has that ferry already left the dock?
      .
      I vote for #2.

  10. I think we should take out 980 and use a part of the extra land to build the ballpark. We could use the other land for housing, shops, commercial, etc. Down with the freeways!

  11. ML, both the Wikipedia page for Oakland and census.gov show the 2008 population estimate for Oakland as 404,155.

  12. It’s a smart move on the part of Oakland to put two good sites out there. We already know that this ownership would love to have just one site out there so that they can sit back and pick it to shreds. As far as the competing sites go, it’s a close call. The OFD Training site off of Fallon Street is better esthetically because of the close proximity to the Lake Merritt Channel and the Estuary. If home plate were to be moved closer to Fallon and Embarcadero, there would be enough space to change the orientation of the ballpark away from the elevated freeway and a bit more towards the hills and downtown. Also, the many garages in Jack London Square, just west of OFD Training Center, including the brand new 1100 space garage at 2nd & Harrison, could be used for parking. The natural east bound flow of fans from the ferry dock, Jack London parking garages, Amtrak, buses, etc. through Jack London Square, would create a tremendous synergy with thirty thousand Oakland A’s fans enjoying restaurants, clubs and the waterfront before and after games. This would provide the Oakland A’s with a charming urban ballpark similar to Fenway Park, which also happens to border a freeway. Esthetically speaking, this site has everything over the Fenway Park site.

    • Honestly, I think putting out two places really sends the wrong message. The message needs to be “we have a site and it is doable.” This sounds like “We have two potential sites and one might work.”

      Just my opinion obviously, but I think the facts are that after these sites were shared with the MLB panel they still checked out San Jose, right? Why would they if they felt it was under control in oaktown?

      • They would check out SJ just for the sake of due diligence (especially considering the A’s ownership is cheerleading a move to SJ)

      • I hear you, but why did they initially exclude San Jose? That was a late add.

      • Perhaps they thought they could exclude Oakland easily, but Oakland impressed them enough with their presentation that they wanted to see SJ for comparison (wild speculation)?

      • The panel’s initial charge was to investigate the East Bay thoroughly and only the East Bay. I’ll put my tinfoil hat on and say that to have talks with Oakland and vet these sites is to at least give the veneer of thoroughness, whether or not the destination is predetermined. Otherwise, it would look like the panel just received marching orders and didn’t bother with Oakland at all. A few months ago, they received the order from Selig to take a look at San Jose.

        Another way to look at it is to view the East Bay as a fairly large territory. Are the only good sites in Oakland? Really? The only good sites? The panel is looking at Fremont too, perhaps Fremont is back in the running, who knows?

  13. The 3rd & MLK site is in a good location and would definitely link Jack London Square with Old Oakland, City Center, Frank Ogawa Plaza and Uptown. I like the accessibility from the 12th Street Bart Station and the Ferry dock. The aforementioned neighborhoods would benefit tremendously from game time foot traffic flowing from the 12th Street Bart station. A few things to consider would be the high power station nearby along with the proximity to Port of Oakland operations including the large cranes. As far as names, how about Kaiser Yards or Clorox Field?

    • Clorox, yes. Kaiser? They’re a nonprofit. A nine-figure contract for naming rights would be the height of inappropriate expenditures.

    • Did Cisco bail on the naming rights if it is built in Oakland?

      • From what I’ve read and heard, Cisco should remain on board as long as they still build in the Bay Area.

      • Cisco publicly stated that they’re on board for an A’s ballpark in the Bay Area. However, they got on board when Fremont was being developed, not with the Coliseum North plan, so it isn’t iron clad.

      • Cisco will not go to Oakland! Fremont was/is considered a part of Silicon Valley, not Oakland. So you’d better hope, especially in this economy, that the “Iron-Belt” corporations of Clorox or Kaiser have the dough to waste..I mean, spend on naming rights to an O Ballyard. And for the record, the BRC met twice, TWICE, with San Jose politicians and were impressed with what they saw/heard. No way in hell do they meet with San Jose (did I mention TWICE) if MLB were reconsidering Oakland (sorry GJ10).

  14. Marine Layer,

    I don’t know why, but I love Kaiser Yards. I know they’re a nonprofit, but what a cool name. Perhaps, we can use “Kaiser” regarding Kaiser Engineering. I have no idea if they’re still in business or how big a corporation they are, but they were located in that big white high rise at 19th & Harrison right across the street from Snow Park.

  15. Oakland athletics, I heard the same thing.

  16. Hey ML, I was just trying to figure out land value, etc. for funsies to compare the cost between this and the $40 Mil I figure it woudl take for the full 20 acre OFD area and I discovered that there is a Sprint Central Office located on the “plot.” Or did I go too far south? It is on the corner of Embarcadero and Brush Street.

  17. Any idea what kind of NIMBY response could be expected from a park at either of the locations? I would think they would be all for it since, as Nav states, the neighborhoods would benefit tremendously. However, when it comes to development in Oakland/Berkeley, I make sure to never set my expectations too low with respect to public outcry.

  18. Jeffrey, you’re thinking of the MLK & 3rd site, not the OFD site.

    • No I am not. I know the two different sites, at least I know the OFD site. I think the “North of Howard Terminal” is MLK to Market/ Embarcadero to 5th street/BART tracks.

      The OFD site is worth about 40 Million (it’s 22 acres, 17 lots with 13 private owners and the value of the structures) if it is what I think they should be looking to redevelop… From Oak to the channel. From 880 to Embarcadero. Only 20 of it is really developable because 2 acres of city owned land is under 880.

      I want to figure out what land acquisition might cost, how many private land owners etc. Are between Market to MLK and 5th/BART to Embarcadero. Is that the actual MLK plot we are talking about?

  19. gojohn, Both of those sites, while close to entertainment and dinning areas, are far enough away from major residential areas. The Jack London Warehouse District is still far enough away from the OFD site at Fallon & Embarcadero, where the ballpark can still be considered a positive instead of a hindrance. Also, residents who choose to live in Jack London Square are there for big city amenities. I think a ballpark nearby would be a plus for the neighborhood. Having said that, I think having a ballpark in the immediate vicinity of suburban type residential neighborhoods posses problems. The ballpark at OFD would split the distance pretty evenly between the Jack London Warehouse District and the proposed Oak to 9th development on the waterfront. A ballpark in place before construction of Oak to 9th would bode well for all parties involved.

    • A ballpark at Oak/3rd would not necessarily be good for a future O29 developer, whether it’s Signature or someone else. They might have to reopen the EIR process given the way the ballpark would change traffic conditions.

  20. Sorry to have to come in and “burst the Robert Gammons bubble” so-to-speak. I read the Gammons article, and while the sites in Oakland are good (props to those in “The O!” who are still trying!), I don’t see where he comes off stating this announcement somehow “change(s) ‘the’ equation” in terms of the MLB committee report or their direction. Wolff/A’s and MLB DON’T HAVE TO consider these “new” sites. They could, but they’re not bound on having to stay in Oakland if they (Oakland/boosters) simply identify “new” sites. And as has been stated previously, the MLB committee met on two occasions with SJ pols; this doesn’t happen if the A’s are bound on having to stay in Oakland/Alameda County. Heck, we were told that the committee wasn’t going to meet with San Jose officials; so much for that.

    Lastly, as the immortal Connie Mack stated earlier, do any of these sites really stack up to Diridon South?; $ilicon Valley and the promise of vast amounts of corporate support, future nexus of BART, high-speed rail, Caltrain, ACE, Capitol Corridor/Amtrak, downtown of the nations 10th largest city? I know my opinion is slightly bias (you out there Rob?), but I would answer NO to that question.

    • Oh yah; Diridon South is also 50 miles south/southeast of AT&T Park. By the way, I don’t think we’re going to hear any “shocker news” coming out of this years Winter Meetings. Can’t believe it’s been a year since the “letter” showed up.

      • Funny thing on the T-rights–wonder if Selig and crew ever look at what is going on at the same time with the NFL in the Bay Area–two teams–no one arguing over T-rights–teams free to locate where they choose provided a supportive community—and MLB has wasted another year trying to figure out for Oakland should be allowed to move down the freeway—forgive me if I am skeptical—but I find the MLB leadrship to be very indecisive and stagnant (15 years of dealing with this)while the NFL is very progressive—-my worst fear here is MLB continues to study the issue….SJ passes as an opportunity—- Oakland still isn’t capable of delivering the goods..and we continue on playing in the same shithole we are today… until someone buys the team and moves it—damn—MESSAGE TO BUD–JUST MAKE A FREAKING DECISION!!

      • Damn, has it really been one year? I honestly would have thought we’d have this ballpark issue resolved by now.

  21. Based on who was chosen to for the BRC, Wolffs’ association with Selig (and obvious preference for SJ), and the lack of progress made by the city of Oakland in moving the stadium process forward, I’d bet the BRC will side with the A’s and SJ. Trying to infer what is being said at these BRC meetings based on how many times they’ve met with a city doesn’t make sense (1 vs. 2…maybe if they had met with SJ five or ten times). If the BRC had met with Oakland twice, we would probably be hearing that it because Oakland didn’t have their act together the first time.

    • “This would provide the Oakland A’s with a charming urban ballpark similar to Fenway Park, which also happens to border a freeway.” — Navigator
      .
      It’s sheer propaganda to equate an elevated freeway with a depressed one.
      You can’t see the Mass Turnpike from Fenway Park, while you’ll be painfully aware of the freeway in Oakland.

      • Connie Mack–thanks for clarifying as I couldn’t recall a Freeway around Fenway the times that I have been there–I do recall a large urban park in the general vicinity but we were able to walk from the park across a roadway to the ballpark without ever seeing a freeway–

  22. MLK & 3rd would be an excellent location. Let’s see if Oakland can pull it off. By the way, I wish San Jose would stop from always trying to pry away one of the San Francisco or Oakland teams.

  23. So where has MLK/3rd been for the last 15 years and why is it only becoming a potential site recently? If it is so good how could Oakland /HOK and others overllook it for all these years—or is it the equivalent of a 2 at 10 becomes a 10 at 2? Not trying to be negative…just trying to understand why this site wasn’t brought to the table say 1-2 years ago?

    • Excellent question GoA’s! 15 years and all of a sudden they have a site? Today’s big revelations should have happened years ago. And will today’s news all of a sudden cause Wolff, Fisher, and even MLB to change their minds re: San Jose?
      This is all sounds like a bad relationship, in which a girl has been abused/neglected by her “loved one” for 15 years. Well, she’s had it and found someone who will really care for and treat her right. All of a sudden, as she’s ready to bolt, the “loved one” comes from out of the blue and tell’s her “I’ll be good to you, I promise, and here’s a picture of 4 wedding rings that might look good on your ring finger.” By the way, he has no idea how he’s going to pay for the rings.

  24. Reality Check, Do you understand that the Oakland A’s last two ownerships have been from the South Bay? Do you understand that Lew Wolff, and Steve Schott before him, showed no interest at all in building a ballpark in Oakland? Do you understand that a pro Oakland ownership group involving Andy Dolich was rejected by MLB in favor of the South Bay carpetbaggers? Do you understand that even as Lew Wolff was claiming to be working on building a ballpark in Oakland, he was actually trying to secure rights to the South Bay? It’s clear that the fans want this ballpark in Oakland and it’s clear that Oakland has viable sites. The problem here is that Oakland was set up from the beginning with a trojan horse ownership from the South Bay. I still remember Wolff claiming he needed assistance from Oakland to get this ballpark built. As soon as Oakland established a committee of business and civic leaders headed by Dick Spees, Wolff told them he was no longer interested and he would handle the situation himself. Wolff dragged things out in Oakland. I spoke to Dick Spees about sites for a ballpark for the A’s. He mentioned, Fremont. I meant, IN OAKLAND. After all, this is what Wolff was suppose to have been working on at the time. Later, I see Spees sitting behind the A’s dugout as a guest of Lew Wolff. Another time Ron Delumns was the guest sitting behind the A’s dugout. Wolff didn’t have them there because he was interested in Oakland. Wolff had them there to influence their silence. Larry Reid the Council member from the Coliseum area was also resigned to the fact that the A’s were leaving. Wolff bought the silence of the Oakland contingent. They sat quietly as Wolff played nice until he got his sweetheart lease in Oakland. The “searching for a ballpark in Oakland” sham was used as a ploy to secure a favorable lease in Oakland. San Jose may steal the A’s from Oakland, just like they re routed HSR away from Oakland and the Altamont Pass, for political reasons. However, It won’t be based on merit but on back room dealings and influence peddling. It won’t be what Oakland Athletic fans want but instead what Lew Wolff, Larry Stone and the Mayor of San Jose want. Oakland will have been set up from the beginning with South Bay interests in place to take the team. It’s no great coupe on San Jose’s part. You held all the cards from the beginning. Somehow San Jose has a since of entitlement because their residents supposedly are wealthier than the residents in the more populous East Bay. It’s never about whats best for the region, but what’s best for the rich and powerful. It’s a sad commentary on life in this region and a sad commentary on a city which attempts to attain a higher National profile by pilfering from its neighbors.

    • Nav–you really are so clueless…even if what you said was half true MLB set up the BRC in order to make sure that the “evil” Mr. Wolff was not ruling out Oakland. the team was Oaklands to lose—-A kick-ass site, with property acquired, a completed EIR, community forums etc etc—-would have made it impossible for MLB/BRC to look towards SJ—another year later and we have a news conference of potential sites but nothing else—-how can you not be pissed at your city leaders for being as weak as they are—-you can’t expect a team to be held hostage by a city that has no idea how to get things done–

  25. This will eventually all end up in litigation and then we’ll see the chronology of events and who is telling the truth.

  26. So Nav am I correct to assume by your comments that you are less than impressed with Oakland’s news conference today?

  27. No, I’m very impressed with the options in Oakland. I just think that this Blue Ribbon Commission is a sham and the fix is in. Wolff and Fisher are always taking the, “well, we’ll just have to wait and see what the BRC recommends.” This sham will eventually end up in the courts. And, if it’s proven that collusion existed between Wolff, Fisher, Selig and South Bay interests, to harm Oakland economically by misrepresenting positions and facts, in order to unfiarly relocate this franchise to San Jose, the parties responsible, including MLB and the City of San Jose, will be held civilly responsible. You know what happened to Oakland last time MLB convened a Blue Ribbon Commission, don’t you? This eventually will all be tied together. We have quotes from Selig on record as well as various statements from other officials.

  28. Wrong, wrong, wrong, Nav, lol…

    The antitrust exemption in place will prevent any litigation. So sorry.

    • Not that I’m expecting any litigation, but there’s no exemption from being sued. MLB has been sued many times.

      • It can be sued. Oakland can sue them, but for what reason?

        It cannot be sued by the Giants, and neither can the A’s per the MLB constitution.

      • Right, Jeffrey – I was thinking of the Giants, not the City of Oakland.

        The City of Oakland will never sue; they will have no legal basis by which to sue, and they were burned when they tried to sue and take the Raiders by Eminent Domain when they left for Los Angeles in the early eighties.

        Bottom line…Nav’s contention that there will be lawsuits and that they will somehow prevent a move is wrong, wrong, wrong….

      • Yeah, people keep bringing this up and it doesn’t hold water. The only things keeping the A’s in Oakland are T-rights and the Coliseum lease. The lease has an early buyout clause plus an extra fee should the A’s relocate outside Alameda County. That’s it. Whether or not there is collusion, Wolff has spent years at least making it appear like there’s been due diligence. That’s pretty hard to disprove.

  29. Well if the Seatlte Supersonics move to OK is any indication of how the courts receive these types of suits you can expect it to be dismissed rather quickly–they even had flaming emails from the new OK ownership group indicating they had no intention of keeping the team in Seattle–what did the court do–yawn–and throw out the case—and that was about a cross country move–not a 40 mile move down the freeway–just what Oakland needs to be doing–wasting any of its time or money on lawsuits when they should be embarassed by their lack of leadership

  30. We’re talking about economic harm done to the city by a disingenuous owner misrepresenting his position in order to get a favorable lease from the city. We’re talking about collusion between Selig, Schott, and Wolff to receive the team at a discount despite offers from qualified pro Oakland buyers. We can also establish that Selig made statements confirming his anti-Oakland bias. We can verify that the Blue Ribbon Commission established by Selig was used as a delay tactic to keep Schott from selling the team to a pro Oakland buyer. We can also verify that Wolff was attempting to secure territorial rights to the South Bay even as he maintained that he was working on building a ballpark in Oakland.

    We’ve just scratched the surface here on justifiable cause for a lawsuit.

    Also, it seems like Wolff, Fisher and the Mayor of San Jose are all reciting the same line. It goes something like this, “We’ll just have to wait and see what MLB recommends.” I saw Reed on the news yesterday. He looked like he just swallowed a canary after he made that statement. San Jose is going to find themselves knee deep in this muck. The thing that I would love to see the most is Wolff, Selig and Reed testifying before Congress. I would love to see Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein , and Congresswoman Barbara Lee interviewing these gentlemen and asking some embarrassing questions.

    • go get ‘em Nav—odds are greater that Oakland would actually do something tangible and acquire some land, do an EIR….build a ballpark than any lawsuit with merit moving ahead—As I get to vote also I would doubt that either Boxer or Fenstein would forget who their constituents are—-and where they get their support from—

    • Nav,

      It has been proven that the “pro Oakland” buyers were less than Qualified, and would have run a shoe string operation. ML has a great post on them. The Piccini (sp) group was woefully underfunded.

    • Nav,

      Clay Bennett, the scumbag who bought and moved the Seattle Supersonics to OKC was caught with his pants down in several emails, saying among other things that he was (and I paraphrase, because I cant remember the exact quote) that he was a MAN POSSESSED in his efforts to get the team moved to OKC.

      Uhhh, Nav?
      Where are the Sonics playing these days? Oh, thats right, they arent playing anywhere – about the only thing Seattle won, was the rights to the team name and history, and the Basketball Team Formerly Known as the Sonics, now plays in OKC as the Thunder.

  31. I’ll try to remain optimistic about the Victory Court site. I’d much rather focus on that great opportunity. I hope it doesn’t come to litigation.

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