Even more poll dancing

The Merc’s Tracy Seipel just got wind of a new poll conducted by SJSU’s Survey and Policy Research Institute. This time, the poll doesn’t ask a fuzzy “Do you favor the A’s moving to San Jose?” question, it asks if voters would approve giving city-owned land (Diridon South) to the A’s for their privately financed and operated ballpark.

The stadium poll question — posed by San Jose State University’s Survey and Policy Research Institute on behalf of the Mercury News — found that 62 percent of those surveyed favored the idea while 23.5 opposed it; 13 percent didn’t know and 1.5 percent refused to answer.

Cheered by the A’s and city leaders, the result is one of the first indications of how San Jose voters are leaning on the ballpark question, which the city hopes to put on the ballot in November — if Major League Baseball graces the move by overriding the San Francisco Giants’ claims to Santa Clara County. The A’s are anxious to move from the aging Oakland Coliseum and have said they cannot find a suitable home elsewhere in the East Bay.

In all of the recent run-up to the report that still hasn’t appeared, local and national writers have been speculating what exactly the MLB panel, Bud Selig, and his constituents, the owners, have been thinking. The near consensus has been that prior to any decision being made, MLB needs to square away the T-rights issue and compensation.

I don’t think that’s really the case. Instead, I think MLB is more afraid of using political capital for a T-rights negotiation without knowing where San Jose stands regarding the A’s. Now that two polls have shown the proponents of a move with a clear advantage, MLB may finally have traction to move ahead. It could easily present the recommendation, have Selig present the case to the owners, vote on the move, then negotiate the finer details over the next 2 years, until the next CBA is in place. Of course, Selig would have to make the case that this move doesn’t create a precedent that potentially harms the big market teams, which is no small feat. To that end, there would have to be language that indicates that the Bay Area situation is not analogous to any other move, which is at least true based on the history of T-rights here. It is that language that I believe is the biggest difficulty. Chances are that there would be a sunset clause in case of a failed vote or the A’s failure to get a ballpark built, which would be a correction of the last T-rights change for Santa Clara County.

If you’re all about free markets or unshackling Santa Clara County or Alameda County from T-rights, I doubt you’ll be happy. Chances are that this won’t go nuclear, it won’t even reach a public debate in the media. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

145 Responses to Even more poll dancing

  1. Walnut Creek Fan says:

    I hate to say it, but I think we can’t underestimate the impact of public transportation! I think Wolff needs to consider the transportation needs of the A’s fanbase from farther places like Sacramento or Contra Costa County!

  2. gojohn10 says:

    I’m having trouble connecting the dots. How is San Jose trying to kick the Giants out of San Francisco?

  3. gojohn10 says:


  4. Zonis says:

    I think that post was either an April Fools joke or just gibberish.

  5. Zonis says:


  6. FC says:

    LOL. Thank you, Capt. Kirk!

  7. Nathan says:

    BART to Fremont then connect to the VTA 181 to Diridon Station. Or drive since at that time it’s mostly counter-commute to San Jose from Contra Costa County.

  8. Nam Turk says:

    Speaking of transit, the Giants are going to be cut off from the peninsula and south bay by Caltrain budget troubles. Their case for protecting their attendance numbers just took a huge hit.


  9. Dan says:

    So you got a third name. Or split personalities…

  10. pjk says:

    Tonite’s game says it all about why the Giants want the A’s out of the Bay Area.

    A’s – 9
    Giants – 0

    $20 mill-a-year Barry Zito is shelled by his former team.

  11. OAKLANDathletics says:

    $20 mill-a-year Barry Zito is shelled by his former team….AGAIN…AGAIN….AGAIN!! Haha!!!

  12. Sam S says:

    Also, they understand that you don’t get anywhere in negotiations by pissing off the party you want to negotiate with. Strong arm tactics like anti-trust removal only works when the party you negotiate with refuses to negotiate in good trust in the first place (see health insurance).

    Multiple articles in the last few days have claimed the A’s are leaning towards San Jose, therefore:

    1) It’s not in San Jose’s best interest to sue.

    2) If Oakland wants to shoot themselves in the foot and annoy the owners by suing let them, it will just benefit San Jose.

    The only party with nothing to loose would be the Giants, and I doubt even Nukem is dumb enough to sue and alienate himself if the A’s get San Jose.

  13. Nam Turk says:

    At least he has a second mansion in LA to console him.

  14. bartleby says:

    And how do you think it is for South Bay fans trying to get to a weeknight game right now?

  15. bartleby says:

    Diridon is going to be the main public transportation hub for the entire Bay Area, with all six major rail systems intersecting there (CalTrain, Light Rail, ACE, Amtrak, and in the future BART and High Speed Rail). It will ultimately be far more transit friendly than Oakland. And fans in Sacramento will eventually be able to get to San Jose on High Speed Rail more quickly than they can currently get to Oakland.

  16. FC says:

    That would have a significant effect on the A’s should they move down to SJ. I’d opt to take the train vs. drive.

  17. FremontA's says:

    NUMMI has finally closed

    Sharks join chorus of groups concerned about plans for ballpark in downtown San Jose  

    Great News!!! Once Sharks sue the A’s and the City of San Jose, the A’s are prevented them to build a stadium in San Jose. Today no more NUMMI and is gone forever. Toyota will never come back. The only option or the A’s is Fremont or Oakland or leave the Bay Area. Major League Baseball we want you to choose Fremont and bring the A’s to Fremony at the NUMMI Plant

  18. Marine Layer says:

    You’ve completely misinterpreted the purpose of the letter. It’s all about protecting HP Pavilion’s parking, as it has always been. Right now City hasn’t said where any parking would go, they haven’t even committed to having additional parking built even though they have a contract to provide a certain amount in the vicinity for all events. In this case, City needs to step up and decide, because the impact is different depending on the choice. There will be a post on this in greater detail this weekend.

    “It’s not a comment on the A’s proposal,” Gralnek said. “This is about trying to protect our customers’ experience at the HP Pavilion.”

    On a housekeeping note, that’s three different handles you’ve used for the same IP address, FremontA’s. Stick with one or you’re banned. This is your last warning.

  19. [...] a majority of San Jose residents in favor of bringing the A’s to their downtown district - providing keen local insight into the struggles ahead for Commissioner Bud Selig and the owners in developing their plans to [...]

  20. GoJohn10 says:

    I will be watching the Giants situation to see if a team-subsidized train for
    game service is a possibility, should the A’s move to SJ.

  21. GoJohn10 says:

    “This American Life” recently did an entire story on NUMMI. This has nothing to do with the ballpark, but the story of the plant and the GM/Toyota partnership is fascinating.

  22. A'sObserver says:

    wasnt one of the reasons the coliseum site was a no go was due to similar complaints by the warriors?

  23. pjk says:

    there is not much overlap between the Sharks and A’s seasons. The A’s start playing April, The Sharks flop out of the playoffs a few weeks after that.

  24. jesse says:

    ML, any estimate on when the EIR will be certified, could the Stand For SJ or SVSE hold up that process for a significant amount of time?

  25. A'sObserver says:

    There is not much overlap between A’s and W’s seasons either, yet coflicts with the warriors was mentioned several times by lew wolff and this blog as one of the reasons a ballpark at the coliseum lot was impossible.

  26. jesse says:

    i’ve been reading this blog for about 3 years now and I’ve never heard anyone say the Coli parking lot is impossible.

  27. Marine Layer says:

    It’s not impossible. It would require a significant amount of negotiation to preserve parking capacity or mitigate its loss. However, parking was one of those “down the list” items, next to the presence of the power transmission lines in the south lots and the sewer interceptor running underground, right down the middle of the complex.

    The A’s and Sharks seasons don’t overlap much, but there are perhaps 100 additional events at HP Pavilion, many of which could conflict with A’s games. That’s the problem that needs to be solved. Again, analysis coming soon.

  28. Briggs says:

    So, this is just pure speculation, but I can see why Haas ownership would allow the Giants to pursue a ballpark in San Jose in 1991/1992. By the Giants vacating SF, the Athletics would’ve been closer to SF than the Giants would be in 1992. Even though SF would still be Giants territory, that relocation could’ve favored the A’s partially. I can understand the Giants argument now that relinquishing SJ would devalue the franchise since the SJ T-rights are built into the assets and ultimate value of the team to their shareholders and corporate investors. While the A’s potential revenue from operating in SJ could be a very good thing for them and ultimately MLB, it’d be a hard sell for MLB to come in and strip the Giants of their SJ T-rights. From an operations standpoint, I can’t see team owners feeling that comfortable with that.

    Does anyone know if the regulations between individual franchises and MLB is posted publically? I wonder if it’s anything like the relationship between State and Federal law.

  29. Tony D. says:

    Will you people just stop! For crying out loud, the A’s and Sharks/SVSE are partners! They’re practically in bed for the Earthquakes venture and will be fully engaged with the A’s as well. The Sharks do have legitimate concerns regarding their needs (parking, rare same-time game situations, etc.) and they WILL be addressed. There’s no story here, despite Seipel’s sensationalism and attempt to stir shit up.

    Look, if Cleveland can do it with the Indians and Cavaliers, San Jose will do it with the Sharks and A’s. Next story!

  30. Tony D. says:

    By the way, “Stand for SJ DOESN’T” stand for San Jose and are totally irrelevant to this discussion. The only thing they “stand” for is San Francisco and the MLB Giants. The TRUE “Stand for San Jose” are the 62% who want the A’s in SJ. Enough on that.

  31. Tony D. says:

    I say if you make Santa Clara County a SHARED territory, the Giants still retain whatever value is based on “their” territory. Also, as part of a deal, MLB could always gaurantee franchise value much like they did with the Orioles.

  32. Marine Layer says:

    Good lord, Tony. Seipel’s a reporter, not a columnist. Have some respect.

  33. Tony D. says:

    My bad R.M. No disrespect intended. I just didn’t like the way she suggested with her opening that “Stand for SJ” and ballpark opponents had a “powerful new ally” in the Sharks/SVSE. Say what you want but that’s classic media sensationlism. Oh well, I guess it worked because it got my attention.

  34. Briggs says:

    Did the Nationals exchange for their broadcast rights for exclusive DC territorial rights or simply to move in? Regardless, the A’s aren’t entering a new market as the National did. Existing Comcast and KTRB deals would have to be settled if the Nationals/Orioles agreement is used as a template. Striking a settlement between the Giants, A’s and MLB is going to be a world of hurt in itself. Bringing in Comcast and KTRB would appear to complicate the issue further. So, I can’t see the O’s/Nats agreement applying here.

  35. Tony D. says:

    By the way R.M., when you do a post on this over the weekend, perhaps you could use the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex in Cleveland as a case study of how things could work out for the Sharks/A’s at Diridon.

  36. GoA's says:

    Actually pretty disappointed in SVSE—seems to me this should have been taken care of privately not publically—as a season tix holder of the Sharks I won’t be happy if they try and screw with the ballpark—already disappointed that they have had the Giants dropping pucks before some games—suprises me with McEnery involved that this became public–

  37. bartleby says:

    This piece was totally uninformed. “San Jose County”? “Freemont”? The assertion that members of this blog have picked apart the San Jose State poll? The assertion that San Jose somehow bludgeoned Wolff into agreeing to pay for a ballpark (as opposed to a fundamental part of his proposal from the very beginning?)

  38. Jeffrey says:

    The Orioles didn’t control DC before the Nats moved there.
    The Orioles dispute with MLB was about media revenue and season ticket holders, not territory.
    That said, the objections of the Giants are similar to what the Orioles complained about.
    MLB guaranteed franchise value for the Orioles, guaranteed revenues for the Orioles and to address the television situation they created a regional sports network to broadcast both teams games and gave the Orioles controlling interest.
    The first two actions by MLB could easily translate to the A’s and Giants. The third one, not so much. But If the A’s work to pay some portion of the Giants mortgage for any seasons that the Giants have one while the A’s play in San Jose that should fix it.
    There is a deal to be struck that can work for the A’s, Giants and MLB.

  39. Tony D. says:

    Agree GoA’s,
    I was scratching my head on this also. I can see Lew Wolff conference calling as we type: “Greg (Jamison) and Tom (McEnery), what the hell was that all about!?”

  40. Tony D. says:

    Damn straight Jeffrey! ;o)

  41. Briggs says:

    I understand MLB intervening to ensure the Giants’ revenue remains consistent. However, it’s not just an issue with revenue. It’s also growth. If the O’s didn’t control T-rights over the DC area, then they couldn’t legally argue that the Nat’s would cut into their projected growth. Sure, he could’ve argued it, but unless DC fell under the Orioles territory, there wasn’t much he could do. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I’d love to see come references because I can’t find much on the internet regarding DC’s territorial status prior to the Nat’s relocation.

    Since the Giants possess SJ, it’s legally their asset. It’s a resource that could potentially generate enormous growth over the next several decades and that’s what their investors are concerned over—not that their annual revenue is maintained with a 2% annual growth (approx annual GDP inflation). I know we’re talking baseball and not iPads, but growth is always desired from investors—in the same way the A’s are going to pitch their growth to prospective investors once they relocate. Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but the only leg the A’s have to stand on concerning SJ is that SJ wants them as well. Should the Giants change SJ’s tune somehow (i.e. subsidize to-and-fro ridership to AT&T Park from Diridon), the A’s are potentially gone from the Bay Area. I don’t believe this will happen, I’m just saying it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities and the Giants wouldn’t employ and extreme measures like this unless MLB award SJ to the A’s.

    But that’s my point: Simply awarding SJ to the A’s isn’t going to be easy and the Nats/O’s situation wouldn’t apply if the O’s didn’t already possess T-rights over DC. I’d love to see the A’s in SJ. Of the 3 Bay Area options, it’s my choice as a fan. The MLB assessment can’t come soon enough.

  42. Mark (the other one) says:

    Can someone explain this part?

    “Krutko’s office said the HP Pavilion provides an annual economic impact of $254 million and generates about 5,000 full-time jobs.”

    Really? 5000 F/T (or even FTE) jobs? How is that possible? Seems like half of the concession workers on a given night are working for a fund-raising group and not even employees.

    I worked in a mid-sized arena in the Midwest for years, we had about 40 F/T and a couple hundred P/T employees. How do you spin the indirect effect up to generating 5000?

  43. Connie Mack says:

    “The big factor is the height of the stadium, as the FAA rules make it so that a large three-deck model is not really feasible.”

    What is the FAA height limit in feet at the ballpark site?
    I think the lights would be the limiting factor, not the upper deck or roof height, which shouldn’t be much more than about 110′.

  44. jesse says:

    What if MLB cannot guarantee revenues for the Giant;s. IS the BRC trying to estimate how this will truly hurt or help BOTH teams before making their decision?

  45. jesse says:

    its a much easier drive for me though.

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