News for 8/15/11

Maury Brown highlights two important actions this week by MLB: approval of the Astros sale to Jim Crane, and another Dodgers bankruptcy hearing. Crickets for the A’s. Update: Now we have word that the Crane approval has been delayed pending further “due diligence.” Yeah, heard that one before.

Santa Clara is paying redevelopment ransom to the state, which will allow it to move forward with initial funding of the 49ers stadium. Field of Schemes has the big picture.

The Giants’ AA affiliate in Richmond, VA, won’t be able to get a replacement for the dated Diamond until 2015 because of a paucity of public funds. I’m crying a river for them.

It’s time for another installment of Dave Newhouse potshots and vitriol. I wonder why he rarely mentions Victory Court?

Apple’s planned space colony-styled headquarters in Cupertino is so large that you could fit a complex of four pro baseball fields in the donut hole that is its interior greenspace. My guess is that the 2.8 million square-foot campus will cost $2 billion to build, and with Cupertino only happy to rubber stamp the plans, the 2015 opening date is a real possibility. Before an A’s ballpark? Quite possibly.

Activist hacker group Anonymous broke into the myBART website and leaked a database of user information. This was in retaliation for BART shutting down cell phone service in tunnel sections to prevent protests. Now a real protest will occur today at 5 near the Civic Center station. Taking the Richmond train from Fremont yesterday, the train had to switch to the opposite due to another disabled train on the right side of the tracks or something. I’d prefer that hackers fix that.

Grantland’s Peter Richmond rips the three new New York stadia (Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, New Meadowlands Stadium) to shreds.

The Sharks are hosting an event called “Spirit of Silicon Valley: Come Out and Play” at the Fourth Street Summit Center (above the 4th St Garage) on September 6. Reps from the Sharks, Quakes, 49ers, and A’s will be on hand. (thanks steve)

Added: $200 million has been approved for various South Bay transit projects, including $40 million for the BART-to-Silicon Valley extension and $71.6 million for new carpool lanes to I-880. The latter may be more important initially, especially for weeknight games in San Jose. Only a decade ago, 880 in the stretch between Montague Expressway and 101 was only two lanes in each direction. It was expanded to three lanes each way, with over and underpasses left wide enough for eventual carpool lane additions. While it doesn’t solve the transit problem between the East and South Bay, it should make travel down the corridor a good deal easier. 

Shannon Stone, the Brownwood, Texas firefighter who died from a fall after attempting to catch a ball thrown in the stands at a Rangers-A’s game in Arlington, will get a bronze statue of himself and his son outside Rangers Ballpark.

105 thoughts on “News for 8/15/11

  1. I’m reading tweets from Eric Fischer saying Astros sale won’t be finalized this week.

  2. re: Reps from the Sharks, Quakes, 49ers, and A’s will be on hand. (thanks steve)

    …All the South Bay teams – present and future, perhaps?

  3. The A’s are still @29th out of the 30 teams attendance wise, only 600/game ahead of FLA. Keep up this horrid play and the anti-Oakland stance, we’ll be right there battling for the bottom with the fish.
    Wolff’s A’s in attendance since he bought them in 2006: 26th, 26th, 27th, 30th, 29th, 29th.
    The downward spiral continues…

  4. …Is that attendance because of Wolff or because consumers have a much more-desirable ballpark option 8 miles away? Wolff gives away bobbleheads, jerseys, calendars, parking, hot dogs and even has $2 seats and still the people don’t show. Now if we go back to 1988 when the A’s had great attendance, they had what was then considered a great ballpark for its time and the Giants had the worst ballpark. Now, the A’s have the worst ballpark in the majors, 8 miles away from the best ballpark. Any wonder attendance is lousy?

  5. …in 2006, the A’s were 4 victories short of a World Series berth but were ranked 26th in attendance. The Giants had a losing record, finished 11.5 games out and were ranked 7th in attendance. Think the difference in ballpark experiences had anything to do with this odd disparity?

  6. Newhouse conveniently neglects to mention that Oakland’s friendly and desirable neighborhoods are nowhere near the Coli.

  7. Will the 49ers really be a “south bay team” if they move to Santa Clara, but keep the SF?

  8. @JK – you confuse me. Previously you cited that: “A’s marketing is great” and that “attendance varies with the team standings”. But with the decrepit Mausoleum, the A’s don’t even draw when they win (2006/2007), so who’s fault is it? I don’t blame the fans or the owners. I blame the city for being negligent caretakers of the facility and catering it to Al Davis.
    @Cuppingmaster – he also conveniently omits (as all pro-Oaklanders do), is HOW they are going to get a new facility…..public money, $1 lease rates, etc?

  9. @Anon Mt. Davis is certainly hurting the gates, but to claim the A’s “don’t even draw when they win” simply isn’t true. You can cherry pick 2006/2007, but the A’s did draw the years before that during the Big 3 years. It’s obviously a combination of factors that factor into attendance, one of which is the crappy Mt. Davis. Using generalizations and simplifying things just to help your argument isn’t good for all of us as A”s fans.

  10. …the Big 3 years, when the Coliseum was a good place to see a baseball game and Candlestick was awful. Whole different ballgame now. How often have the A’s bested the Giants in attendance since PacBell Park opened? I believe the answer is never. We’ve had the Giants get a serious upgrade in their ballpark and the A’s get a serious downgrade

  11. @ PJK – funny that the Gnats are conspicuously absent from that event if though they claim that SC is important to their business…..
    @ EB – Does it really matter? I know i don’t care. While their are sensitive people who take exceptions to moving teams around because of history and emotions, i think most folks in the south bay are laid back and accept the Niners enough that it doesn’t really matter. I mean do you consider the W’s an Oakland team even though they don’t have the name on there? I do…..

  12. @ Pjk By Big 3 I meant Hudson, Mulder, Zito. The A’s drew well, not great, in the post-Mt. Davis era.
    @Anon Well, the Warriors don’t have another city’s name. If they were the San Francisco Warriors playing in Oakland, I wouldn’t consider them an East Bay team.

  13. …Anon: Yes, I was wondering that, too …

  14. @EB – re: attendance. I am not cherry picking. You want larger statistical sample size? How about since 2001 attendance, has declined year over year and since 1993 it has been under AL league average every year bottoming out in 1996/1997 (with the maybe the exception of 2003 when it was near average). I base my claim on data extracted from the time the A’s were in Oakland to now and exported it into an excel spreadsheet retabulated into a graph. If you would like a copy, let me know.

  15. Nor does Newhouse mention that despite having all the different transit options, and being centrally located, the A’s still draw poorly.

  16. @eb – “The A’s drew well, not great, in the post-Mt. Davis era.” I’m confused now….this was the same conclusion i came to before…that attendance tracked winning, but even when the a’s were winning, they only drew average attendance compared to the league and not great like they did before. My argument was that it was not because of the fans or ownership, but rather because of the facility. are you just trying to be argumentative for debate sake?
    re: W’s, so do you associate Golden State with the East Bay? Could you not be so evasive in your answers…

  17. @Anon What is your claim? That Mt. Davis has hurt attendance? That Oakland has never drawn like the RedSox? I’m not arguing either of those points. You said “the A’s don’t even draw when they win,” which is untrue. They might not have drawn high numbers like teams in historical/new venues, but they did get decent numbers. From 2001-2005 they were at or near league average, all the while being in a crappy ballpark. Not above league average, but respectable, considering the venue was competing with the shiny, SF park. All, I’m saying is that generalities and simplifications aren’t helpful to us an A’s fans. I’m guilty of doing it as well, btw.

  18. @Anon How was my answer evasive? Having another city (SF which people in Oakland/San Jose have inferiority issues with) in the team’s name is pretty different than something all-encompassing/generic like Golden State.

    I am arguing your statement “the A’s don’t even draw when they win” which is just not true. I agree Mt. Davis has/is hurting attendance.

  19. @eb – not above league average means we don’t draw well. Which, in turn, means that our revenue streams are also lower than average. Those are the basics of the entire problem.

  20. @ cuppingmaster – winner, winner…chicken dinner! When was average good enough? /scratches head
    @ eb – i’ll be more direct to you since you’re dodging the issue again….when people say Golden State Warriors, do you think they personally associate with Oakland, their home arena? Yes or No will suffice….

  21. btw EB – draw your own conclusions:

  22. @cuppingmaster I understand. I’m not claiming they drew like the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. The A’s were at most around 250,000 less than average during those years. Not great, but close. This is also with the myriad of factors that has plagued this franchise since the golden Haas years. All I’m saying is that we drew very close to the league average during those years which is far from saying they can’t get anybody to go to games.

  23. @eb – league average is what got us in this predicament in the first place. Maybe we have different philosophies and expectations, but I should hope that the LW has much higher aspirations than average especially in a 2 market team.

  24. @Anon Seriously? You can’t comprehend the difference between San Francisco Warriors and Golden State Warriors? Okay.. Personally, I view the Golden State Warriors as a Bay Area team, not an Oakland/East Bay specific team, per se.

    Your graph illustrates my point, when the A’s have had good ownership/stadium they drew great, when they won in the early 2000’s they drew around average even with all of the negative vibes surrounding competition/ownership/relocation/stadium etc. Keep in mind, until their new park the Giants were in the same predicament. The Bay Area has never been a hardcore baseball town until recently. Speaking of evasive, you aren’t defending your comment about the A’s never drawing when they have won.

  25. @Anon I don’t expect the A’s to draw like the Red Sox in their current stadium/predicament if that means my expectations are too low, well maybe it is and we just disagree. Believe me, I wish they would.

  26. @eb – um, now you’re delineating between “drawing” and “drawing good” as the basis of your argument? no one expects them to draw like the red sox, but at the peak of the big 3 years with perennial playoff berths, they were at best average?! And in 2006 going to the ALCS, they declined year over year?! And how about in the 70s when they won multiple championships, do you not see the tanking all the way to 79’? Is your hatred of LW that much so that it colors everything Oakland green? I’m not shooting for Yankee/Red Sox type of attendance, but if the Giants showed anything with the Phone Booth Park, there is a lot of baseball interest even in the casual fan here in the Bay Area..as for the W’s, i view them as an East Bay team just as I view the Jets are a NJ team playing in NY….you can try to bait us South Bayers on about names and association, but sorry, we’re not as sensitive as others here! ;)

  27. @Anon Sigh. We disagree, that’s fine, we’re starting to go in circles. As for South Bayers on being “as sensitive,” well, it’s probably because you haven’t had a professional home town team for the majority of your history. You wouldn’t care if the Sharks moved back to SF and called themselves the San Francisco Sharks? If so, I feel sorry for that fact that civic pride doesn’t play into your fanaticism. It’s a wonderful feeling when your hometown team wins.

  28. @eb it’s not just that the A’s are below average in attendance; it’s that they are in the lowest third of attendance in MLB (and that’s generous). By the time the mid 2000s rolled around, the A’s were perennial contenders and STILL didn’t draw above median save for once.

  29. @cuppingmaster This will probably be my last post on this particular subject, but, how did other winning teams in football stadiums draw compared to the A’s? I honestly don’t know.

  30. …I fully understand Oakland folks not wanting to lose the team and the devastation they’d feel if “Oakland” is stripped from the jerseys. If the Sharks moved to Frisco, I’d probably lose interest real fast. (They never played in Frisco – they played in Daly City for 2 years). But we have to ask if Oakland is already out of the running (no site, no public $$ available, not a viable city for a privately built ballpark) then do we want the A’s 30 miles away in San Jose where we can all still see them or would Las Vegas, San Antonio or Charlotte NC be better? Get a new ballpark in Oakland and I’ll be there. But nobody has been able to figure out how to do it under the constraints I mentioned in this posting above. We have the MLB blue ribbon panel, commissioned to investigate new ballpark options in the East Bay, publicly reporting nothing in 883 days. If the A’s can get to San Jose, the team ought to provide 10 Greyhound buses nightly from the Coliseum parking lot, to get at least some of the East Bay fans to the games, at least for a few years. They’ll see it’s not that much of a trek down 880.

  31. @eb. Football is a different animal; no conclusions can be drawn from that with respect to baseball attendance.

  32. @cuppingmaster Huh? No I meant attendance for winning baseball teams in football stadiums since the outbreak of modern new parks being built.

  33. We know when the A’s have losing years, the attendance usually suffers more than most , under all ownerships. The Giants were the same way when the A’s came to to town and before At &T. How about the good years? I’ve compiled A’s attendance figs and where they ranked with the league during all playoff years and the year after (some spill-over is usually the norm the following year.)
    Finley: 71-76– Avg. attendance:928k; 8.0 out of 12 teams on average.
    Haas:81 (strike adjusted), 82, 88-93– 2.43 mill; 4.8 out of 14
    Schottmann:2000-2004– 2.07 mill; 7.8 out of 14
    LW/JF:2006-07–1.95 mill; 12.0 out of 14.

  34. So this shows us? That the A’s have typically been in the lower half of attendance during most of the stay in Oakland except during the unsustainable years under Haas when they had the ballpark to themselves. And it confirms that since Mt. Davis went up things have gotten progressively worse for the A’s even when winning. These are facts we already knew…

  35. @Dan–just wondering if LW owned the A’s during the Bash Bro’s years (when Oakland had twice the population it has now..lol) if he’d still tarp the 3rd deck to have a more intimate feeling and to create a bigger demand?

  36. Oops, silly me. That team would of been broken up by 1988 or 1989, as soon as the emerging stars salaries jumped up. A big profit is way better than a small profit/break even according to the last two owners. Lon Simmons would of been canned earlier probably, and who knows about Bill King.
    Thank you Walter Haas and family for the great teams and memories.

  37. Shannon Stone, the Brownwood, Texas firefighter who died from a fall after attempting to catch a ball thrown in the stands at a Rangers-A’s game in Arlington, will get a bronze statue of himself and his son outside Rangers Ballpark.

  38. @JK- 2 can play that game…if the A’s only moved to SJ 15 years ago, they would still have the big 3, miguel tejada, and win 4 ws championships while having record number of attendance in their whole history! :X Instead of playing this blame game that continually goes nowhere , why not instead focus on positives and the future such as: 1) Where a new stadium should be at 2) How to finance that new stadium 3) What it can do long term to the A’s franchise. Everytime facts are presented, you bring up speculative tangents with no new information besides some wild fantasy. Doesn’t it get tiring to you to say the same ol’ drivel?

  39. …the Haas’ charitable ownership of the A’s is over and it’s not coming back. Time to move on….

  40. @ML – That is the TOP news. Good for that little guy and his family. It looks like Nolan Ryan is doing a good job, with this tragedy.

  41. I don’t know why, and perhaps I’m being insensitive, but I find that statue idea kind of morbid.

  42. ‘TO PJK:

    what do you mean by reps from the 49ers, A’s, Sharks and Quakes to be on hand?

    No event was mentioned?

    A’s observer

  43. I’m with you EB- I want to like it but something about it almost seems to make the whole situation worse-I can’t ever imagine his son wanting to go back to Arlington for any reasn

  44. @eb – for once, we agree on something. i can understand possibly a foundation setup for his family, but a bronze statue? I think that sort of immortalizes a tragedy that should have never happened in the first place. jmho

  45. re: but I find that statue idea kind of morbid.

    …me, too. An overreaction….

  46. fe: what do you mean by reps from the 49ers, A’s, Sharks and Quakes to be on hand?

    No event was mentioned?

    …look at the text at the top of the page. The event is mentioned there.

  47. @Anon–on that statue, maybe the 2nd time we actaully agree on something. Doesn’t quite sit well with me. Bud Selig’s statue in Milwaukee doesn’t sit well with me either. I don’t want the Brewers to win this year and give BS his first WS win, even though technically he still doesn’t own the team. Detroit all the way this year. Mike Illitch has done so much for the Tigers and Detroit. Kind of reminds me of someone.

  48. These attendance debates get stupid… Here it is, one more time: 43 years. 4 Ownership groups, none of whom ever had more seasons above MLB median than below . 15 playoff appearances. 7 seasons above MLB median (all during the Haas years). No one is saying the A’s haven’t drawn like the Red Sox… What I am saying is that in the time the A’s have been in Oakland no team has had as many seasons in the bottom half of MLB attendance. Not one. Not even the Pirates, who have failed to contend in almost 2 decades.
    .
    That is dismal. That is not drawing when you are winning. That is not ignoring half the league and using only AL attendance numbers.
    .
    The A’s, during the years of the Big 3 never (never) drew in the top half of the league despite being a national story and winning more than 100 games twice. That isn’t exactly an argument for centrally located, transportation friendly concrete donuts.
    .
    Similarly, it is really old reading ridiculous crap written by Dave Newhouse. The problem in Oakland isn’t crime (or the perception of crime as he insinuates), the problem is revenue… But that is really cool that you thought to pull that out of your ass, and all to play the victim card one more time (not that the victim card isn’t a broken record).
    .
    Also, there is NO ONE working a plan for the coliseum parking lot. The only folks who pimp it (Newhouse and Rebecca Kaplan) do so because they know Victory Court is all but impossible at this point. There is no way to pay for Victory Court. Until there is, or more likely it is dropped, guys like Newhouse will try to distract from it. Though it is probably not a great idea… If the choice is Diridon or the Coliseum complex, is there really a choice?

  49. Look at the Playoff run from 2000-2003. Only one sellout( Game 3 2001,Jeter Play Game). That’s a joke, and all you need to know. That’s not supporting a team by MLB’s standards. Empty seats look real nice in October, on National T.V. Other teams fill their stadiums for the playoffs, no matter what. A’s fans make excuses about game times, ticket prices, the threat to move, ect. We had some of the best teams in Baseball those years, and it wasn’t even close to being enough for people to come out. MVP’s, 20 wins in a row, and we’re lucky if we averaged 35,000 for the playoffs. Completely unacceptable. Just keep making excuses guys.

  50. @Jeffrey From 1968-1999 the SF Giants had 31 below average drawing years. Please don’t act like it’s only the A’s who have suffered this in the Bay. Bottom line is the A’s need a new stadium to compete, that’s understood. It’s also understood that the Bay Area has never historically been a strong baseball market. Both SF and Oakland have struggled with attendance, until At&t. These ridiculous debates, and I agree they are, usually only start when Oakland is targeted alone as being bad for the A’s. When in fact, this whole region has been generally sub-par.
    As for Newhouse, the guy is basing his fluff pieces around his civic pride. It’s understandable. The same goes for Mark Purdy, calling Oakland’s attempts to keep their team “cute.” When one city is trying to steal a team from another, there is going to be articles like this and heated debates on forums like this one.
    Bottom line is that until something concrete happens, the team will stagnate and so will the fan base. Both of which is a killer to this once great franchise.

  51. braves and marlins games over the years couldn’t sell out.

    both marlin world series runs they tarped off a good portion of their 2nd deck until the world series when they opened it up like the a’s were probably gonna do had they made it it to the world series in 2006.

    atl? anybody remember when they played the cubs in the nlds and cubs fans took over that place.

  52. Braves have had over 2.3 mil, since 1992, over 3 mil six of those years, and over 3.8 in 1993. Last time I checked, they have a New ballpark. I’m sure that even when they weren’t selling out the first round of the playoffs in like year 11 of their run, that they still demolished the A’s playoff attendance numbers. Hell the A’s playoff numbers are the “Good News” when it comes to our attendance. The marlin fan base has been around for all of 20 years. The A’s had better draw better than them. Oh yeah, and as of this year they will be moving into a brand new stadium, leaving the A’s as the only team in Baseball to still have a multiuse home(cant forget the playoff suface at all our home games). How lame are hash marks in the ALCS? We otta be glad we suck now, so we don’t have to see that crap in High Def. Saying that we draw better than the worst drawing team in Baseball, who are already getting a new stadium is pointless. Keeping their championship teams together has worked out really well for them.

  53. @eb – What “fluff pieces” does Purdy write about? The fact that he cites SJ has land acquisitions, an EIR that has been even revalidated, open and committed local government, willing and public business support, and most of all the owners interest? Unfortunately, he doesn’t care much about how Mt. Hamilton looks, what coffee shop serves the best lattes, or why Santana Row restaurants are so good and all the other “fluff”. Sorry, but it’s the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs for Oakland, with the game 3-0 in favor of SJ. Oakland has continually errored for the past 15 years full of city hall miscues, al davis blunders, wild land speculations, with no power (money) behind it. So with now Oakland needing a grandslam to stave off elimination, they’re going to to bunt with a VC EIR….. :X And you can’t call it stealing, when the original owner intentionally misplaces it. It is more as f the A’s and Oakland were married, and they were splitting over irreconcilable differences caused by years of neglect….

    @ML – interested news from TK’s blog (maybe i missed this before): “This was all started by the hiring of new CFO Marty Glick and VP for new franchise development Jim Weyermann over the last few months.
    “. Jim Weyermann is SJ Giants CEO and one of the staunch propagandist of “Stand for SJ” bs, which also means he’s schmoozing with the Gnats big wigs. Could be signal of impending SF move exploration or ways to strengthen south bay claim (who knows)!

  54. Eb, which is it? The A’s have drawn or they haven’t?

  55. re: When one city is trying to steal a team from another,
    ..so when one city, with little to no hope of getting the team, buys up downtown property, performs an EIR and invites the team to come on down while the host city does zip and expresses disinterest in any new ballpark project, that is known as “stealing.”

  56. @Jeffrey My arguments earlier were written out of annoyance because of someone implying that the A’s have never drawn when they have won. My point was that there has been instances where a notable boost in attendance happened because of winning. Then you posted that the A’s have been alone in their attendance futility and that just isn’t true. We all know the Giants had the same problem, which was actually worse than the A’s before at&t.
    I agree these arguments get us nowhere and I really shouldn’t have got caught up in it, but to come on here and see the CONSTANT “Here’s why Oakland was/is bad for the A’s” drivel is aggravating.
    @pjk/Anon I stand by what I said. Besides the distance factor, how is this any different in general concept than the Raiders to LA, the Colts leaving Baltimore, the Browns going to Cleveland, Supersonics to OKC, etc.

  57. ..You equate the A’s moving 30 miles to San Jose with the Sonics moving 1,500 miles to Oklahoma City? I don’t think there’s any comparison whatsoever. A Sonics fan in Seattle now has to fly halfway across the country to watch the Thunder if he wants to maintain his fan support. An A’s fan in Oakland only needs to drive 35 minutes down 880 to watch the same ‘ol A’s. It can be argued the A’s aren’t even relocating – they’re just moving the stadium. If the people Oakland elected to run the city hadn’t been so dismissive of the A’s, we wouldn’t be in this mess. But that is the mess we’re in – MLB has been looking for years at how to get a new ballpark in Oakland and has nothing to report. I agree with ML’s question about Newhouse not saying much about Victory Court. The fact that Newhouse – who has to have some inside knowledge on the whole thing – doesn’t even mention Victory Court probably speaks volumes about that project not being viable.

  58. @pjk Now you may find this stupid, but once Oakland is no longer on the uniform and San Jose is, that is going to be a profound change for myself as someone who grew up and lived most of my life in Oakland. I imagine a lot of people in Oakland/Alameda county will feel this way. The identity of the team will change, it’s fan base will shift, it will be a whole new, different A’s. Maybe I’m being too dramatic, but even you said that if the Sharks went to SF you would lose interest fast? Why would that be, if it’s just down the road?

  59. pjk, what do you think drives half the arguments on this website? Some people here view the A’s moving to San Jose as nothing but the A’s moving within an area that is already “theirs” (in that they draw fans from the entire Bay Area). Not unlike when the Warriors moved to Oakland from SF, or when the Sharks temporarily played up to Daly City or the Warriors temporarily played in SJ (and those are just local examples).

    Some people, mainly Oakland-only crowd and the Giants front office, conversely view the A’s moving out of Oakland as nothing more than a shorter range move in the vein of the Raiders moving to LA or the Sonics moving to OKC.

    That’s always driven arguments here. Some people view a move as a complete betrayal of the city of Oakland, others see it as nothing but an intra region move that is no worse than several past and proposed moves in the same Bay Area.

  60. on one hand Newhouse “doesn’t what he’s talking about” … and on the other, his not mentioning Victory Ct. or 980 in this latest article, means a whole lot? got it.

  61. @Dan Did any of those moves you mentioned adopt and take the name of the city they moved to?I don’t think it’s bizarre that people want their home team to stay.

  62. eb: Given the unlikelihood of a new Oakland ballpark, perhaps the best we can hope for is “San Jose” on the jerseys instead of “Las Vegas,” “San Antonio,” etc. If San Jose did to the Sharks what Oakland has done to the A’s (renege on baseball-improvements, turn the place into a football stadium, fire the City Manager for proposing a new ballpark), I certainly wouldn’t blame the Sharks for leaving. I wouldn’t like it, but I would understand. Thus far, San Jose has given the Sharks everything they’ve wanted – a redesign for more capacity and luxury boxes, control of the building, scoreboard and signage upgrades, etc. And I’ve never seen a San Jose political candidate include on his campaign platform a pledge to spend “not one dime for the Sharks,” like what I’ve seen for the A’s in Oakland.

  63. David: Where did I say Newhouse didn’t know what he was talking about? He’s an Oakland homer – that’s understandable. But he is very selective with his words, mentioning, for example, San Jose’s budget problems which are irrelevant to a ballpark, while leaving out Oakland’s budget problems, which are very relevant. The fact that he fails to even mention Oakland’s supposed ballpark solution at Victory Court should raise alarm bells about the viability of that project.

  64. Well the San Francisco Warriors became the Golden State Warriors. And in other similar moves the Boston Patriots became the New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Angels became the California Angels for decades, the Florida Marlins are becoming the Miami Marlins… so yes there have been comparable moves with name changes but not fan base changes. As it is today the A’s draw from all over the Bay Area not just their arbitrarily defined “territory” and they’ll continue to do so after a potential move to SJ just as they would continue to do so in Oakland.

  65. @pjk I can’t defend Oakland politicians. They are some of the worst in the country. That doesn’t mean I am willing to agree that Oakland and the East Bay should just have their team ripped away from them. I’ve said before, I’ll still root for the A’s if they go to San Jose, but until that happens I will hope like crazy that it doesn’t happen. Oakland A’s fans goes back four generations in my family, my father in-law was a ball boy in 74-75, I grew up going to games in Oakland and I want my children (when I have them :)) to have that same chance. I’m sorry if I’m being touchy with this issue, but the Oakland A’s have meant/mean a lot to my family and me.

  66. re; ….that doesn’t mean I am willing to agree that Oakland and the East Bay should just have their team ripped away from them.

    …but that very well might happen. Unfortunately, the A’s have meant more to you than they have to people like Jerry Brown and other politicians – people who had the chance to do something and boastfully did less than nothing for the A”s. Glad you will stick around if the A’s go to San Jose. I can assure you from experience that the drive up and down 880 is not that big a deal. You’ll be home in no time…I already take my kid to games in Oakland. Guess what? He wants to see that neat stadium in Frisco, too. But despite the place being viewable outside my office window, I haven’t set foot in there since the Giants last lost to the Expos.

  67. @Dan In all of your examples none of the teams took another city’s name. The Marlins were already considered Miami’s team. The teams take a general, vague name in hope of drawing everyone in, a trend I think many agree is kind of lame. I understand the A’s draw from the whole Bay, but to say that there will be minimal change with the move just isn’t true. Look, we’re both A’s fans, I just disagree that the potential move isn’t really a big deal.

  68. @eb – i get it that you are sentimentally attached to the team and it irrationalizes your answers to an emotionally charged sensitive tone, but do you have to resort to trying to slandering another city to uphold your precious oakland? Did oakland “steal” the a’s from kc or kc from philly before that? it’s readily apparent that the “stewardship” of the a’s by oakland has diminished significantly in the past couple of decades so that it is bordering on the edge of negligence. would you not deny that the priority has now shifted to and will continue to be the raiders? sorry, but im just a realist that wants a stadium for the a’s ANYWHERE in the bay area, like yesterday. as long as the city of oakland continues to be in denial about HOW to fund a new stadium, i will be vehemently opposed to this effort as it continues to leave the team in a perpetual state of limbo.

  69. “Besides the distance factor, how is this any different in general concept than the Raiders to LA, the Colts leaving Baltimore, the Browns going to Cleveland, Supersonics to OKC, etc”
    .
    As has already been stated, the distance factor is a huge deal. But another important difference is that all four of those other teams were consistently well-supported before they left, and not just in the good years. Not “making excuses for 40 years of bad attendance because the owners didn’t love us enough” well-supported, “drawing big crowds even in lean performance years” well-supported.

  70. Eb, I guess that’s where we differ. The A’s are the Bay Area’s AL team. And in SJ or Oakland they’ll remain the Bay Area’s AL team.

  71. @eb – don’t stress dude. Nothing about this process has been logical. We are all playing the waiting game. What you prefer is already the case … the A’s play in Oakland. There’s been no ruling on T-rights. Things are going on in the light (SJ) and there are plans being made in Oakland that we have no details of. Some say Oakland’s “doing nothing”. While I tend to believe, based on Boxer’s comments, that there are plans being made. Wolff has a plan. Oakland is working on a plan – they added 980 to the D-EIR… let’s just wait and see how this plays out.

  72. @Anon If you feel the term is inappropriate, that is up to you. I stand by it. But thank you for pointing out my “irrationalized(?)” answers in support of my “precious Oakland.”

  73. @David My responses may seem impassioned, but I do realize this is just sports. The Oakland A’s are still in existence and it was the Oakland A’s that made everyone here fans. I keep trying to tell myself to just wait and see how this all plays out, but sometimes my irritation level bends my will.

  74. The A’s attendance has gotten worse over this past decade for several reasons but look around the league and see how many new stadiums have popped up since 2001.

    Cincinnati, Washington, NY Yankees, NY Mets, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Detroit, Seattle, Minnesota, Kansas City (renovation), Milwaukee, Houston, San Diego, Pittsburgh,

    These new stadiums created extra attendance in their respective cities hence making the A’s situation look far worse as time goes on.

    A lot of these cities had 2-team facilities and now the A’s will stand alone next year making their situation more dire.

    Bud Selig wrote in his letter to Wolff in the event Fremont fell through the A’s would be free to speak to “Other communities”…..Once Wolff stated he does not want to own a team outside of California, Selig has taken it upon himself to find the A’s a new home.

    Selig never said it was going to be in the Bay Area when he said “other communities”.

    I wish Oakland would just pay for the new place with public money. I know my hometown of San Jose will never have a team because of Selig and the Giants.

    I don’t want to see the A’s leave…..it will be a sad day.

  75. re: Other communities.
    …Correct. Anyone who believes the A’s simply have no place to go outside of Oakland only need look at Selig telling Wolff to look at “other communities.” If there are none, why bother looking? I wouldn’t be surprised if Vegas becomes the top contender, followed by San Antonio. Vegas is now a big city but an untapped pro sports market. San Antonio already went after the Marlins. The A’s will someday get a new ballpark. Unfortunately, it may be 400 to 1,500 miles away from their current fan base. But at least Oakland public officials can hold their heads high knowing all they did to be dismissive of the A’s rather than build a stadium for billionaires.

  76. Eb, I didn’t say the a’s were alone in their struggles. I pointed out the fact that they have the absolute worst record of attendance (when measured against median) over the last 43 years. That is fact.

  77. 12,000 and change on free parking night last night. Impressive…

  78. I was there last night and had a great time with my 2 eldest daughters. I noticed something funny, or perhaps it is just my inner skeptic… The yellow sign that hangs in the outfield that said “Build it at Victory Court” has been replaced by the sign it originally replaced “Keep Our A’s in Oakland.” Does anyone know if there is anything to this?

  79. I believe I saw ‘Build It At Victory Court’ on Saturday. Wonder if it just depends on which of the sign guys shows up?

  80. @pjk- Las Vegas I doubt because gambling on MLB games would have to be banned and the casinos will go “buck wild” and use every bit of their political will to make sure that does not happen.

    Las Vegas also is a dying city after the housing bubble burst and would need major public money plus the casinos on board. I just cannot see that happening.

    San Antonio makes the most sense, they have a facility the A’s can play in temporarily and they can easily put on the ballot those hotel and car rental taxes they proposed for the Marlins a few years back.

    This plus those same taxes worked great for Arlington and the Cowboys new stadium not too long ago.

    In San Antonio the A’s could stay in the AL West and all it would take is a free ballpark to make it happen. New owners after that would be simple as Selig could run a bidding process like he did in Washington where he sold the team to Lerner for 450M….Way more than MLB bought the Expos for.

  81. I can’t find in any of my informal Google searches anything that indicates the Alamodome can be configured for baseball. I don’t believe it can be without renovation, which would likely cost more than it would be worth for a temporary facility. There are domes in Montreal, Vancouver, and New Orleans that could accomodate baseball, but MLB has no interest in those places. The reason I don’t think the A’s will leave the Bay Area is that there simply is no place for them to go. It’s a new park in San Jose/Oakland/Fremont, or eternity in limbo at the Coliseum.

  82. There really is no market to move too. San Antonio is not a big enough market. Las Vegas is not, either. On television market size alone, they would be stupid places to go for MLB.

  83. Well, MLB has foolishly locked itself out of the lucrative Silicon Valley marketplace, to the benefit of one franchise and the detriment of the rest of them. And it appears Selig is simply too afraid to do anything about this. So the A’s are left in the East Bay, which will not provide a publicly funded ballpark. The San Antonio metro area is ranked 25th largest, ahead of Cleveland, KC and Cincinnati. If San Antonio will provide a publicly funded ballpark, it makes sense to go there rather than keep the team in a place where this won’t happen.

  84. @Jeffrey- San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the US at 1.4M people and their metro is 2.3M. That is far more than enough to support a baseball team. Look at the Spurs and the support they get. It is similar to the Sharks in San Jose.

    San Jose’s metro is smaller at 1.9M but of course one can argue their market is 7.5M for TV. The thing here is TV means nothing. It is about one thing only….a free ballpark.

    San Antonio is a perfect fit as it is a big enough city that it alone can support the team. The metro area around it is relative because San Antonio is so big itself.

    The Alamodome would be “temporary” and would not need to be a long term solution. Just for the team to play in while a ballpark is being constructed.

    In reality MLB wants a free ballpark and Oakland nor San Jose is not going to give to them. Oakland feels they deserve what San Jose would be getting…a free ballpark.

    This plus MLB gets zero out of this market via revenue sharing. To them it simply does not make sense to keep this place 2 teams. San Jose is locked out by T-Rights that I think are BS but reality is reality.

    If MLB wanted a team in San Jose they would have done it 15 years ago….It just will never happen.

    If MLB was serious about San Jose why ignore SVLG, Mayor Reed, and the ballot requests? if they were serious about Oakland why hasn’t MLB asked for the EIR for VC to be sped up? Or for progress?

    If MLB was serious about Oakland why have they not forced Lew Wolff to sit down with City officials from Oakland?

    885 days tells you there is “another” plan in store. San Antonio is my best guess with Lew Wolff getting the Dodgers. Selig hates Oakland, The A’s, and a 2-team Bay Area market.

    I could be wrong and I hope that I am but I know I am right on one thing…..Selig has something else going on regarding the A’s and Wolff knows what it is and he wins in all scenarios that play out.

    Otherwise any other owner would have told San Jose to sue by now.

  85. San Antonio, as a media market is smaller than Milwaukee. It takes more than a stadium to get off the revenue share dole… And getting off the revenue share dole will not happen in Las Vegas, and most likely wouldn’t happen in San Antonio.

  86. Sid, respectfully, you are way out in Left Field and running with your own assumptions. No one in their right, or informed, mind would ever say San Antonio is a larger market than San Jose.

  87. …I am concerned that MLB will look at alienating the A’s relatively small fan base as just unfortunate but minimal collateral damage to the MLB brand when deciding to move the team out of the Bay Area.

  88. I am pretty confident that they are focused on a solution in the Bay Area… A free stadium in Las Vegas wouldn’t provide the bottom line revenue a privately financed one in the Bay Area would. San Antonio, the MSA, has 2.1M spread out over an area that is roughly 1,000 square miles smaller than the Bay Area. That is like having the population of Santa Clara County living everywhere from San Rafael to Gilroy to Livermore, etc.
    .
    Add to that, the Television Market in San Antonio (37th largest in the country and smaller than any current MLB market) is already part of the Astros and Rangers television market.
    .
    There is no market worth moving a team to, free stadium or no.

  89. @ JK – “but none come from the hockey ranks at Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment.”. This restructuring was most likely due to Greg Jamison (then CEO) leaving the company. I actually know 2 of the SVSE owners themselves…nice guys that got rich during the dot.com years. Also note that while it operates primarily in SJ, it also has expanded to include “into other areas over the years including the SAP tennis tournament and rinks in San Jose, Fremont and Oakland. ” Definitely bad news for the Bay Area all around.

  90. @Anon–re:”Definitely bad news for the Bay Area all around.”
    Agreed. This econommy is brutal these last few years. My spouse and I are fortunate to still have decent jobs, but wage freezes (her) and pay cuts (me) the last few years along with health care premium increases and 401k match taken away have really hurt. Trying to cut back where we can. Less A’ s games, going out to eat less, shorter/cheaper vacations. I’m this close to canning our landline, which I rarley use but and kind of nostalgic for.
    ML, sorry for going OT there. At least I’m not LW bashing…lol.. I’m taking a break from that for awhile.

  91. @ JK – i feel you. baseball is kool, but life is much more important! my previous company instituted mandatory furloughs for everyone for 2 weeks unpaid time with no wage increases also. Ouch! I was hoping the economy was coming back so we can get back on track to the good ol’ years again instead of constant bad news about the economy. But it looks like the incompetency of our federal government is going to cause a double dip recession. =/

  92. @jk – i saw that article too and was going to post it. Guber definitely understands the sports entertainment business! That 815 consecutive sellouts for a MiLB team… Wow! Too bad..none, i mean none of the other present Bay Area major sports owners (Davis, York, Wolf, Neukum) share the same philosophy. =/ (yes jk, i am being critical of LW as well lol). The day Cohan finally sold out was the day all W fans will forever remember! :)

  93. re: i mean none of the other present Bay Area major sports owners (Davis, York, Wolf, Neukum)

    …what about Kevin Compton and partners?

  94. @Anon–yeah, Cohan was the pitts. I hope this team can at least be somewhat competitive. How can you only make the playoffs once in 17 years when over half the teams make it every year? Just by sheer luck, they should of been there at least 4 times. On the opposite end, Dallas has made the playoffs the last 11 years and San Antonio the last 14. Ugh, I hate most Texas teams, especially the Rangers.

  95. …Cohan also used San Jose to get a better arena deal out of Oakland, didn’t he? And how come the Warriors draft early every year and never get anybody?

  96. @pjk–I believe you’re right on he SJ thing. He did put headquarters and their cool practice facility in DT Oakland, so that’s one of the few positives he did.. Too bad they couldn’t of gotten an arena built down there too. I remember a long time ago, maybe early 90’s, i think before Cohan bought the team, the W’s did a survey on if they should build a new arena in downtown Oakland or rebuild the arena. The fans preferred the arena site. I think there was a stigma that DT was too dangerous and not good to bring families down there. If you took that same survey now, DT would rule over the Coli site no prob. Does anyone remember this survey? I can’t find it online, but I remember reading it somewhere or hearing it on Radnich maybe.

  97. …undoubtedly, it was much cheaper to shoehorn more seats and luxury boxes into the existing Oakland arena shell than to start from scratch downtown.

  98. @pjk–no doubt. They did a good job on the new rebuilt arena. So much brighter and plusher than the old one. Still blah on the outside though. I like Bartleby’s suggestion that if VC fails, maybe the W’s should look at that site for a new arena. Same high hurdles with the businesses there and infrastructure, but that would be a big boost to DT and the JLS area.

  99. ..if the Warriors move, it’s going to be to a new Frisco arena. San Jose will have to chase another team if it wants the NBA.

  100. Sorry for being OT (again), but I just read that they’re opening up a new Apple Store this weekend on 4th St. in Berkeley. Great locale, but rather close to their Bay St. store in Emmeryvile. It would be nice if both DT Oakland and DT San Jose could get one of those stores. I guess Apple’s really picky on where they put these things. They want high income, high foot traffic locales. Once JLS ever gets going (it’s been years now), I think an Apple Store can eventually happen there . DT SJ needs retail too like Oakland, and there’s no doubt an Apple Store would do great in both city centers IMO. The average store does $34 million in sales!!

  101. Apple has a store at the Valley Fair Mall, which is about 2 miles from downtown SJ and has very high traffic. Retail abandoned downtown SJ years ago, as I understand it. And now Valley Fair and Santana Row can offer acres of retail and free parking. Downtown SJ is for a few hotels, conventions, the Sharks and – this week – circus elephants. And hopefully the A’s in a few years. (Even away teams playing the Sharks now use Santana Row – has a 4 star hotel and much more to do than downtown)

  102. Good article in today’s Trib about the 9ers and Raiders stadium hunt. They got it broken down all the different scenarios and odds (presented on how close to the goal line), from sharing a stadium or not, to going to SC, Oak, SF or LA.

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_18710199

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