Eminent domain the last hurdle for San Jose

I want to point out something before we begin. Whether it’s this story or the quotes from Susan Slusser’s articles, let’s remember that none of it are statements from the A’s, MLB, or San Jose. As close as they seem to the situation, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there so take all of this with multiple grains of salt.

It’s always been there, lingering in the background. I even wrote about it only six weeks ago. It’s the boogeyman. It’s eminent domain. A frequent commenter has the gory details:

I was at a bachelor party in San Diego this past weekend. A San Jose city council member was part of the group and we discussed the A’s in detail.

What he told me was this:

1. ATT is being a “pain in the ass” and will not move unless forced to by eminent domain. Even re-zoning the land for ATT in West San Jose did not help the cause at all. In fact the city council in hindsight would have never agreed to it had they known ATT would still refuse to leave.

2. The city will not use eminent domain on ATT unless MLB gives the OK that the A’s can move to San Jose. Therefore this is not a “race” between OAK and SJ. San Jose like Oakland is in a holding pattern waiting for MLB to make a decision…..Two cities, same boat.
He told me that they cannot “justify” using eminent domain on ATT without MLB approval to move forward.

3. He stated to me their RDA is pretty much done and he “implied” to me Wolff will have to buy the last 2 parcels himself but would not out right say it when I tried to question him more on it. The city council knows full well that Wolff will pay for it because everyone knows it is a “drop in the ocean” of the overall cost of the stadium. He also mentioned SJ unlike most cities did not misuse their RDA funds and used it for several successful developments across the city.

4. He agrees with me Lew Wolff has some kind of “backdoor” deal with Selig as being a former lawyer he does not understand Wolff’s patience with the situation. The city has brought up an anti-trust lawsuit to Wolff and he has told the city “not to sue” and to let the process play out despite San Jose having an excellent case in anti-trust court, which he agreed with me is “solid”.

5. Without Wolff supporting an anti-trust lawsuit San Jose is stuck in mud and he is very pessimistic the A’s to San Jose will ever occur. Although he is still holding out some hope.

6. He also agreed San Jose is getting the “best ballpark deal” of any city in history of MLB. The city is not paying for anything outside of what they have so far. Diridon will be re-developed regardless of the ball park but not for several years to come. BART or High Speed rail would have to be within 3-5 years of being in San Jose.

I wanted to share this info with everyone as this is first hand info from a SJ city council member that is as recent as yesterday.

AT&T owns the largest remaining property within the Diridon site. Its reluctance to sell will force San Jose to use eminent domain to acquire AT&T’s land (and possibly one other piece) in order to complete the site. There is no way to build a ballpark without the AT&T land.

AT&T land is in blue. Most of the rest has either been acquired or is no longer part of the planned site.

Even though Lew Wolff has expressed a willingness and confidence in the ability to acquire all of the ballpark site, not having a willing seller creates a big time hitch. San Jose can’t force AT&T and the A’s to negotiate on land. Instead, San Jose can acquire the land, then negotiate on the relocation and replacement land costs, then have the A’s reimburse the City. Making things more complicated is the fact that public-to-private exchanges tend to be politically unpopular. That may cause a final step in which the A’s buy the land, then convey it back to San Jose for free so that the site (and maybe the ballpark) are publicly owned. The Quakes stadium site is a publicly owned “island” surrounded by Quakes-owned land. Wolff indicated there are numerous ways this could play out, and these are just a couple different permutations.

Adding to the complications is the still lingering fate of redevelopment, which won’t be decided until January. Right now no agency is allowed to buy anything even though the state Supreme Court granted RDAs a six month stay to operate. San Jose is trying to bypass this roadblock by moving assets to its San Jose Diridon Development Authority, a redevelopment wing thinly disguised as a joint powers body. Keep in mind that San Jose has not made its ransom payment to keep its barebones redevelopment group running, choosing instead to sue Governor Jerry Brown over the new redevelopment laws. For that matter neither has Oakland, and Oakland could require eminent domain on multiple landowners to clear Victory Court.

Despite this major hurdle, all we’ve heard over the last week is a growing confidence in public statements by both Wolff and Billy Beane, indicating Sid’s item #4 may well be in play. If that’s the case, here’s how I see this playing out:

  1. Wolff gets green light during November owners meetings.
  2. San Jose seizes upon this and makes one last offer to AT&T before the end of the year. If AT&T continues to holdout, City notifies that it will start the eminent domain process via SJDDA.
  3. City can’t actually start eminent domain without a referendum, so if it’s required a special election will be held during the early spring (with MLB picking up part of the tab).
  4. City procedes to acquire the land and begin relocation, which should take 3-6 months to complete.
  5. Demolition and site clearing would have to be done throughout the summer and fall of 2012.
  6. Groundbreaking happens in November or December 2012.

It’s important to note that there’s always that final offer. Eminent domain is every bit as much a threat as it is a tool and may be used simply to bring parties to the table. AT&T knows that San Jose is hamstrung by the referendum requirement and other political realities, so it may be playing its own special brand of hardball. A supposed quid pro quo deal between City and AT&T over rezoning an old work site near Santana Row may have been AT&T playing City like a fiddle. The Death Star of telecom is no stranger to strongarm tactics. This is the company that thinks eliminating a wireless carrier by acquiring it will actually bring more competition to the industry.

FWIW, I’ve been consistent in my feeling that no one in the South Bay camp has the stomach for a lengthy antitrust challenge to MLB. As for the “best ballpark deal”, with the A’s on track to pay for everything ($450 million ballpark and up to $100 million in land and improvements), yes, it would be better than the deal for AT&T Park and any other MLB ballpark deal in the last century.

61 thoughts on “Eminent domain the last hurdle for San Jose

  1. So ML–assuming that Sid had all of his faculty’s while enjoying the bachelor party….what do you think would lead to the pessimism…”5. Without Wolff supporting an anti-trust lawsuit San Jose is stuck in mud and he is very pessimistic the A’s to San Jose will ever occur. Although he is still holding out some hope.”

  2. Since this was just put up, just to add my comment from the last post.

    Just as GoA’s said in that post I was going to say if there is some kind of backdoor deal they truly feel is there. Why would they be pessimistic unless someone is trying to angle at the unlikely dodgers to Lew story again.

    • @Mike/GoA’s – There were probably a lot of gung-ho, South Bay legal types and pols hanging out there expressing some form of righteous indignation. That’s where the antitrust talk comes from. It’s just talk.

  3. RM,
    Any reason why E.D. would require a referendum? Its not part of the Muni Code; just simply city attorney stating E.D. would require a referendum (kind of like everyone stating a vote is necessary in SJ when one technically isn’t). Anyhow, when time comes, city should avoid using E.D. and just deal with AT&T (damn scumbags!).

  4. @Tony D. – It’s part of John Doyle’s legal opinion from 2009. Code is just a baseline. Doyle’s opinion is the political reality.

  5. @ML–not referring to the anti-trust babble–Sid claims that the council member is very pessimistic it will ever happen—why… especially in light of their shared belief that there is a backroom deal—what am I missing?

  6. Are there any other external issues that might be in play with regards to ATT’s discourteous refusal?

  7. You mentioned the Quakes too..Are both these projects somehow now tied together? And any word from councilman on there stadium? That has dragged on for awhile as well.

  8. GoA’s I’m guessing maybe Sid just took his frustration with the process so far as pessimism.

  9. @All – #4 might as well be 4A and 4B. If there’s a backroom deal, which no one in SJ seems to know about, then 4B doesn’t matter. If there is no backroom deal, city fathers want to make a scene via 4B. Wolff doesn’t. If there’s no specific inside info on the deal, I can understand being pessimistic after all this time.

    @Genaro – There’s the possibility that the Giants are leaning on AT&T, but I don’t buy it.

    @Eli – I’ve written from the beginning that the Quakes and A’s projects are tied, though I don’t know how close.

  10. @Mike–agree with your take—but given that Sid is a lawyer the info/logic he presents doesn’t add up–backroom deal doesn’t equal pessimism–

    moving off of that what does the councilmember mean by Bart/HSR would need to follow in 3-5 years—this is a bit out of the city of SJ hands—last–no mention of the other peice of land–small (1/2 acre as I recall—welding company–but its in the way also—

  11. Just looked up that one of the principle partners for the Giants is Arthur Rock and his wife is Toni Rembe, a former ATT corporate director until 2008. In addition, the original Pac Bell naming rights were reported to run until 2020 unless that changed with the various names. There might be more there than just trying to get the best deal.

  12. With Wolff and Selig, it could only be a backroom deal. Whenever they meet, they do their U of W secret fraternal handshake.

  13. Well, no one can say it was a slow news Sunday, now can they?

  14. ML, what part, if any, do you think MLB might have in convincing ATT to deal? As you pointed out, ATT’s reluctance to deal could/would eventually lead to a referendum. At that point, who knows how the voters would vote. If MLB truly wants the A’s in San Jose, do you think they could somehow convince ATT to “play ball”, and thus avoid having to take the issue to the voters?

  15. @ML – Isn’t this a misleading title? T-Rights are just as big a “hurdle” as ED, right? Twice on the broadcast with Kuiper and Fosse, Beane said: “…are we going to stay in Oakland, or move somewhere else …”. I think this whole recent inertia is not as clear as the pro-SJ folks are interpreting them.

  16. Re: Contradiction between backroom deal and pessimism. Maybe I’m reading #4 incorrectly but the backroom deal (4a) could be anything that benefits LW, not necessarily SJ. You fill in the blanks…Dodgers, Guaranteed price on A’s sale, etc. Sid has been one of the few SJ-supporters to be convinced that the A’s will be moved out of the area. Perhaps the anti-trust suit (4b) is what he’s saying is the only way for SJ to occur and LW wants no part of that thanks to 4a, whatever it is. PS – I read on the previous thread a comment about my “insider.” Let me reiterate that the guy I spoke with, while knowledgeable, is not an insider on this specific project.

  17. Lew sure has an interesting historical perspective on the appropriate use of eminent domain for ballparks.

    Bud Selig likes controversy about as much as he likes elective open heart surgery. Unless the result is a publicly owned ballpark, I have a hard time seeing how he’ll like fielding questions about using eminent domain on behalf of private entities. I wonder if that’s the real reason why the BRC is taking so long…

  18. If the A’s do not go to Diridon, the area around Diridon station will not be developed until they are absolute certain that HSR or BART will be completed in 3 to 5 years. BART will come underground into this area so they won’t develop the land above BART until they know if they need to provide a box for the station underground.

    HSR will likely come as an aerial into this area. HSR will also require much more services than what is already there or what BART requires. What will be developed in some parts of that area will change depending on whether HSR is built or not.

    If it is decided that the A’s stadium is built, that will cause the area north of the stadium to probably be developed in the same time period as the stadium. They would probably build the box for the BART station even though BART will take many, many years to get there. There also would be alternate plans for adding more parking next to HP Pavilion in case HSR is built.

    I think the combination of HSR and the A’s stadium would really spark the development of this area. I think there would be a lot of demand in that area with ease of getting to the A’s game plus getting to southern California using HSR.

    Since BART, A’s stadium, and HSR still don’t have any fixed schedules for completion for that area, there is no rush to start other development.

  19. …better to be stuck dealing with just one obstinate property owner, like what San Jose is dealing with, than potentially 16 property owners, like what might face Oakland. And I read Oakland would need $100 mill to get the VC property all set for a ballpark, not including the ballpark construction itself.

  20. @pjk–dealing with 16 property owners at VC is better than Wolff’s pie-in-the-sky North of 66th plan, displacing 120 businesses. And N. of 66th must have an infill Bart station, where as Fremont didn’t need one and can be worked out some how.

  21. @fc – There isn’t much MLB can do since AT&T is not an official national sponsor of MLB, only the Giants and a few other teams. That’s why I’m sure Selig is content to let the teams and their surrogates duke it out first.

    @David – “Last” hurdle. Check my projected timeline.

    @Columbo – One thing you have to realize is that Wolff is bringing along a lot of his South Bay power base in this venture. If it were revealed that it was all a ruse to contract the team or buy the Dodgers, not only would he not be able to show his face here, they’d probably drag him off the plane and string him up in front of City Hall. These things don’t happen in a vacuum.

    @Jeepers – Selig has presided over the construction of umpteen ballparks where eminent domain was used. I don’t think he gives a rats ass how it gets done.

  22. re: @pjk–dealing with 16 property owners at VC i

    …San Jose is closing in on the finish line for its property acquisitions for a ballpark. Oakland hasn’t brought its horse to the starting gate yet. And where, exactly, does Oakland plan to come up with this $100 mill, or do the lucky A’s owners have to pay for that, too? Oakland-only folks don’t like to talk about finances because it’s not a pretty picture in Oakland. The city’s redevelopment $$ is mostly gone and pols there aren’t going to spend general funds on anything to do with a new ballpark.

  23. When did Sid become a lawyer? David, we all know what you’re trying to get at, but its a false premise: if the T-rights are upheld than the A’s are forced to stay in Oakland (very wishful thinking my friend). All, backroom deal does not, I repeat DOES NOT involve some Oakland fantasy of Wolff buying the Dodgers. How many times must this be stated? Look, if you take your blinders off, all indications are pointing to a decision soon favoring San Jose. All we have to do is deal with those bastards at AT&T for the last parcels. If not? RM, could Brandenburg/North San Pedro still come into play if Diridon somehow becomes to difficult, impossible to deal with? The land is ready for housing and I’m sure Berry Swenson would gladly exchange what’s acquired at Diridon for the site. Revised EIR would need to be put together, but I’m sure there’s still info from earlier SJ ballpark studies on B/NSP. It would be tight however for a 2015 Opening Day.

  24. re: if the T-rights are upheld than the A’s are forced to stay in Oakland

    …yes, there seems to be this belief that if San Jose loses, Oakland wins and the A’s are forced to stay there. But if we listened to what Lew Wolff had to say yesterday, it was clear MLB does not want the A’s continuing on forever in a 45-year-old dual-purpose stadium. But that is all Oakland has to offer, since the city has no $$ for a ballpark. I won’t put the link in here, but there is a list online of potential MLB sites in an article about where the Cleveland Indians could move. We know the Indians aren’t going anywhere, but you guys might want to google that article and check out the list: El Paso, San Antonio, Charlotte, Louisville, etc. Lots of good places where the A’s could move if San Jose doesn’t get approved.

  25. @TonyD-the reference was tongue in cheek as Sid continually rails on the merits of filing an anti-trust law suit–

    While ML doesn’t agree I personally believe that ATT was being influenced by the gints ownership–perhaps with changes in the ownership group and assuming a nod to SJ there won’t be as much as a fight—regardless, hard for ATT to generate much sympathy from the community–I cant think of too many other companies that are disliked as much as they are–

  26. Oakland >>>> El Paso and Louisville. Its not even close.

  27. A’s right now: #30 in attendance, team requires $30 mill annual subsidy, city has no $$ for a new ballpark. I don’t think some of the cities on that list would have a tough time offer a better deal than what the A’s have now. Charlotte and El Paso look particularly interesting on that list of 15 potential cities. San Antonio is even bigger than San Jose.

  28. @pjk – repeating the same refrain… over and over… will not “make it happen”.

  29. …Let me state again that I would love to see Oakland come up with a plan for a new ballpark. But nobody has found a way to do it and the city has announced nothing. Oakland politicians are free at any time to announce plans to publicly finance a ballpark, to compensate for the lack of corporate dollars for such a project.

  30. San Antonio, El Paso, etc… None of them are a better market than the Bay Area. To pretend they are is ludicrous… Talking about the cities providing free stadiums is the very epitome of “penny wise, pound foolish.”

  31. None of these cities would be better except that the A’s would be the only game in town – not competing for attention vs. a more-popular baseball team with a state-of-the-art ballpark 12 miles away, two NFL teams, etc. El Paso has no big-time pro teams within 400 miles, apparently. And even if one of these cities ponied up half the costs of a ballpark, that’s more than what is being offered in Oakland.

  32. Louisville is the 50th DMA in the country, El Paso is 97th. The smallest DMA with a MLB team right now is Milwaulkee at 35th.

    San Antonio is 37th and behind (in order) Orlando, Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Indianapolis, Nashville, Hartford, Salt Lake City, Columbus, and Greenville of places without an MLB team.

    Half of the Bay Area would be 22nd, just behind St. Louis and above Portland.

  33. None of that means much if the team can get better support in a smaller market. Right now, we know what kind of dismal support the A’s get, despite numerous giveaways and promotions by ownership. This may not be the best comparison, but the NHL just moved a franchise from the mammoth Atlanta market to the much-smaller Winnipeg market. The team will get much better support in a smaller building, even, in Winnipeg than it was getting in Atlanta.

  34. It’s not just market size in terms of people/tv sets… Spending power is just as important and we make pretty good livings in this here region.
    .
    Paying for half the stadium would be what? $250M bucks? Spread over 30 years and measured against the expected revenue in the Bay versus El Paso (or any of those cities) I can’t imagine that moving would pencil out.

  35. @GoA’s,
    Thanks for the clarification regarding Sid.

  36. El Paso is dominated by military since the expansion of Fort Bliss after 9/11 …I went to the Sun Bowl a couple years back to support Stanford and the whole end zone was military, the airport is that way too. There’s no market for an MLB team there, but if they do get pro sports, the team should wear cammies.

  37. @bc – perhaps the Padres can move there

  38. As for relocation outside Bay Area – there are lots of factors:

    Population.
    TV market.
    Spending power.
    Corporate base.

    Of all places mentioned as possible candidates – San Antonio, El Paso, Portland, Sacramento, Charlotte, Lousiville, all pencil out in all the key factors as being significantly less than the A’s sharing the Bay Area.

    Also, none have investors / investor groups clamoring for an MLB franchise at the moment.
    Also, none have any plans of a new, MLB level, ballpark, either publicly or privately financed.

    Reloc of the A’s outside the Bay Area has always been a possibility. But at this point in time, it’s a real long shot.

    The A’s staying in Oakland, in the long term, is probably a non-starter. It’s dead weight right now – 30th in attendance, $30 mil welfare recipient.

    Then there is SJ – EIR, finance plan ready, land ready (eminent domain, or some 11th hr deal with AT&T), great corporate base, great spending power, great TV market, history in bay area, pretty much shovel ready.

    I really do think Selig/MLB is going that way. It just makes too much sense. The Giants T-rights will be dealt with to make it in line with every other two team market (completely shared). Frankly, that part of it has always been a complete no-brainer. Everybody in baseball thinks this, except for the Giants, whose true motive is to push the A’s out, and if not that just keep them crippled.

  39. My buddy at the Giants also mentioned that Neukom said publicly the Giants payroll would hit 175M by 2015…..That pissed off a lot of people on the investor committee.

    Neukom felt he was “god” and he got put in his place.

  40. Sid: which “committee” is against the A’s in SJ? The Giants committee or MLB’s blue ribbon committee? We already know the Giants won’t budge so MLB will have to move forward without them.

  41. If Sid is suggesting that the “BRC” is against the A’s in San Jose, then his entire post, and thread dedicated to him, has been completely blown out of the water. Sounds like there was a lot of alcohol being served up at that bachelor party. Perhaps here on out we should just focus on what Wolff, Selig and Beane have to say about the situation and no one else.

  42. Not the BRC….The Giants investor committee that comprises of 10 heads to who run the show.

  43. If The Giants want to be the the Redsox West, 175M payroll is a good start. Won’t happen now I guess with Neukom out of the picture. I kind of like the guy, a true competitor and a winner. We haven’t seen that on the brighter side of the bay in 20 years.

  44. I don’t want to get tinfoil-hat here, but if we go on what Sid’s saying, by having ATT be the holdout and thus forcing a referendum, the Giants get to fight this via proxy.

  45. …We know Selig likes to keep everyone happy with what he does but he is going to have to realize that is not going to be possible in this case. Just rule for San Jose and be done with it. The millionaires club that runs the Giants can whine all they want and then explain why they think they personally should be able to ban San Jose from ever having Major League Baseball. Should be interesting arguments, although ones that go against American traditions of self government and self determination. “San Jose is OUR territory! You’re asking if San Jose has had any say in this? Well, no, but…You want to know how much we paid for these territorial rights? Well, nothing, but…”…Anybody else remember when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn vetoed Charlie Finley’s garage sale-style trades of A’s stars in the 1970s in the best interests of baseball? I’m sure Finley wasn’t happy about it. That’s life.

  46. Sid,
    Know where in your post do I see anything suggesting Oakland is on equal footing with SJ. Despite what you claim, Im standing firm on the notion that SJ gets the land, game over. Again, I put more faith in what Wolff and Beane have to say about the situation then “the guy behind the guy.”
    Genaro, MLB/Selig could easily put an end to any proxy-war that the Giants may try to wage. After all, I think Baer wants easy confirmation by MLB ;)

  47. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics

    @Genaro- Eminent domain can be used for a stadium since it is considered for “public use”. The above article states that. ML posted it on his more current news posting for today.

    With that being said, if MLB gives approval for San Jose to build a “stadium” a referendum may not be needed since a stadium is considered for public use regardless of the owner itself.

  48. re: the Giants get to fight this via proxy

    …if the Giants are going to try to gum up the construction of a ballpark approved by MLB, they would be opposing the official MLB position and hopefully subject to some kind of sanctions. The SJ Mercury News, already supporting the ballpark, surely could do lots of stories about how the Giants continue to try to stop SJ from getting Major League Baseball for their own selfish reasons. What might have happened if the Yankee$ went ahead and waged a campaign to stop construction of the Mets’ Citi Field? MLB would not have been happy.

  49. @Tony- San Jose is so far ahead of Oakland it isn’t even funny. You are correct on that.

    Your wrong on the land acquisitions as San Jose will not moved forward despite what you want to believe is true or not.

    ATT is going to hold out since they see MLB has not ruled therefore why move unless they have to? If SJ gets the go ahead then the situation changes.

    ATT is smart with their thinking as they have made it clear they do not want to move.

  50. …I almost switched to ATT Uverse last year. Glad I didn’t. Might be time to switch a cell phone account away from them, too.

  51. TonyD, the thing is that the Baer decision has to be approved relatively sooner than Wolff/Fisher/SJ resolving the ATT parcel. It could be that it’s part of the SJ package that’s approved in November or it could be the last thread for the Giants to fight.

  52. Sid, ML has commented and used the former city attorney’s comments that ED will require a referendum.

  53. SJ city attorney could always issue another opinion regarding E.D. and a referendum. Its not etched in stone as is SJ Muni Code. Sid, you do have a point: why make a genuine move for AT&T parcel if you haven’t heard from MLB yet. However, even without a ballpark, development would be slated for that parcel anyway (Diridon station development). The city is going to have to acquire the land anyway, E.D. or straight up purchase. Perhaps we’re making to big a deal of the final parcels.

  54. @Nathan “Half of the Bay Area would be 22nd, just behind St. Louis and above Portland.”
    .
    The issue is, the A’s won’t get half the Bay Area in Oakland. They might get half the Bay Area in San Jose, especially if you’re measuring it by revenue.
    .
    Keeping the team in Oakland gives about 4 million people convenient access to two ballparks, and 2.5 million people convenient access to zero. This is not a logical way to try to maximize attendance. Putting the team in San Jose, however, gives 7 million people convenient access to a ballpark.
    .
    The bigger issue though is the location of the corporate base, about half of which is in the South Bay and most of the rest of which is in San Francisco. The A’s would be lucky to get 10% of that market in Oakland, because they are hellishly inconvenient to the rest.
    .
    In light of all this, San Antonio starts looking pretty attractive, especially if they threw some public money in.

  55. @bartleby–“Putting the team in San Jose, however, gives 7 million people convenient access to a ballpark.”
    Convenient? Huh? Tell to that the east and north bay fans. The A’s will have to make the most of those 2.5 mill in the SB, if god forbid, SJ is their final destination.

  56. Disregard previous post. I mis-read it. At first it sounded like SJ would give convenient access to the whole 7 mill bay area population, but after re-reading it, its a ballpark in SF and SJ would do that. My bad.

  57. @Tony- You are correct they will eventually need the ATT parcels regardless of the ballpark. Without the stadium though it will be years before they acquire it just for the Diridon renovation as the HSR and BART are much further way than if a ballpark came to down.

    @Genaro- I did read why ML posted. I simply stated it “may not be needed” since Federal Law supersedes local and state law. It just depends how the city goes about it with ATT. Since ED would be used for a ballpark it “may be” possible. Although ML could be 100% right but at the same time a referendum is needed anyways to donate the land to the A’s. So they might just kill 2 birds with one stone anyways.

    @bartleby- I am with your statements 100%. MLB is not maximizing this market at all hence why its a “wash” via revenue sharing. If MLB was placing 2 teams in the Bay Area today and 2 stadiums were to be built from scratch you would put them in San Francisco and San Jose, not Oakland for the reasons you stated that it would give greater access to more people in the market.

    That is why the Giants arguments are so flawed. People in Santa Clara, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties would be able to attend games far more in San Jose than in SF/Oak. Right now MLB is ignoring 2.5M people and a huge corporate base….unbelievable this is even possible.

  58. I think the Giants issues with the A’s to SJ go beyond the corporate base and 2.5 million people in the South Bay. I think they’re more worried (legitimately, I suspect) that eventually a significant percentage of their Peninsula fanbase could be siphoned off by the A’s. SJ is easy to get to from most of the Peninsula, afterall, unlike Oakland. Not saying they should win the argument, just that I think that is an underlying reason for their stubburn stance on T rights.

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