Buster Olney is not all sunshine and roses

During this afternoon’s installment of The Drive with Brandon Tierney and Eric Davis, ESPN’s Buster Olney showed up for a segment on baseball and hot stove action. Among the talk of free agents was a discussion between the three about the state of your Oakland Athletics. As with the Wolff interviews, I’ve taken the time to transcribe the 5+ minute discussion. This time I won’t provide any commentary. I’ll leave that to you in the comments. Keep in mind that this was Tierney and Davis asking Olney on his opinion about the franchise, so do not take it as gospel. Instead, consider it simply as the view of a prominent national baseball writer who is not known for mincing words. Also, remember that Olney’s musing last year got the ball rolling on the Wolff-to-Dodgers rumor. That’s how powerful his word is.

Without further ado:

Davis: Things are just dire. They’re a mess over in Oakland.

Olney: Terrible.

Davis: It’s horrible over there. What do you hear that they’re willing to do in baseball to help this club?

Olney: Well, the Athletics continue to be strung along with the hope that they’ll eventually end up with a ballpark in San Jose. Here’s the thing. They started that Blue Ribbon panel 2 1/2 years ago, that’s 1 1/2 years longer than it took the Warren Commission to issue its report on the Kennedy assassination.

Davis/Tierney: *chuckle*

Olney: The bottom line is that they haven’t gotten any kind of traction from MLB. Now the Dodger situation is getting settled. The labor agreement is getting settled. Maybe at some point soon the Athletics – who to me right now have less hope than any organization in baseball – they are rotting. Maybe if those things get settled out that’s when you’ll see MLB go to the Giants and say, “Look, we need to talk. We need to figure out a way where you get the Oakland territory and Oakland gets San Jose.”  That way they can have a future. Right now the Athletics have no future and that’s why Josh Willingham is leaving and their other free agents are leaving, and they’re really not going to step in and do anything about it because their future is so uncertain.

Tierney: I’ll tell you. It is sad and I think you lay it out well. Willingham, there’s no doubt that he’s gone. DeJesus, Matsui, Coco Crisp. I guess the question is besides Jemile Weeks and Pennington who do we even know on the team next season?

Olney: And the pitchers.

Tierney: Yeah.

Olney: The problem is now though is that let’s say that midway through next year baseball stepped in and said, “Guess what? You get a stadium in San Jose.” All these pitchers they developed, the Trevor Cahills, the Brett Andersons, Gio Gonzalez. By the time they actually break ground and make progress and starting building that park those guys are going to be trade bait.

Tierney: That’s true.

Olney: They’re gonna have to move them out of there because they’re not gonna keep them around, and they’re not gonna sign them to long term deals. It’s really a sad situation.

Tierney: …Lew Wolff, where does he rank in terms of wealth amongst owners? I’m just trying to connect the dots here.

Olney: He’s got wealth – and I’ve always believed this – for example, when people rip the fans in Tampa Bay for not going seeing the Rays. My feeling is those people who live there, they made that decision based on their information. And I don’t blame them. If they don’t think it’s convenient, they don’t think it’s attractive, they’re not obligated to watch their games. I think in the same realm I don’t think Lew Wolff is obligated to pour his money down a hole. The history of Oakland Athletics, whether anyone likes it or not, they cannot draw there. They didn’t draw there with Reggie Jackson. They didn’t draw there with the late Billy Martin’s teams. They didn’t draw there for the Dennis Eckersley teams, the Tony LaRussa teams. They don’t draw now. I think you’ve got a lot of history which tells you that site and that place is a loser if you’re the Oakland Athletics.

Tierney: Wow. *laughs* That is just desperation mode.

Other than personal attacks, anything in that discussion is fair game in the comments. Keep it clean.

Have a nice weekend, everyone?

263 thoughts on “Buster Olney is not all sunshine and roses

  1. “Maybe at some point soon the Athletics – who to me right now have less hope than any organization in baseball – they are rotting. ” /cry ….anyone that wants to settle for the status quo should be ashamed of themselves, especially if they consider themselves an A’s fan.

  2. With even the truly “national” big-name baseball writers spilling ink (rosenthal) and verbally calling out the “blue ribbon” process, it’s so blatantly obvious to everyone not in the lodge how absurd this situation really is. These guys, as writers, really have no incentive to go out on a limb and criticize MLB for the sake of the little old Oakland athletics -who certainly don’t drive website traffic to foxsports or espn.com

    But they do it anyways because the absurdity and untenability of the current situation is just so impossible to ignore for any journalist worth his salt..

    Truly aggravating.

  3. Olney pulls no punches. Talks about the mostly dismal 44-year history of attendance in Oakland. Doesn’t give the impression Oakland deserves a new stadium.

  4. For those who hate Wolff/Fischer for not running the team as a money-losing charity: “I don’t think Lew Wolff is obligated to pour his money down a hole. The history of Oakland Athletics, whether anyone likes it or not, they cannot draw there.”

  5. @this point it would be hard to believe that MLB would string the A’s out this long and than not figure out how to make SJ work–especially given there is nothing go on in Oakland—its hard to believe that bs is this clueless—something tells me he had a plan all along that this would take this long—just cant figure out why he wanted to wait 3+ yeas….bottom line- a rotting franchise can turn around pretty quickly when a new ballpark starts to come out of the ground—

  6. ML, for someone who said this, “Wow, same old same old debate? I’m so shocked,” I’m surprised you would devote a whole write-up to this subject. The fact is, before At&t ,both the Giants and A’s drew poorly in the Bay Area. The only bright spot for both teams was the 89-92 period for the Oakland A’s. You can make the claim that the A’s had the nicer park, but the Coliseum was never so beautiful it drew on its own. I can almost guarantee that a new baseball only ballpark in Oakland would draw crowds (general admission) the same way one in SJ would.

  7. …Meanwhile, for East Bay and Frisco writers, it’s still build-a-new-stadium-in-Oakland, no-San-Jose-under-any-circumstances, Wolff-is-trying-to-lose, blah blah blah

  8. re: I can almost guarantee that a new baseball only ballpark in Oakland would draw crowds (general admission) the same way one in SJ would.

    ….you mean like the Raiders when they got their brand new stands and suites? Failed to sell out either on both counts. And who buys the luxury suites and premium suites in a new Oakland ballpark? The same companies not buying them for the Raiders now?

  9. OT – Anyone hear Townsend’s take on this mess this evening. He thinks the A’s are going to take the money they receive from revenue sharing and purchase the land in SJ. This will anger the players union, because the money is not being spend on acquiring players. The union will then go to Selig and demand that something be done about the stadium situation. Interesting take. I don’t agree with it, but it’s interesting.

  10. @eb – Call it a preemptive debate strike. It would’ve ended up in the comments of some other thread as an off-topic link. At least I can sequester the discussion here.

  11. @fc–what Townsend suggested is technically already in motion…A’s not signing free agents because no decision on ballpark yet…A’s negotiated land deal with SJ announced a few weeks ago…more agents saying no one wants to play in Oakland and that BB has to offer a premium to even get their attention….its up to the A’s how to spend their $30M revenue sharing…and its pretty obvious where their priorities are right now

  12. @pjk I’m sure you know the Raider’s historically had a great record of attendance in Oakland, yes? Way better than the A’s, Giants or even 49ers. What has gone on since has been sloppy, but things are looking up, 5 sellouts in a row and no more Al to divide the fan base. Now they have to win. You really think that a new park in Oakland wouldn’t have similar crowds to one in San Jose?

  13. “…did not draw with the Tony La Russa teams.” Um, just to clarify, TLR took over as manager on a road trip in Boston for game #84 in July, 1986. At that point the A’s were 31-52 (.373). Although TLR managed to pull the team in a positive direction, they ended the year at .469. The attendance sucked that year. In ’87 they went .500 and attendance climbed slightly to over 20k. From ’88-’92 they averaged over 32k. In ’93 the team ended up at .420 losing nearly 100 games and their attendance dipped to 25k. In the strike-shortened season they went .447 and attendance declined further to 22k. In his last year, the year after the strike, his team ended up at .465 with a dismal 16k in attendance. In all, during his tenure, the A’s averaged over 26k. Did Olney actually compare this era with what’s happening right now? Just sayin’.

  14. What the A’s want to do in San Jose will make them a permanent player in free agency, not permanently sitting on the sidelines just awaiting players with no other place to go. The union knows full well players don’t want to go to Oakland. What do they expect the A’s to do? Boost the payroll by giving $1 million a year players $10 mill a year?

  15. re: historic attendance. The A’s had I think 6 seasons out of 44 in the top 10 of attendance, once even getting as high as #3. But there have been no top 10 appearances since ATT Park opened and for the vast majority of those 44 years, the A’s were solidly in the bottom half of attendance. In 2006, the A’s blew away the Giants on the field but not at the gate – the Giants were ranked #7 leaguewide while our ALCS-playing A’s were #26.

  16. PJK, the problem with that thinking is that just moving to isn’t enough to do that. If you remember ML’s post about the growth of MLB, the A’s would be dealing with a ratio very similar to what they have in Oakland now, with just a bit more cash to spend on retention but not addition. They’ll still need to increase revenue in certain facets and/or squeeze out the full potential on all forms of revenue.

    And yes, Olney is just in a long line of baseball writers who are exaggerating the situation because it sells copy. The way in which Wolff is intertwined into the organization is just one item that speaks to the belief of a better future.

  17. @pjk Yes, however where were the Giants during those years? Lower than the A’s, for the most part. It can also be argued that until the 80′s the Bay Area really wasn’t large enough population wise to be a two team market. Would the A’s have drawn better anywhere else in the Bay during those years? I firmly believe a new park for the A’s would draw similarly in both Oakland AND San Jose.

  18. I highly suspect that the Mets, Astros, and Angels also have the same ratio of attendance to population-base and have never finished higher than 3rd in MLB. Part of the failure in Olney’s argument is the instance of citing the Reggie Jackson era as a way to show maximum attendance potential. Not only is there a difference in the relative population-base to that time period but that the franchise was practically-new to the area.

  19. @pjk – Those are legitimate stats you bring up and, while I’m not disputing your post, I am going to repeat something I posted awhile ago. This is a personal observation and opinion mind you. From 1968 through even the early 1980′s, the Bay Area was too small for 2 big league teams. This is quite evident if you look at both the A’s and Giants attendance during those years. I’m a lifelong A’s fan but how our area got another MLB team during that era is beyond me, notwithstanding the new Coliseum that was ready to go at the time. In terms of available population this area wasn’t even close to NY, Chicago, LA. IMHO, this must be noted when we look at attendance during those years. You don’t have to agree but this is the first thing I think of when I read that same “44-year median” attendance statistic.

  20. “Also, remember that Olney’s musing last year got the ball rolling on the Wolff-to-Dodgers rumor. That’s how powerful his word is.” – His word might be powerful, but Lew Wolff already has come out saying he has absolutely no interest at all in buying the Dodgers. So I guess he obviously has no idea what he’s talking about in that regard and maybe just wishful thinking on his part?
    .
    “I guess the question is besides Jemile Weeks and Pennington who do we even know on the team next season?” – Uh…how about Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton, Ryan Sweeney? I know they’re not national superstars or anything, but as an A’s fan we sure know them.
    .
    “They didn’t draw there with the late Billy Martin’s teams. They didn’t draw there for the Dennis Eckersley teams, the Tony LaRussa teams. They don’t draw now.” – Again, what is this guy talking about?? The late Billy Martin “Billy Ball era” didn’t take off until 1981…when we were good and look at our attendance that year compared to the year before. We gained close to 250K fans and even more the following year (1982). And do I really need to check is credibility regarding attendance numbers during the Eck/LaRussa years when we were setting records?? Please!! And we obviously don’t draw well now since the 2005 Wolff/Fisher era, but if you look at the numbers before in the early 2000s we were clearly around the league average. And if you want to talk about the Reggie years, that’s pretty much comparing them to the Wolff/Fisher years….poor ownership.
    .
    Put a winning team on the field and market better to the local community and the fans will show up.

  21. Lew Wolff’s nefarious PR campaign is in full gear!

  22. They didn’t draw well for the Billy Martin teams? BULL SHIT!!!!
    Olney needs to do a Google search. Haas took over in 1981 with a shoe box handed over to him filled with 300 season ticket names on index cards, and turned Billy Ball into a big success, increasing attendance from 11k a game to 25k+ (double headers counting as one game), 4th in the AL and a new bay area record up to that point. The next year they lost 94 games, still drew 22k a game, 6th in the AL and Billy Ball was over.

    They didn’t draw well with the Eckersley teams? BULL SHIT!!!!
    Olney needs to do another Google search. The A’s from 88-92, the Eck glory years, the A’s finished 7th, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the AL, ( 10th, 3rd, 4th, 5th in MLB), even beating the Yankees and Red Sox from 89-92, and of course the Giants in all those years. LOOK IT UP!!!

  23. Olney is lying. Anyone who says we didn’t draw during Haas years is a liar!

  24. Lying? I did up a 44-year ranking chart of the A’s attendance. It’s mostly lousy. The A’s drew halfway decent during the few Haas years when Haas was willing to lose money. And of course, that was before the Coliseum was ruined and before ATT Park opened. Lying, or just saying things Oakland-only folks don’t want to hear?…I look at that chart and say, the A’s deserve better than this. I can bring up again the New Jersey Devils analogy: Lousy attendance, new arena built, attendance still lousy.

  25. Anyway, we can argue all we want about attendance. Doesn’t change these realities:
    * Oakland/Alameda County ruined the Coliseum as a place for baseball.
    * The Giants have built one of the finest parks in MLB.
    * There’s no money in the East Bay for a new Oakland ballpark.
    * No billionaires are going to donate a ballpark on their own dime.

  26. @pjk – jk-usa just posted the numbers … and they don’t lie!

    winning in Oakland sells tickets:
    .
    from today’s Chronicle:
    .
    “Another sellout

    Sunday’s game against the Broncos is a sellout, the first time the Raiders have sold out the first five games of a season since 2006.

    “It means that these fans are truly believing in what we’re doing,” coach Hue Jackson said. “I just thank the city. I thank the organization. I thank everybody for continuing to support this team.””

  27. He posted the numbers from the Haas years, A different reality than now. See my last post for those new realities.

  28. re: winning in Oakland sells tickets:

    …not since ATT Park opened it hasn’t;. 2006: Giants record: 76-85, attendance ranking: 7; A’s record: 93-69, attendance ranking: 26…. And we’ve already discussed how difficult it is to win when free agents won’t consider coming to Oakland and players put “no trade to Oakland” clauses in their contracts. Insurmountable obstacles to winning.

  29. re: Raiders sellout
    …What’s the luxury suite leasing rate these days? It’s been abysmal over the years. Al Davis got his suites for free, Wolff and Fischer would have to pay for theirs and they”ve got some big problems if the lease rate mirrors what the Raiders have experienced.

  30. When I see the Raiders games on TV I see lots of empty seats—looking at espn attendance trends they are 29 of 32 teams averaging 59, 694 in a stadium that seats 64, 865—sounds as if the Raiders may have tarped some seats also to reduce the total capacity of the stadium—any insight into these disparities?

  31. the 49er ownership has had “sellouts” for years. Of course, only because they buy the tickets themselves to keep the games on local TV. Is SF a “bad market”? No. It isn’t. Winning and marketing fill the seats.

  32. Lots of empty seats at 9er games. Y’all love them 9ers right? Are their suites filled?

  33. I think the Niners suites actually are filled but I don’t have the #s. We do know the A’s suites are mostly empty. Looking around the stadium (can’t really call it a ballpark now, can we?) at any game shows us this.

  34. 44 years. 15 playoff appearances. 7 seasons in the top half of MLB attendance. Why do people keep pointing to the outliers as they are more significant than the norm? The TLR years had 5 years in the upper half and 4 in the lower (if my google search is right). Is that anything more than a wash?

  35. considering that the ’9ers need to sell lots of luxury boxes to fund their new stadium and ML reported this week that they are looking to start the construction earlier than planned indicates that sales must be going pretty darn well–

  36. BTW, the team I can’t stand almost as much as the Giants is the 49ers. The one and only time I root for the Giants is when that football team from New Jersey is playing the 49ers – next week, actually. I’m a Dolphins fan, if you want to talk about misery. But the late Dolphins owner Joe Robbie did blaze the trail by building his own stadium after Miami and Florida wouldn’t build one for him.

  37. @Jeffrey – Olney said they never drew crowds “ever” in Oakland (specifically during the Eckersley years) … which is a muth@f*ckin’ lie!

  38. re: never drew crowds “ever”

    …you’re picking on a couple of words. The overall theme of Olney’s sermon – the A’s have had lousy attendance since coming to Oakland – remains true. A few spikes here or there were clearly an aberration. The norm for the A’s in Oakland historically is bottom-feeder attendance. Are Wolff and Fischer supposed to spend $500 mill of their own money based on an aberration or on the norm?

  39. The fact the Raiders game will be on TV this weekend will brutally illustrate the potential for premium seat sales in Oakland. Watch the game. On every punt, the camera will tilt back and you will see that the East Side Club is no more than 20% full, just like the last few supposedly “sold-out” home games.
    .
    It should go without saying, if the Raiders struggle so much to sell premium seating in an 8 game season, in the wildly popular NFL, where most of the games are on Sundays and people are far more willing to travel, with virtually no meaningful competition from the Niners (who basically don’t have any club seating), they are never going to be able to sell enough premium seating for 81 MLB games in direct competition with AT&T Park.
    .
    @David Before you get too carried away with the “winning sells in Oakland” idea based on a few close-to-sold-out-in-regular-seating-areas Raider games, bear in mind the Raiders gave away thousands of free tickets to the Cleveland game and ran 2-for-1 ticket specials to all of the others.

    • As I was telling @DaleTafoya last night, the problem is not how right Olney or anyone else who is nationally prominent is. The problem is the perception that Oakland is a loser market economically. Olney and Gammons think this way. While there are plenty of local writers who back Oakland and the East Bay, there are no such supporters nationally. And that’s a HUGE problem for Oakland because they are plugged into the other owners and Selig. What other owner is making his case for Oakland right now? Who is working to change this perception? LGO?

      There’s a great saying from a great old movie, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

  40. @GoAs The Raiders haven’t tarped any of the seats. A lot of the empty seats you see on TV are club seats, which don’t count for blackout purposes. Also, since the metric is “seats sold” rather than butts through the turnstiles, when they get close enough (with a few thousand) the teams typically just buy up the rest in order to get the game on TV.

  41. Here’s a fun fact for everyone: During the first six years of their respective ownership, Wolff attendance was higher per game than Haas attendance for the corresponding year of his ownership all six years. Score one for the “carpetbaggers.”

  42. David, taken at face value you are correct. The larger point of what he is saying is true, though. Attendance history is more of an argument against Oakland, not so much in favor. We all know the various arguments folks use to spin that argument away, or minimize it.
    .
    On the flip side, I went to the Raiders home opener this year. It was the most amazing sporting event I have ever been to at the Coliseum. My opinion (notice the word “opinion”) is that the Raiders attendance struggle since coming back is primarily driven by the fact that they lost a whole generation of football fans in the Bay Area to a better team in San Francisco at a time when they were in LA. I am a prime exams of this, and biased as a result. I would have grown up a Raiders fan but didn’t. Ecause they were in LA and the 49ers were pretty easy to get into in the Raiders absence.

  43. @bartleby—thx for the clarification–just suprised if it is sold out—regardless of who buys the tix—than why they dont report it at the near 65,000 capacity–

  44. From 2000-2003 we sold out only 1 first round playoff game. Waaaay B4 the tarps were put up. The Minisota series, coming off the 20 win streak, was a disgrace. We only sold out #20! We should have topped attendance in 88-92. We had the best team in Baseball, with the most visable stars(Canseco,Ricky,Eck). If you guys were heat fans 20 years from now you’d argue, “See we had good attendance was when we had Lebron, Dwayne, and Chris. We are so far removed from the Haas era. Bad comparison to Boston, and New York. The Red Sox were playing in Fenway, B4 renovations, and 88-92 was probably one of the worst stretches in Yankee history. We beat them every game in 92, and I’m sure things started looking up for them when they got Tartabull. That’s about how relevant figures from 1988 are. The one thing we do have a lot of, is excuses. Daytime playoff games, We always trade our good players, Tarps are ugly, we hate Schott/Wolff/ Fischer, stadium sucks. How about a dime for every excuse. That could be Oaklands financing plan. So Lew, just overpay to put the best team on the field, hop them up on drugs, win 100 games every year, go to 3 straight WS, and maybe we’ll be second in attendance a couple of times? Rotting, was just the word I’ve been looking for since 2006. Baseball Oblivian.

  45. @ Kevin – “How about a dime for every excuse. That could be Oaklands financing plan.” roflmaowtfbbqpwnd!

  46. OT :
    RM, should have asked this in a previous thread, but do you see a correlation between the Niners announcing a 2014 opening for the SC stadium and the passing of Al Davis? Could talks (if they exist) be going full bore now between the Niners, Raiders, and NFL?

  47. Could talks (if they exist) be going full bore now between the Niners, Raiders, and NFL?

    If they aren’t, they damn well should be. There is zero reason to build a billion-dollar stadium that will get used for its primary purpose a maximum of 12 times per year.

  48. @doctorK- worth alot if the other team leaves and your the only game in town–

  49. Ken Rosenthal is a terrible sports writer. I wonder how much Wolff pays him to plant stories?

  50. @David – Obviously all of the national writers are getting paid by Wolff and the local columnists (save for Mark Purdy) have unimpeachable, sterling reputations. Pointing fingers gets you and Oakland nowhere.

    @Tony D. – I have no idea.

  51. @ML – I’ll go with the local guys who understand the situation best. National guys don’t know how Wolff and BB have stripped the franchise down to the bone, in the attempt to get traction to move. Purdy is a hack.

  52. So maybe the attendance was better under Haas. Maybe it wasn’t. So what? The only way this argument is relevant is if you don’t think a new stadium will improve the A’s fortunes, competitively and financially.

    If you think the A’s should stay in the Coliseum and Fisher/Wolff (or some fantasy billionaire buyer that you’ve conjured up) should dump all of their money into an Albert Pujols contract and still offer $2 seats and $1 hot dogs in a decrepit ashtray of a stadium just because they can (put your hand down, Larry Baer), by all means, go right ahead and yammer about who was better at getting asses in seats. But it really doesn’t have anything to do with anything.

  53. @ML – don’t forget the A’s play in Oakland. SJ supporters are the ones “pointing fingers”. I/we have what we want … the franchise. Purdy and the pro-SJ folks are the ones (constantly) trying to position SJ in front Oakland. Never have A’s fan “fought” each other, until Wolff turned his back on the fan base and brought this division into our fandom.

  54. @all – endless Wolff talking points … have a good weekend … Paz!

  55. Speaking of Oakland: David, being that you’re a citizen of that fine town, based on the events of the last 24 hours, I just want to say I’m sorry. You guys deserve so much better up in The O.

  56. @David – Oh come off it, do you think that if the team were aiming for Dublin or Pleasanton there wouldn’t be some of the same arguments by an Oakland-only faction? How ridiculously myopic on your part.

    Here’s the thing – Olney may be wrong on details, but he’s right on sentiment. Does that make me a hack? Go ahead, tell me. Perception IS reality.

  57. San Jose compared to Oakland, in terms of baseball markets:

    Population: SJ > Oak
    Avg Income: SJ > Oak
    Corporate base: SJ > Oak

    Couple that with the fact that, apart from a few exceptions, the Athletics have always struggled to put fannies in the seats while in Oakland, even when it was a decent baseball park.

    Yes, building a new ballpark in Oakland would improve things a lot. But they would sill be struggling with a smaller market, lower spending income, and lower corporate base.

    Building in SJ means not only new stadium, but also larger local population, larger local average income, and much larger corporate base.

    So building in SJ would be way way way way way better. Building in Oakland would still bring the problems of smaller market.

  58. @ML – The Detroit Pistons play in Auburn Hills. If the Oakland A’s played in Dublin I would not have any problem.
    .
    “Are you a hack”? I tried to give you praise before and you didn’t accept it. So, i’m done.

  59. @David – Lots of Oakland-only people showed up in Fremont to protest that plan.

    Backhanded compliments don’t register with me. Answer my question, or rather the greater one: Are people who don’t believe in Oakland hacks simply for believing that?

    If I seem incensed by this, it’s because calling into question anyone’s journalistic credibility is something I take very seriously.

  60. Why are the Giants historical attendance woes (which were worse than the A’s) ignored and why is the fact that the Bay Area wasn’t really a two team market until the 1980′s ignored? Truly, where would the A’s have drawn better, in the Bay Area ,during those years? You can use the historically bad baseball numbers in the Bay Area as a “gotcha” point, but the A’s would draw very similar in a new Oakland park as they would in a new San Jose one.

  61. re: I’ll go with the local guys who understand the situation best.

    … I couldn’t disagree more. Some of these local columnists simply refuse to grasp that Oakland cannot support a privately built ballpark and that Wolff and Fischer cannot be expected to just donate one to Oakland. These local writers just say what Oakland-only folks want to hear, even if it’s all a bunch of nonsense (Wolff is trying to lose, etc.)

  62. re: Why are the Giants historical attendance woes (which were worse than the A’s) ignored
    …I’ve already gone over this, but the Giants had bad attendance because of that windswept icebox ballpark they played in. Their TV ratings were always good, proving they had an audience. The A’s even when playing in a very nice (for its time) ballpark with a picture-perfect climate, always struggled to get the fans in. And anyway. we’re still left with no reasonable way to pay for new Oakland ballpark, given the weak corporate environment and no public dollars avilable.

  63. @pjk

    Good point. Also, I think with some of these local writers, there is a bit of SF Giants protectionism. They know, the Giants know, heck, we all know, that the current A’s situation is GREAT for the Giants – if there’s going to be another team in the local market, keep ‘em as crippled as possible, so the Giants can get all the share, and not have to compete fairly.

  64. @pjk You have the Giants tv ratings from 1960′s to the 1990′s? Link, please.

  65. Yes, I have Giants TV ratings from 40 years ago right at hand, of course (sigh). Are you saying the miserable cold at Candlestick was not a factor in the poor attendance? Do you have a mechanism for paying for a new Oakland ballpark in the absence of public or private capital? Or is it the usual “John Fischer is rich and should build the ballpark himself regardless of whether he goes broke or not.” plan?.

  66. @pjk Also you chose to ignore the rest of my post. Was the Bay’s population large enough for two teams during the 60′s -early 80′s? Where in the Bay could the A’s have drawn better?

  67. Pingback: Have white shoes, must travel - Swingin' A's - An Oakland Athletics Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

  68. @eb- do you really believe that sale of suites, corporate sponsorships, advertising, and season tix would be the same in Oakland as SJ if a new ballpark is built?

  69. @pjk Then why make that claim? All I know is both teams drew poorly until a “Wrigley Field” type park was built in the Bay.

  70. We already know what a failure brand new luxury suite sales have been for the Raiders. Are Wolff and Fischer supposed to, on their own dime, do the same thing again even if it has been a proven failure already?

  71. @eb – Do you really need ratings to prove that out? The Giants were on KTVU – an Oakland station – for 50 years, since they moved from NYC. The A’s jumped umpteen times on TV throughout their tenure in the Bay Area and had trouble with carriage until cable deals starting with SportsChannel. That kind of stability (and lack thereof in the A’s case) speaks for itself.

  72. @GoA’s I’m sure corporate sponsorship would be high in SJ, it’s a money pit, I’m not arguing that.

  73. ML, So do the ratings fall on just Oakland? Last I heard A’s games were broadcast throughout the bay, including San Jose. It’s all A’s fans fault then. Tell me ML, where in the bay would the A’s have done better, historically?

  74. @eb – As I’ve said before, the ratings problem falls on the entire fanbase throughout the Bay Area and NorCal. Would they have done better anywhere else? San Jose was not prominent enough in 1968 to field the team. They certainly are now, and Oakland has merely treaded water ever since.

  75. re: local columnists supposedly understanding the situation better. Dave Newhouse a couple years ago called San Jose “Prune City.” Now there’s a guy with his finger on the pulse of Bay Area reality – if we’re talking 1911 instead of 2011.

  76. If the Bay Area had only ever had the Giants until now and the American League wanted to place a team, too, does anyone believe anybody would today put that team in Oakland instead of San Jose?

  77. In my opinion, the Bay Area wasn’t a large enough market for two teams until around the early 1980′s. During the Haas years attendance grew along with the team’s performance and flourished. After that Mt. Davis came in, At&t was built and we have the scenario we’re in now. I guess it just comes down to whether you think a shiny new ballpark would draw in Oakland and I think it would. I just don’t like a guy like Olney spewing the stupid and false notion that Oakland is somehow declining, which is far from the case.

  78. The TV Ratings shit is a empty argument if there ever was on. eb is right. Moving the A’s to SJ won’t change the challenges facing the A’s on TV one bit. Corporate and personal income mean very little to TV ratings. Simply put a person making $100,000 a year isn’t more likely to watch the game on TV then someone making 10,000.

  79. It’s going to be 1979 all over again next year. Where’s the 2013 equivalent of Billy Martin?

  80. @eb – Olney isn’t saying that Oakland is declining. He’s saying that Oakland never was a good market. Big difference. He thinks it, Selig thinks it, a lot of other influential people think it. What is to change that line of thinking?

  81. laugh out f^cking loud!
    .
    “If I seem incensed by this, it’s because calling into question anyone’s journalistic credibility is something I take very seriously.”
    .
    the post of the day… Dave Newhouse is a giant in the Bay Area Sports family. He gets slammed here, because he isn’t a shill for Wolff. He writes every week, on all kinds of interesting things. Who allows that shit to happen?

  82. @eb–
    The bay area’s population has gone up 40% from 5.1 to 7.1 mill in the last 30 years, and it was even more in Co Co and Alameda counties, the A’s main drawing areas, where the population has gone up over 45% from 1.75 mill to 2.56 mill since 1980.
    The potential in our area is huge, and a new baseball only venue with ownership that cares would do wonders just like it did for the Giants.
    BTW, remember Lew Wolff said Oakland has lost half it’s population from the Haas years, which is an outright lie:
    1980–339,337
    1990-372,242
    2000-399,484
    2010-390,724

  83. @David – Newhouse has been mailing in those columns. But at no point did I ever question his credibility or integrity. Learn some reading comprehension, big guy.

  84. You like Newhouse because you agree with him. But the reality that San Jose is a much better place for MLB these days than Oakland remains just the same, whether Newhouse wants to acknowledge it or not. He wants the owners to pay for an Oakand ballpark themselves, no? If they go broke doing it? Not Newhouse’s problem.

  85. @ML – You get “mad” when someone drops a “meh”, but you say Newhouse mails them in? He is prolific. A Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame great. You are questioning his credibility by saying he mails it in. I read just fine thanks, big guy.

  86. 391,000 population and a weak corporate environment vs. 1 million population and a powerhouse corporate environment. Let me think about which one would be better for a new ballpark?

  87. Green Bay Wisconsin has about 300,000 cheese heads up there.

  88. ML, well I would disagree with that assertion as well. There are plenty of influential people in favor of Oakland, although, I guess Selig is the one that really matters (a very scary thought.) BTW, I though Selig was against a two team Bay Area, not Oakland in particular, am I wrong?

  89. @David – Here’s a clip from a Newhouse column from five years ago:

    Oakland talks, but like Loaiza so far, it doesn’t deliver consistently or accurately. And Wolff, unlike his predecessor in the owners’ box, is willing to foot the entire bill for a new park, which is a $450 million check minus the tip. He just wants some help with, say, environmental issues. And a good price on the land would help, too.

    But if it can be done in Fremont, why can’t it be done in Oakland? It can if Oakland would stop hurling junk and come in with a high heater that would not only brush back Fremont but also drive it out of the box.

    Tell something, David. What exactly has changed for Oakland in FIVE FREAKING YEARS?!?!?! There’s still no broad consensus on a site. There is no EIR. How much has Newhouse been willing to criticize anyone besides Wolff since 2006? Very little.

    Newhouse has had his moments. But on the stadium issue, his only good pieces were that one in 2006 and the one following the mayoral candidates forum.

  90. @pjk Are you really not counting the 2.56 million in the A’s current territory?

  91. re: Green Bay Wisconsin has about 300,000 cheese heads up there.

    …And do the Packers have another team 12 miles away in a 100X better facility that’s monopolized the corporate dollars available for football seating in there corner of the world?

  92. Is it the A’s current “territory?” All I see are Giants fans in Alameda and Contra Costa counties these days, it seems. East Bay has effectively become Giants territory even if ML B officially says otherwise.

  93. @eb – Anyone besides a sabre-rattling politician? Someone within The Lodge, on the inside?

    We may have to wait until Selig’s “memoirs” to know what he truly thinks of the Bay Area as a two-team market.

  94. Oakland has ammo. That’s why they are still in the town. Make whatever assertions you wish. The A’s are Oakland’s!

  95. @David – It’s that complacency that could eventually cause Oakland to lose its team(s).

    BTW – I always respond to your entreaties. Why is it that you rarely respond to mine?

    P.S. You really want to have “Oakland” and “ammo” in the same breath given the state of affairs?

  96. Yes, the kind of thinking that says – “MLB will never want to deal with the flack and will make the A’s stay here forever even if we – Oakland pols – keep doing nothing.” Something’s gotta give soon. Wolff has already said MLB will not let the A’s fester forever in a 45-year-old multipurpose facility but that is all Oakland has to offer.

  97. The A’s are Oakland’s!

    Actually, the A’s belong to Wolff and Fisher, and they will do whatever they can with the A’s in order to maximize the return on their investment, just like any other halfway competent businessmen would do.

  98. “Actually, the A’s belong to Wolff and Fisher”
    That was the biggest mistake right there, selling to these guys. I’ve never seen this franchise sink to such lows since that dreadful 1979 season, and this off season is just proof of that.

  99. @Ml Well, Joe Morgan, Andy Dolich, Sandy Alderson, most of the local media, etc. There are those in favor of Oakland, granted none with the pull of Selig. I could have swore Selig was against a two team Bay Area more than being against Oakland. Does anyone remember this or am I crazy?

  100. …and these guys have the money, where as Finley didn’t.

  101. You don’t get it, Doctor K. Wolff and Fischer, or whoever owns the A’s, are supposed to:
    * Spend more on personnel than revenues bring in (if they can get any players to come to Oakland)
    * Spend $450 million of their own money on a new Oakland ballpark without regard to whether they make any money or go bankrupt.
    * Spend piles of their own money refurbishing the Coliseum – which they don’t even own and are just a tenant – in the meantime.
    Run the A’s as a business? What are you talking about?

  102. @eb–Sandy Alderson?? he has publically stated that granting of territorial rights to the gints back in 1991 without condition was a huge mistake—hard to claim he is infavor of the A’s remaining in Oakland

  103. “Actually, the A’s belong to Wolff and Fisher, and they will do whatever they can with the A’s” I just wretched.

  104. @eb – “But Selig’s actions do not always coincide with his words. I believe he (with support from many in baseball) has concluded that it is not in the best interests of baseball to continue with two teams in the Bay Area.” Source: SF Chronicle – May 14, 1999

  105. @GoA’s I think it was a mistake, in hindsight. Does that mean I’m not in favor of the A’s staying in Oakland? I’m just saying that there are those in favor of staying in Oakland who carry weight, just as there are those who want SJ.

  106. @eb–what source do you have when Sandy A has said he believes that the A’s belong in Oakland?

  107. @Columbo Thank you, I knew I wasn’t (that) crazy.

  108. @GoA’s I don’t have any off hand, just going off of something I remember. Even if I’m wrong, that doesn’t invalidate my point.

  109. They’ve abused the team long enough, profiting every year from their welfare checks. Time to cash out, make another $100 million+ in profit and move on. It’s all about the money anyway for these guys, not the love for the game, putting a competitive team on the field, or doing good for the community.

  110. @eb- Andy D supported a new dual purpose stadium for the A’s and Raiders…Joe Morgan pulled out as a potential investor of one of the groups—Sandy A., to my knowledge, has never indicated support for the A’s in Oakland…rather stated the TR change in 1991 was a huge mistake…so that leaves you with the local media…which proves what?

  111. re: They’ve abused the team long enough, profiting every year from their welfare checks.

    …how many millions did they lose trying to get a new ballpark in Fremont? How much has spent on San Jose, to hopefully get the team off “welfare” and into a new ballpark? (I know, it’s all about continuing the A’s “crazy history” in Oakland, even if that has been 44 years of what this thread started out talking about – mostly dismal attendance))

  112. “They’ve abused the team long enough, profiting every year from their welfare checks. Time to cash out, make another $100 million+ in profit and move on. It’s all about the money anyway for these guys, not the love for the game, putting a competitive team on the field, or doing good for the community.“ LOL – are you a socialist or something? It’s not okay for folks to make money? Are you donating your whole salary to charity as well? So MLB is supposed to be a big philanthropic exercise? Why did Haas sell the team again, when he could of just gave it to his sons to run? :X

  113. Does a Molotov Cocktail count as “ammo” for Oakland? (Yes, I had to go there)

  114. @GoA’s Your post proves nothing. Andy D, Morgan are still in favor of Oakland, as I’m sure others are. Why are you intent on proving there is no support for Oakland and everyone is all in on SJ? There are supporters for both sides.

  115. I am quoting a couple of excerpts from Juicing the Game…by Howard Bryant. Regarding Alderson, “His temper, usually contained by a thin layer of sarcasm, was legendary when it burst. Once, during his final season in Oakland with the A’s, in the midst of a streak of six consecutive losing seasons, Alderson exploded. The A’s would lose ninety-seven games in 1997 and, as prominently as the score (most times a losing one), the A’s miniscule attendance would be displayed in the newspaper. Alderson had had enough. The A’s were for sale at the time and tensions were high. He was coming to the end of nearly two decades of service with the A’s, and the mention of the A’s inability to draw would be the last.” It continues telling how Alderson completely ripped into the beat writer in the clubhouse who wrote that piece, humiliating him in front of everyone. It then says, “Alderson only vaguely remembered the confrontation, but recalled having grown tired of newspaper story lines that he did not think were legitimate.”

  116. @eb–they are in favor of Oakland with no plan..or no realistic plan to provide for a new venue…not much different than the pro-Oakland guys on here—that hardly makes them credible in anyone’s mind–

  117. @GoA’s Who you choose to view as credible is up to you.

  118. Stew, Rickey and even Reggie recently said they hoped Oakland can get a new park for the A’s. (I can dig up and find the articles/videos if you don’t believe me).I know Fosse and Chris Townsend like SJ, but they know who butters their bread, so no rocking the boat there.

  119. A recent Newhouse article cited 1990 A’s attendance on a stand alone basis as though it were representative of their entire history in Oakland. It came pretty close to what I would call, “a bald-faced lie.” I don’t read his non-baseball stuff, but can’t say I’m impressed with his integrity or credibility based on what I have read.

  120. @eb,
    Read every one of your posts, and simply put, I hate to break this to yah…OAKLAND AIN’T HAPPENING! It doesn’t matter at this point if some support the A’s in Oakland or if you feel attendance would be the same as SJ. Look at what’s going on and what’s been going in Da Town…it ain’t happening, get over it! Paz!

  121. @eb–credible in my book are those that use facts to support their premises—and Jk–remind me again of what uniform Reggie used to enter the HOF

  122. @Tony D. We’ll see. Until we know for sure and the stadium is up in SJ, I’ll see you at the Coliseum rooting for the Oakland A’s.

  123. @all – Gertrude Stein lives on this site. Hate on Oakland all you want. But, if you want to see NBA hoops in the bay: Oakland. The Raiders: Oakland. The Athletics: Oakland.

  124. Yes, Reggie spent two different stints with the A’s, spent far more years in Oakland and won more World Series there than in New York. But his Hall of Fame bust has “NY” on it because it was a “better fit,” no?

  125. @David–unfortunately you wont be able to probably say that about any of those teams in the next 5-7 years–if I was a pro-Oakland guy I would be so freaking ticked at the leadership in that city—hopeless—and if the rumor is true that they didn’t even do the EIR on VC—unbelievable

  126. @Tony D–why do you say get over it to eb if a decision hasn’t even been announced yet? You need to settle down a bit, bro. If SJ is denied, and there’s still a good chance it may (those pesky TR’s) , what the hell are you going to do? I worry about your safety. If SJ gets the nod, I’ll be bummed, knowing the fix was in for years, but will move on with my life. Don’t come crying to me later guys on how cheap things are run in SJ even with a new venue that’s suppose to make everything 1000 times better. It will be business as usual with these guys with a slight bump in payroll.

  127. People here, who are A’s fans, are gloating about Reggie gravitating towards the Yankees? We may disagree on the stadium topic, but as fellow A’s fans that should stick in everyone’s craw.

  128. re: are gloating about Reggie gravitating towards the Yankees?

    Not really. Somebody pointed out how Reggie hopes Oakland can get a new ballpark and others pointed out how Reggie dismissed Oakland at Hall of Fame time. No gloating at all, Just pointing to Reggie’s lack of credibility when it comes to the A’s. He should have “A’s” on HoF plaque but has “NY” instead.

  129. @jk-usa: “. If SJ is denied, and there’s still a good chance it may (those pesky TR’s) , what the hell are you going to do? ”
    .
    Well, we’ll all probably kiss the A’s in the Bay Area goodbye.

  130. Gammons latest tweet:

    The future of Oakland, Tampa and Dodgers far more important than draft “reform.”

    .
    I hope that is reporting and not opinion. Maybe it is because he tweeted this a couple minutes later:

    Free agents now cannot sign until clubs know what the system will be

    .
    Perhaps like, as GoA’s said, the future of the A’s is being negotiated as part of the CBA bargaining process.

  131. @pjki agree with having A’s on his cap, he had some good years with us, but the big city always trumps the little one I guess. Catfish had no insignia on his cap, appreciating both Finley and Steinbrenner. I wish Reggie would of gone that classy route at least, but that’s not Reggie.
    Okay, we know TLR will go in as a Cardinal, but what about Big Mac, if he ever gets in, which I honestly doubt? I’d say a Cardinal too, but that “extra juicy” year breaking the record may be a more of a negative than positive.

  132. @Tony D – Way to keep it classy …

  133. I could care less whether the A’s stay in Oakland, go to San Jose. The important thing to me is that they stay in the Bay Area. From the sounds of it, and the information provided it looks like they’ll survive in San Jose. I’ll take it. If Oakland can prove to be able to keep the A’s thriving I’m for that. And for those of you who want Lew Wolf to sell the A’s, it’s been said here many times, and Chris Townsend said it yesterday. Be careful what you wish for. If the A’s sell they’ll likely end up leaving the bay. Is that what you really want?

  134. Apparently, some equate a 35-mile move to San Jose with a 500-mile move to Vegas or Portland, a 1,500-mile move to San Antonio…Go figure. Yes, no one is going to buy the A’s under the condition that they must build, without a public subsidy, a ballpark in Oakland. Buyers will move the team far away. At this point, it’s San Jose or bust for the A’s in the Bay Area.

  135. 35 miles people!! Open mind fellas! Open mind!

  136. This just in. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and the A’s have agreed on a plan taking advantage of synergies to solve their mutual problems.

    1) A’s gut roster, prepare to lose 100 games.
    2) No one shows up at Coliseum.
    3) Quan agrees to let A’s leave without a fuss, gets Occupy protesters to move their camp to vacant Coliseum stands.

  137. Like I’ve said here 100 times, a local group should get a shot at buying the A’s before outside interests. There will be interest locally, like there’s always been in the past. Buying a sports team is a pretty good investment I keep reading, and the A’s are a bargain price wise. Getting a new ballpark in the O will have some challenges no doubt, but a more dedicated, open-minded group can make it work.

  138. @eb I agree with you 100% on RJ.

  139. So San Jose fans who support the Giants will switch to be San Jose A’s fans due to the power of civic pride (as was the general opinion on the last thread), yet Oakland A’s fans upset about losing their team are being irrational?

  140. @bartleby I had a hard time respecting Jackson after seeing him sporting a Yankees cap DURiNG an A’s-Yankees game. Classless.

  141. I think the fans on here just want what’s best for the A’s. I’m fine with wherever they end up just as long as it’s not out of the bay area. What some of you are failing to figure out is that the other option is going to be leaving the bay area. What’s going to be easier for you to get to? San Jose or San Antonio? Again if Oakland can put something together that can keep the A’s around, get them to thrive so they can be competitive, I think it’s great. Just doesn’t look like Oakland has the backing that San Jose does in terms of corporate sponsor ship.
    I don’t want to say the “Only Oakland” fans are being irrational, but San Jose is not a long ways away. It’s still in the bay area.

  142. @eb- Agreed about Mr. October. He has no cred with me.

  143. @Makhan Singh I understand that position, I really do. I just haven’t seen evidence that the A’s would move to another market if SJ falls through. What market would they go to that’s better off than the Bay? I know SJ is in the bay, but as an Oaklander and a proud East Bayer, I don’t want the team I grew up with leaving my community. Call that selfish, but that’s how I feel. I’m still clinging to hope.

  144. “I think the fans on here just want what’s best for the A’s. I’m fine with wherever they end up just as long as it’s not out of the bay area. What some of you are failing to figure out is that the other option is going to be leaving the bay area. What’s going to be easier for you to get to? San Jose or San Antonio? Again if Oakland can put something together that can keep the A’s around, get them to thrive so they can be competitive, I think it’s great. Just doesn’t look like Oakland has the backing that San Jose does in terms of corporate sponsor ship.
    I don’t want to say the “Only Oakland” fans are being irrational, but San Jose is not a long ways away. It’s still in the bay area.”
    .
    Quit posting on this blog Makhan, you’re making too much sense.:-)

  145. Also, I have nothing against SJ. The sick part of me would love to see the A’s get SJ just to see that prick Larry Baer’s look of horror. I just know how much this franchise means and could mean to my community.

  146. @jk-usa: “Like I’ve said here 100 times, a local group should get a shot at buying the A’s before outside interests.”
    .
    I find it very interesting that you say this, especially after all your comments that the whole thing is a conspiracy; collusion between frat buddies “Bud” and “Lew.” Now you think the process is legitimate and a local owner would have a fair shot?

  147. @GoJohn–agree–hope that Gammons is insight about the happenings going on and not just opinion—but either way—he is right–at least 3 teams can’t/won’t play in free agency–union has got to hate that–

  148. @en. I get it. When I first heard about SJ I freaked. I remebered all those times I spent in the bleachers wondering why Stab Javier was playing, when we’d upgrade from Brent Gates and Craig Paquette. But now my concern is the A’s survival. But I’d never discredit how pro Oaklanders feel.

    @fc. Haha. Thanks!

  149. @david,
    Keeping it classy and, most importantly, KEEPING IT REAL! Re RJ, the A’s should have never retired his jersey/number.

  150. @eb “The sick part of me would love to see the A’s get SJ just to see that prick Larry Baer’s look of horror. I just know how much this franchise means and could mean to my community.” that is the smartest and most sincere statement I have seen you made. If only others can be as realistic as you without trying to attack other cities. As others have repeatedly said, SJ losing does not mean Oakland winning. And yes f@$! Baer and good riddance to Neukum.

  151. @Makhan Sighn – You wrote “@en” but I think you meant “@eb”. You also wrote “Stab Javier” but I think you meant “Stan Javier”. You switched the n and the b. This makes me wonder about your last name, which is shown as “Signh”. Is that correct or is your name supposed to be “Singh”? I don’t have the ability to see when you created your account but I’m just curious how long you’ve been posting on this site? Just curious. Thanks.

  152. newhouse’s name was brought up earlier but earlier today he quit working for bang/oakland trib. don’t know if that mean he stops writing as a whole.

    as for the constant sj vs oak arguments, if the a’s do actually move down to sj, what are the stanch pro oak fans gonna do? will they just suck it up and continue to root for the team because once the a’s do likely move to sj in 3-4 years, i hope the oak vs sj arguments stop and we can get back to just rooting for the a’s franchise as a whole. or will there will a continued backlash at wolff for moving the team from oak to sj.

  153. Newhouse quit? Good luck to him, whatever he does next. Something tells me he’ll be an occasional contributor to the Examiner.

  154. Newhouse first, one can only hope Poole is next. Sorry, but in this day and age of social media, just blathering away opinions randomly without any data points or facts, can only get you so far…

  155. I like Poole and Kawakami. Bruce Jenkins is the next guy I’d like to see retire. I have never liked his smug writing style.

  156. @jk Regardless what else happens, a new, privately financed ballpark in Oakland is a flat impossibility under baseball’s current economic system, with AT&T Park right next door.
    .
    The A’s were struggling when MLB economics were 100% about “butts in the seats.” Now, stadium revenue is 50% “butts in the seats,” 50% premium seating. Oakland simply cannot draw enough premium seat revenue due to its location. Weak in overall attendance + non-existent premium seat revenue = not happening.
    .
    If MLB, in a moment of insanity, denies San Jose, here are the realistic possibilities, in order of probability:
    1. Fremont;
    2. A’s struggle on in a decaying Coli, pathetic, subsidized and ignored, for many years;
    3. A’s leave the area.
    .
    I know you’re fine with #2. Maybe that’s LGO’s true objective. The prospect makes me sick at heart – I honestly don’t know which is worse, #2 or #3.

  157. @Columbo. Sorry, damn auto correct jacked me on the names. I haven’t signed up for the site. I guess I’m on here as a guest. I guess I should set up an account. The last name is actually correct. It’s in honor of a bad wrestling gimick years ago as I was a big fan of wrestling back in the day.

  158. @Columbo. Forgot to mention. Been following this site for almost a year. Was just jittery about posting due to folks getting heated on here. Plus the info I’m getting is all pretty much from here. A lot of you guys seem very well informed and I know I couldn’t really hold an actual debate against anyone here. You guys are in a sense my window to what is happening with the A’s.

  159. Welcome aboard, Makhan. Yes, this board can get rather heated, and I’m often in the middle of it but try to be respectful to others. I often have to bite my tounge when I read some of the posts and try not to lose it. But overall, a pretty good, very knowledgeable group with very strong opinions on the ballpark situation. I feel very passionate on keeping the A’s in Oakland. I’ve been following them for 40 years and feel going to SJ would be a huge blow to their great, colorful, whacky up and down history in the O. I don’t live in the O, but love the town and spend a lot of time there.

  160. re: 1. Fremont;
    2. A’s struggle on in a decaying Coli, pathetic, subsidized and ignored, for many years;
    3. A’s leave the area.

    …since we know Oakland is not going to happen unless MLB pays for the ballpark lock stock and barrel, I think what will happen would be the A’s stay at the Coliseum until some out-of-town group, probably with a public financing commitment in tow, buys the team and moves them. Once the A’s are up for sale, there will be substantial interest from other parts of the country. Just watch. I think the ship has sailed for Fremont and it’s done.

  161. @jk-usa. Thanks a lot for the welcome. I’ve been a big fan of the A’s for a while myself. My first recollection of baseball was seeing Rickey Henderson stealing bases the year he broke the single season record. I was about 7 at the time and became a baseball fan at the time. Took me whole to understand the game since I come from a soccer family.
    DT O is a nice place. I’ve been a few times and enjoyed myself. I also agree losing the A’s will be a big blow to Oakland. Not sure what will happen but something has to be done to ensure they don’t end up in another state.
    By the way I grew up in Redwood City and currently live in Mountain View. I’d follow the A’s anywhere.

  162. Losing the A’s will be a big blow for Oakland, but Oakland has chosen to do nothing to keep them. Everything Oakland has done says they don’t care about the A’s (ruin the stadium, fire the city manager for devising a ballpark plan, committing to no public financing for a ballpark, etc). So let the chips fall where they may.

  163. @pjk- Per my visits on this site. I have have noticed that there appears there is no plan in Oakland. It’s a sad deal for them not to have a plan in order if they really don’t have one. This is why I wouldn’t complain if they moved to SJ. Plus it seems like SJ has a plan for them. And if MLB lets us move into the area with all of the corporate sponsering that is mentioned, it would be great to see our A’s thrive financially and be able to compete.
    I get why folks are having a hard time letting go of Oakland. Yes our memories are there. But times have changed and we need the A’s to be competitive.

  164. @ Makhan Sighn – Aah, Norman the Lunatic. Yes, I seem to recall Mike Shaw’s characters. Sadly he died pretty young of a heart attack. Thanks for replying.

  165. @’Sighn – Oakland has a plan. Unfortunately, since the city has a hostile owner group, the city is working directly with MLB. Doug Boxer from LGO, made it clear that Oakland will be honoring th gag order. I did read that MLB would put 150 million toward the Oakland ballpark.

  166. @David–MLB said they would “loan” $150M not give—big difference–they have never subsidized a ballpark and I doubt that Oakland would be a first….second the secret plan that Oakland is working on…amazing that you truly believe this—magically a city who has had 15+ years to do something and has done nothing is now operating in stealth and ready to deliver a ballpark to the A’s—

  167. Everyone is aware that Reggie Jackson once tried to buy the A’s in order to move them to Vegas? Dave Stewart has said Oakland is “more of a football town?” none of that matters anyway… If LGO came out tomorrow with a financing plan for a stadium, this whole thing would be over.

  168. Yes, the city is keeping its secret plan from Wolff, the guy affected most by it and who is a 50-year friend of the commissioner. And if MLB loans Oakland $150 million, how will they work repayment in as a line item into the city budget?

  169. @Columbo- Thought it was a funny gimmick so I ran with it. Glad it’s not long a one man joke.

  170. If Oakland were really serious about keeping the A’s, they’d have started the EIR 10 months ago. Yes, they don’t want to pay for an EIR unless they were certain they were going to keep them, but that shows me they are not committed. If anyone thinks that there is anything going on between MLB and Oakland, you’re in denial. If MLB was really helping Oakland, the city would be more confidant and would have started the EIR.
    .
    No, I think the EIR announcement was just a ploy to delay his further and hopefully get an extra year or two of rent for the coliseum.

  171. Dear Mr. “Singh.”

    Please supply the evidence that the A’s will move to San Antonio if they’re not allowed to move to San Jose.

    Thanks.

    A’s observer.

    Jim Z

  172. TO THE SAN JOSE CROWD (Almost everyone on this board:

    I HEARD THAT A RECENT ISSUE OF VANITY FAIR UNDERSCORES SAN JOSE’S FINANCIAL WOES.

    IS THAT TRUE?

    I’ve always read on this board (from the pro-San Jose crowd) that everything is wonderful in San Jose.

    There are corporate sponsorship opportunities in the South Bay and there are scores in the East Bay/Oakland as well.

    But arguing this does no good on this board.

    Frankly, I predict that San Jose MIGHT -repeat MIGHT – draw well for about a year and then attendance will plummet. Not a lot of interest among the majority of residents.

    A’s observer.

    P.S. GO OAKLAND RAIDERS!

  173. Isn’t every city having financial woes? What does that have to do with a privately financed ballpark on land that is ready to go? Unless you’re saying that Oakland is in better shape than San Jose, the point seems to be moot.
    “Not a lot of interest in the majority of residents.” As opposed to the current team at the Coliseum, which is packing ‘em in.

  174. By going to SJ you’re writing off a good majority of the eastbay fanbase and trying to build one up a new one in the southbay. Not easy. If the losing continues long term, the fat cat corporations will stay away too.

  175. @A’s observer- since you like to request facts/sources from everyone else please cite your source when you claim that in SJ “…there is not alot of interest from the majority of residents”. And also—please provide stats that compare the corporate sponsorship potential in Oakland/East Bay to that of Silicon Valley

  176. A’s observer: San Jose has its site and most of the land acquired. Oakland has no site and no land acquired. San Jose has the corporate backing to support a privately funded ballpark. Oakland does not and would need to pay for a ballpark with public funds, which the city doesn’t have. As far as San Jose only drawing for a year, the best comparative – the Sharks – at this point are at 100% capacity for the 4 Sharks home games this year. – all sellouts. Business as usual for the Sharks, for two decades now….If there is such good corporate support in the East Bay, why are the suites at Raiders and A’s games empty?

  177. re: By going to SJ you’re writing off a good majority of the eastbay fanbase
    …no, just writing off a few folks who refuse to travel a whole 35 miles to see the A’s in San Jose. And the East Bay is becoming Giants territory, fan-wise, anyway.

  178. A’s observer: Everything is not perfect in San Jose. We’ve had like 30 something murders this year, and these darn protesters are writing all over our sidewalks in CHALK. It’s practically armageddon.

  179. @pjk “And the East Bay is becoming Giants territory, fan-wise, anyway.” By that logic, all of the Bay Area is becoming Giants territory.

  180. @pjk – “As far as San Jose only drawing for a year, the best comparative – the Sharks – at this point are at 100% capacity for the 4 Sharks home games this year. – all sellouts.” Sharks are the only game in town. They would sell out in Half Moon Bay, IMHO.

  181. The usual: If the Sharks don’t sell out, they become Exhibit A for Oakland-only folks about why San Jose can’t support pro sports. If the Sharks do sell out, then they are not a good comparable for how the A’s would do. All bases covered, I guess…

  182. @A’s osbserver- Mr “observer”. I’m just throwing that out there because it would probably be a city where MLB may want to have a team. I’m not stating it as fact. My PERSONAL feeling is that if we don’t find a way to keep the A’s in the bay area whether it is Oakland (if they can find a way to privately finance a stadium and get the team to thrive financially) or San Jose. If some of you get what you want (Wolf selling) it could go to someone who is happy to find a home outside of the bay area (out of state). That’s my PERSONAL feeling.

    GO RAIDERS!

  183. @pjk – Sounds familiar to me too.

  184. Welcome to the boards Makhan! Here’s a cheat sheet to the typical responses here:

    Jk-USA:”if only that carpetbagger Wolf would sell out, then we can get an owner that would sink $1 billion dollars into Oakland and not expect to make a profit or recuperate the investment. Hey look a bird, what are we talking about again?!”

    David:”facts schmacts, it only matters what I think regardless of it having no merit.”

    Columbo: “I dare you to rebuttal my opinion, but of course I won’t respond to it anyways.”

    A’s observer: “I don’t know what I’m saying, but you know what I’ll say it anyway!”

    Eb:”I’m okay with SJ, but if you don’t agree with Oakland, screw you!”

  185. @Columbo Sell out in Half Moon Bay? Oh, c’mon. The NHL has been a massive flop in almost every non-traditional market they’ve moved to – with the notable and massive exception of San Jose. You don’t think it has a lot to do with (a) excitement/civic pride over what is currently the only major league sport in town (even if it is a second-tier, niche sport); (b) massive amounts of disposable income; (c) being the only convenient team for around 2.5 million people (as opposed to the supersaturated SF/Oakland area, with five teams playing in something like a fifteen-mile radius); and (d) having one of the richest corporate bases in the country?

  186. @Anon- Thanks for the welcome. I think only A’s observer didn’t notice that I’d be happy with the A’s staying in Oakland if a viable plan was set for them there. All my A’s memories are there of course. If MLB allows the A’s to San Jose and the franchinse can thrive there, I’m all for it as well. My interest is in the A’s survival in the bay area. I don’t want to see someone swoop in and buy them and possibly move them away from us. This is why 35 miles doesn’t sound so bad to me if it’s an option.

  187. @Anon Really? For a wedding singer/bar mitzvah DJ, you sure are hostile. Seriously, why do you continue to attack people on here? Not cool man.

  188. “TO THE SAN JOSE CROWD (Almost everyone on this board:”
    .
    Ridiculous. On this board, there are a handful of regular posters who strongly advocate for San Jose. There are about an equal number of Oakland-only’ers. The VAST majority fall somewhere in the middle. Many of these – maybe a majority – actually prefer Oakland, for sentimental or other reasons- but mainly just want to see a new ballpark built in the Bay Area. Some of these posters actually dare to acknowledge the reality that San Jose is more realistic for economic reasons – and of course they’re immediately lumped in as “pro San Jose” by the lunatic fringe.
    .
    It reminds me of the right-wing strategy of repeating “liberal media” over and over until it seems into the public consciousness and becomes part of the conventional wisdom, regardless of merit. (Mind you, this is the same “liberal media” that’s actually owned by about five massive media conglomerates, one of which is run by Rupert Murdoch). Once you’ve discredited any source of information that actually has to adhere to journalistic standards and acknowledge facts regardless of ideology, well, you can pretty much make up your own reality.
    .
    As soon as I see someone go off about the supposed “San Jose bias” this board, I know they’re going to show complete and utter disrespect for actual facts.

    “I HEARD THAT A RECENT ISSUE OF VANITY FAIR UNDERSCORES SAN JOSE’S FINANCIAL WOES.
    IS THAT TRUE?”
    .
    Do you have any idea how obnoxious posting in all caps is? Do you think this is somehow helping you make your point?
    .
    “There are corporate sponsorship opportunities in the South Bay and there are scores in the East Bay/Oakland as well.”
    .
    We’re not talking about putting signs up in the building. It only takes a relative handful of companies to do that. We’re talking about the need to sell around 100 suites and 10,000 club seats on five year, full season commitments. There is nowhere near enough corporate base in the East Bay to support that, especially with AT&T Park more convenient to – literally – 90% of the target market in the Bay Area.

  189. @bartleby HEY, I DON’T AGREE THAT THIS BOARD DOES NOT HAVE–oh, sorry. I don’t agree that this board doesn’t have a certain slant to it. Maybe it’s because most of the posters are the most passionate about the issue, but I have not seen to many who are on the fence or take a middling approach.
    To say the Oakland “side” lumps everyone together is ridiculous. That happens from both extremes. I’ve said since I started posting here that I want Oakland as option A and anywhere else in the Bay(excluding SF) as option B, yet I often get labeled as an “Oakland Only” poster. I even tried to call my self an Oakland Firster, doesn’t matter. Also, comparing the Oakland crowd to Republicans is just downright dirty.;)

  190. @ eb – “For a wedding singer/bar mitzvah DJ” You really have no clue do you…lol. If you can’t take a little humor, especially being so sensitive and bitter, there’s always the friendly confines of the LGO boards..

  191. so eb–@what point do you move away from the dream that Oakland will actually do anything to supporting getting a new home for the A’s in a city that can make it hapen–15+ years isn’t long enough–or that they never did start the EIR at VC…

  192. @ Makhan – our history of following the A’s parallel closely as well. I grew up watching baseball in Portland area, but migrated down south to Cali and started following the Gnats and A’s. Since the A’s were more aligned with the scrappy underdogs image, that fit me and poor upbrining, so i devoted fully to them during the mid to late 90s. I’d love to see a new Oakland ballpark as well, although i would selfishly prefer SJ, but it isn’t realistic and I’m tired of seeing the A’s in a perpetual holding pattern slowing decaying in the Mausoleum they play at. I tend to see at least 5-10 games a year depending on my business travel (and no im not a full time dj in the least sense as it surely won’t pay the mortgage and bills lol). More or less, I wish Jean Quan and the Oakland leaders would at least be transparent about actual plans (EIR/financing/etc.) for once instead of giving people’s hopes and and pretending that they have all the time in the world. It’s getting really old and tiring…

  193. @GoA’s When San Jose is officially named, I will have to lay down my Oakland/East Bay banner. Different scenario and different logistics, but everyone thought the Giants were Tampa Bay/San Jose bound for a while and than, poof, the Giants stayed in their home. I don’t pretend to know how the A’s will stay in Oakland. Honestly, it’s not looking promising, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep crossing my fingers. As to what has been started or not, no one knows for sure, though I’m like others on both sides of the agenda who are frustrated by the lack of transparency.

  194. @Anon – /roll eyes /crickets. @ Bartleby – All teams should move to SJ sans the G’s, even the Kings. Guaranteed sellouts for years.

  195. @Columbo–not too far from what owners are trying to do–’9ers are on their way, Larry E has been trying for years to get a NBA team and move them to SJ–latest effort was the NO Hornets–now owned by the league–we’ll see after the lockout where they end up–and of course we know what the A’s want to do–if you question the potential of the market in SJ than why are the gints fighting so hard to keep it?

  196. @GoA’s – I’m not questioning anything. Just making an observation based on the posts I’ve read.

  197. @Columbo- oh… My bad… Thought you were being sarcastic whenbyou suggested all teams should move to SJ- didn’t realize you were making a statement in supportbof that- my bad

  198. @ Columbo – true to form, you post a sensationalized post saying the Sharks would even sellout in Half Moon Bay…PJK, Bartleby, and others responded accordingly and of course, you ignore them and deflect the question…again. ;)

  199. @Anon – I do not constantly look at this website just waiting to post responses. Moreover, I limit my responses to the ones that aren’t repetitive. Um, I did respond to pjk. Lighten up dude. / roll eyes

  200. @Columbo–As soon as I post something, ANYTHING, Anon jumps in there and slams it. I’m limiting my reponses too, trying to add to the debate and be a cool to others, and not so tough on Wolff (not easy though), becasue I’m tired of the BS by Anon. And I’ve stuck to my boycott of all his posts for 3 weeks now.

  201. @ Columbo – “lighten up”? This coming from the sensitive Oakland crowd? Thanks for taking the time to respond to me though.. <3

    @JKer – “add to the debate”, “tired of the BS”….I’ve asked Santa to give you a mirror for Xmas.

  202. 204 posts so far on this thread on an interview that very few people in the bay area probably listened to.

  203. Greatest thread of all time! Is this the first one to hit 200?

  204. In only 2 days?!

  205. @Larry e
    I was thinking the same thing. Congrats RM!

  206. Congrats for stiring it up!!!

  207. reggie wants to keep the a’s in oakland? that’s news to me considering didn’t he want to join an ownership group that wanted to move the team to las vegas back over a decade ago?

  208. @Anon – No problem. Peace…

    @jk-usa – There are always 2 sides and the passion exists for each. Hang in there.

  209. @letsgoa’s–RJ was on that Channle 7 Live show back in May on his 65th birthday, and he mentioned that he hoped that the A’s can get a ballpark built in Oakland. I posted on it here at the time and posted what he said. Can’t find the video on it, but will dig up on what I posted.

  210. May 18th, 2011–I posted: FWIW, Reggie Jackson was on 7Live with Brian Copeland 10 minutes ago, briefly talking about the A’s ballpark situation. He says he hopes they can get it done in Oakland. He loves the city and the people of Oakland, has owned homes there, loved playing there and hopes the people working on it and can make it happen.

  211. Yes, we all hope they can get it done in Oakland. But we’ve seen no evidence that they can and we’ve been waiting for years and years.

  212. reggie may have said that a months ago but wasn’t he part of an group back in the late 90s that wanted to buy the a’s and move them to las vegas?

  213. Pjk: please clarify something: when you say “Oakland has no site”, are you referring to Victory Court not being confirmed as the site because of negotiations with local businesses being (likely) far from complete? That, plus the EIR not being complete? I am guessing this, as opposed to you being mistaken if you think that VC is only a fantasy by Oakland; The BRC likes VC the best among the 3 proposed waterfront locations.

  214. You’re still holding out hope for VC? Not even staunch pro-Oakland advocates such as Newhouse or Dickey have talked about VC in quite a while. VC: not viable. An EIR process that was supposed to be fast-tracked has instead produced nothing in a year, with rumors afloat that the whole process never even started. Just look at the top of the site: 320 days since VC selected and what has been produced as far as any report or documentation? Zip, nada, nothing.And where does Oakland get the money to acquire the VC land and move these businesses? From an MLB loan? How does Oakland pay it back?… Coliseum – not acceptable to MLB and Oakland wants it for the Raiders. MLB has been looking for years for a site in Oakland and can’t seem to find one except taking a shot in the dark at the not-viable VC site…And of course, there’s the matter that Oakland requires that the team owner pay for the stadium on his own dime and there is no owner willing to meet this requirement.

  215. @letsgoas – I don’t want to belabor the point because it is moot now but RJ was part of the Dolich group in 1999. There is an article in the SF Chronicle from July 2 of that year that tells of Jackson’s entry into the 14-person Dolich group as a “minority” investor. This is the group that included Piccinini and Zimmer. From what we know this group wanted to keep the team in Oakland. There was another article in the Chronicle earlier that same year on April 16 that described the two groups bidding for the A’s, one being the Dolich group and the other the Lazarus group. The article’s last paragraph says, “When we first got involved, the term of the lease was something many people thought was a significant issue, and there was speculation about whether the team would move,” Caporale said. “The interesting thing is, both of these groups have absolutely no interest in moving the team.”

  216. Did either group plan to build a ballpark on their own dime? What were their facility plans of these two groups?

  217. @pjk – I was merely responding to letsgoas and his post about RJ. I mentioned that I don’t want to keep beating a dead horse from a dozen years ago because it will do no good. However, to attempt to answer your question, I do believe that at least the Dolich group was highly interested in a downtown ballpark but I don’t have specifics on what their plan would have been. We will never know since they were rejected by BS. The only thing that I personally know for sure is that Piccinini himself believed, whether right or wrong, that the Giants were responsible for their group’s rejection. He intimated several times that he encountered Giants executives at various NBA games who told him directly that they (Giants) were o.k. with him owning a team in So Cal but not the A’s. Note – I am not attempting to start a whole new discussion on this.

  218. As I recall, the Dolich group’s plan was “we can make the Coliseum work.” Followed by his comment years later that a new multipurpose football/baseball stadium was viable. I can’t tell you how glad I am that group did NOT win.

  219. It’s a shame about the Piccinini group not getting the team. Reading that article elevated my complete lack of respect for the Giant front office even more.

  220. If anyone questions what the giants true motivation is this article should help clarify it…as Baer recently said when asked about TR….”maybe Sacramento will work for them”….in other words they know Oakland can’t make it happen and blocking SJ gives the A’s only one option which is to leave the area-

  221. Exactly, GoA;s…

  222. …It’s a good thing the Wolff group won, because Wolff wants to keep the A’s in the Bay Area and recognizes there is no public $$ to pay for construction of the ballpark. And he’s found a way to make a profitable venture out of this project. Unfortunately, he is being demonized by some because his plan involves putting the new ballpark – gasp! – a whole 35 miles of the existing non-ballpark.

  223. 35 miles south

  224. I think it’s pretty apparent the Giants want the A’s out of the region all together. Suggesting Sacramento is just a PC way of saying that, not any sort of statement or analysis of an Oakland ballpark.

  225. yep which i’m still puzzled why a’s fans rooted for them to win last year when the front office wants the team you’re a fan of out of the area. i do wonder once the tr decision is made and chances of it being the green light to sj is becoming more and more apperant, how will the media here respond to the story who we all know the media here on all accounts is in sf’s hip pocket in terms of butt kissing.

  226. @letsgoas – I truly believe the Giants don’t want the A’s to be successful anywhere in the bay area, Oakland, SJ, Pleasanton, Fremont, Alameda, etc. I’ve believe the “TR Rights” is just a bogus argument. They don’t want the A’s anywhere in the bay period, IMHO. 1) They don’t want a new ballpark in SJ for many reasons using TR as the excuse. 2) They don’t want a new ballpark in Oakland either, knowing it could also (in addition to SJ) possibly rival and exceed the now 11-year old park in China Basin. Putting aside attendance history for just a moment (please), if a new park were built anywhere in the bay it would rival AT&T Park and that is a source of major concern for the Giants brass. They would love nothing better than to have the A’s continue at the Coliseum where, at this very moment, the f*king Broncos are beating the Raiders 7 to 3. This Oak vs. SJ thing is just what they want. They know a new ballpark, wherever it is, would cause problems for them and they don’t like it.

  227. @Columbo–do you really believe thta a ballpark in Oakland either at VC or at the Coli would ever compete on the same level as China Basin? Come on—even the one in SJ would never compete with China Basin but its 45 miles away–so it doesn’t have to–but one in Oakland 8 miles away defintely would be competing directly

  228. i’m with you Columbo!

  229. @GoA’s – Hello. To put it succinctly, yes. I do believe an Oak ballpark would rival AT&T. It is centrally located to many different areas and has many transportation options. The caveat being that the team fields a competitive team. If we’re talking about a 62-100 team, I don’t think they’d draw welll in Oak, Fremont, or SJ.

  230. Couldn’t agree with you more, Columbo.

  231. @David @jk-usa – I give it 30 minutes.

  232. re: I do believe an Oak ballpark would rival AT&T.

    …now all we need is some way to pay for it. Any suggestions?

  233. @pjk – I don’t disagree and never have.

  234. An Oakland ballpark would be a huge money loser without a huge public subsidy. There is no disputing that and bartleby has done an excellent job of point out why.

    Buster Olney is not the only national write who believes Oakland is a lost cause. Ken Rosenthal was on MLB network saying the same thing.

    If an Oakland ballpark was feasible it would have been built already in the last 20 years. The A’s are not moving because of ownership but because of the Oakland City Council and how they have treated the A’s over the years.

    The A’s are done in Oakland and have been for years. San Jose is their future and MLB has run out of options with them. There is no Washington DC willing to fork over 611M dollars for a new ballpark, not in this economy.

    Selig should let Wolff and the A’s into San Jose in the coming months. If not then MLB will miss its 2015 deadline of a new stadium for the A’s.

    These guys like Olney and Rosenthal are not morons as most of the Pro-Oakland crowd would like to believe.

    They are professionals who are calling it “as they see it”.

    San Jose Athletics in 2015…..Selig has exhausted “all options”.

  235. I forgot to mention win or lose an Oakland ballpark would lose money all day long. VC has too many issues and 980 is a pipe dream.

    It is all on San Jose as they have a site and a city council who has actually done work without any guarantees from MLB.

    Now if Oakland had a downtown site with a 300M subsidy, I am sure Wolff would build it there and I would support him doing that over a private ballpark in San Jose, in my hometown.

  236. Newhouse pens his goodbye column:

    News of my leaving will be celebrated by Oakland A’s ownership, now free from my carpings about its callous pursuit of San Jose. And the Warriors won’t have to listen to my rants about changing their name to “Oakland.”

    He must’ve forgot about that column from five years ago.

  237. @Columbo- no disrespect but to this date no one else believes what you believe which is why there is no private financing plan for a ballpark in Oakland–if I am going to entertain clients and invest in a suite, buy advertising, or take on corporate sponsorship rights and I have the choice of SF or Oakland there is no way I would choose Oakland–comparing SF to SJ–the only reason I pick SJ is that happens to be the backyard of most of these corporations that will be buying this stuff—SF trumps both city’s easily from a desirablity perspective—

  238. a new stadium and a winning team, yes, you choose Oakland.

  239. Once again, who pays for the Oakland stadium? No public or corporate dollars available. What’s the plan besides expecting the owners to build a $450 million ballpark without regard to whether they make money or go broke?

  240. @David,
    Just an FYI to a comment you made on another thread: I have cousins who make half as much money as I make, still stay at home with my Aunt’s/Uncle’s who have sat in suites during Raiders games. I’ve even sat at in the club section for one game! Can’t you sit in a suite at an A’s game for around a G? Point is that while the suites were pretty “full” for yesterdays disaster, those aren’t mega-corporations filling them up.

  241. full is full.

  242. looking at attendance yesterday it was 58k+—stadium holds 64k–where is the 10%?

  243. Let me provide one “fact.” Someone posted that the suites at Oakland Raiders games are “empty.”

    I was at yesterday’s Raiders game and I have a different opinion. I’ll buy anyone a ticket to a Raiders game if he/she can provide evidence – from a Raiders official – that the suites were “empty” at yesterday’s game. If not, then I want a free ticket.

    A’s observer.

  244. still 6k below what the place holds—-people missing somewhere…just saying

  245. I’d want to see a couple year history of selling out suites at non-discounted prices before I jumped up and down in excitement. Preferably sold out before the season started.

  246. Raiders’ history of selling suites has not been good. Does Raiders suites appearing filled on a given Sunday mean Oakland can support a privately funded ballpark where suites would need to be filled 81 days a year, when we’ve all seen the swaths of empty suites at A’s games for years on end already?

  247. Raiders attendance listed at 58,125 yesterday, about 4,000 under capacity and apparently the lowest attended NFL game of the day.

  248. as a niners fan, sad to say their attendance over the years has been just as bad as the niners. during home games when they do a view of the entire stadium during the game, you see huge pockets of empty seats especially in the upper deck. even the last game against cle when the niners were 5-1 and coming out of the bye as one of the hottests teams, i’d say there were no more than maybe 50-55k in that stadium. the excuse used is the niners haven’t faced big draw teams this season in tb and cle. well we saw what happened when they played dal when half the stadium it seemed as cheering for the other team. we’ll see how much niner fans support their team against pit later in the season in prime time. will they step up for a team that will likely win 11 or even 12 games or will these pit fans take over as they’ve done the last few times pit played at the stick.
    ..
    niners owners are just smart enough to buy the unsold tickets.

  249. “hate oakland.org”

    • “hate oakland.org”

      David,
      NO ONE’S HATING ON OAKLAND! Just stating the truth. Why is that so hard to get through your noggin? And yes, while “full is full,” it’s one thing for a suite “holder” to make $25 an hour, 40 hours a week; it’s another for that “holder” to be a multi-billion dollar corporation. Just sayin!

  250. Wow, is this the blog post with the most comments?
    I can’t recall another thread with such a response in all the years this blog’s been up and running.

  251. I can’t pretend to know how full the suites were at yesterday’s Raider game; you can’t see that on TV. But I do know the East Side Club seats were about 20% full. THAT you can see on every punt.
    .
    (This despite the fact that they sell for $126 – $156 each – roughly half what club seats sell for at most other NFL stadia).
    .
    @David “Full is full.” No, full is not full. Full (occasionally) at $700 per game purchased on a game-by-game basis (typical A’s pricing, when they’re not giving away suites for free with season ticket packages) is NOT the same as full at $5000 per game on an 81 game, five year commitment (e.g. Giants prices). Please at least pretend you live in the real world with the rest of us.
    .
    When you say stuff like “all they need is a winning team,” you are failing to grasp the nature of the business. If you’re buying suites on a five year basis, you’re going to see some ups and downs in team performance; you don’t base your decision on that. Corporate suite buyers are about the least affected by team performance in their purchase decisions of any category of so-called “fan.” They are not buying tickets because they are baseball fans, they are buying for other reasons. Winning is nice, but it’s an afterthought. If you’re reduced to relying on single-game buyers (e.g. the people who will be inflenced by whether the team is currently winning or losing, you have already lost the battle.
    .
    Anyway, in a league where not just many, but most teams will finish at or around .500 or below in any given year, if your ability to draw and/or break even in any given year is dependent on whether you’re winning or not – you’re not in an MLB market. Oakland has never proved it can win, draw well and break even without a subsidy at the same time – even before MLB economics became all about premium seat revenue.

  252. A sold behind-the-dugout seat for the Giants means the team just collected about $150. A sold behind-the-dugout seat for the A’s means the team just collected about $40. Sold seats are not always equal.

  253. re: (This despite the fact that they sell for $126 – $156 each – roughly half what club seats sell for at most other NFL stadia).
    ….says all we need to know about the market for premium sports seating in Oakland. And Wolff and Fischer are left with two options for financing an Oakland ballpark: selling premium seating or personal charity.

  254. Interesting, that the new Fox Theater in Oakland seems to have sold out shows 4 or 5 nights a week. If you listened to any of the Phd’s around here, you wonder why all those folks aren’t going to see a show at the Warfield in SF. Even more interesting is why all the top, major-label bands are playing at the Fox in Oakland and not at the Great American Music Hall or some other SF venue? Maybe a nice modern venue in Oakland can draw HUGE crowds!!

  255. Unfortunately, there is no correlation whatsoever to the Fox Theater and privately financing a ballpark in Oakland.

  256. @David Hmm, how to respond to your post about the Fox.
    .
    I could point out that the Fox web page currently lists three shows for November and two shows for December. No idea whether they’re sold out or not, but pretty sure we’re not looking at “sold out shows 4 or 5 nights a week” for those months.
    .
    Or, I could point out that attendance at a 2800 seat arts venue with no luxury boxes bears little relationship to the need to sell tickets to a 32,000 seat sports venue with 10,000 club seats and 100 suites.
    .
    Or, I might gently suggest that this is simply further evidence that Oakland is an arts town more than a baseball town (as if we needed further evidence).
    .
    Or, I could simply say, “No soap, radio.” (Taking my cue that now is the part of the thread where we all post irrelevant non-sequiturs).

  257. ^^more news from: “hate oakland.org”

  258. Davids response gives me this visual of my kids sticking their fingers in their ears so thinking they didn’t have to listen …sticks and stones may break my bones but facts really piss me off…

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