A’s release statement on Territorial Rights

Update 9:38 PM – the Giants’ statement:

Statement from the San Francisco Giants Regarding Territorial Rights
March 7, 2012

The Commissioner has asked us to refrain from discussing the territorial rights issue publicly. Out of respect for his request, we will limit our response to setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights.

The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.

The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory. Upon purchasing the team 20 years ago, our plan to revive the franchise relied heavily on targeting and solidifying our fan base in the largest and fastest growing county within our territory. Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels.

Update 5:40 PM – John Shea has reaction from the Giants:

This just came in a few minutes ago:

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2012

STATEMENT BY OAKLAND A’S OWNERSHIP

REGARDING A’S AND GIANTS SHARING BAY AREA TERRITORY:

Recent articles claiming that Major League Baseball has decided that the A’s cannot share the two-team Bay Area market were denied by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last weekend.

Currently the Giants and A’s share the two-team Bay Area market in terms of television, radio, sponsors and fans. Last year, the Giants opened a specialty store in the middle of the A’s market (Walnut Creek). At the time, Lew Wolff commented that he was ‘fine with the Giants store and wished there was an A’s store in San Francisco.’

Of the four two-team markets in MLB, only the Giants and A’s do not share the exact same geographic boundaries. MLB-recorded minutes clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara. The granting of Santa Clara to the Giants was by agreement with the A’s late owner Walter Haas, who approved the request without compensation. The Giants were unable to obtain a vote to move and the return of Santa Clara to its original status was not formally accomplished.

We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants’ great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A’s.

We are hopeful that the Commissioner, the committee appointed by the Commissioner, and a vote of the MLB ownership, will enable us to join the fine array of modern and fun baseball parks that are now commonplace in Major League Baseball.

Discuss. The emphasis is in the original release.

Added 10:29 AM – Susan Slusser has some musings.

Added 10:51 AM – Nina Thorsen is present at (and reminded me of) Oakland’s press conference regarding Coliseum City.

Updated 10:56 AM – Release updated to correct typo (“were” instead of “we”)

Updated 1:15 PM – Mark Purdy gets quotes from Wolff.

247 Responses to A’s release statement on Territorial Rights

  1. Mike says:

    Isnt the 43% percent number they use just them dividing Santa Clara County Population by their total territory counties added together? Seems close from the numbers that were stated earlier. If so just give them everything north of here and tell them there you have more people. Hell throw in Alaska. ha

  2. letsgoas says:

    yes if you ever saw the slvg poll done a few years ago where 120 members who answered 87% said they have no relationship with the sfg from either sponorships or buying luxury boxes. the 13% who said they did, 7 out of 10 said they’d also support the a’s also.

    so what do you think those other 120 who have no affiliation would do if the a’s move down to sj, i’d predict the majority would support the a’s and that’s what sf is worried about. no the a’s won’t ever overtake them in this area but they could compete financially a whole lot better and that may draw more fans to a’s games and watching/listening to them on air and that doesn’t sit too well for sf whos basically whored themselves to the bay area media to the point where they’re by far the clear cut #1 team in the market even surpassing the previous kings that were the 49ers. they don’t want two competitive well run mlb teams here in the bay area, they just want what they have now is almost near near full control of the market and if the a’s were to move to sj, that’d cut into their control. basically they’re a bunch of greedy son fo a bitch bastards who don’t want the a’s to compete in anyway here locally.

  3. Ted says:

    Anon, I have been nothing but honest and polite in this discussion while you have been belligerent and rude. I have never heard of Stand Up For San Jose. I am a Giants fan and a San Jose resident and a systems engineer. You and Tiny don;t know hwat a troll is. I am here expressing my opinions and doing my best to back them up with facts and links. You have not done the same, you haven’t even read the MLBC that you are commenting on. Where are you from? What kinda stake do you have in all this?

    RC, I repeat myself when someone fails to get the point or see the facts.

    It is odd how rude and obnoxious some people get when they post anonymously on the internet. I guess it is easier to insult and name call than to actually argue facts.

  4. Ted says:

    letsgoas, I agree with a lot of what you said there, of the Giants want to protect their market share. Why begrudge the Giants for good business decisions including masterfully working themselves int the media market?

  5. Marine Layer says:

    Folks, can we not call someone with whom we might disagree a troll? Talk facts and motivations, debate with some class. Otherwise I’m gonna have to start striking comments.

  6. george o says:

    @Ted – agreed, we should try to be respectful here. If I may explain some of the negativity, I think that most of the long time commenters here (while sometimes rude) are quite familiar with the facts (to the extent they are in the public domain), and it comes across as somewhat condescending when a new poster’s attitude is that they “fail to get the point.” For the most part, they seem to be rejecting your interpretations of events, as they seem biased, rather than some lack of comprehension that you assume. As to being “honest,” I wouldn’t presume to know, but when you say “I oppose those in City Hall who want to give the A’s land and let them build a stadium in my town,” it may come across as disingenuous, as the A’s aren’t being “given” the land, and whatever purchase discount they may or may not ultimately obtain, it’s a mere pittance compared to the half a billion $$ direct investment they will make in construction, and long term residual economic benefits thereafter. In economic times like these, a lot of people in SJ are excited about that, and to brush it aside over some partisan bias against the A’s seems rather petty. Remember, it’s “our” town too. In an earlier post, you asked Jeff to set “aside your feelings as a fan” – can you do the same?

  7. Al says:

    @Stomper: Isn’t online merch sales revenu split evenly betweem all teams, regardless of which team sells the most gear?

    @Ted: What kind of “fan” gives a flying F- what the franchise value of their team is going to be worth? Either Giants fans are more f-d up than I give you credit for, or sounds like you’ve got a stake in this other than just being a concerned fan and citizen. Hmmmmm

  8. jeff-athletic says:

    @Ted
    You’ve basically been saying that the Giants should have total control of the market, that the A’s should remain crippled and have no right to try to better themselves, and you’re saying this to a bunch of A’s fans. Sorry, but that’s not “polite”.

  9. Jeffrey says:

    I think we should all remember that none of us (to my knowledge) are affiliated with either of these teams in anyway other than as fans. My favorite part of being affiliated with this blog, the reason I became a devoted reader, is the focus on fact and journalistic integrity.
    .
    Let’s keep in mind that we can disagree without being disagreeable. We can, and should, inform one another without demeaning each other. Behind our handles (which mine is my real name Jeffrey August) there are real people. Let’s treat each other like we are real people.

  10. SierraSpartan says:

    First, some background:
    1) I am a Giants fan. Don’t shoot the messenger.
    2) I was raised in San Jose, I’m a graduate of SJSU. I was living in San Jose when you could still see across the valley on a still day, and the population of the city was below six digits.
    3) I’ve been following this stadium situation because I knew that something like this was going to happen to the Athletics the very second the shovels went into the dirt to construct Mt. Davis.
    4) I don’t live in San Jose now, but given the opportunity to vote the question of whether or not Cisco Field should be built, my answer would be a resounding “yes”, and I would encourage as many of my fellow citizens to do likewise. It will be good for San Jose, good for the valley at large, and good for MLB to get out of Oakland (again, don’t shoot the messenger).
    5) I believe there should be marketing parity between the two teams; the Bay Area is a two-team market, and MLB should start acting thusly.
    6) Stand For San Jose can suck a big fat johnson.

    Now, then…the problem that the Athletics face is that while there may have been negotiating documents and such that were bandied about during the ownership of Peter Magowan, possibly even back to Bob Lurie, those documents are not part of the MLB Constitution. So when we look at the other two-team markets, we see language such as…
    CWS: “Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, Kendall, McHenry and Grundy Counties in Illinois; and Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana; provided, however, that this territory shall be shared with the Chicago Cubs franchise in the National League”
    LAAofA: “Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties in California; provided, however, that this territory shall be shared with the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise in the National League;”
    NYY: “City of New York; Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Westchester Counties in New York; Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union Counties in New Jersey; and that portion of Fairfield County in Connecticut located south of Interstate 84 and west of Route 58; provided, however, that this territory shall be shared with the New York Mets franchise in the National League;”

    The language for their National League counterparts is exactly the same, word-for-word, with the exception that the AL counterpart team is named.

    Only Oakland and San Francisco have separate territories within the same market. Unless and until that language is changed in the MLB constitution, the Athletics are confined to ALA or CC counties; barring those two options, they will have to leave.

    This press release skirmish has actually been helpful in some regard, in that it brings notice to the imbalance that exists in the marketing for the two teams; this imbalance, regrettably, is enshrined in the MLB constitution, and that is the first thing that needs to be changed. Until the Athletics achieve parity in their territorial description in the MLB constitution, nothing else is going to move.

    Which, to my personal regret and shame, is precisely the way the Giants want it to remain.

  11. Jeffrey says:

    See now, that was a well reasoned comment from a guy who is clearly illogical (just kidding SierraSpartan).
    .
    I remember when AT&T Park was being built as Pac Bell Park. I worked on 3rd and Folsom and I would walk down once a week to watch progress. I ROOTED for the Giants to get that stadium because I like having two teams here, even if the A’s are better.

  12. jeff-athletic says:

    Good points Sierra Spartan.

    However, the minutes are actually very explicit (look at SJ merc Purdy article), and they took place prior to the amendments to the constitution. Thus, the amendments can be nullified, because they were improperly carried about and violated stated agreements. If it went to arbitration, this is probably what would happen. This is something that actually has precedent in law, politics and institutional constitutions. Just look at Prop 8 – a California constitutional amendment that was ruled unconstitutional (US constitution) by the supreme court.
    .
    The MLB constitutional amendments, even though they violated the explicit agreements as recorded in the minutes, probably went through without challenge because:
    a) Walter Haas died
    b) The A’s organization were in an okay position back then and did not want to get in the way of the Giants building their new stadium.
    .
    But in retrospect, people on all sides should have done their due diligence back then. And MLB should subsequently correct the original egregious mistake.
    .
    Thus, people saying that the MLB constitution, in regards to the Giants SCC T-rights, is iron clad, are mistaken.
    .
    The minutes, and what they explicitly state regarding the T-rights, are actually extremely substantial – legally, and in the court of public opinion.

  13. Dude says:

    Me too, Jeffrey. Never been any kind of Giants fan at all — in fact, I’ve actively rooted against them most of my life. Yet I was ecstatic when the Florida move fell through and they built PacBell. I could see it was good for the entire region to keep both teams, which is far more important than my personal team loyalties. I’m glad to see a couple of Giants fans chiming in who see it the same way.

  14. Stomper00 says:

    @Al..yes i believe so but, but merch sales revenue is not the point. After rereading my post from last night I think my understanding was wrong. Late night posts are sometimes tricky…lol

    Anyways, now I think I’ve got it…The Giants are saying “The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory.” which I assume is the breakdown percentage of their 6 counties. My point is how many of that 43% actually represent into real ticket sales? That’s the $1MM question!

    Read that line again very carefully…”The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory.” This means “potential” However, to the casual observer, someone can interpret it as saying 43% of fans in attendance are from Santa Clara County. Which is completely false.
    The A’s press release hit the Giants very hard, however, the Giants also chose their words carefully too. Both press releases were trying to sway public opinion and the Giants made it sound like no one would ever go to their games again if the A’s move to SJ. Hopefully the casual observer caught that!

  15. SierraSpartan says:

    @ jeff – Probably don’t want to go down the Proposition 8 rabbit hole, because then we start getting into issues of whether the judiciary is functioning as a co-equal branch of Guvmint (IMHO it ain’t), and we get into thorny issues such as basic human rights and things which trump the written document and get more into the realm of the moral.

    We’re talking business here, not morality, and the problem that the Athletics have is that those “minutes” weren’t put into the MLB constitution, and therefore they have no actual standing at this time. It’s much like going into the U.S. Supreme Court and arguing that the Federalist Papers should trump the written word in the Constitution. We’d like to think that the Federalist Papers were a guide to the Constitution (indeed, they were), but they were not what was agreed to amongst the Several States. Those who saw the need have been able to change the US Constitution on 27 different occasions; and thus the change can be done with the MLB constitution as well.

    The easiest path going forward is for the Athletics’ ownership to cobble together a 3/4 coalition to change the MLB constitution to have the OAK/SF two-team territorial descriptions match those of the other three two-team markets; hell, toss in Solano, Sonoma and San Benito counties for good measure. This is something the A’s can do on the basis of fairness and parity, and it would absolve the Steinbrenners’ concern about the prospect of other teams (like the Rays or Royals) plopping themselves in the swamp of New Jersey without prior approval, and it’s politically much more palatable to teams like Philly or the other two-team markets.

    Waving about the minutes like a bloody rag is a losing argument, IMHO; I think all here can agree that Mr. Haas made a bad business decision back in the day, but the way to fix that is to concentrate your aims on the best interests of baseball – which are served by constructing the San Jose stadium – and by making sure that all two team markets have mutual parity. Sure, that vote may end up being 29-1, but the only way SFG fights coming out on the losing end of that fight is to either close up shop or take on the antitrust exemption on their own hook – neither of which they are going to do.

  16. jeff-athletic says:

    @Sierra
    Agreed – don’t want to go down that prop 8 rabbit hole. It was just an example of a constitutional amendment potentially reversed.
    .
    And your analysis of making the territory fair, and in fact expanding the territory (adding counties) and keeping the territory iron clad (in terms of other teams moving into the area), all in the “best interests of baseball” is probably the best tact, because it would be enough to placate the likes of the yanks and mets.

  17. martin says:

    All that matters is that the Giants paid money for SC County rights when they bought the team.. The A’s paid less money for the team because they didn’t have those rights. Ownership is about who paid for what. The Giants paid more, they get more.

    Period!

  18. Mike says:

    The last 11 comments are some of the best points on this, hopefully everyone that’s been paying attention reads them.

  19. jeff-athletic says:

    @martin
    The Giants did not pay for the SCC rights.
    .
    From Purdy’s article in the merc:
    .

    “The minutes to that meeting, the A’s statement said, “clearly indicate that the Giants were granted” the territorial rights “subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara.” That’s where the Giants planned to build their own South Bay ballpark until county voters rejected the plan, which called for tax increases.
    .
    Those 1990 MLB meeting minutes, it has been learned, also contain a passage that indicates the Giants’ rights to Santa Clara County took effect only if the new stadium was satisfactorily completed. With that assurance, the A’s owner at the time, Walter Haas, agreed to give away his franchise’s shared rights to the South Bay without compensation.”
    .
    That is extremely substantial, and is very much a basis for nullifying the MLB constitutional amendment that granted the Giants T-rights to SCC, or at least modifying them. Quite simply, the conditions for the T-rights, as agreed upon by all parties, were not met. This information about the explicit agreement, as recorded in the MLB meetings minutes, invalidates the amendment.
    .
    Quite frankly, it shouldn’t come to a vote by the lodge, or a decree by Selig, or some sort of compensation deal for the Giants. The amendment that grants the Giants T-rights to SCC should be removed immediately.
    .
    An agreement is an agreement.

  20. martin says:

    Jeff that is not correct. The Giants ownership changed in 1992. When the new owners bought the team, the price was higher because it included SC County rights. If those rights didn’t exist, then they would have been able to negotiate a lower price for the team.

    In the same way. The current A’s ownership was able to buy the A’s for a low price because they didn’t have those rights.

  21. SierraSpartan says:

    @ martin – here is where the phrase, “best interests of baseball” kicks in.

    It’s already been established that SFG pays into the revenue sharing fund approximately $30M per year. Conversely, the Athletics currently draw something on the order of $30M per year. One could almost state that SFG is paying $30M per year to OAK to remain in its current hellhole of a stadium.

    The differential in the market valuations between the two teams on the Forbes 2011 list is $150M (SFG is $230M, OAK is $80M). I fail to see how raising OAK’s market value negatively impacts SFG’s market valuation.

    That plus not having to fork over $30M per year kinda makes this a no-brainer for me in dollars-and-cents, but I fear that the folks at 24 Willie Mays Plaza aren’t thinking entirely with their heads on this one.

  22. Marine Layer says:

    @all – I suggest you read my latest post.

  23. martin says:

    @SierraSpartan i think you substituted revenue for market value. SFG market value is $563 million in comparison to the A’s $307 million.

    And yea for a $150million difference in revenue per year, you bet they want to keep those rights ;) !

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/33/baseball-valuations-11_San-Francisco-Giants_339175.html

  24. bartleby says:

    @ Martin And Giants’ ownership bought the teaming knowing that T-rights to SC County could be terminated at any time by vote of the other owners for ZERO compensation. If they paid a significant markup for those rights knowing that (and I don’t believe they did), they are idiots.
    .
    Termination for convenience clauses are routine in business contracts. If you were purchasing a business which is heavily dependent on a major revenue contract, the difference between having such a clause or not is huge. If you have a five year revenue agreement with no T for C clause, that’s five years guaranteed revenue. If you have a five year revenue agreement which can be terminated at any time on thirty days notice, that’s thirty days guaranteed revenue. The purchase price for the business will reflect this difference.
    .
    This is one of several reasons why the Giants’ arguments don’t hold water. The T-rights may have been enshrined in the MLB Constitution, albeit by mistake. But so are the provisions that say those rights can be terminated at any time without compensation.
    .
    Even considered in the light most favorable to the Giants, and even ignoring any earlier agreements/meeting minutes, there is no way the MLB Constitution can be construed as giving the Giants ironclad perpetual rights to SC County.

  25. Mike says:

    My last comment was posted at same time and didn’t see Martin’s comment about the made up info that Giants paid more for it. There is no proof of that and if they did that there own problem and no one else. That’s like me buying a house and I choose to pay more because the neighbor is so nice. If he moves away I can’t blame someone else if I feel I lose value. I chose to buy it because I felt that gave it more valuable. Just like the Giants didn’t own SC, they had temporary control and got to keep it with complatetion of a stadium in SC, which never happened.

    If a reasonable amount of time passes you lose your window to complete your end of the deal. That time has passed and now should be reverted back.

    Also Bartley, great post.

  26. Ted says:

    George, I appreciate your feedback and you make some fair points. I am definitely biased as a Giants fan and concerned about them being able to keep their payroll up in the top 1/3 of MLB but I am also concerned about how much the A’s are really willing to pay. I know that Wolff says that he wants to privately finance a yard but until they get to the point of an agreement I am skeptical. Regardless of the economic impact of temporary construction jobs that come from a stadium and the part time concession, ticket and usher jobs I still don’t like the idea of a city subsidizing billionaire owners that rake in huge profits year in and year out. Also, as someone who had to commute from West San Jose to Fremont for more than a year and who still does business up there I wonder how the heck fans that live between Fremont and Richmond are going to get to an evening game and how people that live in San Jose but work up the 880 corridor are going to get home at night. It is currently a 45 minute to an hour commute from 880 and Decoto to 280. How the heck is it going to work without any public transportation options from anywhere in the East Bay?

    Al, I care about revenue and franchise value because it directly affects what kind of product the team puts on the field. Isn’t the reason you and other A’s fans want a new stadium is primarily to increase franchise value and revenue so that the A’s can spend more money on payroll?

    Jeff-Athletic, the way I see it. The A’s want something from my favorite sports team and from my city. I would rather they do it on their own in their home town. I do understand why that might upset some A’s fans.

    Sierra Spartan, You say that you “believe there should be marketing parity between the two teams; the Bay Area is a two-team market, and MLB should start acting thusly”. The Giants and A’s were in a similar situation as far as stadium and attendance and the Giants ownership worked hard to better their franchise through hard work and commitment, they lost more money than any team in MLB in the late 90s building up towards the opening of Pac Bell Park and they worked hard to position themselves well in the media. Why should they be punished for that? Why should they be forced to come down to a point where things are even with the A’s? I also am not sure that a new stadium will get the A’s out of the revenue sharing hole.

  27. Al says:

    @Ted- no, I primarily want a new stadium because without one, the very survival of the A’s- at least in the Bay Area- is threatened. As A’s prez Mike Crowley put it, that’s the grand slam the Giants are aiming for.

  28. Ted says:

    Al, I understand why you would feel that way. I think the A’s could exist with a stadium in Alameda County if they were willing to try but I don;t think Wolff has ever been interested in making a real effort to make that happen.

  29. bartleby says:

    @Ted “I know that Wolff says that he wants to privately finance a yard but until they get to the point of an agreement I am skeptical.”
    .
    As I understand, they already have some kind of a term sheet laying this out. Also, committing public money to the stadium would require a public vote. This has already been presented to the public as “City provides discounted land and infrastructure, A’s pay construction costs.” Reneging on that now would be a sure route to losing the vote.
    .
    “Regardless of the economic impact of temporary construction jobs that come from a stadium and the part time concession, ticket and usher jobs I still don’t like the idea of a city subsidizing billionaire owners that rake in huge profits year in and year out.”
    .
    The $500 million of construction jobs may be one-time, but that’s a huge stimulus that would pay dividends for several years.
    .
    Also, the economic impact is not limited to that. Despite the fact that it is part of an economic powerhouse and the tenth largest city in the U.S., San Jose is virtually anonymous to much of the rest of the country. Getting an MLB team would benefit San Jose more than almost any other city by really putting it on the map. This would pay dividends in all kinds of ways, from helping lure more flights to SJC, to bringing more corporate offices and residents downtown. Just look at what AT&T Park did for SOMA, or Petco Park did for downtown San Diego. San Jose has spent over a billion dollars trying to rejuvenate downtown; an A’s stadium would likely accomplish as much or more than that effort at a tiny fraction of the cost to the public.
    .
    Also, almost every big business gets some kind of public subsidy to relocate. If you look around downtown SJ, almost every building built there in the last twenty years got public funds. It’s a matter of doing a cost-benefit analysis; you have to look at the specific numbers.
    .
    “Also, as someone who had to commute from West San Jose to Fremont for more than a year and who still does business up there I wonder how the heck fans that live between Fremont and Richmond are going to get to an evening game”
    .
    The same way South Bay A’s fans currently do, except they’ll have a much easier time of it because a lot of East Bay folks work in the South Bay and because the traffic is all going in the other direction.
    .
    “…and how people that live in San Jose but work up the 880 corridor are going to get home at night. It is currently a 45 minute to an hour commute from 880 and Decoto to 280. How the heck is it going to work without any public transportation options from anywhere in the East Bay?”
    .
    A lot of East Bay fans will skip weeknight games and just come on weekends, as many South Bay fans do. In any event, the number of commuters adversely affected by this will be less than the number affected by the current situation.
    .
    “The A’s want something from my favorite sports team and from my city. I would rather they do it on their own in their home town.”
    .
    They want something from the Giants that they gave to them, for free, based on an unfulfilled premise. They want something from San Jose that will be FAR outweighed by the value of what they give back. And they will be doing on their own pretty much to the same extent the Giants did.
    .
    “The Giants and A’s were in a similar situation as far as stadium and attendance and the Giants ownership worked hard to better their franchise through hard work and commitment,”
    .
    Great, then let them compete based on that hard work and commitment, and not based on an artificial and un-American constraint on competition that is the result of a historical accident and would be illegal but for an ill-reasoned Supreme Court decision from 80 years ago. Should be start granting McDonalds territorial rights to keep Burger King away as well?
    .
    “Why should they be punished for that?”
    .
    It’s not a question of punishment, it’s a question of unearned, unjustified reward. Why should they be subject to special protections against competition that no other MLB team has?
    .
    “Why should they be forced to come down to a point where things are even with the A’s?”
    .
    It’s highly questionable whether that would happen. It’s entirely likely that whatever the Giants lost in SC County would be partially or entirely offset by gains from the East Bay. Meanwhile, they would be relieved of a significant amount of revenue share. The main reason they are resisting is not that they are likely to be significantly harmed, but rather an opportunistic attempt to drive one of their partners out of business.
    .
    “I also am not sure that a new stadium will get the A’s out of the revenue sharing hole.”
    .
    That’s crazy talk. Modern MLB economics are driven by premium seat sales, and Silicon Valley is one of the richest markets in the country for that. Recent projections show that the A’s would become a major contributor to revenue sharing.

  30. jeff-athletic says:

    @Ted
    They don’t want anything from your favorite team or your city. They want MLB to allow them to build a stadium themselves (where there is the land available for purchase, and it’s economically viable for a privately financed stadium, both of which are lacking in Oakland/East Bay), and compete fairly. The ability to compete fairly is not taking something from your team, unless you consider keeping the A’s uncompetitive is a God given right and possession for your Giants, not to ever be taken away.
    .
    And you are saying that if the A’s move to SJ, it will hurt the Giants revenue. Hmmm, really? Do you really think the Giants wouldn’t be able to sell out AT&T anymore, or attract corporate clients? If so, that’s pathetic. Really. Are they just so lazy and incompetent that a healthy, competitive A’s would cause them to never sell out AT&T anymore, and lose their corporate clients. Wow. Just wow. And anyway, they have all the advantages right now, and they still fail to build a watchable, half way decent offense. The Giants front office must really suck. And, it’s not the A’s health that influences that, it’s the Giants laziness and incompetence that is the cause of their failures.
    .
    You are absolutely saying that only the Giants should be allowed to compete in this market, and the A’s should remain crippled, or removed, or contracted. You just don’t get the concepts of free enterprise, open competition, and general fairness.
    .
    I’ve seen lots of comments by Giants fans both here on this blog and many other places, and the vast majority of them think the Giants should just let the A’s go to SJ, receive a compensation check, and then get better because they would then have to work to compete. In fact, most of the Giants fans commentators have said they want the A’s in SJ, because they want the Giants front office to work harder to compete, and then get better.
    .
    I like to compare this to Internet Explorer 6. Remember how badly that browser sucked? It sucked because it had 95% of the market, and Microsoft got complacent. Then Firefox got popular (and was vastly superior). Then a bit later, Chrome got popular (and again, it too is vastly superior to IE6). Then MS said “oh shit! we have to compete! We better get off our duffs and build a better browser”. And that they did. IE7 was a little better, then 8 was much better, and now 9 is pretty darn good (I still prefer Firefox or Chrome, but think IE 9 is good too). It’s the same way with the Giants. They are now extremely complacent (other than trying to block the A’s), particularly after their fluke 2010. They are resting on their laurels, and are afraid to compete. The A’s moving to SJ would be just the kick in the pants they need. You should embrace it. Don’t settle for Giants complacency.

  31. Ted says:

    Bartleby, Good post. I think Wolff and Fisher should pony up fair market value for the land in San Jose. They can afford it and their business which has been very profitable in Oakland can afford it. I am not sure that the capital of Silicon Valley needs PR, I know that leaders in San Jose have had this odd inferiority complex for years and I find it to be ridiculous. San Jose will never be San Francisco because it is a city of lowrise business parks and suburban sprawl.

    I have friends int he entertainment and restaurant businesses in San Jose and I know that the A’s would help them but I still wonder what that is really worth to the city of San Jose overall.

    About the commute, there aren’t very many fans attending A’s games in Oakland and I would guess that most of them come from the East Bay. The current East Bay A’s fans will want to go to games as well as new fans. When was the last time you drove from Oakland, San Leandro, Union City or Fremont to San Jose around 5 or 6 in the afternoon? It is a nightmare.

    I brought up the point about the Giants being forced down to a level equal to the A’s as a response to Sierra Spartan’s comment about the need for “marketing parity between the two teams”.

    About the a new stadium being a guaranteed way out of the revenue sharing receiving end for the A’s…The Pirates and Orioles have two of the three nicest state of the art stadiums in MLB and both of those teams are big time revenue sharing takers. A new stadium doesn’t guarantee success.

  32. Ted says:

    Jeff-Athletic, I consider territorial rights to be MLB Constitutionally guaranteed rights rather than God given rights.
    Do you think that the A’s will not take potential Giants fans and sponsors if they move to San Jose? Isn’t that part of the reason they want to move there?

  33. Jeffrey says:

    Pittsburgh and Baltimore are not remotely the same, economically speaking, as San Jose.

  34. Anon says:

    @StandForSJTed- San Jose paid millions more for the parcels of land, but guess what? Real estate is depressed right now, otherwise I would sell my house for a million bucks as its property value used to be. Furthermore, if you want to press with on with this argument of paying for fair value, do you know how much the Gnats received in subsidies for Pac Bell Park? Think about it for a second. And if given the chance, wouldn’t you want to invest a few millions into an unused property to recoup a $500 million dollar private investment by others that will continually bring in additional million in city revenue (see http://baseballsanjose.blogspot.com/2012/01/stadium-for-san-jose.html)? Either answer these truthfully or give that crap about paying for “fair market value” already….it’s an old tired argument that has no basis and the city leaders recognize this.

  35. Anon says:

    ” I am not sure that the capital of Silicon Valley needs PR, I know that leaders in San Jose have had this odd inferiority complex for years and I find it to be ridiculous. San Jose will never be San Francisco because it is a city of lowrise business parks and suburban sprawl.” – I have never known a true SJ resident that has ever said such a statement….

  36. Ted says:

    Anon, grow up and learn how to participate in a conversation without the insults and name calling.
    How much did the Giants receive in subsidies?
    That link looks like a indictment of poor business decisions made by the city and I wasn’t for the city acquiring the land in the first place.
    I was born at O’Connor hospital, raised in Cupertino and have lived in San Jose for over 17 years.

  37. Jeffrey says:

    Ted, San Francisco threatened to sue MLB of they let the A’s move because they floated bonds to help with the construction of Pac Bell Park. Is this news to you?

  38. Ted says:

    Jeffrey, I know that the Giants are using the stadium debt as part of their argument to keep SCC TR

  39. Anon says:

    @ Ted – So if it’s a poor business decision that benefits the Giants, it’s okay? Yet, if it’s a sound business decision for the A’s then it’s total crap? That’s nice you have lived in SJ for 17 years as i have double that # here in the South Bay. However, your tone and attitude doesn’t come off at all as a local.

  40. Ted, ” The A’s want something from my favorite sports team and from my city . I would rather they did it on their own in their own home town.” San Jose is closer in proximity to Oakland than S.F. so why should the Giants have any priority to your city which you share with approximately one million other people?? Oh, I know because of their so-called territorial rights, let’s examine the origin of those rights. I’m from Santa Clara where I was very active in trying to bring the Giants to Santa Clara in 1990 being both an Giants/A’s fan. Contrary to reports in the media San Jose and Santa Clara had separate elections that year regarding the initiative to fund the Giants new ballpark using a tax increase. The vote in San Jose was close but failed while Santa Clara voters agreed to finance the stadium using a utility tax (Santa Clara owns its own electricity ). Santa Clara also agreed to sell the Giants a large area of land at a small fraction of its value. Also, I was part of a group called the South Bay Giants Alliance who worked on getting thousands of signatures on petitions that were sent to the Commissioner and all the M.L.B. owners to save the Giants in ’92. Only the South Bay worked to save the Giants in the eleventh hour of ’92 and only Santa Clara offered financial support to the Giants. The current Giants owners were fully aware of that yet they turned down Santa Clara’s generous offer and completely financed their ballpark in San Francisco. Talk about biting the hand that tried to feed you, then turning around and trying to prevent that part of the Bay Area, including the largest city in Northern California, from having an M.L.B. team. Every time I hear one of the Giants owners talk about honor, morals and their love for baseball I start to gag. My father used to be head of Bay Area Little League and I remember him saying, “If you really love baseball you want it to be as fair as possible for respect of its fans and the integrity of the game.” As far as your skepticism about Wolfe is concerned, San Jose will be very fortunate if they get the A’s, they will increase the city revenue and unlike the Niners in Santa Clara, the A’s aren’t asking for any financial support.

  41. jeff-athletic says:

    @Ted
    The A’s would take a bunch of the casual fans in SJ, but not the hardcore fans, who make up the lion’s share of people from SCCO who actually attend games at AT&T. Also, the Giants would loose zero of the corporate support from SCCO, as the coalition of Silicon Valley corporations that wrote the letter to Selig encouraging allowing the A’s into SJ also pledged their continued support of the Giants (of the ones that are current sponsors and luxury box users).
    .
    Add to that the fact that if the A’s went to SJ, the Giants would stand to gain more East Bay fans.
    .
    The simple fact is the Giants would experience little or no impact is the A’s moved to SJ. And they know it. The simple fact is, both teams market to and draw from all of the bay area. The simple fact is the completely share the media market, with Giants having built a meida empire. The simple fact is, the Giants are afraid of open, fair competition. The simple fact is, the Giants are making a power play to either keep the A’s badly crippled or force them out. And that is not good for bay area sports fans, and very bad for the people and economy of SCCO.
    .
    Sorry dude, the world does not revolve around the Giants. Why should the area continue with something that is bad for the A’s, bad for MLB, bad for the economy (stopping development of a world class ballpark), bad for bay area sports fans (again, stopping the development of a world class ballpark), all to protect the Giants. This is asinine, ridiculous.
    .
    Just like Jenkins said in his piece (a total Giants homer, by the way) , regarding the T-rights issue – “I hope the Giants get crushed”.

  42. jeff-athletic says:

    @Noreen
    Excellent points. The Giants basically played the people/governments of Santa Clara and Santa Clara County, and left you guys with a hefty bill. The City of Santa Clara should sue the Giants for reneging on a promise and leaving them with a big bill. Also, San Jose is intimating that a lawsuit challenging the anti-trust exemption is a possibility. I’d also like to see an organized boycott from both the fans and corporations of Silicon Valley. Hit ‘em where it hurts.
    .
    Never mind the A’s. The Giants are giving the proverbial middle finger to San Jose, Santa Clara, Santa Clara county, and bay area sports fans. The Giants hubris and greed is astounding.

  43. Tony D. says:

    Don’t think Ted can say a damn thing now. Excellent posts all! I can clearly tell you as an SJ native and soon to be resident that Ted’s view is in the extreme minority; we can all be thankful for that.

  44. dmoas says:

    @David. And so far, he’s still honoring that. He has, after all, waited years for MLB tell him what their wishes are.

  45. Tony D. says:

    David,
    The past is the past. For the rest of us, its all about the future, and its looking bright for the A’s. Feel free to join in if you like.
    By the way, watching an A’s game on CSNBA sucks big time! @#$%& the Giants!

  46. GoA's says:

    Not sure where the question of honor comes up- he is getting ready to build a new stadium- final approval just received- all good in Earthquake land- btw- Larry E looking to buy the Grizzlies and move them to San Jose- interesting- he’s not giving up either

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