Two groups express interest in A’s

UPDATE 6:40 PM – Lew Wolff responds, reiterating that team is not for sale. From the article, Andy Dolich was contacted and denied that he was one of the “suitors” interested in the A’s. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said that if the team were sold to a more Oakland-friendly group, the Victory Court site may be considered again. There may even be a third group interested.

The A’s are not for sale, at least from everything I’ve read and heard. That hasn’t stopped two groups from expressing interest in buying the club, according to Matier and Ross.

Let’s play this little hypothetical out: If Bud Selig can’t broker a deal to get the A’s territorial rights to San Jose, then it would seem that Lew Wolff’s next step may be to put the team up for sale. Such a sale probably couldn’t be completed until 2013 at the earliest, which coincidentally is the same year the A’s lease ends at the Coliseum.

Forbes valued the A’s at $307 million last year, and should have a similar valuation this year. The going trend for franchise sales would have the team sell for a significant premium over that valuation.

Recent MLB franchise sales prices compared with Forbes valuations

The environment during which a hypothetical sale of the A’s occurs is much different from 1995, when Wally Haas sold the A’s to Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann, or even 2003, when Schott sold the team to Wolff and John Fisher. Nowadays, Bud Selig is pushing hard to get the biggest possible sale price for outgoing owners, even rogues like Frank McCourt. Given the trend, I can’t see the A’s selling for less than $400 million on the open market, especially if there are competitive bids. This would happen even if the A’s low-revenue problems show few signs of improvement anytime soon.

Of course, after soon comes 2016, which is when the new CBA expires. There’s also that CBA provision in which teams in the largest markets become ineligible for revenue sharing. The Oakland situation is odd in that the A’s are supposed to be exempt from that rule as long as they’re stuck in the Coliseum. There’s still a little confusion on this which probably won’t be resolved until we actually see the document in final printed form, and that hasn’t happened yet. Here’s my guess as to why the A’s situation is so foggy:

  1. As long as the A’s only have Alameda and Contra Costa Counties as their defined stadium territory, MLB has an excuse to consider them a low-revenue franchise despite the broad NorCal TV territory.
  2. If the A’s go to San Jose, it’s likely that Wolff will have gotten his wish that the Bay Area will become a shared territory (though I would expect the City of San Francisco to remain strictly with the Giants). If that shared territory deal occurs, the A’s would become a large market team by CBA definition.

The trouble facing any prospective buyer is that he’d be paying for the team in situation #1, with limited opportunities for growth. $400 million for just the franchise, perhaps more given that Wolff will want something for all of the headaches he’s gotten in pursuing a ballpark deal. Unlike the Haas-Schott sale, there are no hometown discounts anymore. The obvious revenue growth prospect is a stadium at Coliseum City, which by the time it could actually happen would cost at least $500 million. But, as we hammered here repeatedly, there’s a lot of doubt about the ability for the A’s to pay for a ballpark in Oakland. If the A’s pre-sold $100 million of the $500 million ballpark thanks to naming rights and such, the remaining $400 million converts to a $30 million annual mortgage payment over 30 years. Matier and Ross indicate that the 1990 record of 2.9 million in attendance is proof of the support, but that’s not the concern. The concern is what happens when the A’s are losing and fans don’t show up? The A’s recent revenue sharing receipts have been in the $30 million range. If the revenue sharing receipt effectively gets transferred to a bank to pay for the ballpark, it doesn’t solve the A’s competitiveness problems since they’d remain a poor team, in this case “house poor”. That’s a terrible investment on the owner’s and league’s part. I’m also skeptical that, with Selig’s focus on incoming owners’ liquidity, such a plan to keep the A’s in Oakland would pass muster. Selig or his successor isn’t going to sign off on Oakland becoming another Pittsburgh: great stadium, poor team.

A few months ago, some pro-Oakland. keep-them-at-the-Coliseum interests called Wolff to see if he was interested in selling. He confirmed that he wasn’t. So it’s funny, though not surprising, that the interests mentioned by Matier and Ross are from Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, not Oakland or the East Bay. With the A’s ongoing presence in Oakland precarious, it would seem better to have some kind of homegrown ownership group, lest an incoming group be called carpetbaggers all over again. If either of those groups were to go in, they’d invest at least $400 million in the team and $500 million in the stadium, with no guarantee of a great sales price once they feel like selling. That’s a tough proposition for any prospective buyer, and just one of the endgame scenarios Selig has to consider when deciding the A’s fate.

223 thoughts on “Two groups express interest in A’s

  1. Well, if this is true then Selig has given up on the A’s and their quest to move to SJ.
    Selig is now forcing Lew to sell like he did with the Dudgers. Selig must be telling
    the potential buyers that the A’s is for sale soon or they would not go public.

    Lew and Fisher don’t have many options. They can’t sue MLB and the G’s.
    I don’t even know if they can join a suit filed by SJ if SJ decides to challenge the ATE.

    The party is over for Lew I am afraid.

  2. I’ll bet $100 this is Andy Dolich talking to Phil Matier – not much more. I wouldn’t put much into this for all of the reasons stated in the above post. As loyal as Dolich is to Oakland, and as good of a business man as he is, I doubt his LA financiers will put up the close to $900mil with no guarantee’s. This is just another “stadium story” making its way to print – not the first, and won’t be the last.

  3. If a group (or two) comes out, publicly stating they want to buy the A’s and build in Oakland, how does Wolff continue to defend his San Jose or bust method? Wouldn’t the PR get worse for Lew if he continued to fight with the Giants while another group or two is making a claim to stay in Oakland? I’m very curious as to who these potential buyers are.

  4. Burton: I believe you are correct. Everyone right now should strongly question what they read on “sources” claiming something that is negative to the SJ/LW. The Giants have a lot of media mouthpieces and it is 100% proven that the Giants are playing the game with subterfuge. From Stand for San Jose to misleading press releases to, undoubtedly, a chorus of local media people talking out the sides of their mouths (and disregarding facts too. Huh. why would they do that?), the Giants have proven they are not going to play this game above board.
    Fact: The A’s attendance is poor. Fact: Their stadium is abysmal. Fact: A’s ticket costs generally are lower than most pro sporting events I know of. Fact: The A’s had very competitive teams for years and still had trouble drawing attendance (again with relatively bargain basement prices). Fact: The local area lacks the corporate support enjoyed by so many other teams. Fact: The track record of Oakland Pols making a stadium happen for the A’s is beyond abysmal (even with all the “media” I spoke of suspiciously disregarding Oakland Pols behavior).
    So the A’s are eagerly going to be purchased for close to 4/10ths of a billion dollars because in 1992 they drew 2.5 million and the dream of a Coliseum City? That is hysterical! Could the A’s get purchased? Sure. And they are leaving Oakland too……with LW or with a new ownership group. The logic is undeniable…..

  5. The group that bailed out from the Dodgers bidding was the one Torre was working with. The other SV exec, I’m not too sure of. I wonder if this is another leak by the Gnats to stir up shit to force the issue back to Wolff. BS needs to put this to an end once and for all…

  6. @eb – Literally anyone can say they can make it work in Oakland. The actual record of Oakland’s viability is another thing altogether.

  7. So what Silicon Valley exec(s) own(s) a minor league team? Shouldn’t be too hard to figure out who the likely person is.

  8. @ML Well, that’s kind of my point. If the general population/media hears that TWO separate groups want to buy the team and keep them in Oakland, it just leads to more negative perceptions of Wolff/Fischer. Especially if there turns out to be actual credence to these potential buyers and this isn’t just some sort of leak/media manipulation. Whether achievable or not, these mystery owners merely saying Oakland would be their goal can publicly call into question the claims Wolff has been making. Anyway, it’s more drama to be sure.

  9. @eb – Did you notice how many “ifs” and conditions are in your comment? Until those get eliminated, Wolff has little to worry about other than his general annoyance with his critics. Besides, he knows there’s only one arbiter he’ll listen to: Selig.

  10. Really? Let’s see: the city of Oakland not doing shit for the A’s for nearly 16 years (Victory Court EIR anyone?), Redevelopment dead, three years of quality MLB study (Corey Busch, Irwin Raij anyone?), indications by MLB/Selig that all roads lead the way to San Jose (“Frontburner” a little over a month ago anyone?), Wolff/Beane making personnel decisions based on that future in San Jose (36k-seat Cisco Field vs 32k anyone?)…ALL GOING DOWN THE DRAIN because of some apparent pie-in-the-sky interest in owning the A’s and keeping them in The O? Because the selfish Giants want to be assholes about the whole situation rather than work work MLB? Because a story shot down by Selig and Wolff is given credence by a bunch of jerks?

    To say that this new “development” is @#$%^ ridiculous is an understatement! Yeah, Selig/MLB all of a sudden halting all work on this issue because of interest by some unicorn-flying wannabe owners who will construct the Emerald City at the Coli. Why this is even being discussed is, well, disgusting.

    Making matters worse is that this “development” is coming from none other than the premier SF assholes themselves in M&R, who if you’ve read past pieces are mouthpieces for SF interests/The Giants and who want the A’s to stay in Oakland. This latest crap reads like Larry Baer poetry, all reliant on the Bill Madden dung that was debunked by Selig and Wolff himself (the hell with reality!). God I abhor the traditional Bay Area media!

    Adding insult to injury, you now have folks coming out of the wood work (cough jd cough!), acting as if this M&R crap has credence and will somehow influence Selig/MLB in their decision (which was probably already made months/years ago). Again…REALLY?

    But let me end this negative post on a positive note: Selig and Wolff are probably Laughing their asses off at this latest “development.” I could hear Wolff right now, “Will this garbage ever cease?” It will, when MLB FINALLY reveals to the public the decision to move the A’s to San Jose! Coming to a theater near you! Oh, and by the way…the A’s aren’t for sale ;)..

  11. By the way, R.M., excellent thread to an otherwise pathetic “development.” Your facts and dose of reality are always the right anecdote for crap like this. Pittsburgh Pirates west? (love it!)

  12. Last thought for the early morning: eb, “negative perception” of Wolff? Are you @#$% serious!? Uh, who wants to keep the A’s out of San Jose? Who’s acting selfishly and NOT in the best interest of baseball? You got “negative perception” right…but you have the WRONG ownership group! (hint…their on the pretty side of the Bay Bridge) RM, I’m predicting over 200 posts when this one is all said and done! Until tomorrow…

  13. Tony said “indications by MLB/Selig that all roads lead the way to San Jose “. That’s a point to reiterated. It was only a handful of months ago two owners gave backhanded support to the A’s leaving Oakland and going to SJ (Chicago White Sox and Marlins owners I believe).
    A few posters have decided to take the Giants M.O.D. Throw you know what at the fan and hope the totality of misinformation helps sink the A’s need for a new city/new stadium. At least on this board, that kind of misinformation ain’t gonna fly. ONCE AGAIN, the Giants have proven they are not going to fight this above board. They drummed up Stand for SJ (but hey! They actually got 1 person who actually lives in SJ to be part of the group. Someone who said they don;t care only to have her coworkers say whe is a Giants fan). Again, the Giants are playing this below board. Why would anyone not expect they are going to try these media shenanigans when they have a fairly big media machine behind them?
    And to the A’s supporters who have lost faith, think about that. Why would the Giants still need the media machine shenanigans if decision is against the A’s? Why would owners have spoken out, sorta, in favor of the move if the decision was made? Don’t get down because the wheels move slowly. That is how it works with these guys. And do not let the Giants media chicanery throw you off. This thing is likely to happen. The A’s in San jose makes too much sense on so many fronts. A group of experienced businessmen surely see this.

  14. If Ratto is looking for another analogy here goes: A’s fans are the shy, overlooked girl who is nonetheless successful at school, often getting good grades. She lives with her parents (Oakland), and has met the love of her life (Lew Wolff) who is promising to make her happy. He’s about to buy a house down the block (San Jose), and wants her to marry him and move in with him.

    Meanwhile, across the street lives the insanely jealous, loud, obnoxious bitch (Giants), who first tried to claim that the fiancee would never be able to buy the new house (which used to belong to her daddy, but is about to be foreclosed by the bank). Now she’s suggesting several mysterious, handsome young suitors are interested in the A’s, that they would be willing to make her happy without having to move out of her parents’ house, when in fact all they want is to mooch off them. Either that, or they secretly want to eventually move to public housing in another neighborhood. As a result, the A’s are now very confused, putting all her perfect plans with her fiancee in doubt.

    Have I gone off the deep end with this one?

  15. Yes, TW! Exactly! In summary, do we really expect all the hard work of the past three year’s (heck, as of right now!) To all of a sudden stop just because some folks express “interest” in owning the A’s? Who aren’t even for sale? Please people (some of you at least), try to think in this instance! The game is much bigger than the Giants and their whining, and there are reasonable solutions to allow the A’s to move where they belong..San Jose!

  16. Does anyone know if ownership groups pay-in-full when they purchase a franchise, or is there some form of down payment process?

    .

    The 2005 Marlins sold for less than what the Yanks committed to C.C. Sabathia over 7 seasons.

  17. Did these “prospective” buyers actually say they would keep he team in Oakland? Remember the Sonics…Clay Bennett- he said he Sam thing about keeping the teaming Seattle- and we all know how quickly that story changed

  18. If these guys are ready to sped $1 billion buying the team and building a stadium in Oakland, I’m all for it. But I won’t hold my breath. This all sounds like the Giants are behind some more rumors. How can anyone support that organization?

  19. At TW earlier: yes, it was also Loria of the Rays who suggested the A’s situation would be resolved soon and that his team would be the last man standing in the stadium hunt. And we all know about the Reinsdorf quote. Why doesn’t the traditional media ever blow up real news? How’s this for analogy:
    Selig said the A’s situation is now on the “frontburner.” He didn’t say it was in the “microwave!” Eagerly awaiting your “update” RM where Wolff shoots down yet another bull shit “development.” By the way, is “baycommuter” M&R? I know one of them commutes from Oakland to SF, and he leaked this nonsense the other day. Oh well, who cares..

  20. Correction: it was Rays ownership that can be attributed to the “last man standing” quote, not the Marlins Loria.

  21. The fact that the story is from SFGate makes me automatically skeptical, and that it’s the Giants doing their subterfuge with the bay area media.
    .
    I remember a few weeks back, when Larry Baer was asked about the issue, he said something like “maybe that isn’t the right question to be asking”. Clearly, the question he has in mind is whether there is another ownership group that wants to buy the A’s and either keep them in Oakland or move them out.
    .
    This, coupled with the Madden story, which also reeked of Giants media manipulation, leads me to believe this latest development is part of that.
    .
    It also leads me to believe that the Giants are starting to feel cornered, that they’re not going to get what they want. After all, it stands to reason that if they felt completely comfortable that they were going to get their way, they would be totally quiet about it, and not doing the tit for tat of last week.

  22. What are the odds we’ll get a decision on the 3 year anniversary date of this nonsensical investigation? Is the anniversary Wednesday or Thursday?

  23. “When they were winning…” The A’s have been to the playoffs 15 times and in the top half of MLB attendance less than half of those winning seasons. Does anybody fact check anymore?

  24. Bay Area A’s, Selig appointed the committee on 3/30/09. As for when they commenced their survey? Who knows.

    .

    There’s a lesson we can all learn from this ordeal: The only ballpark that really matters is the ballpark in our hearts. What does that mean? Nothing. Just made it up. Kinda like Selig’s BRC.

  25. I am all for whatever it takes to get the A’s a spot to play in the Bay Area (new owners included). That said, I too think this smells like a Giant plant. The Madden piece was clearly a plant. This one seems pretty clearly to be something similar. We can all read into it what we want, but I am offended at the lack of factual backing on the assertions that WE ALL KNOW.
    .
    I sent Mattier and Ross the following email:

    Subject: Seriously?

    How hard is it to cross check the garbage you are fed by the Giants and related interests?

    The A’s have been in Oakland 43 seasons. They have been in the playoffs 15 times. They have been above MLB median attendance 7 times. They have had 2.9 Million fans attend games in Oakland exactly one time. Here is a post with all kinds of info on on this.

    If anything, Oakland is a “proven” market, proven that winning doesn’t equate to good attendance and losing equates to abysmal attendance.

    You guys should be ashamed of yourselves for running this dreck.

    Thanks,
    Jeffrey August

  26. Guys this is great news. It means that if San Jose doesn’t happen that there is still ownership groups out there willing to keep the A’s in the Bay Area. This is something that should be CELEBRATE. ML your analysis is nice, but don’t you think that any perspective owner has done his homework on this?Let the 2 groups who are interested decide if this is viable or not. Billionaires can think for themselves. I’m pretty much 100% certain both groups are well aware of the challenges facing Oakland, its been discussed rather publicly over a long period of time and there shouldn’t be any surprises. And why wouldn’t MLB not approve an ownership change? They want this done just as much as anyone else. The only loser there happens to be new ownership is Lew Wolff *(although he looks to cash in millions on the sale), but at the end of the day that’s very insignificant to the casual fan.

  27. It would be great news if somebody is actually willing to spend $1 billion to keep the team in Oakland. I don’t much care if the ballpark again has to be in the Coliseum parking lot. But I’d like the names of these interested parties and some data on whether they can pull it off. I am extremely skeptical. It sounds like more Giants disinformation – fed to media members who believe keeping the A’s out of San Jose will by default mean they stay in Oakland. It doesn’t.

  28. @ DJR- I trust potential ownership groups that say ‘want to keep the team here in town’ about as far as I can throw them, a la Seattle Sonics. Next thing you know, San Antonio or wherever has a new MLB team.

  29. The Giants are probably behind this piece. Another FUD piece to create doubt about San Jose. I wonder what next Monday’s (FUD) story will be? Even if the A’s were under new ownership, they would just have the same old problems.

  30. And also djr, without comments and actual names from these groups I doubt how much interest there might be. It just be to Giants to muddy the water without actual real people out there that want to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland.

    I agree with RC always be afraid of the Seattle Sonics factor.

  31. It would be great news if there really are people willing to spend $1 billion to keep the A’s in Oakland because that is what it will want to take. I’d like to know their names and their balance sheets to see if they could pull this off. It all sounds like more Giants disinformation fed to a Giants flag-waving media that believes keeping the A’s out of San Jose by default means they will stay in Oakland. (It doesn’t) No “make the Coliseum work” or joint A’s-Raider stadium proposals either, because both ideas are dead on arrival.

  32. j-a: “After all, it stands to reason that if they felt completely comfortable that they were going to get their way, they would be totally quiet about it, and not doing the tit for tat of last week.” An excellent point. This PR war the Giants have started, though it definitely pisses me off, is actually a pretty good indication that they are desperate and the A’s may very well be moving to SJ.

  33. @DJR- If it is true that there are two groups willing to purchase the team, that is good news, but a cautionarynews for sure.
    @RC- Couldn’t agree any more with you. I don’t trust anyone who says they will keep the team in Oakland without a solid plan for a new stadium. Shovels in the ground and a longterm lease agreement.
    Some owner with deep pockets will look at the history and I doubt that they would drop all the money needed to buy and build in Oakland. You can’t blame Wolfe and Co for everything. Fans need to step up and buy tickets, call into the radio stations, wear the team colors and maybe this team can recapture some of its glory.

  34. @ Jeffrey – WTFBBQPWND! :)

  35. If I was still on the fence as an A’s fan about wanting them to be in Oakland versus
    SJ, consider the depths the Giants are willing to go to to keep the A’s out of SJ (even though they would be moving away from AT&T)- and get very excited about the potential for success there.

  36. Does anyone know if ownership groups pay-in-full when they purchase a franchise, or is there some form of down payment process?

  37. Really, the more and more I think about it, this latest thing really really smells of yet another Giants plant.
    1) In SF paper
    2) No source cited
    3) No specifics about who is interested, and how they plan to get a stadium built in Oakland.
    .
    Just vague BS.
    .
    If it walks like a duck, quacks like duck, it’s …. well, you know the rest.
    .
    So, this latest thing, which looks an awful lot like a Giants plant, and the Madden piece, which was clearly a Giants plant, and the tit for tat press releases last weak ….. hmmm ……
    .
    The Giants are acting like they’re worried.
    .
    Again, if the Giants were confident or assured they would get what they wanted (A’s blocked from SJ), they would not be doing all this BS.
    .
    Or, I could just be interpreting events based on my bias and what I want to happen (new A’s ballpark in SJ).

  38. Here’s what I don’t understand.
    .
    The only thing that matters is what goes on within the walls of “The Lodge”. Selig is trying to broker a deal, and/or get a 29-1 vote. If the Giants were truly behind the M&R story and Madden’s column, I don’t see how that would in any way affect Selig’s or any of the other owner’s opinion. Why have all of this play out in the papers?

  39. @ fc: The Court of Public Opinion, man. And no, Briggs, I have no idea (though if anybody else does I would be interested in knowing).

  40. fc – I can see the leak as a way to foster public dissenting opinion, because Selig is only okaying a possible move and that move is contingent on a referendum. If there is enough bad publicity on this, it will mire the referendum with negativity so that it may potentially fail.

  41. At face value, I am with Dinosaur Jr.
    .
    A Silicon Valley exec that wants to keep the A’s in the Bay Area is potentially great news. A local ownership group (local to the Bay) would be likely to keep the team local. I have doubts that they can get something done in Oakland (it is really pollyanaish of anyone in the East Bay to think that Lew Wolff is the only large obstacle to making a stadium happen in Oakland. But most of the people in the Oakland Only crowd have never really been about pragmatism/reality anyway), but if some guy wants to give it a go and Bud Selig is down to push approval for him… More power to him.
    .
    The LA interests, eh… Kind of scary honestly, though it could be fine (Lew Wolff lives in LA and he wants to keep the team in the Bay Area). I could see a guy from LA being willing to move the team to many places west o’ the Mississippi. After all, a 1 hr flight to Oakland isn’t much different than a 1 hr 30 minute flight to Portland (for example).
    .
    I can’t see some one from LA giving more than one push for a stadium before looking outside of the area entirely. And, that is exactly what the Giants want.

  42. fc, this morning a Ginats fan said to me “Why are your owners bitching when they got an MLB team on the cheap?”
    .
    Wonder where that came from…

  43. @fc- and don’t forget that the other owners read media too. A couple of potential buyers claiming that they want to buy the team and keep them in Oakland? Could be just enough doubt cast in the mind of one of the owners for them to vote no. And last weeks piece is really just another position paper from the Giants for the same reasons. And lets face it, up until a couple of weeks ago, the A’s definitely looked like they had some momentum heading to SJ. Even owners can be influenced by public opinion. There is more- the Giants definitely are coming off like huge pricks in this whole thing. Any pro Giant piece might keep a few fair weather fans in the South bay from turning against them. It certainly wouldn’t hurt. I’m sure there are other angles too.

  44. @Jeffrey: And it’s already working.

  45. Wow, excellent posting thus far! I believe it won’t happen, but IF somehow San Jose falls through, I fully expect Wolff (perhaps Keith) to go back to Fremont/Warm Springs BART. I know, I know…the Fremont NIMBYS. But my personal feeling is that that was always a story to bail on Fremont because Selig gave personal assurances to Wolff regarding San Jose. Kind of like you trying to pick up a decent girl in high school, only to have the hottest chick on campus come after you; better think of something fast to tell that decent one.
    San Jose A’s at Diridon, downtown San Jose or at Fremont/Warm Springs …the Giants WILL NOT WIN!

  46. I guess I spoke to soon. RC, don’t give the crap of the past week credence! Again, these bull shit media reports OR the professional due diligence of your peers (MLB committee studying the situation)? MLB owners will go with their peers any day over the crap-slinging media.
    And who said the A’s have lost momentum? I’ll take Wolff, Selig, Reinsdorf, Rays ownership any day over Bill Madden and M&R. A’s have lost momentum? REALLY? I rest my case.

  47. Jeff: “The fact that the story is from SFGate makes me automatically skeptical, and that it’s the Giants doing their subterfuge with the bay area media.”

    The head of news for sfgate is a die-hard A’s fan, and his bias shows up constantly (if understandably) on the site and in the blogs.

    A SV billionaire buying the A’s and rebuilding the franchise in Oakland? — a cosmic joke of near Melvillean wit.

  48. I hope people know the difference between reporters and columnists. If you’re worked up one way or the other about this, the Matier & Ross column did its job.

  49. Briggs,
    Amen to that brother!

  50. Notice how the Baldstache Brothers lead into their proof that these new owners would want to stay in Oakland but never provide a quotation or even paraphrased statement on that matter. All they support with are their own talking points rooted primarily in the events of the past couple weeks.

  51. I don’t think the court of public opinion will ultimately have much to do with how the issue regarding TR gets resolved. If it did, we would have already had an answer from MLB. Instead we continue to wait, three years after the formation of the BRC.
    .
    As far as the other owners, they may read these stories in the paper, but I’m assuming they will base much of their decision on what was told to them by the Giants, A’s and the BRC.

  52. xoot: I didn’t know that the head of news at SFGate was die-hard A’s. Also, SFGate is home of Susan Slusser, who does an excellent job covering the A’s. But having “SF” in the name automatically put my “consider the source” glasses.
    .
    Heck, maybe it’s even a plant by Oakland only people. ;-) No doubt there are a lot of people, besides the Giants and their fans, that want the A’s to stay in Oakland.
    .
    Then again, it very well could be nothing, other than a couple of columnists hearing some rumbling somewhere, and writing a column about it, and generating views.
    .
    Bottom line, we’ll never know for sure until the fat lady sings. Or in this case, the skinny old rich dude with no spine. :-)

  53. @fc
    As for the other owners, I’m thinking they’re listening to Selig and the BRC first, with the Giants and A’s being a distant second.

  54. @J-A,
    BINGO! you nailed it!

  55. @JA, you’re correct, BRC first. They know better than to get their info from the media. Which is why I don’t think the Giants are behind any of the recent columns.

  56. The only market that is suitable for MLB that doesn’t currently have a team is Montreal.

    For this reason alone I think it’s important that people stop using the threat of the team “leaving the bay area” as a means of supporting the San Jose-or-bust meme, which this blog seems particularly devoted to. The territorial rights issue appears to be a growing issue within MLB and in the final nail in the coffin for the fringe-MLB markets such as Portland, Austin/San Antonio, or Charlotte. Sacramento also has to be discounted now that the Kings are staying in town. Without the Kings there may have been enough support for the A’s there but with the competition the market is just not there, and certainly could not be adequate for any team not named the A’s.

    As for Montreal there are serious ownership possibilities in the area and everything that caused the Expos to leave town has changed. I think those who want to discuss potential relocation targets need to look only there, as it is the only real prospect.

    Moving on to the Bay consider that Wolff really only wanted the team as a real estate investment and without a South Bay stadium he will surely sell. The tea leaves certainly suggest that MLB owners are too concerned about TR to make a change here so the A’s will need to stay in Alameda/Contra Costa.

    Being that the Oakland area is the geographic center of the Bay Area, has more people than the South Bay, has an established 40+ year fanbase, is closer to San Francisco, and has adequate economic numbers for MLB this should not concern us too much. Oakland’s city government has certainly not been helpful thus far but in their defense the past two ownership groups have not been honest dealers either, and Oakland government officials have repeatedly made this comment. Good evidence would be the Coliseum “North” proposal which seemed designed to fail from the beginning in the way it depended on so many impossible things (land acquisition, transit, etc) and failed completely to take advantage of the positive features of the Coliseum site.

    Further, Wolff has indisputably done everything he can to “reduce” the Oakland market size, drive-down attendance and fan enthusiasm, and push all-in to get the team moved to the South Bay. Declining attendance is partly related to poor teams but it’s mostly a rational and predictable response to the way in which the fan base has been treated. I know many of you say it’s a fan duty to ‘support the team no matter what’ but Oakland is not full of chumps and the A’s fan base knows when it is being used and abused.

    The suppression of the market has distorted the public perception of the East Bay as viable and potential new owners in the area know this. Anybody with a clue and a commitment to back it up can make the Oakland A’s thrive in a new facility in Oakland. Haas proved in the 80′s and 90′s that a good owner can make this team popular, wealthy, and successful. When using the total range of A’s attendance since 1968 you have to ignore the fact that most of the ownership groups were outright hostile, widely hated, even by players, and the fans knew it. When a good ownership group got involved the team had all of the support in the world. Since that era the region has grown considerably in population. The Oakland market is legitimate, mid-sized for MLB, and has huge potential.

    For all the disparaging of the Coliseum, which needs a replacement, there is much guffawing on this site about the coliseum site. The site itself is extraordinary in its accessibility. The facility itself is not terrific and the area around the ballpark has never been used to its full potential. A new ownership group considering Oakland will be targeting a new ballpark at the site and a development of the site in concert with the city. Remember that one major problem with building in the existing parking lot was Al Davis and now that he’s gone that is mitigated. With the city of Oakland finally understanding that this area of the city needs revitalization and that a new ballpark (or three) can drive that I think we’re going to see an entirely new approach here.

    A major complaint about the site is that it doesn’t have bars and pubs and all of the neighborhood-y ballpark things that people like in the downtown/new stadiums around the country. The Coliseum site can actually create this, and this is something that actually fits into the goals and needs of the city. New A’s owners as a partner in this project can earn so much goodwill in the city it’s not even funny. An Oakland ownership group that actually seeks to DO SOMETHING GOOD FOR THE CITY FOR ONCE by driving development in this part of East Oakland will earn the kind of loyalty and support most teams dream of.

    To wrap up, what I’m saying is that the A’s market in Oakland is very strong and has been massively abused by bad owners who completely failed to capitalize on it. It’s a myth that the east bay is not a suitable MLB market and all of you know it. None of us have ever seen the current area in its current form properly exploited. The most recent attempts were made 20 years ago and the team had a high payroll, high attendance, and huge community support That era ended when Haas died and the Giants new ownership became hostile towards the A’s.

    If potential owners want to keep the A’s in Oakland that’s because they’re good business people and don’t have the agenda that SH/Wolff brought to the situation. If nobody local can muster the resources than the A’s really only have one potential relocation target in Montreal.

  57. @JA- gints dont want the A’s in Oakland- they want them out of the bay area- blocking SJ has a pretty good chance of achieving this-

  58. jeff: Vlae Kershner is head of news at sfgate. VK consistently promotes Susan Slusser’s work. (I agree with you on Slusser: She is first rate.) Kersher occassionally posts on the Drumbeat, and often comments there. Send him an email — he’ll proudly confirm his die-hard A’s fan status. I got no problem with that.
    .
    The “promotion” of Slusser I’m talking about is also nothing that I can imagine anyone objecting to. For example, on the Drumbeat VK posted a pic of Susan S. outside the Paramount theater, getting ready for the stars to arrive at the Moneyball premiere last year. VK uses his control over sfgate to do things like that from time to time. By contrast, I’ve never seen VK mention Henry Schulman, the Giants beat writer who gets the uneviable task of trying to deal with The Splash. But, as I say, it’s generally not a big deal, although it does lead to better policing of the A’s blog than of the Giants.’
    .
    Anyway, my real point is that the A’s and A’s fans have some strong advocates at sfgate. Now, KNBR is a bit different . . . .

  59. @AnonymousA’sFan re: “To wrap up, what I’m saying is that the A’s market in Oakland is very strong and has been massively abused by bad owners who completely failed to capitalize on it….The most recent attempts were made 20 years ago and the team had a high payroll, high attendance, and huge community support”

    Please see Jeffrey’s earlier posts about Oakland attendance and how it is an “ideal” location.

    “The A’s have been in Oakland 43 seasons. They have been in the playoffs 15 times. They have been above MLB median attendance 7 times. They have had 2.9 Million fans attend games in Oakland exactly one time. If anything, Oakland is a “proven” market, proven that winning doesn’t equate to good attendance and losing equates to abysmal attendance.”

  60. @ Anon – Not being sarcastic on this at all. Just wondering. Are you then of the opinion that SF was a bad market for the Giants from 1968-1999, i.e. pre-AT&T?

  61. I actually think that AnonymousA’sFan makes some excellent points.
    .
    Indeed, Wolff has actually looked at a number of Oakland sites. But my impression has been that his looks were really of the “cursory” variety, ie not really serious. The only one he fully put his time and money into was Fremont, where, indeed, he stood to generate a lot of real estate money. And being that he has properties in SJ, he could stand to gain there.
    .
    There is nothing wrong with Wolff wanting ROI via his real estate holdings. However, it kind of makes the health of the team, and it’s standing with it’s fans, secondary.
    .
    I also think that Wolff/Fisher have not done enough to improve the fan experience at the Coliseum. To my knowledge, their lease with the Coliseum Authority is structured such that any money put into Stadium maintenance or upgrades gets applied to the lease payment. And when I’ve been there, the total lack of care put into the facility is astounding. It has so much potential to be a much more pleasant place to attend a game – paint, banners, better lighting, replace the troughs with separate urinals, better scoreboards, etc. All of that stuff wouldn’t cost too much, and it gets applied to the lease payment anyway. And the return is very good – fans enjoy themselves more, and want to return more, and the vibe of the place is much improved.
    .
    And the tarps. I know it’s been covered here a ton. And I know it has real business reasoning behind it (drive up demand of more expensive lower deck seats, and bunch up the crowds more). But no matter what, the tarps look terrible. They look cheap. They look like ownership doesn’t care. They look defeatist. And dammit, lots of fans love the upper deck.
    .
    Wolff does well with the various promotions. The marketing isn’t bad (I like a lot of the commercials). But truly, Wolff hasn’t acted like a guy doing his best to deliver a great fan experience.
    .
    I’m a big Wolff supporter, because it would seem Cisco Field in downtown San Jose is the ideal situation. But part of me wishes he never went down that route. Part of me wishes that MLB and Wolf/Fisher just got fully committed to the Coliseum site (the space is there, and accessibility is very good), because if they’d done so, the A’s would already have a new stadium. And a new stadium there could be the impetus for improvement in the surrounding area (that’s a huge plus and argument in the Kings arena financing deal – development of the rail yards, and stimulus for downtown).
    .
    I’m also thinking, even though I’ve initially dismissed it, that these mystery ownership groups could have teeth. The LA group that dropped out of the Dodgers race, could be thinking that $900 million or so (purchase of A’s, construction of stadium, and exploiting a not fully tapped market) is a bargain compared to the Dodgers at 1.5 billion – and the Dodgers have stadium issues too. Dodger stadium, while awesome at one time, has been showing the affects of age (or so I’ve read).
    .
    At this point, I’m willing to entertain anything that keeps the A’s local, and gets them a new stadium. I do consider it a very real possibility that the A’s get denied SJ, because it’s a possibility that not enough owners get on board due to concerns about TR precedent (even though I think Madden’s piece was a plant).

  62. Jeffrey’s post was addressed in my initial comments. Finley was the A’s owner and it was the early 1970′s. There are 2.5 million more people in the Bay Area now. That’s an entire MLB-sized market ADDED to the region. Further, MLB attendance on the whole was much lower in that era, the A’s were a new team without history or established fans, and the owner was widely disliked by team players and fans alike. In the early 1980′s the team was lousy, had jettisoned all of the team favorites and the region was still 2 million people smaller than it is now.

    Haas acquired the team, embraced the city, changed the perception, engaged the community and fanbase, kept stars, hosted an All-Star game, built a winner, and enjoyed huge support.

    After Haas sold the team the stadium was ruined by construction, the new owners openly dissed the city and were widely known to want to move the team to the South Bay. They then traded marquee fan favorites, put a lousy team on the field, lost their radio contract, moved their TV signal from the strong KRON to the SJ-based UHF channel 36, and generally made little effort for the first five years.

    Most importantly the Giants new ownership group arrived in the 1990′s, became hostile to the A’s, whereas there was previously cooperation and a shared market (remember the split caps?). It was clearly the intent of new Giants owners to drive the A’s out of the market and increase their share of the market, taking ownership stakes in local media and crowding out the A’s, etc. With the arrival of their new, shiny, downtown ballpark the Giants, an exciting team, and strong media efforts they were able to make themselves the #1 game in town while the A’s went through a period of rebuilding.

    The A’s team finally improved in 2000, had home-grown stars, good baseball management, and attendance increased, despite the new obstacles that arose in the mid-1990′s. But the team’s choking in repeated playoff series broke the fan’s hearts and stalled the rise-to-the-top that could have happened had one of those 2001/2002 era teams made it past the first round of the playoffs. Eventually the home-grown stars and fan favorites left, the team declined, and combined with the post-2004 Wolff era (even before he was owner) that featured a constant “Oakland sucks” drumbeat the fans stayed away. Closing the 3rd deck with a tarp was the final straw. A’s fans LOVED the third deck. This move really went after the heart of the market for fans who could not buy season tickets.

    When you look at the story this way you can see that the Oakland market has been mismanaged completely more often than not. When it was managed well, it did well. Very well. And since that time the population of the region has grown significantly. An owner dedicated to Oakland who can pull off a new ballpark, makes an actual effort in the community, pursues adequate media, and actually attempts to compete with the Giants will THRIVE in the market. Absolutely thrive.

  63. Conspiracy theories seem to be running rampant around here. Wouldn’t it be relatively easy to determine who these two groups are? One led by a Silicon Valley mover/shaker who already owns a minor league team and a group rejected from the Dodger bids. Those seem like two helpful clues.

  64. @Columbo
    I’d say that SF has always been a great market, but Candlestick was horrible.
    .
    I’d actually argue that the biggest impediment to success for both bay area teams has been the facilities. Pre phone-both park, the Giants would draw 9000 on a lot of nights, and couldn’t give tickets away. Post, it’s sell out after sell outs.
    .
    And even though the Coli was decent prior to Mt Davis, when you could see the Oakland hills, it was never a first class facility. It was built as multi-purpose, therefore crappy for both purposes. It was also a big concrete mass of ugliness. Same with Candlestick. Both those stadiums were built as multi purpose, probably put in cheapest possible locations, and neither were architect-ed to be aesthetically pleasing or comfortable at all. They were designed with utility and price efficiency in mind.
    .
    The total success of AT&T park, even though, quite frankly, the Giants are a very mediocre ball club, is total proof that just having a top notch facility in a good location is enough to draw lots of fans.
    .
    Because of this, the Giants fear not only the A’s moving to SJ (their biggest fear), but just getting a new ballpark, period. The Giants now that a lot of their fans show up only because it’s a great facility, and it’s a “hip” thing to do. They fear the A’s having the same thing, regardless of what bay area location it’s built in.

  65. Columbo -

    I don’t follow the Giants nearly as closely but Candlestick was an uncomfortable place to watch a game (windy and cold) and the team wasn’t very good or interesting for many/most of those years. Note that they did much better in the Will Clark-era when there was some excitement around the club.

    I also think that the ownership of the Giants was pretty poor in retrospect. The Safeway group has really done a much more competent job and shown what the market potential was. The ballpark is just one (big) part of that. Again, it’s very hard to compare era’s in baseball, especially considering that MLB attendance in general was much lower across the board in the 70′s/80′s.

    Jeffrey-

    Responding to your recent post, I think you’re being very insightful here. The all-in move toward the South Bay has really been a missed opportunity in many ways. Only a city government bending-over-backwards could have made the difference there and this was not possible in Oakland after the Raiders move. It’s good to see people acknowledge what many of us have said since the late-90′s, that the ownership groups based in the South Bay have mismanaged the East Bay market. Some of this was intentional in my view, some of it was just a byproduct of their south-bay focus as you have demonstrated.

    Much of this really comes down to understand who your fans are in Oakland. There is a LOT of animosity about moving the team to San Jose amongst casual/local fans in the East Bay. it is symbolic and ties-in to larger societal realities. Believe me that moving to SJ is not seen as “staying in the area” by millions of people in the East Bay. It is seen as an affront to who those people are, an insult to their station in life. They are being told that they’re not good enough. Tarping the 3rd deck really cemented this idea. When you make a huge percentage of your fan-base feel unwelcome they’re going to stay home in the bay area.

    I support the keeping of the Bay Area as two markets at this point. The A’s territory is pretty good when considered as its own market. That has been neglected in all of the efforts to make the South Bay appear viable. Further, even though the territories are “separate” it’s really impossible for them not to bleed and clever A’s marketing has been successful at drawing San Francisco fans many times in the past (early 2000′s especially).

    Finally, the reality is that the A’s only have one possible outside destination in Montreal. Do not believe any hype about contraction or threats to relocate otherwise. If MLB is realizing that they simply can’t change the TR situation (which I think is a much bigger deal than many fans realize) then it becomes a situation where they need to finally accept Oakland-committed owners (they previously rejected such in favor of S/H and then Wolff). In lieu of Oakland-committed owners expect an organization like Quebecor to get involved and relocate the team.

  66. Why are we talking about the 3rd deck again? Having an open 3rd deck adds little, if any, profit to the team because you have to staff it for 81 games. Also, the 3rd deck IS open. It’s called the Value Deck. Tickets are $12 for most games, $10 if you do a season ticket package. Plus, they include $6 of credit on each ticket for food or merch…. you’re paying $4/$6 to watch baseball!
    .
    Wait until the Value Deck is consistently sold out before complaining about being pushed to higher priced seats, please.

  67. @AnonymousAsfan – Montreal is not happening. The Blue Jays are owned by Rogers, who have seen fit to lock up practically all of Canada as the team’s broadcast territory. That’s worth so much to them that they’ll fight a Montreal move with as much vigor as the Giants are defending Santa Clara County.

  68. It seems like figuring out who the “longtime executive from a high-profile Silicon Valley company [that] already owns a minor league baseball franchise” shouldn’t be that hard.

  69. “There is a LOT of animosity about moving the team to San Jose amongst casual/local fans in the East Bay. it is symbolic and ties-in to larger societal realities. Believe me that moving to SJ is not seen as “staying in the area” by millions of people in the East Bay. It is seen as an affront to who those people are, an insult to their station in life. They are being told that they’re not good enough. ”
    Really well said. You’ve expressed what I see and hear from a lot of East Bay/Oakland fans as well. The realities of the current situation may be evident, but it doesn’t mean issues like this should not be discussed and aren’t important.

  70. @AnonA’sfan
    “When you look at the story this way you can see that the Oakland market has been mismanaged completely more often than not. When it was managed well, it did well. Very well. And since that time the population of the region has grown significantly. An owner dedicated to Oakland who can pull off a new ballpark, makes an actual effort in the community, pursues adequate media, and actually attempts to compete with the Giants will THRIVE in the market. Absolutely thrive.”
    .
    That’s an excellent point. Other than Haas, most A’s owners have been hated by fans, and in some cases, the players. Finley was notorious for being a total cheap-ass, for instance. And, other than Haas, and Finely prior, any of the other A’s owners have done the “anywhere but Oakland” drumbeat.
    .
    That being said – food for thought – as far as I know, the Haas era A’s lost money. Haas did all the right stuff, and it was truly the halcyon days for the franchise. They should have been profitable. But apparently they were in the red. But again, over the last two decades area population and wealth has gone up tremendously. This leads me to believe that the franchise can thrive with a new facility, whether it’s the East Bay or San Jose. Obviously, SJ has the greatest revenue potential. But the East Bay ain’t chopped liver, and no matter where the A’s are located, they have to potential of drawing all over. Just look at so many of the posters here – many live in SJ, and go to A’s games. I live in Sacramento area, and follow the A’s religiously, and even manage to attend a game or two each season (no small feat, with having kids and all).
    I think there is potential no matter where the A’s build.

  71. @Nathan
    “It seems like figuring out who the “longtime executive from a high-profile Silicon Valley company [that] already owns a minor league baseball franchise” shouldn’t be that hard.”
    .
    Then please so, for us please. I tried it myself (googling it), but have yet to find anything.

  72. LoneStranger – It’s not all about money, in fact that view is what is driving Oakland fans away. The minor “loss” of profit on those seats is more than made up for by the thousands of fans who follow the team and make it part of their lives because that’s the way they get to see the games. Also, the third deck’s enormous size had major appeal. You could go to the outer outfield seats, where the view of the game wasn’t that great, and relax in the sun enjoying yourself. Taking this away was like taking away bleachers.

    MarineLayer –

    Toronto does not have TR over Canada and Rogers is, um, not well-liked in Quebec. Further Quebecor is working on a national network to compete with Rogers. The nature of the Quebec/Canada relationship plays into this greatly but I can assure you that if big media in Quebec wants MLB in Montreal then Rogers will not have the power to stop it. There are no Blue Jay fans in Montreal, but you still see Expos hats every day. I’m not convinced this is a realistic option just yet, but I think you can probably agree that it’s the only other legitimate possibility for an MLB team at this time. You’ll need to read the French press to better understand the market situation in Montreal.

  73. @jeff

    Finley did the anywhere but Oakland dance more than probably any owner in A’s history. A’s were nearly out the door to both Denver and New Orleans while he was in charge.

    I’ve started looking for the exec. Initial problem was that all the searches for “silicon valley exec minor league baseball owner” were giving me two pages of results of the article about that guy being interested in the A’s.

    My guess for the LA guy is Dennis Gilbert who was recently eliminated from the Dodgers auction (Larry King was part of his group) and also put in an unsuccessful bid for the Rangers last year.

  74. I’m a season ticket holder that lives a hell of a lot closer to Oakland than San Jose. But I just don’t see how anyone can see it as possible.
    ..
    Don’t forget that Haas lost money on the A’s, so how is that proof baseball can succeed in Oakland. Not only does it need to be profitable but insanely profitable to cover the cost of a stadium. Plus Haas never had AT&T to compete. Regardless of where a new A’s stadium ends up, it still won’t have the great location the Giants have as a touristy area.
    ..
    Yes there has been talk about certain improvements A’s make to the Coliseum can be taken out of a lease but it’s not going to be banner or stuff. More of fixing things that are broken. Next obstacle is A’s can’t do anything without Raiders agreeing, so it’s something that would have to benefit both. So it’s not going to be baseball centric. Main thing I could see was scoreboards but Wolff himself already said here he heard new scoreboards were coming. Who knows whatever happened to that though.

    That article by M&R guesses more than facts not only do they say they can’t name names, but there is not even a quote from the interested parties. This could go from yea I’m interested to asking them and they said sure why not. How do you know the interested group isn’t also interested at only a heavy discount that’s not happening. It says two groups want to keep them in their current home, doesn’t say wants to keep them in Oakland and we will build a stadium for them out of our pockets. M&R infer that Oakland is willing to work on partnering on something that would make financial sense. But sorry did anyone think Oakland ever said this meant both ways and they would help. No they meant for them as the comments were done paying for teams they should be paying us to be here. Without actual comments from prospected Byers it feels a lot like Clau Bennet and the Seattle Supersonics.

  75. You mention that a buyer will have to pay $400 million for the A’s which Lew Wolff purchased less than seven years ago for $180 million dollars and in the next sentence you mention a problem with growth. The A’s have increased in value by about 125% during a recession and they made over $97 million in profit in six seasons (2006-2011). $220 million of growth is huge and those profits put the A’s into the top half of MLB for profits taken.

    It would be nice if a group willing to commit to the A’s staying in Oakland rather than relocation was able to buy the team.

  76. @AnonymousAsfan – We must have different perceptions of what “realistic” is. Seemingly no one in Canada actually likes Rogers. Doesn’t matter one bit. The Blue Jays have TV dominion over Canada, which is arguably more important right now. Montreal won’t even be considered unless an on-spec ballpark is built there. As poisonous as the relationship is between orphaned Expos fans and MLB (especially Selig) is, who’s going to do that?

  77. If there was an ownership group wanting to buy the team, who was also willing to put up the money to build a stadium, I am struggling to see how they would profit on their investment. The $1.5 billion price tag is an absurd amount of money. But the Dodgers draw 3 million every year with ticket prices far exceeding Oakland. In a few years the Dodgers will have a TV contract paying them (allegedly/probably) close to $200 million per year. Buying the A’s and building a stadium without those sources of revenue make the $600 million or so difference in price even greater. We now know that the A’s are at best 12 years away from renegotiating a new TV contract. Even then the chances of it being anywhere near what the Dodgers are going to get are slim.

    An ownership group willing to take this gamble must be operating under the assumption their return investment will be over a billion dollars. Do you really see the Oakland A’s as a billion dollar franchise 15 years from now? Especially given what we know about the fluctuating attendance history. In 1991 the A’s had the highest payroll in baseball, and were coming off 3 straight World Series appearances – attendance dropped. Sports teams are commodities now – investing a $900 million in Oakland, in the hopes of reselling for over a billion seems like gambling at best. Or worst.

  78. @Ted – The problem is that if you look at the chart, there is a huge bubble in terms of valuation related to purchase price. Even if a new ownership group were to step in tomorrow with a $400 million bid, the franchise would still be worth $300+ million fundamentally. There needs to be ways to grow revenue streams for the A’s in order to recoup that investment and even make a profit when a sale occurs. Being “house poor” will not help that.

  79. @all – My initial guess for the LA-based bidder is Tony Ressler. He’s also a minority partner in the Brewers. I’ll do some digging on the Silicon Valley bidder.

  80. @ AnonAsFan – Just a couple of points of reference. From ’68-’99 the A’s & Giants collectively drew 84.5 million fans, while the A’s outrew the Giants by nearly 900k. Not a huge amount but, nevertheless, they outdrew them. As far as the Giants being good/bad… they played at a .501 WP versus the A’s .511. They made the playoffs 4 times and had attendance above the NL median only twice in 32 seasons (their best being 4th of 12 in 1978). They had 17 winning seasons during this time. The A’s made the playoffs 10 times and had attendance above the AL median 9 times in 32 seasons. They had 18 winning seasons during this time. Just as a comparison, the Yankees/Mets drew 123.7 million between ’68-’99. Something that I always allude to that seems to be overlooked is population. In 1968 the bay area csa was at an approximate 1:4.3 ratio to the NY csa. As the bay area grew, by 1999 that spread dropped to 1:3. However, attendance ratios between these two markets during this time was 1:1.5. I have always been of the opinion that the bay area was too small of a market during those earlier years to have had 2 mlb teams. I simply don’t agree with all of these attendance examples repeated ad infinitum for why “Oakland” is not a viable market because there are many factors that must be acknowledged. IMHO, AT&T park changed everything for that town as it revitalized a very depressed area and it made people excited about the Giants. I don’t think many would disagree with that. I believe the same can be done in the east bay and you will see a very similar excitement. Some have said that the east bay’s “track record’ shows it’s not viable. By that same argument, priort to AT&T park, SF should not have been viable either but it is now. I can buy the economics arguments way more than these attendance arguments.

  81. I wish people would stop comparing today’s era to the late 80s when Haas owned the team. Sure Haas lost money, but payroll was a fraction of what it is today. Superstars like Canseco and Eckersley made less than $2 million each, Rickey had the highest salary in all of baseball, something like $4 million. Any moderately rich fellow could buy himself a dynasty. To suggest Haas could do the same in today’s game is an insult to common sense.

  82. I also call BS on the “mismanagement” of the market. A’s drew well in the late 80s when there moderately rich owner decided to spend a couple million out of his own pocket and buy himself a dynasty, and in the early 2000s when a series of high draft picks combined to become a once-in-a-generation-type young winning core. Neither is replicable nor sustainable. The A’s ebb and flow of attendance was solely due to WINNING, and no amount of management would be able to prolong either exactly because they were born out highly unusual circumstances owing more to luck than anything.
    And whining about the 3rd deck- gimme a break, it was always empty, I never sat up there. Sounds like a handful of fans loved it up there, but certainly nothing to bank the future of a franchise on. I can’t believe you are actually holding up the fact that it was so empty you could spread out and sit wherever as something good about the 3rd deck. That’s just pathetic.

  83. @Al
    That’s a good point about the 3rd deck – most of the time mostly empty, and the emptiness is what appeals to some fans sitting up there. Thus, not appealing from a business sense to owners.
    .
    That said, nothing says “we suck, we’re cheap, we don’t care” quite like tarps do.
    .
    Ugh. The A’s so desperately need a new ballpark.
    .
    And yes, go ahead and call me “captain obvious”. My wife always does. ;-)

  84. ML, if the franchise sells for $400 million that is what it will be worth and I don’t see why it wouldn’t continue to grow like it has under the current ownership group. A stadium would add to the value of the team and to revenue.
    If this story is factual it shows that the A’s are in demand and that Oakland is seen as a viable market. I am sure Wolff is does not want the public to think either is true.

  85. @Ted said “If this story is factual it shows that the A’s are in demand and that Oakland is seen as a viable market.”
    .
    Can you tell me how you get from A (that the A’s are in demand) to B (Oakland is seen as a viable market)?

  86. Fred Claire and Andy Dolich’s group recently dropped out of the Dodgers bidding. I know that last week Rich Lieberman reported that Andy Dolich is still interested in trying to buy the A’s.

  87. Ted,
    Will you just stop! A supposed San Jose resident who PERSONALLY doesn’t want to see the A’s come to town ADVOCATING OAKLAND? Like I said before, just say you don’t want to see the A’s relocate to our hometown and just leave it at that; you’re sounding ridiculous trying to make Oakland sound like a “viable” market when we know it isn’t. Tell yah what; do your research of what this blog has put out for nearly 7 years and get back to us when your done. Happy reading…and Go A’s and Go San Jose!!

  88. Did I mention the A’s aren’t for sale…? ;)

  89. LoneStranger and Tony, From what I heard on the mid day TV news today both potential ownership groups are interested in keeping the team in Oakland rather than relocating the team to another city. Wouldn’t that indicate that these two ownership groups believe that Oakland is a viable place for a team?

    Tony, it just might end up that baseball decides that the A’s should stay in Oakland and Wolff can then sell or be forced to sell.

  90. Haas took some losses but they were not huge, and he had the biggest payroll in baseball at the time. Taking a loss for a few years to build your market to a sustainable level is a good strategy. Once the fanbase is there and assembled you don’t have to spend as much to keep them as you do to get them in the first place.

    Again, also consider the era. Haas was building a team when MLB attendance was much lower. MLB in general has far more national marketing power behind it than existed in 1986. Did the Giants lose money the year they signed Barry Bonds?

    Next, consider the TV deals. MLB tv deals are much more lucrative than they were in the 1980′s. SH/Wolff have not had good deals. They liked to cry foul that it was “the best they could get” but that’s ridiculous. There are far more spaces on the TV dial in 2012 and every team in every sport it seems can get a home station with talk shows, hype, game broadcasts, etc. If you’re telling me that you can’t do it in the SF Bay Area, one of the wealthiest regions of the United States, the problem is you’re incompetent. I bet I could sell an A’s tv deal with an afternoon of phone calls.

    Lone: Oakland/East Bay as a viable market is something you can prove by running the numbers. Population and income-wise it is a mid-level MLB market. Typically it is not calculated this way because it is with SF, but if we’re going to keep the markets apart we need to think of them independently. The Oakland A’s have a lucrative territory. Not the best in MLB, but far from the worst.

    As for the ballpark, it’s just part of the picture. If you want to build fanbase that supports you regularly, follows the team, reads media about the team, buys memorabilia, tickets, etc, you have to recruit those fans. The upper deck of the Coliseum was responsible for recruiting many fans into the A’s experience. It was part of the brand. And I don’t necessarily buy it when they say they lost money on the upper deck. Maybe on Tuesday afternoon games on cold days. Remember the incredible walk-up ticket sales numbers Oakland used to get in the early 2000′s? Most of those people were sitting in the 2nd or 3rd decks. Those were NEW FANS who wanted to get in on something exciting that was going on. SH/Wolff failed utterly to convert those fans into long-term fans. Their failure to execute a business plan should not be held against the market itself.

    The “Emptiness” was mostly perception. The 3rd deck is HUGE. It could be two-thirds sold out and there would still be areas where you could have a few rows to yourself. These were LOUSY SEATS by almost any measure, yet A’s fans in Oakland loved them. The Coliseum does have some charms, remember, despite its flaws. SH/Wolff fail to understand the benefits of their ballpark and actively discourage some of the good things about it. Again, this comes back to understanding your customer. not the customer you want, idealize, or other teams have. YOUR customer. The Giants ownership has demonstrated this principal magnificently.

    ML – I do not believe MLB wants to work in Montreal right now, but I do know that it’s possible. Yes, a new ballpark is needed, that’s a given. It would surely be conditional on granting the ownership group access to a team. But it’s something that is fairly possible, and there are big money people involved with big incentives. The media landscape in Canada does not work the same way as it does in the states, and there is an added element of the Quebec factor. I know the area well, read French, and have followed the press on the subject. It is a superior market and opportunity for MLB than any other that exists at this time. Were the A’s or any other team to relocate, this would be the *only* option. It’s clearly not perfect, and there are some challenges, but the pieces are there to overcome them. My point is simply that the A’s can’t threaten to leave town to some ambiguous Tampa Bay or Denver anymore. If they leave town it’s for Montreal. Nowhere else is viable.

  91. Ted said: “LoneStranger and Tony, From what I heard on the mid day TV news today both potential ownership groups are interested in keeping the team in Oakland rather than relocating the team to another city. Wouldn’t that indicate that these two ownership groups believe that Oakland is a viable place for a team?”

    Did the report actually state who these people are? Did it have quotes from those people? Again, this stuff sounds an awful lot like something the Giants are ‘leaking’ to try to get the general public against the move, so that the referendum in SJ has a harder time passing. Sure was timed to hit the new news cycle pretty well, wasn’t it?

  92. Ted,
    Let me try this in English: THE A’S AREN’T FOR SALE! YEAH, MLB is really going to change course after three year’s and allow the A’s to rot in Oakland because of some pathetic media outlets and their debunked stories. Remember : the best interest of all of baseball, not just the Giants or Teds.

  93. Ted, those reports are just going by one article that loosely talks about owners wanting to stay in Oakland but it has no actual comments from the owners and they never state they will pay for the stadium.

  94. LoneStranger, do you think that Mattier and Ross might be working for the Giants? If not, how would the Giants leak a story like this without the help of M&R?

    Tony, why would MLB change course by keeping the A’s in Oakland? MLB over the past three years has done nothing to help the A’s relocate to San Jose. Also, how has this story been debunked?

  95. Mike, I know that a lot of details are missing from the report but if these groups have talked to the commissioners office they might have a better idea on what options are out there for the A’s.

  96. @Ted: Maybe, maybe not. Some third-party could have done it. The Giants have used intermediaries before, i.e. SJ Giants.

  97. @Anonymous- you conveniently leave out the biggest difference between the eras: payroll figures. The amount Haas was losing wouldn’t even buy you Brian Fuentes. Sure an owner can decide to spend out of his pocket to keep Brian Fuentes, but that’s not going to help the team win much, and so the fans won’t be filling the stadium. The Haas strategy is outdated and can never be replicated, except at a cost of $50 million or more per year in losses. Nobody has that kind of money to spend.

    So the A’s customers were a bunch of flaky cheapskates who quit on the team for trivial stuff. I don’t blame the owners for trying to replace them with some real customers that will help them cover their expenses. MLB isn’t a competitive market where some companies settle into niches targeting to a specific clientele. The A’s can’t compete by offering a budget product to a cost-conscious customer base, when they have to pay the same prices to their players as every other team. A company in the real world can cut costs of raw materials, labor, production methods, etc in order to offer a lower-priced product to a targeted clientele. Not so in this case.

  98. @Columbo,

    Regarding the population data, this is a good source: http://census.abag.ca.gov/historical/historical.htm.
    Your point about the Bay Area being too small for two teams until recent years makes sense. However, I do think the venue itself is probably the most significant factor, being that most Bay Area growth since 1960 was in SV. Also, AT&T is a comparable trek for South Bay fans than the Coli is for East Bay residents, especially if their hometown has no Caltrain station.

  99. Have you seen A’s TV ratings? They are pathetic. And not because there is a vast untapped market for A’s games out there- it’s because there aren’t alot of A’s fans to begin with, and most of the ones that do exist don’t care about baseball all that much to spend their evenings watching it on TV. Blame it on the rich lives that A’s fans and East Bay folks in general have outside of watching sports on TV.

  100. The story was debunked right here.

  101. “No one has contacted me,” Wolff said in a phone interview. “It’s not for sale, but no one has contacted me. Someone made that story up, I think.”

  102. Al, are you sure that the TV ratings would turn with a move to San Jose?

    Jeffrey, that article does not debunk the Mattier and Ross story at all. Lew Wolff may not want to sell the team but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t groups out there willing to buy the team.

  103. “The story was debunked right here.” Not exactly debunked.

    “The Chronicle also reported that one of the groups has already alerted Major League Baseball of its interest and that the other one intends to do so.”

    It’s very much a real possibility that two groups want to buy the A’s and Wolff either hasn’t been directly contacted (after all, Bud and him don’t seem to speak very often about vital issues) or he doesn’t want to sell and figures admitting there’s buyers who want to stay in Oakland would give him even worse PR. I mean, if M&R and a publication like the Chron could be liars/tools of manipulation, couldn’t Wolff?

    Either way, there’s certainly nothing concrete to work with at the moment.

  104. Al, think you would agree the bay area are some of the most fickle fans. You will never have enough die hards that will just show up for baseball like the east coast and with AT&T having such a great location and tourist thing going on. They will always having a hard time for those fans. With baseball this day and age the only way I see the a’s to compete is with the Silicon Valley dollars. All you will get in Oakland is people looking for the budget deal and sadly that’s not enough this day and age.

  105. A’s fan, I don’t trust Wolff and according to the story, one group contacted MLB. We’ll see if any more details come out anytime soon and I can definitely see why people would be skeptical of an article that doesn’t list names.

  106. Ted, I don’t trust journalists with an agenda.

  107. I just can’t see how or why Mattier and Ross would make themselves a pawn of the Giants? What is their agenda?

  108. @A’s Fan I don’t trust owners with an agenda either.

  109. Ted – if it bleeds it leads…this is fodder for the paper

  110. So, reading your comments AnonymousA’sfan… It seems these are all things we have all heard before. In fact, I know they are. The “central location” argument has been around for as long as I can remember. The “community love” has too. Was it community love that had the A’s attendance fall precipitously at the end of the Haas era?
    .
    I appreciate the way in which you present them. Rationally, calmly (well except for the whole CAPS THING IN YOUR ORIGINAL POST), but there is nothing new there. You think the Bay Area is best split up into 2 markets? Of course you do, it suits your goal.
    .
    Lew Wolff bought the team for a Real Estate venture in San Jose? SO what ancillary development is he getting as a part of the Cisco Field deal again? He wanted ancillary development in Oakland and Fremont to pay for the stadium. I’ll admit, we don’t have particulars on his financing plan in San Jose… But if it includes developing the surrounding area to provide the lion’s share of funding (as it did in both Oakland and Fremont) then he is as stupid as you seem to think.
    .
    Haas took losses in individual seasons and sold the team at a loss. It was kind of the reason for the Blue Ribbon Panel on Cinpetetive Balance… The Haas era wasn’t just a loser in terms of a few years of over spending… They didn’t make a profit at all. That’s kind of a big deal.
    .
    I further find your credibility stretched when you say the 3rd Deck is popular. Yeah, I know it’s huge and it only looked empty… Seriously? It more than looked it empty… The A’s have had 7 season in 43 years in which they were even in the top half of attendance. Read that again. It seems really clear to me that you (and Oakland Only folks) don’t acknowledge what that means, especially when combined with their media struggles.
    .
    Speaking of media, during the Haas years the A’s were on 3 different radio affiliates. Over the course of their Bay Area years they have changed affiliates 14 times. On the Television side they have changed broadcast partners fairly regularly. If it is so easy, if it is all owner incompetence… Then why have they needed to change so often? Are you really saying this has nothing to do with in region demand for the product? These stations want to make money, if they can make money broadcasting a cat farting on a snare drum they will. If they make more money broadcasting a cat farting on a snare drum than they do on A’s broadcasts they will broadcast a cat farting on a snare drum instead of the A’s.
    .
    This is a key difference between the Giants history and the A’s… The Giants have been on KNBR forever, because the Giants draw ratings that the A’s don’t. That is a measure of a teams viability in a specific locale. You are right, it isn’t just about attendance. This why folks shouldn’t have been surprised that the Giants have done so well in a new stadium in the same city (some others being they moved into a better location within the city, and they built a state of the art ballpark that was sure to be a destination for casual fans from all over the Bay Area including the East Bay).
    .
    I don’t really want to get into a tit for tat (though I acknowledge I probably just did a little bit and I apologize if this comes off wrong, I respect all A’s fans that are passionate enough to post on blogs like this. We are really all on the same team). If the end result of all of this is a new stadium in Oakland I will still be a season ticket holder and I will still be at the stadium and I will still listen to every game I can’t attend on the radio and I will still watch the occasional game on TV.
    .
    The reality is that guys like you who put all your eggs in the “Lew Wolff Sucks” basket ignore the larger picture. Say Lew Wolff is gone tomorrow… Oakland’s hopes still rest on a pie in the sky massive redevelopment project on the Coliseum parking lot.
    .
    Personally, I just wish Selig would open his mouth and gives something to hope for. Because as much as the Oakland guys like to point out that he has had 3 years to let the team move (which is really an over simplification), he has had 3 years to say “It’s viable in Oakland.” He hasn’t. In fact, he actually expanded the scope of his committee to include areas outside of Oakland/Fremont. How is that for confidence in the East Bay?

  111. plrraz, I am not sure I get your point. Are you saying that Mattier and Ross outright made up this story because it is sexy and will sell papers? It doesn’t seem like a very sexy story to me.

  112. Ted, reread the article… He says: “No one has contacted me,” Wolff said in a phone interview. “It’s not for sale, but no one has contacted me. Someone made that story up, I think.”
    .
    Matier and Ross are muckrakers.

  113. Jeffrey,
    Walter Haas sold the A’s for a loss? He bought the team for $12 million and sold it for $85 million.
    Schott and Hoffman bought the team for $85 million and sold it for $175 million. Wolff bought the team for $175 million and now according to this blog can sell it for $400 million and Wolff and Co are pocketing over $15 million per year for their trouble.
    Owning the Oakland A’s has been good business.

  114. Sacramento is waiting with open arms…

  115. Jeffrey, Wolff could be lying. He would have no reason to be truthful because it would only hurt his position. It could also be that the ownerships groups haven’t approached Wolff.
    Earlier in this thread you said that this seemed like a plant from the Giants and now you are saying that Mattier and Ross are muckrakers. Which is it?

  116. Ted,
    The A’s loss is spelled out on page 51 of this document.
    They lost 4.2%, all things consider, over the course of the Haas ownership.
    .
    Joel,
    In what stadium and who is paying for it?

  117. Ted,
    It is both. When you want to plant something, you approach a muckraker and give him a story that causes a stir. It’s not rocket science.

  118. Expand Raley field… And wolff can pay for it..

  119. It has been discussed before… I can see that. So what is your point again?

  120. Hey eb, you are right. It isn’t completely debunked and we can infer all kinds of things. Of course, Lew Wolff could be lying when he says that he and Bud haven’t talked about San Jose much.
    .
    It is safer, from my perspective, to assume that if there were buyers reaching out to MLB… Lew Wolff would know about it before Matier and Ross, no?

  121. @Joel – Come back Wednesday. I’ll have something about Sacto.

  122. Raley Field isn’t expandable. That’s the point.

  123. Will do.

  124. I believe the article said if you expand Raley field it will be more expensive than it should have been… Doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I think that’s a bigger point.

  125. The Raley Field article ends with: “No, they wouldn’t have to demolish Raley Field and start from scratch. But they’d have to demolish a lot of it.”
    .
    Sounds more like a rebuild than an expansion to me.

  126. so by open arms you mean “You can have this minor league stadium that needs to be torn down to about 5,000 seats and build 30,000 more on your own dime.” Right?

  127. Jeffrey, just to be clear here. You think that it is clear (since it isn’t rocket science) that the Giants approached Mattier and Ross and told them to submit a made up story for them and Mattier and Ross complied? No offense Jeffrey but that sounds like a tinfoil hat type theory. Why would Mattier and Ross do such a thing?
    Why would Lew Wolff be truthful about buyers being interested in the A’s?

  128. What ever you would like to call it. It could be done. I’m not saying they won’t move to San Jose. But if there not given permission would love for them to come to Sac. And many here would.

  129. Added to post: UPDATE 6:40 PM – Lew Wolff responds, reiterating that team is not for sale. From the article, Andy Dolich was contacted and denied that he was one of the “suitors” interested in the A’s. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said that if the team were sold to a more Oakland-friendly group, the Victory Court site may be considered again. There may even be a third group interested.

  130. @ jeffery
    It seems alot Easier than the alternative right now. No?

  131. Ted, it happens all the time in the PR world. It isn’t that overt. It isn’t Larry Baer calling Phil and saying “Hey I would really like you to run with this made up story.”
    .
    It isn’t tin foil hat… It’s politics. It’s managing the media to push your message.

  132. Joel, no. It doesn’t actually.

  133. Jeffrey, why would Mattier and Ross make themselves pawns for the evil Giants to manipulate?

  134. So little time, so many straws at which to grasp.

    Honestly, and I say this as a former Oakland-only partisan: this franchise is just no longer feasible in Oakland, and it’s debatable that it ever was. We need a solid revenue base, and around here there’s just no better option than plopping the thing down right in the middle of the region that houses the dominant human industry on this planet… from this will proceed corporate money and interest and from that, perhaps the footing for a TV deal that can re-elevate the franchise to competitive dominance.

    Any budget Oakland deal at this point just will not cut it… this franchise deserves the best and not just the merely sentimental or convenient and SJ is where it has to go.

  135. Wolff has more to lose in public eye than M&R.
    M&R can just say well that’s what my source told me.
    Or it could be Dolich who tried to buy the A’s years ago and say that counts as telling them.
    While if Wolff has had this convo with the buyer and also MLB it’s easy for the other owners to know and won’t look good on Wolff for lying.

    M&R have already got their most talked about article in awhile, I’ve already seen this posted at tons of different sites. Some not even baseball related.

  136. Ted,
    Moving on.

  137. Me too, Jeffrey.

  138. My previous comment I started before the Dolich update, so that’s why my guess there was obviously already wrong.
    ..,
    M.L. Has your site hit all time records for hits the last week by leaps and bounds? Things sure did at least get exciting around here.

  139. @Mike – Surprisingly, no. The Lew Wolff interview from last year was the best in terms of traffic. If news or rumors keep coming every week, March could challenge it.

  140. Do you not notice the irony when you say that the A’s are not viable in Oakland, but would be in San Jose, while at the same time saying that San Jose is the same market as Oakland?

    The real question is why aren’t San Jose fans driving up to the Coliseum? haha.

    Seriously, we all know and agree that the A’s need a new stadium. The reality is that the franchise needs good ownership and a fresh start. A ballpark will generate that, be it in Oakland or San Jose. I really don’t think there are any grounds to say that more fans would exist if they were in San Jose as opposed to Oakland. The question is about preference, and also about where a stadium can be built. Many feel San Jose will be easier because of two things: 1. The City of Oakland has not done much to help. 2. SH/Wolff have wagered a 15-year campaign to make you believe that.

    If #1 changes (City Center momentum) and #2 ends (sale) then the A’s could easily find a new ballpark, with new owners, and the new start they need. As it appears that San Jose is being pushed off the shelf as an option due to a much larger MLB issue with territorial rights (one they seem loathe to resolve despite its many problems), the next step is to forget all that #2 propaganda and focus on either embracing the East Bay market or get ready for the team to pick up stakes and be sold to an ownership group in Montreal (despite ML’s disbelief).

    I think we can we all agree on the following:

    1. If San Jose is not an option due to TR, Wolff/Fisher will probably sell (I think this is obvious)

    2. Ownership committed to the East Bay exists

    3. There is some possibility of momentum in Oakland for a new ballpark at the Coliseum site

    So going forward, #3 and #2 go together. If #3 isn’t happening, #2 won’t either. #1 will, and the ownership group will be one seeking to relocate the club. If you can’t build a ballpark in the Bay Area, well you kind of have to move because you can’t stay in the Coliseum for another 10 years and compete in MLB.

    As for Sacramento, I think had the Kings left town that would have been a rather plausible option. Sacramento is unfortunately not able to support two teams with its limited market size. Even without the NBA in town Sacramento would only be considered a possible option in the case of the A’s due to their existing proximity and the (very successful) AAA club there. The Rays, for example, would never under any circumstances consider Sacramento as a relocation target. With the Kings getting a new arena it’s safe to say that Sacramento is not going to host MLB any time in the next 25 years or so.

    In previous relocation discussions Portland was the next best site. Since that time they have acquired MLS and the temporary MLB stadium is now an MLS stadium. Further the TR situation with Seattle now appears to be a legitimate factor, and the economic situation has not aided Portland either. Portland is ahead of Sacramento but also not likely to see MLB in the next 20 years.

    San Antonio is the other option, but they have problems with TR as well. With the Rangers becoming a marquee franchise and the Astros needing a significant overhaul it strikes as incredibly unlikely that MLB would allow a new team into the larger Texas market (which is more connected than say LA/SF are in California). San Antonio is also fairly small and while Austin is nearby it is not close enough to really depend on that population enough for MLB’s 80 game schedule. 10 years down the road this may well be a top relocation/expansion site for MLB.

    And to round up, Montreal. Now enjoying an economic boom and the advantages of a Canadian dollar that is worth MUCH more than it was 10 years ago, it also has an MLB-ready stadium in place as a temporary site while construction on a new ballpark happens. Further you have a huge media corporation looking to launch a major sports network in addition to their other large media holdings, based in Montreal. This organization is actively working to get an NHL team back to Quebec City and is financing an arena for it. They stand to make gazillions of dollars on the TV/radio side in addition to the club itself. They have openly stated they are interested in MLB in Montreal, which is a metropolitan area of 3.8 million people. MLB and Montreal have some bad blood but that history is fading quickly. If Montreal has a local ownership group that brings a stadium plan and guaranteed TV revenue then they will be the first people MLB calls if they find themselves with a franchise in Oakland that needs a new home outside of the Bay Area.

    • Do you not notice the irony when you say that the A’s are not viable in Oakland, but would be in San Jose, while at the same time saying that San Jose is the same market as Oakland?

      There’s no irony there. MLB defines it as two different territories. The Giants know this and want to keep the status quo. The A’s want to better their standing by moving there.

      And to round up, Montreal. Now enjoying an economic boom and the advantages of a Canadian dollar that is worth MUCH more than it was 10 years ago, it also has an MLB-ready stadium in place as a temporary site while construction on a new ballpark happens.

      Again, I can’t see MLB being interested in Montreal unless a ballpark is built on-spec or there’s one ready once a team moves there. The Big Owe is past outmoded. If anything, I can see Montreal filling the role of the new stalking horse city, the role Las Vegas used to fill. The link I provided previously mentioned that Rogers pays a pittance to its Blue Jays operating subsidiary for TV rights, which depresses payroll for the team. If a Quebec media company were to come in and gain a stake in a relocated team, what assurances would MLB have that the new company wouldn’t operate in the exact same manner?

  141. Wow. Who can read through all this? Yesterday, I was sure A’s-to-San Jose was dead. Now I’m thinking it’s moving in the right direction because I suspect the Giants, desperate to selfishly keep San Jose from ever getting Major League Baseball, are feeding disinformation to their lapdog friends in the news media. The Giants’ astroturf group, “Stand for San Jose,” tells you all you need to know about how far the Giants will stoop. How can anyone support that organization? Go A’s and whoever is playing the Giants on any given night. Even if it’s the Yankee$.

  142. Some of you sure can type..

  143. AnonymousA’sfan, I appreciate the fact you are passionately sticking up for the A’s in Oakland. Unlike some others, you seem to be keeping it pretty level headed in your approach. While in my opinion you are taking the facts — and disregarding others — and molding them to your argument….well Ok, most people do that at one time or another. But sorry man, you are fooling yourself if you think the A’s are going to be an Oakland team. The handwriting is on the wall. LW doesn’t want to move because he hates Oakland. He wants to move because it is good business. And these groups — imho phony groups brought to you by the Stand for San Jose SuperPAC — are not going to pay around a 4/10′s of a billion dollars for the team then 1/2 a billion to build a stadium, then to make it work in the Oakland area. The economics simply do not add up. Again, sorry man, I see you are passionate about the issue and it sucks when something like that goes south on you but, again, the economics — on MANY levels — simply do not add up for an Oakland baseball team. It will be SJ or it will be somewhere outside of the Bay Area (Sac? Not a chance folks) and likely out of Cali. That will happen under the ownership of LW or under the ownership of some other person/group.
    Lastly, as I have stated before, the Giants have 100% proven they will not play this above board. Subterfuge is one of their tacts. Therefore any news of “unnamed” sources or unnamed ownership groups or unnamed whatever….it is logical to disregard it. You can thank the Giants for that……

  144. FC writes “Here’s what I don’t understand.
    .The only thing that matters is what goes on within the walls of “The Lodge”. Selig is trying to broker a deal, and/or get a 29-1 vote. If the Giants were truly behind the M&R story and Madden’s column, I don’t see how that would in any way affect Selig’s or any of the other owner’s opinion. Why have all of this play out in the papers?”
    Simple question for you: What is the Giants need to create a phony Stand for San Jose group if all that matters is the Lodge’s vote? Growing public confusion on this A’s to SJ issue favors the Giants. Off put or even irked people in the east bay, among others, favors the Giants. It favors them on both fronts. 1) It makes a path to building a stadium in SJ harder if LW is made to be a bad guy and the issue is clouded by rancor. 2) If the Giants are forced to allow SJ for the A’s, their hand in negotiations is strengthened if the path to getting that stadium is cloudy (meaning the Giants stopping the public confusion machine potentially is worth compensation money). Bottom line, it is good business for the Giants to cloud this issue. On either front it likely places their organization in a better position as it applies to the A’s going to SJ.

  145. AnonA’sFan-
    .
    San Antonio doesn’t have problems with TR’s. Neither does Portland. I’d throw Charlotte in as a city that could be in the mix, although with all the trouble MLB just went to realign would sort of be undone. They all have problems with media market infringement. Moving a team there is directly analogous to what happened with Baltimore/DC. Only, any new franchise in the area would be way further away from the closest incumbent than DC is to Baltimore.
    .
    Both San Antonio and Portland expressed interest in building a publicly financed MLB stadium in the recent past.
    .
    Oregon actually passed legislation to set aside money to pay for the stadium they proposed (as much as they proposed a stadium, they had multiple sites really). The funding mechanism was partially to bond against income tax paid by players (something I think Oakland should be asking the state to do for them if they want to get something done). Granted, it might be a nonstarter in California, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least try.
    .
    It is possible that the Rangers and Astros would be willing partners in a plan to move a team to San Antonio. It would increase their television ratings by having another team within their time zone and division. That is why the Astros are the team that moved into the AL West.
    .
    As far as your first two points 1. Yep Oakland hasn’t done much, in case you haven’t noticed… They still haven’t. 2. It isn’t propaganda to point out that San Jose has more economic muscle than Oakland. It’s fact. The conditions to privately finance a ballpark in San Jose are better than they are in Oakland… If you can’t see that, it’s because you aren’t being objective. Median income, Fortune 1000 companies, whatever way you want to measure it San Jose economics> Oakland economics. At a minimum you could say this far less propagandish than say appealing to “legacy” and “local pride.”
    .
    On your other three points, 1. sounds likely, 2. sure, but with the caveat that the only person we absolutely know wants to do this has already assembled a group that was rejected by MLB, 3. absolutely hilarious. I think the chances of Coliseum City happening are less than 10%.
    .
    I also think it is hilarious that Jean Quan throws in a site that was favored by the Oakland crowd as a potential site that she will make available should a new owner come around… It was dropped because they couldn’t pay for it. What has changed in the past few months that they suddenly can?
    .
    This is the real problem. Not propaganda by Schott/Hoffman/Wolff/Fischer or anyone else. 1. Oakland hasn’t done much but posture. 2. San Jose has economics.

  146. Quan must mean a new owner who is not only willing to pay $400 million for the team and $500 million for a new ballpark, but is willing to throw in another $250 million to acquire the Victory Court site, too. $1.2 billion or so to keep the team in Oakland. Owners take on massive, massive risk; Oakland takes on no risk. It’s been Oakland’s plan for years. But I don’t think any bank would even issue loans for the ballpark itself, in these tight money times.

  147. @TW – WHole heartedly concur that is is not beyond the Gnats to do some media manipulation or viral FUD campaign. This is an organization after all that 1) Used push-polling tactics to influence SJ resident opinions when the news of SJ exploration came about, 2) Created this StandFromSJ front to sell their propaganda about impacting city services, while at the same time collecting $1.5 million themselves, and 3) use puppet ignorant Gnat fans to sue the city to try to block even the attempt at buying land in preparation for a stadium in SJ. What makes us think that they wouldn’t tried to do some plants in the press or on the internet to further their attempt to kill the A’s!

  148. Anon, proof?

  149. Yea, I can’t believe Quan would consider bringing back Victory Court.

  150. I have never seen any Stand For San Jose information anywhere but here. Now I know a little more about it, thank you. I could see how sharing a law firm with the Giants could make some speculate that the Giants are helping to fund the group but I don’t see anything in that article indicating that the group is just a front for the Giants.

    From that second link:
    “This all stems from the fact that Major League Baseball granted the Giants territorial rights to San Jose when they built their new stadium in 2001.” Huh?

    The Third link seems to be a link about the San Jose Giants and Municipal stadium, what does it have to do with the A’s?

    I still can’t imagine journalists like Madden and Mattier and Ross agreeing to be mouthpieces for the Giants.

  151. @AnonAsFan You are rehashing old ground.
    .
    Setting aside the extremely rose-colored backward view on A’s attendance history (including ignorning the fact that A’s attendance fell faster on Wally Haas than it has on Lew Wolff once the good times stopped), here’s your problem: Probably 50% or more of modern MLB stadium revenue comes from premium seating of one type or another. The target market for this product is overwhelmingly big corporations, large law firms and the like. Probably 90% of these customers who exist in the Bay Area are located between SF and SJ.
    .
    Further: Most MLB games are played on weeknights. From the Peninsula, it takes less than an hour by car or CalTrain to get to AT&T Park. It takes 90 minutes to 2 hours of miserable traffic to get to the Coliseum, and there is no convenient transit option. You can drive to Fremont and take BART, sure, but by then you’ve already endured the worst of the traffic and BART is ten minutes away from the freeway, so you’re not saving any time.
    .
    Bottom line: You’re never going to get enough Silicon Valley companies to choose to drag their clients through miserable traffic to get to Oakland rather than taking a relatively painless jaunt to glamorous San Francisco. And if you can’t, you’re not going to be able to service the mortgage that comes with a new yard.

  152. Bartelby, although you failed to mention BART in Millbrae or Daily City I agree with most of what you wrote. Your point about the A’s desire to pull corporate dollars directly out of the Giants pockets is spot on.

  153. @AnonA’sFan The comment about South Bay fans not making the drive to Oakland completely misses the point. In modern MLB economics, die-hard fans are probably the least important demographic. Most important are corporate customers, then casual fans, then die-hard fans, in that order. The first two are the difference makers as far as making money or not. .

  154. @Ted I didn’t mention Millbrae or Daly City because I doubt they would shorten the trip for most folks coming from the South Bay. Millbrae is over an hour ride, including a transfer, plus the time to drive there, plus on the way home only half the trains will go there, adding wait time. Daly City is a 36 minute ride, but if you’re coming from say, Page Mill Road, you’ve already driven about 45 minutes, and by the time you’re up there you’re practically at AT&T Park. I have a hard time envisioning many Silicon Valley execs dragging their clients up the peninsula to take a BART ride an additional 30 minutes past AT&T Park rather than just stopping at AT&T Park.
    .
    I take exception to the characterization of honest competition as “pulling corporate dollars out of the Giants pockets.” This is America: Nobody is entitled to anything in business, including the Giants. A market which is capable of supporting two teams (which the Bay Area clearly is, if they are intelligently located), should have two teams. The Giants’ anticompetitive conduct is exactly what the antitrust laws are intended to prevent.
    .
    And again, I really don’t get your stance as a Giants fan. As others have said, I think healthy competition serves your interest as a fan, by keeping management motivated to field a good team. All indications are that without vigorous competition, Giants management will tend to sit on their hands and not try very hard. Although I have grown to despise the Giants because of this issue, if the situations were reversed I would not want them to leave the region (or be stuck in an economically non-viable location) because I would want the A’s to have the same motivation.
    .

  155. Bartelby, you referred to the A’s positioning themselves to draw corporate dollars that would otherwise go to the Giants. That is what the A’s want to do by moving to San Jose and that is why the Giants are fighting so hard to keep their territorial rights to San Jose.
    You and I have already discussed the validity of MLB controlling movement and preventing teams from harming each other with relocation. We disagree on the matter.
    The Giants have been dominant in this market for at least the past 12 years, in that time they have been to two WS and have been in the thick of the playoff hunt for 8 of those years. I don’t see that as being complacent. The Giants have a nice revenue stream and they spend a reasonable percentage of that revenue on the roster. They aren’t going to spend more if they are taking in less.

    About the market…I am not sure that the Bay Area is a legitimate two team market where two teams can thrive. It is the smallest two team market and the next smallest market would be Baltimore/DC and they certainly aren’t doing a good job supporting two teams. Both teams drew less than 2 million fans last year putting them both in the bottom 1/3 of the MLB as far as attendance.

  156. @ Ted – You believe the issue to be strictly black or white in terms of corporate dollars. No amount of information is to change your biased opinion, so instead please refer to the SLVG letter that notes they’ll support both both teams. http://media.nbcbayarea.com/documents/svCEOletter.pdf

  157. @Ted To be fair, Baltimore and DC were also terrible last year. I don’t think of the A’s moving to SJ as necessarily “stealing” all the current south bay fans and corporate support from the Giants. Let’s be honest, that will happen to some extent, but probably not as much as people think. In turn, the Giants will benefit from having no other team to compete with for the fans in the east bay and north bay.

    The main benefit for the A’s (and for MLB as a whole) is the potential to tap into the currently underserved corporate base and fan population in the greater south bay that is currently underutilized due to significant distance/travel time to either of the existing ballparks.

    Will the Giants lose money if the A’s move…maybe. Should they compensated for giving up a territory they received at no cost….morally no, realistically yes. Would the A’s moving benefit MLB and baseball in the bay area as a whole…absolutely.

  158. @ Ted – Just google StandFromSJ and you’ll see plenty to associate the
    big Gnats. As far as what Municipal stadium has to do with everything?
    When StandFromSJ was announced on the basis for its concern on usage
    of public money for sport facilities. Ironically, it was spearheaded
    by the former lil Gnats chief Weyerman who had just convinced the
    council to approve millions for improvements to their home. Even
    Madison Nguyen, who’s district encopasses the lil Gnats, was shocked
    and commented as such.
    <

  159. Anon, corporations aren’t going to spend twice as much on baseball if the A’s move to San Jose.
    There is little information about Stand For San Jose on Google. From what I gather from the links it seems that they are a group that is ticked about their city buying land and selling it for a massive loss to a billionaire real estate developer.

  160. Ted, you are ridiculously uninformed. Bud Selig made reference to Stand for San Jose as a front for the Giants when he said that the law suit will go away before a ballpark deal is made (this at the same time when he said the issue was on the front burner). Frankly, it gets really tiring reading your uninformed drivel. If you don’t understand how PR Departments at corporation s use the press, usually through a proxy of some kind, to “spin” (you have heard this term before, right? Spinning the news?) the news via newspaper columnists (both knowingly and unknowingly) then you are horribly naive.
    .
    Your assertion that an A’s team in San Jose would take money from the Giants pockets ignores that there are many businesses in the South Bay that don’t spend money with either the A’s or Giants. The SVLG said exactly that and backed it up with a survey of their members.
    .
    Seriously, quit wasting everyone’s time with uninformed hogwash. The folks who read this blog are informed because they have informed themselves. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe read through the stuff on the sidebar and learn a little.

  161. Hoegaarden, the Orioles have a first rate park and the Nationals are playing in a brand new park. There is no evidence to show that both of the BAL/DC area teams can ever draw a reasonable number of fans. Who is to say that the A’s will do any better when they move to San Jose or that the A’s and Giants won’t both get stuck somewhere in the lower half of MLB revenue ranks?

  162. well if there were any easy answers ted, then the A’s would probably be playing in a new yard by now…..that said, letting a major league franchise (one of the original american league teams btw), is a travesty that I am fed up with…..

    I agree with wolff that this game has run its course and its time for a simple yay or nay….we know these things are complicated, but as this blog points out, it has been 1100 days since mlb started investigating this potential move….

    at this point I am pretty sure the answer will be no, but at least it would be an answer and the team and its fans could move on to plan D or E or whatever plan this is now

  163. Ted – you missed the point entirely about franchise health. As Bartleby notes above, it is not only about attendance but about corporate and media support. The Orioles and NAts (previously Expos) franchise valuation are at all time highs due to Media rights, guaranteed valuation, new venues, etc. I can’t tell whether you are sincerely naive about these matters or if you’re purposefully ignoring these facts just to suport your cause with endless hypothetical case scenarios that will never materialize…

  164. Jeffrey, you never explained to me how Mattier and Ross could have been used by the Giants to get that story out. I understand how PR works for companies but I don;t see why Mattier and Ross would do that for the Giants or how the Giants would dupe them into thinking that Giants operatives were pretending to be real people who are part ownership groups from Silicon Valley and LA. Why can’t you explain how the Giants would pull it off? You said it would be easy.
    The vocal members of SVLG certainly want the A’s to come to San Jose and I have no doubt that the A’s would tap some baseball dollars that were not committed to either team previously but it is obvious that the A’s also want dollars from Silicon Valley that were previously committed to the Giants.
    I have been reading through the stuff on the sidebar and I will keep doing so. Perhaps you could learn something about grace and manners.

  165. Anon, the A’s franchise valuation is at an all time high. The team sold for $172 million dollars less than 7 years ago.
    The Orioles and Nationals don’t draw and there is no reason to believe that they will ever both be a decent drawing team. I am also pretty sure that both the Orioles and the Nationals are revenue sharing takers.

    Tell me what I wrote about the Nationals and Orioles that is incorrect.

  166. @Ted If the A’s move to San Jose, they may draw some corporate dollars that would otherwise go to the Giants. More likely, however, they will expand the market for MLB in the Bay Area by drawing dollars from new sources that currently support neither the A’s nor the Giants due to proximity issues.
    .
    If I recall correctly, 15% of large Silicon Valley corporations currently do business with the Giants. This leaves an enormous amount of room for a second team to increase MLB corporate business without necessarily reducing the amount of business the Giants receive. There’s room for both.
    .
    If the A’s move to San Jose, will proximity give them a competitive advantage in attracting SV corporate business? Of course. However, the Giants have their competitive advantages too, including a glamour location and longstanding relationships. Plus, there’s a limit to how much product the A’s can sell. Sold out is sold out..
    .
    Also, San Francisco has a large corporate base of its own, and the Giants would gain access to the East Bay to partially or entirely offset any losses from the move. Between what they can draw from SV and what they can draw from their home turf, they’ll be fine. At least, as long as they keep an entertaining product on the field, which is as it should be.
    .
    The only arguable benefit of MLB “preventing teams from harming each other with relocation” is keeping more teams from moving into a market than that market can support. (Of course, the overwhelming probability is that market forces would do this anyway). There is no defensible economic or moral justification for using anticompetitive restraints to hamstring one team for the benefit of another in a market that has already had two teams for over 40 years and can clearly support them both.
    .
    The “smallest two team market” argument is misleading for the same reason all this debate about historical attendance figures is beside the point. MLB economics are not mainly about “butts in the seats” anymore; they’re about corporate sponsorships and premium seat sales. With respect to this demographic, the Bay Area is a heavyweight market.
    .
    I’ve never understood the psychology of wanting your sports team to have an unfair competitive advantage. It’s why I loathe and despise the Yankees, and have never understood their appeal. To me, all those trophies are among the least impressive accomplishments in sports. Its like if a college team were allowed to play in a high school league and then got all full of themselves because they managed to win the league once every four years.
    .
    Totally disagree that “They aren’t going to spend more if they are taking in less.” The A’s aren’t going to take away enough business to actually prevent the Giants from spending more on payroll, especially not once the ballpark is paid off in a few years. But if they start putting any business pressure on the Giants, it is likely to convince the Giants to pinch their margins a bit to remain the regions primary team.

  167. Ted – homework for you…look up Orioles valuation and correlate it with the Nats move (hint: use Forbes). But your whole arguments are rather odd. Just the other day, as a noob, you argued that there are no scenarios like SF/Oakland in terms of TRs, and I cited Baltimore/DC. And now today, you’re using them as examples of what would happen to the Gnats/A’s franchise? Um….okay….

  168. BTW – i think i figured out who that second mysterious SV exec who owns a minor league team is. Look up Daniel Orum on LinkedIn and have a good chuckle at the second “potential” buyer.; His profile fits the description to a Tee, with one interesting tidbit that M&R conveniently omits… . ;)

  169. @Ted “There is no evidence to show that both of the BAL/DC area teams can ever draw a reasonable number of fans.”
    .
    There is also no evidence to show that they can’t. The reality is, both teams have pretty much sucked ever since the Nats moved to DC. A handful of .500-ish seasons between them are the highlights; for the most part it’s been .400 baseball (or worse).
    .
    One thing that’s been shown repeatedly on this site by others who are better with statistics than me is that attendance correlates most closely with winning. From a scan of both attendance and won-lost records for both teams since the Nats came, this seems to be the case here. In fact, compared with winning percentage, the attendance for these teams has not been terrible. Orioles fans in particular deserve props for putting up some genuinely decent attendance in the face of a brutal stretch of hopelessness in MLB’s most brutal division.
    .
    And again, it’s not just attendance, it’s who’s showing up at games and how much they’re spending.
    .
    “Who is to say that the A’s will do any better when they move to San Jose or that the A’s and Giants won’t both get stuck somewhere in the lower half of MLB revenue ranks?”
    .
    First of all, show me your support for the idea that WAS and BAL are in the lower half of MLB revenue ranks. Lower half of attendance is not the same as lower half of revenue.

    Second, there are a lot of reasons to expect the A’s and Giants will both do fine with an A’s move to San Jose. The A’s plan to build the smallest ballpark in MLB, limiting the amount of business they could draw away from the Giants. A small fraction of SV corporations currently do business with the Giants, so there’s lots of room to grow the pie. And San Jose seems thirsty for big league sports, evidenced by its rabid support of a niche sport like hockey. The fact that the Sharks sell out doesn’t seem to be preventing the Warriors from selling out also, despite the fact that their seasons are concurrent.
    .
    And again, Silicon Valley is one of the richest markets in the country. It makes no sense for MLB to content itself with 15% of that market when its questionable whether there are any open markets that are even viable.

  170. Ted, here it’s simple:

    1. Giants hire PR firm
    2. PR firm uses a proxy not directly connected to the Giants
    3. Proxy contacts Matier or Ross and says “I represent a group who wants to buy the A’s.”
    4. Matier or Ross asks for validation
    5. Proxy gives them someone else to call that. Edifices the story
    6. M and R call the Giants, A’s and MLB who respond “no comment”
    7. “no comment” is interpreted as smoke/fire
    8. Story is published

    There. M and R unknowingly serve as a mouth piece for someone who has an agenda. If you think this is unlikely or that it requires a tin foil hat to believe, respectfully you are naive.
    .
    You can sibstitute Let’s Go Oakland for the Giants, or you can substitute the A’s, or anyone with a vested interest that has a meme they want pushed through the mass media without seeming like they are pushing it.

  171. iPhone typing sucks. Edifices should be “verifies”

  172. Jeffro,
    Wow. Just wow. That was the biggest tin-foil hat conspiracy theory this side of the OAFC.
    Even if it was true who’s to say that the A’s haven’t done the same thing? Isn’t often praised around here Mark Purdy pretty much a mouthpiece for Lew Wolff? What about Bob Nightengale? This blog goes into a frenzy every time he tweets, who is to say that Lew Wolff isn’t giving him stuff to say to get the Giants to move.

  173. I’ve tried to type up a response a few times now, but I’m still flabbergasted. Do people not really know that PR is often done in shady terms like Jeffrey pointed out?

  174. Jeffrey,
    Seriously dude? That post made me come out of the shadows and respond after like a year of silence lol. That’s a little much

  175. Djr… I am sorry that it seems out there to you. It happens every day. As I pointed out, it doesn’t have to be the Giants, it could be the A’s. It could be the City of San Francisco, Oakland, it could be Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. This is how organizations get their version of events into the public eye. I am not saying there aren’t suitors interested… In fact this is the process that people who want to buy a team but can’t get the time of day from MLB would use to build fan support. Managing the message through proxies and controlling how the story is framed.

  176. LaAndre, set up lunch with someone in the Lucas film pr department and run this scenario by them. Ask if it is unlikely.

  177. Yes, organizations with the means manage the narrative about issues in which they have an interest through PR, advertising, social media (including planting commenters on blogs) and other activities. I guess this might be a surprise to people who have never worked in the marketing sphere (especially in politics) but it’s all very common. People build their careers on the ability to do these things.

  178. Bartleby, strong franchises draw when they win and when they lose. Washington can’t even draw with a brand new stadium. If the only way that the A’s and Giants can both draw fans is if they are both winning it isn’t a great market for two teams. According to Forbes, Washington ranked 16th in revenue last year and Baltimore ranked 23rd, that is poor performance.
    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/33/baseball-valuations-11_rank.html

  179. Jeffrey, you are saying that agents acting on the behalf of Giants pretended to be actual people that are part of real groups. That seems unrealistic to me.

  180. Anon, the other day I said that there are no past scenarios in regards to territorial rights that are similar to the Giants and the A’s and that is a fact. The Orioles have never had territorial rights to DC.

    The Orioles have fallen to 23rd in revenue in MLB since the Nationals relocation. The Orioles franchise value dropped by 6% from 2009 to 2010 and the team didn’t increase in value from 2008 to 2009.

  181. @Ted “strong franchises draw when they win and when they lose”
    .
    This statement is totally unsupported. Pretty much ALL MLB franchises see their attendance fluctuate depending on winning or losing. Mets attendance has plummeted the last few years – does that mean New York can’t support two teams?
    .
    Relative to team performance, the O’s and Nats have drawn decently. When you’re struggling through a ten year cycle of futility, low to mid 20K attendance is not bad.
    .
    “Washington can’t even draw with a brand new stadium.”
    .
    New stadium is only part of it. Typically you get an initial bump, and certainly bad team in new stadium will draw better than bad team in crappy stadium. But wretched team in new market without established fanbase for nearly a decade is not the path to bonzo box office. If the Nats string together a few playoff runs, they’ll be fine.
    .
    “If the only way that the A’s and Giants can both draw fans is if they are both winning it isn’t a great market for two teams.”
    .
    They will be fine. Both can be expected to outdraw many single team markets in their down years.
    .
    ” According to Forbes, Washington ranked 16th in revenue last year and Baltimore ranked 23rd, that is poor performance.”
    .
    First, Forbes is guessing. Second, that’s not poor performance, that’s middling performance, which is to be expected in a losing streak even in a single team market. Virtually every team in MLB has a new, SOTA stadium except the A’s and the Rays. Someone has to be in the middle or lower half; it’s going to tend to be the teams going through extended losing streaks. It doesn’t mean the market can’t support two teams, it’s just the nature of the beast.

  182. Kozimor just called out the Chronicle and the Giants… on the show sponsored by the Chronicle on a channel owned by the Giants. Said the story was a plant. Correct or not, it’s amusing that their media manipulation could not stop it.

  183. Bartleby, the Giants attendance over the past 12 years has not dipped below 2.8 million.
    The Orioles and the Nationals have not drawn well, they are both in the bottom third of the league for attendance and that is no good.
    Drawing better than some single team markets isn’t nearly good enough and I am not sure why you think automatically that the Giants will continue to draw like they do and the A’s will also suddenly become a top draw as well.
    16th and 23rd in revenue is poor, not average. 15th and 16th would be average.
    Teams that do not have new SOTA stadiums also include Toronto, Chicago, Chicago, KC, BOS, LA, LA.
    We know that we have one team in this market that is working quite well and it should be unacceptable to hurt that team just so you might help a weaker team become less weak.

    Nam Turk, what did Kozimar say he knew and what facts did he have to back it up? Kozimar is a soccer announcer, no?

  184. @Ted,
    Your asking NT about “facts” re Kozimar, yet you take what Madden and M&R state as pure gospel? How convenient. But I digress: rather than continuing to go circular with you I’ll just say this…YOUR RIGHT! Your opinion and “facts” are spot on and the rest of us don’t know what the hell we’re talking about. Forget that we’ve been at this now for nearly 7 years. You’ve come in here just recently and have regulated in a quick minute. Thanks for the schooling!
    But guess what? What you or even I think doesn’t matter in the big picture: what really matters is what the Bay Area committee and Bud Selig think. And whatever decision they come down to is what will happen re the A’s and Giants in the Bay Area. We have our opinions, you have yours…may the best man win! Go A’s and Go San Jose!!

  185. Tony D., I never took the stories as gospel. I am asking what facts lead anyone to believe that the Giants somehow convinced or manipulated Mattier and Ross. If you are going to make that claim you should have some idea of how it was pulled off.
    I never said that you didn’t know what you are talking about.

    What Bay Area Committee are you referring to?

    I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s opinion here.

  186. @ Ted – Who’s data are you basing this on? Nationals were at RFK stadium from 06-08′. During that time O’s improved $40 million in valuation. In 2011′, the O’s are at an all time high of $411 million in franchise valuation. Way to cherry pick your data points. During that same time, the transition fromt the Expos to Nat change your net valuation 3x. So now you have 2 teams in the same vicinity that are both strong sharing adjacent markets. Both teams are at an all time high in revenue….

  187. Ted, you obviously have a predetermined idea of what is going on. I am not going to argue with you about this specific instance, it’s pointless. If you don’t believe that sort of process could unfold from an organization that has used a South Bay fan and a front group (that is made up of a political consultant and law firm that has done business with the Giants for 20 years) to try and block the A’s from moving south would engage in media manipulation to frame the story in their direction… I can’t help you. That is how PR campaigns work and you are fooling yourself if you think otherwise. The Giants own PR person acknowledges in the linked article that the San Jose Giants and San Francisco Giants are behind the group. She does give a vague statement about how they aren’t the only people behind it, but doesn’t identify anyone else…
    .
    If you think an organization that has used political campaign style push polling to try and frame the story in their direction wouldn’t do the same, via proxy, to frame the story in the local media then I can’t help you.
    .
    The Giants are running a political campaign against an A’s move, via Stand for San Jose and through media manipulation. It doesn’t make them evil, it makes them smart politicians.

  188. btw – Dan Orum is part owner of the Gnats. If he is indeed the second buyer, it would be hysterical. Essentially the Gnats are citing themselves now to spew their propaganda. Why ask others, when you can ask yourself, right?! :X

  189. Jeffrey,
    I sit directy across from the PR department at Lucasfilm actually and I am aware that this happens in business but it isn’t something that happens often. And it’s not that what your saying is unbelievable, it’s that it’s coming from you. You’re implying conspiracy theries, which you usually scrutinize commenters on this blog for doing. You just seem to be stretching a bit IMO. Implying that the Giants would spend money on an alias to act as a “potential buyer” over an actual potential buyer just seems like you’re in denial.

    There are a lot of rich people who want a MLB team. It’s not that unlikely one is going after the A’s given all the trouble that is surrounding the team. I’ve mentioned on here that I know Matier, and have talked with him many (and I mean MANY) of times about this issue and if you ask me this is just a story they put out riding off the coat tails of the recent events of the A’s VS Giants scenario. IMO there are buyers willing to buy the A’s, it’s just M&R made it a bigger story than it needs to be.

    I don’t think the Giants are involved with this.

  190. LeAndre, it isn’t a “conspiracy theory” it is something that actually happens. I disagree that it doesn’t happen often. I work in technology, it happens everyday in this industry… All you have to do is read a blog like techcrunch to see it in action. Leaking stories and using proxies to validate half true stories are time tested strategies for managing the media.
    .
    Read what I wrote again, I am not saying there are no interested buyers… Hell, I even wrote that if I was an interested buyer who felt like I wasn’t being taken seriously I might be the source of the story. The 1-8 I wrote above is just an example of how it could be done (and not an unlikely example, I have been part of companies that pursued this tact). I did not say that I had specific knowledge that 1-8 is what actually happened in this case, though some flavor of that is pretty much what did (I am fairly certain).
    .
    Change some of the steps to:
    A. Proxy calls Matier (or Ross) and says “I know a group who wants to buy the A’s”
    B. Matier asks who and proxy gives names and numbers (without those guys permission)
    C. Matier calls these guys and asks if they want to buy the A’s should Lew Wolff give up
    D. Interested party, after making sure his name is not tied to the story, confirms interest
    .
    The result is the same, a story that the Giants want is planted in the local paper. It doesn’t make Matier and Ross bad guys. It doesn’t make the Giants bad guys. They aren’t conspiring with one another.
    .
    Bill Madden cited a lawyer close to the negotiation (or close to MLB’s thinking on the subject)… Which lawyers would be close to the negotiations (and understand MLB’s thinking) and which organization would want to frame the debate in a way that made people think it was already over and in the Giants favor?
    .
    In this case, considering the Giants VERIFIED attempts at media manipulation (via push polling) and use of a front group (Stand for San Jose) what makes you think they wouldn’t use a proxy to either push a false story (I agree it might not be entirely false, so we agree it is more likely overblown than entirely false) or give more credence to potential ownership groups (more likely) that MLB isn’t interested in having in the “lodge” because they know they exist and the details aren’t important to what they want in the media.
    .
    If it suits their purpose, why wouldn’t they do it? If they know of groups who expressed interest, why wouldn’t they find a way to make sure it was publicized? It isn’t nefarious, Dr. Evil stuff. It isn’t even dishonest. It is pushing your story in the media to give it more credence and protect against ad homenim attacks. If we don’t know the source, and if they cover their tracks appropriately, we can’t knowingly say “consider the source.”
    .
    That said, it is fairly obvious who stands to gain from this story and thus I infer they are behind the plant (whatever process they used to get there)… Moving on :)

  191. And for the record Jim Kozimor is not “a soccer announcer.” He has covered major pro sports for a long time. He recently moved to the Bay Area from Sacramento where he used to host the Kings pre and post game shows.

  192. The reason I called it a conspiracy theory is because there isn’t any evidence to prove that that’s the case thus making it a theory and not believing what is stated is true is a conspiracy.
    The big difference between this story and Stand or SJ is it’s a fact that the Giants are behind that. There is clear evidence to prove that.
    The other reason I don’t believe the Giants are behind this is there really isn’t a motive strong enough IMo for them to so this. SFSJ is there obvious attempt to make the A’s have opposition in attempt to move them down there. Having fake owners claim the want to buy the team doesn’t really do anything. I guess it makes the pro Oaklanders more pumped but that’s about it. Wolf doesn’t wanna sell the team, and a paper isn’t gonna change his mine…spending money on this just doesn’t seem worth it to me if I’m the Giants.

  193. Fair enough…

  194. Anon, I am using Forbes numbers and the I started with the numbers that came after the Nationals moved into their new park in DC. The Orioles did rebound from that 6% drop with a with a 9% increase in 2011. The Orioles are strong while ranking 23rd in revenue? That is terrible and the Nationals ranking 16th is nothing to be impressed with. If it is all about franchise value, the A’s have increased from a team worth $172 million less than seven years ago to a team that could sell for $400 million. The A’s are at an all time high for revenue too. I guess that they are in great shape?
    Jeffrey, yesterday you said that the story about groups being interested in buying the A’s was bunk and now you seem to be saying it is true but was only reported because the Giants manipulated the media into reporting it.
    How is push polling “media manipulation”?
    I assume Kozimor explained why he thought the story was a plant. I was interested in hearing his reasoning.

  195. @ Ted – Considering that the O’s have had 14 straight losing season and have finished no better than 3rd in the AL East, I’d say pulling in $179 million revenue is pretty decent (without revenue sharing perks). We also know that fan attendance also tracks with winning more than anything else we can also assume that if they do start winning that revenue will climb much higher. Point is, you continue to ramble around on these data points, so much that you are arguing now just for the sake of arguing. Again, the fact was that from a franchise which had no other competitive team within a 500 mile radius had one planted right next to them. Not only did it not decrease their value and revenues, but the aggregrate of both teams grew substantially without affecting each other in revenue and valuation individually. That is a win-win situation. Now consider that the A’s and Gnats are just a 10 mile trek away from each other and that the A’s are actually move 30 miles south. Do you realistically think that this will adversely the Gnats? If so, please give cite specific counterpoints on how and not extrapolated subjective evidence (e.g. they would lose 40% of their fanbase).

  196. @Ted “Bartleby, the Giants attendance over the past 12 years has not dipped below 2.8 million.”
    .
    Of course not: They play in one of the best parks in the league, and they’ve had a good run during that time. Winning records 8 out of those 12 years; two WS appearances, once championship.
    .
    But the Giants are not impervious to the effects of losing. When they posted losing records after a run of winning seasons, their attendance fell off by something like 500,000. I can assure you, if the Giants posted a run of failure for eight to ten consecutive years like the Nats and the Os have, their attendance figures are going to look a lot like the Nats and Os do.
    .
    And destroying the As won’t change that. Even if this were a one team market, if the Giants were to post an extended run of suckitude like that, people won’t show.
    .
    “The Orioles and the Nationals have not drawn well, they are both in the bottom third of the league for attendance and that is no good.”
    .
    They have both been among the worst – if not the absolute worst – teams in MLB since the Nats have been in DC. If any team in the league – any team, including the Yankees or Cardinals – had a run like that, they’d have have mediocre attendance.
    .
    (Of course, the Yankees with their unlimited warchest are able to avoid even single losing seasons by spending everyone else into oblivion. But if they theoretically started an extended run of losing, maybe because a salary cap comes in, maybe for some other reason, they’d take a hit just like anyone else).
    .
    Look, if you’re going to rank teams 1-30, someone is going to be in the bottom third. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing badly; the curve for the lower half of teams is not that steep. For last year, the difference between 12th and 21st is only 500K (i.e. the amount of fans the Giants lost after posting only a few losing seasons). That tells you nothing – absolutely nothing – about the quality of that market, especially if it correlates to a run of losing.
    .
    “Drawing better than some single team markets isn’t nearly good enough…”
    .
    Under the circumstances, it’s more than good enough. Drawing better than single team markets while in the midst of a brutal losing streak tells you the market can support two teams.
    .
    “…and I am not sure why you think automatically that the Giants will continue to draw like they do…”
    .
    The Giants have a great location, a great park, and are in the midst of one of the wealthiest metros in the US. As long as they field good teams, they’ll draw, regardless of where the A’s are. If they post more than a couple consecutive losing seasons, the attendance will fall off, regardless of where the A’s are. Big attendance numbers come from casual fans. Casual fans show up when the team is winning, lose interest when the team starts losing. That’s just how it works.
    .
    “…and the A’s will also suddenly become a top draw as well.”
    .
    The A’s aren’t even trying to become a top draw; they’re planning to build the smallest ballpark in MLB. It’s a smart move for several reasons, including: (a) The Fenway effect (small ballpark = strong advance and season ticket sales = sellouts = self-perpetuating momentum = more sellouts); and (b) MLB economics aren’t mainly about attendance, they’re about sponsors and premium seat sales.
    .
    Based on the demographics of the area, the size of the ballpark, and the Sharks experience, I have every confidence the A’s will be able to attract the business they need.
    .
    “16th and 23rd in revenue is poor, not average. 15th and 16th would be average.”
    .
    Please. First, again, those numbers are GUESSES. Second, 16th is almost dead average. 23rd is slightly below average, but in a league where almost everyone has a modern stadium and the revenue curve is flat, sitting at 23 while you’re going through a cyclical performance downturn can mean you’re doing just fine.
    .
    “Teams that do not have new SOTA stadiums also include Toronto, Chicago, Chicago, KC, BOS, LA, LA.”
    .
    That is debatable. The White Sox, Royals, Red Sox, and Angels all play in remodeled ballparks that are quite pleasant and have all the modern revenue generators. The Cubs play in a gem that is, in my opinion, one of the top 5 ballparks in baseball. The Blue Jays are getting a refurbishment right now. Dodger Stadium could use a refresh, but as a baseball-only stadium it is still quite viable until that happens. It’s a matter of semantics, but most of those stadiums are arguably state-of-the-art, at least in terms of their revenue generating potential. None of them is remotely comparable to the A’s situation.
    .
    “We know that we have one team in this market that is working quite well and it should be unacceptable to hurt that team just so you might help a weaker team become less weak.”
    .
    We know that we have one team in this market that is being unjustly enriched because of an artificial, anticompetitive restraint which it has done nothing to earn and which should and would normally be illegal under our antitrust laws. It should be completely unacceptable for that team to fatten its margins at the expense of a partner in a region in which two teams could thrive. Frankly, the Mafia has better business ethics than the Giants.

  197. Anon, the A’s want to move to Silicon Valley to capture Silicon Valley baseball dollars. Much of the money they are after already goes to the Giants. Do you really think that the A’s aren’t after fans that currently attend games at AT&T and companies that spend money on the Giants via sponsorships and corporate tickets and boxes?

    About the Orioles, just because they grew a little bit while all of baseball was growing doesn’t mean that they are thriving with the Nationals playing up the road. Neither team is a strong revenue team. You mentioned that the A’s and Nationals are at an all time high in revenue but you seem to be ignoring the fact that the A’s are also at an all time high for revenue as well. If that is a sign of great health for the Os why isn’t it for the A’s?

  198. It should also be pointed out, in 2005 the O’s drew 32,000 per game, good for 14th overall, despite sucking for the prior seven years (and that year, too). And this with the Nats next door drawing almost 34,000, good for 11th overall, playing .500 baseball in a crappy former football stadium. Clearly that market can support two teams.

  199. Batrleby, there is no proof that two teams can thrive here and 23rd out of 30 isn’t just below average it is poor. So poor that the team receives revenue sharing dollars which alone makes that team a loser financially.

    You embrace the free market when it comes to the Giants relinquishing the rights that are guaranteed them like every other MLB team but you seem to begrudge them for being really good businessmen. The Giants and the A’s each put themselves in the position they are in today. The A’s never tried to do anything for themselves while the Giants were taking risks and committing to their city and their future. Even now the A’s are asking the Giants and MLB for yet another handout.

  200. @Ted You can spin it however you want, but the fact the O’s are holding their ground despite a fourteen year losing streak tells you everything you need to know. AT&T Park would be empty if that ever happened at China Basin.

  201. Ted, what proof do you have that most of the money the A’s are after already goes to the giants.
    .
    Second, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said the story was bunk. I said it was planted. I am not saying now that it is true. I don’t know either way. I am certain it was planted by some interest and there are two interests that stand to gain by planting the story. Oakland and the Giants.
    .
    Based on past behavior (are you done pretending the Giants aren’t backing a front group?), it is more likely the Giants.
    .
    Push polling is “media manipation” in that the group pushing the poll can then present results that they manipulated as legit results. As Sam Liccardo points out in the article I linked for you.
    .
    You seem to have a problem grasping nuance and feel like everyone else has to explain things to you while you really fail to back up your assertions with anything substantial. It seems you suffer from a severe case of confirmation bias. Don’t ask me what that is, look it up on Wikipedia.

  202. Bartleby, the only thing that is clear in BAL/DC is that it is a bigger market than the Bay Area and that it currently is not doing a decent job of supporting two teams. Is either team contributing to revenue sharing?

  203. Ted – again, show me the money….you noted that the Gnats are after SV money and fans. As noted before 1) SVLG would condone and support both teams if a move happens (and there’s nothing preventing them from doing the same if they were in Oakland as they are equal-distant from each other presently). 2) I have not met a SJ Gnats fan that said they would immediately change their allegiance if a move took place. Gnats fans will stay gnat fans (unless you’re implying that the whole Halloween nation is a bunch of bandwagon jumpers?). 3) You have not accounted for the uptick in fans from the eastbay, which is actually closer then SJ, that would probably make counterbalance any attendance delta. Again, you act like there are no corporate or fan support for the SB already in place for the A’s (see Cisco, see the multitude of people on this board and AN). The A’s are actually move away from the Gnats and not closer to heir core (SF). It is an unprecedented situation that has never happened before. The closest parallel would be the DC/Baltimore situation, where MLB successfully implanted another franchise to compliment the existing one to extend the overall baseball market there. The A’s are a ***perennial revenue sharing*** small market team in a big market area and has traditionally not seen the uptick in attendance and revenue enjoyed by other areas save for a few years under the Haas reign.

  204. @Ted There is no “proof” of anything, but the underlying demographics and experience of other teams show that the Bay Area can easily support two teams.
    .
    You’re hung up on these rankings (based on made up numbers, mind you). But if you have thirty teams, one of them is going to be ranked twenty-three. You arbitrarily say this is “poor,” but it’s not about some ranking, it’s about the bottom line. If we had actual numbers, the difference between #23 and #15 may easily be statistically insignificant.
    .
    “You embrace the free market when it comes to the Giants relinquishing the rights that are guaranteed them like every other MLB team but you seem to begrudge them for being really good businessmen.”
    .
    This sentence doesn’t track. The Giants have rights that are not given any other MLB team. And if their success is truly due to being “really good businessmen,” they don’t need to be given artificial, anticompetitive restraints that would be illegal for virtually any other business in America. I don’t begrudge them being good businessmen, I say let them prove it.
    .
    “The Giants and the A’s each put themselves in the position they are in today.”
    .
    You mean, the A’s being generous and the Giants selfishly exploiting that generosity for an unearned benefit? The A’s trying to help, and the Giants saying “fuck you” when it came around the other way? Agreed.
    .
    “The A’s never tried to do anything for themselves while the Giants were taking risks and committing to their city and their future.”
    .
    PLEEEEEEEASE. You mean, the A’s never tried to do anything for themselves aside from spending the last seven years trying to build a new privately financed ballpark and being thwarted by “rights” that should by all rights be illegal? Highly disingenous of you to criticize the A’s for not “taking risks” or “committing to their future” when the primary obstacle to their efforts to do so is the Giants.
    .
    “Even now the A’s are asking the Giants and MLB for yet another handout.”
    .
    You mean a handout like the one the A’s gave the Giants? The one without which, if the Giants can be believed, they would never have been able to finance AT&T Park without?
    .
    You don’t see the irony of your arguing that the Giants are these uber-businessmen who made it on merit while the Giants are saying they never could have done it without the A’s gift? Oh truly, the world is not made for those with self-awareness…

  205. @ Ted – “The A’s never tried to do anything for themselves while the Giants were taking risks and committing to their city and their future. Even now the A’s are asking the Giants and MLB for yet another handout.” – Wow, talk about whiffing too much of Krukow’s ass there…..Who granted the Gnats the territorial rights to SC in the first place and why? Because they were dying and about to move to Florida. If the Gnats are so commited to their SF, why do they need SJ? Wouldn’t they stand to gain much more reaching out to the EB crowd that is a pebble’s throw away.

  206. “Bartleby, the only thing that is clear in BAL/DC is that it is a bigger market than the Bay Area and that it currently is not doing a decent job of supporting two teams. Is either team contributing to revenue sharing?”
    .
    You haven’t offered any proof it’s not doing a decent job supporting two teams. Are both teams profitable? Then the market is supporting two teams.
    .
    I don’t know whether either team is contributing to revenue sharing, but it’s irrelevant. Sports are a cyclical business. Assuming a level playing field (and even to a large degree with an unlevel playing field), every team is going to have some downcycles which will impact business. You take revenue sharing when business is down, pay in once business is up again. If they’re not paying in now, I have no doubt both of those teams will be when the next upcycle comes.
    .
    And to the extent it could be said the market is not supporting those two teams, the same thing could be said of every market in the country under the same circumstances.

  207. Bartleby, 23rd isn’t holding ground it is fading into A’s, Rays and Royals territory. That is failure.

    Jeffrey, yesterday you said that the story had been “debunked” meaning that the story was exposed as bunk.
    I said that the A’s were going for money that was going to the Giants, it doesn’t matter if it is most or just some.
    What is “more likely the Giants”? Both groups that Mattier and Ross referred to in their column are actually Giants agents? Now that I know a little about Stand For San Jose I know that the Giants do support their positions. Push polling has nothing to do with manipulating media, it might serve to sour voters on the idea of the A’s coming to San Jose or San Jose selling land to a real estate developer for a massive loss.
    Jeff you are making far fetched claims about the M&R article based on wild and blind speculation and you accuse me of confirmation bias? Unbelievable. Watch out for the black helicopters.

  208. Batleby, the A’s have been a very profitable team since Wolff has owned them.
    The Padres were the most profitable team in MLB last year. The Marlins were the most profitable team in MLB each of the two years before that. If profit was a sign of a successful franchise the A’s would be in great shape and so would the Marlins without a new stadium. Since the A’s are quite profitable I guess that means that the A’s are supporting the A’s quite well.
    Are the Pirates, Royals and Rays ripe for an upcycle? How about the A’s?

  209. Anon, from what I understand the A’s never had territorial rights to the South Bay. MLB granted the Giants territorial rights to SCC. If there is so much to gain from the East Bay, why does Wolff want to abandon the EB and the EB A’s fans?

  210. @ Ted – “…he only thing that is clear in BAL/DC is that it is a bigger market than the Bay Area and that it currently is not doing a decent job of supporting two teams. Is either team contributing to revenue sharing?” The DC+ Baltimore area is market of ~8 million people with total revenues of ~$375 million (with both teams having substantial losing seasons). Neither team are on revenue sharing nor contribute above expected because of cost controlled salaries. That is the ideal case. Now the Bay area is a market of 9 million with combined revenues of ~$380 mllion. The Gnats are a year removed from a championship and the A’s 6 years from an ALCS berth, yet the A’s collect a substantial amount in revenue sharing $30+ million while the Gnats do not. Does that scream to you that the Bay Area is underutilized even with 1 million more people and a WS trophy for the region? Interestingly enough, the 1 million delta is the population of SJ itself, so if you carve that area out and make the EB shared, you would effectively maximize the market and make both teams sustainable for the long term. The more you try to rationalize your arguments on the Bay Area region, the more greedy and selfish your arguments sound which aligns directly the Gnats themselves who want the whole majority of the Bay Area market to themselves and/or the A’s gone, period.

  211. @Ted “23rd isn’t holding ground it is fading into A’s, Rays and Royals territory. That is failure.”
    .
    Wow, you’re right. I just checked those made-up numbers at Forbes. #23 places the O’s a whole $26 million below, say, the Braves at #14. That’s like a whole Zito contract or something. They’re lucky to still be in business.
    .
    Nevermind, of course, the fact that those numbers will vary from year-to-year, and that correlation is likely to correspond strongly with recent performance on the field. We’ll just assume because that’s how they did last year, that’s how they’ll do every year, win or lose.
    .
    Nevermind also that the Nats are listed #2 in operating income (above the Yankees) and the O’s at #8. Clearly they’re both teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and strongly regretting their poor choice of markets. #2 isn’t #1, so it must be “failure,” as you say.
    .
    Well, you truly have me wriggling in your crushing grip of reason. Sorry to have wasted your time with this.
    .

  212. Bartleby, the Yankees operate at a loss from time to time, I guess that makes them a financial failure compared to teams that have high operating incomes like the Marlins, Padres and A’s? If profit is the measure of a strong team than the A’s and Marlins have been strong in their old munti-use stadiums these past few years and don’t need to change anything.

    Do you really think that the 2009 and 2010 Marlins were a financially strong franchise? The 2010 Marlins had a $46 million operating income while the Yankees only had a $24 million operating income.

  213. Ted, the Giants don’t “support” Stand for San Jose’s positions, the Giants are Stand for San Jose.
    .
    I haven’t made any far fetched claim and there are no black helicopters. Have you ever worked in PR or for a media outlet? Most likely the Giants means just that… The Giants have used push polling and a front group to file a law suit. Planting stories (regardless of wether there is a sliver of truth or not) aligns with their strategy.
    .
    One last time, read it slowly… Push polling is used to create false results that can then be used to manipulate the media narrative. What is wrong about that? You know, don’t answer. I don’t really care what you think.

  214. It is just me or does Ted seem more and more like a Giants PR plant with each post?

  215. @Ted The difference is, from information that has leaked out we know that the only reason the A’s, Marlins and Rays are profitable is because of revenue sharing. To my knowledge, there is no public information suggesting this is the case for either the O’s or Nats. Given the vast difference in the revenue generating potential of their buildings compared to the A’s/Marlins/Rays, I highly doubt this is the case.
    .
    If you have two teams sharing a market, in more than adequate stadiums, which are profitable despite EPIC runs of failure on the field that would torpedo virtually any other MLB team, without needing revenue sharing to do it, that tells you those markets are more than capable of supporting teams.
    .
    You keep ignoring the fundamental points that (a) the Forbes numbers are made up, and (b) the revenue numbers, even if they were correct, are very, very flat.

  216. @ Ted – if the A’s never had the rights to the SB (shared or otherwise), then why did Bob Lurie ask Haas permission to go to the SB and build a stadium there?
    As for the Eastbay, don’t confuse the need for a new stadium with the general fan population. Politics in the EB are such that there will be one dog and pony show after another to fool their constituents into believing they are doing something, while doing nothing (VC anyone?). Since the Gnats already have a stadium, a new one in the EB would be of no consequence to them and increasing the fan base would be the allure (taht’s why they built a store in Walnut creek isn’t it?).

    Are you sure you’re even a SJ resident? Because from the sound of things, you have no clue on your history whatsoever, even as it pertains to the Gnats and SJ. 17 years living down here and you didn’t know that the Gnats, your favorite team, wanted to build their home here. Really?!

  217. @LoneStranger Given the almost pathological aversion to fairness and justice that underlies a lot of his arguments, it’s hard not to wonder about that. I’ll give him this though: So far as I’ve seen he’s been unfailingly civil in the face of some heated commentary, so props for that.

  218. Jeffrey, from what I read last night about Stand For San Jose, the members weren’t Giants employees. I am pretty sure that there are some people that are just ticked at the idea of San Jose buying land and then selling it for half the price to a billionaire developers.
    I have never worked for a PR firm and I get that planting stories could help the Giants cause but the idea that the M&R story was just a fable created by the Giants is far fetched at best.
    I really wish you had the ability to explain your point of view and your conspiracy theories without being rude. It isn’t necessary. I am sorry that me not buying your speculation as fact makes you so angry.

    Stranger, lol…The Giants aren’t even giving me tickets. I am just a San Jose resident and a Giants fan. I have been going back and forth about this issue with my A’s fan friends as well as my friends in the downtown entertainment industry for years.

    Anon, what makes you think that the A’s had South Bay territorial rights? Lurie, Haas and MLB agreed to grant the Giants rights to San Jose. The A’s didn’t have rights that they graciously handed over to the Giants out of the kindness of their heart.
    The A’s want to go to San Jose for corporate dollars. If Wolff was willing to build a stadium in Oakland on his own dime I think it could happen quite quickly. I get why he wants to go to San Jose, for the same reason the Giants don’t want him their. Greed and competitive advantage. It’s all about business.
    I have lived down here for a lot longer than 17 years, I grew up in Cupertino and lived in Sunnyvale prior to moving to the San Jose Campbell border. I recall the Giants flirtation with San Jose and Santa Clara and I am glad that they didn’t move down here. The Giants ended up where they belong and where they really wanted to be all along.

    Bartleby, I understand the anger of A’s fans and how they would see things as being unfair but I expect that some here also understand how the Giants were purchased with these rights, established a business plan with these rights and financed the first privately funded stadium in modern times with these rights and that yanking them away could be seen as unfair by the Giants and their fans. I also expect that many here understand that the A’s moving to Silicon Valley could cost the Giants revenue now and down the road.
    I do my best to keep it polite because it is all too easy to get rude and confrontational in this format and I am sure that a lot of people commenting here are fellow baseball fans that I would most likely enjoy having a beer with. The Internet makes a lot of people write things that they would likely not say to someone in a face to face conversation.
    Time for me to call it a night. Take care.

  219. I think we can end this overwrought thread now.

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