A way to Sacramento

A year ago, Giants CEO Larry Baer hinted that it would be good for the A’s to look somewhere outside the Bay Area for a new ballpark, if a deal for an East Bay park couldn’t be worked out. I wrote three years ago that an expansion to Raley Field would cost at least $250 million. It would be hard for the A’s to make a large contribution towards the expansion project because Sacramento’s government town status makes the corporate revenue pickings slim. If the A’s are going to pay for it, and MLB isn’t going to pay for it, who will?

The Giants, of course.

Now, I’m not actually suggesting that the Giants will pay for the stadium directly. They’re coming to the end of their own mortgage, so why would they saddle themselves with someone else’s? They wouldn’t. Yet if the A’s were forced to vacate the Bay Area, the Giants would likely pay the A’s to surrender the territorial rights to the East Bay. Such money which could be used to build or expand a stadium elsewhere. The Giants would end up indirectly funding the A’s stadium as a result.

Adding 25,000 seats to Raley Field is no small feat.

We’d start with the MLB standard compensation package: $75 million, half coming from the commissioner and half coming from the paying team. That’s too small of compensation for the 2.5 million-strong East Bay, especially when you consider that the Giants’ franchise valuation could get a 2-3x boost from the A’s leaving. $150 million is probably a fairer package with the same 50/50 terms.

By the time the A’s were able to consider such a move in 2016-17, the $250 million cost could easily balloon to $300 million. That puts the Giants/MLB contribution at half. The A’s might be able to contribute $75 million on their own (via a new lease and revenue share), meaning the rest would have to come from a public source. This is absolutely important so that the A’s don’t get relegated to being another small market team. If the A’s move to Sacramento and have to pay a fat mortgage, that’s not an improvement upon staying in Oakland. The A’s best chance to thrive in Sacramento is if their stadium costs are as minimal as possible.

For Sacramento’s part, the plan only makes sense if the Kings are gone. The A’s still need corporate support to sell out premium offerings, and it’s expected that the Railyards Arena will suck up all of those customers. Involvement of AEG will only enhance that. The controversial parking revenue play won’t work because the plan is to expand Raley Field in West Sacramento, which is out of the Capitol City’s jurisdiction. A joint powers agreement between Yolo and Sacramento Counties sounds like a possibility.

At the actual stadium, the hard work includes taking down the press box and suites, ripping up the concourse to put in new columns, and putting in new facilities under the concourse such as modern, MLB-standard team clubhouses and a kitchen/commissary. Then the A’s could focus on putting in a club level, new suites, an MLB-standard press box, and a third deck to bring in those extra needed seats. The scope of work reminds me of this:

Mount Davis added 10,000 seats in a three-deck grandstand, an expansive indoor club, and 96 suites. The scope of work is similar to what would be required at Raley Field (sans tarps).

Would $300 million be enough in the end? It’s hard to say. It would be easy to argue that MLB wouldn’t want to skimp on amenities, or else Raley Field could be viewed as a cheap, temporary solution. Terms published for Nationals Park showed that MLB wasn’t interested in cost effectiveness – except in terms of external finishings. Marlins Ballpark is a testament to excess with its bizarre center field sculpture and aquarium behind the plate. The “wedge” in the Railyards dedicated for the arena isn’t large enough for a ballpark, so if MLB weren’t satisfied with Raley and wanted to look in Downtown Sacramento, it would have to use another plot within the project area for a completely new stadium, and a $500+ million price tag to go with it. Unless MLB was really desperate (which they usually aren’t), it seems iffy for baseball go along with the expansion plan when Sacramento was willing to foot a large part of the bill for a brand new arena.

There’s also at least one inside baseball consideration. MLB is fully aware of what Sacramento’s market limitations are. If the Railyards arena deal falls through, it won’t look good to MLB that the City couldn’t put together either a cohesive local or regional plan to retain a team. Sacramento wouldn’t show up on the top of anyone’s “viability” list, even though the resources to support a baseball team alone are there. Yet if the arena deal were successful, the market is too limited to exploit for a second major sports franchise, especially one whose economic requirements are much greater than those for a basketball or hockey team. It’s definitely a strange paradox.

90 thoughts on “A way to Sacramento

  1. I bet Cache Creek would build us a new stadium.

  2. One big problem with considering the Nats’ $75 million payoff to the Orioles the “standard” compensation package: That wasn’t for territorial rights, it was for broadcast rights. Two completely different MLB territory systems.

    Also, that price was the result of a long negotation between Selig and Angelos, and involved a team that was owned by the league at the time. So I don’t think there’s any reason to consider “half from the league, half from the team” an established precedent.

    • @Neil – It may not be heavy on precedent, but it has been in the rules (emphasis mine):

      Under Rule 1(c), either league can move into a territory belonging to a club in the other league, so long as (a) 3/4 of the affected league’s teams consent; (b) the two parks are at least five air miles apart unless the two clubs mutually agree otherwise; (c) the newcomer pays the existing club $100,000 plus half of any previous indemnification to invade the territory; and (d) the move leaves no more than two clubs in the territory. This provision dates to late 1960, when it was adopted to establish the terms for the expansion Los Angeles Angels to play in the territory claimed by the Dodgers in 1958.

      The precedent in this case is the Giants paying the A’s to vacate. Of course, the way T-rights are split within the Bay Area is also unique, so looking for true precedents can be difficult.

  3. Neil,

    What about looking at the Astros discount, too? Wasn’t that also half league “funded” and half McClane funded?

  4. Sacramento isn’t happening. (That was easy…until the news breaks…)

  5. And all of the sudden, Coliseum City seems like a GREAT idea… kidding.

  6. For argument’s sake I’d say Coliseum City does sound like a great idea. It really has several advantages for the City of Oakland, chief among them that the land acquisition costs are about $0 (when you consider that the plan includes the HomeBase site that the City has already bought and then developments across the freeway as well there is some cost to do the whole enchilada, but at least the Coliseum site is already owned).
    .
    And then there is the whole cacophony of moving parts that is unrealistic. It doesn’t seem like any of the teams are on board right now, either. We all knew the A’s wouldn’t be, but I am surprised the Raiders haven’t really endorsed the idea and you’d think the Warriors would at least give it lip service.
    .
    I have lived in Sacramento before. It’s an awesome town. I have no doubt that a 35,000 seat stadium would be full on a fairly regular basis. I do have doubt that there would be a worthwhile premium ticket market. A team in Sacramento would be a permanent revenue sharing recipient. Which kind of defeats the purpose.

  7. Being that I live in the Sacramento area (in the foothills), I would love love love love having A’s here, with Raley being expanded. But the pragmatic side of me sees that the corporate market just isn’t there to support an MLB franchise, particularly when that already very limited corporate market is already used by keeping the Kings here. No doubt, the stadium would be constantly filled up. But it really couldn’t generate the amount of revenue needed to get the A’s off revenue sharing.
    .
    That said, let’s entertain the idea of forcing the A’s out of the Bay Area (Sacto, Portland, whatever). What would that be worth to the Giants? Being that the Bay Area would be by far the largest one team market, the level of revenue and franchise value for the Giants would be at Red Sox or Yankees level. Thus, for the A’s to move out and the Giants suck up the entire territory, MLB and the A’s would have to demand an astronomical amount. This isn’t just giving up territorial rights. This is giving franchise value and revenue streams that every sports franchise in the world would dream about. I’d say at the very bare minimum MLB/A’s should demand at least $250 million, but probably more – upwards of $500 million. If the greedy, selfish Giants so badly want that huge huge huge pay day of having the Bay Area to themselves, they should be made to pay extremely heavily on the front end.

  8. jeff-athletic, sources who know say that a one team market in the Bay Area would double the Giants current value. That;s what it is worth to them and why they would go to great lengths to push the A’s away.

  9. Jeffry: Yup. That’s why, if that scenario was ever entertained by anyone, the Giants would have to pay HUGE. The amount sum would be enough to pay for a new ballpark anywhere unto itself.
    .
    Basically, Bud should say “You want the A’s outta here? Okay, then you pay for their new ballpark, wherever they go. End of discussion”.

  10. diagree….

    1.you guys are looking at sacramento on its own……sacramento is in a great locale for a’s fans….every a’s fan from vallejo to reno, and redding to fresno would have an easier time getting to the ballpark…….

    2. sacramento does support it’s teams, like the a’s however, this ownership has alienated the average sacramentan, which led to these bitter areana debates

    3, raley field is in a beatiful locale, and how much closer to downtown do you want? one short walk across the tower bridge and i am on the riverfront walk, old sacramento, and downtown!

  11. @jon
    Raley field’s location is awesome. Perfect view of the Tower bridge and downtown. Plenty of parking. Fairly convenient access. And the walk across Tower Bridge is easy – just on the other side is Old Sacramento and the Crocker Art Museum (which is where I like to park for night games because it’s free after 6, and it’s a short walk across the bridge). In short, there would absolutely be no need whatsoever to build another stadium downtown.
    .
    And oh yeah, I went to the Kings game last night. Absolutely disgusting. The Kings put in no effort against the badly depleted Warriors (the Monta Ellis trade). People are posting in SacBee.com about forking out big bucks from the city, to keep these total losers in town. Bring on Baseball! Bring on the River Cats!! Bring on the A’s!

  12. A long as we’re spitballing about it, if the A’s move to Sacramento they should demand exclusive marketing and broadcast rights in all counties in Northern Calfornia outside the Bay Area and Central Coast. The A’s give up Alameda, keep Contra Costa and get the rest of the Northern California to themselves, from the Oregon border to Fresno.

    I would find it especially hilarious that Giants fans in Tracy and Concord would have to buy overpriced tickets to see their team because they couldn’t catch them on TV.

    F the Giants.

  13. @EddieVegas – Exactly. There are 14.5 million in the 48 counties of Northern/Central California. The Giants will have no competition for the richest 7+ million. The A’s should have no competition for the rest.

  14. @jon campbell: I don’t doubt there are A’s fans from the cities you mentioned, but enough to fill a ballpark 81 times a season?

    .

    While it’s fun entertaining the notion of the A’s to Sacramento, It’s pretty clear that the A’s are screwed unless they move into a downtown area in Oak or SJ. The A’s need to move into a city. They can’t just build a ballpark on cheap available land and hope a city builds itself around them. I also fear that developers’ idea of a “City” is plopping an Applebees and Hampton Inn in the parking lot– because you KNOW that’s what Coliseum City will offer.

  15. Sacramento would be a bad place for the A’s to move as TV rights would get split up as the Kings/Warriors are now.

    TV is a huge revenue source and the A’s are better of sharing the entire Nor Cal region from Eureka to Monterey with the Giants now rather than be in the situation the Kings are in now.

    As for a pay off, yes the Giants would have to bleed through the nose for the A’s to leave the market. A price that would put them into debt for a long time. They do not have 250M just sitting around to pay the A’s to leave.

    As I have said before, if there was another city out there who was offering a ballpark of some type Selig would in a heartbeat move the A’s there. Even if it was only partially publicly financed, Selig would do it.

    He is to much of a coward to let the A’s into a city that resides in their market 35 miles south but to move them 1000 miles away is nothing to him….A la Montreal- Washington, even if there is another team 30 miles away (Baltimore).

    If Oakland had a site that was “viable” MLB would have told Wolff years ago to go back and try to make it happen and rightfully so. That included the Coliseum whom MLB deemed “not viable” years ago.

    Sacramento is not the answer much like Oakland is not either as unless there is a “free ballpark” in small market no way Selig does it.

    San Jose works because its privately financed in a large market and even with the debt the A’s will make a nice profit with all the premium seating they will be able to sell.

    In the end, the Giants and MLB have to work out a deal or MLB has to force the Giants to accept a deal…..There is no way out otherwise for the A’s……if there was another option Selig would have gone there a long time ago..

  16. OT: read over at Bloomberg that Wolff is selling the SF Fairmont for $200 million. The more cash on hand, the better ;)

  17. Remember a couple weeks back when Larry Baer said this:

    When asked if the process includes negotiations over a possible settlement to allow the A’s to move, Baer paused before saying, “Not necessarily.”

    “Again, there’s a lot of things being studied and I’m going to go back to being respectful of the process. There’s a presumption that there needs to be an answer to a question and I’m not sure that that’s the question,” Baer said of it being a simple yes or no regarding letting the A’s move. “I know that some folks would like to see an answer to that question but that’s not necessarily the question — maybe it is, maybe it isn’t the question that’s on the table. I’ll just leave it at that.”

    .
    I think the “other question” he’s referring to is how much to get the A’s out of town.

  18. @ Tony D.: That sounds like a very, very good thing.

  19. @Tony D/Boonee – I wouldn’t read too much into it. Wolff may simply be flipping the Fairmont to fund the purchase of another hotel.

  20. So in everyone’s opinion do you guys REALLY think that A’s to San Jose is dead or is this thread just something to talk about?

  21. @JC – This whole week of posts is “what-if” scenarios. Take with several grains of salt. As news breaks we’ll promptly switch back to coverage.

  22. The only Oakland Athletic I want to see moving to Sacramento is Cliff Pennington.

  23. @gj10,
    Again, the best interest of ALL OF BASEBALL, not just the Giants. Besides, I don’t agree with your interpretation of the “question.” Even if true, its not even close to being up to Baer/the Giants.
    @Briggs,
    Good one!
    @RM,
    your probably right. But the more equity Wolff has in hand the better IMHO.

  24. @ JC – The San Jose Athletics are not dead, not by any stretch. However, there is a definite “meh” factor settling in, as San Jose waits for Bud’s Blue Ribbon Commission to either crap or get off the pot.

    As to expansion of Raley – there’s no way to realistically do it and keep the RiverCats in town, as it would basically require scooping out almost the entire existing foundation and replacing it with steel beam construction to meet MLB specs. On its face it seems like a reasonable thing to do, and Raley could be temporarily expanded to somewhere north of 20K with the addition of seats, but the player facilities in the stadium will pretty much doom Raley to a short-term solution at best.

    Now, there is the thought of finishing out Arco Park…

    http://media.photobucket.com/image/%252522Arco%20Park%252522%20sacramento/MagnaRyan/arco1.jpg

    … just kidding.

  25. @jc,
    Its amazing what some bonehead opinions and articles, with no facts whatsoever, can do to ones thought process on this. I think you’ll be very surprised when some actual news breaks on this matter.

  26. @RM,
    just to clarify re my response to jc: I’m referring to posters here who’ve jumped ship on A’s to SJ/don’t think it will happen do to the media nonsense of the past couple of weeks. Not referring to your “what if” topics.

  27. By the way, in reference to the ideal of being “un-American:” As a military veteran who fought for our freedoms and who’s hometown is currently barred from obtaining a Major League franchise, I think we can all agree the Giants territorial rights to San Jose are definitely UN-AMERICAN! that is all…

  28. @Tony D
    You are so right. Over the last few weeks, basically nothing has happened, other than some bullshit in the press/media, by people trying to fill in space and generate hits/ratings/readership (Madden and M&R). In the meantime, a bunch of us have gotten our boxers in a bunch over nothing, while some gnats fanbois have chimed in their ignorant dribble.
    .
    Just goes to show how much the saying “the idle mind is the devil’s playground” rings true.
    .
    A whole lot of nothin’ happened, and that fact got a bunch of shit stirred up. ;-)

  29. @gojohn10
    You might be overstating what the Giant’s alternative is. Maybe their alternative is “What if we pay the A’s to stay in their own territory (a.k.a. finally paying the A’s for the territorial rights to SJ)?” The way he phrased it suggested that while MLB may be pressing them to put up a number for the A’s/MLB to buy *back* the T-rights for SJ, they’re actually countering by pressing them to put up a number for the Giants to *finally* pay the A’s/MLB to keep the T-rights as-is.
    .
    Keep in mind that from Baer’s perspective (and with a Everest-sized grain of salt) it’s an either/or campaign, not coming directly from MLB. Hell, it might not even involve the A’s yet since MLB hasn’t said one way or the other in regards to SJ. If they were successful, MLB would turn to Wolff and say here’s $X00 million, make it work in Oakland.
    .
    ML, since you’re doing what ifs, you might consider trying to figure out a number that the Giants would need to pay the A’s in order to make staying in Oakland make sense while being a fair trade-off for the SJ T-rights.

  30. It’s funny that you posted this because the first thing I thought when I saw the article about two mysterious suitors wanting to buy the A’s was that it was the Giants ownership. I’m sure they would love to buy the A’s and move them as far away from the Bay Area as possible.

  31. @dmoas
    That is very interesting conjecture. Larry Baer’s response of a few weeks ago did get me thinking that such a scenario was considered a possibility during negotiations. I’d have to think that such a payment for keeping the T-rights (which they initially got for free), if it’s worth so much to them to keep the A’s out of San Jose, would have to be quite substantial. I would think it would have to be commensurate to what the gnats might have demanded/asked for for giving up those T-rights (which, if they even talked about it, had to be ridiculously high).
    .
    I wouldn’t even mind such a scenario – a big payoff to keep the A’s in Oakland. Such a payoff would give a huge head start on paying for a new yard, and suddenly it becomes more financially viable (the part Wolff/Fisher has to mortgage is much less than it would be in SJ).
    .
    That would be an interesting “What if”
    .
    ML, I like the week of “What if’s”. It fills in the time while we wait to hear something from Bud.

  32. @JA,
    while it would suck from a SJ perspective, imagine the Giants paying the A’s to stay in their territory, with Wolff then going back to Fremont/Warm Springs to build SAN JOSE’S ballpark. The A’s “invading” Silicon Valley from Fremont WITH the Giants paying them to boot. AWESOME!

  33. As much as putting a new ballpark next to the new Warm Springs BART station would make sense and maximize use of this expensive new station, we can be sure the NIMBY’s there won’t allow it.

    • As much as putting a new ballpark next to the new Warm Springs BART station would make sense and maximize use of this expensive new station, we can be sure the NIMBY’s there won’t allow it.

      Doesn’t make sense to me. That’s the middle of no where. The best thing to happen to the A’s since 2006 is NOT moving into a Fremont ballpark. Can anyone honestly say that a “Ballpark Village” is a good idea? Like I said above, it’d be a Hampton Inn, Applebees, Taco Bell, etc… maybe a Century Theatre. A ballpark is supposed to help out local business, not kill it by bringing in even more chain stores.

  34. @JA
    I can imagine a scenario where the Giants pay, say $150 million for the A’s for the T-rights for SJ, plus MLB kicking in another $150 million to stay put (given there’s no real other market) with the condition that the A’s stay in Oakland with the trade-off being their market size for determining revenue sharing would be the the two counties they currently have the T-rights for which (please correct me if I’m wrong) would keep the revenue sharing check coming to the A’s in the future. $300 million + Naming rights for the stadium at (say) $100 million, would mean the A’s could pay for an Oakland based stadium while only incurring $100 million worth of debt.
    .
    It’s not still not a perfect scenario, per se, but it would be a good start point for all parties. You have to accept the Coliseum site as acceptable (though not perfect), the various flaws that come with it and Oakland, but at the same time your compensating for those various issues, while forcing/penalizing the other team in the market to pick up the slack. Forgetting about Coliseum City in the grander scheme, it would definitely be interesting to see how it would/could all stack out, the flaws, the trade-offs, etc. that would accompany it.

  35. Suppose the Giants do help pay for an Oakland ballpark. MLB will still need to be convinced the A’s, with a new ballpark in the East Bay, will be in the top half of league revenues because they will no longer qualify for revenue sharing with that new park. Getting MLB to sign off on that is going to be an uphill battle when the franchise’s chief competitor is the biggest advocate.
    .
    That revenue sharing exemption provides extra incentive to move the A’s out of the bay if a settlement can’t be reached to move them to San Jose, even if it’s a lateral move to a market where they still qualify for revenue sharing. Maybe the Giants and A’s can agree to a payoff for a park in Fremont??

  36. @dmoas – Sounds plausible except for this: Essentially it’s nothing more than your annual revenue sharing payments paid in a lump sum up front. By doing this, baseball would be admitting that Oakland’s a bad situation but can do nothing to fundamentally change it so they’ll pay money to… continue it?

  37. @Briggs I would be somewhat in agreement with you under most circumstances, especially if you were talking about a city with a real downtown like San Jose or Oakland. I think Santana Row was a bad idea, and I think Coliseum City would be a bad idea if it could ever come to fruition, in both cases because of their existing downtowns.
    .
    But Fremont has no downtown, and has ridiculously little in the way of bars, restaurants and entertainment options for a city its size. In Fremont’s case, I think a “shoppertainment” mall would be an improvement.
    .
    And some of those malls, while ersatz and full of chain retail, are fairly well done. A mall like The Block in Orange County would be a great thing for Fremont.

  38. I still think Pac Commons is more likely than Warm Springs BART. As far as I know, the A’s still have an interest in the land over there. And I find it hard to believe the big box stores couldn’t be persuaded for the right price. I mean, if the Niners were willing to buy a whole theme park to get their deal going…

  39. But the change in Mayors probably does not help Fremont’s cause.

  40. ML-

    Something struck me in the excerpt you posted from the rules you posted above. Wouldn’t clause d) mean that the Yankees/Mets or White Sox/Cubs wouldn’t have anything to worry about in terms of a third team trying to move into their territory?

    (d) the move leaves no more than two clubs in the territory.

    Or am I wrong in assuming that Northern NJ is already designated Yanks/Mets territory. I guess a second team could try to move to the NJ side of the Delaware River near Philly, but that is Camden, and no one wants to be in Camden, not even the people who live there.

  41. @ML,
    As I said, FAR from a perfect plan. But consider this *IF* you factor out SJ:
    .
    1) A long term solution in another area isn’t available.
    2) Alternative long term solutions will near guarantee to put them in a revenue sharing location.
    3) Any alternative long term solution would also be a big unknown.
    .
    So if you’re choosing between unknown revenue receiver vs. known revenue receiver, if you’re making that business decision, which are you going to choose?
    .
    But the solution even to that might be simple. You could also add that part of that deal *requires* the Giants to perpetually pay more (possibly multiple shares) into revenue sharing for as long as the A’s in Oakland don’t make up the difference. So as part of the agreement, it would be the Giants carrying the load of that revenue hit and not MLB on the whole. If the Giants are standing in the way from MLB having two successful franchises in the bay area, put the burden on the Giants to pick up the cost.

  42. @ TonyD – I have to admire your persistence. I remember about a week or two weeks ago you said you would not post again until Cisco Park became a reality. Since then you’ve given us countless posts and opinions. I admire that. Every time I read your parting lines like, “that’s all for now,” or ” until next time, ” or ” see you with the champagne,” I kind of figured you’d be back sooner or later. You are one hardcore SJ guy and I have to acknowledge that. I have to give you that bro. Cheers!

  43. Funny you should mention it Briggs. Next month a new Century Theater will open right where the old “Future Home of Cisco Field” sign stood. I think the Century Theater and the giant Target next door eliminate any future for the A’s at Pacific Commons, and Bartelby this new part of Pacific Commons is called The Block complete with orange lettering.

  44. @Columbo,
    Thanks. I had vowed silence until the official news announcement, but the complete nonsense put forth by Madden (and later M&R) was to much to remain quiet. As RM knows, I’ve been wanting this SJ thing to happen for nearly 8 years. Alas, we are almost there.

  45. @dmoas – Two issues with that. First, it sounds highly punitive against the Giants. It’s not baseball’s fashion to dole out judgements in that manner, especially without an sunset. Second, if you want Exhibit A of collusion in a San Jose-v.-Giants/MLB antitrust suit, that would be it.

    @JXH27 – That’s an excellent point. The “already two teams” clause should have weight. The Mets/Yankees do own Northern New Jersey, or at least the populous parts, and Phillies have the Jersey suburbs on the other side of the Delaware.

  46. ML,
    Hmm… I’d have zero qualms about the punitive punishment against the Giants given they’re unwillingness to do what’s best for MLB. But your second point is a very good one.
    .
    What if the scenario is semi-reversed instead. As part of T-rights encroachment, part of the deal would be a relaxation on their portion of the revenue sharing and/or guaranteed percentage of the MLB revenue pool. Not enough that it would hurt MLB and the other clubs as a whole, but to off set the potential loss caused by the encroacher. Instead of relying solely on franchise value, you add the revenue sharing into the mix.
    .
    In an entirely exaggerated scenario, how much fear would the Yankees, Mets, & Phillies have of the Rays in Jersey if they potentially didn’t have to share revenue and/or took a proportionally larger piece of the MLB pie? If nothing else, if it favored them unfairly, it would give the other 26 teams not involved pause before being willing to go that route in a vote.

  47. Actually, thinking about your point #2 about collusion, but wouldn’t anything short of allowing the A’s to move the SJ be essentially the same thing? Saying you can’t go to SJ to the A’s, regardless of what they do or don’t do to fix the A’s stadium issues, is basically an act in and of itself, saying “we support the Giants’ ‘rights’ to SJ.” I don’t see how money changing hands in any way makes a difference. If anything, it may only help MLB’s case if the agreement isn’t about SJ, but more about the A’s staying put.

  48. If the A’s don’t move to San Jose. Sacramento would be the perfect location. And night games would just be amazing with the weather… And I believe the Kings staying would only benefit Sacramento in there hunt for another sports team. You would literally be able to walk to both locations through downtown. And you guys don’t take into account how many more hotels, businesses, and offices wil be added to downtown in the railyards with the new arena.

    We would get many new businesses and money coming in that is not there already.. The same could be said once the current Natomas location is also constructed. Sacramento would grow tremendously and the surrounding cities are already growing at a rapid rate… If the A’s move to San Jose they would take away money from the giants… But if they moved to Sac it would all be new money.. Also kings and A’s don’t play many games around the same time. There separate. So business that put money into the Kings can also put money into the A’s… Just my opinion.

  49. @dmoas – Pretty much. Brokering a deal like the one you described is like painting a target on your back. Spin won’t help.

  50. @JasonH – “…the first thing I thought when I saw the article about two mysterious suitors wanting to buy the A’s was that it was the Giants ownership.” That may not be too far from the truth. I strongly believe the supposed 2nd suitor who was a SV exec and MiLB owner was Dan Orum, who is part owner of the SJ Gnats and pres of some SV companies…
    @ DMOAS – The new CBA already spells out that if the A’s get a new stadium, they wouldn’t qualify for revenue sharing, so by that definition the Gnats automatically would not pay as much into the pot.

  51. Here’s a thought. Move to Sacramento, keep Alameda, Contra Costa counties, and annex everything north and east. Secure the media rights for all of Northern California EXCEPT San Francisco, the peninsula, and San Jose. Keep your area Giants, and we get everything else north of the Grapevine.

  52. While I suspect the A’s moving to Sac is about as likely as the A’s building a new Stadium next to the Trans America building ……is Sac simply a victim of its geographical location? A quick look at other metro areas shows that Sac, considering its fairly sizable metro population, should be (but isn’t) in consideration for more pro sports teams. Is it simply Sac’s relative closeness to the Bay Area or are there other more compelling reasons?
    If the Sac Metro area and its 2.2 million were considerably further away from the Bay Area (maybe 2 hours further away from the Bay Area), would the A’s or other teams view Sac as viable possibility (which they seem not to do)?

  53. its easy to say there is no chance for the a’s in sacramento and I may be crazy, but in light of recent news and commisioner seligs silence on the issue of late, I am quite sure theres a better chance to see the sacramento a’s than the san jose a’s

    I just want the a’s to have a new home, and will go to the park so long as its in nor cal, and am glad ML is researching all our green and golds viable options………

    this game has run its course and mlb is starting to disgust me!

  54. @Tarmas – The Block at Auto Mall is actually not the land where the ballpark was supposed to go. The Block is just an actual block between the existing retail developments, which made a U shape. This fills in the U. The ballpark location was on the other side of Bunche drive from that.

  55. Sac’s problem is only partially geography. It is also a very real lack of Corporations. Hotels and eateries in the old rail yards don’t address that. Not even slightly.

  56. jon campbell said: “but in light of recent news and commisioner seligs silence on the issue of late, I am quite sure theres a better chance to see the sacramento a’s than the san jose a’s”
    .
    This is exactly what the Giants goal would be with prodding and pushing this stuff behind the scenes. Muddy the waters of public opinion, and then when MLB finally approves the territory and the vote is on, people will have a harder time learning the truth.
    .
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the deal MLB reaches with the Giants and the A’s is contingent of the SJ vote. If they are getting close to a deal, maybe just arguing pennies at this point, the Giants could be moving onto the next phase, make that vote fail.

  57. PS- I love Raley Field. I can’t wait for Manny to be on a warm up assignment in May. 6:05 on a Saturday night in the Capitol City (River City, City of Trees, City with Sunsets that Stretch to the End of Forever) is pretty damn awesome.
    .
    I made up that whole sunsets name…

  58. @ Jeffrey
    So do corporations in the rail yards solve it? Cause I see U left that out.

  59. it sure is nice in the summer on the waterfront around raley field, unlike the bay area, where I need a sweatshirt in July…….nice tshirt weather (not trying to say anything bad about bay area weather, actually love it, particularly this winter, it can just be really cold at some of those night games for we hot weather loving eastern californians after we get used to our lovely 105 degree days)

  60. @Jon Campbell,
    What “recent news”? Your post is exactly what I was talking about earlier. Because of Enquiring minds want to know bull shit, the A’s are headed to Sacramento now and not San Jose? Speechless!

  61. Also, you obviously haven’t experienced San Jose during the Summer. Gorgeous is an understatement.

  62. Joel…Which corporations are moving to Sacramento again?

  63. No one said they were… Doesn’t mean they won’t right?

  64. Yeah, it kind of does. A corporation isn’t pulling up stakes and heading to Sacramento because there is a new arena maybe being built. And it isn’t like they just pack up the Ryder truck and move…

  65. By your theory I guess no city will be getting any new corporations… Nice to know… Anyway back to the subject.

  66. No, by my “theory” a new arena doesn’t attract new corporations (they generally care about things like tax incentives, free land, local talent pool, etc.). And we will know well in advance of a move that one is coming.

  67. no I didnt say the a’s are moving to sacramento, but after the madden story, seligs silence, the sheer amount of time spent on this move (and closed door negotiations I am sure) without any results, and the giants fervent opposition to it, I no longer think this move to san jose will happen…..

    the a’s dont have til 2024 for slow deliberation, something has to happen soon before further irreparable damage is done to this franchise through wollf/fischer/ and beanes obvious refusal to field a winning team in oaklandwhich is causing an even greater loss of our ever shrinking fanbase….

    basically we dont have 5 more years to hope, if beanes winter actions of selling off anybody remotely marketable are going to be the way this franchise operates until they get what they want, then who knows how many a’s fans will be left in a few more years

  68. and tony…..work with grapes and wine south of morgan hill…been to that part of the world many times in the summer…..yes it is nice

  69. @jcampbell – “through wollf/fischer/ and beanes obvious refusal to field a winning team in” – i guess you slept through 2006 and didn’t know the a’s signed a $36 million dollar cuban fa. it’s so obvious…/rolleyes

  70. wollf’s tenure had just begun for one

    for two, I think cespedes was a way to stave off the huge amount of anger emanating from the fanbase after those deals he made

  71. bottom line- I’m not pro or anti san jose, pro or anti oakland, or pro or anti sacramento….

    I am pro A’s! I want them to put a winning product on the field and build a team where players can make it through a double header without being traded away….

    if that takes a stadium in san jose, oakland, redding, or timbuktoo, I dont care…….

    I am just tired of stadium (in) decision being ownerships excuse for trading away anyone remotely marketable for 19 year olds

  72. You got one thing right jc: the Madden story was just that…a story. (Not news)

  73. “They wouldn’t. Yet if the A’s were forced to vacate the Bay Area, the Giants would likely pay the A’s to surrender the territorial rights to the East Bay. Such money which could be used to build or expand a stadium elsewhere. ”
    ********************************************
    If the A’s left for Sacramento, why would the Giants pay for the East Bay? They can leave territorial rights to the A’s but gain the advantage of being the only baseball team in the Bay Area. Yes A’s games would be seen in the Bay Area but they would not be the draw that the SF Giants are. Also by vacating the Bay Area, would the A’s loose the East Bay? When teams move out of an area I don’t think they keep the territorial rights. Given the East Bay is not enough of a base to build a new stadium no other team is going to move into the area, especially with the A’s in Sacramento.

    The point is the Giants don’t need the territorial rights to the East Bay. By having San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara with Santa Cruz and Marin, the Giants effectively have the entire Bay Area if the A’s leave as they have the major corporate base. East Bay would be de facto SF Giant territory without having to pay for it.

    • @heywhynot – Regardless of where the teams actually draw from, the simple fact of the matter is that if the A’s leave, territorial rights will have to be redrawn. The Giants will be losing competition, so there’s no way the A’s will leave without being compensated for vacating. There’s also the matter of whether the East Bay should have no assignment or a shared assignment. Neither team wants the possibility of a third team in NorCal, so my guess is it would at least be the latter. You’re right, however, on the Giants not formally needing the East Bay.

  74. @heywhynot,
    Don’t know if you meant it, but your post highlights the absurdity of the territorial situation in the Bay Area. For all intent purposes, the entire region is a DE FACTO territory of both the A’s and Giants. A’s fans and some sponsors currently come out of Santa Clara and even San Mateo counties. A’s TV and radio broadcasts into Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. And guess what: the same exact thing could be said of the Giants and Alameda/COCO counties. At this point in time the only thing the territorial rights prohibit is the A’s physically building a ballpark in SJ proper, and we all know why Santa Clara County isn’t currently shared by both clubs (Got AT&T Park in SJ? ). Knowing all this, I firmly believe that MLB is going to surprise a few folks on this blog in due time: “hey! Selig and MLB aren’t stupid after all!” Coming to a theater near you!

  75. The Giants will be losing competition, so there’s no way the A’s will leave without being compensated for vacating.
    *******************
    So what you are saying is that the A’s wouldn’t leave the Bay Area unless they are bought out by the Giants. Giants have no reason to do this unless San Jose is a strong possibility for the A’s and the A’s in San Jose being very costly to the revenue stream/worth of the Giants. Implicit in that would be the territorial rights to Santa Clara having significant value. If they are that valuable, then the A’s in order to move into San Jose would need to compensate the Giants. MLB would then have to weigh the value of the Giants being like the Phillies with the A’s in Sacramento vs. the A’s/Giants competing more equally in the Bay Area. City incentives I would assume would come into play into those calculations. If the greater value added is the former (Giants Bay Area, A’s Sacramento), I can see the rest of MLB chipping in to avoid opening various cans of worms.

    Without San Jose, the A’s have no real leverage against the Giants with regards to leaving the Bay Area. Giants of course know this. Keep the A’s out of San Jose, odds rise that the A’s will have to move out of the Bay Area without the Giants compensating the Athletics.

    @Tony- It is absurd but that is MLB. They created the situation and why the A’s will likely need to compensate the Giants for Santa Clara as they made the county have added value for the Giants. It is artificial but built into the structure of MLB & thus the values of the Bay Area franchises.

  76. @heywhynot,
    It’s not quite that simple. Two issues with that:
    .
    1) The A’s could simply say screw it, go bare bones, pay 25 guys minimum wage and continue collecting the revenue check from Giants. That opens a whole other can of worms because the MLBPA will want to get involved in the mess.
    .
    2) Even if the Giants Bay Area/A’s Sac was determined to be the greater “overall” value and even if the A’s agreed to it, you still have the problem of moving a team from one weak market to another. MLB does NOT want to continue to subsidize any team. While the overall value my favor it, MLB may see the lower overall value of having to teams in the bay area with BOTH teams as revenue sharers as the better situation.

  77. Heywhynot,
    Well, its obvious your fairly new to all of this. A quick recap:
    1) it has never been proven that the Giants rely on SCCO for revenues or franchise value. The Giants like to throw that BS out, but they’ve never provided facts. In FACT, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group debunked the corporate support myth a few years back (only 15% of companies in SV support the Giants).
    2) if you made the Bay Area a shared market the Giants would not only retain their supposed value but would also add Alameda and CoCo Counties with about 2.5 million residents. Their value would increase!
    3) even if territory isn’t factored into franchise value MLB could always guarantee a value (possibly inflated) based on them loosing exclusivity to SCCO. This is what happened with the Orioles for the Expos moving to DC.
    4) I guarantee you that this isn’t about making the Giants the West Coast equivalent of the Phillies or Yankees. That line of thinking is absurd and would suggest favoritism in MLB. This is about what’s in the best interest of ALL of baseball, and that’s all about getting the A’s off of the welfare dole and ensuring two healthy franchises in the Bay Area.
    5) Lastly: Sacramento isn’t happening. (Nothing more to say about that)
    If you have any more questions just let me know. Nice chatting with yah..

  78. @dmoas,
    Yes! Revenue of utmost importance to MLB, not individual team values. Besides, there are ways to ensure the Giants value will remain where its at (or even greater) when SCCO becomes shared with the A’s. Again, see Orioles/Expos/DC saga.

  79. well tony- you are obviously a san jose homer and this blog has taken a markedly pro- san jose tone as of late- but I will reiterate….sacramento at this juncture has as good a chance of getting the a’s as san jose does…slim to none……….

  80. @ Jon
    That’s exactly the truth… These San Jose folks can’t seem to comprehend that.

  81. Of course Santa Clara rights have value. The A’s want something due to the craziness of MLB that the Giants have. The fact in all other ways the Bay Area is one market is in fact what makes the TR to SC so valuable. For a stadium you want to be relatively close to corporations to maximize your revenue stream. With a team in the SF with a nice park means a team in Oakland is going to struggle.

    The Giants don’t need the east bay territory rights. They have the major corporation corridor in the Bay Area in their territory. Shared territory adds nothing to the Giants. The one media market means they can already access the residents. With the SC rights there remains a small but decent chance the A’s will leave the market. The best case for the Giants is for the A’s to leave to somewhere where the A’s are off the dole.

    MLB owners care about value. They care about revenue as well. If the above means MLB is more profitable than keeping the A’s in the Bay Area it would happen. Selig doesn’t care about us in the Bay Area.

  82. San Jose has a completed EIR, most of the land purchased, a local government who wants the stadium, and an ownership group that wants to move there. Sacramento has none of these things.

  83. Comparing Sacramento’s chances to San Jose’s is absurd. As Nathan points out, San Jose has a nearly shovel-ready project ready to go. More importantly, San Jose is an actually an economically viable market for MLB, while Sacramento is not. The only obstacle San Jose faces is an artificial one, which MLB leadership is working to address even as we speak.

  84. Bartleby, let’s not be unrealistic here. San Jose is NOT shovel ready. They still have to acquire about 40% of the site w/o any public assistance beyond maybe a long and drawn out eminent domain case. And there’s still going to be a crapload of local opposition from NIMBY’s, independent voters groups, and of course the Giants backed group. Also while San Jose is the better market on paper (and IMO IS the far better market), Sac is also a viable MLB market. Sac is bigger both TV market wise and population wise than a good half dozen existing MLB markets. And would have far less competition than many of those half dozen currently have seeing as the only team in town is the Kings up there.

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