News for 3/30/12

For the end of the week:

  • The NBA is stepping in to pay $3.25 million in predevelopment costs on the Sacramento ESC project after the Maloofs refused, saying that they shouldn’t have to pay since they’re tenants. It sure sounds like the Maloofs don’t see themselves as stakeholders in the arena, which is a bad sign. Everyone should be rowing in one direction. A group has organized to force the plan to a vote.
  • AEG’s downtown LA stadium plan seems to be stalled, as the company and the NFL can’t agree on terms for what AEG’s contribution and minority share should be. Now that the Dodgers ownership saga is ending, there are renewed calls for a stadium in Chavez Ravine, either to sit next to or replace Dodger Stadium.
  • The Giants unveiled several improvements to AT&T Park. The big changes are the new sponsor for the mezzanine club level, Virgin America, and the transformation of one of the field boxes down the first base line into the “Corona Beach Bar”, complete with sand. The narrow bridge on the promenade level next to the Fan Lot will finally be expanded. In addition, concession carts on the promenade level will be moved to the back walls, which will open up views of the field from the concourse.
  • Peter Guber, Warriors co-owner, may end up partnering with the Giants on an arena in SF, while the Giants compete with Guber’s Dodgers.
  • Rangers Ballpark will be serving a $26 hot dog this year. No, it is not made of unicorn meat.
  • Ray Ratto gives his thoughts on what the Dodgers sale might mean for the Giants and A’s.
  • The Atlantic compares two cities, Denver and Phoenix, and how building ballparks has impacted their respective downtowns. (thanks hecanfoos)
  • Defying convention, the Census Bureau lists the three most densely populated areas in the U.S. as #1 Los Angeles, #2 San Francisco/Oakland, and #3 San Jose. There are flaws in the methodology, in that #5 New York City includes all of the suburbs in New Jersey and Connecticut, but SF/OAK doesn’t include the 680 corridor or any of the North Bay besides parts of Marin County. History and trends have largely defined the specific urbanized areas the Census uses in its surveys.
  • Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley will not sell the team to Larry Ellison because of Ellison’s continued interest in moving the team to San Jose. From the article:

Heisley is asking $350 million for the Grizzlies and says he makes it clear with potential buyers that the team’s arena lease with the city and county is rigid. There are several clauses and financial penalties that make it a daunting task to move the Grizzlies before 2021.

  • The NY Post’s Peter Vecsey reports that David Stern was in SF “inspecting building plans and the site” for an arena across from AT&T Park. He also notes that Larry Ellison was not daunted by the cost to break the FedEx Forum lease, though that’s not exactly easy to prove or disprove.

More as it comes. Probably no new posts until Monday at the earliest unless big news breaks.

150 thoughts on “News for 3/30/12

  1. Corona Beach Bar? That’s a farcry from “Croix de Candlestick.”

  2. Heard on KLIV earlier that Larry Ellison is out of the running to buy the Grizzlies. So much for NBA at The Tank anytime soon. IF the Kings leave Sac for SoCal, does that mean the Bay Area/NorCal would be ripe for a second franchise?
    Corona Beach Bar at AT&T Park? Somehow trying to emulate the tropics in cold ass Frisco makes no sense. Can’t wait for a real warm weather yard in downtown San Jose ;)

    • Corona Beach Bar at AT&T Park? Somehow trying to emulate the tropics in cold ass Frisco makes no sense. Can’t wait for a real warm weather yard in downtown San Jose ;)

      What I can’t wait for in the first really windy night at McCovey’s Sewer. I hope the place looks like a Sahara Desert sand storm!

  3. Good piece, hcf. One thing the article doesn’t mention is that Phoenix already had a successful downtown arena, which probably spurred Phoenix on. It also didn’t have as good a transit setup as Denver did. The point about planning is spot on. Denver and San Jose are similarly sized in terms of area, but San Jose has 350k more people.

  4. OT – Speaking of Ray Ratto, loved hearing Remenda blowing him up last night.
    .

    .
    This is the problem I have with guys like Lowell Cohn, Monte Poole, and Glen Dickey, tons of negative opinions, but not reasonable solutions.

  5. Ratto’s face at 2:19 = lolz

  6. Drew was on Gary Radnich’s show on KNBR this morning (no, I don’t listen to it, I just happened to have left the TV on CSN after the Sharks game last night and when I flipped it on this morning they had the TV simulcast of Gary’s show on). He said he apologized to Ray later on last night and apologized to the fans for losing his cool. They only did the audio on the show, of course, but the video is awesome. I love Drew. One of my favorite Bay Area TV personalities. He loves what he does, knows what he talks about, and he is not afraid to speak his mind.

  7. Just watched the video. What blow up? Remenda got a tiny bit flustered and tripped on his own words. Was that the climax?

  8. Hey R.M.,
    Here’s a crazy thought that I read in the comments thread of another blog: if he really wanted, could Larry Ellison form his own NBA franchise (basically an expansion team I guess). The comment read that Ellison could obtain a license from the NBA, draft a bunch of college kids, sign some veterans, hire his own coaching staff and even name his team. Your NBA San Jose Sharks? Not saying this wild scenario is even remotely possible; just asking if its technically, legally possible.

    • @Tony D – AFAIK there is no interest within the NBA (owners, Stern) in expansion except to Europe. No chance of splitting the pie any further right now.

      @dknight007 – Check Trib reporter @angelawoodall’s Twitter feed. You might find something interesting there.

  9. Layer,

    Have you heard how the proposals went with Spectrum, SMG and AEG making their final proposals to see who wins the bidding war for developing and possibly managing Coliseum City? The last and final cases made were supposed to occur this past Wednesday correct?

  10. @fc- that utube was my highlight for today- remenda is awesome- loved seeing him put Ratto in his place- having said that the freaking Sharks drive me nuts-

  11. “Check Trib reporter @angelawoodall’s Twitter feed. You might find something interesting there.”
    Are you not reporting on Coliseum City anymore, ML?

  12. @eb,
    If ML isn’t reporting on “Coliseum City,” that might tell you something…

  13. @ML Gotcha.

    @Tony D. You know, at first your post annoyed me, but then I realized you refrained from using “brah” or “bro” in your response. So in the end, I feel like this was a positive exchange.

  14. My bad eb for that unnecessary jab at you last night. In all seriousness, I am pulling for “Coliseum City” as it relates to a new Raiders stadium; that would be awesome and hopefully it will happen. Don’t see it happening for the A’s or Warriors however…brah.

  15. as a sacramento area resident, I am against the arena- not because I am necessarily against the public subsidization of sports franchises but more on the grounds that the maloofs are a terrrible investment…..

    they are balking at the pre development payment they agreed to weeks ago because they dont have any money……

    the taxpayers simply should refuse to build anything under this ownership……bad investments are bad investments regardless of how emotionally invested in the team you are, and lets face it the maloof family is a bad investment…you dont risk hundreds of millions of the taxpayers dollars for people that cant even pony up a few million dollars

  16. “Ownership has made it a focus to develop a new arena in San Francisco, with the current Oakland location not even on the radar.”

  17. MLB HAS to give San Jose to the A’s, especially if SF is successful with an arena plan AND getting the Warriors. Imagine the synergy of AT&T Park and a Warriors arena in the same neighborhood. Diridon SJ with a revamped Shark Tank and Cisco Field would make for an excellent counterbalance. SF should not get all the glory.

  18. Ouch. Well that’s one Oakland team down…

  19. @Dan,
    If I were the city of Oakland and Coli authority, I’d put all focus and planning on a new Raiders stadium. The A’s and Warriors appear to have already checked out of The O; albeit not physically…yet.

  20. Problem is the Raiders new stadium is going to be the hardest to fund. 1.2 billion dollars isn’t just going to materialize out of thin air.

  21. @Dan,
    Agree with your last post re a new Raiders stadium. Heck, it would be a tough sell for even a ballpark ($500 million) or arena ($400 million) in a “depressed area” as the late Al Davis put it. Oh well…

  22. R.M.,
    so what other NBA teams out there are left for Ellison’s pickings? It appears even an existing lease won’t stop him.

  23. @Tony D. – The Hawks may be for sale after the last bidder couldn’t come up with the money last year. Paul Allen denied he was selling the Blazers this week.

  24. Thanks R.M.
    By the way, check out the SJ Blog for a helluva April Fools joke. I’ll admit it; J. Santos got me! Glad you didn’t post thee “Breaking News!” today as an April Fools; that would have been cold.

  25. As much as I dislike Alex Rodriguez, he’s got a point…

    “The Marlins do a phenomenal job with the front office and farm system,” Rodriguez said. “But the bottom line is that without a building like this, you really can’t compete the way MLB is right now. The game is exploding. Look at what the Dodgers just sold for. And you need a venue like this to compete.”

    Source:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AqqjozeeCtXDjX0YuOMYVXURvLYF?slug=sh-henson_alex_rodriguez_marlins_stadium_yankees_040112

  26. Wake me when we have real news…

  27. Actually, I’ll give the NYT article a little credibility for the following: Selig remaining silent on the issue and Wolff suggesting Bud’s decision will be “in the best interest of baseball.” Gee, I wonder what that would be? ;)

  28. Great so Selig is going to wait to hear news of Oakland’s plan. Another cock block by Oakland that has 0 substance. Unless Oakland is suddenly going to win a Mega Millions lotto and consecutive publisher’s clearing hosues to find the 2-3 billion it will take to make their Coliseum City fantasy a reality.

  29. Oakland is offering an already-rejected site and no $$ for ballpark construction. What else does Selig need to know? We can be certain the blue ribbon committee has already heard from Oakland officials over and over again that the city will spend no $$ on ballpark construction.

  30. According Belson, insiders are the ones speculating that Selig is waiting to see if Coliseum City gets off the ground. This vapor of a tip is just there to tidy up the end of the article. Nothing more.

  31. pjk, probably nothing. Remember we all seem to work under the assumption that Selig WANTS to find a way to move the team to San Jose. I’m not convinced that’s the case anymore. In fact, with how little he’s done on the subject I’m convinced Selig is looking for any reason he can find to NOT move the A’s to San Jose.

  32. Anyone going to any Bay Bridge games this week? Considering all the drama between these two teams over the winter, you’d figure there’d be more interest heading into this series.

  33. I suspect that no one followed up my hint to check out Angela Woodall’s feed. If you did, you’d have heard the Coliseum Authority Board discussing how to deal with refinancing the debt at the stadium, a problem which has been lingering for a while. Credit markets have tightened as we all know, plus there’s a unique problem that the JPA faces with the stadium: there are no long-term tenants signed there.

  34. What does the existing debt mean for any possibility of the city financing a new ballpark in Oakland? I think we already know the answer.

  35. Dan,
    Its unfortunate that you’ve jumped ship. That your prerogative. How do we know that Seligs done “nothing” on the A’s potential move? No official quotes or anything of the sort has been provided since the last owners meeting in January. If you take away all the “insider” nonsense from the past month, the silence on this issue has been deafening. My take is that we are way past the point of deciding if the A’s should move to San Jose. The “BRC” has already presented its final report (no updates regardless of some pie in the sky city rising in Oakland) and all that’s left is a negotiated deal. Now that the Padres and Dodgers sagas are behind us, its time for MLB to make San Jose official; in due time my friend, in due time…

  36. Oh, not strictly A’s related, but he Niners are hosting their groundbreaking ceremonies on April 19th kicking off construction of their new 1.2 billion dollar pleasure palace. Looks like they’ll unquestionably be the first team to the South Bay. And maybe even the first team seeking to build a new stadium in the south bay who get one if the Earthquakes don’t get off their asses fast and start construction of their comparatively small and simple 18,000 seat soccer stadium.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20307905/purdy-49ers-stadium-groundbreaking-set-april-19-santa

  37. Tony, I haven’t jumped ship, but I’m also not as bullish as I was a year ago. The longer this drags on the less likely IMO that he’ll decide for SJ in the end. Nothing in SJ has changed and it still remains the same good place to put a team it’s been since the A’s started pursing it. However Selig’s inaction speaks volumes. If he wanted them in SJ he’d have made that decision already. There’s really nothing left to look at in Oakland, yet he still hasn’t decided to pull the plug on them… why? What possible advantage can be gained vis-a-vis San Jose by delaying? Nothing. This means either he’s incapable of making SJ happen (not able to get his unanimity that he’s so fond of or convincing the Giants to play nice), or he’s unwilling to open up SJ because he doesn’t desire it. Either way, the longer this goes the worse it is for the A’s chances in the Bay Area IMO, since we all know Oakland is pretty much a non-starter at this point outside of the white knight scenario.

  38. As for the JPA and the debt. Sounds like they’re boned, which frankly is long overdue comeuppance for ruining the stadium and blowing 200 million on that piece of shit in the outfield.

  39. So, do people on here think that the 49ers will be adopted as a “South Bay” team after this new stadium? Or will they be seen as a team that’s close by, but still San Francisco’s? Would the Raiders be a South Bay team if they shared with SF? These moves/potential moves are certainly turning over established bay Area “boundaries.”

  40. The 49ers belong to the whole region. When it come to their fan base, there’s no East, North, South. They are a Bay Area team and have been for decades.

  41. It does look more like Selig will let the A’s rot in the Coliseum for as long as it takes for investors from some other part of the country to provide a new home for the team, given the unlikelihood of the White Knight scenario in Oakland. Apparently, enough owners would rather keep writing those revenue-sharing checks than risk having their precious “territories” threatened…

  42. Briggs beat me to it. The Niners haven’t never been just San Francisco’s team. They’ve been a regional team since there days in Kezar. They belong to SF, SJ, Oakland, Fremont, San Mateo, Antioch and even places out in the Central Valley. Always have, and always will even after they plant their flag in Great America’s parking lot. It’s a large part of why you don’t see a huge outcry over them leaving San Francisco proper.

  43. Only the uninformed think the 49ers are moving away from their fans by leaving Frisco. They are in fact moving closer to their fans.

  44. “The 49ers belong to the whole region. When it come to their fan base, there’s no East, North, South. They are a Bay Area team and have been for decades.”
    Do you think that applies to all of the Bay Area teams?

    • “The 49ers belong to the whole region. When it come to their fan base, there’s no East, North, South. They are a Bay Area team and have been for decades.”Do you think that applies to all of the Bay Area teams?

      Haelz no. The A’s are nobody’s team. They belong to anxious, obsessive-compulsive sociopaths (myself included) and nice families looking to see a baseball contect where standing-room-only tickets are $55+fees. I think we all know which group we fall into.

  45. eb, To some extent, yes. I know Giants and Niners fans in the east bay, A’s and Warriors fans in the south bay and on the peninsula, Raiders, Sharks, and A’s fans in SF, etc… However the extent of the cross pollination is definitely greater with the Niners I think than any other Bay Area team, even the Giants and Warriors. Not the least of which is because football is the country’s most popular sport and the Niners for a large segment of the population that grew up in the 40′s-early 60′s and in the 80′s-mid 90′s the Niners were the Bay Area’s ONLY team.

    Hell I still view the Niners that way. The Raiders are LA castoffs as far as my thinking goes. And nothing is worse than LA’s sloppy seconds. But then I’m admittedly a bit extreme when it comes to my views of the Raiders.

  46. OT: Matt Cain reportedly has signed on with the Giants for 5-years, $100 million. Damn! Hoping he would be Dodger or Yankee bound. But this could bode well for a decision being made re A’s to SJ; the Giants have their house in order for the next 5 years (to when their debt payments sunset in 2017).
    Sad day in Oakland as well, but it’s not sports related: 5 killed this morning at a Christian School in East Oakland. My deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

  47. @Dan There seems to be a large segment of the population that views a team’s home city/section of the Bay as being crucial to their rooting interest and another large segment that see’s that as being irrelevant, as long as the team is in the Bay Area proper. It will be interesting seeing how these viewpoints are possibly altered with the Bay’s shifting sports landscape.
    As for the Raiders, it’s a shame they left the first time. They are one of the few teams born in the Bay Area and they had the football market here firmly in their grasps before they left. It will be an incredible struggle to get anywhere close to where they were.

  48. eb, true there is a split. But outside of baseball it’s much more pronounced. I’ve seen that on Warriors boards as well with the possible move to SF. Warriors fans on the whole seem pretty “meh” about the idea. They’re not rooting for it, but not really against it either. Sure there are a few militants that mirror the Oakland Only crowd we see regarding the A’s, but no where near the concentration or veracity. By and large they know the Warriors were originally SF’s team and that they’re a Bay Area team be it in Oakland or SF. Same goes for the Niners, the majority don’t seem to care but there are a few militants who want them in SF proper only. But by and large the move to Santa Clara is seen as a necessity that is good for the franchise just as a Warriors to SF move is for that team. The Raiders really haven’t ramped up their potential move so we’ll have to see how that goes when they finally admit they’re not building in Oakland in the coming years.

    It’s really only with the A’s you’re seeing the REAL opposition locally from Oaklanders about them leaving. Which is ironic when you consider they’re the worst supported of Oakland’s 3 teams.

  49. Hard core fans always forget this, but one of the most important pieces of marketing any sports franchise is the City/State name it uses. That is the brand. This is why the NFL uses its clout to preserve marquee city names for its franchises even when they play outside the city limits — no Anaheim Rams or New Jersey Giants. It’s also why one of Arte Moreno’s first moves as owner of the Angels was to increase the franchise value by restoring the name Los Angeles Angels.
    .
    Because of history, the “San Francisco” brand is far and away the strongest in Northern California. People do not think of a San Francisco team as belonging to the people who happen to live in “The City.” They think of it as the team for all of Northern California — everything from SLO to the Oregon border. There is no significant angst about the move of the 49ers to Santa Clara, because one of their conditions has been that they do not have to change their brand name. They will remain the San Francisco 49ers.
    .
    For the Warriors, “Golden State” was just a cheesy way of marketing the team in the 1970s as the Northern California team, while appeasing the Oakland politicians who required that the SF name be dropped. So nobody cares much if the team crosses the Bay again and reverts to San Francisco Warriors, because that is just another way of saying it is Bay Area’s basketball team.
    .
    The “Oakland” brand is self-limiting, sort of like the “New Jersey” brand in the NYC metro area. Only a small minority of people outside Alameda and Contra Costa Counties root for Oakland teams, and often those people are also fans of the SF team. Meanwhile, plenty of people who live in Alameda/Contra Costa are happy to root for the SF team.
    .
    This has been the basic problem of the A’s franchise since Charlie Finley moved it to California in 1968. It is less of a problem for the Raiders, since they have to some extent a national brand as the NFL’s bad boy team, and also because it just does not require as large a population base to support an NFL franchise as it does to support an MLB team. But even in the glory days of the 1970s (and I absolutely loved those Raider teams), Raider fans were far outnumbered outside the East Bay by the sleeping giant of the massive 49er fan base.
    .
    San Jose is an interesting test. The South Bay has not been as parochial as the East Bay historically, so there is potentially much broader appeal, and the Sharks certainly are the Bay Area’s hockey team. But then again they don’t have an established San Francisco hockey team to compete against.

    • The “Oakland” brand is self-limiting, sort of like the “New Jersey” brand in the NYC metro area. Only a small minority of people outside Alameda and Contra Costa Counties root for Oakland teams, and often those people are also fans of the SF team. Meanwhile, plenty of people who live in Alameda/Contra Costa are happy to root for the SF team.

      Further, in terms of merchandise, the A’s actually haven’t put out that many Oakland-branded items. Beyond the away gray Oakland jersey, the team has mostly opted for Athletics or A’s on their clothing merchandise. With a name like”Athletics,” they’re also painfully generic. So, a crappy team name and history of distancing themselves from Oakland has played into the current state of affairs.

      .

      The best image the A’s ever had was being the ragtag rebels. The same qualities kinda hold true for the quirky commecials they had around the Moneyball years. The had the opportunity to play up the zany, kooky aspect of the team but that ship sailed too. Panda. Fear the Beard. The Giants (who were painfully dull too) caught hold of what their fans liked about their players, and ran with it.

      .

      The A’s can’t be bothered with giving their fans nice things… even when fans are willing to hand over money.

  50. @eb “So, do people on here think that the 49ers will be adopted as a “South Bay” team after this new stadium? Or will they be seen as a team that’s close by, but still San Francisco’s? Would the Raiders be a South Bay team if they shared with SF? These moves/potential moves are certainly turning over established bay Area “boundaries.””
    .
    To add on to what others have said, team name is a big factor. Arguably, team name inspires more passions than team location. We saw this a bit when the A’s were considering Fremont; there was heated debate over team name, and my sense was that the majority of both Oakland and San Jose partisans would have been mollified as long as the team used their city name of choice.
    .
    The Niners are not changing their name, and although the Raiders would be a more interesting case and could do so, my best guess is that they would not (especially if it were intended as a temporary move, with efforts to build an Oakland stadium continuing). So that right there takes a lot of the edge off the debate.
    .
    Another factor is the different nature of NFL football. Games are mostly on Sunday and are big events; fans drive further to see them. Conversely, baseball games are nightly, and necessarily draw most heavily from their immediate vicinity. So NFL loyalties tend to more broadly regionalized than MLB loyalties.
    .
    Also, NFL stadiums tend to be in faceless suburban or industrial areas. The stadium itself IS the destination. MLB ballparks tend to be at the urban core; they are the face of their cities, and more closely intertwined with city identity overall.
    .
    My guess is the move will be mostly a non-event for the Niners; as others have said, if anything they are moving closer to their fans. The Raiders would be a more interesting case; I think they would have a chance to strengthen their South Bay following, but probably would remain primarily an East Bay team.

  51. BUT what if Anaheim was a MAJOR city with a population of 5 million? Or Jersey across the Hudson had a city with a population of 10 million? My point is that the Niners would be moving from a smaller city to within a Tiger Woods drive of Northern California’s largest city. My opinion: IT IS in the realm of possibilities that perhaps the Niners ditch the SF brand for SJ. At the very least I’d expect San Jose city leaders to approach the Niners brass about such a possibility. In short, San Francisco’s influence and arrogance wasn’t meant to last for eternity…
    (For the record, I could care less about the Niners. Just give me the A’s and I’ll be sports happy for eternity)

  52. “San Jose is an interesting test. The South Bay has not been as parochial as the East Bay historically, so there is potentially much broader appeal, and the Sharks certainly are the Bay Area’s hockey team. But then again they don’t have an established San Francisco hockey team to compete against.’
    I wouldn’t think San Jose would have any broader appeal than Oakland. It’s still in SF’s shadow and will never act as the representational city for the Bay Area, just as Oakland hasn’t. I would assume it would be a similar scenario, just with a different coat of paint and characteristics.

    “By and large they know the Warriors were originally SF’s team and that they’re a Bay Area team be it in Oakland or SF.”
    I’ve always hated that argument. Now, the Warriors are probably the team Oakland lays the less claim towards and feels the least amount of passion for, but the team has been in the Town for 46 years. 46 years! They only played in SF for, what, 9 years? 46 to 9. Unbelievable.

  53. Tony. It won’t happen. One the Niners owners have said it won’t happen. Two, the team isn’t moving to San Jose, so why would the team or Santa Clara’s city leaders who are putting 100 million into the stadium let their neighbor dictate what name the team uses. And third, San Jose is a growing brand as a city, but it has no where near the cache as San Francisco, in large part because the region is STILL the San Francisco Bay Area (and always will be) no matter how big San Jose may get compared to it’s neighbor to the north, both culturally and historically. Not to mention the team’s long history with the name and the cache that brings. It would be counter productive for the Niners to change their name.

  54. eb, they may have only played in SF nine years, but those nine years seem to be the ones people really remember. Just look at a typical Warriors crowd some night. The vast majority of jerseys being worn are either San Francisco or “The City” jerseys. Caps being worn are more and more featuring the new SF logo. Like it or not, by using the lame “Golden State” moniker the Warriors have made people forget they’re Oakland based (which in some ways the plan all along seeing as the name was chosen so they’d appeal to folks in San Diego too) and made many pine for the days when they at least acknowledged a city of origin.

  55. @Dan,
    If I was a betting man, my money would be on the Niners remaining SF. My take is its not out of the realm of possibilities that SJ makes a go at them once they’re in SC. We’ll see. As for SC, why would they care either way if the Niners were SF or SJ? 100 million is 100 million. You’d think they’d have more of an allegiance to their longtime neighbor.
    As for Niners brass stating they will remain “SF”, I think that has more to do with not causing any friction with SF pols for leaving the city proper. Imagine if they had announced they were becoming the San Jose Forty Niners? Feinstein would be doing everything in her power to stop this.
    Lastly, the Bay is named “San Francisco” but not after the city; kind of like the “Santa Clara Valley” isn’t named after the city of SC or the “Santa Cruz Mountains” aren’t named after the city of S Cruz. Hence the San Francisco Bay Area. Nice chat by the way.

  56. @eb,
    San Jose definitely has more appeal than Oakland; don’t even think this could be questioned. Anyone who suggests otherwise is closing their eyes to reality. (No disrespect to Oakland intended). Geez, lets hope for a decision soon so we can stop talking about all this…

  57. Tony, actually keeping the SF name has caused more friction with SF pols than leaving it behind. Or did you forget Feinstein’s aborted efforts to try and force the team to leave the SF moniker behind when they left?
    As for the name “San Francisco”, yes the Bay came first, but who cares? San Francisco is San Francisco. Any use of the name is associated with the city of SF and the SF Bay Area regardless of which one came first and which one the team is technically related to. It’s an expansive name that encompasses the entire region from Napa down to Santa Cruz including San Jose. San Jose despite being the larger city is a much more limited name in terms of regional appeal and will remain so probably permanently regardless of how much bigger SJ gets compared to SF the city. That said, SJ probably has as much if not more cache these days than Oakland. And more importantly San Jose has far more upside than Oakland the way things are going.
    As for Santa Clara having “loyalty” to San Jose. These are cities, not street gangs. The two have actually been quite adversarial in the past on many occasions. What’s good for Santa Clara and indeed the Niners too is making sure the team has the broadest appeal, that means keeping the SF name (as much as it pains me to say it given my dislike of SF in general).

  58. @Tony Have to agree with Dan here. I’m rooting for San Jose to develop a public profile more befitting its size and economic clout too, but there’s a huge gulf to bridge for SJ to catch up with SF. I don’t really ever see it happening. San Francisco is arguably the most picturesque big city in the U.S. It will continue to be featured prominently in film, TV and other media, and it will continue to be a top destination for tourists. In other words, this isn’t exactly like St. Pete vs Tampa, Minneapolis vs. St. Paul or Dallas vs. Fort Worth.
    .
    Even aside from the relative glamour of the two cities, the Niners have a lot of goodwill associated with the existing brand. To get an idea of how much established branding matters, consider the Washington Redskins. Their trademark is racist and offensive, yet they still cling to it, apparently in a belief it would be difficult to build up an alternate brand to the same point.
    .

  59. @eb/Dan Another big factor wth the Warriors is that they have taken great pains over the years to dissassociate their brand from the City of Oakland, not embrace it.

  60. @Tony D. *sigh* I’m not saying Oakland has any more or any less appeal as a city brand. Both offer their own unique characteristics. Both will still get overshadowed by SF. I would say this, however, I bet more folks throughout the country could instantly point out where Oakland is on a map, before they could SJ. Of course, that could change if SJ gets more sports teams and Oakland loses theirs.
    @Dan Understood, but the Warriors have never sported “the Town” jerseys or anything of that sort. It’s either been GS (lame) or “the City.” So, fans choices are kind of limited. You’d think they’d market the fact that they represent both cities (which they sort of do with the bay bridge logo).

  61. @eb “I wouldn’t think San Jose would have any broader appeal than Oakland.”
    .
    One difference is that San Jose doesn’t have the same negative associations as Oakland. Like it or not, some of the things Oakland is known for are crime, drugs and radical activists. San Jose’s problem is more lack of recognition than negative association; most of the rest of the U.S. doesn’t know where it is. But this disadvantage can also be an advantage: it’s a relatively clean slate, allowing it more room to define itself in the public mind.
    .
    “It’s still in SF’s shadow and will never act as the representational city for the Bay Area, just as Oakland hasn’t.”
    .
    All true.
    .
    “I would assume it would be a similar scenario, just with a different coat of paint and characteristics.”
    .
    San Jose has the advantage of a clean slate. By promoting itself as the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” it has the opportunity to borrow the cachet of the technology industry. Having an MLB team would go along way toward advancing this strategy.

  62. “To get an idea of how much established branding matters, consider the Washington Redskins. Their trademark is racist and offensive, yet they still cling to it, apparently in a belief it would be difficult to build up an alternate brand to the same point.”
    The fact that the name “Redskins” is still used amazes me. Even the logo is offensive. They should switch to a less offensive Native American themed name (if they feel obligated to stay with that tradition) and go back to the helmets with the feathers and spear tip. Those were much cooler anyway.

  63. “One difference is that San Jose doesn’t have the same negative associations as Oakland. Like it or not, some of the things Oakland is known for are crime, drugs and radical activists. San Jose’s problem is more lack of recognition than negative association; most of the rest of the U.S. doesn’t know where it is. But this disadvantage can also be an advantage: it’s a relatively clean slate, allowing it more room to define itself in the public mind.’
    Maybe, but this “crime, drugs and radical activists” could describe any number of major cities in the U.S. One could make the case that Hell’s Angels/Black Panthers/blue collar/port city are all characteristics that make Oakland/East Bay a memorable city/area. If something sticks in your head, it’s a good thing, marketing wise. Speaking for myself, I root for cities like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit before I would root for a Dallas or Seattle or whatever, so I obviously have a bias.

  64. @eb “The fact that the name “Redskins” is still used amazes me. Even the logo is offensive. They should switch to a less offensive Native American themed name (if they feel obligated to stay with that tradition) and go back to the helmets with the feathers and spear tip. Those were much cooler anyway.”
    .
    I agree. Other teams (mostly college teams) with the same issues have made a change, the Washington Bullets made a change, and I think the Redskins should make a change. I think it could be done with minimal damage to the brand, even spun as a positive thing. Unfortunately, I don’t run the team. This is one of the reasons I dislike the Redskins as a team. (Also, I think they have the ugliest uniforms and team colors in the NFL.)

  65. “This is one of the reasons I dislike the Redskins as a team. (Also, I think they have the ugliest uniforms and team colors in the NFL.)”
    Too close to the Chief color scheme/theme for me. It’s like a gag reflex.

  66. “but this “crime, drugs and radical activists” could describe any number of major cities in the U.S.”
    .
    True, but some get tarred with it in the public mind more than others. Miami is a high crime city, but it has the glamour of South Beach to balance the image. Oakland, on the other hand, sits right next to glamorous San Francisco, and I think suffers from the inevitable comparison.
    .
    “One could make the case that Hell’s Angels/Black Panthers/blue collar/port city are all characteristics that make Oakland/East Bay a memorable city/area”
    .
    Again, I would agree. Oakland has character, and this rough-and-tumble vibe has worked well for the Raiders brand overall (although maybe not in the area of premium seat sales). I don’t think it has worked as well for the A’s.
    .
    “If something sticks in your head, it’s a good thing, marketing wise.”
    .
    Up to a point. I’ve got Casey Anthony stuck in my head as well, but wouldn’t hire her as a spokesperson for my company.
    .
    “Speaking for myself, I root for cities like Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit before I would root for a Dallas or Seattle or whatever, so I obviously have a bias.”
    .
    I’m somewhat of the same mind. I have a natural affinity for underdogs, which is a big part of why I’m an A’s fan and not a Giants fan in the first place. And this somewhat extends to cities as well, though other factors come into play. I can’t root for the Steelers because I’m a Raider fan (though I would root for the Pirates), and I have trouble with the Ravens because of Art Modell. I tend to like Seattle and its teams. (Hey, it wasn’t that long ago that Seattle was a depressed lumber town; that’s kind of my earliest memory of it). .

  67. You’re probably right all re SF and the Niners. Heck, SF can have it all: the glam, the cache, the Niners, Warriors AND EVEN SHARKS (probably going a little to far with that one)…JUST GIVE ME THE A’S IN SAN JOSE AND I’LL BE HAPPY FOR LIFE! ;o)

  68. Oh boy. Tony D. You’re a character, but I appreciate that. BTW, I’m at AT&T and Banjo Man is here decked out in his A’s colors.

  69. Of course he is. However I’ll never forget this…

    He turned traitor when we needed him to stay strong and stay A’s proud the most.

  70. AT&T Park introduced the A’s starting SS, Chad Pennington. At least it’s not Cliff.

  71. Watching game on CSNCA. As much as I abhor the Giants and their brass, AT&T Park is (gulp) gorgeous. Makes me even more mad that MLB hasn’t freed San Jose…yet. hopefully soon, because Cisco Field will be equally as gorgeous!

  72. Bah. AT&T Park is overrated. Put that same ballpark anywhere else but on that slough and it’s actually in the bottom half of the post Camden ballparks. It gets brownie points from pundits because it’s on the water but even water can’t hide its deficiencies.

  73. @ Dan: gotta disagree. Speaking just of the building itself, AT&T is as nice as they come. If Cisco Firld at Diridon ever becomes a reality, the Bay Area will have the best RF view in the universe.

  74. Dan, what is wrong with AT&T park? Sitelines, concourses, excellent turf…
    What will a ballpark in San Jose have?

  75. What will a ballpark in San Jose have?

    The A’s – which will automatically make it superior.

  76. Ted and Briggs, concourses at AT&T are small, dark and cramped for a modern ballpark. It’s part of the reason that the owners have moved all the carts from the field side to the inside of the concourse this season. Also too few bathrooms compared to many of its contemporaries which shows with the massive backups the park bathrooms get even on a non-sellout day. Field looks like shit, always has. Grounds crew at AT&T has always been too lazy to mow a decent hatch pattern into it (it’s about the only thing the Coliseum has always had on AT&T) to say nothing of the shoddy placement of the bullpens due to the well known omission of them from the original design. The laughable right field foul pole distance shouldn’t even have been allowed per MLB rules. Also for a modern park the upper deck is farther from the action than it should be, at little cantilevering goes a long way. Also the choice of brick in a city where brick has historically been a quick way to die in an earthquake (and where NONE was in the area before they build that place) was just laughable. I could go on but you get the point.

    I’ll grant you the Coliseum is FAR behind AT&T in all areas except the field (at least until the Raiders play in Oakland in the late summer), but AT&T is far from the best of its contemporaries and is lauded more for the water behind right field than the park itself. You want a really nice modern park. Go visit PNC Park in Pittsburgh or PETCO Park in San Diego. Those are the class of the most recent parks. Don’t get me wrong, Pac Bell is nice, and the McGowan group did a good job considering their relatively limited private budget, but there are far better parks out there that too often get overlooked because Pac Bell has a so/so view of a slough and part of the east bay (ironically enough). Turning the park 90 degrees more toward downtown could have given them an iconic view of the Bay Bridge and downtown but their desire to give Barry Bonds more home runs overpowered that notion.

  77. I didn’t have a problem leaving my pee anywhere and there were ~42,000 on-hand tonight. I left it in legal pee receptacles too, despite my feelings about the home team.

  78. @DoctorK Well played, Sir!
    @Dan, the concourses are fine, I liked being able to see the field while waiting for a beer. I’ll see how I like the new setup. I haven’t had a major problem with the restroom lines either.
    The field is beautiful without the silly and tired mow patterns, it has a classic look to it. The patterns on the field are played out. The turf at AT&T drains very well and the turf is in great shape.
    That foul pole is very difficult to reach due to wind and the extreme RF power alley depth and the wall there is 25 feet tall.
    The brick facades are AT&T are quite safe, it isn’t traditional brick and mortar.
    The view is the best in baseball and rotating the stadium would have been a terrible idea due to wind and the loss of the view of the Bay.

  79. “The brick facades are AT&T are quite safe, it isn’t traditional brick and mortar.”
    .
    I don’t think that was the point; we know that it’s faux brick and therefore safe. The point was that brick is jarringly out of place with its surroundings in SF (since virtually no other buildings in earthquake country are brick) as well as being horribly unoriginal, and is therefore a questionable architectural choice. Other architectural commentators have made the same point.
    .
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d still rate AT&T Park in my top 5 ballparks, but it’s almost all about the location and the view. The building itself is very average relative to other new venues. As Dan said, the concourses are relatively narrow, the views from the upper deck are so-so, and the Coke bottle is both cheesily commercial and a terrible slide. If you moved AT&T Park to a more average location it would rate in the middle of the pack.
    .
    Cisco Field will start at a disadvantage relative to AT&T Park because it cannot compete with the Bay view, but there’s a lot of room to make up for that by being a superior building.

  80. @Bartleby: There’s plenty of brick in SF, in fact some of the oldest buildings are brick. Ballparks are big places. They take up a lot of visual real estate. They’re shouldn’t be jarring, especially when plenty of people live in the area. Brick is a fine choice. You’re arguing subjectivity. It may be a questionable aesthetic choice, but not architecturally.

  81. Giants organization and brass aside, I again find AT&T Park to be a beautiful yard. IMHO, it does fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood and is aesthetically pleasing. Haven’t been to AT&T Park since the opening year 2000 (I refuse to attend anything there until San Jose is free); how do the concourses compare to HP Pavilion? I honestly don’t remember it’s been so long.

  82. re: Cisco Field will start at a disadvantage relative to AT&T Park

    …it will start at a disadvantage because it’s become increasingly obvious the place will never be built. CIsco Field is not in the Giants’ best interests, and that is the primary concern of Selig and the owners, obviously. …. I used to think PacBell Park was great until I visited the Ballpark at Arlington, with concourses so wide you can drive a truck through them. PacBell or whatever it is called has very narrow concourses…..I too now refuse to attend anything at the place and ward off my son’s requests to go to a game there. Last time I went there, Bartolo Colon was on the mound for the Expos, defeating the Giants…

  83. @Briggs “There’s plenty of brick in SF, in fact some of the oldest buildings are brick.”
    .
    Not in relative terms. There are good reasons not to build with brick in earthquake country, so use of brick in SF is fairly minimal compared to, say, Baltimore, where practically every row house is made of brick. Walking down a street of brick buildings does not make one say, “Wow, I must be in San Francisco.”
    .
    “Ballparks are big places. They take up a lot of visual real estate. They’re shouldn’t be jarring, especially when plenty of people live in the area.”
    .
    My point is that another choice which better fits the look and vibe of the city would fit better. I give points to places like Petco Park, Target Field and (I believe) PNC Park which chose locally sourced materials that fit better with the look of the city.
    .
    “Brick is a fine choice. ”
    .
    Brick was a fine choice for Baltimore, where it was original (at least to the modern era) and fit the look of the city. Now that there are something like 13th-or-more faux-retro brick ballparks, it has become a cliche. It was not an inspired choice.
    .
    “You’re arguing subjectivity.”
    .
    Of course. It’s a manner of opinion, and I gave mine. But I know I’m not alone in the opinion.
    .
    “It may be a questionable aesthetic choice, but not architecturally.”
    .
    Architecture is aesthetics; it’s a distinction without a difference.

  84. @Bartleby: I live in SF and most buildings in my neighborhood date back to the 1890s. Brick is a common sight at street level. Next to wood, it’s the most common material seen with building facades, banks and churches which have been local landmarks for generations. Moreover, ballparks are often designed to evoke a sense of stability and grandeur that you find with banks and churches. Sure, a glass and metal-beam exterior would’ve been an acceptable alternative, but I personally wouldn’t want that towering four stories high across the street from me. I doubt many people would. I understand you’re giving your opinion. That’s why I said you were arguing subjectivity and followed up with pointing out there is a distinction between architecture and aesthetics. Saying it’s a distinction without difference is intellectually dishonest.

  85. @pjk,
    Whatever you say! Care to provide some FACTS to back up your assertion? (“insider” reports don’t count)

  86. @PJK: Why would MLB let the SJ decision linger if they weren’t working towards making it happen? Even if MLB denies the A’s SJ, it won’t be because they haven’t been trying.

  87. That specific brick was chosen because that was historically used in China Basin. The architects spent considerable effort to match the China Basin brick color.

    You should take the ballpark tour, you will actually learn a bit about the history of China Basin.

    As for the huge concourses, they are small due to the fact that they had to squeeze the stadium into a 13 acre site. SJ is only a 14 acre site.. if you don’t like small concourses you wont like SJ.

  88. After 3+ years, it appears MLB will just let A’s-to-San Jose die on the vine rather than stand up to the Giants and a couple of owners paranoid about the Rays moving to New Jersey. Do we have any evidence of anything to the contrary? We were told the A’s were “on the front burner” 2.5 months ago. What’s happened since then? Zip…

  89. @Briggs ” I live in SF and most buildings in my neighborhood date back to the 1890s. Brick is a common light at street level. Next to wood, it’s the most common material seen with building facades, banks and churches which have been local landmarks for generations.”
    .
    I think that’s a little bit of an overstatement. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really rebut my point that when one thinks of Baltimore, one thinks of brick; when one thinks of San Francisco, one thinks of Painted Ladies and Victorian architecture.
    .
    “Moreover, ballparks are often designed to evoke a sense of stability and grandeur that you find with banks and churches. Sure, a glass and metal-beam exterior would’ve been an acceptable alternative, but I personally wouldn’t want that towering four stories high across the street from me. I doubt many people would.”
    .
    There are other choices.
    .
    ” I understand you’re giving your opinion. That’s why I said you were arguing subjectivity and followed up with pointing out there is a distinction between architecture and aesthetics.”
    .
    What exactly do you think is the difference? Architecture is an art form. We judge good vs. bad architecture largely on its overall aesthetic effect. There will always be an element of subjectivity to this, just as there is when we discuss painting or sculpture.
    .
    “Saying it’s a distinction without difference is intellectually dishonest.”
    .
    This seems an unreasonably strong statement, especially considering you have not really explained what you think the difference is.

  90. @martin “That specific brick was chosen because that was historically used in China Basin. The architects spent considerable effort to match the China Basin brick color.”
    .
    If that’s true, that is an interesting nuance . However, if I missed it, I have to imagine a very high percentage of other people miss it, too. Whereas, the fact that AT&T Park is the umpty-umpth red brick–wrought-iron-gates-Kelley-green-seats-Camden Yards clone does not escape many people’s notice.

    “You should take the ballpark tour, you will actually learn a bit about the history of China Basin.”
    .
    I’m sure I would, but I’m not in the mode of giving money to the Giants right now if I can reasonably avoid it.
    .
    “As for the huge concourses, they are small due to the fact that they had to squeeze the stadium into a 13 acre site. SJ is only a 14 acre site.. if you don’t like small concourses you wont like SJ.”
    .
    There are always compromises; this is only one factor. As I said before, despite its narrow concourses and other flaws, AT&T Park ranks in my top 5 ballparks; the location and views make up for a host of defects. Indications are that Cisco Field will be an original in many ways; if it makes good on its promise in this regard, I can forgive the narrow concourses.

  91. @pjk,
    Its ironic that you’re asking for evidence (based on what you put out). Again, issue on the front burner, not the microwave (its obviously on slow cook). Patience…

  92. I’ll take any concourse over what currently exists at the Coliseum.

  93. @Bartleby: “I think that’s a little bit of an overstatement. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really rebut my point that when one thinks of Baltimore, one thinks of brick; when one thinks of San Francisco, one thinks of Painted Ladies and Victorian architecture.”

    .

    Bartleby, it does rebut your point. You initially said the brick is jarring for the neighborhood. I simply offered a counter with explaination. Simply stating that brick is more appropriate for Baltimore again is failure to advance the discussion. The victorian homes are signatures of SF, but we’re talking about ballparks. Unless you can elaborate further, this discussion can’t proceed.

    .

    “Architecture is an art form.”

    .

    To a degree, yes, but we’re getting away from the discussion here. You said brick was a “questionable architectural choice.” It’s an aesthetic choice made by HOK, not a structural or practical choice, that’s all. Architecture is the engineering of buildings while taking in aesthetic considerations. There are plenty of sites of the interet where you can further compare these definitions if you’d like, but it’s really outside the scope of comment thread.

  94. @bartleby – I know A’s fans are pissed at the giants, but it seems odd to slam AT&T for small concourses and brick when, the SJ stadium will have small concourses and brick. dont you think?

  95. Anyone notice the increased level of advertising by both teams to South Bay baseball fans?

    Go to the Mercury News website and it’s just pelted with Athletics online banner ads.

    How about those VTA buses and lightrails? Just a ton of Giants orange and black painted all over.

    I know we’re all frustrated at how long this process is taking. In the meantime though, it’s kinda nice both teams are giving Santa Clara County so much attention.

  96. Stomper (A’s mascot) showed up at a San Jose Unified student walkathon a few months ago. No sign of the Giants’ mascot, which resembles a large sewer rat.

  97. Not at all. Pointing out the Giants ballpark deficiencies does not in any way mean the A’s stadium won’t have the same problems. Nor does it mean the A’s park will be forgiven those issues either. Neither park AT&T and the designs we’ve seen for Cisco Field are the best of their post Camden Yards class of parks. Both do/will have deficiencies that lower them below several of their contemporaries. What is key though is that both are/will be a huge improvement over the parks they respectively replace.

  98. @Martin “I know A’s fans are pissed at the giants, but it seems odd to slam AT&T for small concourses and brick when, the SJ stadium will have small concourses and brick. dont you think?”
    .
    No. I think I’ve been pretty objective about the pros and cons of AT&T Park. Great location and views: Pro. Small concourses and unoriginal architecture: Con. I’ll be similarly objective if and when Cisco Field is ever built. If it has small concourses, I’ll admit that’s a flaw.
    .
    As far as the brick, to my knowledge Cisco Field is not planned to have brick, they’re intentionally trying to get away from the Camden Yards cliche and go with something more contemporary. If they do go with red brick, I will be deeply disappointed.

  99. Don’t know what would make you say that bart. Cisco Field will have almost as much faux brick as AT&T Park does. And alot more of it visible from inside the ballpark thanks to the huge brick wall in right field.

  100. @all – I don’t know where people are coming up with opinions one way or the other about the Cisco Field concourses.

  101. I really don’t like the renderings for Cisco field. Maybe it’s my biases coloring things, but it just seems incredibly uninspired. As of now, there is nothing about the park that is truly memorable or, well, beautiful. I hope the aesthetics of the park get a major face lift if SJ happens.

  102. And I’m not seeing the point of bantering about the architecture and ambiance of an imaginary ballpark that the A’s don’t have any permission to build, and haven’t been able to get for several years.

  103. @bartleby – I agree, i hope SJ doesn’t go with brick (in the renderings it sure looks like red brick). At least all the buildings across King street from AT&T are red brick as well. SJ wont have that benefit.

    As for unoriginal architecture, we are going to have to disagree on that one. On of the great features at AT&T is the archways down the right field line allowing people to view the game for free. Where else can you stand 15ft from the right fielder for free? Another great feature is that the stadium is not “dug-down” which makes the stadium taller against its surroundings and provides better views from more seats.

  104. ML, someone suggested that Cisco Field’s concourses would be as small as the ones at ATT Park. It’s not much to argue on I’ll grant you but the assertion was made however accurate or inaccurate it may be.

  105. @ML – One can assume that the concourses will be similar to AT&T due to SJ being of similar footprint (ie 12-14 acres).

  106. @ Briggs “Bartleby, it does rebut your point. You initially said the brick is jarring for the neighborhood. I simply offered a counter with explaination. Simply stating that brick is more appropriate for Baltimore again is failure to advance the discussion. The victorian homes are signatures of SF, but we’re talking about ballparks. Unless you can elaborate further, this discussion can’t proceed.”
    .
    I don’t think pointing out that some street level buildings in your neighborhood are brick really rebuts the basic point that brick is not a big part of San Francisco architecture. Good architecture blends or plays off its surroundings; in my opinion, the choice of brick for AT&T Park does not advance this objective. The fact that it has been done umpty-ump times before also does not advance the argument that this is great architecture.
    .
    “Architecture is an art form.”
    .
    “To a degree, yes, but we’re getting away from the discussion here. You said brick was a “questionable architectural choice.” It’s an aesthetic choice made by HOK, not a structural or practical choice, that’s all. Architecture is the engineering of buildings while taking in aesthetic considerations. There are plenty of sites of the interet where you can further compare these definitions if you’d like, but it’s really outside the scope of comment thread.”
    .
    Now who’s being intellectually dishonest. If your hair-splitting point is that aesthetics are only one part of architecture and not all of it, a poor aesthetic decision still represents a “questionable architectural choice.” Just as a decision that made the structure unsound would also represent a “questionable architectural choice.”
    .
    More to the point, when people talk about good architecture (especially in casual conversation as on this blog), they’re generally talking about how well a building achieves an aesthetic effect while serving its intended function. The elegance with which the building serves its function is inseparable from the overall aesthetic effect. I understand engineering is part of architecture, but no one is seriously worried that the bricks at AT&T Park are going to fall on our head. I seriously doubt that was Dan’s point when he brought this up.
    .
    The point is: Red brick for a ballpark is a cliche at this point, and does not have any special relationship or significance for San Francisco architecture as a whole that would make up for that. There were a lot of things the designers did right when they designed AT&T Park, but in my opinion this decision was not one of them. If you were to swap AT&T Park with a ballpark at a more generic location (say, Arlington, TX), I doubt the locals would consider themselves to have gotten a massive upgrade.

  107. @Dan I’m probably being dense, but it’s really not obvious to me from that picture that there will be a lot of brick. Maybe those structures off to the right, but I’m not seeing a massive brick wall in right field.
    .
    Anyway, regardless, if Cisco Field winds up all red brick and Kelley green seats, I’ll disagree with that architectural choice as well.

  108. @Dan/martin – Bad or no info is nothing to go on. Target Field has a very small footprint, yet its concourses are vast. My estimates of the Cisco Field are at least 40′ wide concourses, though there’s much left to learn about how they will be designed or filled.

    @all – I wouldn’t assume that the images are final. Wolff intimated to me that Fisher’s taste for modern and contemporary architecture would push the design in a much bolder direction.

  109. @martin “As for unoriginal architecture, we are going to have to disagree on that one. On of the great features at AT&T is the archways down the right field line allowing people to view the game for free. Where else can you stand 15ft from the right fielder for free? Another great feature is that the stadium is not “dug-down” which makes the stadium taller against its surroundings and provides better views from more seats.”
    .
    I agree with you about those features. However, individual design features have a smaller overall impact than basic choices in style or building materials.
    .
    Anyway, I never said it was a bad building, I said it was an average building. When you’ve got fifteen or whatever ballparks that are all going with the red brick-iron gates motif, it makes it a lot harder for any one of them to stand out from each other.

  110. @pjk The banter wasn’t really focused on the architectural merits of an imaginary ballpark, it was about the merits of the existing ballpark at China Basin.

  111. Personally R.M., it’ll be nice when we can actually talk about the design of Cisco Field AND compare it with other MLB ballparks. Sure will beat discussing “insider” nonsense and what’s/what’s not on the MLB oven.

  112. Do the choices really have to limited to red brick on the one hand and “modern and contemporary” on the other? This was Washington’s dilemma when Nationals Park was built — they did not want to copy the red brick of nearby Camden Yards in Baltimore. Instead they went with an ultra-modern glass/steel design that was supposedly reminiscent of one I.M. Pei’s National Gallery of Art building in DC.
    .
    Result: Nationals Park is a nice place, like all the modern ballparks. But modernist architecture almost by definition fails to stand the test of time. It will never be a city icon the way Camden Yards is to Baltimore. It’s just another boring Turner Field kind of place with modern amenities inside. A HUGE upgrade over decrepit RFK Stadium, but the choice of architectural style was bungled. Could have used classical motiffs that echoed DC’s great monuments and public buildings.
    .
    IMHO, San Jose’s ballpark should include elements of the Spanish colonial/Mission style that reflects the region’s history, distinguishes it from the SF ballpark, and avoids the glass/steel/modernist trap that wins architectural critic raves but also guarantees that the building will be widely perceived 20 years from now as ordinary at best, hideous eyesore at worst.

  113. @Simon,
    I’d like to see Cisco Field pay homage to SJ/SCCO’s cannery history; in the mold of Monterey’s Cannery Row would be nice as well.

  114. @Bartleby: I really dig ballpark talk. I’ve elaborated my point with each response; moving from how it fits into the neighborhood, then what brick evokes and how it’s a common material in SF. You haven’t elaborated since initial opinion that brick isn’t an appropriate material for AT&T Park despite the length of your responses. I’d love to talk about ballpark/neighborhood aesthetics with you, but unless you provide alternative materials/design, you’re arguing about arguing.

  115. simon, bingo. We should be taking a page out of what they did in a place like San Diego. A retro modern park that incorporated aspects of what THAT city is about with things that made Camden Yards great. The sandstone facade that mirrors the nearby cliffs on Pt. Loma and up toward Del Mar and La Jolla (far more appropriate to a California Park than brick), white steel that looks a lot like many of the surrounding buildings including the convention center and parts of the nearby military bases, and the blue seats that reflect the color of the neighboring bay, the team’s uniforms, and the navy’s dress uniforms. And it has a VERY open design taking advantage of the great weather in SD and views of that city.

    Cisco Field’s goal should be to do something similar and unique. Spanish colonial like the Mission in Santa Clara would be a great way to go. A stucco and red tile steel colored ballpark would be striking and VERY unique. Green seats (possibly some gold) would be a must with the A’s color scheme. And a nice signature feature would be something like a bell tower behind the plate or even better out in center field ala a mission. Add into that some glass and tech savvy highlights and Cisco Field could be a unique and wonderful addition to MLB rather than just some Camden clone like AT&T Park or modernist mistake like in DC.

  116. @Briggs I agree we seem to be talking past each other, but am not really sure how to advance the debate from here. Perhaps it’s exhausted itself. My points about red brick for ballparks remain that it is: (a) trite at this point; and (b) not tied into SF enough to make up for the fact that it’s trite at this point. None of the points that you’ve made really refutes these points.
    .
    As far as proposing an alternative, my main alternative would be “anything but red brick.” But I see Tony, Simon and Dan have all made some good suggestions.

  117. FWIW – my favorite of all the new ballparks is Petco Park. It’s a great design, in a great location, looks very comfortable with fabulous site lines, big concourses, and a great field.
    .
    AT&T’s best attributes are McCovey cove, and, in particular, the view of the bay bridge and Oakland, just to remind the gnats fans who the superior baseball team (at least historically) really is ;-)

    • I suppose this is as good a time as any to say this – I’ll be in San Diego for three weeks starting at the end of the month for my brother’s wedding and a long housesit. I plan to go to Petco at least twice, plus trips to the Big A and Dodger Stadium if I can work out the details for those.

  118. For Cisco @ Diridon, a spanish mission-themed facade would be interesting. It’d be tricky though. Once you put neon lights on it, it might look like a giant Taco Bell.

  119. @Briggs I’ll still take a giant Taco Bell over more red brick :-)

  120. ML, definitely take advantage of the new Hodad’s stands on the Toyota Terrace (2nd Deck) behind home plate. Their burgers are outstanding and on top of that they’re cheap ($4.75 for their “mini” burger which dwarfs a Quarter Pounder). The Padres invited Hodad’s in (they’re a local 2 shop chain) after the now CEO Tom Garfinkel asked fans via Twitter what local vendor they’d like added to the park this season. Hodad’s was the overwhelming response.

  121. Yeah Gaslampball did a behind the scenes preview of it last week. It looks amazing. They’ll have at least 2 locations in the park in the restaurant tower and on the 2nd deck. Add one of the microbrews from the slew of beer stands they have around PETCO and it’s a recipe for a wonderful afternoon.

  122. I might be in the minority here, but I’m not really digging the retro thing, especially trying to copy other stadium elements. I think Cisco field should be more avant garde to flaunt the Valley’s rich tech industry and do something in the fashion of the new SJC Airport’s design language: modern and sleek (without the stange hands “mural” of course). Regardless, if they build it…I’m sure people will come! :)

  123. Problem with “modern” is it quickly becomes obsolete (as everything in the tech industry does) as everything moves to “post modern” and then “neo modern”. Soon that will be obsolete. As for the SJ Airport. I wouldn’t take any design queues from that boondoggle. Talk about a waste of money and time. Best not to be associated with it in the slightest.

  124. Mind I’m not saying it should be retro east coast style like Coors Field, Pac Bell, Camden Yards, Ballpark in Arlington, SAFECO Field, etc… that’s been played out to the extreme and doesn’t reflect the Bay Area at all. The Spanish colonial idea or the Cannery ideas are far better suggestions that would be timeless.

  125. “Problem with “modern” is it quickly becomes obsolete (as everything in the tech industry does) as everything moves to “post modern” and then “neo modern”. Soon that will be obsolete.”
    .
    This is a risk, but it’s not universally true. Some “modern” styles turn out to be tomorrow’s classics.
    .
    On the other hand, if you go with a style that’s already classic, you’re safe. It’s the same reason you’re safer buying the jersey of a Kenny Stabler or a Jim Plunkett than your team’s hot new #1 draft pick QB who has not achieved anything yet besides a Sugar Bowl win.
    .
    “As for the SJ Airport. I wouldn’t take any design queues from that boondoggle. Talk about a waste of money and time. Best not to be associated with it in the slightest.”
    .
    Whether or not it’s justified on a cost-benefit basis, I think it’s a beautiful building. My biggest crit is the giant garage blocking the view of it. Time will tell whether it ultimately is considered a classic or becomes obsolete.

  126. “Mind I’m not saying it should be retro east coast style like Coors Field, Pac Bell, Camden Yards, Ballpark in Arlington, SAFECO Field, etc… that’s been played out to the extreme and doesn’t reflect the Bay Area at all. The Spanish colonial idea or the Cannery ideas are far better suggestions that would be timeless.”
    .
    Agreed.

  127. Agree Bartleby- SJ Airport is beautiful- and for someone who flys 100k+ a year it’s also pretty good from a functional perspective- agree on the parking garage and my only other gripe- as much as I like the location for convenience I don’t like that it limits heights in the downtown core

  128. SJC’s location sucks (see no skyscrapers in downtown SJ). Moffett Field would (or will) make a better location for a future SJ airport. Hangar One would also become the most iconic airport terminal in the entire US (maybe even world). Sorry for going way OT R.M.; I’ll stop.

  129. Tony, you’re 20 years, a dismantled contaminated hangar and 2 billion dollars too late.

  130. OT: Hate the Giants and their brass, but there’s a good article over at SFGate that talks about the Giants planned “Mission Rock” development and the positive effects it will have on the teams bottom-line and SF’s as well. Parking lot’s that are currently earning SF $2 million per year could generate over $900 million in property taxes if fully developed? For SF sounds like a no brainer. And to those who have doubt that Cisco Field won’t do the same for San Jose, read the SFGate article.
    By the way, thanks R.M. for ignoring the recent Bull Shit from Neil DeMause (Slate Mag article) and Ballpark Digest. The nonsense continues unabated…a decision would finally silence the idiocy. Hopefully soon.

  131. A’s-to-San Jose is like a bill before the House of Representatives that gets bottled up in committee. Not formally approved, not formally disapproved, just not acted upon, which is tantamount to being disapproved. Selig and a few owners don’t have the courage to move on San Jose. We’ve had several years of inaction that makes this clear.

  132. It will be ironic if any settlement on TR is ultimately a key piece of building a downtown arena for the W’s in SF. Sine the gints are partners they will need to bring some cash to the table to get that arena deal done-

  133. What bullshit is that from BPD and Neil?

  134. deMause is just spitballing about the A’s moving to NY and upsetting the Yankees’ hegemony. He’s advocated a third NY team for some time.

  135. @Dan,
    As R.M. alluded two, bringing in a third-team to the NY market…THE A’S! Both DeMouse (spelling intentional) and BPD rant the same ole nonsense: the “sanctity” of the territorial rights and the “terrible precedence” allowing the A’s to SJ will cause. It’s always a “one size fits all” take on the current state of affairs that completely ignores the realities/uniqueness of the Bay Area market. NO..this isn’t some third team relocating 1,000+ miles to “invade” the territories of the Yankees/Mets; this is an A’s team that’s existed in the same market as the Giants since 1968 and that wants to move 35 miles FURTHER south of the Giants. Can’t personally wait to tell DeMouse that he was wrong all along.
    @GoA’s,
    Interesting point: with the Giants recently inking Cain to $100 million + and moving forward with the Mission Rock development (possible arena), I can see a correlation to a settlement with the A’s re SCC/SJ.

  136. Whatever settlement the Giants could get would pale in comparison to the value of the franchise going up if the A’s are forced from the Bay Area. Looks like this stalemate continues for years to come. The Giants have made it clear they won’t settle and Selig is too terrified to dictate a settlement. All this is obvious…

  137. @pjk,
    For crying out loud, will you @#$% stop already!

  138. @pjk- Selig wants new ballparks for both the A’s and Rays- denying SJ won’t solve this problem- patience….

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