What the NFL wants, it gets

You have to hand it to Roger Goodell. He has a playbook for getting stadium deals moving, and by God it works. Goodell lets the team owner come up with a proposal, and if it stalls he comes in with Goldman Sachs in tow and/or a threat to move, implied or otherwise. As a result, Santa Clara put up $900 million in public loans and cash for the 49ers stadium project, while the Vikings – after much debate – are getting a deal crafted in the Minnesota legislature that could provide up to $800 million in public assistance for stay home.

In the Vikings’ case, all it required was a little open-ended discussion about Los Angeles and a sighting of owner Zygi Wilf’s private jet in SoCal. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has become the Oscar Goodman of football, an outsider but serious power player whose city’s existential threat to other cities forces them to the table. The Vikings deal is by no means complete, but it’s further along than any talks to date, so that has to be encouraging for both Vikes fans and Wilf.

On Thursday, the 49ers officially broke ground on their new home as of the 2014 season. The stadium will undoubtedly be impressive and significantly better than Candlestick Park in just about every way imaginable, except affordability. (I thought I was going to get some pictures of the event but that fell through, sorry.)  Now we can talk in earnest about the Bay Area hosting a future Super Bowl or World Cup matches. It’s pretty exciting, despite my misgivings about the finances.

And it’s with that news that I can sit back, somewhat detached from the plan and say that I’m jealous of the 49ers right now. I don’t want a major handout for the A’s or Goldman Sachs waiting in the wings. I don’t need a stadium that costs more than a billion dollars. I just want a new place where I can take friends, where it doesn’t feel like pulling teeth to ask them if they want to go. A place that celebrates baseball, not merely hosts it at best adequately. Despite what some readers think, I don’t care where it’s built. If that’s Oakland, great. If it’s San Jose, so be it. Even Sacramento I wouldn’t mind so much at this point. My stance has always remained steady all this time – as long as it’s privately financed and I can get to it locally, I’m all for it. On this blog and elsewhere we have these endless debates about what it will take, territorial rights, what resources specific cities can offer, and there will be plenty of time for that later. For now let’s simply look at the leagues.

Mostly, I’m jealous that the NFL can get its stuff together on stadia so much better than MLB. It doesn’t matter that on the whole NFL stadia cost twice as much. The projects should be far riskier because of the expense and the inherent lack of utilization. In the post-downturn, post-redevelopment California, the toughest market to build anything new, the NFL will have beaten MLB by at least two years, maybe more. In the time that Bud Selig has had his panel discussing what to do about the A’s, we could’ve had a fancy (or not) groundbreaking. We could be talking about the future. Instead, we’re treading water as usual. No one can tread water forever.

99 thoughts on “What the NFL wants, it gets

  1. I disagree that the NFL has been better than getting stadiums built than MLB.

    California, MLB put up Petco and ATT Park in the past 12 years while the NFL just finally got something done with the 49ers after all these years.

    In MLB, only the A’s and Rays need stadiums while in the NFL the list is longer….Jaguars, Bills, Raiders, Rams, Vikings and Chargers are all in need of new places….The 49ers just got off this list in the past 2 days.

    Therefore MLB because of the reduced cost and more games is only down to 2 teams who need stadiums, it just stinks one of them happens to be in the Bay Area.

    The 49ers did this privately and put very little risk on the City of Santa Clara. If one is willing to understand financing you can clearly see the 49ers and Santa Clara have a good deal in place that protects the taxpayers….If you cannot see this you are just not comprehending it correctly.

    As for the A’s, it is obvious Selig is trying to get something done but he refuses to force the issue when it has become clear it is the only way.

    It is sad because the A’s should have been in San Jose years ago. If banks are willing to lend 850M for a football stadium in Santa Clara one should deduct 350M for the A’s should be a no problem with a Downtown San Jose site.

    I still believe it is a matter of time and that Selig for the coward that he is will get this done. If there was another way he would take that option and run with it.

    A’s in San Jose…..still holding out hope!

  2. ML, do NFL teams have limits on carried debt like MLB teams?

  3. The sad thing is we’ve had all the ingredients necessary for a new stadium for years, except for a commissioner with cojones.

  4. Not sure the NFL always gets what it wants. The Houston (Texans) franchise originally was awarded to LA. When the NFL approached the state/city for some public $$ for a stadium, the league was told to go pound sand. So LA still has no team and nobody there much cares.

  5. I actually agree wholeheartedly with Sid on this one. Cisco Field…in due time, in due time. BTW R.M., any idea what’s going to happen to my Raiders? I’m actually rooting for a Coliseum City football stadium for that one, but SC will work. LA? I’d still follow them, but it’s last on my list.

  6. At least the Raiders have options- they could even play in SC until they get something done in Oakland, which, realistically, could be a while. It’s hard to get past the first step with Coliseum City because we don’t even know who’s staying or who’s going.

  7. The NFL is just an overall better run and structured league than MLB. The basic fact that some clubs in MLB can’t compete on a regular basis proves that. Hopefully the Raiders will get the ball rolling on something in the Bay Area, sometime soon. It would be nice to have something to look forward to. Although, I think the A’s and Warriors situation is holding back anything concrete for the Raiders at the moment. All I know is if they go back to L.A. I would be officially done as a Raider fan. I’d just stop paying attention to football (rooting for the 49ers wouldn’t be an option, just as rooting for the Giants wouldn’t be, if the A’s somehow left.)

  8. coliseum city have very chance of happening if all three teams aren’t part of it. it’s barely on life support if two teams are in. it has NO CHANCE if only the raiders are involved in the project. like i mentioned in another thread i hope the raiders stay in the coliseum and eventually get a new football stadium hopefully near downtown rather than building it in the parking lot. oakland desperately needs to attract foot traffic in or around downtown/waterfront of oakland, not out in the middle of nowhere in a bad part of the city. could only imagine how much it’d help the city if even one team had been playing in a downtown venue these past few decades rather than at the coliseum where you get no impact around the area before, during and after the games.

  9. “coliseum city have very chance of happening if all three teams aren’t part of it.”
    Why do you say that? Wasn’t there earlier plans which planned for only the Warriors and Raiders? As for the site of a Raider stadium, wouldn’t it be harder fitting a football stadium into a much denser area like downtown? The Coliseum site is already BART accessible/right off the freeway. People tailgate for football (especially at Raider games), going to surrounding restaurants isn’t really part of football culture.

  10. lets say it’s the raiders and w’s, are you gonna build a multi billion dollar project just for 50 “home days” which those two sports leagues would present. now of course you could include the concerts and other events currently being held at oracle/coliseum. but i think having the a’s on board with 81 home dates and 2.5-3 million in attendance in to that area would be the best case and the a’s as like with the w’s will be out of oakland before this decade ends.

  11. New Raiders stadium doesn’t necessarily have to have Coliseum City attached to it (in my opinion).

  12. “lets say it’s the raiders and w’s, are you gonna build a multi billion dollar project just for 50 “home days” which those two sports leagues would present. now of course you could include the concerts and other events currently being held at oracle/coliseum. but i think having the a’s on board with 81 home dates and 2.5-3 million in attendance in to that area would be the best case and the a’s as like with the w’s will be out of oakland before this decade ends.”
    Well, of course all three teams would be optimal. But that’s different than saying without the A’s there’s no way it could work. As for what teams will be where at the end of this decade, I think claiming anything with certainty would be foolish, at this point.

  13. How do you figure the Niners did their stadium “privately”? They got over 100 million directly from the city, not to mention the city being on the hook for between 400-800 million on the bonds depending on who you ask? This was not a private stadium venture by any means.

  14. Raiders don’t need the Coliseum City complex, they just need a nice football stadium. IMO, it’s probably the one team that could go it alone and be perfectly happy with the current location. Financing? Well that’s another story. If a second team from the same area where to ask the NFL for the same help the 49ers got, they might tell them to go play in Santa Clara. And of course, the city of Oakland is probably not going to help out much. And not only do the A’s and W’s affect the situation, the Raiders may not want to commit to anything until the door is closed on LA. Still I think with the 49ers in Santa Clara, Oakland seems like a natural geographic location for a second team (aside from the decades of tradition, of course.) So while, I am hopeful, it may be a while.

  15. The City of Oakland has invested 3.5million for JMI world class developers,(the same group responsible for the Cowboy’s Stadium, the Colts Stadium & the Brooklyn Nets new Stadium & Entertainment Village) to a study of the best use of the 750 archers between the Oakland Coliseum & Air Port. A study to determent the feasibility of refurbishing the Coliseum into a state of the art football stadium & basketball arena . Plans for new Stadiums for all 3 teams in case they can keep all 3 & all 3 need stadiums, plans for a Hotel & Convention Center as well as a small mall/entertainment village, & business&tech campus next to the airport, & plans for alternative entertainment facilities in case 1 or all of the teams leave. For an EIR for every scenario. & to search for inverters. The City of Oakland owns over 11miles of property with in it’s city limits mostly bay front property it could use as a bargaining chip for developers & inverters. Oakland is also investing $100,000s to clean up the area around the Coliseum & especially the Coliseum BART. The County of Alameda is investing $10 of millions in building some kind of Air Tram from the Coliseum Bart to the Airport as well a refurbishing the Coliseum BART. The joint Oakland City & Alameda Co. Commission in charge of over seeing the Coliseum is negotiate with AEG to run the complex for the next five years. AEG is one of the richest companies in the world, the same group that is trying to bring a NFL team to Farmer’s Field in Down Town L.A. & manage the Staple Center & LA Live. If they are paid by Oakland & Alameda Co. to manage the Oakland Coliseum, I would think it would be a conflict of interest to lure the Raiders to LA & more lucrative to manage a facilities in Oakland & LA with football teams. JMI & AEG will bring the inverters necessary for Coliseum City to happen. The Raiders are in if it happens, the Warriors are interested but also interested in moving to SF where it will be less work to get Corporate sponsorship. The A’s want to move to San Jose where it will be less work to get corporate sponsorship. Still Coliseum City is slowly coming together, but we are in month 2 of the 14-16 month study & EIR by JMI. Until the study & report are done there will not be any concrete news.

  16. CFL, you realize that other than the 3.5 million none of those projects have anything to do with Coliseum City right?

  17. @ Dan – Please don’t take this the wrong way (no confrontation intended) but I just have to ask for my own curiosity. Are you rooting for all 3 teams to leave Oakland?

  18. @ CFL, yeah, I agree that that’s a great start. I’m glad the city of Oakland is taking Coliseum city seriously. I think that will help guarantee at least one of the teams stay in the future- I’d say the best odds are for the Raiders. But like you say, it’s still super early.

    @eb That’s encouraging, I think MD considers SC to be a last resort- good news in my book. And even if LA was an option, it’s such a wildcard. There is just no way of knowing if they would do well there.

  19. At this point… yes. Oakland city government doesn’t deserve them, particularly the A’s. They’ve treated the A’s like crap for the better part of 2 decades, killed 3 separate stadium projects, and largely been nothing but a pain in the ass. The A’s deserve better than the shitheads who run Oakland. I don’t see Quan as being a significant change from that. And the citizens have never supported the team well enough for me to feel that badly about them moving a few miles down the highway if it can get the team out of the grasp of their inept leaders. So yes I’m rooting for them to leave. I see it as a the only legitimate way for the team to stay in the bay area long term because I have less faith in Oakland to ultimately get anything done than I do the Easter Bunny.

  20. Jeez, Dan, Raider fans are “demented” and you’re actively rooting for the citizens of Oakland/East Bay to lose all three of their sports franchises? You know, we’re not that bad here. Come enjoy some fine dining in the Town, grab a drink in Alameda, visit the Cherry festival in San Leandro or go hike Mt. Diablo. Let that East Bay love in your heart.

  21. BTW, according to Poole on twitter, he says Mark Davis would not want to move the team to L.A. because it would seriously upset his mother, Carol. I’m sure cash trumps all, but it seems Oakland is the first option, Dublin is second with Santa Clara following third.

  22. Too late now but I still think the Coliseum site is the best NFL site in the Bay Area and the Raiders and Niners should have built a shared stadium a la NY/NJ there.

  23. Well I think ideal and practical are quite different. Santa Clara was willing to borrow a lot of money to make the Niners stadium happen. Oakland was not willing to do the same. I thinks for obvious reasons and probably correct given the failure of the personal licenses agreement when they came back. Thats why I am not sure the Raiders stay because at least some money is going to have to come from the city for infrastructure changes and probably some of the help of the deal. Raiders would need to put together about $800-900 million to build a new coliseum, not sure where Davis is going to get that money.

  24. I know it’s half assed, but if the A’s get a new ballpark, couldn’t they make major football modifications to the Coliseum comparatively cheap, maybe keep it under $500M? Mt. Davis already looks like half a football stadium- and the Coliseum is not the basket case that candlestick is IMO. It might simplify things a bit too, since it’s just modifying a current venue. Just an idea. When is newstadium.org going up?

  25. @eb As I recall, Dublin told the Raiders they are emphatically not interested in hosting a football team.

  26. They did. So despite Mark’s statement you can take them off the list. The Raiders have always been interested in them, but Dublin has rightly never been interested in the Raiders.

  27. eb, I have no problem with the east bay as a place. My wife spent her whole life in the east bay before she met me. I spend plenty of time in Oakland, Berkeley, Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, and Dublin/Pleasanton in an average year and enjoy every visit. My beef is with Oakland’s leadership primarily. They had their chance over the last 17 years to help the A’s. They didn’t. Their time is up.

  28. @bartleby Yeah, that’s what I remember as well, but that was four years ago (right?), maybe sentiments have changed or they still might. What was more important to me, as a Bay Area Raider fan, is that Mark really is looking to get something done here in the Bay. That’s a refreshing notion and a positive story, whether something materializes, well, we’ll see.

  29. While I support Wolff’s efforts to build a stadium, I think by “playing nice” he’s making sure to get pushed around. Like the game itself, building a stadium is about winning. Bring out the big guns, pressure politicians and see what they’ll provide. Selig won’t let you build in SJ? Buy the land and start building and dare someone to stop you.

    That’s what the NFL does – it plays business as hard as it plays the game. A’s need to do the same.

  30. I’ve thought about that – what if Wolff simply starts building the ballpark and tells the other teams – meet us here for your scheduled games. Being a nice guy has gotten him nowhere.Why not file a nice lawsuit in the 9th Circuit and see what happens?

  31. eb, why is it that the Mark Davis and the Raiders trying to get something done “in the bay” is a good thing, but Wolff and the A’s doing the exact same thing is a catastrophe?

  32. @Dan Apparently, Mark Davis is focusing on staying in the East Bay first and keeping the “Oakland” name. That’s a huge difference from leaving the region altogether and becoming L.A.’s team, as was the rumor. I think the actual threat of the Raiders leaving the Bay Area altogether was more likely than the A’s. There has not been one credible source that would suggest there is another region that would be viable and an improvement over the Bay Area for the A’s. That being said, I have never stated that the A’s in San Jose would be a catastrophe ( I don’t know why you’re insinuating that I have), I would just personally prefer to see them stay in Oakland/East Bay. This area is my home, my family goes back three generations in Oakland, and the A’s are a source of pride. However, I wouldn’t stop being an A’s fan if they moved to San Jose, it would just be different.

  33. Well history shows that the City of Oakland and the Coliseum Authority have been much more willing to accomodate the Raiders than the A’s. Mount Davis vs. the Schott proposed baseball-only renovation illustrated that, and I think the layout of Coliseum City is further proof that the Raiders are the chief focus of city efforts.

  34. @eb “Apparently, Mark Davis is focusing on staying in the East Bay first and keeping the “Oakland” name.”
    .
    I think you’re making a pretty big leap here, especially on the name. I would characterize it more as follows: Mark Davis is focusing on getting a new stadium where he isn’t a tenant and doesn’t have to give up control of the team. Santa Clara and LA each have issues in this regard, which puts the East Bay slightly in the lead. But it’s not a strong lead.
    .
    On the name, I haven’t read any public statements from the Raiders saying what they would do with the name should they move. If I were handicapping it, I’d put the odds of keeping the name “Oakland” as follows: (a) If they were playing in Santa Clara while working on a new deal in Oakland, 99.9%; (b) if they were playing in Santa Clara without knowing where they’d move next, 90%; (c) if they were playing in Santa Clara on a permanent basis, 51%; (d) if they were playing in LA, 0%.

  35. Why is it important for a ballpark to be privately financed? It seems to me that the only shot Oakland has at keeping the franchise is to offer up some public money, maybe between 25% – 50% of construction costs. I’m not saying that it is gonna happen, but, realistically, that’s their only shot.

  36. @bartleby Well, seeing as how Mark said himself that basically the odds of playing in Santa Clara are slim and approaching none, I’d say that the likelihood of a Bay Area situated Raiders keeping the Oakland name is pretty good. Call me crazy, but I take the following as good news, “Oakland is my preference, though,” he said. “I see us as an urban team, being in a city. I want it to work here. I’d like to stay here.” Not to mention the fact that he said he was impressed with Oakland’s latest moves and is also not courting L.A., suggesting he has no plans on alienating the fan base. Nothing is guaranteed at this point, but that’s some encouraging information for Oakland Raider fans.

  37. Pudgie: Oakland has no money to pay for constructing a ballpark. San Jose doesn’t, either. It’s clear Oakland has been offering $0.00 for construction of a new A’s ballpark.

  38. Pudgie, the merits of some public financing of a stadium is a thorny issue. IMHO, some public funds is not a bad thing provided there is a solid ROI. Councils place public funds into projects to realize an ROI routinely. I’m not sure why a stadium is any different. But there are others who disagree with this and feel public funds have no business being used to build a stadium. Either way, the gist of your post is partly correct. Public financing is clearly the only way stadium(s) get built in Oakland. The problem is pre financing and post financing, and the people who will steer that ship. As others have pointed out (and as the Monte Poole’s and several posters here have conspicuously ignored) the Pols of Oakland have been the opposite of helpful. The opposite of ‘getting it done’. There is nothing, NOTHING, today that should make anyone believe this has changed.

  39. @eb “Well, seeing as how Mark said himself that basically the odds of playing in Santa Clara are slim and approaching none,”
    .
    That was Poole’s characterization of what he said, not a direct quote. The way I interpreted that is, he doesn’t want to be a tenant unless his options for his own stadium are pretty much dead.
    .
    But let’s be honest, Coliseum City, or in fact a second NFL stadium anywhere in the Bay Area, is going to be a bear to finance. It could easily fall through. Terms in LA may be unacceptable. I’d say the chance of the Raiders moving to Santa Clara is better than Poole’s “fraction of a chance” just because of practical realities.
    And I’d say the chance of it happening on a temporary basis are actually pretty good.
    .
    “I’d say that the likelihood of a Bay Area situated Raiders keeping the Oakland name is pretty good.”
    .
    I agree. But that’s different than saying Mark Davis is focusing on keeping the Oakland name, as you did.
    .
    “Call me crazy, but I take the following as good news, “Oakland is my preference, though,” he said. “I see us as an urban team, being in a city. I want it to work here. I’d like to stay here.” Not to mention the fact that he said he was impressed with Oakland’s latest moves and is also not courting L.A., suggesting he has no plans on alienating the fan base.”
    .
    Of course, that’s what you would say until and unless you had something concrete, regardless. An LA stadium is still years away, at least. And he has no need to risk alienating the fans by announcing a move to Santa Clara before early 2014. So, I don’t put a huge amount of stock in those comments.
    .
    “Nothing is guaranteed at this point, but that’s some encouraging information for Oakland Raider fans.”
    .
    Somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a new Raiders stadium could work in Oakland, and I’d like to see it happen. But after suffering through more than a decade of waiting for the A’s to get a new building (and still waiting), I have no desire to go through that again with the Raiders. Once of the biggest benefits I see to the Raiders moving in with the Niners is that it could happen far more quickly than any other option.

  40. “I agree. But that’s different than saying Mark Davis is focusing on keeping the Oakland name, as you did.”
    Well, now we’re arguing over nothing, but if Mark’s number one effort/choice/direction is building in Oakland/East Bay, well, that would mean working towards keeping the ‘Oakland Raiders” as is. Hence, focusing on staying in the East Bay and keeping the Oakland name. I have no doubt he’s playing wait and see, but indications seem to be that he/Amy Trask are also actively working towards an Oakland/East Bay stadium as priority number one. For goodness sake, even his mom is influencing him to keep the Oakland Raiders tradition going. But, I do understand the apprehension and and the skepticism, it’s desperately needed after Oakland’s latest track record. Honestly, it’s just nice hearing a sports owner say Oakland is his top choice, that’s been a rare occurrence as of late.

  41. jed york is the WORST owner in the bay area. this greedy bastard will officially ruin the 49ers and its already pathetic fanbase. raiders are about to get a whole lot of season ticket holders who cant afford this BS.

  42. @ ACV – jealous much?! Lol. I’m glad us pathetic 49er got what we deserve: a new state of the art stadium. And of course, in turn Raider Nation gets Mt. Davis to commemorate the PSL debacle that continues to burden the public by “generous” Al. :)

  43. “jed york is the WORST owner in the bay area. this greedy bastard will officially ruin the 49ers and its already pathetic fanbase.”
    .
    Why? Because his team went to the NFC title game last year? Because he perceived the need to replace the most decrepit major league sporting venue in North America? Because he was able to get a mostly-privately-financed stadium deal done in the hardest state in the country to build in? I see your point, what a bastard. Sure am glad he doesn’t run my team.
    .
    Oh, you must mean because 10 – 15% of the seats in the new building are going to be expensive. Well, it’s a $1.2 billion stadium. Most of it is being paid for with private money. The best seats have to be expensive. Get over it.
    .
    “raiders are about to get a whole lot of season ticket holders who cant afford this BS.”
    .
    Sure, that’ll happen. The truth is, if there’s any fanbase in the U.S. who can afford those seats, it’s Niners fans. If the season ticketholders who have been getting bargain prices on lower level sideline seats all these years don’t want to pay the new prices, they can move down to the end zone. It’s not the end of the world.
    .
    Look, I had lower level sideline seats for the Raiders for many years. I fully expect if and when the Raiders get a new building, they’ll be charging more for those seats than I’ll be willing to pay, at least on a season ticket basis. So I’ll move to the end zone, or the upper level, or I’ll go to fewer games. No biggie.

  44. @Dan- The 49ers stadium is privately financed and loans are different than bonds. The 49ers secured the loans and passed it on to the Stadium Authority.

    Why? Because the Stadium Authority is tax-sheltered.

    The original deal had the 49ers and Santa Clara dividing up the cost and any shortfall from SC would come from their General Fund while any excess they would keep.

    They only put in redevelopment funds for clearing out the site and moving utilities. Plus they are implementing a hotel tax as well. Well under 100M, more like 35M or so.

    The new deal is better because Santa Clara may sit on the debt but the 49ers and the NFL are on the hook for year to year debt service and lease payments. Any shortfall the 49ers must cover year to year.

    Example: Their rent is 30M, if debt service is 50M then the 49ers owe another 20M to make up the difference.

    They are predicting 120M in profit a year from the new stadium once it opens so covering the debt service is child’s play.

    Also all revenues- Naming rights, seat licenses, season tickets, parking etc….All go to paying down the loans the Stadium Authority took on. In the original agreement the 49ers and Santa Clara had separate pieces to pay and each were responsible for their portion.

    So far the 49ers have sold 66% of their club seats just to current season ticket holders. A friend of mine already purchased a seat license and was told by team officials the waiting list is 30,000 people on top of the season ticket holder list.

    That signals that the stadium will pay for itself and Santa Clara got a steal of a deal. The 49ers are the ones doing all the work while Santa Clara gets tax revenue and now can develop the adjacent areas around the stadium for more tax revenue.

    The Raiders have to move in with the 49ers it just has not sunk in yet that is only their real option unless Oakland is willing to put in public money…..A whole lot of free $$$.

    Raiders fans do not have the same $$ in their pockets like the 49ers fans. Mark Davis is dreaming if he thinks he can get something done privately like the 49ers did in the Bay Area or even in LA without losing his shirt to Ed Roski or AEG.

    As 2014 nears, you will see Mark Davis’ tune change as he will move in with the 49ers…..I believe its an inevitability. Why play in a dump when you can play in a shiny new stadium 35 miles away?

  45. No owner is his right mind would build a 100% privately financed baseball stadium in Oakland.
    .
    The franchise has never been self-sufficient in Oakland to the point that anyone with any business sense would put himself or the franchise at that level of risk.
    .
    If there was leadership at the local level serious about keeping the franchise in Oakland, the city and/or county could pay back ballpark construction bonds with the sale or lease of public lands at the Coliseum site and elsewhere in the county.

  46. a couple of details about the niners stadium i’ve read the past few days. the niners players intro onto the field will have take them thru fans in a “bar area” which is something similar to what dal does with their new stadium. the niners sidelines will be in front of the massive structure that will hold the luxury/press boxes so on tv they’ll be on the far sidelines which is different from the stick where in they players/coaches have their backs to the cameras.

  47. ML, I understand the emotions, but as Sid points out the premise of this post does not hold up. MLB has been MUCH more effective than the NFL at building new stadiums. Even your two examples of the Vikings and 49ers illustrate this. Each of those teams will move into its shiny new facility more than a decade after its baseball counterpart did the same and escaped the same multipurpose dump.
    .
    The A’s problem is unique. Beyond changing T-rights, they don’t have much leverage. MLB doesn’t have an unoccupied, highly desirable market where they could threaten to move. And the brand is frankly among the weakest of all Northern California sports franchises. Politicians don’t fear being responsible for “losing the A’s” because they do not believe that passionate A’s fans make up a large chunk of the electorate.

    • @Sid/Simon94022 – “…post-downturn, post-redevelopment California…” Small sample size to be sure. Yet the results speak for themselves.

  48. I know I’m late to the party, but this is the best quote from the post ML:

    “I just want a new place where I can take friends, where it doesn’t feel like pulling teeth to ask them if they want to go.”

  49. “I just want a new place where I can take friends, where it doesn’t feel like pulling teeth to ask them if they want to go.”
    .
    Same goes for the Raiders.

  50. @ Bartleby : “Look, I had lower level sideline seats for the Raiders for many years. I fully expect if and when the Raiders get a new building, they’ll be charging more for those seats than I’ll be willing to pay, at least on a season ticket basis. So I’ll move to the end zone, or the upper level, or I’ll go to fewer games. No biggie.” Great point and I don’t think it gets stressed enough. When the A’s get their new venue, all these cheap seats we enjoy today at the Coliseum will essentially be gone. Forget about the days where you can just walk up and bargain some scalpers for some great tix at a 1/3 or less of listed price. To expect otherwise is to kid yourself.

  51. I think that by far the best option for the Raiders would be to share the 49ers stadium. It would be best for everyone –
    The 49ers because there is a tennant, as well as more home games, for more revenue to help service the debt.
    The Raiders – wouldn’t have to finagle some financing package for building a new stadium, not to mention all of the politics that goes with it, and the years it takes to get anything done. They’ll be able to move into a shiney new stadium in 3 years, as opposed to 5-10 years (at minimum if they go it alone).
    The NFL – One more team gets to play in a great new stadium sooner rather than later, and they don’t have to extend the line of credit to another Bay Area franchise.
    Bay area tax payers – no floating of bonds, no loans, no sweetheart land deals, for yet another stadium.
    Bay area fans – once again, another team gets to go to a brand new stadium, and one that is fairly accessible for everyone, and next to Great America, and both teams keep their same city names (SF 49ers and Oakland Raiders).
    .
    It just seems like a win win win win win situation to me.

  52. btw – i missed the press release last Friday on the Niners inking the deal with my old company as one of the founding partners and network provider. They used to also have a corporate suite at A’s and Raiders games before cancelling it during the financial crisis. I was a bit surprised they signed up with the Niners, but this illustrates more of the business MLB will tend to lose the further they prolong the A’s stadium plight. :(

  53. @anon,
    Sundays Merc Business section featured the SV150 (top 150 corporations in Silicon Valley). We’re talking billions, I mean BILLIONS of dollars for these companies to spend as they see fit. Even with the Niners and Sharks now vying for the same corporate dollars, there’s still plenty for not only the A’s but ALL Bay Area teams.

  54. If you have to pull teeth to bring your friends to a MLB game, I wouldn’t bother taking those cry babies to an A’s game if and when the new stadium is built. They don’t deserve it. Seriously, the Coliseum isn’t the greatest facility in the world, but it’s not a toilet bowl. If I ever meet somebody who doesn’t go to a game because the stadium sucks they’ll get a good taste of the back of me hand (not really, but you get my point).

  55. funny you bring up toilet bowl as not a good way to describe the coliseum when the coliseum has sewage issues that many can smell when they’re on the playing field.

  56. “funny you bring up toilet bowl as not a good way to describe the coliseum when the coliseum has sewage issues that many can smell when they’re on the playing field.”
    .
    Not only that, take a look at an aerial photo of the place. It LOOKS like a giant toilet bowl, with the Westside as the bowl and Mount Davis as the tank.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aussierupe/64655079/
    .
    If it looks like a toilet bowl, and smells like a toilet bowl…

  57. “If you have to pull teeth to bring your friends to a MLB game, I wouldn’t bother taking those cry babies to an A’s game if and when the new stadium is built. They don’t deserve it. ”
    .
    It’s not a question of deserving anything. Most people are casual or non-baseball fans. Very few are die-hards willing to follow the development of a theoretical ballpark years before it’s ever built. I either enjoy someone’s company, or I don’t. I’m not about to start vetting my friends based on some screwy litmus test of hard core fandom.
    .
    Going to the game is entertainment. None of us should ever lose sight of that, no matter how big a fan you consider yourself to be. Real life is more important.

  58. Nice photo Bartleby. Porcelein god aside, looking at that photo of Mt. Davis: wouldn’t it be much simpler and cheaper for the Raiders to simply build another version of Mt. Davis on the west side? The current Mt. Davis isn’t to bad (or old) architecturally, and the temporary seating near the sideline could be made permanent.
    R.M., didn’t you do a post on this a few years back? If so, can you reference it? It’s something the Raiders should consider over a full-blown new stadium (just my opinion).

  59. I was merely making a joke, but I still think people who don’t go to a game based on the condition of the park are whiners.

  60. @ Bartleby*

  61. @Booster–the difference between AT&T and the Coli–is fan experience–translation–about 25k fans/game make a decision not to go to the Coli because it sucks…call them whiners or whatever–bottom line–you can’t give away tix at the Coli because it sucks…

  62. A’s attendance is not only stifled by the yard but by the philosophy of Beane and ownership.

    About the Raiders and Niners. I think it would be nuts to build two NFL stadiums in the area but I am guessing the branding of the stadium will be all Niners and that could be an issue.

  63. @ Booster I go to plenty of games. It’s not that easy to get folks to go with, however, and the condition of the park is a big reason for that.

  64. Upperdeck seats are gonna suck at the Niners’ new digs. $499ers (per seat).

  65. “A’s attendance is not only stifled by the yard but by the philosophy of Beane and ownership.”
    .
    A ridiculous and unsupported statement. A’s attendance under current ownership tracks closely with attendance patterns over the A’s entire history in Oakland.
    .
    As has been pointed out previously, Wolff is actually doing better than Haas during his down years, and under far more difficult competitive circumstances. Attendance rose under so-called carpetbagger Schott every year of his ownership, and his management philosophy was identical to current management. (Why not, he had the same GM).
    .
    The only people who make this claim are those with an agenda regarding the possibile relocation of the team.

  66. @ Bartleby – “If it looks like a toilet bowl, and smells like a toilet bowl…” sorry, I disagree with you. It’s not a toilet bowl, It’s a urinal trough! :X

    “The only people who make this claim are those with an agenda regarding the possibile relocation of the team.” Agree entirely and we can see through their agenda readily…..

  67. “The only people who make this claim are those with an agenda regarding the possibile relocation of the team.”
    So you’re saying that anyone who has taken issue with Wolff/Schott ownership are only doing so because of the potential move? That doesn’t seem likely. So anyone in the media, or on AN, or here or even people I’ve met who dislike Wolff, but want a new stadium anywhere are all secretly driven by an agenda and not by actual gripes? I have to seriously disagree, bartleby.

  68. @dude,
    Thanks.

  69. After reading R.M.’s Coli redo post from 08 (seems like just yesterday), I’d propose the following: new Mt. Davis on west side and (in the likes of the Chi Sox US Cellular Field) remove some rows from the top of the current Mt. Davis. Removed seating capacity would be replaced by a new grandstand behind the north endzone. For my Raiders, hopefully something to consider. A Silver and Black Gem that would rival the Niners new stadium!

  70. @ eb “So you’re saying that anyone who has taken issue with Wolff/Schott ownership are only doing so because of the potential move?”
    .
    That’s not actually what I said. I said the only people who make the claim that the A’s current attendance is due to “management philosophy” or some other flavor of “ownership doesn’t love us enough” are doing so because they don’t like the idea of the move. That’s a narrower statement than the one you ascribed to me.
    .
    The reason I say this is because the statement on attendance is demonstrably, empirically not true. To make this statement, you need to ignore the rest of A’s attendance history. I believe people saying something so completely unsupported by fact have an agenda.
    .
    As far as other issues with ownership, I think these are also strongly influenced by where one stands on the relocation. Virtually everyone I see complaining about management is in the East Bay camp, and virtually everyone I know in the South Bay camp thinks current ownership is great. (Except Ted, who has his own agenda of just wanting the A’s to struggle and fail so the Giants can be the Yankees of the West). This is not a coincidence.
    .
    However, I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say anyone who has any issue with management has an agenda. Some of this is just “fans bitch about management when their team is losing.”

  71. @eb, the idea that there are tons of people staying home because they don’t like Wolff (or Schott before him) is an opinion, not one that is backed up by a lot of fact (as attendance history clearly shows). I think that is all Bartleby is saying.
    .
    Plenty of us in the “build anywhere” crowd have disagreed with ownership on specific decisions and direction of the team at various stages (I am still pissed off that the A’s dealt Rich Harden to the Cubs when they were only 2 games out, for instance). But that isn’t a determining factor in whether or not I can make it out to the yard on a Tuesday night.
    .
    In a park like AT&T, or Petco or any other newish stadium, the park itself can serve as an enticement to go out to the yard on a Tuesday. That isn’t the case in Oakland at the Coliseum. You don’t disagree with that, do you?
    .
    From experience (anecdotal, for sure) I can tell you the Coliseum is a deterrent to folks coming out. I have asked friends to weekend games and they don’t want to come. I took a friend to the Raiders opening game last season verse the Jets and that friend refuses to go to the Coliseum for anything. Not because it is in Oakland, or because of the crowd’s composition… but because the game day experience sucked.

  72. “After reading R.M.’s Coli redo post from 08 (seems like just yesterday), I’d propose the following: new Mt. Davis on west side and (in the likes of the Chi Sox US Cellular Field) remove some rows from the top of the current Mt. Davis. Removed seating capacity would be replaced by a new grandstand behind the north endzone. For my Raiders, hopefully something to consider. A Silver and Black Gem that would rival the Niners new stadium!”
    .
    I really hope if the Raiders get a deal in Oakland, they just bulldoze the whole thing and start over again. Mt. Davis considered by itself does not compare very favorably to modern NFL stadia, and I doubt trying to salvage it would save a large amount of cost compared to the amount it would compromise the end product. Certainly the end product of such a remodel would not rival the Niners new stadium.
    .
    I want to see both the A’s and Raiders finally get homes that are truly state-of-the-art, not half-assed compromises like they’ve had in the past.

  73. Bartleby, shipping off popular players year after year and not fielding competitive teams has no affect on attendance? Are you using raw attendance numbers in your comparison or are you saying that attendance under Haas was the same relative to league average attendance? League average attendance was 1.5 million in 1980 and it was 2.33 million last year. Yeah, I must be the one guy with the agenda here. Who in the world thinks current ownership is great?
    Jeffrey, how much of a draw is PNC Park or Camden Yards?

  74. @ Ted – please support your notion that under LW/JF regime, attendance has declined significantly compared to historical figures and not just one era (Haas). Does the year 2000 or 2006 mean anything to you? I would like to see you provide this data.

  75. Anon, my notion is that trading away popular players year after year and losing adversely affects attendance. I have no idea why you are Bartleyby would disagree.
    FWIW, in 2000 and 2006 the A’s were not last or second to last in attendance like they have been for each of the past four years.
    How about you provide “data” that supports the idea that the Coliseum adversely affects attendance at all? I would tell you that the stadium is a factor just like trading players and losing are factors.

  76. @bartleby I didn’t mean to put words in your mouth. But, I do think that both a crappy stadium and specific ownership moves can influence attendance. I don’t think Ted’s comment was far off. As our dear friend Ralph “the Butterknife” Amici once said, “Two things can be equally true.” Granted, a winning team and a nice ballpark are the overwhelmingly deciding factors in attendance, yet I think certain PR decisions, letting popular players walk, etc. influences prospective casual customers. Now this is anecdotal, but I have run into quite a few casual A’s fans who either won’t see the A’s now because of the perceived crapping on Oakland fans and I’ve run into fans who just think the A’s are a “cheap” franchise because of the letting go of fan favorites and the way the club is frugally run. Now, these aren’t going to be major drops in attendance, but I think they can play a factor in your club being desirable to watch in person.
    @Jeffery No, I don’t think the Coliseum is a draw. I hope your friend was persuaded otherwise during that game. That was a pretty electric day. The Raider crowd environment alone should be a drawing point once “casuals” get past their preconceived notions.

  77. eb, the A’s owners are cheap. The A’s are a very profitable team according to Forbes.

  78. I’m going to kill this thread if it becomes yet another ad nauseum attendance debate.

  79. @Ted,
    That last (ridiculous) post of yours proves you have no idea regarding the financials of running a MLB team. So the A’s are “profitable,” thus they should be pursuing the likes of Pujols and Prince…yeah, OK!

  80. @ Ted “shipping off popular players year after year”
    .
    That’s how it works when you’re a low revenue team. Perhaps its been long enough since the Giants had to deal with this that you’ve forgotten.
    .
    There is a correlation between salary and average performance, but it’s a loose correlation. In general, dolllars spent to sign (or resign) star players brings rapidly diminishing returns. The risk of big contracts is huge. The Yankees could afford to shrug off the Giambi contract, just as the Giants can afford to shrug off Zito. The A’s don’t have that luxury – had they been dumb enough to resign either player at the market rate, those contracts would have broken them.
    .
    The A’s are playing it very smart given their circumstances. Go young, and increase payroll when you have a brief window of opportunity.
    .
    “and not fielding competitive teams has no affect on attendance?”
    .
    Winning of course does affect attendance. But not every team can win every year, there’s a limited number of wins and losses to distribute every year. On average, the higher revenue teams are going to win more than the low revenue teams.
    .
    The A’s have been competitive some years under Wolff, not so competitive in others. That’s normal for any team, and it’s just reality for a low revenue team.
    .
    “Are you using raw attendance numbers in your comparison or are you saying that attendance under Haas was the same relative to league average attendance? League average attendance was 1.5 million in 1980 and it was 2.33 million last year.”
    .
    Both. Except for three or four unsustainable deficit spending years, Wolff attendance compares favorably to Haas attendance. And Haas didn’t have to compete with AT&T Park.
    .
    “Yeah, I must be the one guy with the agenda here.”
    .
    I just don’t think you’re honest about your agenda. You argue that an A’s move to San Jose would cripple the Giants, yet somehow there’s enough of a corporate market in the East Bay to support a second MLB team far, far closer to AT&T Park. These are logically inconsistent arguments; if the latter were remotely true, it would be to the Giants benefit for the A’s to move to San Jose and cede the closer and more heavily populated market. I believe you’re real objective is that the A’s be either crippled or move. You should just come out and admit it.
    .
    “Who in the world thinks current ownership is great?”
    .
    Me, for one. Wolff has been steadfast in trying to build a privately-financed yard in the home market, against far more extreme challenges than the Giants faced when they did it. That’s really the only thing that matters right now. Nevertheless, I believe he has tried to win. He gave Billy Beane – the main reason the A’s had been competitive when Wolff took over – an ownership stake to ensure he’d stay around. He’s traded for or signed expensive free agents like Matt Holiday when circumstances warranted. He’s been bottom of the league in attendance, but not bottom of the league in payroll every year. He’s maintained some of the best bargains in live entertainment, let alone MLB. I think he’s been a terrific owner.
    .
    “Jeffrey, how much of a draw is PNC Park or Camden Yards?”
    .
    Attendance cycles with winning and losing. However, win or lose, attendance is higher is a new building. It raises the floor and the ceiling. So yes, PNC Park and Camden Yards have been big draws.

  81. @ Ted “the A’s owners are cheap. The A’s are a very profitable team according to Forbes”
    .
    The A’s owners have spent when they had a window. The Forbes numbers are guesses, and even assuming they were accurate, the A’s are only profitable because they are subsidized. Given that they are trying to build a privately financed ballpark, I’ll give them a pass on trying to save some money in order to do so. If they succeed in building a new ballpark, then they’ll be judged differently.

  82. @eb “Granted, a winning team and a nice ballpark are the overwhelmingly deciding factors in attendance, yet I think certain PR decisions, letting popular players walk, etc. influences prospective casual customers.”
    .
    There is logic behind your argument, I just don’t think the data supports it. In six or seven years of reading this blog, I’ve seen convincing evidence of correlation between winning and attendance and ballpark quality and attendance. I’ve so no evidence of correlation between the factors you mention and attendance.
    .
    On the contrary, fans abandoned Haas far faster than Wolff when the team’s fortunes turned. Steve Schott saw increased attendance every year despite having no more commitment to the Oakland market than Wolff.
    .
    I just don’t think the factors you mentioned come into play much, in reality. You are a die-hard fan, but most of the people who drive attendance are not. They just don’t follow this stuff that closely, or care that much. If the team is winning, and the weather’s nice, and they feel like it, they go to a game. A large percentage of them couldn’t even name the owner.

  83. The A’s are not winning because they have been unable to draft and develop hitters. Pitching can only carry a team so far. The FA pool is pretty shallow even if Lew and Fisher want to dip into that. Beane has to draft better or they will continue to struggle. Even Suzuki is struggling mightily these days.

    btw, the final price tag for a stadium in SJ will be close to 700mils if not more.

  84. Tony, I never said that the A’s should have signed Pujols and Prince but they could afford to turn a profit equal to that of some other teams and spend $20 million more on payroll. It is a simple fact.
    Bartleby, other lower revenue teams don’t ship off every fan favorite. Take a look at the Rays. Also, I recall the Giants signing a lot of talent in the 90s, including the best player in baseball twice. The A’s are playing it so smart that they are disenfranchising their fans but I am sure Wolff is fine with that because it suits his long term goals. The A’s under Wolff haven’t finished over .500since the year after he bought the team. Relative to league average the A’s attendance under Wolff is worse than it was ever under Haas. For the past 8 years, the Pirates have been last or second to last in the league in attendance, that is a BIG DRAW? If that is what the A’s have to look forward to while hurting the Giants, it certainly is not worth the trouble. I don’t buy that the A’s are banking for a new stadium, the Giants increased payroll year after year while losing more money than any team in the league in the late 90s to build momentum for a new stadium.

  85. @ bartleby – “On the contrary, fans abandoned Haas far faster than Wolff when the team’s fortunes turned. Steve Schott saw increased attendance every year despite having no more commitment to the Oakland market than Wolff.” I’d like to make a couple of points about this. First, Schottmann did see 2 decreases in year-over-year attendance, albeit very minor. Second, I would like to point out a glaring example that hasn’t been mentioned, or at least I haven’t seen it mentioned. Under Haas, from their last ALCS appearance in 1992 to just the very next season, the A’s went from .593 to .420 losing nearly 100 games in 1993. They went from nearly 31k in attendance to just over 25k and went from1st to last place in just one season. Also, 1993 was the year the Giants won 103 games with a torrid .636 and broke 32k in attendance, the only time the Giants broke 30k until AT&T was built. 1994 was another dismal .447 for the A’s in a strike-shortened season and attendance again dropped to just over 22k. Attendance then declined precipitously in Haas’ last season in 1995 to 16.3k, good for a 26.5% decline. By comparison, the Giants dropped over 39% in attendance from ’94 to ’95. I think it was 24/7 Wall Street that did a study of how the ’94 strike affected MLB attendance and they found that MLB had an average decline of 20% from ’94 to ’95 and took some years to recover. I’m simply saying that I don’t believe the fans abandoned Haas so much as they abandoned MLB during and after the strike. Granted, 1993, the year before the strike, attendance dropped but going from 1st place to last in one season and nearly losing 100 games will tend to do that and I don’t see that as being all that abnormal. Moreover, we live in the bay area and the G’s were on fire that very year so casual fans with no real loyalties may have shifted to where the “action” was that year as has been evidenced in the preceding years. I don’t think comparing Haas’ last years to Wolff’s is relevant because there were so many factors involved. Wolff has seen a steady decline in attendance in conjunction with the declining performance on the field and the chaos surrounding the team. I’m in the camp who believes winning draws fans and it can be proven in all major sports. Look at Cleveland. One of the hottest teams from the mid-90′s until the beginning of the last decade. They went from over 3mil in ’01 to under 1.4 in ’10. They got a nice bump last year but from ’01 to ’10 that is an incredible 56% decline. They’ve had 2 winning seasons during those years, winning over 90 games in each and even managed to make it to the LCS. But they sucked the other seasons and attendance suffered. Here’s a team who plays in a pretty nice stadium built in 1994 and is not even in a division like the Orioles, whose attendance has also suffered. They have not had a winning season nor made the playoffs since ’97. It seems as if after Ripken retired their fan base just waned along with the product on the field. Not to mention they’re in the same division as the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays. Attendance declines during performance declines is normal and is across the board, i.e. Tampa Bay Bucs, 76′ers, the Pacers, and, yes, even the Raiders. From 2003 to 2010 they went through 6 coaches, went 37-91 (a laughable .289), and became the 1st team in NFL history to lose 11 games in 7 straight seasons. Yes, attendance suffered during this time. I’ve never believed “if you build it they will come,” i.e. Pirates, etc. I believe that, if you build it and compete, that solves many attendance problems. Lastly, you mentioned that Haas lost money during his winning seasons. From my research I have learned that he actually turned profits between ’88 and ’92, although I’m not sure of the exact total. He lost money from ’81-’87 largely due to renovations to the coliseum and beefing up the farm system. He again lost money during his final years. However, he made a profit on this venture overall, although probably not a huge annualized rate of return. Sorry for the long post.

  86. @ Anybody – Is there a way to create paragraphs? The last time I tried it I just assumed it’s like Word and hitting the Enter button would move the cursor down. Well, that didn’t work and I submitted an unfinished post. Unless something has changed since I’m not sure if hitting Enter will do that now. I just read my last post and it’s one big jumbled mess. Thanks.

  87. the way i do it is when i’m done with a pargraph push the enter buttom, type in “….” or any symbol key like **** or ###, hit return again and you get a new paragraph.

  88. @ letsgoas – Thanks, I will try it now.
    ****
    Let’s see if it worked.

  89. Hmm, I did something incorrectly.
    ****
    Try it again.

  90. Whatever. It’s better than it was. At least I can now separate commentary so that it less cluttered. Thanks again for your help.

  91. Thanks for that. I’ve been trying to write paragraphs for years and had just given up.

    Being able to do so is nice.

  92. Hmmm didn’t work…
    ….
    Maybe this will

  93. The comments editor is an HTML editor. You can use the br tag and other tags to separate paragraphs, insert pictures and links, and more. It’s worth learning.

  94. @eb, that was my point. That day, one of the most electric days I have personally witnessed at the Coliseum, is the reason he will not go back.
    .
    @Columbo, what data did you “research” to determine he made a profit? MLB’s public report (created by a third party) on the topic shows that he lost 5% over the course of his ownership, all things considered.

  95. @Ted Anon, my notion is that trading away popular players year after year and losing adversely affects attendance. I have no idea why you are Bartleyby would disagree. FWIW, in 2000 and 2006 the A’s were not last or second to last in attendance like they have been for each of the past four years.

    It’s readily apparent you have no data to back up your claims, just opinions.

    First of all, everyone that has done one iota of research knows that the biggest factor when it comes to attendance isn’t players, or tarps, or otherwise, it’s winning. In 2000, when the A’s went to the ALDS, they had average 19k people in attendance, well below the AL norm. In 2006, they went to the ALCS. One would of thought they would seen a n uptick in attendance the following year, but instead they declined. Interestingly enough, last years attendance avg. of 18k is only 1k shy of the year 2000, even as mediocre as they were. But then again, they weren’t last or second last in attendance, huh? /rolleyes

    Secondarily, concerning your assertion that the A’s owners are cheap. Of all the teams that were under investigation by MLB for purposefully not spending on player salaries (the Rays, the Marlins, etc.), the one that did not appear on that list the A’s since 1) they spent as they can and were not influenced by others into making bad decisions and 2) they continually spend year in and year out to improve their rosters signing a host of FAs (Sheets, Thomas, Piazza, etc.). Also, when it came time to them to actually spend for the future of the franchise, they have proven that they are willing to do it time and time again. Or does this stadium not mean anything to you as a “fellow” SJ resident?

    Lastly, The A’s are a small market team. They cannot afford to make AlfonsoRowandZito-esque mistakes with players like other teams. Case in point, the large contract that was given to Eric Chavez. At the time, they chose him over the likes of Tejada because they had supposedly an all-star caliber rookie of the year SS in Crosby. Unfortunately, Crosby never saw a slider he didn’t like and Chavez became Humpty Dumpty and eventually fell apart over the years. That handicapped them for a few years even as the lingered in the middle of the pack in terms of player salaries, only able to add a few FA additions here and there to piecemeal a competitive team together.

    As Beane has noted, as the MLB landscape changes with the large market teams getting richer with lucrative TV contracts and such, the disparity between the small market and others grows much more wider to be competitive. In turn, the A’s window in dealing with proven assets to future assets for a chance at a “opportunity” to win diminishes greatly (please stop citing the Rays who have lost for years and years to get top flight draft picks and shipped their own players away as well). Whereas before they dealt proven vets for younger talent, the league now values the younger talents much more so then vets, thus requiring them to make judgement calls whether to blow up the team for a different window of opportunity in the coming years with the players they have at the majors and in development.

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