Today at 10 AM, there will be a press conference at Clorox headquarters in Downtown Oakland about efforts to keep the A’s in town.
Clorox is handling the media advisories for the event. That’s all I know for the moment. Since I’m still in San Diego, I won’t be able to attend. I’ll keep an eye out for news as it comes in.
Update 10:30 AM – A tweet from KRON’s Haaziq Madyun:
Oakland business leaders say they have identified a group willing to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland.
— Haaziq Madyun (@KRON4HMadyun) May 3, 2012
11:10 AM – From Baseball Oakland’s Facebook page:
Today Clorox CEO Don Knauss has announced continued support by the East Bay buisness community in Keeping the A’s in Oakland. He is willing to work with current ownership, however if that cannont happen he is willing to work with another group that is willing to buy the team and pledge support for them (sic)
11:30 AM – I just got off the phone with Lew Wolff. He confirmed that the team is not for sale and that ownership has explored all options in Oakland.
11:55 AM – Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has put out a press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2012
Clorox and Other Major East Bay Businesses Join Mayor Jean Quan to Voice Their Support
to Keep the A’s in Oakland
OAKLAND, CA– Chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company Don Knauss, joined by several of the largest companies located in the East Bay, today stood with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to announce support for keeping the Athletics baseball team in Oakland.
At the event, Knauss stated, “Clorox strongly and enthusiastically endorses the efforts of the East Bay business community and City of Oakland to keep the Oakland A’s here in a new, world-class stadium. As former president and CEO of the Minute Maid Company, I was actively involved in the design of the new Houston Astros downtown ballpark and subsequently secured naming rights to change the name to Minute Maid Park. From that experience, I can speak first-hand to the revitalization a world-class ballpark can bring to a city. Certainly, Oakland would benefit greatly from the jobs, tourism and vitality a new stadium would bring.
“The business community is committed to helping drive an effort to support the current ownership group in their quest for a new stadium so long as they are committed to staying in Oakland,” Knauss went on to say. “However, if the current ownership group is not committed to Oakland, we want to make clear that Oakland and the East Bay business community are ready to step up to the plate to help ensure the A’s stay home where they belong in Oakland. We’re confident we have identified an ownership group with the financial wherewithal to buy the team, keep them here and get a new stadium built.”
Added Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, “I want to thank Clorox and members of the business community for doing what is necessary to keep the A’s in Oakland. Developing a world-class sports, entertainment and business complex as a new home for the A’s will generate thousands of jobs and create economic development opportunities for this City.”
At the event, the East Bay business leaders said they are prepared to work with the City, County and A’s ownership to help secure corporate sponsors in the following areas:
- Stadium Naming Rights
- Major Corporate Sponsorship Commitments – Significant anchor sponsorships, including seat licenses and luxury boxes. (A number of the companies have already made substantial deposits into an escrow account to demonstrate their seriousness when it comes to such sponsorship commitments.)
- Other Regional Sponsorships — Given the size and breadth of the East Bay, home to nearly 2.5 million people, representing one of the country’s strongest economic markets and huge marketing and sponsorship opportunities, the business leaders made clear they would work with the City and the County to identify additional corporate supporters throughout the entire Bay Area and beyond, including Sacramento and Stockton.
- Reaching Out to Business Partners – Given the size of the companies, many have relationships with business partners who would have a strong interest in supporting the team and the region as sponsors.
- Identifying Specific Industry Anchor Sponsor Opportunities – Pursuing opportunities for the kind of anchor sponsorship relationships Major League Baseball teams typically have in sectors like the airlines, health care, car manufacturers, beverage and food companies, energy companies and major consumer companies.
Among the East Bay businesses represented today are:
- Bigge Crane & Rigging
- Jobs and Housing Coalition
- Kaiser Permanente
- Matson Navigation Company
- Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
- Pandora Internet Radio
- Reynolds & Brown
- Signature Development Group
- Wendel Rosen Black & Dean
- World Market
If the team is not for sale, and East Bay backers would prefer new ownership, where does that leave us? No different than yesterday or a week ago, I suppose. The game plan by many of the Oakland-only community has been to wait out the process and hope that Selig denies Wolff the rights to San Jose, then come forward with a new ownership group and stadium plans, which may or may not be tied to Coliseum City. The problem with this is that how do you impress Selig, who according to many of the community is out to get Oakland, without some serious level of detail and planning? They’ve had over three years to put something cohesive and coherent together. Press conferences like these, which seem to occur every couple of months, are good at generating media interest. Beyond that, where’s the substance?
Clorox deserves a lot of credit here. Don Knauss is driving this forward, and as I’ve mentioned before, every stadium campaign needs a champion. Knauss might be that guy.
There’s also one key difference between what’s happening with the A’s and what’s going on with the Sacramento Kings. The Maloofs are broke. The Wolff/Fisher group is anything but broke. The only party who can “force” a sale is Selig, and he’d need a very good case to make that happen.