Ad/Open Letter to Fisher in today’s Oakland Tribune

The following letter was placed in today’s Tribune (PDF).

An Open Letter to John Fisher, Majority Owner of the Oakland A’s

May 8, 2012

Dear Mr. Fisher:

After five years of failed efforts to move the A’s out of Oakland, the time has come for you to sit down with Oakland and Alameda County officials to negotiate to keep the team in a world-class ballpark in Oakland. If you won’t do this, then, as long-time Oakland A’s fans, we’d ask that you please sell this once proud franchise to someone who will own and operate it as both a successful team and as a civic asset for our community.

Since moving to Oakland in 1968, the A’s have achieved tremendous success on the field, winning four World Championships, six American League Pennants, and 13 AL West division titles. The Oakland A’s have produced five Cy Young, seven MVP and seven Rookies of the year winners in Oakland – a far better record of success than almost any Major League team and certainly better than the San Francisco Giants.

Prior to your decision to buy the team, the people of the East Bay supported their A’s, regularly drawing in excess of 2 million fans a year while also receiving strong support from the business community. But your very public campaign to leave Oakland has taken a serious toll on the team’s ability to draw fans. Annual attendance has dropped 25% (from 1.9 to 1.4 million) in the five years since your management team proclaimed, “it’s out of the question” that the A’s will remain in Oakland. The drop-off is even worse if you go back to 2004, the year before you bought the team, when the A’s drew 2.2 million fans. Overall, during your ownership, attendance per game has dropped 33% from 27,000 to 18,000.

This decline in attendance following your ownership of the A’s comes at the same time the East Bay, the A’s territory, has continued to grow rapidly. In fact, the East Bay is one of the fastest growing regions in the area and is home to hundreds of large and growing companies including The Clorox Company, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Chevron, Pixar, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Pandora, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, 24 Hour Fitness and Cost Plus to name just a few. And, the East Bay is also at the geographic center of one of the largest and most important television markets in the country.

And, while the market and the historic record of fan support make clear for all to see that the East Bay is a proven good baseball region, there is nothing that precludes the A’s from competing for corporate sponsorship and fans from Silicon Valley right now – other than, of course, the quality of the product on the field, commitment of the team to provide a good fan experience and the competence of management.

Above and beyond its demonstrated market capacity, the people of the East Bay reflect the mosaic that is California. It is one of the most diverse regions in the country and Oakland is perhaps the most diverse city in the country with large African-American, Latino and Asian-American populations. Baseball constantly talks about its commitment to diversity – and presumably such a commitment would apply to owners such as yourself embracing being in such a diverse market. Oakland and the East Bay’s diversity is a strength that the A’s management should be looking to benefit from and of which Major League Baseball should be proud.

We understand that you and your investors need to make a return on your investment. However, given what you paid for the team and its most recent Forbes magazine valuation, you will certainly achieve a very good return when you choose to sell the team. And, given that the East Bay has proven it is a good baseball market from a business perspective, you will be able to make even more money – and do the right thing as the steward of a civic asset that is so important to the region – by committing to three basic principles.

First, commit to actively work with the ongoing effort to build a new stadium in Oakland. This effort is well underway and making significant progress.

Second, commit to winning by investing in the team. To date, the enterprise value of the team has gone up; you make money through baseball’s revenue sharing model; and re-invest very little back into the product on the field.

And, third, commit to showing respect to the people of Oakland and the East Bay. Since you acquired the team, time and time again efforts have been made to disrespect the fan base and the broader community. Obvious corporate sponsors are never contacted. And, the fan experience at the ballpark is less than ideal as compared to other Major League venues.

Mr. Fisher, the time has come to do the right thing. Sit down. Talk. Agree to keep the team in Oakland where it belongs.

Respectfully,

Greg McConnell
President
Oakland Jobs & Housing Coalition

Mike Davie
Founder, BaseballOakland.com

Jorge Leon
President, Green Stampede

Joseph Haraburda
President & CEO
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Sara Somers
A’s Season Ticket Holder Since 1988

170 Responses to Ad/Open Letter to Fisher in today’s Oakland Tribune

  1. eb says:

    Good post, JH510.

  2. David says:

    @Jeffrey – he can build hotels, but what’s his record with building sports arenas and fielding a decent baseball team?
    .
    His record is spotty. Good at hotels. Bad at running a baseball team. Terrible when it comes to PR, imo.

  3. JH510 says:

    @ML: sorry but just one last thing. I haven’t been meaning to “trot out cherry-picked numbers and misleading information,” but if I did, I apologize. In my last post I tried to point at simple attendance figures to support my point.
    .
    Finally, I’ll just say on a personal note I’m sorry to see your posts taking on such a strong pro-San Jose tone in recent months. You’ve been following these issues closer than the rest of us, and you know much more of the back story and history behind these debates, so I’m sure your argument is based in how you honestly see the A’s stadium situation. But for me, I originally begin visiting this site to get the latest news and updates on the new stadium for the A’s, wherever it might be. Obviously I’m in favor of that happening in Oakland, but until know I didn’t realize how strong your feelings were towards that not being an option. Clearly this is your site and that’s your right, but accordingly I’ll be viewing your future posts and arguments in a different light, as a result. I don’t mean to get on my soapbox and preach, but just wanted to let you know how one regular reader feels.
    .
    But above all, thank you for providing the forum for all of us passionate A’s fans to express our views.

  4. Jeffrey says:

    And what is Oakland’s record with getting world class sports facilities built?

  5. Marine Layer says:

    @JH510 – You’re right. I do know the backstory far more than most. If you want to interpret my posts one way or another that’s fine, I can’t stop you. My perspective is this: Oakland backers are so hungry for any positive news that they’ll latch onto anything – Victory Court, Coliseum City, Knauss group – no matter how (un)substantial it is. I urge everyone in SJ or OAK to take the blinders off and try to understand what this effort truly entails. That’s the point of having this site. If PR points outweigh the actual realities on the ground, then I have failed in informing the public. And frankly, that’s sad.

  6. Ivory says:

    I find it hilarious when people write in the comments “the blog is taking on a pro-sj stance.” How can reporting real news and facts (and just not PR drivel) be construed as having some sort of bias? SMH

  7. Ivory says:

    By the way, first time commenter and a big fan of the blog. Seems like the only place where you can get any reliable info on the stadium issue

  8. @JB510 – no one is saying Oakland as a city, independent of baseball, is worth disdain. Oakland is a fine place. What people are saying is that Oakland, as the anchor town for one of 30 MLB teams in the country, isn’t cutting it. The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. The city itself, however? Just fine.

  9. eb says:

    “The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. ”
    You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.

  10. pjk says:

    Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland: Big Time Public $$ spent on new stadiums.
    Oakland: No $$ at all available to pay for a new stadium. If Oakland wants to pay for a new ballpark, it would have one. But Oakland wants the ballpark for free…And we’ve already discussed 10,000 times how Oakland doesn’t cut it as a place to privately finance a ballpark.

  11. dknight007 says:

    They should have finished the letter by saying “agree to keep the team in Oakland where it belongs OR please just sell the team”.

  12. dknight007 says:

    eb says:
    May 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM eb(Quote)
    “The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. ”
    You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.

    ^^^^^^^
    Exactly.

  13. Briggs says:

    Here’s some irony. This letter is getting more attention here, an accused anti-Oakland site, than anywhere else I can find on the intarwebz. BTW….

    .

    @Jeffrey: I’m informing you that I intend to seek my party’s nomination to run against you for the Office of President of My Own Domain. See you in November.

  14. Mike says:

    “You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.”
    How many of those teams had another team build a brand new state of the heart stadium on the water to compete against? Which is also the in thing to do and seen by the public as the nicer city. Which is not going away.

    So comparing how Oakland is like SF before AT&T has some merit. You have to realize how things have changed now because of AT&T. Oakland won’t be able to steal all those fans away at this point. With no public money in play you have to look for other things to help. The main thing is corporate money which the south bay has. The other thing is hoping south bay people will come to games in SJ against battling the traffic to go north. If there going to battle traffic anyways, might as well pick the stadium in SF over Oakland for the general public. Besides how great you think Oakland is the perception everywhere is SF is nicer. That can’t be changed and AT&T has become the “thing” to do.

  15. Jeffrey says:

    What is unique to Oakland, is that they don’t have the corporate backing to pull off a privately financed stadium just like all those other markets that had publicly funded stadiums… Yet, there is no public funding available for a baseball stadium.
    .
    Look at the folks they reference in the letter… Peet’s Coffee has revenues of $378M and a 4% profit margin. Cost Plus has revenues of $963M and about a 2% profit margin. Pandora $274M and a negative profit margin. Dreyer’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle…I get Safeway, Clorox, Kaiser, Chevron (who wasn’t at Don Knauss’ big friggin’ deal of a press conference for some reason… hmmmm)… But that’s not enough.
    .
    Most of these companies will want to be part of a stadium ANYWHERE. They are consumer brands that want the exposure. The Silicon Valley companies aren’t all in that bucket… They want to be part of a stadium in San Jose to be in front of technology executives who make purchasing decisions. This isn’t some bullshit spin pr machine produced half truth. It’s fact.
    .
    Just compare this list with the SVLG letter signatories to those that showed up at Don Knauss’ Earth Shattering Announcement of 2012… It’s not even close.

  16. Dan says:

    jb510, you’re damn right many of us have disdain toward Oakland. Mainly Oakland’s leaders. It’s minutes to midnight and suddenly Oakland, a thousand days late, 3 billion dollars short and 4 ballpark plans later, is trying to wage a PR war with nothing but fluff to derail the as yet only stadium plan to keep the A’s in the Bay Area that has any chance of happening. And to do it they’re touting out BS numbers about how “good” Oakland’s support is and a few CEO’s who to date have put nothing or next to nothing as an investment into a team they claim to love. If they really did they’d be buying luxury boxes at the Coliseum, putting their names on the ballpark, buying signage, and most importantly if they’re serious about buying the team they’d say WHO that group really is, how much they’re willing to spend, and how they plan to privately finance an Oakland ballpark. But per usual when it comes to Oakland’s leaders, they talk and they talk and they talk… but they never actually do anything.

  17. @dknight007 @eb – well, the difference is that Oakland leaders now want to build a new place right next to the old place, which is a good part of the problem in Oakland right now. The best city-center spots were either given away in the now-distant past or require significant capital improvements to even be an option. And that’s assuming the displaced businesses don’t put up a fight.

    The fact remains that SJ offers too many attractive points about it for the A’s not to be clamoring for it: better location relative to the city, better corporate support, a lot of legwork already done, an available plot of land for purchase, and pledged naming rights

  18. CFL says:

    Coliseum Case Study

    Ed. – Again, keep the quoted text to a minimum. Links are sufficient.

  19. Dan says:

    CFL, was there a point to that novel?

  20. Jeffrey says:

    I just reread the letter and it occurred to me that the Oakland crowd is pretty tone deaf when ti comes to speaking to business people, like John Fisher and Bud Selig. It’s like they think telling folks what is in it for Oakland will make Bud Selig make a business decision.
    .
    Anyone else get that, or am I missing something?

  21. Nam Turk says:

    Again, comparing the A’s to others in single-team markets. The Giants were bumbling and stumbling, too, but they righted their ship first. Now they have a huge hand in the market, not far from where the A’s are and even closer to where it is suggested the A’s should be. The same brand of casual fans waiting to be awed in Detroit, Cleveland or wherever have already been awed by AT&T in the bay area. Playing in the Giants’s shadow will not work the same magic as elsewhere, because the accessibility of a brand new stadium is nothing novel anymore. There needs to be a lasting foundation after the honeymoon period, and the unfortunate reality is that big companies are necessary for that, not average fans who watch games and have a rooting interest.

  22. CFL says:

    Eastbay Express

    Ed. – Text deleted. A link will suffice. I don’t need copyright hounds breathing down my neck.

  23. Dan says:

    CFL, after digging on the site you linked to I found the actual study I think you were trying to get at. It’s interesting, but I also think they under estimate the costs of several things. For instance they assume a football stadium would cost 863 million which includes the 150 million in outstanding Coliseum debt from the building of Mt. Davis (essentially meaning that a new football stadium alone would only cost 713 million. After seeing the billion dollar price tag on the new Santa Clara stadium I’d say 713 is a gross underestimation. And as it is they already were working with a 400 million dollar funding shortfall that the Raiders were going to have to fill to get to 863 million. Which means the shortfall is likely more in the 700-800 million dollar range on the football stadium alone.
    .
    There proposals to fill the gap are also pie in the sky optimistic.They propose filling in part with PSLs (we all know how well that worked out in Oakland last time they tried it) and outside events on a level equal to the LA Live complex in the heart of the LA basin (which we also know will never happen in South Oakland).
    .
    So while it’s an interesting study, it’s also fatally optimistic.

  24. pjk says:

    :re: appear to be fizzling out.
    So says the East Bay Express. The official word on this from Selig is no decision has been made.

  25. Dan says:

    CFL, also that study doesn’t even deal with the A’s ballpark. Also you should stop re posting entire articles. It’s copyright infringement. Better to just link to them.

  26. dmoas says:

    @Jeffrey, That’s how I’ve seen it too. Especially in Doug Boxer’s interviews & quotes. Their message as been universally “Building a stadium in Oakland is good for the city of Oakland.” Never about how it’s good for the people doing the building in Oakland.

  27. Jb510 says:

    Jeffrey

    I love the team. I have loved it for as long as I’ve lived in Oakland (my entire life). My options are simpIe: Try as hard as I can to keep the team I love in the city I love because for me, and most fans I know, they go hand in hand. Do you honestly think that Wolff and Fisher are good owners, I take that back, decent owners that care about their fan base and want to see their team compete at the highest level possible? Or do you think that they are crying wolf about a bad stadium in a bad city trying to get a money grab in the south bay? To be honest, I think it’s both. But to me, that is unnacceptable which is why I’m so adamant about the owners selling the team… Clearly this a very emotional issue. We are all A’s fans, we all want the best for the team. It’s just hard for me to hear the same arguments I’ve been hearing for 6 years and seeing literally no progress.

    P.s. I think a newballpark podcast would a great forum for people like us to air out our grievances.

  28. Jb510 says:

    Also, ML I do read your site every day and thank you for following the situation as closely as possible. It means a lot to us.

  29. Dan says:

    Jb, to be crying wolf their complaints about a bad stadium would have to be untrue. They’re not. The Coliseum is a shithole. It’s is by far the worst stadium in MLB (and second worst in the NFL after the soon to be abandoned Candlestick Park).

  30. Bay Area A's says:

    @ Jb510- I have been an A’s fan for over 30 years, through thick and thin. I have spent many days and much money at the Oakland Coliseum. I have never lived in Oakland (San Leandro is as close as I got) and never will. I love my team and support its current ownership group. I have been following this stadium saga for years and feel I have a good grasp of the issues thanks to ML and Jeffrey on this blog. i support a new stadium effort anywhere in the bay area. Who are you to tell me to get out? I suggest you leave these inflammatory statements locked up. Most of us here don’t put our heads in the sand when it comes to realizing the difficulties in building a new yard whether in Oak or SJ. That is why SJ gets the most attention, because it has accomplished the most. Please refrain from attacking the fan base and stick to the facts.

  31. gojohn10 says:

    @ML In situations such as these, where there are so many nuances and so much emotion, PR will always win out. Your site has done an amazing job of keeping the general public informed. However, the simple fact is most people are not regular readers and/or are not willing to keep an open mind about the issue. The fact remains that your site had been extremely influential and I can only imagine how much worse things would be without it.
    .
    As to whether W&F care if they are losing the PR battle, I’m sure they’d rather win the war (A’s to SJ), but I sure hope they care about their image. Regardless of where in the Bay Area the A’s end up (god willing), these unanticipated delays are resulting in them taking some serious lumps that will have long-term repercussions for the popularity of the francise as long as they own it.

  32. Dan says:

    Correction gojohn, as long as they own it in Oakland. If they get to San Jose the small percentage of people who are Oakland-Only A’s fans (and we know that’s a small percentage given how few of them actually go to A’s games) will be largely irrelevant, forgotten, and replaced by larger numbers of new A’s fans.

  33. Jeffrey says:

    jb150, they definitely aren’t crying wolf about the stadium no matter how many half cocked reactionary bullshit articles baseball Oakland writes to the contrary. After the 2006 season, what did the owner’s do in regards to payroll and what did they get out of it? If you don’t know, maybe you should look it up. If you do know, I am sure it was just some nefarious plot or some other ridiculous thing in your eyes. Raising payroll coming off the deepest run into the playoffs the team had in years and losing season ticket holders wouldn’t work for me either,.nCall me a carpetbagger or Wolff apologist all you like.
    .
    And please point me to a single quote from Lew Wolff or John Fisher in which they referred to Oakland as a “bad city.” Just one…
    .
    The A’s have been my favorite team for 36 years, 37 next month (or the entirety of my life). I am tired of fans telling other fans to “get out” unless they agree with you and your spin. You hold no moral high ground and have no right to tell anyone to go away. I’ll stay put and root for my favorite team as long as they are playing baseball in the Bay Area.
    .
    How bout this for a question, Why do you think Oakland’s political leaders will be able to get something done? What is about everything that has happened since 1995 (zeroing in on 20 years of futility) that gives you any confidence in your elected leaders? If you were the owner of the A’s and had dealt with all the bullshit around getting something built, being passed over to actually have your stadium ruined, and having any other attempt at building a stadium thwarted in one way or another… Why would you stay? This isn’t an emotional issue for the owners of the team, it is a business one. Ignoring that fact is why Oakland is in this position, anyway.

  34. Jeffrey says:

    CFL, what did Bud Selig say about the A’s to San Jose? Something about working on a solution between the two teams, was it? Dang, I guess the East bay Express has a better idea than he does…

  35. Columbo says:

    @ Dan – Maybe it’s because I have club seats for the Raider games and my experience is different from someone sitting in the black hole, but I think there are several “worse” stadiums in the NFL. I’ve visited 2 of these places in the past 8 years but I happen to believe the stadiums for the Dolphins, Bills, Bengals, Vikings, and, yes, even the Bears pales in comparison to Oakland. Well, pales is probably too strong of a word but I do think these stadiums really suck and would deserve the title “shithole.” Yes, the Bears renovated their place awhile back but it’s just I can’t believe they spent so much money on a renovation that, quite frankly, didn’t seem much better than the Coliseum. I think they spent like $600 million. Whatever. If you’ve ever sat in the club section (mine is the West Side), I have never had a bad experience. Well, I did see a guy puke in his seat one time years ago, but I digress. I actually brought my 2 boys (ages 5 and 3) to a game last season and, unfortunately, we spent the entire 2nd half in the Kid’s Zone area so they could play. Luckily they had big screen TV’s there so I could see what was happening. But, by and large, I still can’t figure out why people call the Coliseum a shithole without explaining why. Again, maybe I’m biased because I have, admittedly, very good seats in the club. I never have to wait for the bathroom, the food and beer is excellent, the club area is clean. The fans are tame compared to other parts of the stadium.

  36. Marine Layer says:

    @gojohn10 – Oh I disagree. The winners get to write history. The losers end up marginalized on the sidelines, as Dan said, shrinking with every passing year.

  37. pjk says:

    And it’s another day’s worth of developments to reinforce Selig’s long-held belief that the A’s should never been allowed to relocate to Oakland in the first place.

  38. gojohn10 says:

    @Dan Perhaps, but the anger seems to have permeated into the uninformed casual fan. That Trib poll had 90% of respondents saying W&F should sell. I can’t imagine they would have received a rebuke that severe even a year ago. Maybe these feelings aren’t long lasting for casual fans, I don’t know.
    .
    I’m just starting to think how all this mess can be fixed, though (thanks Bud). Is a new ballpark enough to heal all the wounds? Does that even matter? Are we now talking about a SJ fanbase that is mostly made up of new fans?

  39. Anon says:

    “Jorge Leon – President, Green Stampede” I almost swallowed my lunch whole seeing this. And Pro Oaklanders are excited about this?!!!! ROFLMAO…….

  40. Dan says:

    Columbo, for baseball the Coliseum is a shithole for the following reasons (and this is a non-exhaustive list): Mount Davis; being multipurpose to begin with; concourses are far too narrow, dark and dank with terrible circulation even on game days with small crowds (not to mention the counter-intuitive addition of the fences blocking views of the field from the concourse); small, out of date, falling apart scoreboards; some of the worst food safety in sports; bathrooms that while novel are some of the most disgusting I’ve ever had the displeasure of taking a leak in; seats way too distant from the field; seats that aren’t angled toward the battery; lower deck is far too shallow especially in the lower half; distant upper decks with some of (if not the) the most distant views in MLB; terrible industrial wasteland neighborhood with NOTHING to do in it except maybe get mugged if you stay too late after a game; as part of that, too distant from downtown Oakland; overrated access from the freeway thanks to the poor design of the Hegenberger exit especially coming from the south; field torn up every fall by the goddamn Raiders making the A’s a laughing stock nationally; I could go on but you get the point.
    .
    The Coliseum is exactly what it looks like from an aerial view. It’s a giant toilet bowl that is the last vestige of a dark suburban multipurpose time in “ballpark” construction. Time has long since passed it by and it needs to join the other 15 similar stadiums in the dustbin of history and close out that mistake of a chapter in baseball history.

  41. Jeffrey says:

    Columbo, come on dude. I too have been to several stadiums and it is your silver and black tinged glasses that have you putting the Coliseum above any of those places. Like I said, the most electric event I have ever been to at the Coliseum was this years season opener with the Jets. I went with a large group, all first time visitors to the Coliseum. We sat 6 rows off the field and none of those guys ever want to go back as a result of how crappy the Coliseum is.
    .
    On that topic sort of, when are people going to realize that calling a duck a duck isn’t a bad thing. The Coliseum, a place I personally love, is objectively a crappy stadium. Refusing to admit that damages your credibility. Of course it’s my favorite stadium in all of baseball, that’s because I get to watch my favorite team… But I am not the fan that the team needs to be there to grow it’s revenue. I am going to be there no matter what.
    .
    People like Jorge Leon and Mike Davie have absolutely zero credibility on this issue at all because they have shown time and again that they aren’t arguing from a position of facts, no matter how they try to dress up their letter.

  42. Dan says:

    gojohn, problem with a poll like that is who is going to vote on it? The voters will be the hardcores, not casuals. Casuals wouldn’t bother. And even if they did, did you see the grand totals of folks who’ve voted on it? 327 people… that’s it. It’s on the front page of the city’s largest newspaper and it only garnered 327 votes. And that’s with supposed support groups like LGO asking their followers to vote on it as well as it getting coverage on sites like this. Shows you how much “support” a group like LGO and hardcore Oakland-Only fans really have. They may be printing lots of letters to the editor today (probably in an organized effort to blanket all the east bay papers), but in the end they’re just letters to the editor like granny writing in tomorrow about the cat crapping on her lawn. And in the end they’ll be just as irrelevant. So what it the 286 voters who want Wolff to sell want them to sell… I’m sure the A’s can find 286 new fans to replace them in San Jose, plus about 30,000 a day more.

  43. Mossback says:

    What’s the story with Jorge Leon? I’ve never heard of him before but he apparently has a reputation.

  44. Columbo says:

    @ ML – “The winners get to write history. The losers end up marginalized on the sidelines,” With respect as always, I am honestly having a tough time with this statement. By that I mean the “winners” get to write history, I’m thinking the definition of winners should be addressed. Winners by force, winners by manipulation, winners by honesty and integrity, and on and on. I would add that “winners,” usually through force, coups, or manipulation throughout history actually “rewrote” the true history because the losers ended up in oblivion and had no say any longer.

  45. Dan says:

    Columbo, in this case the winners won’t have to rewrite history. Oakland’s done a fine job of writing themselves in as a pretty bad chapter in history all their own. Derailing several stadium plans, putting their football team before the A’s despite the fact the football team doesn’t give a rats ass about Oakland, mediocre fan support in all but a handful of years, excuses and misdirection regarding saving the A’s for their city, and a largely antagonistic relationship with several ownership groups. Seems like the “winners” won’t have to rewrite anything in this case.

  46. eb says:

    “If they get to San Jose the small percentage of people who are Oakland-Only A’s fans (and we know that’s a small percentage given how few of them actually go to A’s games) will be largely irrelevant, forgotten, and replaced by larger numbers of new A’s fans.”
    Are you seriously okay with starting over with the A’s fan base? That blows my mind and comes across as incredibly disrespectful to the long time East Bay A’s fans who have lived and died with the team, while everyone else ignored the A’s. I’m not talking about “Oakland-Only” fans, but East Bay fans who feel marginalized by this current ownership. It’s in the best interest of the A’s organization to keep and add as many A’s fans as possible, wherever the stadium gets built. The idea of dismissing the hardcore fans who have been there since the beginning is disgusting. These are people you’ve sat with at games, cheered with, high fived, etc. I understand getting frustrated by those on the extreme fringe, on both sides, but you yourself have said Wolff is a lacking owner. Why is someone else’s venting any different than your or less important?

  47. Marine Layer says:

    @Columbo – However you feel about it doesn’t make it less true. If the Giants succeed in driving the A’s out of the Bay they’ll have done it through force and manipulation. And if the A’s are sold to a pro-Oakland group there will be no shortage of manipulation there as evidenced by the current PR campaign. And if the A’s end up in SJ it’s because Wolff convinces the Lodge that there was no where else to go.

  48. eb says:

    “We sat 6 rows off the field and none of those guys ever want to go back as a result of how crappy the Coliseum is.’
    Do they attend 49er games, cause that would invalidate their position? Or are they just casual fans or transplants? It’s hard for me to fathom a football stadium’s amenities being the deciding factor over fan atmosphere/team performance. Baseball is a different animal altogether, but football is all about electricity, tailgating, etc. not aesthetics, IMO.

  49. Columbo says:

    @ Dan – I’m not dismissing your arguments about the Coliseum for MLB. I was responding to your comment that the Coliseum was the 2nd worst NFL stadium behind Candlestick. I was merely giving my opinion that the Coliseum, IMHO, is not a shithole for NFL. @ Jeffrey – First of all, let’s not bring credibility into this. People are people and, as such, have different opinions. You said that for me to not admit the Coliseum is crappy is undermining my credibility and I believe that is ludicrous. “If you are not with us you are with them,” is what I get from that. Speaking strictly for the NFL, I have great seats. I have a great experience. You went to a game with a bunch of guys who didn’t. That’s fine; people have different opinions. I explained why my experience is enjoyable and, thus, why I don’t think the stadium is the shithole people portray it to be……for NFL (in response to Dan). What I’d like to know is where were your seats (yard line), what specifically did they not like about the “crappy stadium?” I ask because I’ve sat in the 1st level for Raider games in the past and it sucked. Why? I hated the fact that everybody stands up during the entire game and I can’t sit down to eat without missing the action. Secondly, on a hot day, the sun beats the hell out of my white ass. Thirdly, the crowd is much more rowdy down there. And lastly, waiting for food or the bathrooms is absolutely ridiculous. Those would be my arguments about the Coliseum being a shitty experience for NFL but, quite frankly, that is different from saying the Coliseum is a shithole, IMHO.

  50. Dan says:

    eb, you’re taking what I said and applying it broader than what I wrote. I didn’t say east bay fans I said Oakland-Only and I meant Oakland only fans. There are plenty of east bay fans on here that while not happy about the A’s moving to San Jose realize it’s in the team’s best interest. Hell many of your marginalized fans feel similarly. There aren’t many “Oakland-only” fans out there. That’s the point and the problem.

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