News for 6/10/12

We’re overdue for one of these.

  • Matier and Ross reported on the contents of the Wolff-Knauss summit two weeks ago. Wolff laid out his 1 hour, 45 minutes case, Knauss and other East Bay execs made their case to work in Oakland – or sell the team. When the latter came up, things apparently got a little testy.

The only flare-up came when Knauss suggested that the business execs had deep-pocketed investors who would buy the A’s if Wolff and his ever-silent co-owner, John Fisher, weren’t interested in keeping them in Oakland.

“You can’t buy what’s not for sale,” Wolff told the group, according to Knauss. “I’m surprised you brought that up.”

  • In the same article, contractors at the Cal Memorial Stadium retrofit indicated that the project may not be ready in time for this fall’s football opener. Not that big a deal, same thing happened at Stanford.
  • Prices for the non-premium seats at the 49ers stadium have been revealed. The per-ticket prices aren’t bad, but some fans may bristle at the required seat license fee (which can be financed). The pricing structure looks very similar to that employed at Cowboys Stadium, which makes sense considering that the firm marketing the seats is partly owned by the Cowboys.
  • If Farmers Field begins construction next year, it’s likely that the E3 convention, held last week, would have to be moved out of the LA Convention Center. San Diego, anyone?
  • Chelsea F.C., which has seemingly won everything this season in the Premier League other than the outright league championship, lost out to other developers in its bid to redevelop the hulking Battersea Power Station into a new, 60,000-seat stadium.
  • KNBR’s Damon Bruce tweeted on Friday that the Warriors’ Piers 30-32 deal was dead. So far the story hasn’t been corroborated, and other sources indicate it’s incorrect. Seems odd to say something’s dead when it the process hasn’t yet started.
  • The Arena Football League suffered its first ever forfeited game when players on the Cleveland Gladiators went on strike before the scheduled Friday game against the Pittsburgh Power. The strike is part of an ongoing CBA negotiations.
  • Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen joked that he’d contribute “a couple million” towards a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark.
  • Keeping the Astrodome running and up-to-date could cost $270 million or more, even though the dome wouldn’t have a tenant team.
  • The Glendale, Arizona City Council approved a deal that would bail out incoming Phoenix Coyotes owner (and former Sharks exec) Greg Jamison to the tune of $325 million over 20 years to stay in the desert suburb. Jamison has not yet been fully approved to take over the Coyotes by the NHL’s Board of Governors, pending a review of the Jamison group’s finances. The conservative Goldwater Institute wants a temporary restraining order to see if the deal violates the state Constitution.
  • In another cautionary tale about public dollars being spent for sports facilities, the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview is in debt up to $250 million for its MLS stadium. What’s paying for the shortfall? Property taxes.
  • Update 6/11 12:19 PM – Numerous sources are reporting that (near) billionaire and Ubiquiti Networks founder/CEO Robert Pera is buying the Memphis Grizzlies. The sale price has not been disclosed. Pera is only 34 years old and is partly based out of San Jose. Update 4:00 PM – The price is in the $350-375 million range. The buyout for the FedEx Forum lease is $105 million as of next year.

Happy reading.

147 Responses to News for 6/10/12

  1. duffer says:

    If that’s true Dan – my apologies (that would be a real insult) however some giants fans use very similiar logic about the A’s possibly relocating at some small market fanbase – they would be placing the franchise behing the eight-ball immediately if they made such a move.

  2. Dan says:

    Just don’t see it. It’s one of the reasons San Jose has to work (since we know Oakland hasn’t for almost two decades of failed attempts). If SJ doesn’t work the A’s aren’t going to stay in the Coliseum forever, they will either leave or be contracted. People fooling themselves into thinking that the Bay Area is the ONLY market left that will work won’t change the fact that it’s a BS assumption. With a little work there are several markets out there that are as big if not bigger than the small slice of the Bay Area the A’s have left since the Giants ascension 15 years ago into utter dominance of the region both attendance and TV wise. That said the A’s are still the Bay Area’s to lose, and provided SJ happens we won’t lose them. If SJ doesn’t happen, all bets are off since there is no real chance that Oakland saves them. And for now at least the only other identified sites in Fremont are still a no go since all of the reasons Fremont failed the first time around still exist (if not more so due to the change in Fremont leadership from ballpark friendly 5 years ago to now ballpark opposed).

  3. Dan says:

    duffer, also yes I took it as a very big insult. You would have gotten less rise out of me by calling my mother dirty whore.

  4. pjk says:

    re: I think it ludicrous to think a place like Las Vegas offers better opportunity than Oakland or Fremont.

    …Exactly what opportunities do these places offer? Oakland has no viable site and no financially viable way to pay for a ballpark. Fremont doesn’t have a site or political will.

  5. Dan says:

    pjk, I think they were referring to market potential, not city specific ballpark plans. And in that respect at least raw data wise they’re right. The Bay Area in theory should be a better market, even halved, than a place like Vegas or Portland.

    However that ignores the reality that the Bay Area market is not halved. The Giants own the vast majority of the market and have done so for the last 15 years uninterrupted (the longest and most lopsided such stretch in Bay Area history for either team). And mind you I’m not talking territories, I’m talking slices of the Bay Area market both in person and TV. In person the Giants own nearly 71% of the attendance in the region, and in TV it gets even worse with the Giants owning 80.3% of the Bay Area TV market. This is not an evenly split market, not even close. The A’s portion of the Bay Area as it stands today is tiny, far less than it would be as the sole team in any smaller market where they’d be the new flavor of the month in a new region. Even the smallest market teams today have bigger slices of TV pie and/or better attendances and thus more cash flow than the A’s. It’s part of why the A”s are the least valuable team in baseball.
    .
    A new park in the Oakland might improve that market inequity in the region slightly, but it won’t be enough to bring the A’s back to even with the Giants. And that assumes that’s even advisable since over their 45 years of shared history when one team ascends the other falls. Which is why San Jose is a good option that seems to be easy to sell to everyone but the Giants brass. It keep the A’s local, keeps them in the Bay, and it also changes up the dynamic. A new ballpark in San Jose might be enough to not only bring the A’s up to a more even par with the Giants, but it might just be the way to do ironically enough without eating into the Giants as much the way the two teams have eaten into each other historically (and what the Giants brass seem to fear a new park in SJ would do to them). The South Bay is quite literally an untapped market compared to the peninsula and east bay. The two teams have historically mined from one another over and over back and forth throughout their history (crap like the Giants Dugout store in Walnut Creek just being a latest example of the Giants doing it made physical) but they’ve done so east v west and largely ignored the south bay. The Giants recent attempts to make it look like they care about the south bay aside, the Giants have never cared about the South Bay, just as the A’s haven’t. And it’s the perfect place to expand the MLB footprint in the region. Anywhere else is just going to be doomed to either failure or ultimately the same 1.5 team market approach MLB has taken to the Bay Area over the last nearly 50 years. Opening up San Jose is the only way to turn the Bay Area into a true 2 team market.

  6. Jeffrey says:

    Phil, what opportunities do any ofthe places you mention offer? No site and no financing.

  7. Dan says:

    Chi, because first of all, no way to pay for it. Oakland has $0 in public funding to provide, and private equity firms are not going to line up to provide funding to a development that has already lost one anchor team and is being put up in one of the most economically depressed and barren areas of the inner bay area. As the plan stands now Quan needs all 3 teams to make the project work, and she needs all 3 teams to be willing to put in pretty much all the money to build the Coliseum City project (and again all 3 have shown little willingness to do so to date). Second, the location itself is still the same pitiful location it is today. Putting a new ballpark there won’t change the fact its in an area that is largely industrial warehouses and neighboring one of the more violent neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Third as ML has pointed out, even IF Coliseum City did somehow get built in some fantasy land, it would ultimately prove detrimental to Oakland as it would siphon off jobs, businesses, shoppers and traffic from downtown Oakland (which they’ve spent years working to build back up again). Fourth, for MLB at least, the league has already stated they have no interest in the A’s being at the Coliseum site in a future venue. I could go on but will those suffice for now?

  8. bartleby says:

    @Chi Coliseum would not work for the A’s because it offers no competitive advantages versus the Giants. Specifically:
    .
    1. It is far less convenient for the vast majority of the Bay Area’s corporate base, 90% of which is located between San Jose and San Francisco (and which is absolutely essential for financing);
    2. It is an unappealing location which no natural identity and/or synergy with a real downtown.
    .
    For the foregoing reasons, the thing will never get financed. And this is a GOOD thing for the City of Oakland, because if Coliseum City were ever built it would kill Oakland’s real downtown right when it’s showing signs of life.
    .
    The only thing I could potentially see getting built at the Coli site is a new stadium for the Raiders, maybe with some modest ancillary development. The only thing that site really lends itself to is a football stadium.

  9. Jeffrey says:

    by “Phil” i meant “pjk”… stupid auto correct

  10. pjk says:

    Jeffrey: You’re saying San Antonio, Charlotte,. Vegas, etc have no sites and no financing? We don’t know that yet about those places. But we already do know that for sure about Oakland and Fremont. San Antonio has already pursued Major League Baseball and Sacramento is gearing up to do so. Nobody can bank on the assumption that the A’s have no place to go outside the Bay Area. If/when the team becomes available for relocation outside of the Bay Area, there will be plenty of suitors, since Major League teams don’t become available often.

  11. Marine Layer says:

    @pjk/Jeffrey – Charlotte just approved $8 million for a AAA ballpark to keep the Knights in the area. MLB is not on their radar at the moment.

  12. pjk says:

    …that’s $8 million more than Oakland is willing to spend on a new stadium for the A’s.

  13. Jeffrey says:

    What I am saying is, those other markets aren’t on the radar. Tires have been kicked. Portland did a lot of work but it is now a decade old and way out of date. None of them have a large enough media market to be big players. None of them have large corporate bases. Sure in 5 or 10 years the economy will be better and maybe they are willing to finance a stadium, but they sure aren’t doing it now. They don’t have identified sites… Oakland has a site, we may not think it will happen as conceived, but they do have an identified site. Unrealistic as the current plan is, it’s more of a plan than any of those other places have.

  14. pjk says:

    re: Oakland has a site, we may not think it will happen as conceived, but they do have an identified site.

    …Oakland has an “identified site” already rejected by MLB. It’s not waterfront, it’s not downtown – it’s in a big parking lot in an industrial area – exactly what MLB doesn’t want. Even the so-called East Bay business leaders called in to save the A’s don’t want that site… Oakland also has a team that requires $30 mill in subsidies from the rest of the league every year. I have an easy time thinking some of those other cities I mentioned could do a better job.

  15. Paul says:

    I’m not saying I’m a Gnats fan. I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION FOR CAUSING ALL OF THIS TO HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE. But, you see with travel times for AL Teams 2′hrs apart compared to NL’s 1 hr difference with Arizona and Colorado, I don’t see why we need to travel past 2 time zones while NL needs to only travel 1 time zone, It’s unfair and there needs to be an AL Team to be based in the MT Zone. Colorado plays like an AL Team anyways so why not put Colorado in the AL. Arizona was made for it to be in the NL. Houston was a terrible mistake to the AL, since the they should move to the NL West with Colorado moving to the AL instead. Thanks so much Nolan Ryan. You tarnished a Houston franchise by extorting the team. So basically if there’s an AL Team in the MT Zone, both leagues will travel 1 time zone each.

  16. Paul says:

    Salt Lake Athletics isn’t so bad, if San Jose fails. I think since the Utah Jazz was established, there can be the SL Athletics, since there’s LA Angels AAA team the SL Bees.

  17. LoneStranger says:

    @Chi – “Well what should Oakland do to keep there teams Dan? Give up?”
    .
    Kinda have to be trying in order to give up.

  18. dave says:

    @ML, could Selig have done something in the last collective bargaining agreement to put more of a burden of revenue sharing on teams sharing an actual market, to better balance that markets’ revenue? To motivate the Giants to get the A’s to stop sucking at the collective bargaining teet. I suppose this could have impact to the Cubs and White Sox to. But both LA and NY franchises are fine.

    I’m sure the other 28 owners are sick of covering for the A’s, while the Giants are holding San Jose over their heads. Obviously as it stands, the Giants want to keep the status quo, or push the A’s out of the market all together.

  19. Marine Layer says:

    @dave – A provision was added that ends the revenue sharing for any team in one of the top ten markets (ostensibly two-team and other big markets) by 2016, the end of the CBA. There’s a catch specifically related to the A’s – if they can’t get a new stadium and remain stuck at the Coliseum they could stay on revenue sharing indefinitely. It certainly appears as though the point was to hasten the A’s solution, whatever it ends up being.

  20. dave says:

    Thanks ML. Does that catch involve any sort of steeper revenue sharing payment for the Giants?

  21. Marine Layer says:

    @dave – None that I’m aware of.

  22. Jeffrey says:

    pjk, i don’t believe any of those cities would do any better over the long term. You can speculate all you want and hold Oakland to a different standard, that’s your prerogative.

  23. Jeffrey says:

    Chi, how did it work out when Giambi was ere? How about Tejada? The idea that superstars draw big crowds in Oakland is hogwash, and that is based on reality.

  24. pjk says:

    The A’s can’t get top free agents because they don’t want to play in an empty football stadium. Players such as Adrian Beltre and Lance Berkman were pursued but wouldn’t consider the A’s. Besides – having a star-laden team that wins hasn’t made much difference. The 2006 A’s team that went to the ALCS had Eric Chavez, Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, Barry Zito, etc. They ranked 26th in attendance.

  25. pjk says:

    If Wolff could be profitable and pay for a new ballpark by building one in the current parking lot, he would. But he can’t privately finance one there, except as an act of flat-out charity. And MLB does not want another ballpark in a big parking lot in an industrial area – that’s not what MLB has in mind for the A’s for the next half-century.

  26. GoA's says:

    @chi- definition on insanity is doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result- these people aren’t stupid- Oakland doesn’t pencil out-

  27. eb says:

    OT, anyone see Mark Ibanez say that Cain’s Perfecto was the first since Catfish? WTF is up with that guy? First the WS mistake then this? When are the Giants ever going to be irrelevant again? This crap blows.

  28. letsgoas says:

    yeah, ibanez is the biggest kiss ass of any local sports guy here in regards to any thing across the bay. worst yet ktvu which is based in oakland maybe is the most pro esseff out of any of the local stations where all of them are located across the bay.

    i can’t believe one time years ago that i read that he used to do a’s post games on radio? won’t be listening to any local tv/radio anytime soon now. if it’s not bad enough we get pummeled day after day on radio about what’s wrong with “timmy”, now we got this crap to sit thru for the foreseeable future.

  29. daveybaby says:

    You know, I would be ok, maybe even happy, for the Giants and their fans if my team had the same ballpark and passion. But any accomplishment made by the Giants only accentuates what the A’s don’t have. Makes me more disgusted by Selig’s inaction even more, if that’s even possible.

  30. Jeffrey says:

    Dude. I think it is awesome that Matt Cain pulled that off. Even if it was against a Triple A team in big league uniforms it is ridiculous to throw a perfect game and strike outs account for more than half the outs… That is flipping insane?!?!?!?!? Well done Mr. Cain.
    .
    I think if there is any one player on the Giants that I would take on the A’s it is Matt Cain. I thought this before last night. I would take, in order, Cain, Posey, and Bumgarner then Lincecum (slump and all). Hell. I’d even take Hector Sanchez… but I wouldn’t consider any of the other players an upgrade (in performance or potential) over Reddick, Smith, Cespedes, Weeks, Pennington, Inge, etc.
    .
    Cain’s achievement, and Ibanez’s mouth, do nothing to diminish Dallas Braden’s awesomeness. In fact, I think Braden’s still stands out as the most impressive in a long time just because I can’t think of a guy that threw a perfect game that was less likely to… You know?

  31. Jeffrey says:

    Chi, Ryan Howard is not from Alameda. Jimmy Rollins is.

  32. Marine Layer says:

    @Jeffrey – Ahem, Philip Humber?

  33. letsgoas says:

    wow, a’s just mashed the ball against col this three game set. 26 runs and 9 hr. that’s it, i hope cisco field once it gets built in sj is a hitter’s park. said it many times before but good/great pitching even in a offensive friendly yard still can pitch very well. i think we’ve seen over the years with the chw, nyy, and phi playing in some friendly yards to hitters yet their great pitching still did well. even go to arz back when they had the uni/schill.

    seems though every park on the west coast tends to favor the hitters. i don’t know if it’s because they’re just bigger parks or that the cold marine air coming off the pacific is a reason why almost every park from safeco, at&t, coliseum, dodgers, petco and even laa’s tend to favor pitching over hitting. will a sj park where the park location is more inland than i think every other park build on th west coast and add to that the hot weather down in sj compared to the west/eat bay especially at night could help any park built in sj be hitter friendly. and as we saw with the first images of cisco field in sj, the dimension of the park seem to favor hitting too especially towards rf.

  34. letsgoas says:

    correction every west coast park favors pitching. also as i mentioned previously phi, chw, nyy, arz all played in some of the most friendly hitters’ park and pitching for the most part was a reason why they won a ws over the past decade. parker being the potential young ace that he shows he could be proved that with his start today in col.

  35. letsgoas says:

    i’m an east bayer too and lived all my life here in oakland but i’m also a realist and sj imo is the only logical option to keeping the a’s in the bay ara. oakland doesn’t have the money, will power, and especially the leadership anywhere currently elected to office to pull such a project thru.

    sj all they need is the green light from mlb and they have the spot, eir, the corporate money that is willing to support them in a move to sj, the mayor and other council members and i still think a lot of a’s fans would support the move.

    safe to say the obstacle and it’s a big one to sj is still lot more realistic than getting thru all the hurdles any oakland baseball park will face and especially this dream of coliseum city as when it first announced had NO SHOT of happening nor should it building any sports venue in that depressed industrial area of the city of oakland. if anything were to happen with a park, it should be near downtown or the waterfront but yet again i just don’t see it happening.

  36. Anon says:

    @ chi – “new ballpark favors hitting and pitching” – how do you build a park that favors both? Retractable bleachers during the game? O.o

  37. Dude says:

    I hope the city of SJ gets really tough on the little Giants:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_20861058/city-officials-question-san-jose-giants-break-lease

    Screw them if they’re going to try to stop the city from realizing a huge opportunity like this.

  38. Jeffrey says:

    ML, remember, Humber was a HUGE propspect. Braden was an afterthought.

  39. Marine Layer says:

    @Jeffrey – True, but by this season everyone had pretty much given up on Humber.

  40. Dan says:

    Dude, I doubt there is much the city of SJ can do during this lease to hurt the San Jose Giants. The contract has been in force for 5 years, and no amount of bellyacheing and rhetoric can change that. But next year when they negotiate the next lease I hope the city puts the screws to the little Giants. Maybe even so much so that the SJ Giants consider leaving town.

  41. SantaTeresaHills says:

    San Jose has a pretty consistent afternoon wind during the summer from the northwest to the southeast or left field to the right field at Cisco Field. I played softball quite a bit years ago in Santa Clara not too far from Diridon and you could always count on the wind. The wind does stop or really slows after it gets dark though. During June, July, the first 3 or 4 innings will be to the pitchers advantage but the latter part will be to the batters.

  42. Dude says:

    Dan – agreed. Hopefully, it’s moot by then but given the history I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re still in the same place when the lease is up.

  43. Dan says:

    Looks like Damon Bruce has no idea what he’s talking about. The SF BOS just approved the bidding framework for the Pier 30/32 Warriors arena.

    http://sfappeal.com/news/2012/06/supes-unanimously-approve-golden-state-warriors-arena-resolution.php

  44. Dan says:

    Walmart.

  45. Anon says:

    @ Chi – I would say remodel it as a Convention Center as they desperately wanted to do before. BTW> If you have faith in Quan in leading this effort, there’s only two words for you to remember: Victory Court.

  46. Dude says:

    I’d still hold out hope for the Raiders, though it’s crazy to build two NFL stadia in one metro. But if there are no teams left, I think there should be your basic transit oriented development there (both office and residential) to take advantage of the excellent BART access. Just build it incrementally as demand allows.

  47. Anon says:

    @ Chi – you must not be following up on the Oakland “efforts” as closely as many others here. Victory Court was championed about a year ago from Quan as thesite for the A’s new home, yet it went into EIR limbo and then eventually died a quiet death with the announcement of the Coliseum City proposal. Many Oakland backers were very vocal about this site and applauded JQ on her “efforts”. In the end, it seemed more of a political stunt then an actual study. If you think JQ has the history and political will to see Coliseum City through, get ready to be broken hearted very quickly…..

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