News for 11/16/12

Belated congratulations to Bob Melvin for winning AL Manager of the Year. While there’s no photographic evidence, Melvin’s daughter Alexi admitted to pieing him in the face recently. All in celebration, of course.

On to the news.

  • MLB’s big three national television contracts were approved this week during the owners meetings. Apparently this was so anticlimactic that only a single tweet about the news emerged, from Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal.
  • As mentioned yesterday, all ballots in Alameda County have been counted. With that, Measure B1 appears to have been narrowly defeated by less than 700 votes. Perhaps the backers had a false sense of security due to the lack of fervent opposition. Back to the drawing board, I guess. [Contra Costa Times/Denis Cuff]
  • Fox is fixin’ to buy a big piece of the YES Network. Not the Yankees’ piece, the part owned by Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity. The network is worth as much as $3 billion, making the two-thirds share up for grabs worth $2 billion. [NY Times/Amy Chosick, Michael Cieply]
  • The Rangers have announced that they will play two exhibition games at San Antonio’s Alamodome in March. The stadium’s only full-time tenants are the UTSA college football team and the AFL’s San Antonio Talons. The seating bowl layout (see pic below) makes it even less baseball friendly than previous square/rectilinear multipurpose domes like the Metrodome and Kingdome because it has a very limited number of corner seats. It’s also a bit narrower along the football sidelines than the Metrodome and not all of the rows retract, making the right field line dimension perhaps as small as 280 feet. Backers of MLB to San Antonio see this as a good sign, but the arrangement is a double-edged sword. Just as the Cowboys staged training camp in the same Alamodome multiple times, the Ryans are doing this to reaffirm the brand throughout the state, not to promote MLB there. After all, the Rangers have some solid TV money to protect.  [San Antonio Express News/Josh Baugh]

Picture of one side of the Alamodome stands retracted for a 2010 Dallas Cowboys training camp session. Picture from Sports Nickel.

  • The ballpark for the Midland Rockhounds (A’s AA affiliate) will soon be losing its naming rights partner. Citibank has been the sponsor since shortly after the ballpark opened. The ballpark sits as part of the nicely designed and manicured Scharbauer Sports Complex, alongside one of the best high school football stadia I’ve ever seen. It is the land of Friday Night Lights. [Midland Reporter-Telegram/Sara Higgins | Bud Swanson]
  • The Mariners are going a different route to make a splash in the offseason, unveiling plans for what will be the largest video/scoreboard in MLB. The display will measure 57 feet tall by 201.5 feet wide, with a resolution of 3840 x 1080. Effectively that’s two Full HD screens side-by-side. At 11,425 square feet, the display will be 70% larger than the display the Astros had installed at Minute Maid Park last year, and 30% larger than baseball’s largest current screen at Kauffman Stadium. Panasonic will be the manufacturer, displacing Daktronics. The display is part of a $15 million capital improvements fund, negotiated by Seattle/King County and the Mariners prior to the opening of Safeco Field. [MLB.com/Greg Johns]
  • Chris Hansen released renderings for his dream arena in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle. The concept, penned by 360 Architecture, is reminiscent of 360′s Sprint Center project in Kansas City. It’s meant to house both basketball and hockey teams. Unlike Sprint Center, Hansen’s arena won’t be built without commitments from existing NBA and/or NHL franchises. Ironically, the opposite is what occurred in Kansas City, as the city chose to plow forward with an arena with no permanent tenants. That would put KC and Seattle in direct competition for any future franchise moves. [KING 5/Chris Daniels, Travis Pittman | 360 Architecture]
  • Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) played to populist roots earlier this week by decrying the Vikings’ plans to sell PSLs at their $1 billion stadium. Most everyone throughout the Twin Cities expressed confusion at this sentiment, since it was pretty clear from the beginning that PSLs were a crucial piece of the financing plan. [MN Gov. Dayton | Minneapolis Star-Tribune Editorial Board]
  • Perhaps just in time for the start of the Mike D’Antoni era in LA, DirecTV and Time Warner Sportsnet agreed to a carriage deal of the fledgling regional sports network. (Laker fans weren’t missing much the last two weeks anyway.) Terms were undisclosed, but TWCSN has been seeking $3.95 per subscriber per month, making the channel among the most expensive RSNs in the nation. [LA Times/Joe Flint]
  • The City of Reno swore in a new City Council this week, and with that came swift action. They nixed the narrowly approved debt restructuring/refinancing plan completed just before the election. That puts both the team and the city in a bind. The team is threatening to leave without a tax subsidy. The Council clearly wants nothing to do with the debt liability. This snag gives the two sides about a year to figure out some sort of solution before Aces ownership figures out a move. If the Aces leave, Reno would be stuck with the debt anyway. Already the city has stopped making debt payments, pushing its credit rating into junk status. [Reno Gazette Journal/Brian Duggan]
  • Did you know about the Sacramento Sports Commission? If you didn’t , then it matters little as it’s about to be dissolved. The commission’s job was to attract different types of sporting events and maintain relationships with governing bodies like the NCAA, so that Sacramento venues could remain in constant rotation for major events such as NCAA championships. The task will probably end up with Sacramento’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. One of the reasons for the dissolution is that SSC failed to repay a $400,000 loan taken out for the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships. [Sacramento Bee/Ryan Lillis]

That’s it for now. Feature on media coming over the weekend.

35 thoughts on “News for 11/16/12

  1. Backers of 1B should have no blame for its “loss.” Again, 66% yes votes should always be a landslide victory IMHO. It loading is a crying shame.

  2. Meant B1, meant loosing, not loading.

  3. That game in San Antonio looks like fun. I’m already making plans to attend one of the games if just for the novelty of it. Hopefully however it doesn’t become a trial run for the ambitious San Antonio region to eventually steam our or Tampa’s team away.

  4. (broken record alert!) It is unfathomable the A’s/San Jose decision still remains a topic the owners have not discussed/decided. This cannot be due to more time is needed to pour over the list of facts and figures. It cannot be due to “them’ trying to be meticulous. The amount of time that has elapsed has allowed for laser precision on every fact, figure, graph, pie chart, attendance projection, revenue projection…. even the grammar on every memo every written on the subject could have been corrected to a Phd degree. BS/MLB are purposely delaying this for one specific reason. Why? Trying to find out which side has the better argument if it goes into the legal process? Waiting for the Giants mortgage payments to end? Keeping SJ in the mix to leverage Oakland to put forth a plan that is palatable? It can’t just be TR. The reality of which way TR would/should go must have been figured out by day 10 much less day 1000.

  5. From Alexi Melvin’s Twitter, “Alexi = Actress/Writer/Dreamer/Inspirer.”

    Ah. Briggs hearts lawls.

  6. All these A’s relocating to someplace in America is just rumors. I think we can all agree it comes down to pure greed on why the A’s are stuck in their current situation. Here is an old ESPN article that I feel hit the subject right on the head when it talked about the Rays and A’s stadium situation. If MLB really wanted the A’s to move to SJ it would have been done already. I just have a feeling the the A’s do not want to pay the $300 million dollars or more that it will cost them to move to SJ. At some point u have to ask the question does someone really have the balls to sue MLB on its AT laws or just debate about it internet forums and blogs. Its been 17 years and counting on the A’s potential move to SJ whats a few more years of waiting.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=bryant-110622

    • Its been 17 years and counting with the city of Oakland sitting on their asses doing shit but press conferences and bogus EIRs. It’s been 4 years since the Fremont plan died a quick death at the hands of NIMBYs. And it’s been only 4 years since the A’s turned their attention to SJ and Selig having his head up the Giants ass.

      Corrected for you….

  7. If MLB really wanted the A’s in San Jose they would have done so already? So by your premise MLB would have bought ALL the Diridon parcels and payed for the ballpark in its entirety so that the A’s could be down here…brilliant logic! But whatever: a resolution is in the making and soon SJ/Wolff are going to have to figure out how to obtain those pesky finals parcels at Diridon. In due time all, in due time…

  8. Mike2 is referencing an old article about the A’s/Rays situation. The facts are the Selig has recently been working the MLB owners for a yes vote for the team’s move to SJ and is having success. The news also says that Selig is looking to put the giants owners in an awkward position. If the giants continue opposing the A’s move after MLB approves it – that would be embarrassing for the giants mgt.

    Also ML’s theory about the the two Texas Rangers games at San Antonio makes sense. The Rangers are likely looking to expand their fanbase. Besides, the potential San Antonio region fan base (2.2 mil.) is much smaller than the bay area’s – and is a similiar size to the small market teams such as Kansas City, Pittsburg, Cleveland, etc. None of those teams are drawing well, and none of them enjoy lucrative television rights deals. A San Antonio MLB club might get similiar results as one of these clubs and receive revenue sharing as these teams do. MLB would likely wish to avoid adding another one of these poor-drawing teams.

  9. @duffer

    If you look at San Antonio as another market for any potential move for a franchise you have to take into consideration of the demographics in the area. Can SA support a ML team, than that answer is maybe. You have 5 military bases in a close proximity of the area, 5 fortune 500 companies, and 2.1 million people in the greater San Antonio area. Don’t judge the Alamo Dome for not being a MLB ready stadium, we all know its not. It was built for conventions and to attract an NFL team expansion team or the New Orlean Saints. It is far enough away from Houston (197 miles) and Dallas (277 miles) where it would not be pulling any fans from any of the two franchises. The only major drawback is its small TV market which currently ranks 37th and the average median income of $23,000.

  10. Not exactly true, Anon. Selig has been using the “best interest for baseball” phrase recently – that could Selig’s reason for overturning the giant so-called territorial rights. Also, the giants have been terrible with post season television ratings in 2010 and 2012, losing the broadcasting networks hundreds in millions in revenue. MLB likely isn’t too pleased about that also.

    • Not exactly true, Anon. …

      I’m not sure what wasn’t true, as my statement was a correction of Mike2′s assertion that it has “been 17 years and counting on the A’s potential move to SJ”. He’s trying desperately to say that MLB has been exploring a SJ move for almost 2 decades, when in reality it’s been more recently and fails to cite Oakland’s failure during all that time. But anyhow, I agree with you that Selig is starting to get agitated with the Giants and caring less day by day about building a unanimous consensus and starting to focus on t end game scenarios now.

  11. The Giants are making mlb owners a fortune. The Giants overall success since 1997 is astonishing. Stop denying the facts and consider them. Of the two-team territories, the Mets do ok, the White Sox do ok, the Angels do ok. Only the A’s fail. My guess is the mlb owners are tired of the A’s sucking up revenue sharing money. But they aren’t going to approve a deal that marginally improves the A’s situation while ruining the Giants’ money-making run. Get real.

    • …Of the two-team territories, the Mets do ok, the White Sox do ok, the Angels do ok.Only the A’s fail…

      And of the two-team territories, only the A’s and Giants don’t have shared TR rights. Thanks for supporting the stupidity have the one killing market balance in the first place….

    • @xootsuit – Wolff claims he can get the A’s $100 million more in revenue and take the A’s off revenue sharing. Let’s say that improvement is only $80 million. I don’t see how anyone can claim that’s merely “marginally better”. That’s 50% better! As for ruining the Giants, it’s simple. Prove it and a compensation plan can be set up.

  12. The A’s moving to San Jose will “ruin” the Giants money-making run? C’mon suit, you’re better than that! (I think). But as RM said, prove it with FACTS and compensation will be provided. IMHO, it won’t hurt the Giants one bit!

  13. How are the Giants making MLB owners a fortune?

  14. @LS,
    Its just a made up talking-point by some in the pro-Giants camp. In reality, the entire operation (TV contracts, all team revenues, etc) is making MLB a fortune. Again, what’s in the best interest of ALL of baseball, not just one team. Hey, I’m starting to sound a lot like Selig ;)

  15. Selig by now should realize the Giants only care about the best interests of the Giants and aren’t going to yield an inch to the so-called “best interests of baseball.” If Selig wants the A’s in San Jose, he’s going to have to impose it on the Giants against their will.

  16. My point is that Wolff has to convince mlb that the A’s will not only do marginally better AND he has to agree to a reasonable compensation (or mitigation) package for the Giants. It’s entirely possible that the two franchises currently are arguing over those very issues, with the mlb committee and its staff evaluating the arguments and trying to mediate a deal that allows the A’s to move, and to succeed, but that pays the Giants handsomely for agreeing to share the Bay Area territory. That makes the most sense.
    .
    Second issue: I really don’t understand why otherwise intelligent A’s fans fall for that tv ratings red herring. Short series don’t generate much casual-fan interest (which grows as elimination games, and related headlines, pile up). Also, you may recall, hurricane Sandy hit the east coast this year. Ahd you guys are old enough to remember that the afterglow of a rousing WS win lasts a long time. Sales of gear and game tickets take off. They certainly did after the 2010 WS win. If a million people show up in the streets of SF to cheer on the victory parade, how many do you think will be tuning in to watch the games on tv next season?

  17. build in oakland lew… this is tiring…

  18. If the A’s could build in Oakland or the East Bay Wolff would have been forced by MLB.

    4 years tell “all options have been exhausted” as Selig stated 2 years ago he wasn’t going to make any decisions until he knew for a fact beyond a reasonable doubt San Jose was the only way.

    He knows it now after all this time and he is not happy about it but must now do what he has dreaded for years….vote the Giants of the island.

    The bay is the wealthiest market in the league and the MLB is not maximizing its revenue in the market at all.

    This will all be resolved in January. It was “rounding third base” earlier this year after 3 years. The end is near…..San Jose A’s in 2016

  19. Yes, MLB has been looking for some way, any way, to get a new ballpark done in Oakland for nearly 4 years. But it’s obvious after all this time that they’re looking for something that’s just not there. There’s no money and no site in Oakland. Lew invited MLB to come out to Oakland and see for itself and, well, it has seen for itself. Been looking since 2009.

  20. @berry- I am a life long Giants fan from San Jose no less and I think this is completely wrong what is going on.

    I for one would buy 25 games on the 3rd base line if the A’s moved to San Jose and wouldn’t mind a reasonably priced seat license.

    SF is too far for fans like me to go consistently. Selig is a moron for not seeing this and he has been buying the Giants arguments for years…..It is not like people in San Jose cannot watch A’s games on TV.

  21. I respect ur points sid.

  22. @ Sid
    @ Berry

    Sid gets it, too bad Bud and the other owners don’t! I will not go to another MLB baseball game with my family until it’s played in SJ.

  23. OT: enjoyed a Dim Sum brunch on Sunday with my in-laws at a popular South San Jose Chinese restaurant. Near the cashier was a photo of the husband/wife owners alongside Alex Smith and his significant other. When I commented to one of my brother in-laws that is was Alex Smith in the photo he responded “who’s Alex Smith?” You know, at times I think it would be nice to not care one bit about sports.
    Anyhow, I’m thinking the San Jose A’s in 2017. Better late than never…

    • Near the cashier was a photo of the husband/wife owners alongside Alex Smith and his significant other. When I commented to one of my brother in-laws that is was Alex Smith in the photo he responded “who’s Alex Smith?”

      Alex Smith occasionally goes to my friend’s restaurant. Back in 2010, I begged her to call him Troy. She never did, but I would’ve loved to have seen it.

  24. @Tony D

    Yeah Colin Kapernick is the real deal… funny im a Raider nerd.. and beileve it or not, AL davis was considering drafting Kapernick… he took Wiesnewski… and im not mad.. but it would have been nice if we had gotten Kapernick…i wonder if Alex Smith would jump ship to Oakland…hhhmmm

    and what is up with the A’s at Howard Terminall… yes it needs cleaning up but i wonder if Lew could make more money in downtown Oakland then in downtown san jose.. just a thought…

  25. How many millions is Wolff supposed to pay to clean up Howard Terminal? That site adds substantial cleanup costs and subtracts substantial Silicon Valley corporate sponsorship. (Howard Terminal is too far away from Silicon Valley to attract the companies needed to buy suites, etc) Which company has stepped up to match for an Oakland ballpark the $130 million naming rights deal Wolff has for San Jose/Fremont? None….

  26. Remember when Quan said that the Warriors would come back to Oakland once they realized that there would be too much in clean-up costs at the pier in SF?

  27. Oooo yeah…the cost to clean up the piers would be more than h.terminal… I wish the warriors would have considered that spot. Still in Oakland and closer for the s.f and north bay folks

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