Oral arguments in SJ-MLB case on 8/12; Kaplan & Miley work on Coli lease extension

Split the difference.

The City of San Jose surprisingly won an expedited hearing in their Ninth Circuit appeal against Major League Baseball in the spring. What remained was the announced date of the first oral argument. MLB wanted it in the fall, San Jose wanted the early summer. Today the court announced that the oral argument hearing will be held on August 12, effectively splitting the difference between the two. The hearing will be held at 9:30 AM at Courtroom 1 of the James R. Browning Courthouse (97 7th St @ Mission), 1 block away from the Civic Center BART station and across the street from the new Federal building on 7th. The wheels of justice go round and round.

Meanwhile, the second item in today’s Matier & Ross column has Oakland City Council member (and oft-rumored, undeclared mayoral candidate) Rebecca Kaplan potentially negotiating the 10-year lease extension that Lew Wolff has asked for at the Coliseum. During the hubbub in March & April, Nate Miley (who is also cited) and Larry Reid were quite vocal, making it easy to forget that Kaplan is, like Miley & Reid, a Coliseum JPA board member. If everyone’s calmed down, the two sides might be able to get something done, but first Oakland & Alameda County will have to consider the consequences of siding with the A’s. Raiders owner Mark Davis has already said that the long lease Wolff is seeking would hamper efforts for a replacement football stadium, which he still prefers on the current Coliseum site.

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The Earthquakes and 49ers announced a deal in which they’d work together to make the South Bay host “top-tier soccer events” over the next five years. The Quakes are already playing the first event at Levi’s Stadium, so this seems like no more than a formality. But it also should ensure that the two venues aren’t competing against each other for events. While Levi’s Stadium’s capacity is 68,500, it can be closed off to support 50,000 or even 35,000-person crowds. Even that lower limit is nearly double the size of the 18,000-seat Earthquakes Stadium. In theory there should be no overlap. Still, it’s possible that some matches could have ticket sales expectations that fall in between. The deal could extend to both men’s and women’s international events, friendlies, and perhaps the NCAA tournaments.

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Added 6/3 12:30 AMAll indications are that the Sharks will, in fact, host one of the NHL’s outdoor games in the 2014-15 season. The game could be held at either AT&T Park or Levi’s Stadium, AT&T being the odds-on favorite.

66 thoughts on “Oral arguments in SJ-MLB case on 8/12; Kaplan & Miley work on Coli lease extension

  1. ML- any idea how long oral arguments could go on for in the 9th district as well as for the s4sj suit which starts the week before in LA?

  2. I can’t imagine Wolff and Fisher wanting a long lease that doesn’t give them an out somewhere in the middle of it.

  3. Here’s a possible scenario behind the 10 year extension. It ties in with the valuation of the franchise. As ML said in the previous thread: “Your favorite team has turned into a part of some rich guy’s portfolio.” That’s John Fisher, in our case.

    Since he’s bought the team, each year he’s made a reasonable profit. Peanuts for a billionaire, but enough to justify his investment. He’ll make serious bank when he cashes in his chips. He only needs to hold steady until that point.

    Will the valuation of the franchise increase or decrease if he builds a new ballpark, paying for it out of his pocket? It may be more profitable for him not to build. A prospective buyer may be more interested in what’s effectively a vacant lot. The potential may be more valuable before they build on it.

    The franchise could still be used as a cornerstone for a Mission Bay type project, that mythical baseball village. Fisher might not have the pockets or the desire; he’s already failed once at real estate. He’s already more than doubled his money, why take the risk?

    • @freddy – If the A’s don’t commit to building a ballpark somewhere, MLB could easily take their revenue sharing away in the next CBA. The $30-40 million lower revenues would hurt the franchise valuation and create a situation where MLB could buy the A’s from Wolff/Fisher and redispatch them, Expos-style (contract & expand). The net result is that the team would be out of the area completely.

  4. Sure, the MLB could – but have you seen any writing on the wall that they would cut off revenue sharing while the team remains at the Coliseum? Would the team sign a ten year lease at the expense of their allowance?

    Ownership could easily point their finger. What’s up with the BRC? What do they need, more Blue Ribbon? We’re waiting on the courts, there’s a city challenging the ATE, man they are slow. Pull out the big black binder. Hey man, our fans are mad at us for playing so peacefully.

    There is an certain upside to stalling. It hasn’t hurt them so far. It may have worked out better than any of the paper they’ve presented. It sure worked out for Sterling. Low risk, steady return, a self-inflating investment. The mantra of the conservative businessman.

    This gives them 10 years of easy money waiting for the right moment to cash in, watching their stock go up as the Warriors kick themselves for not buying more of Mission Bay.

    If I told you 8 years ago the A’s will be stuck in their old ballpark but the value of the franchise will triple by 2014, you’d tell me I was smoking crack, right?

    Like you, I’m just reading tea leaves.

    • @freddy – MLB already put a clause in the current CBA that ceases revenue sharing if the A’s get a new ballpark in the Bay Area. They didn’t put that in there for nothing. It was supposed to spur the stadium development process and show that the A’s are truly a big market team. So far that has thoroughly backfired. If they accept the status quo while not touching that clause, it will show that MLB can’t (or won’t) come up with a solution for the A’s. If so, the A’s are effectively a small market team in a big market.

      Mission Bay was well in the pipeline before Lacob/Guber bought the W’s. Any development opportunities for the W’s would be severely limited even going back a decade.

  5. re: “Your favorite team has turned into a part of some rich guy’s portfolio.”

    …and how many of the other MLB teams are owned by poor people?

  6. I always thought it is better for the city of Oakland to try to keep the A’s ahead of the Raiders (81 games plus playoffs vs. 8 games and no playoffs).

    As to the Sharks outdoor game, I’ve been to several outdoor games, and the NHL rink fits much better for sight lines in a football stadium than a baseball stadium, so I’d highly recommend Levi’s.

  7. This quote from Wolff: “We are very appreciative of her intelligence and her desire to get things done,” he said. “It’s really wonderful dealing with someone who understands what both sides are trying to accomplish.”
    .
    How does this get turned into a bed sheet?

  8. I hope, that if a new ballpark district sprouts up at the Coliseum people realize that Nate Miley and Rebecca Kaplan get all the credit they deserve.

  9. I think the Sharks will end up at ATT Park because it gives the NHL a chance to broadcast from Frisco and it doesn’t require selling as many seats as Levi’s. The fact that the place is 40+ miles from San Jose and the Giants are blocking San Jose’s bid to get MLB will be dismissed by the NHL…This 10-year lease negotiation by the A’s is really great. It shows how mean old Lew Wolff is committed to keeping the team in the Bay Area (when others would have bailed by now) and it may show that Oakland recognizes the A’s are a better fit for their Coliseum City project than the Raiders. Let’s see how it plays out

  10. @ pjk
    It also shows that Mark Davis may not be as committed to building at the coliseum, as he may want us to believe.

  11. @ Jeffrey
    Agree 100% on your comment about Miley and Kaplan.

  12. So maybe: Oakland gives Wolff development rights to the Coliseum property and MLB keeps him on revenue-sharing as a new stadium is built on that site. San Jose wins its lawsuit vs MLB, which then must pay the city hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Everybody wins – except maybe Raiders fans.

  13. @ pjk
    Yeah I agree. You and I have talked about this before (and others), I think we both fill there is no way Wolff builds at the coliseum, without assurances from MLB, that he remains eligible to receive revenue sharing. BLM must assume some risk, if they are going to confine the A’s with in their own territory (two counties out of nine).

  14. re: Sharks playing at ATT–I have already told Tortora, COO of Sharks that if he chooses to partner with gints and play at ATT that my near $11000 annual investment in season tix is over. I would advocate others to take the same position–sleeping with the enemy shouldn’t be accepted by Sharks fans who also want to see the A’s in SJ.

  15. MLB will never force a move of the A’s unless they cut Wolff a deal like they did with Jeffrey Loria where they took the Expos of his hands and facilitated a sale of the Marlins to him via John Henry.

    Unless something like that happens no way they buy and move the A’s…Wolff and Fisher are better of sitting at the Coli collecting welfare and $$ from their TV deal; MLB would have to make an offer they can’t refuse.

    The CBA will continue to give the A’s $$ as long as they are stuck in the Coli past 2016. MLB knows this mess is their fault and cannot harm the A’s anymore than they already have….The new commissioner will be the key to this.

    As for Kaplan and the lease; Kaplan must be negotiating on the premise Wolff will make zero promises to stay in Oakland even with a 5-10 year lease.

    It must also have been agreed upon the A’s could leave anytime if a new ballpark is under construction (SJ or Oak) going forward.

    10 years is just a flat # so it buys Wolff maneuvering time to see the SJ lawsuit through, the fate of the Raiders, and the Warriors leaving Oracle Arena for SF.

    If the Raiders go along with the Dubs it gives Wolff massive leverage on the JPA as the only team left standing and it could result in a public subsidy of some type (100M or so) for the team.

    In which case it makes more sense to stay at the Coli as the only team and control all development rights or negotiate to get a lion’s share as he finally would have the JPA by the balls.

    It is the right move by Wolff; now if SJ win their appeal then all bets are off as SJ will pave the way.

  16. It looks more and more likely that the Raiders will not be getting a CC stadium deal done, at least not in the near term. That leaves the Raiders with two options: To remain at the current Coliseum for an indefinite time period, or to at least temporarily move to Santa Clara as tenants of the 49ers. I don’t believe that the NFL wants for the Raiders to move to LA, at least not as the first team.

  17. Why would playing the outdoor game at ATT Park be sleeping with the enemy? Hate to break it to you but the Giants have never been the Sharks enemy. In fact it really behooves the Sharks to not have the A’s in SJ more than it benefits them. That is nothing new.

    Fact is the game in SF would be a lot more picturesque and beneficial to the team in the smaller ballpark, than playing in the office park surroundings in North Santa Clara in the much larger football stadium.

  18. @Dan–yup–agree–so if Sharks are part of the cockblocking going on in terms of A’s to SJ then those of us who want the A’s to be able to move anywhere they choose within their assigned territory should send a message to the Sharks–the San Jose in their name represents the community who paid for their arena–and to go against the community wishes and support keeping the A’s out of SJ should have its consequences-and as someone has already mentioned the design of Levi with nearly 1/2 of the stadium vertical, would be much better for sight lines–not to mention they would have no problem selling 70,000 seats–compared to 42k–

  19. That’s just it, the Sharks aren’t part of the cock blocking even though they very well could be (and arguably should be). They’re playing an outdoor game at the better venue in SF is not cock blocking. It’s simply choosing one of the two available venues and likely the one more of their fans and financial partners want to see them at. Yes it has shallower sight lines on the first deck, but you’ll also be closer to the rink at ATT if they lay it out like they do football games.

  20. better for financial partners?….28,000 additional seats doesn’t provide value…ok—interesting

  21. There’s no evidence whatsoever that the Sharks are part of a conspiracy to keep the A’s out of San Jose.

  22. First of all guys–I didn’t say the Sharks were trying to block the A’s move–(although they did threaten to until the city gave them land to build a parking garage). I said the Sharks partnering with the gints to bring the winter classic was inappropriate given the SJ community overwhelming favors allowing the private development of a ballpark for the A’s which is currently being blocked by the gints. The Sharks play in an arena that was built by SJ taxpayers. My sentiment is that partnering with the gints it is an afront to the SJ community. You may not agree—but I can assure you others do agree, both season tix holders and city officials—with that–lets not hijack the thread

  23. After watching some of these winter classics on TV, I can’t imagine the site lines have anything to do with why they pick where they put the game. That said, if it did, there is no question that game should be played in Levi’s Stadium. AT&T Park is particularly horrible for watching football, it’d be no different for hockey. They both play on a rectangle, mostly.
    .
    Either way, it’s cool to see the Sharks included in this process. I may return to AT&T Park for the first time years if it happens.

  24. How many of these Winter Classic NHL games were scheduled for a venue 40+ miles away from the team’s regular arena? A Sharks game in Frisco would be the first. There are multiple, suitable venues in the South Bay (Stanford, Levis, Earthquakes new stadium). There is no need to schedule this game at a venue that is totally inconvenient to South Bay Sharks fans and gives a thubms-up to the Giants claims that San Jose is just an extension of Frisco. I’d like to see the game at the Earthquakes brand spanking new facility – fit in the regulard 17,562 people in a brand new stadium. If not that, then Levis. No way should the game be in Frisco.

  25. interesting that many die-hard A’s fans would never set foot in AT&T for a baseball game but somehow a hockey game is ok–either way the gints make money hands over fist which only support their on-going behavior of trying to force the A’s out of the bay area.

  26. I’ve been to two San Jose Giants games in the past month, at a total cost of $0.00 for tickets and $0.00 for parking (we are dropped off). I think I spent $2 on a churro and that was it. I won’t pay to see anything connected with the Frisco Giants but I’ll go for free.

  27. Pjk, difference in the NHL though is that Frisco as you call it is represented by the San Jose Sharks. They’re simply playing the game in the smaller but ‘prettier’ city in their represented region. It’s a spectacle game and as much as I and many of us loathe the Giants they still have THE spectacle stadium in the Bay Area.

    Besides, it’s not like the Sharks haven’t played in SF (or 25 feet from it) before. They did start life playing at the end of the peninsula at the Cow Palace.

  28. @GoA’s, I agree with your sentiments. The Sharks, being one of only two San Jose based major league professional sports franchises, should show solidarity with the effort to get a MLB team for its city. At best, the Sharks are coming across as indifferent to the A’s in their ongoing effort to getting their proposed new Bay Area ballpark built in San Jose. The Sharks send the wrong message if they shift any of its home games to a facility owned by the team which is playing the pivotal role in blocking the A’s from San Jose.

  29. Playing an outdoor game in the new Earthquakes stadium makes no sense. It’s just barely larger capacity than the Shark Tank. The Winter Classic and Outdoor Series isn’t just about playing outdoors, it’s about getting way bigger crowds and going to scenic or iconic locations. In that sense, AT&T makes tons of sense.

  30. IIpec, but if we’re to believe that line of thinking then please explain why the Wolff owned Earthquakes shifted their home opener last season to ATT Park? This isn’t about solidarity. This is business.

  31. also OT: Lennar Development was selected as the developer for the 100+ acre parcel next to Warm Springs BART. I think that about closes out that site.

  32. Actually the Sharks game isn’t OT, it’s discussed at the end of today’s post.

  33. Does anyone know if the oral arguments will be open to the public? I work right across the street practically. It’d be fun to hear those blowhards on both sides.

  34. Sorry, Dan, I missed that addendum.

  35. To answer the question posed in the first comment, the oral arguments will be completed in one day (probably 1 to 2 hours).

    As to when the ruling would be expected, it’s hard to say, but probably in the October time frame.

  36. we already know what MLB will say: ATE ATE ATE and keep repeating it until a higher court tell them to STFU and no more for MLB

  37. @Dan, I gather that you conveniently forgot that Wolff has publicly stated his interest to build his own temporary ballpark if forced to vacate the Coliseum. Wolff’s publicly stated preference came about despite the Giants’ public pronouncements to let the A’s share AT&T Park until the A’s do build their own new ballpark within their designated territory. Somehow I don’t believe Wolff’s thinking on building a temporary stadium for his A’s rather than sharing AT&T Park with the Giants was thought of as a business decision.

  38. True, but that’s also a different business, baseball. Wolff has shown in the past when it’s a different business, like soccer, he doesn’t even hold a grudge. Why anyone would expect the Sharks, who have no dog in the fight, to take a stand against the Giants when the A’s own owner won’t outside baseball is baffling.

  39. @dan- if Levi stadium was available for the game u mention do u think LW would still choose AT&T? And who knows back when if LW thought by agreeing to playing at ATT if it would help spur a settlement- bottom line Levi seats 28,000 more and it’s next door. Sharks shouldn’t even have considered AT&T- and in fact in a show of solidarity with the other SJ teams won’t partner with the gints unless they release their ridiculous hold over San Jose-

  40. GoA’s, I’ll reitterate, Wolff chose to play at ATT Park. He had options. He could have played at the Quakes home stadium, he could have played in Oakland, he could have played at one of the universities. He chose ATT Park.

    As for the Sharks, why wouldn’t they chose to play at AT&T Park. It’s just as good if not better a venue for what these Stadium Series games are trying to do, be a spectacle. Levis Stadium may hold more, but the Sharks would still be playing in front of 2.5x their usual crowds if they play the game in SF at ATT Park, and they’d be able to charge more for the higher exclusivity. And it’s a far more spectacular location for the game than Levis which is surrounded by nothing but office parks as far as the TV cameras can see.

    And you talk of “solidarity” with the other SJ teams, what about solidarity with their own fan base? The Sharks represent the entire Bay Area, not just San Jose and have fans region wide. And you can argue in that regard they’ve got far more in common with the Giants (who also after those recent Times article clearly represent the entire bay including the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the Coliseum) than they have in common with the A’s. Nevermind that your own idea that the other SJ teams (which namely only includes the Earthquakes and SJ Giants) have also partnered with the Giants in the last year and a half or are outright owned by the Giants.

    Not saying I agree at all with what the Giants do regarding San Jose, but expecting a team that has no dog in the fight, from a different sport, who can clearly see Wolff himself wouldn’t restrict himself in the way you’re suggesting they do, and who frankly would be better served if the A’s didn’t come to San Jose should do something like that is just crazy.

  41. @Dan–what other stadium option existed, with reasonable capacity, for LW at the time when he chose ATT? Stanford was booked which is where he has played most of the Earthquakes games when not at BuckShaw. I assume you noted his partnership announced yesterday with the ‘9ers and while the Sharks represent the entire bay area I would bet that 80% of their fans are Silicon Valley based. You claimed that ATT made more financial sense yet you are willing to give up 28000 seats at a minimum average ticket price of $75 each because hey—ATT would be 2.5x bigger than the Shark tank—thats not what I would call a financial or approprite business decision. And I didn’t say the Sharks needed to agree with me…but rather than can choose to respect the community they play in or run the risk of losing season tix by those who are offended by their decision. and once again–there are A’s fans who refuse to go to ATT for the same reason that I am advocating boycotting the Sharks if they chose to play at ATT–its based upon principle. You may not agree with it–your perogative—

  42. There is no way your estimate of 80% of Sharks fans being in the Silicon Valley is accurate. And you are in an extreme minority of people who would actually consider giving up season tickets because of a decision like playing a single game at AT&T.

  43. @Dan: Another myth spun by Baer is that the giants attendance would drop to 2.5 mil. or less if the A’s move to San Jose. That is complete nonsense – 800,000 fans from San Jose who travel 50 miles to phonebooth park on a regular basis? – completely false. The giants use that lame argument along with their false “Stand for San Jose” propaganda group (which function is to stop the A’s move)and their other stunts and lawsuits in an effort to squeeze the A’s out of town. The giants have brought bad sportsmanship to a whole new level.

  44. SMG- can you support your claim with data?

  45. @SMG- forgot to include my data- I include redwood city on south as part of Silicon Valley- Based on the Sharks STH’s discussions with my STH rep, Who said 60-65% of Sharks STH come from Santa Clara County (~0-25 miles from the arena), with the rest coming from San Mateo County (~20-45 miles), Alameda County (~10-45 miles), San Francisco (~45-50 miles), and Santa Cruz (~25-35 miles).

  46. Okay? And where EXACTLY is the 80% coming from? And why are you representing season ticket holders as the sole measure of a fan base? Fact is that the Bay Area combined statistical area that the Sharks represent has 8.5 million people and < 18000 season ticket holders. And that's not even counting whatever geographical reach (and the associated population) the Sharks have beyond the Bay Area. You can go into sports bars ranging from all over Northern California to Reno to Oregon and even to very southern Washington and see Sharks memorabilia on the wall.

  47. Duffer, no one disputes that, but it has nothing to do with the Sharks.

  48. Really SMG- talk about coming in from left field. My comments were all about season ticket holders which the sharks have about 9-10k of and the leverage that we have to protest with our renewals. I specifically said I would not renew my 11k of season annual season tickets if the sSharks play at AT&T. I’m not interested in rallying the casual fan but rather those that STH that can send a statement by not renewing. Hopefully you understand the data presented- it comes from the Sharks and puts 65% of the STH in Santa Clara County. One can logically infer the further you get away from the Tank the lower the STH base is. The cheapest lower bowl season ticket is $3500. Get 100 people to choose not to renew and it’s $350000 of protest dollars. Throw one suite in there and it’s $500,000 total- add on the value of an additional 28000 seats at Levi and starting to make some progress on having a meaningful economic impact-

  49. @Dan: That disputes your argument that the giants are the all-bay area MLB team. Similarly to SMG’s claim disputing that 80% of Sharks season tickets holders are not south bay residents. I can assure you that 400,000 SF residents don’t commute to Sharks games on a regular basis ( conversely – that’s what Baer claims about San Jose residents attendance at giants games – that 10,000 SJ residents – on average – attend each giants game)

  50. It’s really sad that the City of San Jose has to go to court to fight to be the location of a MLB team that’s already located within its very market, especially when that particular team is most desiring of building their new ballpark in their city. San Jose is not trying to steal a MLB franchise from another market. Yet, the Sharks and others in the San Jose business/corporate community are failing to show any bit of civic pride by not fighting for its own sports identity. The Giants have benefited by this approach, and thus have been able to maintain a total hold on the lucrative South Bay part of the market.

  51. pjk said: “How many of these Winter Classic NHL games were scheduled for a venue 40+ miles away from the team’s regular arena? A Sharks game in Frisco would be the first.”

    Joe Louis Arena -> Michigan Stadium was 45 miles. And 3-4 hours driving time in the snow.

    The Sharks have offered 2 options, but the League and their broadcast partners will decide. If they want a early January game, Levi’s is out. If it’s late January or March like the Yankee/Soldier/Dodger games, then Levi’s is a possibility. But AT&T is the logical choice, if they want buzz and TV eyeballs. Postcard Views + SF + Water >>> Office Park, Great America and a football stadium they’d likely have to Groupon and Goldstar to fill (like Dodger Stadium did.)

    These outdoor games, from the beginning, are about the TV product, not about the fans. Sharks/Kings (or Sharks/anybody) has nothing of interest to NBC at Levi’s Stadium.

    Long-time Sharks season ticket holder–if the game happens, will go wherever they play it, and will certainly no be cancelling my season tickets.

  52. @mark- guess you won’t be part of the 100 cancelled season tix we are pursuing- buzz for me is 70k in a stadium showing how popular hockey is in nor cal. What’s the point of a scenic view- there wasn’t one in Michigan or Boston or Chicago or LA- it’s about the number of people willing to come out and watch an outdoor hockey game-

  53. Or it could be that some South Bay companies, the Sharks and Earthquakes included, don’t limit their civic pride to just the South Bay. I know as a long time South Bay resident my pride in the region isn’t limited to just San Jose or Santa Clara Co. Hell it’s that same provincial attitude that typifies many of the Oakland Only crowd and the same attitude tht annoys me so much about them.

    The Sharks are no more only the South Bay’s team than the Giants are only SF’s or the A’s only Oakland’s.

  54. @dan- when a city is paying for the venue that you use and make money I would think there would be some civic loyalty- once again- you and I disagree- so be it – no need to go round and round here- doubt your a season tix holder anyway so your not our target audience :)

  55. GoA’s:

    It’s ludicrous to compare the hockey markets in Detroit, Chicago or Boston to the Bay Area. They could have sold 150K seats if they had them. Friends had to pay 3x the already high face to get into Soldier Field. Having said that:

    Ann Arbor was all about the attendance record. Period.

    Boston was at Fenway Park. Same concept as a game at Wrigley or AT&T.

    Soldier Field was ALL about the visuals–besides a great matchup, it’s the lake, the columns, the skyline (and Wrigley was been there, done that already.)

    Same with Dodger Stadium–the hills, the palm trees, the views of downtown LA. The whole SoCal vibe.

    Did you watch any of these games? Did you miss the never-ending NBC hype: “Classic venues, classic matchups–The Stadium Series.” If they can’t have hockey in the snow, they need a gimmick to get viewers-especially in lesser NHL market like the Bay Area.

  56. GoA’s, I think the reason we’re going around and around on this is I an just stunned at the hypocrisy I am perceiving in your POV. You think the A’s should be free to move around the region at will to represent the region as they please. Yet when the Sharks even hint they might do the same for a single game, which their league and TV partners will push to play in SF, suddenly you want to punish then financially? And all this when they have 0 relation to anything revolving around the A’s move to SJ after they lifted their opposition to the Diridon ballpark.

    I mean it’s your money, but it’s also a very hypocritical attitude you seem to have.

  57. @ Mark- “ludicrous” – really- what is it you want to show- a picture of the SF bay that anyone can see when watching a gints baseball game or 70,000 fans showing how popular hockey is in nor cal- remind me of the beautiful views that buffalo offered or for that matter what did Yankee stadium offer- if NHL wants these to be more than a novelty they need to attract fans that are actually interested in the game-

    @dan- believe it was you that said this in a previous post by ML regarding the earthquakes playing at ATT-
    As I mentioned earlier, not only is it a curious development in and of itself (the working with the Giants), but it’s also curious that the A’s/Quakes organization would not only be working with the Giants, but with AT&T Park and AT&T who are a large sponsor of the Mexican national team and current landowner roadblock to the San Jose ballpark site as well. This sudden desire to work with not one, but two “enemies” is something that can’t just be coincidental given everything else we’ve been hearing in the last few weeks… can it?” You refer to the gints as the “enemy”- which I agree with. This same “enemy” is limiting the economic development of the city of SJ by blocking the A’s move and companies that support the enemy are directly contributing to this behavior especially one that is playing in a taxpayer funded arena in SJ-

  58. GoAs, and I remained baffled to this day. The Giants are the A’s enemy (and by extension the Earthquakes since they’re virtually the same ownership group). For them to have worked together last spring still makes no sense.

    The Sharks however as an independent party I have no idea why you’d hold them to the same restriction. They’re not the Giants enemy and never have been, nor are they the A’s ally. They have been and will continue to be a neutral party.

  59. @dan- final comment here- the gints are also the city of SJ enemy- they are restricting economic development in the city by keeping the A’s out. The city of SJ built and own and pay to maintain the arena that the Sharks play in- while the Sharks may not have a beef with the gints they should recognize that partnering with the gints is a direct affront to the city that they play in- and whose taxpayers built the facility they play in- I can assure you several of the SJ city council feel the same way about this issue as I do- and it’s not a lot different than giving the gints a sweetheart deal at muni- which was done to try and help resolve this impass peacefully-

  60. With great trepidation I enter the A’s/Sharks argument with a bit of perspective. I also want to counter the “80% of Sharks’ STH come from SCC” statement.

    1) Grew up in Tri-Valley. Have been going to A’s games since I was a young kid (I’m old enough to have been a pre-teen in 1989).

    2) Sharks season ticket holder, have been attending since the first season at the Cow Palace (STH status came much later).

    3) Work in San Jose, live in Tri-Valley.

    I, along with many people on the site here, would like to see the A’s move to San Jose – it works out better for me and would allow me to attend more games these days. But at a bare minimum, I want them to stay in the Bay Area, whatever that means. And I consider the SFG to be the A’s “enemy”, as it were. The point that someone made about LW actually moving a Quakes game to ATT, and being able to separate businesses, is important. Whether Stanford or other sites were available (or in existence, in the case of Levi’s) is irrelevant – he could have just kept the game at SCU if he didn’t want to give the SFG any of his $$.

    And on the note about 80% of Sharks’ STH being from SCC? Have you been on 880/680 heading back to the Tri-Valley after a Sharks’ game? Every other car seems to have a Sharks bumper sticker/decal/license plate frame. It’s not an insignificant number. We’ve had the same discussion with our account rep (and with Tortora, the COO, for what it’s worth, because he sits near our seats when he gets a chance to watch part of a game) – and he says the STH support out of the Alameda County/Tri-Valley area is quite high. Or, more than 10%.

    One other point – it won’t matter if the Sharks game is at Levi’s with 25K more seats than ATT if Levi’s isn’t sold out. Most of the Dodger Stadium seats were on Groupon at highly discounted rates, because the NHL gouges on the admission prices. So would you rather have the “passion” of the Bay Area hockey fans displayed by a full stadium, or a half-empty Levi’s?

    To give up ST for one stinking game that is a business decision and the right of an organization (who may also have it dictated by the league, fan hand-wringing or not)? Short-sighted, in my opinion.

  61. Throwing around the word ‘enemy’ is so silly and counterproductive that it’s not even funny.

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