Cisco CEO John Chambers chimes in

I hope everyone’s having a good holiday break. It’s good to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle, which for me includes monitoring and posting on this here blog.

But enough about me. Thanks to GoA’s, who caught the SJ/SV Business Journal’s Q&A with Cisco CEO John Chambers. Chambers was named Executive of the Year by the publication in the most recent issue (subscription required). While most of the interview was geared towards the tech industry and his company’s health, Moryt Milo managed to get a ballpark-related question in the mix.

MM: Let’s change gears. I would like to ask whether we have a chance of seeing a Cisco Stadium with a Major League Baseball team in San Jose.

JC: We want the South Bay to have the A’s. We think it’s important for creating an environment for our children. Not only is it about education, because clearly it is, but it’s about job creation and an environment that will attract companies and individuals to this area. Having sports teams in the South Bay is an element of that, and we very much want to see the A’s here. So we are trying very hard. I think it’s pretty good odds that it will happen.

So far this is the first comment I’ve seen that showed Cisco’s interest in having the A’s local to them in the South Bay. While Oakland hasn’t been shut out – and there’s no reason to shut out Oakland until everything shakes out – Chambers’ affirmation of bringing the A’s into the South Bay fold is revealing. Remember that Cisco didn’t get involved until Keith and Lew Wolff started talking with Cisco about developing the networking giant’s dormant Fremont parcels. When the Fremont plan imploded, Cisco remained committed to the sponsoring the A’s efforts to remain in the Bay Area.

However, there is some question as to how Cisco and Chambers defines “Bay Area.” While Cisco should be expected to retain naming rights whether a ballpark is in the South Bay or East Bay, there is no doubt that Cisco would prefer that its premier technology showcase be conveniently located to its headquarters, and Downtown San Jose is about as convenient as you can get (Santa Clara is close as well). I wonder if Cisco’s eventual naming rights deal may be more lucrative if it’s tied to a San Jose or Fremont ballpark.

That brings me to a tangent. In light of all the threats of lawsuits and bad intent coming from the A’s, there’s one major piece the barristers are missing: Fremont. Even if they were to argue that the A’s were obligated to try for a ballpark in the East Bay, that doesn’t preclude the team from putting most of their resources behind Fremont. You can question the wisdom of the plan, but the fact remains that Wolff/Fisher put tremendous amounts of money and time into the original Cisco Field concept. Nowhere in the Coliseum lease or in any other covenants are the A’s required to try X number of times or put Y effort into Oakland. There’s only a $250,000 fee if the A’s leave Alameda County, which shows that the Coliseum Authority considered the possibility of that happening. Otherwise, why have it in there?

Going back to Chambers’ argument – it sounds like what most boosters of a particular city or municipality would say when trying to bring in a team. The difference between Chambers and other boosters is that he’s backing his statement with nine figures and a company that’s in the Dow. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

129 thoughts on “Cisco CEO John Chambers chimes in

  1. If Mr. Chambers is worried about education for our children, he should put his money into schools.

    • Damn, he only donated $1 million to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health last year. What a prick.

      • His quote referenced “education,” not health. Read a little more carefully.

        He supports building a 500 million dollar sports stadium in San Jose for purposes of children’s education?

        Delusional. Simply delusional.

      • That’s why I said “Damn.” Please get better at detecting sarcasm next time.

        BTW, you’re a big man for hiding anonymously.

      • Spend a little time on Cisco’s web site so you can see what they do for education…and btw–your missing the whole point of his quote—not suprising—

      • but again i see Reality Check’s point….how does new stadium = education?

    • a band playing, the only timeslot is in the 7th inning stretch. i saw a band play at a boxing match in berlin before the fight. a blog devoted to the newtransbay terminal would be good also. the new transbay terminal, not a station but a terminal, is a good idea.

  2. Great post ML—I think that you hit the nail on the head–if anything is in play in the East Bay it would be a review of Fremont and what if anything changed with the unfortunate shutting of the NUMMI plant. Good find on the Alameda County exit clause….they must be part of this whole conspiracy!
    Last, it should be interesting reading comments about Mr. Chambers from the Oakland crowd….will he be as “evil” as LW? Will they find he has been a co-conspirator all these years….oh well…should make for entertaining reading…and Get Real has got it going with another uniformed comment.

  3. Do Oakland Athletic fans have a say at all in where their team’s ballpark should be located? Or, is it the rich corporate types from the South Bay that get to determine that Oakland Athletic fans lose their team? It’s also quite interesting that when it’s about relocating something out of Oakland, we’re all one big happy “Bay Area” family. However when it’s about getting South Bay corporations to support a business in Oakland, like the Oakland Athletics, all of a sudden they become South Bay and “San Jose only” corporations. Now I understand how things work here in the “Bay Area.” Also, the logic that bringing the Oakland Athletics to San Jose will improve the schools and bring more business to San Jose would also mean by definition that taking them from Oakland would hurt the schools and Oakland businesses. So in effect, San Jose is not being a good neighbor, but instead coveting a neighbors asset in order to prop itself up at that same neighbor’s expense. So much for the one big happy “Bay Area” team, line of thinking, that Lew Wolff likes to now use as he’s attempting to abandon Oakland, and Oakland Athletic fans, for San Jose. Also, there are over 27,000 fans now that want to see the Oakland Athletics remain the Oakland Athletics. How many “A’s” fans do you have on the San Jose site?

    • Nav–you need to quit looking at the city of Oakland as an entitled charity organization–this is a business that has been suffering for many years because of a horrible ballpark, weak attendance, and lack of corporate support….all things that the city of Oakland could influence but choose not to and therefore needs to take some measure of accountability for the current situation they are in.

      Also, I don’t believe that Mr. Chambers was implying that bringing the A’s to SJ would improve schools; he was talking about attributes of a thriving community and areas that leaders should focus on: quality education, healthy job creation, and a culture within the community that makes it a desirable place for prospective employers and employees to locate- of which he feels that major league sports are a key ingredient of a thriving community culture.

      And once again…..facebook groups mean nothing in the scheme of things—putting butts in the seat at a ballpark is what counts—

      • “GoA’s”

        What evidence do you have that the A’s are “suffering”?

        Not anecdotes but hard and fast numbers.

      • So let’s see–one of the lowest season tix bases in all of MLB at 8000 season tix-near bottom in average game day attendance at just over 17,000 per game, low low tv ratings, one of the two worst ballparks in MLB–your choice whether it is the Coli or the Trop—I don’t have the data on corporate sponsorships but would assume it is at or near the bottom—but what we do know is that there is no one that is willing to pay for naming rights—labeled a small market team in MLB based upon overall revenues…which affords the A’s to be on welfare—at the tune of $32M last year—which is the only benefit they get out of this horrible situation–

        My last statement should be enough for you–$32M of welfare from the rest of MLB because their revenues suck!! Embarrassing!!

    • If you can make the case that those 27,000 Facebook group members – who have contributed nothing other than a minute to join the group – have real future value for the A’s financial future – then it would mean something. $500 million in construction isn’t going to pay for itself.

      • Here we go again.

      • I see. So South Bay corporations are really “San Jose only” corporations. I’m glad that we put this touchy “we’re all one big happy Bay Area family” thing, to rest. Also, Marine Layer, how incredibly dismissive of you. This quote is amazing. ” if you can make the case that those 27,000 Facebook group members – who have contributed nothing other than a minute to join the group – have real future value for the A’s financial future.” Those facebook members you so easily dismiss are Oakland Athletic fans. Yeah, Id say they have real “future value for the A’s financial future.” I guess you’d rather put your faith in the minuscule support coming from people in the South Bay. Is this the king of support to be expected from San Jose? Also, now that I know that San Jose only interests are after our Oakland Athletics I think the gloves should be off. Everything goes. Oakland gas every right to use every means at its disposal to retain the Oakland Athletics. The fans from all over the Bay Area, and Northern California are speaking loud and clear. The Oakland Metropolitan Area business community is speaking loud and clear. Influential politicians from through out Northern California are speaking loud and clear. And, Oakland has the truth on how we’ve gotten to this point on its side. Oakland will not roll over so that San Jose only interests can pilfer the Oakland Athletics from the city where the vast majority of Oakland Athletic fans want them to remain. As I’ve written previously, San Jose teamed up with San Francisco to reroute HSR away from Oakland and the East Bay, to the determent of the Oakland Metropolitan Area and its 2.7 million residents. It’s time that Oakland and the East Bay draw a line in the sand to San Jose’s aggression and sense of entitlement. “Bay Area” my ass, this is war!

      • Nav–how many of those “fans” are season tix holders…how many of those “influential” politicians are season tix holders…how many of the Oak Met biz community are season tix holders…..lets see…it was the McAfee Colisieum when it did have a sponsor and now Cisco is the proposed sponsor of a new ballpark…both South Bay companies….where are these East Bay companies that you refer to? Why didn’t they step up and buy naming rights to support their team?

        Ranting and raving on here isn’t going to get you anywhere Nav—if you want to impress people, have your self-proclaimed 27,000 Oakland only facebook fans pluck down their dollars for season tix at the Oakland Coli next year—have Clorox commit to spending $120+M in naming rights on and on and on…..money talks…bullshit walks—

      • ….where are these East Bay companies that you refer to? Why didn’t they step up and buy naming rights to support their team?
        .
        Please don’t scoff — there are very credible rumors of a major bidding war between
        two prominent East Bay corporations — Doggie Diner and Top Dog — for naming
        rights sponsorship and official A’s ballpark hot dog vending rights at the Coli.

      • Go A’s, You want us to line the pockets of an ownership who has told us the we don’t matter and that he’s going to relocate our team to San Jose? You want East Bay companies to invest in an ownership, that from the very beginning, was looking to relocate to the South Bay? Lew Wolff needs to make a commitment to Oakland and the East Bay before anyone is going to buy season tickets. How many season ticket deposits has San Jose secured? Wolff has professed his love for San Jose. Wolff and Fisher have been winking at San Jose for quite a while. Where are the commitments for season tickets from South Bay residents? With a commitment to a new ballpark in Oakland will come the financial and emotional investment in the team from Oakland Athletic fans from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. After all, this ownership along with the previous Steve Schott ownership, have done nothing to earn the trust and loyalty of Oakland Athletic fans. As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. They’ve done everything possible to lower attendance and dampen enthusiasm with their constant and ongoing one-foot-out-the-door mindset.

      • I am not a current season ticket holder and I do not plan on doing so until I know the A’s will stay in Oakland. The day the A’s announce that they will be building a new ballpark in Oakland is the day I will be the first one in line to secure my season tickets for opening day. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I do attend about 35 games a year and I have a feeling that there are plenty of other die-hard fans (NON-season ticket holders) out there like myself who would like to see commitment from the owners first.

      • I understand that stance and don’t doubt that many feel that way. Unfortunately, that stance plays right into ownership’s hands. For them, it’s Exhibit A in justification for leaving.

        Many people are saying that they won’t line Wolff/Fisher’s pockets. Newsflash: Buying tickets won’t do that. Your buying tickets only replaces income that they’d get via revenue sharing. It’s one thing not to attend because a team isn’t doing well. To not commit because of your feelings about ownership – well that’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      • And Nav….there in lies the fallacy of your arguments–it is fine if Cisco a San Jose Corporation to potentially invest in the East Bay…but you question why East Bay companies would want to invest in sports in the South Bay? Come on Nav—things work both ways—in fact the Earthquakes need a naming sponsor for their new stadium in San Jose–lets see these East Bay Corporations rise up and do something for the entire Bay Area…and finally Nav—the A’s have been in Oakland for more than 40 years…where has been the emotional and financial committment? Oakland is a classic example of not understanding what it has until it is gone….and that isn’t the fault of the A’s ownership–

      • Go A’s,

        According to the San Jose only crowd, there is no such thing as an “East Bay Company.” Also, when we talk about an Oakland ballpark, only companies within Oakland’s city limits are considered in the “corporate” support argument. Companies in the Walnut Creek/Concord area along with companies in the Tri-Valley and San Francisco aren’t counted in Oakland’s corporate strength. However, we we talk about San Jose every corporation in the South Bay is a “San Jose” ballpark potential supporter. That’s quite interesting corporations from San Francisco actually advertise at the Oakland Coliseum Complex while corporations from Oakland and the East Bay like KTVU and Safeway among others advertise at AT& T Park in San Francisco. A ballpark in Oakland is centrally located to all corporations in the Bay Area. Even the San Francisco Forty Niners realize what a tremendous and convenient location, with great highway access and wonderful public transportation access, Oakland offers. Why can’t Lew Wolff and John Fisher realize this? Lew Wolff should be listening to Oakland Athletic fans instead of using this franchise as a way to prop up his San Jose businesses.

      • Not at all. Chambers doesn’t say “San Jose” in his response. He talked about the entire South Bay as a community, which is mostly true. There’s a healthy rivalry among the South Bay cities in which they can puff out their chests and claim their own stakes.

        That’s great that the Facebook group members are fans. In the end they, like all fans, vote with their wallets. If they aren’t attending games or making pledges for season tickets at an Oakland ballpark the group’s impact is minimal.

        I’m sure you’d love Oakland run up the legal bills as long as city pride isn’t hurt. What’s the endgame? Let’s see Oakland claim eminent domain on the A’s. Oh yeah, that’ll go well, $180 million from nowhere in addition to the bad money spent on the Coliseum renovation and still no new ballpark in sight. I almost forgot – MLB has an antitrust exemption and neither Senator nor Barbara Lee are going to touch it. Especially if there’s no legal case against the A’s, which there isn’t.

        If you want to blame someone, Nav, blame the officials who signed the lease. That lease is incredibly weak and provides multiple ways out for the A’s. The Sonics could fight off the inevitable somewhat because they had a lease. The Rays have an ironclad lease in St. Pete. The A’s in Oakland? Not even comparable.

      • Marine Layer your bias is showing.

      • I live in the South Bay, so I think I’m qualified to talk about it. That’s a marked difference from others who claim to represent Oakland and don’t even live or work there (believe me, there are many). Call it bias, “Dennis H.” or whoever you really are. No skin off my back.

      • oaklandA’s–I am a season tix holder –4 seats—I do not live in Oakland but I commute up to the shithole of a stadium because I am an A’s fan–so why aren’t you a season tix holder–you claim to be an A’s fan? Fan’s like you that jump on a bandwagon when things are going well…are the first to jump off when things aren’t going well. True fans support their team regardless of location of a ballpark—all of you who claim that you stayed away from the ballpark because of ownership groups have only contributed to their claims that Oakland cannot support a team—

      • The thing is “Marine Layer” or whoever you are…you have been trying to portray yourself as being unbiased. But under your sheep’s clothing is someone that really hopes the Oakland A’s move to San Jose. Just calling the balls and strikes as I see it.

      • Amen.

      • Wrong, “Dennis H.” All I care about is the A’s staying in the Bay Area. I don’t particularly care if they play in Oakland, San Jose, even San Francisco or Healdsburg. As long as they’re here, I’ll find my way there. The bias you’re reading into the my posts and comments is my reading the room and trying to tell the public where everything’s headed.

      • Nav–where is the ‘9ers first choice for a new stadium? South Bay—its where the money is–that simple–what the ‘9ers said is that Oakland would be better than Hunters Point–the rest of your post about Corporate sponsorship made no sense so I’ll choose not to even comment on it–

      • You mean the Coliseum would be better than Candlestick Park or Oakland better than San Francisco. Isn’t that what you were trying to say.

    • I’m an A’s fan and I don’t feel “losing” the team if they move to San Jose. Real fans are still fans even if it’s a little more inconvenient to attend games, which would happen in my case in they move to San Jose.

  4. OAKLANDathletics,

    I commend you for your support of the A’s. But I think your post, like that of Nav’s, illustrates the problem we face with the Oakland vs. South Bay issue. Why are you judging the A’s commitment on whether or not they play in Oakland? Your “Oakland or nothing” attitude is a head scratcher. There are thousands of A’s fans from all around the bay area and beyond, that just want to see the team stay in the bay area. They are not basing their devotion on whether the A’s play in Oakland, San Jose, Fremont or Pleasanton. They will support the team regardless of where they play in the bay area. We live on the peninsula and are full season ticketholders with 4 MVP seats. We will continue being A’s season ticketholders regardless of where the team play, though we’d prefer to see them in San Jose. If you want to be a season ticketholder, be one now, and show your support for the A’s.

    • FC, There are people not just in Oakland, but from throughout the Bay Area, Northern California, and even from throughout the United States, that appreciate the legacy and history of the Oakland Athletics in Oakland. They appreciate the relationship and identity between Oakland and the A’s. Many of these people are those in the Facebook group which now has over 27,000 supporters . I just don’t see that level of support from people who just want the A’s in the “Bay Area.” I don’t see that level of support from “A’s” fans who want the team to relocate to San Jose. Obviously you’re an “A’s” fan regardless of where they play. They could play in San Jose, Palo Alto, Daly City, San Francisco, Morgan Hill, etc. However, current evidence shows that the vast majority of Oakland A’s fans want the team to remain in Oakland. That’s not even a question. Most fans consider themselves to be Oakland Athletic fans. This “Bay Area” is “good with me” line of thinking, is very much anti-Oakland. We all know that “Bay Area” means “anywhere BUT Oakland” to our devoted ownership. So, by saying that you support a ballpark in the “Bay Area,” you’re giving ownership implied permission to leave Oakland. By definition, being pro “Bay Area” ballpark, means being anti-Oakland ballpark. As long as you admit to all of us, and to yourself, that you’re not an “Oakland Athletics” fan, then I respect your viewpoint.

      • Nav,

        “However, current evidence shows that the vast majority of Oakland A’s fans want the team to remain in Oakland.”

        What evidence are you referring to? If you’re basing it on the Facebook numbers, then I think we’ll have to agree to disagree, because in my book those numbers don’t hold much weight. What I like to look at are things like attendance figures, and actually talking to people outside of Oakland and San Jose to see what they think. Though there are a fair number of fans that want the team to stay in Oakland, the majority want the team to look elsewhere in the bay area, more specifically, Fremont and San Jose.

        “This “Bay Area” is “good with me” line of thinking, is very much anti-Oakland.”
        Man, you’ve got to stop viewing yourself as being the victim. Whether you want to believe it or not, there are a lot of people (myself included) that don’t hate Oakland and/or its residents. You’re misinterpreting my desire to see the team in Oakland as hate for Oakland. Right now, I’m an Oakland A’s fan. If they move somewhere else, I’ll be a ____ A’s fan. I’m giving ownership permission to find the best possible location for a ballpark. One which will insure their long-term success on the field.

    • FC,
      As a lifelong Oakland resident and for someone who grew up watching the A’s since I can remember, there should be no reason why anyone should question my “Oakland or nothing” attitude. If the owners had the vision and desire to build a waterfront ballpark in Jack London, there’s no reason why the ball couldn’t begin rolling tomorrow. My commitment to my team has nothing to do with being a season ticket holder. I choose to support my team by attending 35+ games a year, for cheering my players on and tailgating and drinking with friends before going in. Not for giving Lew Wolff more money than he’s already making by buying season tickets etc. I’m saving money buy purchasing $9 tickets for each game the day of at the box office and it’s been working out just great for me over the years. On top of that I happen to know a couple of ushers who works for the Coliseum so I get free field level tickets all the time and can usually get moved closer to the field on any other game day I attend. So again, there’s no reason for me to be a season ticket holder. I do not care for Lew Wolff or his vocal actions to lobby for San Jose when we have a couple of great sites in Oakland that meets all his expectations. Trust me folks, I will continue to “support” the A’s forever no matter where they end up, but I will not support Lew Wolff with his actions to move the team from Oakland when most of us know that he’s definitely part of the reason why attendance has steadily declined since 2005…even after we made it to the ALCS in 06. Yes our ballpark sucks and is in a bad area of Oakland, but all that can change with the JLS Victory Court site.

      • Woah! Just because two sites have been proposed (not counting Howard Terminal) doesn’t mean they’re ready to go. There’s plenty yet to be revealed about the cost and readiness of the Victory Court and JLS North sites.

      • True that ML…but with just a little more commitment from the owners to even look at the two new JLS sites for possible consideration, you know that Oakland would be in a far better and more superior position. Now when it comes to all this “he has already” or “he never intended to” talk between the two cities, that’s when this will all just turn into a huge pissing match. I personally don’t think LW ever had any intentions in ever trying to stay in Oakland even after he apparently “appear” to do so 2005.

      • OAKLANDathletics, I apologize if you took my comments as questioning your loyalty, because that was not my intent. But I still think your “Oakland Only” view is clouding your view of what is best for the team.

      • No worries FC, but I do think what’s best for the team is a new ballpark that can compete with the others around the league in a fan and family friendly part of a city. I believe that all these things can be accomplished in Oakland just as you say it could in San Jose. The fans will come with ownership that shows commitment and a kiss ass ballpark in the right location. If anything I think your “San Jose only” view is clouding your judgment of what’s best for the team for only wanting to relocate the them to San Jose. It can go both ways with all these arguments with which city is best for the A’s. For my argument, I’ll stick with where the team has been for the last 40 years and would like them to continue to do so for at least 40 more years in a new state of the art ballpark. As I have said in the past….there’s no guarantees that the A’s will succeed better in the South Bay versus the East Bay just because there’s more money and when it’s well known to be Giants territory.

      • You’re right, there is no guarantee that San Jose will work, but on the otherhand things haven’t exactly worked out in Oakland for the better part of the past 40 years. Couple that with the fact that Oakland’s leaders seem to be more reactive than proactive, and you don’t exactly have a recipe for success. San Jose on the otherhand appears more willing to “playball”. In addition, there is a much larger corporate presence in the south bay.

        Also, maybe the reason why the perception that the south bay is “Giants Country” is because that is their territory. I’m sure if the A’s were granted access to the south bay a lot of fans would hop aboard the bandwagon. Remember too that the south bay was once A’s territory.

      • “Not for giving Lew Wolff more money than he’s already making by buying season tickets etc. ”

        Like ML said, it matters not one bit to Wolff whether you buy season tix or not. That money that you’re not giving him is instead coming from Yankee season ticket holders, via revenue sharing. Since Selig/MLB owners has made it a policy of theirs to make each and every franchise bring IN revenue to the pot and not withdraw from it (like the A’s and Marlins currently do), all you’re really doing is bringing the A’s down a notch in the league. I can’t see how any A’s fan could sabotage their team by being so selfish and self-serving.

        “I’m saving money buy purchasing $9 tickets for each game the day of at the box office and it’s been working out just great for me over the years. On top of that I happen to know a couple of ushers who works for the Coliseum so I get free field level tickets all the time and can usually get moved closer to the field on any other game day I attend. So again, there’s no reason for me to be a season ticket holder.”

        You can get those tickets because there’s not much demand. Those tickets would never be available at Fenway or Wrigley or even AT&T. THAT is the problem.

        “even after we made it to the ALCS in 06.”

        What about the embarassing 2002 ALDS? That was before Wolff. Back when an Oakland-only new ballpark line of thinking was still going around. Oakland-only supporters conveniently omit the fact that, apart from a few years where the A’s had the highest payroll and biggest stars and multiple WS-trips, the A’s have NEVER EVER drawn as well as their history and tradition would lead you to believe.

      • What are you talking about? The tickets are available because ALL employees on the A’s payroll can get up to 4 field level tickets to any game (not including blackouts) so why wouldn’t I take advantage of my hook ups? Only a fool would buy tickets when they know they can get free field level tickets. You’re trying to criticize me for not being a season ticket holder because I can get free tickets year round? Or because I prefer to buy my tickets at the box office the day of the game? I probably attend more games than you regardless so don’t try to pass judgment on my loyalty for my team. And now you say I’m bringing the A’s down a notch? Great…now I have fans hating on the fact that I go support my team over 35 times a year. And you’re an East Bay fan at that from Berkeley?? Get over it bro. I do what I can to watch my team as much as possible throughout the season and like I said, it has been working out fine for me over the years.

      • oA–having friends who have free tix and taking advantage of them is all col–but when you mention in your post that you purchase $9 game tix and than take advantage of being moved closer to the field ….in my book I call that cheating the system—but regardless you are able to do this becasue there are no fans in the ballpark—and you question why the 3rd deck was tarped–how many of people like you would buy 3rd deck seats and than angle to move down to the more expensive field seats—simple economics here–supply is much greater than the demand in Oakland–

      • GoA’s, if you read my post a little more carefully you’ll see that I wrote that I “get moved closer to the field.” That means that my hook ups with the ushers I know (yes from attending so many games over the years I get to know them on a personal level) will ALLOW me to move closer. Damn, why are so many people questioning my means to attending games. Like I said before, I probably attend a hell of a lot more than most of you on this blog. Seriously you guys don’t know anything about how I get my tickets throughout the season so quit hating. I happen to also get free tickets through work quite often and also know a bunch of people who work for the city of Oakland who also gets me free tickets. Don’t try to judge me when you don’t know shit about the facts of where my tickets come from. If any of you had the hook ups like I do, you all would be doing the exact same thing.

      • It’s not about you, bro. Who gives if you attend a bunch of games if the A’s are probably breaking even at best with you coming to their games? Like it or not a team needs people willing to pay top dollar for premium seats, so the team can in turn pay top dollar for premium players.

      • Great—so at the end of the day your typically not a paying customer of the A’s….so to rant and rave that they need to stay in Oakland when your typically only willing to support them when you get free tix is beyond me—If your usher friends gave you one of their 4 field level tix that you say they get for free…great…by all means take advantage of it…but I doubt the A’s management would approve of their ushers allowing fans to buy the cheap $9 tix and then taking them down into the field level seats that were not sold…bottom line the A’s need paying fans to attend games…not those gaming the system.

      • GoA’s, I pay for plenty of tickets so quit picking at every little thing I point out regarding hook ups. I get hooks from because I’ve been a paying customer over all the years that I’ve been a fan. Not just recently because I’ve been a fan most of my life and have been paying for my own tickets for many many years. Like I said before, some of you are nothing but a bunch of haters that don’t know me or anything about my loyalties to my team. Don’t come at me saying I’m not a paying customer or that I cheat the system when you don’t know the facts. Yeah I get some free tickets thrown my way from time to time and that I do know some of the ushers quite well. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been investing years of my time to go watch my team play at the Coliseum while spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on merchandise and team memorabilia’s. You guys are really starting to get on my last nerves when I have not said one negative thing about any of you or where you’re from or how many games you attend and how many tickets you buy a year. At the end of the day, no one should be able to question how much I love my team.

      • I agree with OAKLANDathletics on this point. There’s nothing more divisive than calling out a fan’s loyalty. It’s not my place, nor any of yours to do this. Whether you go to 5 games or 50 shouldn’t determine how much of a fan you are. I’ve gotten sick over the years of having to explain how many games I go to (30+ annually).

        If you want to get into how the various powers-that-be are doing in their efforts, that’s fair game. So is criticism of the fanbase as a whole. Individual attacks are not.

      • ML–I wasn’t questioning loyalties–you don’t need to attend a game in person to be a fan…but what I do question is 2 things– oA saying he was waiting until Wolff committed to Oakland and than he would become a season tix holder—-really? how about all the years before Wolff…doesn’t sound like he ever fit this bill…. and second rants about the tarping of the unused 15,000 seats at the Coli—as others have pointed out I personally don’t appreciate being a paying season tix holder with rights to field level seats only to find others paying their way into the park at $9 bucks and than heading down to the expensive seats–its gaming the system–just what we need–another 15,000 cheap seats so these fans can game the system—-sit where you pay to sit bottom line—has nothing to do with loyalties

  5. The best chance for all the Oak A’s facebookers to keep the team in Oakland would be for all 27,000 to buy season tickets. If that happened, I don’t think a move to San Jose would be in the cards. It’s not about one city “stealing” the franchise from another. Answer this…If you lived in a run down house in a dilapidated neighborhood, would you move your family to a new house in a more affluent neighborhood to provide a better life for your family, if possible? I know I would! Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, wherever…Just pick what’s best for the family.

    • Come on Bay Area A’s. You’re over hyping the condition of the Coliseum and the surrounding area. Where do people and families from all over the Bay Area go to see major concerts, ice shows, the circus, etc. They go to that “dilapidated” renovated Oakland Coliseum Complex. After the game or show, they may chose to go to diner at Francesco’s or stay at one of the new hotels in the area, or even go for a bite at the largest grossing In N out restaurant in Northern California. After that, they could go car shopping at the luxury car outlets across the freeway from the Coliseum. They could also go for a hike in the beautiful MLK Shoreline Park This can all be done in that “dilapidated” neighborhood. Either you really don’t know Oakland and the Coliseum Complex, or you’re purposely over hyping the conditions to favor a relocation to San Jose. My point is that while the Coliseum location is definitely not in a pedestrian friendly boutique area, the Coliseum is far from being in an area like the Bronx in the poorest congressional district in the Country.

      • Nav–sorry–nice try and marketing the Coli area but it sucks–as I season tix holder for the A’s I drive to the Coli I watch the game and I get in my car as quick as I can and drive home—when I want to see a major concert, or show I go to downtown SJ, have dinner and walk over to HP Pavillion—night and day different experience being in downtown SJ v. 880 and the Coli—

      • Go A’s, Is this the same area of downtown San Jose where a guy was shot and killed just last week? Obviously, your anti-Oakland pro San Jose bias is showing. I’m willing to bet that you’d be safer at the Oakland Arena and their secured parking lot, than you would walking around downtown San Jose at night. Also, the Jack London Square area of Oakland is a low crime area as is most of downtown Oakland. So locating from East Oakland to Jack London Square would be going to a “safer” neighborhood.

      • You are absolutely correct I am pro SJ–it is the only way we will get a new ballpark for the A’s in a reasonable timeframe—tired of waiting on Oakland to do anything–trust is earned not granted and the city of Oakland’s has done nothing to earn the trust of this season tix holder—and no I don’t live in San Jose…also Nav–never enter territory that you don’t understand–26 homicides in SJ for the entire year equates to unfortunately a couple of months in Oakland–you can’t even begin to compare the 2 cities in this area—

      • Low crime in Jack London? A barber was shot in his shop two days before Christmas. And while police were investigating they found 49 marijuana plants.

      • Now Oakland has less crime than San Jose? I think you were drinking to much tainted-egg nog for XMas Nav. And again, for the umpteenth time, you thinking that somehow you represent “all A’s fans” and constant hyping of some stupid FB page/group numbers is beyond old and pathetic. My apologies for being harsh, but your continued ranting/delusions deserve it; enough is enough.
        By the way, major props to Cisco CEO John Chambers. Money talks, bull shit walks! Stay thirsty my friends!

    • That would be a great question for Mr. Layer to ask Lew in his next interview: “If all the Oakland A’s facebookers went out and purchased 27,000 season tickets, would that be enough to convince you to keep the team in Oakland? Even if they had to stay in the Coliseum for a few more years?”

      • When I talked to Lew in the spring, I ended with the promise that we’d talk again once we got to the design process. So I wouldn’t expect more from him on politics or economics in this blog, at least not directly.

      • An interesting response, Mr. Layer. Bear in mind that 27,000 season tickets at an average of $2300 per ticket nets $62 million per year. A new stadium might no longer be necessary. If the design process for this new stadium is accepted as a certainty – the only next step which merits discussion – can Bay Area A’s and I safely conclude that Lew’s response to the query would be “no”?

      • I think if the 27,000 season ticket holders had been in place 5 years ago, moving to SJ would not be an option. A new ballpark however still would be. To keep casual fans in the seats, you need to keep up with the Jonses (ie SF Giants) Unfortunately, the facebookers are too late, for A’s ownership, Oakland’s ship seems to have sailed already

      • And wouldn’t it be great if I won the lottery today and therefore wouldn’t have to work tomorrow…dealing in ridiculous hypotheticals is pointless–I will get up and go to work….and the A’s will still have an outdated ballpark and 8000 season tix—

      • 27,000 season tickets is a bit of a straw man. Even the Giants didn’t get more than around 25,000 season tickets when China Basin opened. And that was with PSL’s as part of the mix to help fund the ballpark.

        However, if fans purchased 27,000 full packages, it would get the attention of both the A’s and MLB. A Facebook group? Not so much.

      • Exactly my points ML and GoA’s!

  6. aaaachoooooooooo!!!

  7. Tony, I wasn’t comparing Oakland’s homicide rate with San Jose’s. There’s no need to compare such large geographic areas. I’m more interested in neighborhoods. Unfortunately ,Downtown San Jose has experienced at least two homicides so far this year. One at the San Jose Convention Center and another on Santa Clara Street near restaurant row. That’s a high homicide rate for an area as small as downtown San Jose. I know last year downtown Oakland, which is a much larger area and includes Jack London Square, Lake Merritt, Uptown, Chinatown and Old Oakland, had two or three homicides. Also, many of those same people you disparage on the Facebook page, have signed petitions to “Keep the A’s in Oakland.” So, I think I speak for many more Oakland A’s fans than you do. How many fans have signed a petition to bring the Oakland A’s to San Jose? How many “San Jose A’s” fans have pledged to buy season tickets for a ballpark in San Jose?

    Finally, we all know that Lew Wolff and Co. monitor this website. Lew, if Oakland had 27,000 season tickets would you still be looking to move to San Jose? Of course, your policies, and your attitude towards Oakland, have guaranteed a reduction in season tickets and lower attendance. Also, the fact that silent Billy Beane is experimenting in Oakland, with the San Jose Development Squad, also has a dramatic effect on attendance. Lew, closing that third deck brought attendance down as well. It’s been one blunder after another. I suspect that the boneheaded moves are intentional. I’m sure you expected to grease your way out of Oakland with virtually no opposition. You were counting on nobody caring. I mean, the politicians were greased, you had some of the local media in your pocket, and it seemed like the fans were losing interest. It was perfect. I’m sure you cant understand how this tempest all came about. You’ve got a whole lot of work ahead of yourself and many legal battles in order to get to that Silicon dreamland of yours. Good luck Lew, you’re going to need it.

  8. “However, current evidence shows that the vast majority of Oakland A’s fans want the team to remain in Oakland.”

    Still waiting for your evidence Nav.

    • “However, current evidence shows that the vast majority of Oakland A’s fans want the team to remain in Oakland.”

      Still waiting for your evidence Nav.
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

      His evidence lies in the dozens of his previous comments where he’s said that he speaks for the vast majority of A’s fans.
      If he makes the claim so many times, it must be true.
      QED.

      • Nav brah! Just curious, are you still in high school? Seriously!

      • “2009 avg. (81 gms): 17,392”
        Here’s my evidence.

      • You mean the Sharks averaged more fans at The Tank than the A’s at the Coli? Unbelievable!

      • The Warriors draw more than the Sharks with a bad basketball team in Oakland. Also, thank Lew Wolff for the 17,392 average attendance. He’s brought that down from the 27,000 we used to draw less than five years ago. Thats quite an impressive feet. How do you wreck a franchise in such a short amount of time?

      • The Warriors only draw slightly more than the Sharks because Oracle Arena is larger than The Tank.

  9. Wow, lots of anger, guys. I am a longtime season ticket holder and I find that the Coliseum is not a nice place to watch a game. I have been to other stadiums across the country and ours lacks a lot. The only thing going for it is the freeway and public transit access. I don’t care about car dealerships or an In and Out Burger place nearby. I want restaurants, shopping, dining within walking distance of the park. I want a park that is pleasing to watch a game in. I am also a Raider fan and the politicians simply blew it when they approved the remodel. The Coliseum is not fan friendly for baseball. It was built for football! Too much foul territory and bad angles in lots of seats It’s my opinion and it’s valid. I don’t like the area around the Coliseum. It is depressing and lifeless. It’s also not a very safe environment.

    As for closing the third deck..I was all for it. I pay full price for my seats and than others come in and buy a cheap seat. Than you move down to the more expensive seats. Good value for you, but is akin to changing the price on an item before you purchase it. It’s bad for business. Did you expect a real businessman to not do that? Not to mention that your constant moving interrupts my watching the game. I just love it when fans come down the aisle, look for empty seats and crawl across my to get to seats in the middle, only having to move an inning or two later. Oh, don’t forget to be courteous by waiting to the end of an inning instead of standing in front of other fans, blocking the game action while you are trying access your “new” seats!

    Oakland has one last chance to show that it can put a good option out there for the A’s. Maybe Mr Wolfe hasn’t played ball as some may say, but where is the leadership from Oakland and Alameda County? The A’s need a new park to stay competitive. If the powers of Mr Wolfe and MLB deem the Oakland sites are feasible, I am sure they will be considered. If not, San Jose will be waiting and ready.

    It’s time for a new baseball only stadium. Oakland and San Jose need to put their best foot forward and let the MLB decide. I prefer Oakland. Downtown would have been nice. The Coliseum parking lot is worthless to me. JLS has a lot of merit. Will the City and County leaders deliver? Only time will tell. This can’t go on forever.

  10. So we can now conclude that there is no reason to buy tickets.
    “Buy A’s tickets! Support your team” – THAT is the straw man!
    As evidenced in the sidebar:
    2009 avg. (81 gms): 17,392
    2008 avg. (78 gms): 19,938
    Difference: 2,530 per game
    Oakland A’s fans are not dumb!

  11. Bottom line, we need a new stadium to consistently attract the loads of loaded “fans” who can support a payroll up to par with the rest of the league.

    Oakland-only fans are living in a fantasy world where there are 27,000 potential Oakland-based season ticket holders just waiting for Lew Wolff to say “I love you Oakland” to buy up the entire upper deck of the Coliseum and live happily ever after. They will come if ownership “respects” Oakland, or some other touchy-feely nonsense.

    This is plain delusion. The only thing that will get 27,000 butts in the stands to watch the Bay Area’s 2nd banana team is a new, shiny, ballpark. I don’t care if the owners don’t want to build in Oakland. It’s their team, it’s their money, unless Oakland is offering to pay for a stadium upfront, Wolff and Fisher should just go ahead and invest their money wherever they please.

    The sooner they ditch the whiny loser fans who are soooo obsessed with how ownership “treats” them, the better.

      • You hit the nail right on the head. Navigator loves to rant about how Oakland fans would come out in force if only management loved them enough. However, he consistently ignores the inconvenient fact that average attendance under sainted Oakland-lover Haas was nearly the same as under carpetbagger Schott, even counting Haas’ bloated payroll/World Series years.

        Bottom line: Most fans don’t place a lot of weight on “does my billionaire sports owner love me enough” when making ticket buying decisions. They base their decisions on factors like (a) is the team any good; (b) is the venue nice; (c) is the venue convenient; (d) is the weather nice today; (e) who’s the opponent; (f) how important is the game; and (g) who’s pitching? If these factors line up right, they’ll come, regardless of ownership.

    • Berkeley Fan,

      The Oakland A’s averaged around 27,000 fans before Mr. Wolff started playing his relocation game. Mr. Wolff gets the exact number of fans which he deserves. He’s in the absolute center of the Bay Area in a ballpark with it’s own BART station and in a ballpark which has drawn over 3 million fans one year including the playoffs. Mr. Wolff has failed miserably in marketing the Oakland A’s. Mr. Wolff has alienated his customers by threatening relocation, closing the third deck, denigrating his venue, and trading fan favorites. He gets the exact attendance he deserves, no more, and no less. If people don’t like the owner of a business, and don’t like the product which he’s putting out, they aren’t obligated to buy. When a business doesn’t listen to its customers, it’s destined to fail. Mr. Wolff is failing in the most advantageous location in the Bay Area. Mr. Wolff’s solution in to turn over 3/4 of the Bay Area to the San Francisco Giants. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher want to give the Oakland fanbase to the Giants and fight the Giants in a corner of the Bay Area where Giant fans outnumber Oakland A’s fans at least by 70%. It’s a recipe for disaster. The Giants will control the East Bay, North Bay, Peninsula, AND South Bay. The San Jose A’s will be a non-entity in the Bay Area. Between alienated Oakland A’s fans and Giant fans in the South Bay Wolff and Fisher will be screwed. I can’t say that I’ll be shedding many tears.

      • The A’s averaged 27,000 fans when they were coming off good years on the field. As with their entire history (and that of most teams), in years when performance was good and improving, attendance went up. In years performance was poor or declining, it went down.

        The story of A’s attendance cycles has been almost entirely about team performance and prevailing economic conditions. There is no evidence whatsoever “owner’s commitment to Oakland” has played any role whatsoever. In fact, the opposite is true, evidenced by the fact Haas’ attendance plummeted as soon as the team stopped winning while Schott’s attendance went up every year he owned the team despite his being less committed to Oakland than Wolff is.

        Unfortunately, during their entire history in Oakland, the ceiling on attendance has been low. They have never in their 40 year history in Oakland broken 3 million in attendance. They’ve broken 2.5 million only 2 or 3 times, and only when unsustainable payrolls brought repeated World Series appearances. Even then, attendance was adequate, but not dazzing considering the circumstances. Any other MLB market, including Montreal, would have been able to draw 2.5 million fans in years they were making repeated WS appearances.

      • bartleby.

        I give you Charlie Finley as exhibit A. Here was a carpetbagger owner who lived in Chicago and had no attachment to the community. After carpetbagger Charlie Finley destroyed the franchise we had the Haas family pick up the pieces of a decimated franchise. The Haas family was customer friendly and were proud to represent the community. The Haas family were great owners and the community showed up in huge numbers. The A’s drew 2.9 million fans in 1989. They drew over 3 million counting the playoffs. The A’s also drew over 2.7 million and 2.6 million fans in consecutive years. What did Walter Haas do right when Charlie Finley had trouble breaking 1 million fans with three consecutive World Series titles? Granted, the San Francisco Giants weren’t drawing squat at the time either. The Oakland Athletics outdrew the San Francisco Giants in 1989, and many times during the Haas ownership, even though the Giants made the World Series in 1989 and were in the playoffs in other years. Steve Schott never reached his full potential in Oakland because he was obsessed with relocating the team to Santa Clara. Do you remember the comment to the Santa Clara City Council? Schott uttered these infamous words, “Our future is not in Oakland.” I remember a series at the end of the year when the A’s clinched the playoffs and drew over 100,000 for the three game series. The first thing that came out of Schott’s mouth was a complaint about the ballpark and about attendance. Schott knew how to take a wonderful and euphoric moment and throw cold water all over it. If it wasn’t for his anti-Oakland, one foot out the door attitude, the Oakland A’s would have approached Walter Haas attendance numbers. Instead of getting 2.6 million to 2.7 million fans, Schott hovered around the 2.2 million mark. As far as Schott and Hoffman being more anti-Oakland than Wolff, no way. There is no one more anti-Oakland then Wolff and Fisher, with the possible exception of Bud Selig. Wolff spent an incredible amount of time and money in Fremont. Wolff has been winking at San Jose for who knows how long. By contrast, I don’t think Wolff even knows where Oakland City Hall is located. Wolff didn’t even know that Oakland had a downtown. Remember, he wanted to know where to hold the World Series Parade? How about Market Street in San Francisco, Lew? Wolff, went on a campaign to pacify Ron Dellumns, Dick Spees, and anyone in charge in Oakland. Wolff wanted to grease his way out of Oakland. Wolff wanted no resistance after he did nothing to get a ballpark in Oakland. He stalled all efforts as he allowed his self-imposed Oakland deadline to expire. And now here we are last in the League in attendance. Oakland has been blessed with one great ownership in 40 years. Oakland has also been cursed with three carpetbaggers who have never allowed the full potential of the Oakland Metro Area to materialize. They’ve all gotten the attendance they deserved. Mr Haas was loved in Oakland and the East Bay. For the most part, Schott and Hoffman weren’t well liked, but were never reviled like Carlie Finley and Lew Wolff. The attendance doesn’t lie. Fans speak with their wallets.

      • For the record, I’m an A’s fan who doesn’t “revile” Lew Wolff. I imagine there are other like myself who commend our owner for wanting what’s best for the team. And there are those, like Navigator, who absolutely despise Wolff. That’s fine; everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But again Nav…Y*O*U D*O*N*’T S*P*E*A*K F*O*R A*L*L A’S F*A*N*S!!! Repeat that 100 times to yourself and then get your A$$ to bed!

      • I’ll take Finley as Exhibit A. GREAT owner. He rebuilt the farm system into one of the best in the majors, BROUGHT you the damn team, for crissakes, then almost immediately gave you three consecutive world championships How many other MLB fanbases would take that? I’d say just about ALL of them, with the possible exception of the Yankees. Well there’s gratitude for you.

        Oh, he lived in Chicago. Well there’s a crime right there. Eddie DeBartolo was not from SF, either. How many Niner fans held that against him?

        When speaking of Haas, you always ignore the fact that once the winning stopped, Oakland abandoned him like rats leaving a sinking ship. Haas hemorraged attendance during the latter years of his tenure much faster than attendance has declined under Lew Wolff. Here are the figures:

        1990: 2.9 million
        1991: 2.7 million
        1992: 2.5 million
        1993: 2 million
        1994: 1.2 million
        1995: 1.1 million

        Turns out, even Walter Haas couldn’t sustain “Walter Haas attendance numbers.” Haas remained the same lovable guy, committed to the community. So what’s your explanation for that abysmal attendance performance? (Hmm, the upper deck remained open in those years, so we can’t blame that…)

        So anyway, after community-loving Walter Haas destroyed the franchise, we had carpetbagger Steve Schott pick up the pieces of a decimated franchise. Attendance increased every year of Schott’s ownership.

        This is not rocket science: When teams win, attendance goes up. When they lose, attendance goes down. The attendance curve in Oakland tracks with winning, with the economy, and with what was going on with the team across the Bay. It does not track in the slightest with “we had an owner who loved us.”

        Virtually all teams must endure cycles in team performance (with the possible exception of the Yankees). All teams need to be able to weather those down cycles. The problem in Oakland is, adjusting for team performance, attendance has ALWAYS been disappointing. In the down years, it’s been awful. In the up years, it’s been mediocre. Even in the anomalous, unsustainable, outlier years of the late-80’s, it really wasn’t that impressive considering the remarkable product which was on the field.

        And make no mistake, those late-80s years cannot be repeated. Even the Yankees can’t get to the World Series every year, and no matter what happens with the ballpark no other team is going to be able to spend like the Yankees, even if they had an owner who wanted to. And in the late-80s, there was no AT&T Park, now there is.

        Bottom line: If the A’s are going to get by in a relatively small two team market, location is more critical now than ever. There is little evidence Oakland is a good location for a baseball team. There is much evidence it is a poor location, at least with the Giants across the Bay.

      • I think we really know what to expect in terms of attendance at a beautiful ballpark in Oakland since prior to Mt. Davis the Oakland Coliseum was widely considered one of the nicest parks for baseball in the league. So the A’s had a great owner in Haas and a great ballpark. Adjusted for the quality of the team on the field, during that time the A’s had about league-average attendance. Is average good enough? It depends on where one’s priorities lie.

      • Gojohn,

        I’m having trouble following your logic. As I read your earlier analysis, the A’s had below average attendance relative to wins pretty much throughout their history. And again, that was pre-AT&T Park. Pretty clearly, it would be much more difficult now for them to achieve even that anemic level of attendance in Oakland.

        In your earlier post, you note that Haas’ purchase of the team helped attendance. This seems to be true for ’81 and ’82, when attendance jumped and was above league average. However, it also seems to have been a temporary effect as in ’83 attendance plummeted and was again well below league average.

        In Haas years ’83 through ’87 and ’93 through ’95, attendance was dismal both in absolute terms and relative to league average. If you exclude the first two years of his ownership, I suspect Haas numbers relative to wins don’t look any better than Finley, Schott or Wolff.

        Also, in your earlier post you state attendance plummeted when Haas sold the team to Schott. Based on Baseball Almanac attendance figures, this simply was not the case. Attendance was roughly 1.2 million in ’94 and 1.1 million in ’95, the last two years of Haas. It was 1.1 million in ’96, Schott’s first year, and rose steadily from there.

        My conclusion: If an ownership group is unsuccessful and/or disliked by the fans, a new owner can bring a bump in interest (optimism for better things and all that). But it’s a temporary effect, and nothing to base a ballpark mortgage payment on. It seems pretty clear the A’s cannot count on even average attendance in Oakland in the AT&T years.

        Also, even if they could, none of this considers the other critical way in which the landscape has changed: The importance of premium seating (and therefore corporate base). Attendance alone doesn’t cut it; you need to move that premium product. Oakland simply doesn’t have the corporate base.

        When the “Oakland only” posters attempt to address this issue, they always try to claim San Francisco’s corporate base as their own. This is absurd. An Oakland team is never going to be able to compete with the Giants for that market. Even if they could, it’s not big enough for two teams. (The Giants don’t believe it’s big enough for even one team, or they wouldn’t be opposing the A’s move south so vigorously).

      • My analysis of attendance always tried to normalize for the quality of the team on the field. That is why I stated that once Haas sold the team to “attendance plummeted.” Bad wording on my part because, as you state, attendance was stable. What I meant was attendance normalized to the number of team wins went down. In 1996 the A’s won 11 more games, yet the turnstiles figures didn’t budge. Since formula factored in turnstile values and wins, the “normalized attendance” value dropped. Really comparing 1995 values to 1996 wasn’t quite fair since 1996 was the year the coliseum was under construction. Here are the “normalized attendance” figures for all the Oakland Athletics owners.

        Finley -34%
        Haas -4%
        Schott -31%
        Wolff -27%

        That is Haas -4% and Carpetbaggers -31%

        It seems that there is a significant difference between the ownerships. The Haas years were right around league average when normalized for the quality of the team on the field. Probably about as good as you can expect for a new park in Oakland. As for the AT&T affect, perhaps that could be mitigated by moving the Oakland stadium to JLS.

      • “Normalized”???? You’re warping the data, plain and simple. Do you actually think your arbitrary formula means anything? 11 games here or there isn’t going to make a difference unless it means something. They didn’t make the playoffs. They were unde .500. They finished in 3rd place. So they went from putrid to simply crappy. They were bad leading up to ’95, so the fans stayed away in ’96 because the team was expected to remain bad. You can argue that performance in previous years ALSO impacts the perception of a team. Slightly overacheiving by winning 11 additional meaningless games while a sub-.500 team wouldn’t have an impact on the attendance of any of the 30 teams in MLB.

        It’s very convenient of you to lump everybody not named Walter Haas and point to their “carpetbagging” as the only variable to support your argument. Basically Haas spent a few million out of his pocket to keep superstars like Rickey Henderson, by handing out a $4 million contract, the largest in baseball at the time. $4 million these days wouldn’t get you Coco Crisp.

        You can’t turn back the clock, gj. What worked in 1989 would never work today. You are asking for the impossible owner.

      • Also, to include data from th ’70s through the 2000’s is also not acceptable. There are enormous differences in culture, economics, media coverage, demographics, that completely render any comparision between the eras invalid.

        Might as well throw in the data from 1929 Philly A’s: 104 wins but only 839,176 attendance. That’s like a negative bazillion by your normalization!! Should we chalk that one up to the carpetbaggers as well? I guess Connie Mack was from Massachusetts, so yeah!

      • Al…regarding your second post,

        Calm down. You are obviously confused. First I take the A’s attendance and I figure the % difference for the ave AL attendance FOR THAT YEAR. So it doesn’t matter if the year is 2009 or 1929 (what a team!), you are still going to get an idea of how turnout was for the team THAT YEAR. So if I look at 1929 and they are first in wins, but last in attendance, I think that means something. So why not look at the 70s and the 00s and point out that nobody showed up when the team won in those years? The data shows those years were less successful than the 80s in terms of normalized attendance. The important issue is how to interpret that data. Is the reason for the lack of success the same (i.e. Carpetbagger owners?)? Or is the reason for the lack of fan support unrelated (70s the team was new to the region, 00s the stadium was ruined and AT&T was poaching A’s fans). I suppose you would think the latter. Point noted.

      • I’m not asking for any kind of owner. In fact, I like Lew Wolff (I guess I need to work on my online sarcastic voice). I’m just pointing out that if the Oakland boosters are waiting for another owner like Haas, even if their dream comes true it is only going to get them so far. It’s not like the team is going to be one of the leaders in attendance. Also, I don’t get how you think my analysis means nothing. I never said it was perfect. Of course there are other factors at play that will influence attendance. I only corrected for one of those variables. I thought this was clear in the linked post above (which from your comment I’m guessing you didn’t read).
        If you think the analysis is useless, maybe you should check out this beyond the boxscore link. They’re a lot more stats savvy than me and they did very similar stuff to what I did, but only for the 2009 season. You can also check out Jeffrey’s work on attendance. He came to similar conclusions as me, but averaging attendance figures over decades.

      • Ah OK, I didn’t see your post way up in the middle of the thread. I interpreted your latest posts as implying a cause and effect relationship. Sorry, I guess this whole debate really has me swinging at anybody in sight. My bad.

        You’re right in that my opinion is that the reasons for disparate “normalized attendance” figures are not the same throughout those 40 years.

  12. ML —

    Question: Approximately two seasons ago, there were scores of A’s personnel (?) wandering around Jack London Square & Oakland City Center trying to entice the business crowd into buying tickets at a slightly reduced price; do you know what ever happened to them? I generally buy them at the box office before the season begins, but I picked up a couple extra for the sheer convenience of it. Without knowing exactly how effective that was, it seems like a nice way to boost attendance.

    And if MLB wants to stop favouring the cities of New York, Boston, Chicago, et al, it might behoove them to rethink their adherence to the Zipf Formula.

  13. Wow. Mr. Chambers sounds just like the “community guy” Nav would’ve loved to have in Oakland. Cisco appears to be very committed to the South Bay. I wonder why he’s so optimistic on the A’s relocating to SJ?

    • Jeff,
      As R.M. implied in his thread, maybe because he’s the man with the $$$$$…

    • Tony,

      Obviously Lew Wolff knows “whats best for the team.” He’s been doing a great job so far. Jeff, there are plenty of great community oriented people in Oakland. Many of them are involved in the “Let’s Go Oakland” effort. The only problem is that they don’t have the access to Wolff that his rich buddies in Silicon Valley have. Also, Tony, I’m sure I don’t speak for ANY “A’s” fans. However, I think many Oakland Athletic fans agree with me.

      • Great, so let the A’s build a ballpark where they see fit and you can keep your “Oakland Athletic” team.

      • Nav–you have far too inflated of an opinion of yourself if you really believe that many A’s fans agree with you—I don’t and btw—personally I am thrilled that LW is the owner of the A’s and doing something to change the horrible ballpark situation that they have had to endure for the past 15 years—more power to him, Fisher and Chambers if they can keep the A’s in the Bay Area by building a new ballpark in San Jose–

      • I’ll go one further. I’m grateful that we have LW as an owner. For all the talk that’s gone on through the years, he’s the one who is making things happen. Results are what matter, and Wolfe has shown that no matter what obstacles are thrown up, he’s determined to see this project through to the end.

  14. I checked out the LGO Facebook page. As I read the posts by the “loyal Oakland A’s fans”, a thought kept coming to mind. Where are all of these fans on gameday? These A’s fans who bleed green and gold, who have watched the team since they were little, where are they?

    Here are some comments:

    “Please help keep the A’s in Oakland…. I’ve been an all around Oakland fan all of my life!!!!!!”

    “Man we better keep the A’s in Oakland. Don’t take them anywhere, Fremont or anywhere else”
    “The A’s have been my home team since I can remember. They should stay in Oakland…period, exclamation point”

    “is a good cause and i want the A’s to stay in oakland as well. the only way its going to happen is by all the bay area fans supporting them and going to the games. come on oakland show your support by attending the games, good bad or whatever”

    I think the last poster got it right. Get your leaders off their butts, and get off your butts and out to the ballpark.

  15. Wolff = greedy carpet bagger that is going to swindle any naive city’s taxpayers that are dumb enough to let his projects go forward … Fremont is lucky to be off the hook.

  16. Yea like San Jose really cares about their sports. If SJ people really cared about their sports and teams, the original Earthquakes would not have left for Houston.

    • So why were they revived after just two seasons?

      • Yea and they play in Santa Clara by the way. Or have you not noticed.

      • They have the worst SOCCER stadium situation in the MLS. If Mr. Wolff was so great, how come a 15,000 seat soccer stadium in SJ hasn’t been built yet?

      • The Earthquakes stadium is a hell of alot further along after just 3 years–than what Oakland has been able to accomplish over the past 15—they have a site—not just an identified site but one that is in the hands of the Earthquakes, the have the EIR done, they have initial designs done—AFTER 3 YEARS!!! All the same thing that SJ has been able to do for the A’s and they still don’t have a guarantee of the team—its called capable city leadership–something that Oakland doesn’t have today and has never had in the past—

      • Dude anybody can draw pictures, the bottom line is it hasn’t happend yet. None of LW’s projects have happened yet.

      • Yup–but not everyone can identify a site and actually buy the land…not everyone can actually do an EIR…and not everyone can actually begin the design process—surely not Oakland—that is for sure—if your gonna hold LW accountable for having all the peices together but not having a shovel in the ground after 3 years, than what are you doing about your Oakland leaders who don’t even own a peice of land yet to put a shovel into—-and thats after 15 years. I’d double down on LW—not on Oakland leaders or cheerleaders–

    • The Quakes left their built-in-1933 30,000 seat college football stadium…to go play in a built-in-1942 30,000 seat college football stadium. Genius.

      • Its a soccer only stadium–Santa Clara doesn’t have football—that was expanded to 20,000 to accomodate the Quakes….and the Quakes didn’t leave—the league took them away—-and realized the error in their way and returned a new franchise within 3 years–thanks to LW–btw–location of the new stadium is right across the railroad tracks from the current one-

      • Mark’s referring to Robertson Stadium, home of the Houston Dynamo.

      • Got it–my bad—

  17. Bottom line is I see all these comments on people on this site wanting them to go to SJ, but I don’t hear any fond memories of the A’s in the past. I hear nothing about the great tradition of the team from the south bayers or the fact of how Mr. Wolff could turn on SJ as fast as he did with Oakland and Fremont. This organization will not go anywhere unless the ownership puts its best foot forward in putting together a good team on the field. STADIUM OR NOT.

  18. AthleticsNation is predicting another last-place finish for the A’s next year.
    Loser Wolf has taken our team from first place to the cellar.
    A’s Fan – GoA’s – doesn’t that bother you?
    Probably not.
    You girls and the Loser don’t care about baseball, it’s all about shopping malls.

    • If you care about winning than you should be all for a new stadium in San Jose- where the team will actually be able to make some money and up the payroll.

      I can see you appealing to sentiment and East Bay loyalty if you’re taking an Oakland-only stance, but if all you care about the A’s making more cash and buying better players and winning ball games, you should be 100% pro-San Jose.

      • Well if you are also down for putting more money in a billionares pocket who doesent care if the community sinks or swims let alone a championship ballclub I’m all down for a new stadium in Hawaii too.

      • If you don’t want to put money in billionaire’s pockets, don’t watch major league baseball period. Actually, forget it. It doesn’t matter if you go to games or not. That billionaire will actually get MORE money in his pocket if the team continues to draw poorly, thanks to revenue sharing.

        In other words. You don’t matter, none of us do. We root for a billionaire’s personal property playing against, but financially supported by, other billionaires’ property. I suggest you accept that as a fact of life.

  19. ML = Wolff = Dufus

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