Future articles for 2010 + NY Times article

The Gray Lady has an article on the Oakland-SF-SJ-A’s saga, which means that the local war has gone national. It’s rather unfortunate that the picture they chose for the piece is a twilight shot up from ground level, with a puddle in the foreground as Mount Davis looms with its lightly adorned concrete in back. The profile shot of Lew Wolff even has a somewhat sinister quality to it.

USA Today’s baseball writer Bob Nightengale also covers the stadium issue in his A’s organizational report.

In 2010, we’ll start a series of ballpark design articles. Some of the content will reference locations and cities. Other articles will focus on the stuff inside the stadium. Among the subject matter we will be discussing:

  • Park factors
  • Weather and climate
  • Field dimensions, including “quirks”
  • Foul territory
  • Grandstand shape and design
  • Field orientation
  • Amenities
  • Pricing trends

We’ll still cover the news as it comes and provide commentary. The new feature articles will come out on a more predictable schedule, perhaps on a biweekly or weekly basis. For instance, I’ll be adding weather information to the soon-to-be-renamed Attendance Watch box on the right. Why? Stay tuned. Also, if you have any suggestions for subjects we could cover, drop a comment. 2010 is bound to shape up as a most interesting year. We want to do our part.

48 thoughts on “Future articles for 2010 + NY Times article

  1. Really looking forward to the new series. I wouldn’t mind an article on a potential A’s museum in or nearby the new stadium. I never really thought much about it until Nav brought it up, but how much would a SJ A’s team concentrate on the history of the franchise in Oakland? Perhaps they would focus more on the Philly and KC A’s than if the new park and museum was in Oakland?

    • I see no reason to downplay any of the A’s glorious history in Oakland, even if the “divorce” turns out to be a bitter one. If you look at it from the point of view of so many A’s fans that the A’s are a Bay Area team and the stadium location carries no significance other than maximizing revenue for the team, then you would want to fully proclaim the A’s 4 World Series trophies and other glories won while in the Bay Area.

      There should be no reason for animosity, once the move is all settled and done.

      • I’m sorry guys, but you can’t have it both ways. The tradition of the Oakland Athletics belongs in Oakland at a new Oakland Athletics museum on Victory Court near Jack London Square. Oakland Athletics history and tradition isn’t to be put on a trailer and dragged all over the Bay Area. Also, if Lew Wolff succeeds in dragging the A’s away from Oakland after not playing ball and faking attempts at attempting to build a ballpark in Oakland, you can bet that there’ll be a tremendous amount of animosity coming from Oakland Athletic fans from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. I can tell you that I will never step foot in San Jose for an A’s game. In fact, I’ll never step foot in San Jose again for any reason. That’s how strongly I feel about this. Oakland has never attempted to steal any of San Jose’s teams. Oakland could have made advances towards the Earthquakes or Sharks. And, if Lew Wolff shuts Oakland out of MLB and MLS by claiming territorial rights to the Oakland Metropolitan Area, there will be no single individual in the sporting world which will be more despised around the Oakland Metro Area than Lew Wolff. San Jose wants to do to Oakland what San Francisco has done to San Jose. How do you San Jose boosters live with yourselves.

      • Nav–the history and legacy follows the Athletics not the city—-If you really believe that your threat of not going to SJ A’s games or coming to SJ has any impact oh well–its your world—

      • Oakland stole 5 Quakes games over the past two seasons. I’ll never set foot in Oakland again.

      • Nam, The Quakes should relocate to Oakland. They draw many more fans in Oakland then they do in the South Bay. You folks speak of San Jose as some sort of sports crazy mecca, when the evidence says the complete opposite. The Earthquakes don’t draw, San Jose State doesn’t draw, the San Jose Giants don’t draw, and you’ve lost many, many, minor sport franchises throughout San Jose sports history. Projecting success for the A’s in San Jose based on filling a 17,000 seat hockey arena, is absolutely ludicrous. The incomprehensible notion that we build a baseball ballpark in an area away from the team’s fan base, simply because this is the area where it might be easier to build that ballpark, is outrageous in it’s complete dismissal of its fanbase and future prospects for success.

      • Nav–you always enjoy twisting the facts to try and prove your ridiculous posts—the only reason that the Quakes played games in Oakland was because they needed a larger venue for the International match that was typically preceeded by a quakes game or because of the MLS game (Galaxy)—it wasn’t because of Oakland. If the ‘9ers stadium is built in SC and the A’s in downtown SJ you can bet there will not be any more soccer games at the Coli going forward-

        Finally, I’d put my money on a lucrative market like SJ/SV that has yet to be fully exploited v. a market like Oakland that has seen better days—just as Greg Papa said–

      • Oakland got all four rivalry games with the Galaxy/Beckham and the opening return game against the Fire/Blanco. Games at Buck Shaw are capped at 10,300 so of course the bigger draws were moved to the Coliseum. Don’t let facts wreck your fantasy, though.

        By the way, the venue is such a mess and the security are such thugs that no games will be played there from now on, regardless of capacity.

      • Oakland stole the team from Kansas City. Get over your self-righteousness.

        If Mr. Wolff succeeds in building a new yard in San Jose, there will be three rational East Bay fans delighted to have a new ballpark to go to and a team with a competitive payroll for every disgruntled member of the “Oakland-only” Taliban, AT LEAST.

        As for the history, tradition, records, colors, of the team: They are intellectual property of the team, and will follow it wherever it goes. You can refuse to recognize this, but this will be much like when the U.S. was refusing to recognize China.

      • Stop with this “stealing” team stuff. The A’s belong to whoever owns them. Oakland never ever owned the A’s. We’re at the whims of owners as long as we remain fans.

        If your conscience does will not allow you to follow a San Jose A’s team, all the more power to you. I guarantee the rest of us will feel no great loss, quite frankly. You Oakland-only fans come across as extremely selfish, divisive, self-important, etc. We A’s fans (some of us, like myself, who live in the East Bay!) who want the team to stay in the Bay Area feel very put off by your assertions that you are the only A’s fans that matter, and fear that your unreasonable stance will doom this franchise to at best irrelevance, at worst relocation or contraction.

      • I don’t live in the East Bay or the South Bay, I simply think the Bay Area deserves better access to the A’s than a 32,000 seat stadium in San Jose will provide. I live on the coast, about equally distant from Oakland and San Jose. I’m put off by San Jose boosters who claim moving the team to a location where the majority of the Bay Area’s residents have poor access is the fair or smart thing to do, while a preference for a more central location in Oakland, with great existing transit options, is selfish or bad business. I disagree with the premise that the A’s can only succeed by leaving the central Bay Area. I think the A’s can succeed in Oakland if they build a quality facility there and take better advantage of the full Bay Area population. As long as there is a chance to build in Oakland, I support that option above all others.

      • Great post! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      • and once again…why haven’t they succeeded even when they had a quality facility …prior to the Mt. Davis days?

      • Carpetbagger ownerships running the franchise with a one-foot-out-the-door mentality.

  2. This lineup looks good, ML.
    It may be upstaged by breaking news, however.

    One question I have about this privately funded SJ park concerns financing. With the banks being stingy with money lately (theirs, not ours), how would that impact a new ballpark? (Potentially higher interest rates, difficulty in finding lenders, etc.?)
    And do you think that Wolff will rely on seat licenses?

    • Financing is really the big question. It should be easier to get financing 12-18 months from now, but that doesn’t mean that interest rates will be favorable. So far Wolff has removed seat licenses from consideration. I wouldn’t entirely rule them out in the future.

  3. Nav,

    Once again, you DO NOT SPEAK FOR ATHLETICS FAN IN THE BAY AREA!!! Or for the majority of them in Alameda County for that matter.

    “you can bet that there’ll be a tremendous amount of animosity coming from Oakland Athletic fans from throughout the Bay Area and Northern California”

    This is utter tripe. I live in Northern California. It will take me an additional 45 minutes to an hour to get to a game in San Jose.

    There is NO ANIMOSITY coming from me over this move. I am GIDDY with excitement over the possibility of being able to retain odur team without the constant threat of a move out of the Bay Area that has hung over our heads for the best part of thirty years.

    Get over yourself. This isnt like the Raiders moving to Los Angeles. It is a move within the same geographical area.

    • You right, I don’t speak for “A’s” fans. However, there are now over 28,000 Oakland Athletic fans who want the Oakland Athletics to remain the Oakland Athletics. You want to destroy the Oakland Athletics so that you can have a team in San Jose? I’m not buying that line of thinking and neither are the 28,000 fans on face book. If they were really for a abandoning Oakland for San Jose they would be showing support on the San Jose site. It’s not happening. People want the Oakland A’s to remain in Oakland.

  4. This New York Times article leaves a lot to be desired. First of all calling the Coliseum “decrepit, uncomfortable, ugly, and antiquated, is a flat out lie. Marine layer has seen old and decrepit ballparks in other cities. In these towns “old, antiquated, and uncomfortable,” is called “quaint.” The Coliseum is not uncomfortable. Oakland Athletic fans don’t hate the Coliseum. Most of these complaints are coming from ownership, not the fans. The fans stay away because of Wolff’s policies, not the Coliseum. Secondly, Oakland residents are not, “suffering sinking civic morale in the face of high unemployment, persistent violent crime and budget cuts.” See: http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_14084000?source=most_emailed And, the low attendance is not put into context. The article mentions nothing about the factors which have lead to the fall of attendance from 27,000 from less than five year ago, to 17,000 in 2009. Who writes this stuff? Has the writer been living in the Bay Area and paying attention? This is a joke.

    • Nav–I am a season tix holder 4x over—the Coli SUCKS!!! As a fan I want a new ballpark and I want it in a reasonable timeframe—which will never happen in Oakland—therefore I am completely in favor of the SJ ballpark—-relative to the rest of your post–wasn’t it you who was villifying LW for taking the A’s out of Oakland at a time when they needed a civic boost? Which is it–?

      • Go A’s, He’s attempting to take the A’s out of Oakland while Oakland is experiencing a renaissance in many areas, thereby possibly hurting Oakland’s progress by creating the inaccurate perception that Oakland is a city on the decline. Instead of contributing to the ongoing renaissance, Wolff wants to contribute to the negativity which emanates from many parts of the Bay Area towards Oakland. Let’s face it, Lew Wolff is biased against the city of Oakland. Wolff has no idea of what’s currently happening in Oakland. You would think he would know a little bit more about the city since he has his “Benedict Arnold” Oakland resident co-owner Guy Seperstein (I’m not sure of the spelling) expressing his Oakland credentials when it’s time to plead being “held hostage ” in Oakland. Gee, thinking of all this makes me warm and fuzzy all over again. Where do I line up for season tickets?

      • Same place I have been lining up Nav as well as many others—its not about a city…its about a team…the A’s will continue to play baseball in San Jose—and you can go to the games and support our team no different than I or anyone else can go to the games and support the A’s–

      • a) Coliseum sucks.

        b) Hipsters and artists don’t buy season tickets.

        c) Yuppies do, but they DON’T CARE ABOUT WOLFF’S POLICIES. They stay away because of a)

      • There are plenty of yuppies all over the Bay Area. They don’t buy tickets to watch last place teams.

    • Navigator,
      If you are seriously disputing that the Coli is decrepit, uncomfortable, ugly and antiquated, one of the following is true:
      (a) you are pathologically disingenous (i.e. a troll); or
      (b) you have a cognitive disorder.

      I know many people on both sides of this debate. All them, without exception, agree: The Coli sucks.

      Most of us here are regular attendees. We love the team, we enjoy our time at the yard. Some of us would like to see the team land in Oakland, some in San Jose. But I haven’t seen anyone on this board dispute the fact that the Coli sucks.

      Except you. Yet even you have argued all the A’s attendance problems would be solved by a destination ballpark in Oakland. (Ah well, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds…)

      All independent parties who have rated MLB ballparks (e.g. ESPN, The Ultimate Sports Roadtrip, and others) have rated the Coli last or nearly last in MLB.

      I assume when you speak of other old ballparks considered quaint, you mean Wrigley and Fenway. (There aren’t many other old ballparks left).

      Q: Why are these ballparks considered quaint, while the Coli is considered decrepit, uncomfortable, ugly and antiquated?

      A: Because they are quaint, while the Coli is decrepit, uncomfortable, ugly and antiquate.

      Although the reasons for this are obvious, I’ll spell them out for you anyway. Fenway and Wrigley have good architecture. They got it right in the first place. They were designed as baseball-only venues. They have charm. They have good sightlines. They sit in vibrant baseball neighborhoods which transform themselves into a carnival on game day.

      The Coli is a gloomy, ugly, soulless, multipurpose, concrete monstrosity which looks like a giant toilet bowl. It’s concourses are too narrow. It’s bathrooms are appalling. It sits in a remote, dangerous, industrial, non-pedestrian friendly neighborhood of Oakland which has somehow managed not to support a single sports bar despite three big league teams playing there. It’s single redeeming feature (i.e. the view of the hills) was destroyed in 1995, in favor of a completely out of scale concrete slab which made the existing awful architecture even worse.

      One of the first things they teach in debate is not to deny the obvious strengths of your opponents arguments. It only makes you look foolish. When you’re posting in the OAFC echo-chamber, fine, it doesn’t make a difference. But I presume you’re here because you’d like to persuade fence sitters to your cause. Posting idiotic tripe like (a) the Coli is in anyway an adequate venue for a modern MLB team, and (b) fans can enjoy the luxury car dealers and most-profitable In-N-Out Burger nearby (provided they don’t mind getting in their cars and driving there), are not helping what I assume is your objective.

      • Let’s Get Real,

        The Coliseum was renovated with 40,000 new seats, dozens of new suites, a restaurant and bar behind home plate, in the baseball configuration of the ballpark. The Coliseum is a comfortable venue with plenty of space to get in and out of your seat. The Coliseum is far from being “decrepit.” The bathrooms and concession areas are palatial when you compare then to other venues in the Bay Area like Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, or Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The Cal Bears and San Francisco Forty Niners need new stadiums with ten times the urgency of the Oakland Athletics. This, the Coliseum is “decrepit” talk, is an outright distortion designed as an excuse to relocate the Oakland Athletics out of Oakland. The reason that I want a ballpark in Oakland, is because Lew Wolff and Bud Selig are telling us that this is the reason that they’ll be abandoning Oakland. They’re demanding a new ballpark. Oakland Athletic fans stay away because of the ownership and its policies, not the ballpark. That ballpark was just fine for 57,000 fans to come watch the A’s and Barry Zito attempt to beat the New York Yankees in the playoffs. That ballpark was good enough for 50,000 Oakland Athletic fans to come and watch the Oakland Athletics reach their 20 game winning streak. As far as you demeaning the neighborhood, unlike AT& T Park in San Francisco where two homicides have occurred, no one has ever been killed at an Oakland Athletics game. In short, I want a ballpark on the Oakland waterfront because Lew Wolff says that we have to have one, and if a new ballpark for the Oakland Athletics has to be built, it needs to be built in Oakland where that 500 million dollar infusion of capital will help the city. Also, the “A’s attendance problems” would be solved by an ownership committed to the community and committed to winning. A ballpark alone gets you the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds, and now the Cleveland Indians. Also, I’ve been to the neighborhoods around Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. Have you? They are anything but vibrant when the there is no ball game being played. I had my car washed by a homeless guy (he insisted) in the car wash behind the third base line outside of Wrigley Field. I also remember fast food joints lining a prominent street next to the ballpark along with a screeching siren of an ambulance going by. There was no one around. Vibrant? I don’t think so.The exterior of the ballpark looked old and dingy. Fenway Park is located next to a freeway in a semi-gritty, almost warehouse type neighborhood. Graffiti adorns the back of the retaining walls as you pass the ballpark on the freeway. There’s nothing very impressive around the neighborhood. You have the Berkeley School of Music nearby and not too much else. Get your facts straight before you begin debating something you obviously don’t know too much about. Misrepresenting the situation by calling the Coliseum “decrepit” doesn’t do much as a starting point for the debate.

      • “The Coliseum was renovated with 40,000 new seats, dozens of new suites, a restaurant and bar behind home plate, in the baseball configuration of the ballpark.”

        So now you’re arguing that the Raiders remodel was a good thing for the A’s? If so, you and Al Davis are the only ones who think so. Again, putting forth propositions this loony is not helping you win converts to your point of view.

        And all those suites are doing them little good since there is no corporate base in Oakland to which to sell them.

        “The Coliseum is a comfortable venue with plenty of space to get in and out of your seat.”

        The Coliseum is about average in seating. It is way below average in the “comfort” of trying to get through the concourse. And seat room has little to do with whether it is fairly characterized as decrepit.

        “The Coliseum is far from being “decrepit.”

        The Coliseum absolutely is decrepit. The New York Times gets it, even if you don’t.

        “The bathrooms and concession areas are palatial when you compare then to other venues in the Bay Area like Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, or Candlestick Park in San Francisco.”

        Another idiotic, irrevelevant, apples-to-oranges comparison. Neither Memorial Stadium nor Candlestick Park hosts a Major League Baseball team. And, both venues are also widely acknowledged to be decrepit and badly in need of replacement.

        Sorry, saying “This pile of feces is slightly larger than this other pile of feces” does not change the fundamental fact that both are still feces.

        “The Cal Bears and San Francisco Forty Niners need new stadiums with ten times the urgency of the Oakland Athletics.”

        This comment shows complete non-comprehension of the economics of big-time sports. Both the Bears and Niners need new or remodeled venues, and both are working hard to accomplish this. However, neither’s situation is as dire as the A’s.

        NFL teams rely heavily on TV money and revenue sharing. They have far fewer games to which they need to sell tickets, and benefit from a salary cap. They rely less on gate receipts, and can survive far better in a sub-par facility than an MLB team can.

        College teams rely heavily on their endowments and alumni contributions. Their fanbases are insanely loyal in a way no professional team’s is. They have far fewer games to which they need to sell tickets. They rely less on gate receipts, and can survive far better in a sub-par facility than an MLB team can.

        In MLB however, revenue sharing is limited. Most TV broadcasts (and TV money) is local. They must sell tickets to 81 games per year. There is no salary cap. MLB teams rely heavily on gate receipts, and in particular the sale of premium seating.

        In the A’s case, they are further hindered by the presence of a much stronger franchise playing in a gem of a ball park only a few miles away. They DESPERATELY need a new venue, far more than either the Niners or Bears.

        “Oakland Athletic fans stay away because of the ownership and its policies, not the ballpark.”

        More idiotic tripe. But just for giggles, let’s assume this is true for a moment.

        Both Walter Haas and Lew Wolff lost attendance when the team’s performance declined. During the last five years of his watch, Walter Haas’ attendance went from 2.7 million to less than 1.2 million. This represents a loss of 1.5 million fans, a decrease of 56%.

        Lew Wolff, on the other hand, has seen attendance decline from 2.1 million to 1.4 million during his five years of ownership. This represents a loss of 700,000 fans, a decrease of 33%.

        What does this tell us? Well, Mr. Wolff has been far more successful in retaining fans during tough times than Mr. Haas, despite owning the team in a much tougher environment. (e.g. AT&T Park just across the bridge; Mt. Davis looming over the Coli; brutal economic times).

        So, if “owner love” is a significant driver of attendance, as you posit, clearly Lew Wolff is the most beloved owner in the A’s Oakland history. And rightly so. True fans love the closing of the upper deck, which creates a more vibrant, lively feel in the ballpark while avoiding costs which can be better spent on payroll. And we love an owner committed to building a gem of a ballpark in the team’s home market WITH HIS OWN MONEY.

  5. …the low attendance is not put into context.
    OK, so here’s some context:
    The A’s attendance is not only low, it’s the lowest in all of major league baseball.
    Dead last.
    30th out of 30.
    In 1957, the Brooklyn Dodgers were in the middle of the pack in MLB attendance — just under the average, and just under the median. The year before that, they were third best. But that wasn’t enough to keep them in their market. Walter O’Malley couldn’t get an acceptable land deal, so he moved the team. Not just 45 miles, and not within the same metro area, but entirely across the country.

    Some of this mediocre attendance was due to the Dodger’s lame-duck status — in their last game in Brooklyn, they drew less that 7,000. Compared to that, the A’s owners have complete economic justification for moving anywhere they want.

  6. @Let’s Get Real “Lew Wolff, on the other hand, has seen attendance decline from 2.1 million to 1.4 million during his five years of ownership. This represents a loss of 700,000 fans, a decrease of 33%.

    What does this tell us? Well, Mr. Wolff has been far more successful in retaining fans during tough times than Mr. Haas, despite owning the team in a much tougher environment. (e.g. AT&T Park just across the bridge; Mt. Davis looming over the Coli; brutal economic times).”

    It might also tell us that the East Bay is a significantly better baseball market today than it was 15-20 years ago. Certainly, the entire Bay Area has grown since then, but the central counties served by BART (Alamda, Contra Costa and San Francisco), have really ballooned since then, adding about 500,000 new residents since 1990. Imagine how well the 2000-2006 A’s might have drawn at a 45,000 seat baseball-only waterfront park in Oakland… This seems to me the smart move by any real “baseball” man: to stay at the center of this region and have enough seats to pack them in and keep tickets affordable for fans from all directions, a la the Angels. Unfortunately, Lew Wolff is a “real estate” man, so we’re getting 32,000 artificially scarce seats in downtown San Jose. I’m bummed.

    • If you think attendance of 1.4 million (rather than Haas’ 1.2 million) is “evidence that the East Bay is a significantly better baseball market than it was 15-20 years ago,” well, I can only shake my head. So now instead of “wretched” it’s improved to “appalling?” Not good enough.

      It’s true that population in the East Bay has grown. However, that hasn’t budged the range of A’s attendance one bit. Oakland may be a basketball town; it may be a football town, but it clearly isn’t a baseball town.

      At the same time, the population of the South Bay has also grown. More importantly, in Oakland the A’s must now compete with a state-of-the-art ballpark in basically the same location. Even more importantly, the business of baseball has shifted so that access to population isn’t enough; access to corporations is critical to sell the premium seats teams need to survive. The South Bay is the economic heart of the region, and has by far the largest corporate base.

      Everything that’s changed in the past 20 years points to the South Bay as the most viable and sustainable location for a second Bay Area MLB team.

      • Now you’re backpedaling. It’s comical the way you guys will try to use a number one way to polish Lew’s knob for him, then spit on it as positive evidence for the region. You listed a number of negatives the A’s had going against them in drawing just 1.4 million last year, and you never even touched the biggest reason of all, “last-place team, no star players, under .500 three straight seasons (likely to be just as bad several more seasons)”… Because of course that breaks the circular chain of “Lew must be a genius” bullshit you tried to fabricate. As for Oakland not being a “baseball town” only a moron would make that argument, since San Francisco is 5 miles away and had an identical historical record of baseball support prior to getting a new waterfront ballpark. The evidence is in, don’t be stupid.

      • The back and forth is pointless—those who care have made it very clear that they prefer San Jose over Oakland–this includes LW and the ownership team as well as the SF gints who are doing everything they can to keep the A’s out of the more profitable Silicon Valley—-there isn’t a rational business person around who would choose Oakland over the Silicon Valley-

      • Sux,
        I’ll try to explain this to you using small words as much as possible, to make it easier on the person who is reading it to you.
        In no way am I backpedaling. I have consistently maintained the East Bay is and always has been a poor market for baseball.
        I was merely responding to Navigator’s idiotic argument about “owner love” driving attendance. Though I don’t buy this for a second, I pointed out that Haas lost attendance faster than Wolff has, so if this idiotic premise were true, it would suggest Wolff (and his “policies”) are more popular than Haas was.
        You then come out and seemingly imply the following: “Well Haas lost 1.5 million during the last performance downturn, and Wolff has only lost 700,000, therefore the East Bay is a significantly better baseball market than it was 15-20 years ago.”
        Um, no. While Wolff has lost attendance at a slower rate than Haas, the bottom line total is only marginally better. It’s still wretched performance. It’s still a pile of feces, just a smaller pile.
        As far as San Francisco goes, its situation was not comparable to Oakland’s. First of all, while the Coli was actually a decent venue compared to its peer facilities until around 1995, Candlestick was always horrible. It was an ugly dump, in an inconvenient location, freezing at night, poorly served by transit, with horrible access roads than became clogged with traffic for high attendance games, and a parking lot that was a sea of mud. That was true in the ’60s, and remains true today. It took a lot more to convince people to come out to Candlestick than to the Coli.
        But San Francisco always had a much larger regional fanbase than the A’s (evidenced by, among other things, TV audience). Meaning, more potential for success with a destination venue in a good location. Even in the years when attendance was comparable, there was a lot more reason to believe San Francisco had potential as a baseball town.
        Just as importantly, San Francisco acted first. Navigator is always blathering on about Oakland’s “central location.” Well, if the A’s had been first to build a state-of-the-art ballpark on the Oakland waterfront, this might have meant something. They might have established a level of success which would have deterred the Giants from building in China Basin. The Giants might have wound up moving to San Jose themselves.
        But this isn’t what happened. The Giants built first and are wildly successful in what is essentially that same “central location” Navigator bleats on about. They have what is called “first mover advantage.” You can have your caregiver Google it for you.
        As for “last place team, no star players,” etc., that’s just a normal part of being a small market team. If you have up years at all, they are unsustainable. The fact we are in a down cycle right now does not really reflect on Lew’s acumen. In any event, he’s not the one running the baseball side of things; it’s the same guy it was when the A’s were successful.
        You may now resume drooling on your keyboard.

      • “Even in the years when attendance was comparable, there was a lot more reason to believe San Francisco had potential as a baseball town.”

        Describing Candlestick as a much worse destination than the Coliseum doesn’t actually constitute “evidence” of this. There’s not really any reason for there to be a bit of difference between San Francisco and Oakland as locations for equivalent sports facilities.

  7. Oakland is central to every corporation in the Bay Area. San Jose is not central to every corporation in the Bay Area and the Oakland Athletics fan base is not in San Jose. Also, Let’s get real, when was the MLB strike and how did that effect attendance all over the Nation. How did the San Francisco Giants draw during the time that Walter Haas was losing attendance? How disingenuous of you.

    • “Let’s Get Real” was using the attendance numbers in the strike year of 1994, and 1995 to denigrate attendance under Walter Haas. Once again the San Jose side uses misrepresentations to support their case. http://www.oaklandfans.com/attendance.html

      Shame on you “Let’s Get Real.” Looking at the above chart also shows us the the Oakland Athletics consistently outdrew the San Francisco Giants. What do you have to say for yourself “Let’s Get Real?'” You’ve lost any credibility you may of previously had by intentionally misrepresenting the facts.

      • I never mentioned 1994. My comparison was annual attendance lost over a five year period, ’91 to 95 vs. ’05 to ’09..
        The strike was settled April 2, 1995. They still played 144 games that year. If you prefer, you can use per game average attendance instead. Guess what? The numbers don’t change that much, and the fundamental point remains the same: Haas lost attendance at a much faster rate than Wolff has.
        I suppose you’ll blame all Haas’ attendance woes in ’95 on after effects of the strike. We could debate this, but it’s not terribly important to my point because the decline in attendance in ’94 and ’95 merely continued a trend which began in ’91. Haas lost nearly 200,000 customers in ’91, another 200,000 in ’92, and almost 500,000 in ’93. If you use per game numbers, he lost over 2000 per game in ’91, again in ’92, 5000 per game in ’93, and over 3000 per game in ’94 (before the strike hit).
        Even if you disregard the year after the strike, Haas was hemorraging attendance at a faster rate than Mr. Wolff is.
        My fundamental point: Your argument that “owner love” drives attendance is idiotic. And even if it were valid, the numbers would then suggest that Wolff is better liked than Haas was.
        And you’re going to lecture me on credibility and misrespresenting facts, the least credible, most disingenous person on this blog? Take your pompous lecture and stick it in your “central location.”

    • Oakland is not central to every location in the Bay Area. Let’s put it this way, if there were 100 big target suite-customer companies in the South Bay, 25 in San Francisco, 5 in Oakland and 1 in the North Bay, would any rational person consider Oakland “central?” Of course not.

      (Those numbers are made up, but I believe the ratios they express are not far off).

      Or, if we want to take this absurd argument to its logical extreme, why not put the park in Madera? Then it can be central to every corporation in California.

      • When did it become absurd to locate sports facilities convenient to people?

        BTW, I just eyeballed the Fortune 1000 and counted only a 30-21 imbalance between the South and North Bay companies. And 4 of the 5 largest are north of SC County.

      • Oakland sports facilities are not convenient to people in the South Bay. As has been posted by others previously here, on a weeknight (which is most of the games) it can take as much to two hours to get from a South Bay office to your seat at the Coliseum.

        30-21 is pretty dramatic when you consider you are trying to take credit for San Francisco companies (as you continually do, despite the fact you’re not going to get their suite business in Oakland anyway). Using this metric, South Bay has 50% more big corporations than San Francisco and Oakland combined. That’s pretty dramatic.

        The size of the companies in question is not the only important thing. A giant multinational may have its corporate headquarters here, but a relatively limited presence because the bulk of its operations are elsewhere. On the other hand, a big company may not have its headquarters here but still have a substantial local presence (like Microsoft’s massive office in the South Bay).

        A better measure of the relative presence of these giant companies is the number of employees they have in the area. As was previously posted here, a recent newspaper article stated the South Bay has twice as many tech employees (who tend to be among the best paid) as the rest of the Bay Area combined.

        Yes, I know this doesn’t reflect other industries. However, it’s still a good indicator.

        If you want another good indicator, look which way the commute traffic is going on the Dumbarton Bridge and 237 during rush hour.

      • “Let’s Get Real” writes, “I never mentioned 1994. My comparison was annual attendance lost over a five year period, ‘91 to 95 vs. ‘05 to ‘09.” This is another falsehood and misrepresentation on the part of “Let’s Get Real.” Here is what he wrote above regarding attendance under Mr. Haas. “If you think attendance of 1.4 million (rather than Haas’ 1.2 million) is evidence that the East Bay is a significantly better baseball market than it was 15-20 years ago,” well, I can only shake my head.” Haas’ “1.2 million” was attained in 1994 during the strike shortened season. Again we see how the San Jose side continually misrepresents the facts in order to make the case for relocation out of Oakland. “Let’s Get Real” why don’t you start getting real.

      • Navigator,
        What I originally wrote was “During the last five years of his watch, Walter Haas’ attendance went from 2.7 million to less than 1.2 million.” The last year of Walter Haas’ watch was 1995.
        In 1995, attendance was 1.17 million. I rounded this off to 1.2 million (the rounding being in Haas’ favor).
        However, I had forgotten a few games were lost to the strike that year. If you want to adjust for this and take the per game average (16,000) and multiply it by 81, you get a total of 1.3 million for the year. So Haas lost 51% of the fan base over that period, rather than the 56% I originally posted.
        Still wretched, and still supports my point.

      • No, Let’s Get Real,

        What you did is purposely use the 1.2 million attendance figure for the extremely short strike season of 1994, to show a huge 700,000 fan decrease for the Walter Haas ownership. That’s extremely disingenuous and deceitful. I’m afraid that if we were in a courtroom, your credibility would be in shreds at this point. You would be deemed an irrelevant and unreliable witness. I suspect this will be the case when the misrepresentations made to Oakland during contract negotiations along with the fraud committed against the City of Oakland during the delay imposed by Bud Selig and his Blue Ribbon Commission are exposed. Lew Wolff, Bud Selig, and San Jose officials, will all come out looking as disingenuous and deceitful as you have proven yourself to be in these few paragraphs.

      • Also, between 1993 and 1994 the San Francisco Giants lost 902,000 fans. If we go one forward one more year to 1995, the San Francisco Giants lost nearly 1.4 million fans between 1993 and 1995. Now that we’ve put everything into context it’s perfectly clear that attendance figures were being manipulated to favor a relocation out of Oakland.

      • Navigator,
        Are you a complete dimwit? Do you even know how to read?
        I said “the last five years of Haas’ ownership.” The last year of his ownership was 1995. What part of that do you not understand?
        I only used five years to keep it fair, since Wolff has only owned the team for five. I would have loved to go back six, which makes the drop even more stark.
        More to the point, what the hell difference does it make? Attendance in 1995 was less than 1.2 million. If you adjust for games lost, it was 1.3 million – still a loss of 1.4 million since ’91 and 1.6 million since ’90.
        Not 700,000; 1.6 million. Haas had already lost nearly 900,000 just in the three years between ’90 and ’93. Learn to read.
        The strike is completely irrelevant to this argument. The point is equally proven whether you look only at attendance before the strike happened, or adjust annual attendance using per game average for the two strike affected years.
        These are all facts. You don’t have to take my word for them, you can go look them up. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/athlatte.shtml
        And I’m supposed to defend my credibility against the idiot responsible for the following gems:
        – The region is known as the “San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley Bay Area”
        – The Coliseum and its neighborhood are comparable to Wrigley or Fenway.

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