The “Principles” of Astroturfing

That group Stand for San Jose is at it again, choosing New Year’s Eve to write a letter to the City. In the letter, the group is demanding that the A’s guarantee revenues as defined in the September Economic Impact report. Nevermind that the A’s did not write nor commission the report; it was handled by the City. Have the San Jose Giants ever promised any kind of economic benefit for San Jose? I’m afraid not, yet they’re happy to go to the public trough and then have the temerity to attack the City after they’ve secured a ballpark deal of their own.

Regardless of what you or I think of the group’s machinations, the City has already set up guidelines for negotiating with the A’s if/when they get clearance to move to San Jose. While these are just the beginning and the devil will truly be in the details, the principles approved by the Mayor/Council (PDF) are a good start towards making sure everything’s on the up-and-up.

1. The stadium development must generate a significant economic benefit to San Jose and have a positive impact on the City of San Jose’s General Fund.
2. The Major League Baseball team, at no cost to the City of San Jose, will be responsible for financing and building the stadium structure and
improvements on the approximate 14-acre designated stadium site.
3. The Major League Baseball team will be responsible for financing all
stadium operating costs related to its activities within the stadium site and surrounding area.
4. The name of the Major League Baseball team must include San Jose.
5. If the City or Redevelopment Agency recommend a contribution in the form of land or a financial contribution for any other ballpark specific items, a vote by the citizens of San Jose will be required on the stadium project.
  1. The stadium development must generate a significant economic benefit to San Jose and have a positive impact on the City of San Jose’s General Fund.
  2. The Major League Baseball team, at no cost to the City of San Jose, will be responsible for financing and building the stadium structure and improvements on the approximate 14-acre designated stadium site.
  3. The Major League Baseball team will be responsible for financing all stadium operating costs related to its activities within the stadium site and surrounding area.
  4. The name of the Major League Baseball team must include San Jose.
  5. If the City or Redevelopment Agency recommend a contribution in the form of land or a financial contribution for any other ballpark specific items, a vote by the citizens of San Jose will be required on the stadium project.

Not known to mince words, Mayor Chuck Reed had a select few for Stand for San Jose:

“I think this front organization for the San Francisco Giants should go to San Francisco and talk to their puppet masters and tell them to get out of the way so we can negotiate some guarantees,” Reed said.

While City Attorney Rick Doyle called it “unrealistic” for any team to agree to such a money-back guarantee, he said reducing the city’s financial risk is “very do-able.” Doyle pointed to the 1990 deal between the city and the San Jose Sharks over funding the arena, now called HP Pavilion.

Furthermore, Roger Noll characterizes a revenue guarantee (beyond a direct lease payment) as “improbable.” And to end the article on an unintentionally humorous note, reporter Tracy Seipel notes that the letter asks for an “economic benefits report card,” similar to audits done by Phoenix and Washington, DC. Except that those two cities don’t do such report cards. The supposed “responsible government” in the District put together (thanks Robert Bobb) one of the most egregiously one-sided, publicly-financed ballpark deals in the last 20 years.

163 thoughts on “The “Principles” of Astroturfing

  1. It’s good to see Mayor Chuck Reed keeping his pimp hand strong.

  2. If the San Jose Giants want the city to be responsible, and make sure that stadium funds and deals are a pro to the city, why not take back that $ that will be going to the SJ Giants stadium in San Jose? I mean, isn’t that the responsible thing to do?

  3. Stand for San Jose is so transparent it is laughable. What also is laughable is some media outlets legitimate treatment of the “group”. Is there a financial connection between the Giants and some of these media outlets?

    There is an argument to be made about not having a major sports franchise in a city/downtown/your neighborhood. I, likely, don’t agree with it in this circumstance but their is an argument to be made. I, also, think the SF Giants have an argument about why San Jose should not get the A’s. I don’t agree with it at all but given the whole “territorial” thing, they can make a gripe based on something real. But this front organization created by the SF Giants, entirely about keeping the A’s out of San Jose using subterfuge and disinformation…….it’s pretty shabby tactics. Stand for San Jose should not be given legitimacy.

  4. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Stand for SJ is a front organization sponsored by the Giants? Their stated goals are to prevent the A’s from relocating to SJ? The Giants compel the city of SF’s legal apparatus to threaten the city of SJ with legal action should they successfully recruit the A’s? All because the city finds the Giants relationship to be a profitable one?

    So in essence, the argument is that the Giants are good for SF? The A’s would be bad for SJ? All because the Giants and SF say so?

    Is that about right?

    • Happy 2010!!
      Don’t miss those hangovers of my 20’s and early 30’s one bit. My thoughts exactly Jeff. It’s quite OK for San Francisco to have traffic/air quality issues related to AT&T Park, OK for the “blight” that followed at Candlestick Park when then Pac Bell opened, OK for the Giants to not guarantee any sort of revenue levels that the SJ Giants are asking the A’s/SJ for, OK for their privately-financed yard that hasn’t affected SF city services/general fund…BUT not OK for our’s. Can you say hypocritical?

      However, there is a silver lining to all this crap. It’s putting SJ’s position and the principles of the ballpark out there: privately financed, won’t be a drain on the general fund/city services, will make money for the city (although the exact amount is open to debate), etc.

  5. It’s OK for San Jose to take Oakland’s team and claim Oakland as its territory, thereby preventing Oakland from ever having MLB again. Isn’t this what San Francisco does to San Jose? Speaking of Hypocritical!

    Also, It’ll eventually be proven that the ballpark WILL end up costing San Jose public money. Also, the need to include that “San Jose” be somewhere in the team name, really shows San Jose’s insecurity. Maybe Wolff is leaning towards the “Oakland Athletics of San Jose.”

    • The A’s aren’t being taken. The A’s want to leave.

      • Curious Nav,
        Why don’t you ever hold the city of Oakland accountable for the A’s eventual departure? 15 years Nav! In the 1990’s, instead of making improvements to the Coliseum for the A’s, they “destroyed” it for the Raiders. During the last great economic boom of the late 90’s, early 2000’s, the city of Oakland chose to allow condos at Uptown rather than pursue a ballpark. Yet hear we are in 2010, and you continue to self-label yourself and Oakland as “victim.” Just curious, why?

        By the way, privately-financed AT&T Park did cost the city of SF a little in public money, just like SJ’s ballpark will…and your point? Didn’t realize a hypothetical ballpark in Oakland would be 100% free of charge for “The O!”

    • Don’t kid yourself. It will be the San Jose A’s. Has too nice a ring to it to do otherwise. For all your endless raving, when it’s all said and done, the A’s were Oakland’s to lose. If it’s true that the A’s are going to cost SJ money, isn’t it also true that a new park would cost Oakland money too? To tell you the truth, I imagine that there will be an enormous collective sigh of relief from Oakland city hall once the A’s pack up and leave. Assuming of course that each city pol has someone to blame other than themselves Dude, at the end of the day, this is a financial move. It has nothing to do with emotion, loyalty (on anyone’s part), or tradition. You simply tab the pro’s and con’s up in the ledger and go with the one that makes the most fiscal sense. I for one will be enormously pleased if the A’s continue playing ball in the Bay area. Good deal for me, good deal for the team, good deal for both cities.

  6. This just in! The “Benedict Arnold-like” group Stand For San Jose are now demanding that the A’s and San Jose gaurantee that no asteriods will ever slam into the Earth’s surface after Cisco Field goes up in downtown SJ. Sounds ridiculous? As ridiculous as what has come out of those traiters and SF over the past few weeks.

    “If you lay out a map and put teams in the most desirable places, I don’t think Oakland would be in the top 50 anymore. It’s sad to say because I live in the East Bay and have worked with all their teams.” Who said this…the voice of the Raiders Greg Papa, who has also worked with the A’s and Warriors as well (SFGate 1/1/10). I’ll just leave it at that.

    • He’s talking about the losing records of the franchises, not the city of Oakland as a location for sports franchises. To say that Oakland, as a location, isn’t in the top 50 in the Nation would be ridiculous. Ask the lousy Warriors about how great a location Oakland is. They draw 18,100 fans with a horrible team to the Oakland Alameda County Complex. This is the same exact location where Lew Wolf barely draws 17,000 fans, when just five years ago another carpetbagger from Santa Clara was drawing 27,000 fans, even as he was flirting with the Santa Clara City Council. And many of you have the audacity to claim that Oakland has had “15 years” to get something done when Oakland has been dealing with two carpetbagger ownerships from the South Bay who have shown absolutely zero interest in building anything anywhere in Oakland, including in your straw man argument location of “Uptown.” Show me a quote anywhere from an A’s official saying they wanted to build a ballpark at the Uptown site at the time discussions were going on. Stop with the misrepresentations!

      • New Year—same Nav….how do you interpret the following quote to be about losing records…. “If you lay out a map and put teams in the most desirable places, I don’t think Oakland would be in the top 50 anymore,” …. map and desirable are not descriptors about winning and losing. Nav…show me a site in Oakland where they have actually done more than just identify one or two or three….San Jose has done in the past 5 years what Oakland has failed to do over the past 15…..and without a guarantee of a team….come on Nav–time to stop with the misrepresentations!!

      • Shaking head very, very, slowly. And with that, I will now cease replying to these ultra-delusional, outrageous posts from The Navigator! One final note from I to you Nav: I don’t think Mr. Papa would appreciate being called ridiculous.

      • Come on Nav, you know very well why the Warriors draw so well when compared to the A’s, it’s because they are the only NBA game in town, whereas the A’s play second fiddle to the Giants. You make it seem like the Warriors ought to be kissing Oakland’s ass for the success they are seeing at the gate. Sheesh, talk about misrepresentation.

      • BTW, how dare the Warriors for being allowed to wear their Gold Hardwood Classics jerseys with “San Francisco” across the front. Damn Oakland, you stole the A’s from Philidelphia and KC and you also stole the Warriors from Philidelphia and SF. I wonder how many residents of Philidelphia, KC and San Francisco refuse to step foot in Oakland because of these thefts. Think of all those tourist dollars being lost. Oh the injustice….

      • FC I think Wolff should think about naming relocated Oakland A’s the “Golden State A’s” as not to offend alienated Oakland Athletic fans from the East Bay and to not be hemmed in as a San Jose only team. San Jose is more of a point on a map than it is representing the Bay Area region. I’m sure the owners will have to consider a more appealing regional name.

      • I would puke at “Golden State A’s” or “Silicon Valley A’s” or other such nonsense. That would alienate me. Just give it the name of the city they play in, period. I don’t give a **** if the city is San Jose or Pinole or Burlingame, just a “point of the map”. At least it’s a real entity and not some ephemereal pseudo-geographical abstraction.

      • So should he do that if they ultimately remain in Oakland? That name appeals to less than half the amount that “San Jose” does.

      • Turk,

        This is the San Francisco/Oakland region. It’s much like Minneapolis/Saint Paul. San Jose is really not part of the San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley Bay Area. Oakland is know Nationally for its six World Championships. Oakland has won four World Series titles and two NFL Championships. On the other hand, San Jose is really not known very well Nationally. Silicon Valley is very well known, but San Jose, you could be talking about San Jose, Costa Rica. Lew is definitely going to need a name with broader regional appeal if he succeeds in tearing the Oakland Athletics away from their namesake town.

      • My god, you are such a hypocrite for demeaning other cities while crying foul when someone criticizes Oakland. Grow up.

      • Actually this is the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area according the U.S. Census Bureau.

      • The fact that you threw in Berkeley makes me wonder how real you are. You’ve long straddled the line between hopelessly delusional and comically absurd, but now you’re beginning to stray.

      • Navigator: This is the San Francisco/Oakland region. It’s much like Minneapolis/Saint Paul. San Jose is really not part of the San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley Bay Area.

        Me: Speechless…

        (Is this guy for real?)

  7. Nav just got pwnd…again, lmao.

    • I wasn’t trying to be demeaning, I was just pointing out that we have a real divide here in the Bay Area. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who knows the Bay Area, that San Jose is very different from the San Francisco/Oakland area. San Jose is more suburban, more spread out, has less concentrated poverty, a lower crime rate, etc. I’m just saying that San Jose is vastly different than San Francisco or Oakland. And yes, It’s Minneapolis/Saint Paul , Dallas/Forth Worth, and San Francisco /Oakland. It’s not “demeaning” to point this out. What’s “demeaning,” is the way Lew Wolff back hands Oakland and its fans at every turn. Now, that’s demeaning.

      • Being that you’re so wise and worldly, it’s shocking that you overlooked better analogues such as Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto and Duisburg-Essen-Dortmund.

      • The MSP comparison fails miserably. Minneapolis is about the size of Oakland, St. Paul is 100k less population but also functions as the state capital. St. Paul is a conservative, quiet, somewhat suburban city that closes down around 5. Minneapolis is more the cultural center which has the younger demographic and the university.

        Dallas-Fort Worth also doesn’t make sense. Both cities are about the same distance apart as SF and SJ, and the differences are nearly as vast. Dallas is the metropolitan and cosmopolitan capital of the region, while Fort Worth has long been the sleepy neighbor that in the past few decades has achieved tremendous growth, like SJ. Area sports franchises have looked towards Arlington, between the two cities, to build stadia in order to get it done cheaper and to centrally locate within the region. If you really want to dissect this, here are the facts:

        Dallas: 1.27 million, part of Dallas-Plano-Irving metro.
        Fort Worth: 700,000
        Arlington: 400,000, Fort Worth and Arlington are within their own metro.

        So going by population, Oakland = Arlington, SJ = Dallas, SF = Ft Worth. But that’s not really correct. In terms of status and sports, SF = Dallas, Oakland = Arlington, SJ = Ft Worth.

        The worst part is not that I’ve spent 3 minutes putting this down. The worst part is that when it suits you, Nav, you’ll easily “partner” with SF when it’s convenient, then turn around and rip SF when it suits you. You can’t have it both ways. If Oakland were meant to have its own census-defined metro, it would’ve already had one. As it stands today, Oakland is lumped in with SF, making it a suburb of SF.

      • Marine Layer, you wrote “sports franchises have looked towards Arlington, between the two cities, to build stadia in order to get it done cheaper and to centrally locate within the region.” The Dallas/Fort Worth area places its sports stadiums in centrally located Arlington.. It makes perfect sense to me. This is why Oakland is the logical choice.

      • So then you agree that Oakland = Arlington. Congratulations. Interesting how the two teams there aren’t named after the home city. Also interesting how both those stadia required the largest public financing requirement in the region. Ergo, it’s not enough to be centrally located, as you so love to tout.

      • Oakland = Arlington in its central location to the Bay Area region. However, Oakland’s stature as a major city in the United States is much greater than Arlington’s. Oakland = Arlington in central location while equaling Fort Worth in stature in the region. Although, personally, I think Oakland is a much more interesting and beautiful city than Fort Worth.

      • You obviously haven’t studied this or thought this through enough. I’m done wasting my time with you on this, especially since you don’t even have the courtesy to consider any of the other points I laid out.

      • Oakland’s stature as a major city in the US? Are you serious? Oakland as a city is rather small. Wisconsin has larger cities than Oakland.

      • I wonder how betrayed the people in Irving feel now that the Cowboys are in Arlington? Damn carpetbagging Jerry Jones!

        And I wonder how having a single sports franchise in a given sport impacts how effective a central location is? Seriously, this is a good discussion to have. Unfortunately I doubt anyone who advocates this “central location theory” will actually do any research outside of “BART is there.” And the whole discussion will devolve into the typical garbage.

        Arlington and Oakland are similar in one respect- business people refer to them as “Dallas” and “San Francisco” rather than by their given names.

        Seriously, my job has me working on a global scale. I never have to explain where San Jose is. I have had to explain where Oakland is more than once.

        But who cares? What the hell does having to explain where a city is by saying “across the bay from San Francisco” or “about 30 minutes South of SFO” have to do with anything?

  8. My 2010 New Years resolutions:
    .
    1 – I will not reply to any more delusional comments by deluded posters on this blog.
    .
    2 – I will encourage people here to not reply to any more delusional comments by deluded posters on this blog.
    .
    3 – I will start a facebook group encouraging people to not reply to any more delusional comments by deluded posters on this blog. (If I get around to it.)
    .
    4 – I will never again set foot in Milpitas if that city succeeds in luring the A’s or the Raiders or the Warriors or Laney College or the Bay Bridge toll plaza away from Oakland.
    .
    5 – The same goes for Sausalito.
    .
    6 – I will start a group called “Keep Astroturf out of SJ Muni Stadium,” and will only go to SJ Giants games when I have free Merchant Nights tickets from OSH.
    .
    7 – I will henceforth always use the word “carpetbaggers” whenever I refer to any sports team that has ever relocated, even if within the same market, and to any owner who has not lived in his team’s present zip code for all his life.
    .
    8 – I will endeavor to use the words “passion”, “traditions”, “loyalty”, “rich history”, “Oakland”, “Facebook”, “Victory Court”, “renaissance”, “Haas”, “Clorox”, and “center of the Bay Area” whenever possible in my replies.

    9 – I will strive to avoid using words such as “Philadelphia”, “Kansas City”, “Finley”, “Schott”, “Wolff”, “Selig”, “San Jose”, “Cisco”, “High Speed Rail, or “Caltrain” in any posts here.

    10 – I will do my best to insure that the new ballpark next to Diridon Station will have Falafel’s Drive In, Calvin’s Philly Cheesestaks, Gordon Biersch, and a revived Lou’s Living Donut Museum as anchor concessionnaires.

  9. The most powerful way to push back against city of SF and the gints in their astroturfing is to hit them where it hurts most—financially—as I recall Fisher is a fairly significant philanthrapist in SF–including wanting to build a museum in the Presido with his own money to house one of his collections…didn’t go forward but who knows what other causes he supports–time to inform Newsom that he will no longer provide any sort of charitable donation to the city of SF while it plays this game. On the gints side—would love to know who the most significant advertisers are of the the little gints—-if these companies wanted to return the protest they could re-direct those dollars to the A’s—no need for a public bruha…..just a quiet and direct communique that should have a significant impact on the bottom line—I would guess the puppets would wake up and not allow the gints to be yanking their chain as they are now–

    • I love how SF and the Giants are the aggressors here, by trying to protect the territories and revenue streams they’ve spent decades building. And now San Jose and A’s ownership, the innocent victims here, need to find ways to “punish” them by withholding CHARITY. You guys are hysterical.

      • As opposed to Oakland being the victim of their own indifference and construction of Mt Davis?

      • Charity is optional–plenty of other places besides SF that he can direct his dollars—why should Fisher contribute one dime to a city that is obstructing advancement of his investment. He shouldn’t—

        SF spent decades building territories? How and when? There isn’t a hint of the SF gints organization anywhere in San Jose/Silicon Valley–if they felt that this area was so important than they should have built their stadium there when they could have—their bad–SJ shouldn’t have to pay for a bad business decision by the gints organization–

      • Again, I love this. Fisher is well within his rights to withhold from the needy if they hapeen to live in San Francisco because of the actions of some fellow rich dorks there? Maybe the Giants and their rich owners should in turn withhold from San Jose’s needy. Maybe all rich people should just use charity as a tool to enrich themselves, and to hell with simply giving to others less fortunate! I see the Giants run 3 Junior Giants leagues in San Jose for underprivileged kids, where they pay for the field, supply all the equipment and uniforms. I say kick those kids to curb until the city gives up on the A’s!

      • needy?? building a museum in the Presido does not constitue “needy”—donating to the arts of SF does not constitue needy–giving money to Newsome is not needy–Fisher has a great record of broad support of the arts in SF—the same city that is trying to block his choice of where he prefers to locate one of his investments—when I am unhappy with a store I choose not to shop there anymore—Fisher can do this on a much grander scale to the city of SF……relative to your bs about withholding from the truly needy…your starting to head down the path of Nav–twisting as many words as you can to try and create hopeless points—-

      • LOL. You wrote, “who knows what other causes he supports–time to inform Newsom that he will no longer provide ANY SORT OF CHARITABLE DONATION to the city of SF.” Boldtype by me. It does not seem the least bit vague or ambiguous.

      • great….and I clarified what I meant by charitable….and now your point?

      • Well, if all you’re suggesting is he withhold “support for the arts” from SF, then what the heck. Go for it John, I’m sure the culture starved City of San Francisco will die a thousand deaths.

  10. TPS,
    Revenue streams? Do you have facts to back your crap up? Of course you don’t. There’s still no data or proof on the
    Giants season ticket base in San Jose, and then you’d have to somehow prove that each and every fan would defect to
    The San Jose A’s. We already know, thanks to the SVLG, that Silicon Valley corporate support for the Giants is minuscule.
    Built over the decades? AT&T Park has been open for only 10 years, and the born in 1992 TRights were only for the Giants moving to SJ and nothing else. Need to be schooled any further TPS?.

    • Before you were born, the Giants played at Candlestick Park, built and owned by the City of San Francisco. Since 1968, with the A’s to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Giants have carved out a core fanbase from the ribbon of land stretching down from Sonoma and Marin Counties to San Jose. One should not need access to the team’s customer and advertising records to understand how the Giants earn a living, it’s easy enough for any normal, grownup person to see. However, one bit of information that is public, seems appropriate. Scarborough Media did a survey for MLB a couple years ago, to discover where each team’s fanbase resides, by county. The Giant’s results were as follows:

      Santa Clara 18.4%
      San Francisco 17.8%
      San Mateo 15.7%
      Alameda 13.6%
      Contra Costa 13.5%
      Sonoma 6.7%
      Marin 5.9%
      Solano 4.3%
      Napa 3.1%

      You can see this data nicely graphed at the Giants website: http://giants.mlb.com/sf/sponsorship/about_the_team/demographics.jsp

      • Golly gee TPS,
        I sure wish I were as smart as you! Maybe I’ll make that my New Years resolution. So smart guy who hates this planet: tell me what 18.4% of the teams “fanbase” in Santa Clara means? Is it season ticket holders? Is it citizens who simply claim to follow the Giants (I know a lot of them down here)? What is it? You know what, I’ll play around with yah: let’s just say for the sake of argument that 18.4% of the Giants season ticket base comes from Santa Clara County. That’s roughly 7-7,500 die-hard Giants fans who follow the team from 40+ miles out. WERE’S YOUR PROOF THAT THEY WILL ALL BECOME A’S FANS WHEN THEY MOVE TO DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE!? You don’t have proof because you, nor the Giants, can proove it! And even if 7,000 Giants fans were to somehow jump ship for the SJ A’s, should MLB continue to allow a region of 2+ million to be out of the A’s hands because of 7,000 residents? Had enough yet TPS?

        I won’t even get into the SVLG poll that stated only 15% of Silicon Valley company’s did business with the Giants. School is officially out!

      • If the Oakland A’s drew 18.4 % of their fans from Santa Clara County, Lew Wolff would be right in claiming the area as A’s territory. Think about this. The San Francisco Giants draw more fans from Santa Clara County than from any other county in the Bay Area, including their home county of San Francisco. The Oakland Athletics draw the most from Alameda County. Santa Clara County lags behind Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties. It’s clear that Santa Clara County is Giants territory and NOT Oakland Athletics territory. However, Lew Wolff is free to market to San Jose or to anywhere else from Oakland. It’s just as far to Oakland as it is to San Francisco from San Jose. It happens that San Jose residents choose to identify with San Francisco and its team, instead of with Oakland and its team. San Jose fans have made their bed with San Francisco. No other county supports the San Francisco Giants better then Santa Clara County. San Jose now sees an opportunity to enhance its National profile at Oakland’s expense. This has nothing to do with any previous support coming from San Jose for the Oakland Athletics. San Jose politicians are being opportunists in an attempt to pilfer the team from Oakland. Oakland Athletics fans see this, and are now 29,000 strong in their fight to keep their team in Oakland.

      • Well, you stamped yourself as a hopeless case with the whole, “San Jose is better for the A’s because billionaire luxury suite buyers from Fresno will ride the rails to the new park in 45 minutes…” thing.

        And you continue to be an impossible conversationalist with your 100% success rate at falling back on this idiotic theme: “WERE’S YOUR PROOF THAT THEY WILL ALL BECOME A’S FANS WHEN THEY MOVE TO DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE!?” No living person has ever made such a retarded claim, but you keep arguing it as if they did, because the actual points being made are INARGUABLE. Let me ask for one other San Jose A’s booster to come in here to your aid and agree with you that in fact there is not going to be any fanbase shifting with the A’s in downtown San Jose. That the A’s can make a hugely profitable go of it (signing multi-year deals with star players, etc.) in San Jose by simply cobbling together exisitng South Bay A’s fans, existing long-distance A’s fans, and converting casual/neutral fans in the South Bay into reliable season ticket buying A’s fans… while the Giants continue to receive the same level of support from the area…. Anyone besides Tony buying this theory?

      • TPS,
        I’m simply going to take the high-road and let you have the last word (it obviously means a lot to you). That is all.

      • Actually, one final note,
        With your attempt at insult, you unintentionally backed up what I’ve been arguing on this blog (re: territorial rights) for over 5 years; that an A’s move to SJ won’t affect the Giants fanbase in SCCo. one bit…thanks! (Not trying to get in the last word, just simply thanking yah)

      • 2nd request. Any pro San Jose booster want to throw his hat in the ring with Tony D and his, “A’s move to SJ won’t affect the Giants fanbase in SCCo. one bit…” theory?

      • tps—looks like your numbers and CM’s numbers put A’s and gints fans at the same level in SCC—if I am a gints fan today living in SCC, having a new ballpark in downtown SJ isn’t going to affect my allegiance to the gints—I may choose to go to some A’s games in SJ but I still am a gints fan—bottom line as CM points out—gints fan base in SCC is pretty low–

        Where I would expect the biggest change to be is in the “next” generation–young kids growing up directly experiencing the A’s v. the gints and making the A’s their team of choice—

      • That is a great find TPS! I had no idea many teams published this data.

  11. (a correction to yet another misinformed post)
    For the record, SOME (key word being SOME) San Jose residents choose to identify with San Francisco and its team. I’m an A’s fan from SJ and I know a lot of others down here. Heck, out of fairness, I know a lot of Giants fans down here as well. By the way, can someone tell my how 7,500 out of nearly 2 million residents equates to “all?”

  12. What the “Fan Base” numbers really mean —
    Compared to its proportion of Bay Area population, Santa Clara county is not fertile ground for the Giants. The team’s market penetration (fan base proportion divided by population proportion) is well below average, and next to last overall. Only Alameda county’s numbers are worse, which is what you’d expect.
    The Giants’ really fruitful territory consists of Marin, Napa, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties.
    Sonoma and Contra Costa counties are about average, and Solano, Santa Clara, and Alameda are unfruitful.

    Giants' Fan Base Compared to 2008 Bay Area County Population
    .	.	.                         .                          Market
    County	Pct of Base	County Pop	Pct of pop	Penetration
    Total	99.0%	7,276	100.0%	99.0%
    Marin 	5.9%	257	3.5%	167.0%
    Napa 	3.1%	137	1.9%	164.6%
    San Fran 	17.8%	825	11.3%	157.0%
    San Mateo	15.7%	734	10.1%	155.6%
    Sonoma 	 6.7%	484	6.7%	100.7%
    Contra Costa 	13.5%	1,052	14.5%	 93.4%
    Solano	 4.3%	424	5.8%	 73.8%
    Santa Clara	18.4%	1,820	25.0%	 73.6%
    Alameda	13.6%	1,543	21.2%	 64.1%

    .
    The only reason that Santa Clara seems like good Giants territory is because it is by far the largest Bay Area county — one-quarter of the market lives there, but its inhabitantsd are relatively indifferent to the Giants. And the fact that it is poor Giants territory suggests thatit is currently good A’s territory, unless it is simply indifferent to major league ball.
    .
    If the A’s move to SJ, the Giants local fan base will drop further, while the A’s will rise very dramatically. OTOH, the Giant’s Alameda and Contra County fan base will rise. — overall, it may be a wash for the Giants.
    .
    Tony D’s point about the vagueness of the term “fan base” is well taken. Is it season ticket buyers, total ticket buyers, TV viewers, or people who simply self-identify as Giants fans? But whatever it means, it’s not all that strong in the South Bay.
    .
    According to the Giants figures, 99% of if their fan base lives in 9 Bay Area counties. Is that credible?
    .
    It would be interesting to see a comparable geographic breakdown for the A’s.

  13. I’ve simplified the data in the table to make it clearer:
    .
    Giants’ Fan Base Penetration by County
    (Compared to 2008 Bay Area County Population; 99% = regional average)
    .
    High:
    167.0% Marin
    164.6% Napa
    157.0% San Francisco
    155.6% San Mateo
    .
    Moderate:
    100.7% Sonoma
    93.4% Contra Costa
    .
    Low:
    73.8% Solano
    73.6% Santa Clara
    64.1% Alameda

  14. Here’s the Scarborough data for the A’s:

    * Alameda – 31%
    * Contra Costa – 20%
    * Santa Clara – 18%
    * San Francisco – 8%
    * San Mateo – 7%
    * Solano – 6%
    * Sonoma – 5%
    * Marin – 2%
    * Other – 3%

    It looks different I assume because the teams are able to pull out figures from a database, it wasn’t all handed to them in a simple, homogenized format. I’m pretty sure this data was gathered from lengthy phone surveys with dozens and dozens of questions about all sorts of sports related topics. The teams are likely only reporting the figures for Bay Area residents that claim to be strong/diehard fans, and ignoring casual fans and fans living elsewhere…

  15. The last figures put up by Marine Layer had Santa Clara County as having 10% of the A’s fanbase, while San Francisco had 13%. Remember, with the “market penetration” theory this is an extremely low number.

    • I believe you’re talking about the 2005 ticket sales reported by the A’s in their Fremont economic report. It’s not surprising there’s a difference between ticket sales and generic “fandom” as reported by this survey. Nearly every game is on TV, while plenty of people live an hour or more away from the ballpark. I used to live in downtown SF, and there’s just not anything that beats hopping onto BART and riding to Oakland for a game. You can see how proximity and convenience impact attendance in the difference between the 8% fanbase and 13% attendance rate for SF. A great downtown Oakland destination would pull from 100s of thousands of new potential fans, from both downtowns, who don’t want to ride to East Oakland, but would love the shorter trip to a nicer area.

  16. Who’s cooking the numbers to make it look like just as many A’s fans, as Giant fans, come from Santa Clara County? Are we looking at more fabricated number and misrepresentations?

    • OMG, Nav doesn’t like the numbers, because they completely debunk what he’s been saying, ergo, the numbers are “fabricated” and someone is “cooking the numbers”…

      PRICELESS!

  17. I’m shocked! Not about SF or the Giants. No, I’m shocked that anyone bothers to read, let alone respond to, anything nav manages to bang out on his keyboard. Similarly, I’m also shocked that someone continues to power up a computer and get him to this page, as I’m certain someone with his limited cognitive abilities is unable to operate a browser on his own. The real question that needs answering is: Who is this mystery helper and why do they continue to torment us in this way?

    • Dude, you’re not the first one to insult me personally on this site, nor will you be the last. I take it with a grain of salt. Some of the stuff is pretty darn clever. I’m even getting a chuckle out of the picture you just painted. Funny stuff guys.

  18. I wanted to compare the household income between the Giants and A’s fanbases, but the Giants numbers are weird. They only account for about half their fans and they leave out random income numbers (e.g. 75-100K and 150-200K NOT accounted for).

  19. Thanks for the A’s data, TPS.
    Now we can compare the two teams’ fan base penetration geographically.

    First, to recap the Giants’ Fan Base Penetration by County
    (Compared to 2008 Bay Area County Population; 99% = regional average)
    .
    High:
    167.0% Marin
    164.6% Napa
    157.0% San Francisco
    155.6% San Mateo
    .
    Moderate:
    100.7% Sonoma
    93.4% Contra Costa
    .
    Low:
    73.8% Solano
    73.6% Santa Clara
    64.1% Alameda
    .
    .
    And now, the A’s:
    .
    High:
    146.2% Alameda
    138.3% Contra Costa
    .
    Moderate:
    103.0% Solano
    .
    Low
    75.2% Sonoma
    72.0% Santa Clara
    70.6% San Francisco
    69.4% San Mateo
    .
    Very Low:
    56.6% Marin
    53.1% Napa
    No figure was supplied for Napa, which was lumped in under “other’, so I estimated it to be 1% of the total fan base (Marin was 2%) which produced the 53.1% number.
    .
    Santa Clara county accounts for 18,4% of the Giants’ fan base, and 18% of the A’s. It doesn’t really lean toward either team, despite the Giants’ claims, and the claims of the Oakland-only camp.
    .
    The two teams have roughly equal market pentration in SCC, and it’s on the low side. I think that this is largely because SCC is not very well located with respect to the two present ballparks. It is essentially an underdeveloped market for MLB. OTOH, it’s the only bay area community to have a minor league team, and the San Jose Giants lead the Cal League in proportion of seats sold, so it’s not a bad baseball market at that level.

    • A couple things to consider.

      A) This is an Apples and Oranges analysis, since a percentage of the Giants fanbase probably isn’t the same SIZE as a percentage of the A’s fanbase. Therefore market penetration is relative between the two teams. Last season the Giants drew 4 times the TV households as the A’s, and twice the attendance, so their market penetration in SC County, representing 18% of their fanbase, is theoretically a much bigger slice of SC County than what 18% represents for the A’s…

      B) No business will willingly concede their number 1 market to anyone, especially if they have a piece of paper that says they have exclusive rights. The market penetration in SC County may be poor, but the gross receipts probably aren’t.

    • Tickets sold is what counts. By these standards, Santa Clara only accounts for 10% of the fan base for the Oakland Athletics.

  20. I can accept the point about market penetration being relative because the gints have so many more total fans in the Bay Area than the A’s (of course this is LW’s fault) but where do you come up with that SCC is the gints number 1 market? Looks to me like it is near last–just above Alameda–

    Also– … “especially if they have a piece of paper that says they have exclusive rights”. Define what you mean by “exclusive rights”. The only thing that is exclusive is where a ballpark can be built at this point in time-the A’s can still market heavily to SCC and they can still change the name of the team to San Jose assuming that a ballpark is built in Fremont….or for that matter…Oakland also—the San Jose A’s of Oakland—-

    • As far as we know, market penetration aside, the Giants have more actual fans in Santa Clara County than anywhere else on earth. That makes it their #1 market. Unlike the A’s who have two other counties with more actual fans. And, yes, “exclusive” to locate the actual revenue source, the ballpark.

      • TPS,
        Are you Navigators clone? Like GoA’s said, where in the hell are you getting this “SCC is the gints number 1 market” nonsense? Just because Neukom and Baer keep crying about it doesn’t make it so. Just simply stating that “the Giants have more actual fans in Santa Clara County than anywhere else on Earth” doesn’t make it so. Herrera crying that the A’s in San Jose will affect SF revenues doesn’t make it so. F*A*C*T*S people!! And speaking of which, you still haven’t explained what exactly the 18.4% Giants fanbase in SCCo. really means. Oh well, I won’t hold my breath on that one.

        Besides, why would any of this matter anyway. You said it yourself TPS, insulting yet backing me up in the process, that there would be no shifting of the fanbase with the A’s in downtown San Jose. So why should the Giants or San Francisco care if an A’s ballpark is located 45 miles southeast of AT&T Park. Yes, as of right now, this is their “territory”, but as Connie Mack’s data shows, the arguments are way against the Giants at this point. Throw in the SVLG corporate support poll…

        All right, let’s hear some raging diatribe TPS!

      • The data is from an independent marketing firm hired by MLB. If it’s not true that more Giants fans live in Santa Clara County than any other county, then the survey is wrong, don’t blame me. You seem to have an all-or-nothing fixation about the impact on revenues. We’re not talking about “ALL Giants South Bay revenues will be lost…” vs. “NO Giants revenues will be lost…” Again, these are stupid suppositions, and no one but you has ever tried to make these arguments. It’s clearly a matter of something in between the extremes, having to do with erosion of support from changing the location of the team.

      • so tps what do these numbers represent- are you saying that 18% of the gints 2,5M ticket buyers are from SCC; are you saying that in a survey of SCC residents those who identified themselves as a gints fan is 18% or are you saying that of the total number of gints fans (self identified–not just season tix holders) 18% are from SCC?

      • I don’t know for certain what the numbers represent, but googling Scarborough, it sounds like it’s probably self-identified fandom from marketing research (phone survey? focus groups? team sales figures? some combo? I dunno). I’ve never tried to imply this is revenue or ticket sales data, it just is whatever it is, and Santa Clara County is on top of the Giants by-county list of “fans”. You can try to loosely interpret from it somehow as I and CM have tried to do, or you can ignore it as irrelevent, I don’t care.

  21. Hey Tony,
    Nice letter today in the Merc on HSR. You said it as well as it can be said.

  22. Of course, with a ballpark in downtown San Jose more fans would be from Santa Clara County and fewer would come from Alameda County. What are we really gaining here? We’re losing fans from Oakland’s stronghold of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties, just so that we can gain fans in San Jose? A new ballpark in Jack London Square would solidify Oakland’s fanbase in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties along with drawing more fans from wealthier Oakland neighborhoods like Rockridge, Piedmont Ave, Adams Point, Crocker Highlands, Lake Shore/Grand, Temescal, Uptown, and Jack London Square. A ballpark in Jack London Square would also put the Oakland Athletics closer to the wealthy communities of Piedmont, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette and Walnut Creek. Also, Oakland and San Francisco’s downtown populations would be in easy reach of the ballpark via BART, Ferry or bus. Going to San Jose away from your fanbase to a corner of the Bay Area solves nothing when you compare it to the possibilities of a ballpark on the Oakland waterfront. Lew Wolff bought the Oakland Athletics, NOT the “San Jose Athletics.” The idea is to build a ballpark for the Oakland Athletics. If Lew didn’t like the possibility of building a ballpark for the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, he shouldn’t have bought the team. Lew Wolff needs to sell the team to an ownership which understands that this is about building a ballpark for the Oakland Athletics and not a relocation to San Jose.

    • Nav… who is the proposed new owner?

      • We’re gaining a fanbase (including a corporate base) that can support the premium seat purchases necessary to support an MLB team in the modern era. We’re expanding the market for MLB in the Bay Area by giving EVERYONE convenient access to a team, as opposed to giving East Bay folks two teams within twenty minutes and leaving South Bay folks sitting at home rather than enduring a hellish two hour rush slog for a weeknight game.
        In other words, we’re ensuring fair return on ownership’s investment in a privately funded park and assuring the viability of two MLB teams in the Bay Area. Great news for everyone,.

      • Bartleby,

        Great news for Lew Wolff’s “investment,” bad news for Oakland Athletic fans, the City of Oakland, and the potential to use that 500 million dollar infusion of capital to help Oakland’s economy along with giving the team a state-of the-art waterfront destination ballpark which would compete aesthetically with AT&T Park in SF. So Oakland Athletic fans will still have convenient access to “a team” to go see near them? You’re referring to the San Francisco Giants of course. This relocation would “ensure fair return on ownership’s investment?” This relocation ensures that the team is restricted to a corner of the Bay Area while the San Francisco Giants will have access to the all 7.6 million Bay Area residents. This relocation ensures that the Oakland Athletics will no longer exist. I’m glad that you think Lew Wolff and John Fisher will get a “fair return on their investment.” There’s no reason that couldn’t be the case in a ballpark near Jack London Square in the heart of the Bay Area and at the center of their fanbase. Also, I didn’t realize that when we go to the ballpark and shout “Let’s Go Oakland,” that we we really cheering for Lew Wolff’s investment and rate of return. So this is what being an Oakland Athletics fan is all about? We’re suppose to see our team abolished, so that people in San Jose can have “a team” near them and increase the possibility of a good return on Lew Wolff’s investment? Let’s Go Lew Wolff’s Investments. Will the “San Jose Investments” have a $ sign on their caps?

  23. You know, with music downloads and iTunes, I completely forgot what a broken record sounded like until…

  24. I agree with Nav … if Wolff wanted to build a new ballpark in anywhere but his predefined territories, he shouldn’t have bought the team in the first place.

    • Ahh—so contraction would have been a better alternative? Recall that there were not alot of “qualified” suitors lining up for the club…and contraction was on the table—also there is a more fundamental issue in play here—why is the Bay Area any different than all other 2 team markets that share the territory–it shouldn’t be…

    • So you subscribe to the theory that Wolff never tried to get anything done in Oakland? Hell, even Fremont is their territory. This was a ruse, too? What an expensive masquerade, Bill.

      • Nam, I absolutely subscribe to the theory that Lew Wolff never really tried to get anything done in Oakland.

      • You’re also of the mind that he and Selig are chummy. Why has it taken five years to get anywhere if he has the commissioner in his back pocket? San Jose is just a recent development in terms of the A’s involvement.

  25. Unfortunately, when that Blue Ribbon Commission was established by MLB and Bud Selig in order to keep the Oakland A’s in the hands of South Bay carpetbagger Steve Schott, the chances of a ballpark in Oakland ever being built took a huge hit. When that vote was delayed and the terms in Oakland’s contract with Steve Schott were allowed to expired, this is the precise point in time where the countdown to Oakland losing its baseball team began. Once San Jose businessman Lew Wolff was allowed to purchase the team from Schott, Oakland’s fate was sealed. Oakland hasn’t had a fair shot at keeping this team since that Blue Ribbon Commission defrauded the City of Oakland in it’s attempt to have the A’s sold to a local pro-Oakland ownership, per the agreement in Schott’s contract with the City of Oakland. Also, Oakland is in the “Bay Area.” in case of the San Jose crowd hasn’t noticed. If this was really a case of solidifying the Oakland A’s in the Bay Area, San Jose interests would be out gathering support for keeping the A’s in Oakland. This is nothing but a selfish attempt by San Jose interests to prop themselves up by taking the team from Oakland. This isn’t about the Oakland A’s, and what’s best for the team or for the fans. This is about a group of wealthy South Bay individuals, corporations, and politicians attempting to build themselves up at a neighbor’s expense. If we we really one big happy region you would be working with Oakland to secure the A’s future in the Bay Area instead of undermining Oakland and the vast majority of Oakland Athletic fans.

    • Nav – Who is it that’s threatening lawsuits? San Francisco? Oakland interests? Supporters of the SF/SJ Giants?

      One big happy Bay Area? Ri-i-i-i-ght.

      As for building someone up at someone else’s expense, that’s exactly what the existing T-rights do for both the Giants and A’s at this time. The arrangement allows marketing into the South Bay without letting the South Bay determine whether or not it can have a major league franchise. If you really want “one big happy Bay Area” then you shouldn’t just advocate on Oakland’s behalf, you should be advocating for the complete abolition of T-rights and let the market take care of itself. Oakland should be able to compete and thrive on its own merits and strengths, right?

      • Marine Layer,

        I agree, Lew Wolff needs to give up territorial rights to Oakland for his soccer franchise and the San Jose Sharks should also need to give up their rights to the Oakland market. San Jose shouldn’t be allowed to keep Oakland from attaining franchises in both sports for fans located in the central part of the Bay Area. This needs to be done legally and put in writing. Also, if Oakland had an owner committed to the Oakland Metropolitan Area, and not an ownership committed to San Jose business interests, there is no doubt that Oakland and its central location to all residents of the Bay Area, would compete favorably with the South Bay. What we have here is an artificial situation created by a South Bay business interest who was determined to relocate the franchise to the South Bay from day one. This is the reason Oakland needs to revisit the history and machinations of how we’ve gotten to this point in time. Oakland is forced to use every measure at its disposal to fend off attempts from a pro-San Jose ownership, and a biased anti-Oakland Commissioner of Baseball, along with an aggressor neighbor from the South Bay.

      • Why do I bother? You don’t actually read anything I write.

      • Marine Layer, I thought i responded to everything in your post. I agree with you that we should get rid of ALL territorial restrictions concerning all pro sports. I don’t agree that neighboring cities should be able to cannibalize existing franchises from neighbors. This means that Oakland can’t take the Earthquakes or Sharks, and San Jose can’t take the A’s, Raiders, or Warriors from Oakland. The teams would have to make it or fail in their respective cities. If the team folds and reemerges as a different franchise in those same neighboring cities, then so be it. This would make playing musical chairs with local franchises that much tougher.

      • Navigator,
        So you’re fine with abolishing T-rights as long as we do it across the board, right? We’ll get rid of any territorial restrictions affecting MLB, the NHL, NBA, NFL or MLS and let market forces govern. The A’s will be free to move to San Jose, and Oakland can pursue the Sharks, Quakes, or any other teams they want.

        Works fine for me. Sounds downright American, actually. I don’t think you’re going to end up with three teams in Oakland, though.

      • bartleby,

        If San Jose can persuade MLB that it can support a team on its own without help from San Francisco or Oakland, then by all means go for it. Convince MLB that you can support a third team in the South Bay. But please, don’t come looking to take something from Oakland. Yes, let’s abolish ALL territorial with a provision against cannibalizing franchises from neighboring localities. Oakland will be free to use the vacated Oakland Coliseum to house any pro sports franchise in the United States which is seeks to relocate to the geographic center of the Bay Area. Can we get all this in writing? Can we get Lew Wolff to give up territorial rights to Oakland for his San Jose Earthquakes? Can we get the San Jose Sharks to give up their rights to the Oakland Metro Area? After all, the good citizens of the central Bay Area along with North Bay residents deserve access to a centrally located hockey or soccer franchise if they decide that moving to the Oakland Coliseum Complex and the center of the Bay Area makes financial sense for them. How’s that for good old American capitalistic free market thinking? Are you with us Lew Wolff? Let’s sign off on those territorial rights to Oakland.

      • works for me Nav—aint’t no business owner that will choose to locate in Oakland if giving a free choice—just like Greg Papa said—Oakland doesn’t register as desirable any longer–

      • Free market isn’t free if there are territorial protections. Also, you keep failing to mention who and how Oakland would be able to handle a new NHL or MLS franchise, when it’s clear that neither of the existing Coliseum facilities are up to proper standards for either league. Oracle Arena would have terrible sightlines for hockey, while the Coliseum is 3 times the size of a MLS soccer specific stadium. In fact, you shouldn’t even bother bringing this up until you have some sense that the demand is actually there to complement the request.

      • I should be bringing this up because Oakland has the right to protect its possibilities for pro sports in the future. It doesn’t matter if a franchise coming to Oakland is eminent or not. Oakland should have a right to protect itself against being shut out of future consideration for other major league sports by San Jose or by any other entity in the Bay Area. Let’s allow the market, not some out of context quote by Greg Papa, to determine if centrally located Oakland is a desirable location for sports franchises.

      • Can’t have it both ways. There is the free market and then there’s protectionism. What you want is protectionism for Oakland’s existing teams, free market in instances where it’s not already directly served. That’s not fair or free market.

      • So Oakland should be free to steal OTHER market’s teams, but the law should force those poor, financially failing teams desperate to escape this obviously non-viable “geographically central market” to remain (without compensation for their losses, no less).
        You really are a selfish A’hole.

      • Let’s Get Real, You’re extremely rude and obviously have anger management issues, but I’ll do my best to remain civil with you. First off, when sports franchises take on the name of a community, they take that name to endear themselves to said community as a source of civic pride. In turn, the fans in said community establish a since of loyalty and pride in their hometown team. Teams shouldn’t be allowed to pit one community against another. They need to live or die in that same community. If they fail, then they fold. As I’ve said previously, Oakland wouldn’t be allowed to touch the San Jose Sharks or San Jose Earthquakes but Oakland would be a free territory for anyone who wants to start a franchise in Oakland in any sport. Lew Wolff and MLB would have no right to keep baseball out of Oakland. Lew Wolff would have to sign off on territorial rights to Oakland for MLB ,and also for MLS.

  26. Nav, reminds me of an old Simpson’s episode where after volunteering to give his liver to his dad, Homer gets cold feet. After panicking, Homer finally concludes that, “This is everybody’s fault but mine.” And that’s exactly Nav sounds like. If Oakland is the victim here, then it has itself to blame. Nav will go on and on about the Lew and Fisher conspiracy but what about Brown and Dellums’ ineptitude? For years, both mayors put this issue on the back burner so they could focus on God knows what. Add to that the city’s completely dysfunctional city council, more concerned over parking spaces than meeting the needs of its citizens, and its a recipe for civic incompetence. I’m tired of hearing complaints about San Jose because they got their ducks in a row. I have my criticisms about Mayor Reed, but boy has he kept his eyes on the ball on this issue. Even when the A’s were locking down Fremont, San Jose held the course and continued to acquire land around Diridon. Even I thought it was futile. Laughable, actually. And yet, here we are. Fremont has collapsed and San Jose is way ahead of the game and now a serious contender to land the team. Oakland, meanwhile, scrambled in the final minutes to submit some vague proposals. So Nav’s begrudged Oakland fans need to hold the right parties accountable here: their own city officials. Your city has failed you miserably. And, let’s be honest here, if you look at the big picture, the A’s are the least of Oakland’s problems.

    • Pacifico,

      I don’t buy that at all. Oakland city officials over the years have spent much more money and time in getting a ballpark built in Oakland than either Lew Wolff or Steve Schott before him. Do you remember the 250,000 dollars spent by the City of Oakland on the HOK studies and architectural drawings? How much has Lew Wolff spent on attempting to get a ballpark built in Oakland? How many times has Lew Wolff met with the Oakland City Council compared to the times he’s met with the Fremont City Council and politicians in San Jose. Pacifico, Lew Wolff has done very little and spent very little money attempting to build a ballpark in Oakland. Lew Wolff has spent more time attempting to discourage and pacify Oakland politicians than anything else. He told Dellumns, “Don’t break your pick on this one, you have other priorities.” I suppose Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose doesn’t have “other priorities” like a huge budget deficit to deal with. I suppose Larry Stone doesn’t have “other priorities” like reassessing the hundreds of thousands of properties in Santa Clara Counties which have lost value in recent years. All cities have much greater priorities than sports. This is the toy department. The fact remains that the Oakland A’s are already in Oakland and have established their fan base in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties.

      • Wow–Nav for you not to hold the Oakland politicians accountable shows a lack of grasp of reality—that is a point that is not even debated by most–Oakland has and continues to have zero leadership—for you to try and argue otherwise lowers your credibility even further-

      • See what I mean? Lew, Lew, Lew, Lew… It never ends.

        This is everyone’s fault but Oakland’s.

  27. Did I interpret the five rules for a ballpark deal incorrectly, or does a contribution of public land require a vote? A vote of any kind would kill this deal, without question.

  28. tps wrote:
    As far as we know, market penetration aside, the Giants have more actual fans in Santa Clara County than anywhere else on earth. That makes it their #1 market.
    .
    So tell me, if you were in business, which of these places would you consider to be a better market:
    A: a territory of 496 square miles that contained 33.5% of your customers,
    or
    B: a territory of 1291square miles that contained 18.4% of your customers?
    A no-brainer, right?
    You’d go with the place that has 82% more customers in 62% less area.
    .
    Your “anywhere else on earth” remark is based on a fuzzy definition of “anywhere” (the Giants have far more fans in California than in Santa Clara county), specifically the artificial construct of county boundaries, which have little to do with the way that business is done, and which are arbitrary lines on paper, drawn about 160 years ago when hardly anyone lived in California, reflecting gold-rush settlement patterns, and which produced a huge disparity of geographic sizes (500 to 1 at the extremes) among counties. (That’s the longest sentence of 2010 — sorry.)
    .
    The compact territory A, with many more customers located much closer to your main place of business, is the San Francisco peninsula, made up of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. The much larger territory B, with many fewer customers located further from your main place of business, is Santa Clara county.
    .
    If SC county were really the Giants’ #1 market, then they would have been utter fools to build their ballpark 50 miles away from it.
    .
    tps, are you navigator’s alternate handle, and vice versa?

    • Yeah yeah yeah, that’s all pretty obvious. I was only wisecracking to the incredulousness of some, over how the #1 county on the list might be considered the #1 county. Uh, k?
      .
      But let’s run with your viewpoint for a sec.
      .
      The A’s get 51% of their fans from the immediate two counties near their park, well served by rapid transit, neither of which is in any danger of falling into the hands of a relocating team. Simple. They’re hunkered down and really only need to get their market penetration of those two nearby counties up in the 160 percent range, the same way the Giants did it: by building a better facility and a better media presence.
      .
      The Giants are setup very differently though, more evenly distributed throughout the region. Not so hunkered down with about a million fewer people in their two best counties than the A’s. They happen to get about 51% of their fans from the three counties stretching along Caltrain down the peninsula–the _largest_ of which IS in danger of falling into the hands of a relocating team. The original point I was making, that created the stir, was that this is a _clear_ problem for them in their fanbase distribution. It sets up the musical chairs scenario I have mentioned in the past that Tony D refuses to believe is even possible. I guess some people expect them to say, “Ah, what the heck that 33.5% is nearly twice the 18.4%, any big dent in our presence down there is no big deal…” But I don’t think the Giants see it that way. I’m only pointing out WHY no one be shocked at how serious they are about stopping the A’s move. Market penetration aside.

      • TPS,
        First of all, the A’s may currently be “hunkered down” in two counties, but that’s not a necessary or desirable posture. Part of the point is to broaden their appeal.
        Second, your analyses (and Navigator’s rants) seem to assume all attendance is equal. But drawing those $2 Wednesday night bargain customers and drawing $3000 suite buyers is not the same thing.
        I happen to work as an attorney for a large South Bay company. I work closely with our senior management, basically your target demographic for premium seat sales. In my opinion, you’re never going to draw enough of those guys to a new ballpark in Oakland no matter where it’s located or how nice it is. It will still be a longer and more painful trip to get to Oakland than to China Basin, and it will be still be a less glamorous destination than SF for entertaining clients. Fair or not, you’re still up against a perception that Oakland is crime ridden and unsafe. These guys are currently going to AT&T park, and a new yard in Oakland gives them little reason to change their attendance pattern. A new yard in San Jose is a totally different story.
        I agree if the A’s move to San Jose that there will be attendance shifting, and that it may be a push as far as overall attendance. But the mix will change, and the Giants premium seat sales may well suffer because the East Bay does not have enough corporate base to make up this part of the shift.
        This is the sole reason the Giants oppose the move. Currently, you have one dominant team and one struggling team. If this move occurs, you’ll have two strong teams. This is good for MLB, good for the A’s, good for most Bay Area baseball fans. It’s not good for the Giants, but they’ll still be wildly successful. Their ballpark is nearly paid off, and they’ll still be one of the more profitable teams in baseball.

      • I’m absolutely aware that attendance is not equal and that is part of the point that I’ve been making about the _clear_ disruption of the fanbases. It’s funny that we largely agree, but when I say things like “if the A’s move to San Jose that there will be attendance shifting” I get “schooled” for posting “crap” by your friends in San Jose.
        .
        Now, I don’t think you adequately consider how many wealthy people there are in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Many of the executives from the SF Financial District live in Oakland, Berkeley, Kensington, Piedmont, Orinda, Lafayette, Alameda, Danville, Blackhawk, and so forth. I work with these people as a management consultant. There are a lot of doctors, lawayers and executives in Oakland. They are nearly as loathe to go the Coliseum as their counterparts in the South Bay, for the obvious reasons. And while I’m sure some South Bay execs might have a problem with Oakland, it can’t be that important. There are executives in SF/Oakland that have a problem with San Jose. Instead of the ghetto, it’s going to the barrio, or else down to North LA. Some people can be fixed, some can’t.. And you can’t make a case for there actually being more wealthy people in the South Bay, because there aren’t. There may not be quite double the number of wealthy people in Alameda, Contra Costa, SF, and Marin as there are in Santa Clara County, but there are many more. For instance, the per capita income of Contra Costa County, with over a million in population, is $38,259 vs. $40,420 for Santa Clara County. Both SF and Marin have higher per capita income than Santa Clara County, and the wealthiest communities in Alameda County are near downtown Oakland. This is hardly the sort of income disparity people like you continue to try and portray.

      • Serious question- Why would you use per capita income rather than median income?

        I am not a marketer, but if I remember correctly from back in my Marketing classes, median income is a better measure of the relative wealth of an area when compared to per capita, because per capita can be dramatically skewed by concentrations of ultra wealthy people.

        What is the argument for using per capita rather than median? Does it change the landscape in any significant way if you use median?

      • Jeffrey,
        Serious answer – you would only cite per capita income if these less relevant numbers better fit the point you’re trying to make. And yes, it does significantly change the landscape.
        As you note, median income does tell you a lot more about how many people in the club seat/suite buying class there are in an area. Not surprisingly, these numbers strongly favor Santa Clara County.

        Here are median household income/median family income figures as of the 2000 census:
        Santa Clara County: 74K/81K
        Alameda County: 56K/66K
        Contra Costa County: 63K/73K

      • Cute. I guess it takes one to know one. One thing I definitely wanted to do was use more recent census data than the dot com bubble figures from 2000 that you prefer. I think, without wasting my day away running numbers, you should find that from 2000 to 2008, Santa Clara County has lost a significant amount of it’s relative wealth vs. the other Bay Area counties, as measured by either median incomes or per capita income.
        And given the 8 year difference, 2008 per capita income is probably no less useful or accurate to this discussion than 2000 median family income. Instead of examining the in-betweener median incomes for 2008, how about we cut the crap, roll the dice and try to count some dots?
        .
        The census.gov website has a category for “Owner Occupied Housing Unit by Value” The highest category is $1,000,000 or higher. While a million dollar home is not the sign of fabulous wealth it once was, it’s still probably an even better way to count “rich people” than average or median incomes, Here are the 2008 census figures for million dollar “owner occupied” homes:
        .
        Santa Clara County: 82,816
        Alameda County: 31,117
        Contra Costa County: 38, 226
        East Bay: 69,343

        So, ignoring the problems of leaving a larger population with a current high market penetration, and leaving close proximity to many more very wealthy people in San Francisco and Marin, and losing existing rapid transit access for your existing core fanbase, and giving up the potential for world famous vistas of the central San Francisco Bay, etc., etc., you’re looking at gaining better access to an extra 13,473 wealthier households. Sounds sorta okay, I guess… except, that over 20,000 (nearly 1 in 4) of the million dollar households in SC County are in the Palo Alto and Los Altos areas, pretty far from downtown SJ, and in my experience pretty strongly Giant territory right now. This just sounds like much more of an uphill battle with a lot sacrificed to offset the gains, and the potential gains being potentially negligible if you don’t have a strong showing in converting the people in Palo Alto and Los Altos.

      • Hey, I never disputed there would be attendance shifting; to me, it seems an obvious point. Don’t tar me with comments from others just because they may share some of general views. Do you really want to take ownership of everything Navigator writes?
        I don’t doubt there are many wealthy people in those areas, but as discussed below the numbers suggest that there are many more people in the target demographic in Santa Clara County than in either Alameda or Contra Costa county. (The difference in the per capita and median numbers suggest the East Bay numbers are skewed by a relatively small number of uber wealthy people). Nor do I buy your constant attempt to lump San Francisco and Marin in as part of the East Bay (while somehow San Mateo and Santa Cruz never get into the conversation of the South Bay). In any event, the A’s won’t be scrapping as directly with the Giants over the same pool of people in San Jose.
        There may be wealthy executives of San Francisco companies who live in the East Bay, but that doesn’t translate to premium seat sales in the East Bay. Many or most season ticket holders for suites and club seats are the companies themselves. Companies will buy near where the company is located, both because it’s easier to entertain clients that way and also because it’s “ground zero” for where their employees are located (to whom they will distribute tickets as incentives etc).

      • Barlteby, wrote, “also because it’s “ground zero” for where their employees are located (to whom they will distribute tickets as incentives etc).” Actually, if you look at the commute direction in the morning on the Bay Bridge, you’ll notice an incredible amount of traffic from the East Bay heading over the Bay Bridge to San Francisco’s financial district. These employees live in the East Bay and more than likely would come home for dinner before gathering friends and family and then heading out to a 7:00 PM ballgame. Of course, for weekend games they’d already be much closer to a ballpark located in Jack London Square..Corporations in the SF/Oak region buy tickets to wherever the hottest event is going on, regardless of city. If the Rolling Stones or the circus,or an Ice show, are coming to Oakland, you can bet they’ll be buying tickets to the Oakland Arena. If there’s a great musical in San Francisco you can bet Clorox, or Dreyer’s, or Cost Plus, or Ask, will be trying to get their hands on them. The East Bay has 2.6 million residents who would no doubt love to bypass having to drive over the Bay Bridge if a destination ballpark on Oakland’s waterfront were an option. Many people in the East Bay and elsewhere already bypass the San Francisco Zoo for the Oakland zoo, SF theaters for the Fox Oakland Theater and Paramount Theater, the SF ART scene for the Oakland Art murmur, SF restaurants for Oakland restaurants etc. There’s plenty of money on the East side of the bridge. If San Jose has a little more, then good for them. They don’t have the Oakland Athletics fanbase there, nor do they have an aesthetically pleasing waterfront location to compete with AT&T Park in San Francisco.

  29. Good points TPS. Also, to tie in to one of your points regarding the relative distribution of Giant fans through out the Bay Area and the relative concentration of Oakland A’s fans in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, it obviously comes down to the fact that the Giants have always had a much stronger radio signal than the the A’s with mega watt KNBR as their flag ship station. You can listen to the Giants all over Northern California and even in LA at night. By contrast, the Oakland A’s radio signal has alway been limited to a more concentrated geographic area. The Oakland Athletics under Steve Schott and now Lew Wolff, have never wanted Oakland and the East Bay. You can’t fully exploit the potential of the area when your heart has always been in the South Bay. The market penetration of the East Bay is much lower than it should be. The Oakland Athletics don’t promote in Oakland. I have a nephew in school in the Montclair District of Oakland, who says that the Giants visit his school on a regular basis. He’s never seen the Oakland Athletics anywhere. He was raised an Oakland Athletic fan by my sister and I’d take him to Oakland A’s games all the time along with my kids. He loved the Oakland A’s. I can see that he no longer feels the same way. My kids no longer care either. Lew Wolff has managed to alienate a generation of potential Oakland Athletic fans in the East Bay, while the San Francisco Giants are penetrating the market.

  30. Barlleby,

    You’re really implying that your clients are extremely shallow individuals. If that’s the case, how will a land locked ballpark in downtown San Jose “out glamor” San Francisco? Heck, a ballpark on the waterfront near Jack London Square is more “glamorous” than a land locked ballpark in downtown San Jose. Also, the shallowness of this particular clientèle tells me that they are pre disposed at going with the “in thing” at the time. If the Oakland Athletics become the “in thing” in their new waterfront ballpark in Oakland, and are winning on the field while the SF Giants become yesterday’s news, you can bet that your pretentious high powered South Bay friends will be the first ones in line in Oakland. Nice try with the crime scare tactics, however, downtown Oakland and Jack London Square are safer than At&T Park where two homicides have already occurred. I’m sure that your wealthy pretentious corporate friends aren’t also devoid of critical thinking skills.

    • All other things aside… a landlocked stadium in a downtown area that is 45 miles away from San Francisco doesn’t have to “outglam” AT&T Park as much as a waterfront replica that can be seen from AT&T Park would.

      One reason why I think JLS West/North would be very cool is because it can be differentiated form AT&T Park with a skyline view. Victory Court, I think is more doable than JLS West/North because of the fewer landowners etc. But either way… the question is “How does this site attract more fans to games?”

      • Jeffrey, I’m not sure I understand your logic. Are you saying that If San Jose A’s fans cant see AT&T Park from downtown San Jose, then this means that AT&T Park doesn’t exist? Also, Victory Court while near both the Oakland Estuary and Lake Merritt, would be completely different in many ways to At&T Park.

      • No… But you knew my point. I am not a fan of the “waterfront park as panacea” stuff people post.

        My point was that if you have two nearly identical experiences within in plain view of one another and one is San Francisco and one is Oakland… The casual fan is not going to Oakland. Before you say “quit bashing Oakland” you should know from all of the things I have posted here and at other A’s websites that I am a fan of the City of Oakland and spend a lot of time there. More time than I do in San Francisco. The truth is I prefer the Chabot Space and Science Center to the Academy of Sciences, but I am in a small minority.

        Another way to look at this is to say Jack London Square v. Fisherman’s Wharf. I prefer avoiding Fisherman’s Wharf like the plague, but many, many people spend a lot of time tooling around that area. San Francisco is a world class city. People like to go there more than Oakland.

        It is pretty hilarious to me that you make the argument that San Jose is not part of the Bay Area, as in it is removed from San Francisco, but then can’t admit that a stadium in San Jose wouldn’t have to compete as directly with AT&T Park as a comparable stadium in Oakland would have to.

        Tell me this… how would Victory Court

      • “The truth is I prefer the Chabot Space and Science Center to the Academy of Sciences, but I am in a small minority.”

        I do too, but SF throws the twofer at yah with the De Young across the plaza, so on balance they’ve got a pretty hard hitting location.

        One thing I’m left wondering is how, when there were two roughly equivalent facilities, more often than not, people did go to Oakland more than SF. And then also, I wonder how an equivalent ballpark situation down the road will look, when the East Bay has added about 600,000 new residents since 1990, compared to only about 150,000 new residents in the West Bay over that time.

      • When have there ever been roughly equivalent stadiums? The A’s had a much nicer place before 1996, then they both had crappy digs… then AT&T Park came along.

        And… Maybe I am just getting confused but all this talk of territory and East Bay v. South Bay v. West Bay is kind of moot. Most people don’t experience baseball at the stadium as often as they do through the media. East Bay v. South Bay v. North Bay v. West Bay is less important in that regard. And, I live in Pleasanton, almost as east as the east bay gets. I am surrounded by Giants fans in my neighborhood.

        The point being, fans of the A’s and Giants are both spread out across the whole region. Because someone lives in the East Bay doesn’t mean they will go to A’s games in Oakland and won’t go to games in San Jose. Similarly, I don’t think that a fan from Milipitas won’t go to games in a new Oakland.

        I am in another small minority on the topic of stadium placement: I don’t think it really matters where it is… there are pro’s and con’s for each place. Average Joe diehard A’s boosters like me will show up at either place.

        Where ever it can actually happen is where it should.

      • I am with you Jeffrey—as a diehard fan I will go to either location. Yet, the reason I am pro-SJ is not because I live there–I don’t–but because I believe that they have the vision, leadership, and financial means to get this done—unlike Oakland which has been chasing its tail for the past 15 years and continues to do so. I will also agree that Silicon Valley will be a much more profitable location for a MLB franchise today and in the future–which as an A’s fan I want also—so that we can actually compete and finally get off of welfare from the rest of MLB–

      • Jeffrey, I don’t agree with the “build it where you can” theory. You build a ballpark for the Oakland Athletics where it is convenient for Oakland Athletic fans and other potential customers. You build it in an area by the waterfront which is already going through a major expansion and renovation. You build it in an area where people want to go and enjoy the waterfront, enjoy the restaurants, enjoy the theaters, etc. You build it in a central area to your fanbase and in an area with great public transportation options. What draw does a ballpark in downtown San Jose have? What makes this location so special that I or anyone north of Milpitas would want to patronize? Is it scenic? Does it have a great view? Is near the water? Why would anyone north of Milpitas chose a ballpark in downtown San Jose when they could go to a beautiful waterfront park in San Francisco. What about the folks in Rockridge, Montclair, Piedmont, and towns like Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek? Do you actually believe they would ever drive 50 miles to a downtown San Jose ballpark to watch a team that told them to get ucked, when they could go to San Francisco?

      • Nav,
        I guess you didn’t notice that I live north of Milpitas and would go to games in San Jose. Because 1. I like the A’s and 2. I work in the South Bay and 3. I have fmaily that lvies in the South bay and 4. Baseball is cool and I like Downtown San Jose and … but you don’t really care for real answers much.

        Do you not agree with build it where you can because you have a feeling Oakland isn’t really gonna pull out all the stops to build a stadium?

      • I call shenanigans. No one who went to both venues before ’95 would honestly say the Coli and ‘Stick were “roughly equivalent.” The Mt. Davis Coliseum is wretched for baseball, but I’ve been to about 30 MLB ballparks over the years and none was as anywhere close to as wretched as the Stick. It is legendary.
        Nor is the statement that people went to Oakland more than SF a fair characterization. As you have pointed out yourself, the attendance statistics of the two teams pre-AT&T Park were surprisingly similar, and tracked closely with how the teams were doing at the time. The reasons for the similar attendance during this period are pretty obviously (a) the inconvenient and inferior venue the Giants played in, and (b) the fact that the A’s won four world titles during this time.
        If the A’s build a new yard in Oakland, one can reasonably expect that they will underperform the Giants at the gate (adjusted for their on-field performance) and will get absolutely hammered in the competition for premium seating customers. Which of course is exactly why the Giants desperately want them to build there.

      • I said people went to Oakland more often than not, and I think it’s Jeffrey that showed that to be the case. Sure the A’s were better overall, and the Coliseum somewhat better. But let’s not get carried away. The Coliseum is a 60s vintage concrete ring 6 miles from downtown in an industrial zone, very near to a bad neighborhood, with bad sight lines and optimized for football. I think it has always compared MUCH more closely to Candlestick than it ever will to AT&T. Toss in the advantage of a 10 year head start the Giants had to build a loyal fanbase and a solid media presence, and I don’t think it’s fair to call shenanigans over a “roughly equivalent” statement.
        .
        And as I said in another post, if the A’s don’t hammer on the 20,000 or so affluent folks on the northern edge of SC County, plus another 10,000 or so a few miles away in southern San Mateo, you’re not left with much advantage at all in the remainder of SC County, based on the million dollar household numbers. Those people on the SC-SM boundary will have the option to travel 30 miles to AT&T or 20 miles to Diridon. It’s hardly going to be a case of “horrendous hardship” vs. “smooth sailing”… Will it be a slam dunk for the A’s to pack their tiny stadium with the expected outrageous ticket prices? I don’t think so. I think one can reasonably expect that the Diridon facility will produce the same sort of challenges for the team to win or else struggle at the gate as any other ML team with only a couple million people within 20 miles of the park.

      • “The Coliseum is a 60s vintage concrete ring 6 miles from downtown in an industrial zone, very near to a bad neighborhood, with bad sight lines and optimized for football”

        Has anyone informed Navigator of this? He apparently believes it is still an adequate venue for MLB in the modern era.

        ” I think it has always compared MUCH more closely to Candlestick than it ever will to AT&T.”

        Well, ok. But this isn’t saying much, and it doesn’t mean there wasn’t still a HUGE qualitative gap between the experience at the ‘Stick and that at the Coli. Weather alone was a huge difference. And during the ‘Stick years, the Giants were at a significant disadvantage location-wise over the Coli’s “central location” and transit that you crow over.

        “And as I said in another post, if the A’s don’t hammer on the 20,000 or so affluent folks on the northern edge of SC County, plus another 10,000 or so a few miles away in southern San Mateo, you’re not left with much advantage at all in the remainder of SC County, based on the million dollar household numbers”

        Who said a million dollars was any kind of magic number? It doesn’t take a million dollars to buy club seats to a ball game. Six figures will do it, and there are WAY more of those folks in the South Bay than the East Bay. As has been posted here previously, the South Bay has twice as many tech employees as SF and the East Bay combined. These are the folks with six figure incomes who won’t blanch at buying a $100 ticket to a ballgame.

        “Those people on the SC-SM boundary will have the option to travel 30 miles to AT&T or 20 miles to Diridon.”

        I have a buddy who lives in San Mateo. He likes the NBA better than the NHL, and on the face of it would seem closer to Oakland as San Jose. Yet he is a Sharks season ticket holder. Why? Because he works in Palo Alto. While his ride home from a game in Oakland is slightly shorter than from San Jose (maybe five minutes or so), it doesn’t make up for the hellish ordeal of trying to get there for a weeknight game. And if you are a season ticket holder, you’re going to a lot of weeknight games.

        I think you’re putting a bit too much emphasis on where people live, and not enough on where they work. The South Bay is THE primary job center for the region; San Francisco is second. The East Bay has a more limited employment base and functions more as a bedroom community for the other two.

        For this reason, San Jose serves an East Bay fanbase far better than Oakland serves a South Bay fanbase. LOTS of folks from Southern Alameda county work here and would find a San Jose ballpark more convenient than one in Oakland. Lots of San Mateo county folks also work here, and would find a San Jose ballpark more convenient than AT&T Park. Very few people from the South Bay work in the East Bay.

        “It’s hardly going to be a case of “horrendous hardship” vs. “smooth sailing”…”

        If it were not for AT&T Park, I would agree with you.

        “Will it be a slam dunk for the A’s to pack their tiny stadium with the expected outrageous ticket prices? I don’t think so.

        They do for the Sharks, who play a niche sport. I think the A’s will be even more wildly successful in San Jose than the Sharks are, because there’s so much more interest in their sport.

        “I think one can reasonably expect that the Diridon facility will produce the same sort of challenges for the team to win or else struggle at the gate as any other ML team with only a couple million people within 20 miles of the park.”

        Well, no. I agree that 20 miles from the park is the primary radius they will draw from. But there’s still a big difference between a team located somewhere with 3 million people within a twenty mile radius and 4 million more within driving distance and a market where there’s only three million people in the entire metro area.

      • On that last sentence, after you put another team into your “driving distance” market, and subtract out the fans from your own nearby area that leave to watch that other team, you haven’t improved a heck of a lot. Half of 7 million seems okay, but in this case you’d be hard pressed to come up with much more than 2.25 million people within 20 miles, so it’s a real lopsided divide. I’ll repeat one final time: the biggest concentration of affluence which accounts for so much of the South Bay’s appeal, despite smaller population, lives on the SM-SC boundary, where there is likely to be significant built-in support for the other team right now. Let’s face it head on. When the Giants say they have huge support from the South Bay, they’re really talking almost excusively about 15 square miles or so around Stanford University, where the people are very wealthy, and largely on their bandwagon already. I doubt they give a flying eff about San Jose proper. If the A’s can’t steal a big piece of the action from the Palo Alto area, they’re in big trouble trying to get the rest of Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County to pick up the slack.

        Also, the “million dollar” thing is the value of the home, not income, units of which have an exact count in the census, so I used that in another post, which you apparently didn’t read, to compare real numbers of wealthy households, rather than extrapolate from median income figures.

        Finally, I get the “work location” thing, but it’s not as big a deal as you want to believe. People do like to bring their spouses and children to games, and since they also have to go home at some point anyway, the ultimate draw down is towards home.

      • The “driving distance” market is primarily relevant to heavy repeat customers, especially season ticket holders. This is the core of your business, especially with respect to premium seat customers. Since premium seat season ticket holders drive the business these days, you want to locate where it’s convenient for them. But you still draw from the rest of the Bay Area, especially on weekends.
        Million dollar homes prices seems an arbitrary measure of where this “core affluent customer” base resides, but if you want to use that, you’re dead wrong in saying they’re primarily limited to the “SM-SC boundary.” Nearly every house in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto is worth over one million dollars. The Silver Creek neighborhood in East San Jose is made up of million dollar homes. Mountain View and Sunnyvale south of El Camino are mostly million dollar homes, or close to it. In fact, many areas which are not made up of million dollar homes are very close to it (places in the 800-900K range like Almaden Valley or Campbell).
        I live and work in the “15 square miles around Stanford University,” and work closely with the executives of these companies. There is genuine excitement here about the possibility of MLB in San Jose. While it’s true there are more Giants fans than A’s fans, it’s not as big a difference as gets represented here. But in any event, many fans who may maintain the Giants as their primary allegiance will still go to plenty of San Jose A’s games because it’s convenient. For Navigator, this is a religion. For most people, it’s entertainment.
        The work location is a HUGE thing; maybe the most important thing for this demographic. These are busy executives, and time is money – especially toward the end of the work day. The difference between having to leave at 5pm to get to Oakland or being able to leave at 6:30pm and get to San Jose is a big, big deal. Plus, if they’re entertaining clients, they’re not going to drag those clients through ninety minutes to two hours of traffic to get to Oakland. They’re just not.
        The drive home is a much smaller factor. With no traffic, even getting back from Oakland isn’t so bad; I can get home in less than an hour. But this in no way makes up for the pain of getting there.
        People do like to bring their spouses and children to games, but mainly on weekends. If this were a sport where nearly all the games were played on weekends, like the NFL, I would agree with you that location would be less of an issue.
        But it’s not. Most of the games are played on weeknights. The customers for premium seats on weeknights are largely companies or their execs entertaining clients or rewarding employees. Not a lot of South Bay families are dragging their kids all the way up to Oakland on a school night.
        My company held club seats at AT&T Park for many years, and I was on the distribution list. Since these seats are sold on a season ticket basis, one of the problems companies face is actually making use of them all, especially for weeknight games. There’s a reason why so many of the best seats are empty when you watch games on TV in the modern era.
        I can tell you categorically, from personal experience, that trying to sell premium seat season ticket packages for a ballpark in Oakland to South Bay companies is going to be next to impossible. Those interested enough will buy from the Giants, for all the reasons previously stated. A new yard in Oakland does not give South Bay companies who are not currently buying such packages a reason to do so, and it doesn’t give those buying from the Giants a reason to switch.
        There’s a reason why only 13% of South Bay companies are buying from the Giants. But a yard in San Jose offers an opportunity to expand this market for MLB overall. Yes, the Giants will lose some of this business, which is why they’re so up in arms about it. But it also presents an opportunity to expand MLB penetration in this market segment overall.

      • ‘you’re dead wrong in saying they’re primarily limited to the “SM-SC boundary.” ‘
        .
        I didn’t mean to imply “primarily limited”. The point I was trying to make is that if you subtract this tiny area, the remainder of the South Bay has no significant overall economic advantage over the East Bay. And I chose to look it at it that way because this tiny area is going to be more closely aligned to the Giants right now, and probably the most difficult South Bay area for the A’s to convert. Ignoring the west side of the valley for a moment, San Jose proper does not even stack up well against Contra Costa County. Each has around a million residents, and here are the median household, median family, and per capita incomes for each:

        Contra Costa 79k / 92k / 38k
        San Jose 80k / 89k / 33k

        And here is the census count of homes valued at a million dollars or higher:

        Contra Costa 38,226
        San Jose 20,077

        I’m not trying to pull one over on anyone with cherry picked data, just trying to demonstrate some of what’s being lopped off here in the effort to “expand” the market. The fact that Contra Costa is already firmly behind the A’s, served by two BART lines that converge in Oakland, is home to the 3rd largest corporation in America, and is even further away from San Jose than Oakland, has me concerned.

        Anyway, I can’t argue against your anecdotal claims about drive times, undesirability of an East Bay location even for it’s large population of affluent residents, extreme interest from wealthy southern peninsula execs in the A’s coming to San Jose, etc. I’ll just leave you with your opinions.

      • So you’re saying if you lop off the wealthiest part of Santa Clara county, Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties are a push?
        Sorry, not a valid comparison.
        Why is it when we have these discussions, we always get two county (CC and Alameda) vs one county (SC) comparisons? Or “lop off the most desirable part of Santa Clara county then compare to CC” comparisons? Or “throw in San Francisco’s corporate base as though it were part of the East Bay, ignoring it already has an entrenched team of its own” type-comparisons?
        Your basic point seems to boil back down to “the A’s are going to have trouble drawing from the wealthy part of Santa Clara county, because that’s Giants country.” Yet, somehow the A’s would have an easy time drawing from Napa, Sonoma, Marin, and San Francisco, because those places are not Giants’ country.
        This, of course, is absurd.
        I understand that Chevron is in CC. They are a big company, and have enough money to buy as many suites as they want. But how many suites they want is going to depend on how big a presence they have here. Do you know how many employees they have in San Ramon? I honestly don’t, but I’m willing to bet it’s a lot less than Apple, Intel, Adobe, Microsoft, Lockheed, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Redback and Applied Materials collectively have, plus all the big law firms in San Jose and Palo Alto, plus all the VC firms in Sand Hill Road. And that’s just off the top of my head.
        (Also, from San Ramon it’s not a big difference getting to San Jose vs. downtown Oakland, because of the route you have to take and the traffic patterns).
        Corporate base is important. Corporations are your primary suite and club seat buyers. By the measure you have cited (Fortune 1000), SC has more than SF and East Bay combined. I believe other indicators make the difference bigger than that. How does it make sense to locate two teams to squabble directly over the smaller half of the pie?
        I never said Contra Costa county was an undesirable market “even for its large population of affluent residents I’m just saying, if the A’s can trade Contra Costa for Santa Clara, it’s a good trade for them. Clearly the A’s think so. And clearly the Giants think it’s a bad trade for them.
        You’re right, my comments regarding attitudes of South Bay execs are anecdotal, and my opinions are just that, opinions. But they are informed opinions. It makes me bristle anytime I read “Oakland is convenient to the entire Bay Area” (because I know, from painful experience, it’s not) or “Santa Clara county is an unshakable stronghold of Giants fans who will never go to A’s games in San Jose” (because it’s not, and they will). The people who write these things clearly haven’t spent much time down here and don’t know what they’re talking about.
        As far as drive times, those are factual and verifiable. Just come down here for a test drive and see for yourself.

      • “… if the A’s can trade Contra Costa for Santa Clara, it’s a good trade for them. Clearly the A’s think so. And clearly the Giants think it’s a bad trade for them.” This is an absolutely correct statement –i.e–no one can dispute it based upon publically available comments and actions by both the A’s and the gints. At the end of the day the debate can rage and statistics can be used to paint whatever point someone wants but the bottom line is that those who have the most to gain/lose financially from the A’s move to San Jose are placing their money on SCC. Why would LW and the rest of the A’s ownership group reduce the value of their investment by moving the team if it didn’t make financial sense to them, all of their consultants and to the gints who are trying to stop it?

      • bartleby, you wrote, “the attendance statistics of the two teams pre-AT&T Park were surprisingly similar” Here are the attendance figures for the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants. You can examine them more closely. http://www.oaklandfans.com/attendance.html

      • I was typing, How would Victory Court compare favorably to AT&T Park?

      • Here’s a few that come to mind:

        – By the time finished, it would be like 15 years newer.
        – BART is only 3 or 4 blocks away.
        – The view across the estuary to Alameda will be more interesting and varied.
        – It’s just a few blocks from a good-sized JC (great pro sports demographic)
        – The A’s play there, instead of the Giants

      • Also, with the Lake Merritt Channel and the Estuary nearby, a ballpark on Victory Court will be directly linked to Lake Merritt and the Estuary via a new park directly behind the center field fence which will link directly to the new paths and foot bridges over the Lake Merritt Channel. These improvements are all paid for with measure DD money which has already improved paths and landscaping around Lakeshore and around the Lake Chalet Restaurant on Lakeside Drive. A Victory Court ballpark will feature functioning waterways with scale. Fans will be able to take a water taxi from either Jack London Square or the Lake Merritt Financial Center for ballgames and be left near the center field gate. People from the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Merritt and Jack London Square will be able to walk to games either via Embarcadero or by going around Lake Merritt and down the paths and foot bridges of the Lake Merritt Channel. In other words the waterways linking the ballpark will be in a more human scale than the large Bay in front of AT& T Park. A Victory Court ballpark won’t be as intensely urban as AT&T Park because of it’s proximity to the new park on Lake Merritt Channel and Lake Merritt proper.

    • …how will a land locked ballpark in downtown San Jose “out glamor” San Francisco? Heck, a ballpark on the waterfront near Jack London Square is more “glamorous” than a land locked ballpark in downtown San Jose.
      .
      I’m with you 100% on this one, nav, because all great ballparks are on or near water bodies — you can look it up!
      On or near major water –Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, AT&T Park, PNC Park, Safeco Field, Citi Field, the Polo Grounds, whatever they call the thing in St. Louis, etc.
      Nowhere near major water — the thing in Phoenix, Arlington, Coors, the old thing in Houston, the new thing in Houston, the other thing in inland North Miami, Turner Field, US Cellular, etc.
      Leave it to a navigator to realize that you need major water for a glamorous ballpark.
      .
      Which is why I’ve been badgering Lew Wolff, Chuck Reed, and the SJ Redevelopment Agency to shift gears and locate the ballpark in Alviso, which has a marina, a yacht club, and a very nice waterfront park/wildlife refuge, and plenty of space for development, including skyscrapers much taller than anything allowed under downtown SJ’s strict height limit..
      .
      It’s just north of the prestigious North First Street government and technology corridor, and VTA could easily run a short light rail spur from the Tasman station. The ACE traiins run right by, and a new ballaprk station could be easily built on the route. The site is well served by the 237 freeway, which in turn connects with the 101 and 880 freeways. Ferry service could easily be provided to every point on the bay — including tourist attractions such as the Presiidio, the SF marina, Ghirardelli Square, The Cannery, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building, Alcatraz, Sausalito, Richmond, Berkeley, Howard Terminal, Jack London Square, AT&T Park, Redwood Shores, East Palo Alto/IKEA, and dozens of other places that I could easily name.
      .
      BTW, Alviso is closer to Oakland than Diridon Station is, and it’s closer to the population center of the Bay Area. Plus, in any alphabetical listing of MLB teams, the Alviso A’s would be first, ahead of Anaheim and Atlanta, not to mention Baltimore and Boston or Chicago, Cincinnati, or Cleveland.
      .
      I’m hoping that I can get some solid support and enthusiasm for an Alviso site on this blog. To start with, I particularly need assistance from someone who knows how to set up a Facebook page, and who can teach me how to tweet and twitter, and who knows how to install a PayPal button.
      .
      Let’s go ALVI$O A’s!

    • Whether you think they are shallow or not, they are the people you need to make the debt payments on a new privately financed park.
      They also happen to live down here. They know, like, and are familiar with San Jose. It may not be as glamorous as SF, but it’s a heck of a lot closer and they are a heck of a lot more comfortable with it than Oakland.
      And you cannot ignore, from Menlo Park/Palo Alto/Mountain Vew/Cupertino/Sunnyvale (where many large corporations are located) you can make AT&T Park in about an hour, and you also have Caltrain as an option. You could make San Jose in about twenty minutes, and you would still have Caltrain as an option. For the Coliseum you must fight Dumbarton Bridge and/or Route 237 traffic, and you cannot reliably get to the Coliseum during rush hour in less than ninety minutes to two hours. There is no convenient transit option. Putting a ballpark in downtown Oakland will likely add another ten to fifteen minutes to these times.
      Bottom line: They’re just not going to do it.

    • San Jose doesn’t need to “out glamor” San Francisco to win the South Bay demographic. It just needs to be closer.
      My corporate friends do critical have thinking skills – which is why they understand that two homicides is a meaningless, statistical blip and that there are plenty of homicides in Oakland (including both downtown and the Coli parking lot).

      • Do they understand 20 homicides in the various SF downtown neighborhoods including China Basin in 2008, compared to two in Oakland’s downtown neighborhoods of Uptown, Lake Merritt, Old Oakland, Chinatown, and Jack London Square? If they don’t, they are indeed shallow.

      • They do understand homicide statistics, enough to ignore the ravings of delusional bloggers who fixate on a statistically insignificant one year blip in a single crime category and who try to lump Tenderloin and Western Addition statistics in with a ballpark location that is over a mile away.
        If I cared about this subject enough, I’d go back and throw the last nine years of crime statistics at you for the neighborhoods that are actually relevant and we could also look at your odds of being mugged, raped, or having your car broken into in those neighborhoods. But I don’t. If you think you’re actually going to convince people that AT&T Park is a dangerous place to go because it had two homicides in the parking lot (at least one of which was a freak incident where some kids got into a fight and one of them fell and hit his head on the sidewalk), have at it. The people who will buy into your theory are the same ones who buy in when you cherry pick attendance figures for 1989 and 1990 and try to imply they are representative of historic A’s attendance, or even Walter Haas’ attendance figures. In other words, willfully ignorant people with the same agenda as you. (You know, the “birther”-type crowd.).

      • barleby, not to belabor the point, but, the Tenderloin, Civic Center, and parts of South of Market, including China Basin, are considered “downtown San Francisco.” I submit to you that there is much more crime within a one mile radius of AT&T Park in San Francisco, than in a 1 mile radius of either of the two proposed Jack London Square sites. Also, as much as you like to make excuses for, and rationalize homicides in San Francisco and next to AT&T Park, you would no doubt include homicides within a one mile radius of the Coliseum to prove your point of “what a horrible location the Coliseum sits in.” Why do you then make excuses for San Francisco and At&T Park? Let’s be consistent. I’m not interested in “conventional wisdom,” or “perceptions.” I’m not interested in shallow thinking.

  31. Good to hear from you Connie Mack. I’m glad that you were able to keep your New Year’s resolution for six days. I agree, Alviso would be an improvement over the current downtown site in San Jose. However, it’s not nearly as good as a central Jack London Square location near the waterfront in the heart of the Oakland Athletics’s fanbase. Also, a ballpark in Oakland would allow the Oakland Athletics to remain the Oakland Athletics. This is very important to many Oakland Athletic fans, including the 30,000 on Facebook.

    • for the love of all that is human would you please stop with the facebook drivel. There are many, many people on there who are not 100% behind “Oakland Only.”

      • Jeffrey,
        Do you really expect Navigator to stop repetitively posting something inane just because he’s annoying people? Where have you been the last few years?

      • Jeffrey, I wouldn’t say that a large percentage of people on Facebook are not in favor of a ballpark in Oakland. There are a few who favor San Jose. A very, very, small percentage. Also, I’m sure that 100% of the people who signed the “Keep the A’s in Oakland” petition, actually favor keeping the A’s in Oakland.

      • you are truly clueless

      • I support a ballpark in Oakland. I support one in San Jose. I am a member of the facebook group.

        Most people I know, that are A’s fans, are agnostic about where the stadium is built. Even those that signed the online petition.

  32. Great point, people in Palo Alto will still drive 30 miles to San Francisco instead of 20 miles to downtown San Jose. If it’s a about “glamor” and “world class city status,” these folks will no doubt go to a waterfront park in SF, as apposed to a park in downtown San Jose. The Oakland Athletics would be much better off if they learned to appreciate what they had in the East Bay, instead of always looking with covetous eyes towards the South Bay. As TPS mentioned, without getting that southern Peninsula demographic, the A’s would be pinning themselves into a corner in downtown San Jose. Also, considering the fact that the only truly successful franchise in San Jose history has been the Sharks, this makes the proposed relocation to San Jose anything but a huge gamble on the part of Lew Wolff and John Fisher. I wont even mention ethical factors like loyalty to your fans and to the community which has supported the franchise for over forty years in Oakland.

    • Navigator,
      Once again, you’ve completely misread two posts, misrepresented the facts, and missed the point. From an office in Palo Alto, San Francisco is indeed thirty miles away, but downtown San Jose is only fifteen. During rush hour it takes about an hour to get to AT&T park but only twenty minutes to get to downtown San Jose. This is both because the distance is twice as great to SF and because the traffic gets way worse as you actually enter the city. In contrast, traffic into San Jose on 280 never gets that bad even during rush hour.
      Bottom line: for a weeknight game, it takes THREE TIMES as long to get to AT&T park as it does San Jose. So for San Mateo county residents who work in Santa Clara county (which is a large percentage of them), it will still be more convenient to get to SJ than SF (and of course WAY more convenient than the 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip to Oakland). The trip home is almost a push, but as I noted below it’s the intial drive that’s the bigger issue and will drive the decision for many.
      I know these time estimates are accurate because I have personally driven to sporting events at all three locations on weeknights many times over many years.
      So, San Jose will do very well with the “southern Peninsula demographic,” thank you very much, for the same reason my friend from San Mateo chooses to go to Sharks games rather than Warriors games. In any event, as I posted previously, the demographic “San Mateo county residents with income over 1 million dollars” that TPS was writing about is a small number of people and not critically important to the success of a ballpark in San Jose. Plus, whatever percentage of those people would not choose to go to a ballpark in SJ over AT&T Park would not choose to go to a game in Oakland, either.
      Finally, you continue to ignore the inconvenient fact that huge numbers of East Bay residents work in the South Bay while the reverse is not true. The A’s will draw East Bay fans in SJ far better than they would draw South Bay fans in Oakland.

      • bartleby,

        You’re making the assumption that those people who commute to San Jose from, let’s say, the Tri-Valley or Fremont area, will to go to the ballgame without coming home first to pick up their kids, have dinner, etc. Your theory counts on a great percentage of the East Bay commuters you mention being in the vicinity of downtown San Jose from about 8:00 AM to about 10:00 PM without making it home until possibly well after 11:00 PM. That’s a very long day to spend away from home. You’re putting way to much emphasis on where possible fans work, instead of where they live. The office crowd isn’t that big a demographic on a consistent basis anyway. Certainly not enough to put that much emphasis on it. It’s only a part of the equation. Unfortunately, counting on East Bay commuters to spend that much time in downtown San Jose, and then face a horrible commute home, isn’t realistic or practical.

      • It actually makes much more sense for those East Bay commuters who work in San Jose but live in the Tri-Valley or Fremont, to get out their San Jose offices by 4:00 PM, rush home, have dinner, pick up their kids, and head to the nearest BART station and on their way to Oakland to watch the A’s in their new waterfront park. This scenario makes much more sense and is more logical.

      • That makes no sense whatsoever. Leave work several hours early in order to brave the worst of the rush hour traffic, deal with a family dinner, then a 30 minute BART ride up to downtown Oakland, a three hour ball game, and another 30 minute BART ride home, all on a school night? In what way is that easier than seeing a game in San Jose? Sounds like a hideous ordeal, and irresponsible parenting. And it doesn’t sound like premium seat customers. Even for the affluent, club seats for a family of four is a stretch. And parents of young children aren’t bringing them to weeknight games.
        The more likely scenario is, work ’til 5:30, a quick drive downtown with clients or colleagues, a pleasant dinner at one of San Jose’s many great restaurants, enjoy the game, then take a short drive home. Then bring the kids again later on a weekend, at which point Oakland or San Jose are a push from Fremont.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s