Dissect this

Since the regulars are all willing to debate numbers this week, I’ll put up a simple table for you to interpret. It’s a list of counties followed by two sets of numbers: the breakdown of fans from the 2008 Sorenson survey, and the breakdown of advanced ticket sales from the A’s 2005 season.


The only commentary I’ll provide is that the combined 18.6% of sales coming from outside the Bay Area is very comforting. Many of those sales will come from tourists, visiting business people, and loyal A’s fans who can’t make it more than a few times per year (if that) due to distance. As much as we argue over who and where the A’s fanbase is, that 18.6% is a solid figure that should only grow with a new ballpark, wherever it is.

As for the rest of the table? That’s for you the reader/commenter to figure out. Some questions to consider moving forward:

  • Why do some areas have large discrepancies between the survey and ticket sales percentages?
  • Are some areas over/underperforming? If so, why?
  • Is there a common thread in these numbers?
  • How could these figures be affected by a ballpark located in (insert city name here)?

A couple of rules. No trashing of cities, politicians, ownership, or other commenters. Let’s keep the focus on the numbers and why they appear as they do. As Andy Partridge once sang, “Let’s begin.”

8:05 AM – I noticed in this SF Business Times article that the A’s are going to offer free parking on Tuesdays this upcoming season. The price of parking doesn’t get discussed much since there are multiple “free” options nearby. Still, this could bring extra people out on Tuesday nights.

92 thoughts on “Dissect this

  1. Clearly the east bay is very valuable. I’ll leave it at that.

  2. Tourists, visiting business people, and San Fransciscans going to Oakland? Toss these numbers out, they can’t be right!

    One thing to do though is to toss the ticket sales numbers for the ‘tourist’ row, and adjust the Bay Area counties back to 100% in order to do a better side by side of the two studies. I’m going to bed though.

    • It’s bad enough that 20% of sales via walkup are omitted because they can’t be easily located. Now we’re omitting nearly 40%. I had to draw the line.

      • If we’re more interested in how ticket sales in the Bay Area break down by county, this seems to be the way to go:

        tickets tickets survey
        Alameda 27.3 -> 33.5 31
        Contra Costa 20.7 -> 25.4 20
        San Francisco 13.0 -> 16.0 8
        Santa Clara 10.5 -> 12.9 18
        San Mateo 3.3 -> 4.1 7
        Solano 2.2 -> 2.7 6
        Napa 2.0 -> 2.5 2
        Marin 1.5 -> 1.8 2
        Sonoma 0.9 -> 1.1 5
        Tourists 18.6 -> – –
        100.0 100.0 99

      • Never mind. Sorry about that.

  3. I have a hard time believing that 18% of the A’s season ticket business is outside the Bay Area. Unless, of course; the local numbers are so low that what would normally be considered token support from out of state gets a bigger piece of the pie by default.

    How does this compare with the Giants?

  4. Interesting that Santa Clara outweighs all four North Bay counties combined in both columns. I’ve been hearing a lot of weeping for the fans up there, as if it’s an A’s stronghold compared to “Giants territory” down south. Of course, there are some North Bay A’s fans and I don’t seek to discount them entirely, but it’s clearly been overblown.

    • As far as “weeping” for people to the north, I think you overlooked that nearly every square mile of Contra Costa County is entirely north of Oakland, side by side with Marin County. So it’s really 5 counties that are being signifcantly distanced by the San Jose plan.

      • Much of the county is east, and the northern portions are not much further than Oakland itself.

    • The explanation is much simpler than you’re imagining–there aren’t very many people in those counties.

      • That doesn’t really help their case.

      • About 2 million people in the 5 counties north of Oakland. Only a tiny sliver of Contra Costa County is about even with Oakland in latitude. Those two million people bought about 1/3 of the tickets in this study vs. about 21% or so of tickest bought by the people south of Oakland.

  5. Perhaps the out of towner number is high because those type of attendees are more likely to buy the tickets in advance. If coming from a great distance or making a trip of it, you usually plan ahead and buy in advance.

    • As an out-of-towner, I agree. Plus I go to less games than I used to when I lived in the South Bay, so I buy field level tickets for which I can get better seats if I buy ahead. Before, I just bought the cheapest at the gate and sat wherever I pleased.

  6. Also, the county data is misleading. We need the old 40 mile radius circle. I’d lump in southern San Mateo and Alameda counties with the Santa Clara number.

    The Contra Costa number is important. I see a lot of those folks being less willing to make the haul to SJ than the Alameda fans. After the shine is off the new park in SJ, I wonder if they will be able to truly replace the fans (ticket buying fans) that they lose in the North Bay and Contra Costa due to distance.

  7. I guess, I am nto really clear on what Sorenson’s numbers really mean. Reading some descriptions on a similar report about NBA teams tells me the definition of a “fan” is really loose. It also seems to be less geared toward ticket buyers and more towards “fanbase,” or viewers/listeners/attendees that a company might want to advertise too.

    I think this long running debate about where today’s A’s fans come from is sort of missing the point. The question isn’t where do people come from now, but where will people come from in the future and is there a measurable difference based on where the stadium is built (if it is built in the Bay Area)?

    Looking at the advance ticket sales, that is 80% of all tickets in 2005. The A’s drew 2,109,118 in 2005. So, these percentages represent 1,687,294 tickets. By county:

    SF- 219,348
    San Mateo- 55,681
    Santa Clara- 177,166
    Marin- 25,309
    Alameda- 460,631
    CoCo- 349,270
    Sonoma- 15,186
    Napa- 33,746
    Solano- 37,120

    The thing I wish we had here, was a break down by zip code… But still, that doesn’t answer the question of where the ticket buyers come from in the future.

    I am swamped at work right now, so I gotta run… but this should be fun to see someone give a good explanation of market penetration today, under served markets and prospects for market growth.

    • I think the ticket sales data had a breakdown of the Alameda County numbers by city, so you can look at interesting things that way. Numbers for Fremont/Newark/Union City, or the tri-valley area for example.

  8. Here’s the adjusted numbers if you remove the Other California and Outside California lines and reset the remaining to 100%. Diff is the difference between the adjusted percentage and the Sorenson fan percentage.

    Presales Adj Diff
    16.0         8.0
    4.1         -2.9
    12.9        -5.1
    1.8         -0.2
    33.5         2.5
    25.4         5.4
    1.1         -3.9
    2.5          0.5
    2.7         -3.3

    The highest numbers are obviously the places right around the Coliseum. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that the South Bay numbers would be similar, given the team has had enough time to establish itself. I don’t think Alameda’s number will drop as far as people might think. It’s a big county and we’d have to know how the fanbase is concentrated in the different cities, though I think the Pleasanton and Livermore fans won’t find it to much more difficult to get it. San Mateo should go up, maybe near to SF’s current numbers. Everything north of San Mateo on either side of the Bay will go down, with the only real meaningful loss obviously being in Conta Costa county.

    I think it would be interesting to see the same county numbers for the Giants to compare and contrast. Is Santa Clara as important as they say? How does the North Bay stand? How many of their fans come from Alameda?

    • Here is the market penetration on the ticket sales, using the adjusted numbers (which I tried to post myself above but messed up on formatting):
      Contra Costa 175.2
      Alameda 158.0
      San Francisco 141.6
      Napa 131.6 (!)
      Santa Clara 51.6
      Marin 51.4
      San Mateo 40.5
      Solano 37.9
      Sonoma 16.4

      • In this case, I have to suspect someone accidentally put some Sonoma numbers into Napa’s collumn.

  9. As far as Alameda County goes Oakland had by far the largest percentage with nearly 9% of advanced ticket purchases. As a matter of fact, Oakland had by far the highest per capita percentage of ticket buyers of any city in the Bay Area. Here are some figures for other Alameda County cities as previously posted by Marine Layer.

    Fremont 2.3 %

    San Leandro 1.6%

    Hayward 1.5%

    Union City 1.2%

    Newark 1.1%

    Castro Valley 0.9%

    San Lorenzo 0.3%

    As we can see only 4.6% of fans from Alameda County come from south of Hayward.

    Also, 60.7% of Oakland A’s advanced tickets purchased came from Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties, with another 6.6% from the North Bay and beyond.

    • Before anyone gets too deep into the city figures and drawing arbitrary geographical lines, I have to point out that Pleasanton is missing from that list entirely. Pleasanton may only account for ~1% of sales, but it is still missing. Why? I don’t know.

      • Marine Layer, I was looking at old notes. I don’t have Pleasanton. If you do, it would be helpful if you put up the figures.

      • That’s the point. It’s not in the document. So it’s either missing or lumped in with something else – perhaps the somewhat high Livermore figure.

      • Since everything still comes out to 100%, I’ll betcha it got accidentally tossed into the “Other California” column.

    • “only 4.6% of fans from Alameda County come from south of Hayward.”
      I don’t think that’s worded right. Did you mean to say, “4.6% of fans come from Alameda County south of Hayward.”

      • TPS, I meant to point out that Alameda County, south of Hayward, only represents 4.6% of all advanced ticket sales. I know that Santa Clara County represents about 10% of all advanced ticket sales, with San Mateo representing 3.3%. So in effect, Oakland A’s advanced ticket sales come north of Milipitas and north of San Mateo County. We have about 18% of total advanced ticket sales coming from Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Southern Alameda counties, while having 82% of advanced ticket sales coming from north of Newark and north of Daly City. This figure is astonishing. Also, I constantly here the “I never sit by anyone that’s from Oakland when I go to the games.” As a matter of fact no city supports the A’s better than Oakland with nearly 9% of advanced ticket purchases. Of course, Oakland has about 400,000 residents and the East Bay in total has about 2.6 million people. So at least 90% of the people at any given game are probably not going to be from Oakland. This doesn’t change the fact that Oakland supports the A’s better than any other city per capita. If anything, support from Pleasanton, Union City, Newark, and Fremont is rather weak.

      • Support from Fremont is weak, considering that it’s half the size of Oakland but buys just 1/4 of the tickets. On a population basis, Newark and Dublin (perhaps the entire Tri-Valley) outperform Oakland while Union City underperforms slightly. Oakland should either match or outperform all others just on proximity/convenience alone.

      • Marine Layer,

        Oakland, with a population of 400,000 residents, has about the same number of advanced ticket purchases as Fremont 200,000 residents , Hayward 130,000, San Leandro 70,000, Union City 73,000, Castro Valley 57,000, Newark 44,000, and San Lorenzo 21,889 combined. All of these towns combined have a population of 595,000 residents and are responsible for 8.9% of advanced ticket sales. This is about the same amount of advanced season tickets which Oakland and its 400,000 residents are responsible for purchasing. The point being that Oakland has done a tremendous job of supporting the Oakland A’s despite complaints and accusations that Oakland doesn’t do its share. Oakland has done more than its share in supporting the Oakland A’s.

      • My, we’re getting defensive. I’m simply pointing out that some cities do better and worse than Oakland, and I want to know why given that Oakland has every logistical advantage over them. Is it economics? Something else? I’m trying to get answers, not excuses.

      • Smaller cites really don’t say much. I’m sure that I could find neighborhoods and districts in Oakland which will outperform any of those smaller cities you point to. Let’s compare geographic areas similar in population to Oakland. Oakland does a great job supporting the Oakland A’s. Oakland doesn’t need excuses or need to explain itself. You’re trying to make Oakland’s outstanding support compared to an area of 595,000 residents in cities all south of Oakland, seem trivial. your attempting to twist things to make it seem that Oakland doesn’t do a great job supporting the Oakland A’s, when in fact, compared to the much larger population of its southern neighbors, Oakland does a tremendous job. That’s wrong Marine Layer.

      • Hey at least Nav didn’t mention the facebook group as proof as to how much Oaktown supports the A’s…that’s progress–

      • You really don’t get it Nav, do you? At no point was I passing judgement on Oakland, I was only making an observation. Typically, you chose to take it as an affront. I don’t know if Oakland’s percentage is good or bad. What are we comparing it to? If you compare it only to other Bay Area cities, then Oakland has built in advantages that should always make it prevail. I would like to see how Oakland compares to other markets, so I’m looking into information in that vein.

      • Exactly right. Oakland doesn’t lead the pack, it’s middle of the pack. Listed below is the alameda county city and the % of the city population with advanced ticket sales in 2005

        Albany 61.6%
        Berkeley 59.1%
        Livermore 52.9%
        Emeryville 52.0%
        Newark 43.7%
        Dublin 43.1%
        Oakland 37.4%
        San Leandro 33.0%
        Alameda 32.7%
        Union City 27.6%
        Castro Valley 26.5%
        San Lorenzo 23.1%
        Fremont 18.3%
        Hayward 16.3%

      • We can’t discount the fact that Oakland has performed better than an area of seven cities south of the Oakland border which have a population of 595,000 residents compared to 400,000 in Oakland. If we look at gojohn’s figures to go along with the fact that Oakland outperforms it’s seven southern neighboring cities we come to the conclusion that the market for the Oakland A’s is heading south towards San Jose but Oakland and points North and East. I think we’ve just figured out exactly where the fanbase of the Oakland A’s comes from. This is absolute undeniable proof that the Oakland A’s belong in a waterfront ballpark near Jack London Square. Thanks gojohn for the figures. You helped make the case for a ballpark in Jack London Square. Wow, Albany at 61%, Berkeley at 59%, while Emeryville comes in at 52%. Thats impressive, especially when comparing to the dismal numbers coming from the seven cities south of Oakland.

      • The fact that the cities north of Oakland support the Oakland A’s better than the cites south of Oakland, despite the fact that the northern cites are farther from the Coliseum than San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Hayward etc., shows us that the Oakland A’s fanbase is no where near San Jose, but much closer to Jack London Square.

      • and Nav its all relative–claiming anything positive about East Bay trends when advanced tix sales are as horrible as they are for the A’s in Oakland is not anything to feel proud about—-bottom line, the ownership group sees greener pastures in the untapped potential of silicon valley and the surrounding communities than the actual results from being located in Oakland for the past 40 years

      • Just for you Nav, because I know how much you love data that supports your cause.

        Oak & North: Alb,Berk,Emery,Alameda,Oak
        South of Oak: Newark, San Lean, San Lor, Union C, Castro V, Frem, Hayw
        East of Oak: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton????

        Keep in mind though that Oakland is in the North end of the county.

      • Do you have the breakdown for Contra Costa County?

      • I wish. The Fremont EIR only provided numbers for cities in alameda county. That’s where these numbers are from.

  10. Just to add to ML’s note regarding parking, keep in mind that though parking will be free for Tuesday games, there will probably be an increase in parking rates for games Wed-Mon. I haven’t seen anything from the A’s yet, but we’re Warriors STH, and we received the following email notifying us that parking for games in 2010 will go from $15.00 to $18.00.*****

    Please note that the City of Oakland has implemented a MANDATORY parking tax on ALL events being held at Oracle Arena and the Oakland Alameda-Coliseum, which regrettably includes all Golden State Warriors home games. It marks the first parking tax instituted since the opening of the original sports complex in 1966.

    Due to this city mandate – effective as of January 1, 2010 — the Warriors have been forced to increase parking rates at Oracle Arena from $15 to $18 per game. We regret this city-imposed action and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that it will cause to our valued fan base who regularly attend Warriors home games. The increase marks the first in individual parking rates since 2005…****

    Interestingly, the tax is not being applied to those who purchase season ticketholder parking passes.

    • It’s the least the “Golden State Warriors” can do for Oakland. It’s basically the only benefit the city gets from them. They certainly don’t get the exposure or name recognition.

    • Was parking for Warriors’ games last year at $15? This same or a similar memo came through in last year for the A’s, and they raised the parking rates halfway through the season. I think this is just the same thing and not another raise over last year’s increase.

      • LS,

        Sorry I didn’t realize the increase already went into effect for the A’s, as we used parking passes.

  11. Here is a map that the creators themselves say is “highly inaccurate”. It’s based on internet voting and a relatively small size at that (especially when you get down to the local level). Never the less, it’s interesting to explore.

    Also, here is another map that seems to be based on absolutely no actual data. I wish A’s territory was that big.

  12. So, just about half of the sales come from the East Bay. The A’s will have a lot of work to do if they move. 880 to San Jose at 5PM is a gigantic pain in the a**.

    • It’s reverse commuting. Most are going the other direction at that hour. It’s not as if any freeway is very light, anyway. The all-encompassing “East Bay” is a vast area compared to Santa Clara Valley. Taking 80, 580, 24 or 880 north is a pain just the same.

    • A lot of people are discounting the lower peninsula, but I think if a ballpark is built at Diridon, you will see a good number of fans from Redwood City and points south jump on Caltrain to the ballpark. We live in the mid-peninsula, and I know a lot of Giants fans around here catch Caltrain to ATT. It’s cheaper, and less of a hassle.

  13. Alot of fans from out of town come to A’s games, sure. Unlike in the Bay Area, in other parts of the country going to a baseball game is seen as quite an event. I’m sure the first thing Red Sox fans traveling to the Bay Area look for is tickets to A’s-Red Sox, if they happen to be in town around the same time. And as was said, these are advance ticket sales. Local fans are used to just walking up and buying tickets on a whim.

    I would like to see the numbers for relative abundance of A’s fans in given areas. How many percent of the the Santa Clara population is a self-described A’s fan, for instance.

  14. Using inaccurate data can lead to poor conclusions and inaccurate analysis. It would be helpful to see the A’s advanced ticket sales for the last ten seasons to see some trends and make predictions for a future ballpark. I know the possibility of seeing this data is next to impossible.

  15. We had this discussion awhile back about how A’s ticket sales seem to fall off a cliff about 2 steps south of the Coliseum. I think north of Coliseum beats south of Coliseum fully 2-to-1 even though there’s a slightly bigger population to the south. Why is that? I can see _some_ sort of problem with the crap public transit options for San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, but is that all there is to it? Doesn’t everybody in those counties drive everywhere anyway? And why do Hayward and Fremont suck so bad?

    • I’d like to say there’s a sprawl element in there, but it doesn’t affect Tri-Valley or Contra Costa County and there’s plenty of sprawl there. It would be impossible to make a direct correlation. I suppose Hayward and Fremont can be characterized as sleepy and insular. Again, no direct correlation. On the transit side, only half of Fremont is served by BART.

      It’s hard to say way the drive threshold is. 45 minutes? 60? How much more tolerable does the drive become with a good team? A marquee opponent? A new venue?

      People don’t like to talk about this, but the presence of ethnic enclaves may be a huge factor. Of the Tri-Cities, Fremont and Union City underperform while Newark does well. Fremont and Union City have much higher percentages of immigrants, especially from Asia, and they aren’t traditional baseball-crazy groups. Newark has a much lower Asian percentage than Fremont and Union City. Albany, Emeryville, and Berkeley are demographic opposites to Tri-Cities. Tri-Valley is 60-70% White.

      I’m a product of a Filipino enclave in Sunnyvale, and I can tell you that most of my relatives have little more than a passing interest in baseball, and many ignore it completely. Of me and my two brothers, I’m the only hardcore baseball fan. One loves football and basketball, the other football only.

      This subject merits its own post in the near future. It’ll take a while to craft it properly.

      • I was thinking along the same lines. I’ll never forget the guy who got up during the Fremont city council meeting and said something to the affect of, “this is an asian community and we have no interest in baseball or your team.”

      • Marine Layer,

        Great insight. I’ve never really thought about that. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

      • ML, I think ethnic make up definitely is a factor, and if you look within the asian community, you can maybe break it down even further. Interest in American sports seems to be higher with those of Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and Korean descent, while not so much so with those of Vietnamese and Indian descent. Further, of the 3 major American sports, fan interest is probably higher with football and basketball, than with baseball.

        Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape, I will say that I’m Japanese, and it is not my intent to dis any one ethnic group.

      • I don’t know if its just my imagination but it seems thats not the case with basketball…I see a lot of Asian basketball fans at Warrior games and in the blogs as well. Especially filipinos

  16. I found this primary article that has a model that predicts how changes in distances between MLB teams will affect attendance numbers. Seems this can be used to simulate changes figures at Cisco and AT&T when an A’s park is placed in difference locations. Probably over my head to do that, but maybe someone else can have a go at it. The article is definitely worth a read. There’s a bunch of gems such as the effect last year’s attendance has for the this year’s attendance. Here’s an excerpt from the opening paragraph.

    “1968, when the Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland,
    the attendance of the San Francisco Giants dropped over
    32%. The Colorado Rockies have no other Major League
    Baseball teams within a 600-mile radius and enjoy large
    crowds for every home game. A systematic assessment of
    this type of attendance impact is the aim of this paper. “

    • Going along the lines of how different ethnic communities respond to baseball, doesn’t San Jose have a very large Vietnamese community? Also, I know that Silicon Valley has many engineers and high tech workers from India. How’s this translate into possible ticket purchases? It’s pretty evident from the response to the Oakland Athletics from the high population area of southern Alameda County, that demographics and not just the number of residents has a lot to do with attendance and support for a baseball franchise. I really can’t think of better demographics for a ballpark than the wealthy communities surrounding a ballpark at Jack London Square. The City of Piedmont is two miles away from Victory Court, the affluent Crocker Highlands neighborhood of Oakland is 1.5 miles away, the Piedmont Ave. neighborhood of Oakland is 2 miles away, the Rockridge District is 3 miles away, and Emeryville and Berkeley are nearby. We still haven’t mentioned the close proximity to Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek. It seems that the demographics within a twenty mile radius of Jack London Square are great for baseball.

      • FWIW, here are some figures from the US Census site with regard to percentage of Whites/Asians/Hispanics within a certain county.

        SC – 62 / 31 / 26
        Alameda – 56 / 25 / 22
        Contra Costa – 72 / 14 / 23
        SF – 58 / 31 / 14
        San Mateo – 67 / 24 / 23


      • This conversation is getting very interesting, and I have some personal observations to add. My 8th grade son attends a private school in West San Jose that is known for it’s academics, but athletics are also offered, and the program getting stronger each year. The ethnic make up of this k-12 school is about 1/3 indian, 1/3 chinese, japanese, etc., 1/3 white (including quite a few russian). It’s been fun watching the asian kids taking a healthy interest in learning and competing in football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and soccer. The parents, many of whom are tech industry immigrants, are learning and taking an interest along with their boys. These kids are 1st gener. American, and love to go to professional sports events. Will it translate to support for professional teams as the kids raise their own families in the south bay in the years to come? I think so…. Also, it is true, as we have ovserved that the Indian families are generally less interested in most sports (except soccer and tennis) than other Asian groups at the school. However, they seem to support their kids if they want to play competitive sports, and really get involved with the teams. By the way, these families also tend to be financially successful, and do tend to spend a lot on entertainment. Perhaps the A’s could be thoughtful about how they market the team to a new kind of audience in the south bay? I see potential here.

      • The potential is enormous. It may be unrealistic to expect the adult immigrant population to quickly turn into diehard fans, but the kids are just as Westernized as their counterparts.

        In their experience in Fremont, the A’s made a lot of contact with the Indian, Afghan, and Pakistani communities. That will come in handy in the future. There were jokes about having cricket tests at Cisco Field, but I suspect that it’s quite feasible even if the field shapes and distances are quite incompatible.

  17. I think this ethnic angle is a bit of a red herring for sports marketing in the Bay Area. Inside a 20 mile halo for any location in the Bay Area, your going to have a vast mix and no significant advantage for any area can possibly be figured. Not that it isn’t an interesting topic or anything…

    • The Giants have probably bolstered their attendance 100k per season over the past 2-3 years by having their various heritage nights. For the Giants, the ethnic angle is definitely no red herring.

      • Well my point is that you can do things like heritage nights regardless of where you play in the Bay Area.

  18. Even if immigrants aren’t into baseball, their children will in time, due to assimilation. The fact that their parents aren’t is actually a plus, because it means this new generation of Americans comes with no ingrained loyalties, and will readily adopt the A’s if they move in next door.

    You have to think progressively. This isn’t about the A’s ticket sales in the next 5 years. This is about A’s ticket sales in the next 50 years.

    • I want to point out that both my parents are immigrants, and neither come from a country with any tradition in baseball, and yet here I am, a hardcore baseball, more specifically, an Oakland A’s fan.

    • Wow, great stuff in the documents regarding north and south bay. They estimate 43% of fans will come from South of Fremont (see exhibit C)

      • Did you see the follow-up “interview” of Wolff?

        “I asked if he’s annoyed Fremont is getting in the way of his desired move to San Jose. He said, “I’m never annoyed at anything.””

        Boy he sure _sounded_ annoyed when Oakland spoke up last March. I guess we can read into it that he’s interested…

      • Fremont is LW’s ideal location–he gets access to the market he covets- SCC is 3 miles away–downtown SJ is 10 or so—BART is being extended to this area now, a large swath of land for future development and he won’t have to pay anything to the gints for territorial rights which is the best part about this—-I prefer to see the gints not get a red cent for territorial rights–they didn’t pay anything—while LW gets everything he wants…which most likely will include a name change to San Jose as he has already indicated in the past—

      • Wonderful Go A’s, jut wonderful. Lew Gets what he wants.

      • and we get what we want…the A’s in the Bay Area in a reasonable timeframe–all good from my perspective

      • It’s interesting though that Wolff said on Chronicle Live a few weeks ago that they want to be in an urban setting. They tried to create their own urban setting at Pacific Commons, but we all know that plan failed due to the housing market falling off the table, and the objections of the big box retailers.

        I still think Wolff prefers the A’s be in SJ, and so would I.

      • Go A’s,

        The fact that Fremont is in Alameda County would allow Lew Wolff to keep the mane Oakland Athletics. Obviously this is something that he couldn’t do in downtown San Jose. After all, if MLB is not going to allow a change of territorial rights, then this means that they favor tradition and stability. Why in the world would Lew Wolff further alienate Oakland Athletic fans who feel the team should stay in Oakland, by changing the name to “San Jose?” He can keep the name Oakland Athletics without alienating anybody since the team would still be playing in Alameda County. He’d be more likely to keep Oakland fans and also dip into the South Bay market. It makes no sense to play in Alameda County and change your name to “San Jose.” Remember, Oakland is the capital and largest city of Alameda County and the Oakland Athletics are a storied MLB franchise. It would be unnecessary and foolish to change the name..

      • Nav–he has already publically stated in the past when he was first pushing Fremong that he preferred the name San Jose—gints have no say over this..no different than the Dodgers couldn’t keep the Anahiem Angels from becoming the Los Angeles Angels–he will want the name of the 10th largest city in the US–capital of Silicon Valley–the area he covets–

      • Go A’s,

        Everything is not about the “GIints.” Just step back and think about what Oakland Athletic fans want for a minute.” Obviuosly, you could care less about what Oakland Athletic fans want. Would you care to wager what a poll would say asking Oakland Athletic fans if they want to change the name of their team to “San Jose?” I know, to you it’s all about making Lew Wolff happy and about what “Lew Wolff wants.” Screw what Oakland Athletic fans want. You’re also making way too much out of the ” 10th largest city” argument. The number of residents in a city isn’t nearly as important as the number of people and demographics in a region. The East Bay has 2.6 million residents with central access to all 7.6 million Bay Area residents. San Jose having 1 million residents, including a large Vietnamese community which may, or may not, be interested in baseball, isn’t that an impressive credential in making the argument to change the name of a storied baseball franchise.

      • The size of a city makes a huge difference, since it’s a determining factor in whether or not they have the necessary resources and tax base to make a deal work. San Jose can do this without county help. To date, Oakland hasn’t built a major sports facility without entering into an agreement with Alameda County. There’s a legitimate question there as to whether or not they can pull it off without AC. There’s so much we don’t know what about the Oakland concepts.

    • The 43% was based on credit card sales from 2007

  19. the Fremont news is very exciting!

    • This is terrible news. I’d much rather see the A’s in a downtown location (San Jose or Oakland) than in Fremont.

      • sorry A’s fan but since my hometown is Fremont I think I am entitled to be excited about the potential ballpark. Nothing is impossible.

        While I can’t speak for anyone but myself but from reading everybody’s comments in previous posts, I think the consensus is that we all want the A’s to stay in the bay area. Unless they want to move to Santa Monica 🙂 …now that’s probably impossible

      • I’m on the fence. I live in Fremont (so would be close to the park), but would prefer an urban park to a suburban one. Regardless, there are now two candidate cities with more work done on a potential ballpark than Oakland. Sad.

      • I actually think this is bad news for Oakland. The A’s have made it clear they don’t want to be in Oakland. If the panel’s recommendation is to not allow the A’s access to SCC, you can bet they will turn back to Fremont first before they look at Oakland.

  20. ML – did you see this Fremont coming at all, or are you bewildered just like me?

    • I can’t answer for ML but I am nto bewildered. We knew that the MLB committee met with Fremont. As I understand it… they first met with Oakland, then Fremont, then went to San Jose. (outside of the scope of the original charter)

      • you guys are the experts so i’m not even going take a shot in the dark here. Is this plausible, can this happen?

      • First off, I’m surprised they were able to put together a NUMMI plan so quickly. I’m not surprised that a ballpark plan were wrapped around it. My guess is that they were spurred on by the committee, just as Oakland was.

        I’ll devote a new post in a bit. For now, there’s my old post from July.

  21. Folks,

    We’ve already seen that the A’s fanbase is much closer to Jack London Square than even the Oakland Coliseum site in the south part of Oakland. We’ve seen that only a small percentage of A’s fans come from south of the Oakland city limits. We’ve seen that Fremont does a very poor job in supporting the Oakland A’s. We’ve also seen that the wealth and demographics in a two mile radius, five mile radius, ten mile radius and twenty mile radius of Jack London Square, are conducive to supporting a baseball franchise. We’ve proven that the Lake Merritt BART station is within a 1/4 of a mile to the proposed Victory Court site, with Amtrak and the ferry, also very close. We know that Jack London Square, Old Oakland, Uptown, and Lake Merritt are full of great restaurants,clubs, three world class theaters, art galleries etc. Yet, here we are, talking about placing a ballpark in the middle of nowhere in Fremont in an area without an Oakland Athletics fanbase. Oakland Athletic fans are speaking loud and clear that they want this ballpark on the Oakland waterfront. http://www.facebook.com/letsgooakland All the elements are in place for a hugely successful urban ballpark on the Oakland waterfront. The majority of Oakland Athletic fans want it there, the fanbase lives near there, it’s in a central location to the entire Bay Area which also feature great public transportation etc.. Yet, here we are still taking about Fremont and San Jose, where Oakland Athletic fans are very few and far between. It’s absolutely heart wrenching to waste this once in a lifetime opportunity to give Oakland Athletic fans a beautiful ballpark in a waterfront location that will compete favorably with At&T Park. The total disregard of the fanbase comes as a result of the endless chase of corporate dollars, which in the end, may, or many not, be there. We’ve already established that the fanbase definitely isn’t there. What else do Oakland Athletic fans have to do to get MLB to listen to them?

  22. These numbers demonstrate two things:

    1. In 2005 the A’s were selling tickets to the areas that Oakland fans have been saying for years is their “core” fanbase.

    2. In 2008 there are higher numbers of south bay A’s fans reported in a survey. LW taking over the team, publicly decrying Oakland and pursuing the South Bay full-steam can be viewed as both an attempt to increase “fans” in the South Bay but also as neglecting the existing fanbase.

    A’s fans in Oakland were happy that SH bought the team and while they didn’t do the best job in some areas they were never publicly anti-Oakland in the way we are now accustomed to. LW has been fielding a poorer team and consistently disrespecting the fan base, roping off the third deck and basically doing what he can to depress the local fanbase and numbers. His actions are clearly not those of someone trying to build-up and nurture a fanbase in Oakland, where the 2005 sales numbers clearly show the money to be.

    One thing I will suggest about walk-up sales is that they are fare more likley to come from people within the “20-mile” radius than further out. If I’m going to travel 45minutes to an hour to see an event I’m going to buy tickets before I leave. It’s a big risk to try and show up and buy tickets, plus you have to leave earlier to factor in wait-time to buy tickets (20 minutes on a busy walk-up day). As a busy working person I find that getting to a game before the start time, both on worknights and weekends, can be challenging enough (I live in San Francisco and this goes for A’s and Giants games).

    Alternative takeways from this show that 1. The A’s should be doing more to market themselves to southern Alameda County. Those numbers demonstrate a classic un-tapped opportunity, also known as potential-for-growth within the existing market. It contradicts the idea that the A’s have fully used-up the “Oakland” market. Clearly this is not the case. Nevermind the clear opportunities in Solano and Napa counties (Sonoma is fairly inaccessible for SF and Oakland to be honest).

    Next, most of those out-of-town numbers are probably from the Central Valley, in particular Sacramento and the Modesto/Stockton areas. The AAA affiliate is in Sacramento and is very successful. Also, one of Oakland’s brightest young pitchers, Dallas Braden, has been vocally representing the Central Valley. I hope ownership understands how a player like that can help you build a fanbase in those areas.

    Another note about the walk-ups, that is often claimed to be “bad” for the team economically but what it really shows is genuine excitement for the product. Management can do a much better job of converting those walk-up fans to regular/advance customers if it actually chooses to expand the existing/local market (something clearly not being done by LW).

    Finally, the A’s are about to field a very strong team over the next few years. The past three seasons have been “rebuilding” years and attendance should be expected to fall in such conditions. If there is excitement around the young product and a new ballpark announced (in Oakland) along with the un-tarping of the third deck and the general removal of the anti-Oakland attitude of the ownership you will see huge increases in attendance. This is easy to predict and consistent with previous years where the team played well AND the ownership was supportive.

    If MLB is consistent with their stated opinions in the rest of the country they will encourage the team to move forward with the city of Oakland on a JLS location.

    Finally, look at those SF fan numbers. I’ve seen many people underestimate the size of the SF A’s fanbase. We have a team that is closer and much easier to get to at their beautiful, perfect ballpark. Yet people still go in huge numbers over to Oaktown to see their A’s.

    This team has a fanbase and that fanbase is not the kind that will respond well to a money-grabbing move to the suburbs of the South Bay. it’s not meant as a knock on that region, it’s simply a market reality. It has been vastly underplayed by LW and possibly even not understood. I think he honestly believes that giving up a 4 million fan market for a 2 million fan market with corporate money is a smart move. I don’t think that’s true for the fanbase, which is the most important thing to consider over the long-term.

    • “I think he honestly believes that giving up a 4 million fan market for a 2 million fan market with corporate money is a smart move.”

      As has been explained endlessly, those numbers are completely bogus. They represent a completely arbitrary drawing of a line by someone with an agenda (no names mentioned). A more realistic way to analyze this is “fans within a 20/30/60 minute radius” (measured by travel time, not distance). And no meaningful analysis of this can be done without considering not only where people live, but where they work, and other demographic factors. But even if we accepted the bogus 4 million/2 million numbers, the fact that there are two teams in the supposed 4 million zone would make it a push.

      The corporate money is essential. Go look at a seating map of AT&T Park. About half of the lower deck, all of the second deck, plus the suite level are premium seating. Corporations are the primary buyers of premium seating. Those seats generate more than half the gate revenue of the entire ballpark, and an even larger percentage than that of the profits.

      They also boost attendance figures significantly. What happens is, company buys a years worth of seats, gives a lot of them to employees as incentives, team building events, etc. A lot of these people have modest or no interest in baseball, but go anyway either because: (a) It’s a team building event and they have to go; or (b) “Hey, someone gave me a free $100 ticket, and I can expense all my beers!” I have seen this dynamic in action personally. If the tickets don’t get used, the team misses out on some collateral revenue streams (concessions, parking, etc.) but still pockets the steep ticket cost.

      This is part of why the AT&T Park experience can be so annoying for hard core baseball fans (e.g. lots of disinterested noobs talking on their cel phones). It’s also part of why the seats are so full.

      I understand why all of this rubs people the wrong way, and I’m not saying it’s a good thing. But it is the current reality in MLB: A new privately financed stadium absolutely will not happen without the corporate money.

      The fact that the East Bay has a limited corporate base means that ultimately Oakland will not keep the team. You can try to argue they’ll steal corporate money from SF, but the A’s don’t actually believe this and neither do the Giants. And even if they could, there’s not enough there for two teams. The A’s will come out on the short end because they will not be able to draw South Bay corporate dollars the way the Giants will (which is why the Giants are so happy to keep them a mere 10 miles away).

      The announcement that Fremont is back in the picture does not surprise me in the slightest. I have posted within the last few months that if San Jose didn’t happen for whatever reason, Fremont would be back in the picture.

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