News tidbits from Week of 8/20

I’m at a train “layover” in Spokane. They’re splitting the train so that one part goes to Seattle, the other to Portland (my half). Three more days, it’s been great so far.

  • So far, home teams are 1-8 in the games I have attended (or in the White Sox case, was prevented from attending). The first win came Wednesday night, as the Twins beat the White Sox in Target Field. BTW, I’ve already written the longish post for that one, but it’ll have to wait until after the other Wrigley Field and Miller Park posts are up. Next game is a AAA game in Portland later tonight, perhaps one of the last pro games in PDX for a while.
  • Lowell Cohn has another hit piece on A’s ownership, this time focused on the Fisher family’s vast art collection, which indicates they love art more than sports. Then he claims that ownership should be “sportspeople” as George Steinbrenner was. You know how good of a “sportsperson” The Boss was? He got New York State to fork over $160 million in public money to pay for Yankee Stadium in the mid-70’s. Hundreds of millions more in tax-free bonds were rammed through the legislature for the new Yankee Stadium. Do you think that any Bay Area owner is going to get a deal anywhere approaching that right now, Lowell? Hmmm???? Revenue sharing receipts are not a license to spend willy nilly. Major free agents aren’t coming here to sign long term deals (Rafael Furcal). Hell, they aren’t even going to the Giants. Here’s an proper response to Cohn’s non-sequitur:
  • Both the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun are reporting that Mayor Oscar Goodman and Vegas interests are once again interested in a MLB franchise, possibly an AL team. Haven’t we heard this song before? And didn’t Goodman say barely two years ago that he didn’t want to be used as leverage against another city, say, St. Petersburg? Once he opens his mouth on the subject, which he is guaranteed to do shortly after someone calls, he and Vegas become leverage. Can’t blame him for wanting that legacy piece.
  • Speaking of St. Pete, Pinellas County (FL) extended an existing 1% bed or TOT tax originally used for funding the Tropicana Dome. The tax, which was set to expire in 2015, could potentially be used as a $4 million/year source of funding for a new Other Bay Area ballpark.
  • Finally, Baseball San Jose is organizing a Diridon site walking tour on August 30th at 6 PM. Jeffrey and I are both scheduled to attend. If you’re available, it should be informative. The prior tour I attended was a city-run affair and couldn’t address much about the baseball team and design in general. I’m hoping that because BBSJ’s booster status, we might get a little more specific. Side note: I’d love to do a walking tour of an Oakland ballpark site, though I’ve been told that there are no artist renderings of a ballpark site, nor has a site been specified (even though Victory Court is the big frontrunner).
  • Oakland Mayoral Candidate Rebecca Kaplan will have a talk on August 25th at Linden Street Brewery about sports and keeping franchises in Oakland. Sure to be top discussion topics will be the A’s and Raiders.
  • I’ve been sitting on the new pics from the San Jose Jazz Festival found at the Baseball San Jose blog. My only comment for now is that the RF addition, which would presumably follow the contour of Autumn Street/Parkway, is a good one. It’s a proper way to mitigate noise while adding revenue generating capabilities and even cheaper seats. However, it would likely require a major reconfiguration of the PG&E substation, instead of minor changes as has been discussed by San Jose Redevelopment. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they figure out a way to shoehorn it in there. 10:00 AM – Now that I’ve seen the overhead render, I’m changing my mind. It does look like they’ve managed to shoehorn it in there. Clever. I should add that my previous sketches on this are largely based on stuff HOK/Populous has done, not the more radical with-column treatment that 360 and the A’s are attempting. Doing that could reduce the footprint some 10-20%, by my semi-educated estimate.

Anything else to report? Drop it in the comments and it’ll be added to the post.

95 thoughts on “News tidbits from Week of 8/20

  1. I wonder why the sports writers keep “hitting” on A’s ownership? Duh??

    No comment box to post on that mega thread, so I’ll comment here on the Vegas rumblings.
    If I were a betting man, Vegas landing the A’s or Rays are slim to none. This comes up every couple years and it just won’t work out there. In a crappy dome too? I don’t think so.
    So here’s the official unofficial odds for our beloved A’s. Staying in Oakland:5-2. Going to San Jose:3-1; Going to Sacramento:40-1. Going to Sin City:250-1.

  2. Anyone who says the A’s are purposely losing games so they can move is obviously not paying attention. We’re better than half the teams in the league and have assembled the best starting pitching staff in baseball. I hate it when people confuse the buzz surrounding the team with the product on the field.

  3. What a lame “article.” I can sympathize with wanting ownership to actually spend money, but you have to make your point well. Crying and critiquing everything people purchase with their own money is not the way to do it. It’s quite nice of the Fisher family to share their collection with the public.

    FACTS. They make the case, and I loved the video of Calhoun.

    If the writer actually cared, he could have broken down all of the revenue streams for the A’s, and then build a chart to show where all that money goes. If the A’s are buying art, that would be a story! The Coliseum can be quiet enough to put on an exhibit and play a day game at the same time.

  4. I’d like to go on the walking tour of Diridon, but definitely can’t make it during the week. Does anyone know where I can find some renderings of the Diridon ballpark? This is the only one I can find, though I know Pro Baseball for San Jose displayed more at the Jazz Festival recently.

    This is the only one I can find on their site:

  5. That rendering posted by Briggs looks similar to Target field in design. Target field is a nice new park but lacks the open feel of At&t or PNC. That closed design combined with a 36k capacity could cause some claustrophobia.

  6. Like this angle especially—ML–you had said in a previous post that the way RF was shown that would require the moving of the substation–don’t think so–look at the “bite” along the LF side behind the building there— (although prefer it goes and I bet it will as part of HSR)–what I can’t figure out in RF is if it is vertical suites or just concourse with a modern day version of the green monster-

  7. Looks like RF will have a tall brick wall and above the wall is some type of multi level arcade maybe. Also interesting is there are bleachers in front of the wall in RF but they don’t go all the way to the foul pole.

    • @Bay Area A’s – I couldn’t disagree more. As of now, Target Field is the best ballpark in MLB. More on that later.

      @jk-usa – Just because someone agrees with your worldview doesn’t mean he can’t write a hack job now and then. That’s exactly what he did.

  8. @ML

    While I will say that Target field looks bigger that it’s 39K capacity, I couldn’t help but feel like I was sitting in a box with no lid on it. My seats were in the LF bleachers near the foul pole but I did walk around the entire park. Unfortunately I had a short stay as it was shoehorned into the last leg of my trip. I look forward to your post on the park.

  9. From the looks of the RF wall configuration, there could be alot of standing room ticket sales.

  10. Las Vegas: What about the Blue Jays? They’re an AL team that has been reported lately to be possibly going the same route as that other now-defunct Canadien team. I’m sure the Jays would love to get out of the AL East as well.
    Cisco Renderings- I think GoA’s was the one who mentioned it, but the RF structure could (or should) be suites, perhaps even open-air with views of both the field and downtown. We have the weather in SJ to do such a concept. Bay Area A’s, right-field foul line looks to be pretty short (ala AT&T Park). A hit into the bleachers obviously a home run; more towards the foul pole would be in play up to a certain level.
    jk-usa- I think we can all agree to disagree. Can we also agree that the “one persons worldview is everyones worldview” sentiment is complete nonsense.

    • @Tony D. – The Blue Jays are owned by Canadian telecom giant Rogers. There is vested interest by the boatload. They have no rent because they own the stadium. They aren’t going anywhere.

  11. The new renderings are… interesting. I honestly liked the Fremont rendering better, particularly because of that thing in Right Field. It just looks wrong somehow with the sweeping curve on an otherwise angular stadium. Though I guess it has the virtue of being a modern day “Fenwayesque” addition as the stadium does appear to be really shoehorned into it’s block not unlike Fenway.

    As for Vegas, talk about a tired rumor. We all know Selig will never allow a team to move to Vegas so at best it has 0 chance of happening as long as he’s still commissioner.

  12. What is the brick building in LF? If those are supposed to be luxury boxes, you’re going to have a crappy view of the game given that it’s almost parallel to the LF line.

  13. Also making that many seats bleachers kind of defeats the purpose of having a 32k stadium.

    I do like the columns though.

  14. And the gold seats in what appears to be a very small third deck (similar to the Philly Spectrum, the old Mile High Stadium, or Forbes Field behind the plate) looks cool although you probably wouldn’t be able to charge much for them and it would increase the construction cost.

    This is the coolest rendering for any A’s stadium I’ve ever seen, though.

  15. anybody whos seen the pics, is there any space to put the bullpens beyond the of walls? or will they be place down the foul lines like AT&T and Petco?

    hasn’t mlb instructed teams place their bullpens not in the field of play?

    personally not a huge fan of what that rf wall structure would look like. somebody above mentioned but at first glances, i def like the fremont version of cisco field over the sj version. fremont was much more simpler in overall design especially the of although with that curve in rf, maybe they had to build such a tall structure. had hoped that maybe they could have made rf very at&t and even wrigley like and have a short porch with the oppertunity for hrs towards rf to leave the park and have sort of a wavelen/sheffield atmosphere with people chasing the hr balls hit out of the park.

    am worry too about that brick building down the lf line. looks like it could very similar to what petco park has.

    the brick buildings that wrap around much of the park, could that be where they place an a’s hall of fame?

  16. The “curve” in right field looks good and you can still see Downtown via center field so I think it is an OK addition. Nothing special overall but doesn’t hurt the overall design in any sense.

    As for Las Vegas it has to be the A’s as even Tampa Bay has a lease for another 17 years while the A’s can get out as they are on 1 year options until 2013. Every other team in MLB has new/renovated facility and ML is right about Toronto and the Rogers Centre.

    If the A’s move to Las Vegas; Bay Area baseball will die in my heart forever, I will root against the Giants every time they take the field for being selfish and greedy.

    Part of me wishes Wally Haas drove the Giants out of town years ago the way things have turned out. I would like to think MLB would give San Jose a shot before deciding on Vegas or even Oakland for that matter…But I have learned there is no justice in sports.

  17. @ letsgoas

    The bullpens appear to be placed behind the center field wall. The tall curved RF wall and the brick buildings seem to all be a result of the shoehorn placement of the ballpark. The brick areas could be lots of things like concourses, restaurants, museums, or maybe a kick ass team store like at Target Field. The more I examine the pictures, the more I start to like the concept. Maybe not what I had in mind, but very cool!

  18. If Haas had driven out the Giants, the A’s would be in SF, not SJ. If SJ was more desirable the Giants would have put their privately-funded stadium there.

  19. Brian, you forget, the Giants wanted to put their ballpark in SJ. They even took it to the ballot box, and lost. That’s the only reason they’re still in SF today. SJ didn’t want them at the time as shortsighted as that may or may not have been.

  20. this pic gives you a better overall view of the park and of the huge rf structure.

    as for the bullpen in cf? well they’re gonna need to make it non visible for the hitters because it looks like it’ll be right near the batter’s eye so they’re gonna either make that wall in front of the bullpens tall to hide the bullpens or have the pens “stunk” into the ground.

  21. The Giants wanted a free stadium in SJ and Santa Clara after SF twice turned down their requests for free stadia in SF. When it came time to put up their own money, they chose SF.

  22. That bottom left one gives you a much better idea of what the park will look like. So there is seating in right field. Also who commisioned these renderings? Wolff or Baseball SJ? I mean I know Baseball SJ obviously had them at their tent, but I suspect Wolff couldn’t go putting them out publicly either even if they are his due to the territorial rights issue.

  23. @Brian–not sure what your driving at–bottom line—the gints chose SF—than they should have no problem letting the A’s move to SJ—which of course they are trying to block—because it is such a lucrative market—-it isn’t SJ’s fault that they made the wrong decision on where to locate their ballpark—

    • @GoA’s – Search for my post from last titled “A Different Kind of Dystopia.”

      @Dan – You’re kidding right? Of course these came from the Wolffs. All’s fair at this point.

  24. No I was serious. Did Wolff commission these? Because if he did (and mind you I believe he did) he’s releasing them to the public in a very different way than he did the previous two sets of renderings in Oakland and Fremont. He had big press conferences etc for both of those… Not a low key tent at a Jazz Festival. Just odd that’s all and I wonder if the territorial rights didn’t play into that.

  25. ML–yeah–love that post and completely agree with it—fast forward nearly 20 years and I am not so sure that the gints would make the same decision as to where to build their privately financed ballpark–SF is a wonderful city, incredibly beautiful, and full of tourists….its not the economic engine that it used to be nor is it a sports city. If I am interpreting Brian’s comments the implication is that SF would always win…if your goal is to be close to the money and corporations that buy the advertising and boxes than I pick SJ any day over SF—

  26. @Dan- my understanding is the SJ design has been going on for quite awhile—LW choose to move forward about a year ago–while there is no reason to make a big splash (no measure on the ballot) there is nothing wrong with slowly building the excitment and support by continuing to put things out that keep SJ A’s in the news—moving forward–rather than just standing on the sidelines waiting for BS to do something-

  27. It seems like most parks that get shoe horned into a spot have a lot more character and charm. Those SJ renderings have character and charm in my opinion. I hope the right field wall turns out ok, it looks weird in the renderings but I can see it too well, I wish there were better photos released.

  28. I also have a healthy fear that whenever the A’s get a new park, they will be so desirous of less foul territory that they might have too little foul territory and we’ll have a hitters park on our hands for sure.

  29. @Jesse–was that you on the A’s station the other night talking about the ballpark renderings?
    As for the SJ park renderings, I’m not sure I like it. I prefer the Fremont and 66th ave designs better.
    I wonder if Oakland is picked without Cisco, if it will be a whole new design change (along with new owners) to fit into the JLS neighborhood. I’ve been to 11 of the newer parks and love PNC in Pitt, where I have family, the best. The backdrop is simply awesome. Citiizens in Philly’s is a close 2nd, and I’ll have to admit At&T is pretty cool at #3, but prefer the lit up Liberty bell in Philly over the tacky Coke bottle.Going to NY next year and will check both of the new yards there for the first time.

  30. yeah that was me.

  31. Why wouldn’t Cisco come to Oakland with the A’s?

  32. nvm, I see what you’re saying

  33. @Jess–I don’t think they would. They’re a SB company. Oakland’s working on naming rights in the eastbay as part of their plan to keep the A’s.Like I’ve mentioned before,an oldschoo company like Clorox or Safeway would be cool.Not sure if Kaiser, being a non-profit, could do it. We’ll seehow this all plays out. It should be interesting.

  34. i didn’t like the oakland design, that cf structure wasn’t visually appealing imho.

    AN posted up this thread earlier today.

    i’d rank them fremont, sj, and then oakland in terms of overall park design.

    clorox def could be a name for an a’s park in oakland. safeway? isn’t their ceo the former “face” of the ownership group of the other team across the bay? i know dreyers ice cream has been mentioned before on a few a’s blogs. dreyers grand park has a nice ring to it.

    as for cisco, is the amount figure that was released for the park in fremont still locked in for sj? think it was a 30 year deal for the naming rights for 120 million total. what would that mean, 1/3 of the price of the park?

  35. @letsgoas–Dreyer’s Grand Park. I love it!! I remember Dreyer’s saying they love their HQ in Oakland (since 1928) and would never think about leaving for the burbs like Safeway did. Nestle bought them out so there’s big money for the rights I think.
    Great game tonight. A’s just won 5-4. I should of went to tonight’s game but the wife wanted to see the new Jennifer Aniston flick. We’re going tomorrow, and maybe Sunday. This ownership has me fuming that I’ve cut down on my games big time the last few years, but am getting a little excited here again and the players need to see more butts in the seats.

    • @jk-usa – Naming rights is either about affirming a local brand or spreading a brand nationwide. If Dreyer’s were to be a naming rights sponsor it would be because of the former, since Dreyer’s is sold as Edy’s in the East. It would make much more sense if Nestle were to be involved. That said, it needs to be worth their while, to the tune of $5-10 million a year. That’s a lot for a regional sub-brand to take on.

      @all – Caution against thinking there’s brick there. Any cladding can be considered a placeholder. The new RF wall has no cladding at all in the pics, that doesn’t mean there won’t be some covering in the final version. Also, I warned all of you that the way the site is shaped a ballpark would be around 8 acres, even though the land is 13 acres. That’s a major challenge.

  36. ML—look forward to your post on Target Field—isn’t the footprint of that ballpark 8 acres also? Personally really like the contours of the RF area–its unique in that it fits the site required by the curves of Autumn Parkway compared to some parks where they try to create unique/funky and it seems a bit contrived–

  37. R.M.,
    Also looking forward to your Target Field post as well. Also gonna try to make it out to Diridon on the 30th; after nearly 6 years of doing this online, a face to face is in order ;o)

    Going back to my Blue Jays comment earlier in the thread, I could see the Jays making “threats” of moving to Vegas to try and get a more intimate ballpark built in Toronto. The current Rogers Centre could then be reconfigured/upgraded to host football only; see Buffalo Bills possible interest in relocating north of the border.

  38. I LOVE the design!!! It’s weird, retarded and akward, but that’s part of it’s charm. Like Jesse mentioned above, it’s the shoehorned parks like Fenway and Target Field that have that charm/character. Perfection is borring!

  39. @ML–Nestle Park? Okay, that will work, but I prefer Dreyer’s. Either way, It will be the sweetest park in MLB. If Clorox gets the rights, it will be the cleanest park (CLOROX BLEACHer bums..I love it!!). And if Kaiser gets it, it will be the healthiest.
    Meanwhile, if SJ’s a go and Cisco gets the rights, they will be the….the…the…networkiest? The techiest? I don’t know? ML, see if you can come up with something, you seem to think you have ALL the answers for EVERYTHING on here. BTW, Cisco’s rights are listed at 4 mill. Oakland’s new park will need 5-10 mill?

    @LarryE–yeah, the shoehorn design would be a little different and would apply for Oakland too, cuz it’s gonna be tight wherever they put it.

  40. Had to throw in your little shot @ SJ and ML, didn’t you JK….But yea your right, a shoehorned park @ JLS would be awesome,especially with the waterfront, but there are ways to make a point without throwing a jabs. It’s really getting old JK. Why not just have an adult, intellecual conversation/debate without throwing jabs?

  41. @jk-usa, I would say that one reason for the higher projected annual naming rights would be because naming rights might play a larger role in financing an Oakland stadium. San Jose, regardless of whether you think it is “cool” or not, has a distinct advantage in the corporate base department.
    The Giants, when funding their stadium, is the model to look into and why the corporate base thing is significant. Here is how the Giants paid for a $357M stadium using mostly private sources of financing:
    $170 Million (48%) in the form of a loan from Chase.
    $70 Million (20%) from PSL’s,
    $102 Million (28%) from naming rights.
    $15 Million (4%) in Tax Increment Financing
    The corporate base, in SF, covered $172M in financing (almost half the cost) between buying charter seats and Pacific Bell paying for naming rights.
    Expect something similar in Oakland or San Jose. The corporate base would need to cover about $240M between naming rights and PSL/Charter Seats/Whatever you want to call it. There is legitimate reason to doubt that an Oakland based ballpark can generate this kind of scratch, there is legitimate reason to doubt San Jose can provide that support and there are much more companies in the immediate vicinity.
    The alternative is for the A’s/MLB to ask for Oakland to throw in some other source of funding. Which means tax money. Which they don’t have and which no one here (Oakland/San Jose Supporter or both) would really like to see them give to a sports team.
    Financing this sort of stadium is complicated.

  42. That building in the LF corner may be obstructing some of the field view for the last section of LF seats in the second deck near the top.

  43. One of the aspects that I would consider a real strength for Victory Court is that the “parcel” is larger. There are 20 acres, not including the 2 acres under 880, that can be used for the stadium/ancillary development. It wouldn’t necessarily be shoehorned.
    For comparison purposes: AT&T park is 13ish acres and Diridon is 14.

  44. The ballpark financing would break down like this in San Jose and the figures have to take into account inflation and what not.

    120 million- Cisco naming rights
    140 million- PSL sales and Corporate luxury boxes/corporate advertising.
    200 million- From the A’s

    In Oakland there is no way Lew Wolff or any other owner can pull off 280 million from the private sector as Guy Saperstein says in his letter to Barbara Boxer Oakland “lacks a vibrant” business community.

    If Oakland want to keep the A’s:

    80 million- Naming rights
    80 million- PSL sales and corporate luxury boxes/corporate advertising
    150 million- From the A’s
    150 million- City of Oakland/Alameda County

    The lack of a business community is why Oakland needs to put in 150 million of public money to get this done. Plus I doubt any A’s owner will pony up 150 million themselves in Oakland without a way to make the money back via residential entitlements as there is not a current Downtown location in the East Bay.
    In San Jose with a Downtown location and the vibrant business community Lew Wolff can get this done and make some coin.

    Also if the Giants were forced out back in the early 90s the A’s would not be in SF and probably would be looking at San Jose to build this thing privately. The Giants took advantage of the .com boom to get private financing in the mid 90s.

    Now unless you have a rare place like Silicon Valley privately built places just do not happen. The 49ers are taking advantage of this and the A’s can easily as well.

    Although JLS or Victory Ct. on the waterfront would be really nice but without the public money from Oakland it is not happening as Zennie Abraham points out.

  45. correction “260 million” from the private sector. Made a math mistake. DOH!

  46. The A’s have made a 20 million a year average profit in the past 10 years because of revenue sharing hence why they can put up so much money themselves.

  47. You were right RM; Wolff did commission the new renderings. As for the rest of the article; SF and SJ are on the “same side of the bay”? Wow, just wow.

  48. Yeah. That article seemed ridiculous.

  49. I’ve been studying these renderings for a few days now. My thoughts…

    1) I love the various seating options. Looks to me like Field level/MVP (ie the sections between the bases as we currently have at the coli) field level, Club level/MVP club, the yellow View level, CF/RF bleachers (I hope they’re traditional “no back” bleachers). I REALLY like what I see in left field: Outfield reserved seating, balcony and veranda. Very cool and, to my knowledge, unique.

    2) re: the building in LF. It definitely obstructs the view to CF of some seats. Two more thoughts: I hope it houses an A’s franchise hall of fame. Also, what about the roof? How about that area for additional seating? The Left Field View Deck!

    3) Love the placement of the video screen. It is an absolute must that it be one of (if not the) biggest and most high tech/high def screens ever seen.

    4) Yes, I like the idea of bullpens beyond the CF fence.

    5) Perhaps a bit silly, but…I guess we’ve all seen the old school Twins logo above the outfield at Target Field. I’d like something similar. Maybe a giant “A’s” logo with a “lets and a “go” that light up, that would elicit a “Let’s Go A’s” chant.

    6) Please give us wide concorses with great (and hopefully local, established) food choices.

    7) One thing that Cisco Field must have that the Coliseum does not is spacious, comfortable clubhouses. The Braves famously installed a putting green when they build Turner Field. Ev erything behind the scenes should be top of the line and state of the art….video room(s), trainer rooms, indoor batting stations, weightrooms, etc. This can not be overlooked. The lack of said amenities is one of the major reasons some free agents have spurned the A’s recently.

    8) I’m not sure why I’ve seen some hand-wringing over the rightfield area. Do we know the planned dimensions of the playing field? If it’s not something ridiculous (like less than 300′ down the line) I don’t really care.

    9) I’d like to see *a bit* more foul territory, but that probably won’t be the case.

    10) It currently takes me about 45 to drive to the coliseum. JLS is definitely my first choice for a new A’s ballpark location, but if the new park looks like these drawings – and because of the park and associated vevenue the team can start holding onto its players – I’m more than willing to suck it up and drive the extra 30 to 45 minutes to San Jose.

  50. The infamous and incredibly informed Zennie now is predicting that the A’s are heading to Vegas- “…according to the Sports Business Daily, MLB Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig reportedly met with Mayor Goodman and “A’s Execs” as recently as last year, a rumor that neither MLB or the Oakland A’s would confirm.”

    He goes on to say its time for Oakland to quit worrying about suing San Jose and instead sue MLB…”Given Major League Baseball’s involvement in this movement overtures on the part of The Oakland A’s away from Oakland, the view here is The City of Oakland should go directly for a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, rather than just San Jose or Las Vegas.” Keep in mind that just 6 months ago he was lamenting a supposed decision for the A’s move to San Jose—and of course he goes on to promote his own economic model.

    While I agree that this guy is a tool I wouldn’t underestimate the potential interest in Vegas—if SJ is ruled off limits and Oakland doesn’t have what it takes economically to make a ballpark pencil out and it isn’t willing to throw in some public financing than what are LW’s/MLB’s options—relocation….something LW didn’t want to do but whic h BS has been very comfortable with stating early on in the game that the A’s never should have been allowed to move to Oakland…

    Read more:

    Read more:

  51. Maury Brown had an article Friday about a potential move to LV where he wrote the following:
    “In talking today with Major League Baseball they said they have no plans for expansion or to relocate a team at this time. In other words, any “relocation” is going to happen regionally where clubs already exist.”

    • Maury Brown had an article Friday about a potential move to LV where he wrote the following:“In talking today with Major League Baseball they said they have no plans for expansion or to relocate a team at this time. In other words, any “relocation” is going to happen regionally where clubs already exist.”

      “any ‘relocation’ is going to happen regionally where clubs already exist.” I like the sound of that!

  52. FYI, the A’s moved to the Bay Area over 40 years ago. While it may have been a “mistake” to move them here in 1968, we are waaaaaay past that now, as our regions population and wealth is nowhere near what it was then. If MLB was willing to make the Baltimore/Washington Metro (8 million pop.) a two-team market, they should be more than willing to keep the status quo in the Bay. They definetely wouldn’t move the A’s to an inferior market just because of some irrational territorial bull-crap.

  53. I would take Zennie Abraham with a grain of salt… and a big dose of Vicodin and Oxycotin. He’s an idiot pure and simple. This is the same moron who said the “decision on the A’s was imminent”… 12 months ago…

  54. I just don’t buy Vegas at all. Of potential out of the Bay Area destinations:
    Portland, OR – 30th largest city, 23rd largest metro area, 22nd largest media market
    San Antonio, TX – 7th largest city, 28th largest metro area, 37th largest media market
    Las Vegas, NV – 28th largest city, 30th largest metro area, 42nd largest media market

  55. I would like to think San Jose or Oakland would get shot before Las Vegas but keep in mind that the San Jose is a 100% privately financed venture.

    MLB hates privately financed ballparks as they demand public money at every turn hence the Giants got ripped on for building their park without public money outside of land and infrastructure improvements.

    MLB may demand Oakland pony up money or move the team to Las Vegas if they are willing to pony up public money to avoid a privately financed San Jose ballpark.

    I agree with Zennie as it is time for Oakland and I say San Jose as cities to sue MLB to erode their anti-trust exemption. This charade has gone on too long because of their anti-trust exemption.

    NFL does not have one hence why a jury years ago let Al Davis move his team to LA because despite the fact the league has a right to geographically distribute their teams that has to be weighed against if the team can make more $$ in a different market regardless of what the league says.

    The ruling:
    The courts did not rule that a sporting league could not exercise some controls over a team’s location; rather, they made it clear that such controls, when properly exercised , fall under a rule-of-reason defense. That is, there are good reasons why a league would want its teams to be both geographically stable and geographically dispersed. These reasons must be considered and offset against the negatives connected to prohibiting an owner from moving his or her team. The negatives include a reduction in an owner’s rights of free trade and the possible retention of a team in a city with less interest in the sport than a prospective host city.

    This precedence would strip MLB of its anti-trust exemption thus clearing the A’s to move to San Jose anywhere they please if it went to court regardless if the other owners voted it down or not.

    Rule of reason would stand here because it would improve the A’s business to get a new ballpark in San Jose. The Giants would not have any argument because they are in SF 40 miles away and cannot stop another related business to move even next door to them in SF. Although that would not make sense fiscally it goes to show that competitive businesses can be right next door to each other if they want to be.

  56. I just hope Selig and his BRC make the right choice and keep the A’s in Oakland. Oh wait, he use to be a used car salesman. Never mind.
    Outside of LW, Reed, a few thousand southbay fans and you guys on here, the consensus from the fans, press and politicians is make it work in Oakland. You build it, they will come. The city will benefit from it way more than SJ. Oakland needs some good news for a change. Stealing someones team, when it’s not necessary, just isn’t right. The Haas family sold to Schottman for a steep discount to keep the team in Oakland. Schottman got cash from the Raider construction and a cheap lease. Sells and more than doubles their money. LW/Fisher have made a profit every year in Oakland due to revenue sharing/luxury tax and have a cheap lease to keep him happy. It would be nice if they quit bitching, put some of that profit back into the team. How bout splurging and help upgrade our aging tiny scoreboards Lew? The Haas family improved the Coli when they bought the A’s and they showed more loss than profit during their ownership.
    Okay, ML, I’m waiting for you to shoot down everything I just wrote.

    • I just hope Selig and his BRC make the right choice and keep the A’s in Oakland. Oh wait, he use to be a used car salesman. Never mind.Outside of LW, Reed, a few thousand southbay fans and you guys on here, the consensus from the fans, press and politicians is make it work in Oakland. You build it, they will come. The city will benefit from it way more than SJ. Oakland needs some good news for a change. Stealing someones team, when it’s not necessary, just isn’t right. The Haas family sold to Schottman for a steep discount to keep the team in Oakland. Schottman got cash from the Raider construction and a cheap lease. Sells and more than doubles their money. LW/Fisher have made a profit every year in Oakland due to revenue sharing/luxury tax and have a cheap lease to keep him happy. It would be nice if they quit bitching, put some of that profit back into the team. How bout splurging and help upgrade our aging tiny scoreboards Lew? The Haas family improved the Coli when they bought the A’s and they showed more loss than profit during their ownership.Okay, ML, I’m waiting for you to shoot down everything I just wrote.

      “the consensus from the fans, press and politicians is make it work in Oakland.” I thought we were going to agree that one persons worldview or opinion wasn’t going to equate to EVERYONES worldview or opinion? Navigator was notorious for that; remember the “All A’s fans” nonsense. Again jk-usa, let’s all agree to disagree. Peace.

  57. @jk-usa

    You have to look at it from a bottom line perspective. Despite the sweet lease and revenue sharing $$ the A’s are only pulling in 20-30 million a year profit on a 50 million dollar payroll-which is 27th in the league overall.

    If the put the entire 20-30 million into signing players they would only be at a 80 million dollar payroll or good enough for 19th in the league and would be breaking even fiscally playing in the coliseum.

    20-30 million is only 2-3 good players or 1 A-Rod or so. The A’s still have a hard time attracting Free Agents because of where they play anyways so why put the $$ into players when you can save it for a new ballpark?

    If the A’s build in Oakland their payroll won’t top 70-80 million and would still get 5-10 million in revenue sharing. Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Arizona, San Diego, Washington, Colorado, and maybe 1-2 more teams still get $$ despite new/renovated stadium because they are in small markets.

    Also if there is zero public money coming from Oakland then it becomes even worse because the debt on the stadium will make things harder to turn a profit and increase payroll. Hence the need for public money from the City of Oakland.

    In San Jose the A’s would be around 110-120 million in payroll and would pay 20 million into revenue sharing at least because of the vibrant business community. Even with the debt on the stadium it would be no problem. Their payroll would be 10-20 million more than the SF Giants and would be top 10 in MLB. Hence why the Giants are fighting to keep San Jose free of a team.

    So if you really want to see the A’s prosper San Jose is where they need to be as keeping them in Oakland keeps them small market and only increases their payroll by 20-30 million because of the low profit margins of playing in a small market.

    While if they play in San Jose their payroll be more than double and they would no longer be a net drain on MLB, in fact they would become a net positive of 20 million plus.

    Hence why Schott and Hoffman offered the Giants 50-75 million in a buyout but were turned down. The Giants know the #s and want the A’s to stay in Oakland or get lost.

  58. @JK-usa

    ML probably has better things to do here. But I’ll refute one of your anti ownership statements. Why should the A’s ownership provide any money to upgrade the cloiseum which was renovated for football not baseball? You want an upgrade, go see Al Davis or the JPA.

  59. @jk-usa. Oakland Only people need to stop living in a bullshit fantasy world fueled by revisionist history. Schottman got cheap rates and favorable lease terms because they sued Oakland (and won) over the catastrophe forced upon them by the return of the Raiders. If you think ANY baseball owner is going to be into financing upgrades at the coliseum in the present day you are delusional.
    The revenue sharing checks to the A’s are the key argument for a new venue, not a reason for the league (or the team) to be happy.
    @Sid, Pro San Jose folks need to keep spouting pie in the sky numbers as if they are based in reality. Or perhaps I am misunderstanding the source of the payroll/revenue numbers you are posting above. Where the heck does that come from? Just like the earlier numbers you posted about financing. You made them up… Stop doing that, it hurts your credibility.

  60. @Jeffrey

    My #s are based on 3 things compared to other MLB cities:

    1. Business Community around the City
    2. Social demographics of the city
    3. Location of the new ballpark

    If you compare San Jose to other big MLB markets (LAD, LAA, NYM, NYY, BOS, SF, CHC, CHW, STL, HOU, PHI) they stack up real well.


    1. The corporations in the area are as good as it gets in the United States and no one can argue that.
    2. San Jose is the richest big city over 500k in the United States and are 10 largest overall. Meaning plenty of people with disposable income to buy season tickets and pay high ticket prices much like the SF Giants.
    3. Downtown San Jose has restaurants, bars, and an overall safe location already in place because of the Sharks.

    So if you do the “math” and most Pro-Oak fans seems to leave this out San Jose would be a Top 10 payroll and this is proven by the Giants turning down 50-75 million in a buyout from the previous A’s owners for Santa Clara County.

    Oakland compares with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Arizona, San Diego, Washington, Colorado as they are small market.

    Why would the Giants try to stop the A’s from moving to San Jose if Oakland could keep the team and compete fiscally?

    It does not make sense otherwise. My #s are pretty close to reality and the Giants and A’s know this full well hence the territorial struggle going on.

  61. @Jeffery–are you ML twin brother? That’s the exact response I was expecting from him!
    BTW, I’ll be hanging out at Victory Court, living in my bullshit fantasy island.
    @Sid–I truly love your posts! Very entertaining. Kind of balances my posts out.

  62. Sid, in other words, your “numbers” are based on crap. You really have no idea what the ballpark financing plan looks like and you confuse individual city populations with something “important.” Don’t believe me? Here are the list of 11 cities/teams you just put to back up your top ten payroll claim: LAD, LAA, NYM, NYY, BOS, SF, CHC, CHW, STL (St, Louis? Big? Seriously? That media market is comparable to Sacramento), HOU, PHI. Here are the top ten payrolls in 2010: NYY, BOS, CHC. PHI, NYM, DET, CHW, LAA, SEA, SFG. Notice the Dodgers aren’t a top ten payroll and the Mariners are. Houston? Nope. St. Louis? Niet. A lot more goes into determining what a payroll might be than the population of the individual city and your guess at what a corporate base might provide to ticket revenue/sponsorships.
    An A’s team in San Jose, I would expect to have a consistent payroll of about $90M. Or somewhere around what the Braves and Astros spend (14th and 15th in MLB). Expecting a payroll higher than the Angels ($110M, your projected figure, to $105M, the Angels 2010 number) for a team playing in a smaller market in a privately financed stadium is… Well, maybe not bat shit crazy, but definitely not a safe bet.
    It is best to actually have some numbers before trying “math.” Just saying. And… I hope my tone comes across as good natured ribbing. That is entirely what I mean here. We are talking about a baseball team for Pete’s sake.
    jk-usa, other than being bald and lovers of beer, there ain’t much that would make one think ML and I are brothers. I being sort of lanky, goofy looking and zombie white. He being shorter, more rotund and Filipino. And both of us would be more than delighted if the A’s had a new waterfront stadium at Victory Court. I find it odd that the Oakland Only crowd always questions ML’s objectivity about this stuff when objectivity isn’t exactly your strong suit. You are blatantly unobjective. ML is blatantly objective. Get it straight.
    In this case, I hope my tone pisses you off, because even though I don’t know you, I don’t like you (yes that is a complete joke. The only thing I know about you is that you like the A’s and Oakland, two things we have in common.)
    For both of you, if this was really a slam dunk either way, it would already be done. Politicians, CEO’s, members of the press be damned.

  63. @ML–I’m the new Navigator on here. I’ll be tossed out in no time, Then you’ll have no one to debate and just pro San Jose stuff 24/7. BORING!!

  64. “We proudly introduce Cisco Field”
    I like it! This time around, its definitely feeling real.

  65. Now that I’ve seen the rest of the pictures, I am liking what I am seeing more. A few observations:
    – The green OF seats appear to be bench style bleachers (hooray). The yellow seats appear to be traditional seats.
    – So much for bland OF dimensions. If I’m reading them correctly it’s (from right to left) 362 – 375 – 405 – 345! – 300 (w/ ~25 foot wall down the line).
    – I love how the right field boxes are open. Now, I’m much less worried about the wall in right giving fans claustrophobia.
    – Is that brick in right? No, right?
    – What is that big circle thing on the upper concourse behind home plate?
    – It’d be nice to get one of these parks built for once.

  66. yeah those distances are a bit strange. 362 down the left field line? that’s pretty long when you contrast it with other parks. 345 in right field? thinking that rf area will be a hr haven especially when the down the right field line is 300 although it looks as you’ll have to hit the ball into those “suites” down the right life for it to be a hr.

    that big circle thing behind the upper concourse we’ve seen in both the oakland and fremont models?

    i don’t know what they are?

    also see under the video screen in right field and on a scoreboard on that building down the left field line a sign for an espnzone. now don’t know if it they got a deal in place or if it’s just an artist’s rendering of what could be there which is a sports bar

  67. Also, it appears that Eric Brynes will be back with the club in 2015 (if the video board is to be believed)

  68. that rf wall is strange, looks as the yellow line is above those two levels of “open spaces” in that brick structure meaning you’d have to hit a HR as i mentioned previously into that deck suites area.

    but what if a ball actually goes thru one of those open spaces in that brick area if they are indeed not closed in? ground rule double?

    every park does want to have it’s “trademark” look to it and i guess that rf area of the outfield wall will be most likely the cisco field’s version of what makes our park different from others.

    does look like the bullpens where be beyond cf.

  69. My goodness. The left field wall is 302, not 362. This park is looking like it’s going to be quite a bandbox.

  70. Letsgoas,
    It appears that second level of “open space” might be the main concourse and will probably be covered by some type of screening; similar to the field views of right field at AT&T Park. I’m thinking the actual playing field will actually be below-grade much like the current Coliseum. First level “open space” perhaps some suites that are screened off as well. Anything hit below the yellow line in this area would be in play; much like hitting the Green Monster. The “big circle thing” might be concessions for the upper concourse, or perhaps a restaurant/ballpark retail. Awesome stuff!

  71. I see at least 3 sets of escalators. There probably isn’t enough room to use ramps. Short porches in San Jose’s warmer climate would make for a hitter’s park for sure. I hope the numbers aren’t 302 in left. That would be an aggressive angle in left from 302 to 375. I’m still concerned about seat views in the LF 2nd deck by the suites. I can’t wait for more info and pics!

  72. With the short distances maybe that’s why the walls look taller than the usual 8-9 ft walls a lot of parks have for their OF.

    Will the A’s have their walls like what the NYM did in their LF, a 15-20 ft wall, to combat the short distances especially when you add in the warmer climate as it’s been mentioned making the parker potentially very hitter friendly.

  73. The walls look taller that 8′ but look at that 405 CF wall…taller than LF.

  74. Does anyone else thing the LF corner seating is odd?

  75. These dimnesions are possibly similar to Fenway.

  76. Wow, pretty exciting stuff.

    A few observations:

    It does appear the playing field will be significantly below grade. If you zoom into the 4th photo down, you’ll notice that the bottom of the video score board is at street leve. The large rectangular windows open up to the sidewalk area beyond the CF/RF wall. Curious as to the purpose of the smaller windows in the RF corner (below the large windows).

    Any out of town scoreboard?

    It looks as though the main entrance to the ballpark will be beyond CF. It doesn’t look very impressive as it’s now pictured.

  77. these are preliminary pics so i doubt everything we see here is exactly what’s gonna to be built so hopefully the distance from home plate to the OF walls are exact because i do think if the walls down LF, 302 ft and RF, 345, that it’ll create too much of a offensively friendly yard.

    out of town scoreboards, again they’ll be there somewhere, maybe they’ll be placed in the OF walls as so many parks do so now. they’ll probably go with those led video screens instead of the manual one although i’d love to see a manual one for the a’s game itself although it looks at least in these pics that the in game scoreboard will be below the large video screen in RF and that it won’t be manual.

    entrance to the park in cf? funny when i first saw these pics a few weekends ago i thought the area behind home plate with that large open plaza would be the opening. aren’t that were mostly all of the main entrances are located? i think that plaza could also be a place where you could place a few statues of great former a’s players/managers like a rickey, eck, mack, foxx, grove, and etc. maybe could place statues a few beyond cf too if that’s another entrance to the park.

    guessing that building beyond the lf grandstands could be a place where you put the a’s hof?

  78. Notice the cut out of the building beyond the LF grandstand. From the upper concourse you can look north down Montgomery towards the shark tank! Hmmm… what’s that for?

  79. @Jeffrey- Of course everything is in good nature and I enjoy debating back and forth on this forum

    I was looking at list of payrolls while you were looking at hence the differences with our #s.

    Lets do the math and see who is closer to the actual #.

    The San Jose EIR estimates $15 dollars per person of spending at each game average not including ticket sales. That is a conservative figure as EIRs always low ball, the report released by Baseball Oakland stated a JLS ballpark would be $5 per person of spending. Right now the A’s get $3.30 at the Coliseum.

    Pittsburgh in 2008 averaged $5.08 per game of spending on concessions ($8,283,870 in concessions/81 games= $102,270 per game.

    $102,270/20,8113 (avg attendance in 2008)= $5.08 spending per game per fan…About on par with what Oakland predicts with a new JLS stadium.

    Let’s say 32,000 sell out every game times 81 home games times for the A’s in San Jose at $15 each= $40M in revenue from concessions approximately (Food, beer, t-shirt sales, etc…)

    Then from ticket sales we will use a number slightly higher what the Giants average which is $23 per ticket as a new ballpark will demand a higher price. We will use $27 as our #

    That would be 32,000 x $27 x 81 games= $70M approximately

    So far we have $40M + $70M=$110M

    Now we have to factor in Broadcasting + naming rights+other revenue = $120 million (Pirates had 67 million in broadcasting+ naming rights+ other revenue in 2008 according to the documents just released.

    You have to assume in a much bigger market the A’s would get a little less than double what Pittsburgh gets. This number is low but lets roll with it.

    The A’s in San Jose would be $120M+ $110M= $230M in total revenue

    The Angels operating expenses including payroll was $228M roughly in 2008. That included $16M for revenue sharing and they are in a larger market with a big payroll of $120 million for 2008.
    Meaning they had outside of payroll $108M in expenses

    Assume the A’s would be at $100 million in operating expenses as they would be in a smaller market and the Angels have been known to overspend as evidenced by their slashing of payroll these past 2 years.

    Therefore 100M +20M (debt service on ballpark) =$120M in operating expenses.

    $230M revenue- $120M Operating expenses= $110M left over to spend on players. Assume the owners still want to turn a profit so they would spend $100 million on players.

    So Jeffrey the actual # would be right in them middle of what we both stated ($90 M for you and $110M for me) ha!

    I gotta run but when I get back I will run the #s for the Pro-Oak fans if the A’s build a ballpark at JLS.

    Gotta love this stuff!

  80. @Sid- What about the minor leagues? Teams invest significant sums of money in things other than payroll. So, I’d say my figure might actually be on the high side. Your explanation here is pretty good though. Thanks for working out some real numbers.

  81. @Jeffrey- The minor leagues are included in the overall operating expenses. That includes employee payroll, minor leagues, etc… I took the overall operating expense for the Angels 228M and subtracted their payroll from 2008 of 120M and what is left over is everything else.

    Since MLB teams are private businesses their financials are never categorized the same as you can see from the above links.

    The Pirates and Angels itemize everything differently because of this.

    In any case, I am assuming a lower overall revenue and operating expenses than the Angels which I think is pretty close for a San Jose MLB franchise.

    Interesting stuff for sure.

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