What’s next for Oakland?

Now that funding for the Victory Court EIR has been approved, what will the next year-plus look like? How does the process work, and what could speed up or slow it down?

I posted a possible timeline for the EIR work at AN. Here’s the entire comment:

Jan-Mar: Draft EIR prepared
Apr: Notice of availability, distribution of Draft EIR
Apr-May: 45-60 day comment period
Jun-Nov: Final EIR prep

Dec: Final EIR notice of availability and distribution
Dec-Feb: Final EIR comment period (30-60 days)
Mar: EIR Certification, 30-day period to allow for challenges

That leaves anywhere from 12-18 months to do land acquisition, depending on if/when MLB gives the green light. That could be the biggest problem, since there’s little chance that Oakland will start negotiations or property takings if MLB doesn’t commit to Oakland. The later it starts, the worse it gets. Construction should start in a 6 month window between November 2012 and April 2013 if all parties want to make Opening Day 2015. Also, this schedule is based on everything going smoothly. For big projects in Oakland, often someone mounts a legal challenge that inevitably delays the process.

The final EIR prep may be shorter or longer because it is largely a response to new information requests and comments by various public agencies and private parties. There’s also the possibility that some of the methodology may be questioned, which could cause some portion of the EIR to be redrafted.

CEQA‘s flowchart shows more detail:

CEQA usually calls for a feasibility study to scope out the cost of mitigation for the project. That’s the last step before the City approves the project, and the cost of mitigation tends to vary greatly depending on what’s involved. This is often a point where lawsuits come in, because certain parties may not feel that mitigation measures are comprehensive enough or even completely lacking.

MLB could make this much easier on Oakland by making a decision in the City’s favor sometime in the next few months. Then Oakland could start the land acquisition process, though that would be with the idea that they’d have an uncooperative ownership group for whom they’d be buying the land. A long period for land acquisition helped San Jose in the long run, as SJRA benefited from dropping property values over the last three years.

Oakland and its boosters would also have to get MLB to commit to bringing in a more Oakland-friendly group, a task which will range somewhere between difficult and impossible. Looking for Larry Ellison? Don’t bother, since he and his buddies will be investing $150 million either in San Francisco or Newport, RI over the next 2-3 years. At this point, I think it’d be more likely that MLB buys the A’s as they did the Expos and as the NBA is buying the New Orleans Hornets. If MLB can’t find a suitable buyer or Oakland drops the ball, then well, I really don’t want to go there.

71 thoughts on “What’s next for Oakland?

  1. I’ll go there.

    The next step in the scenario you describe might be the A’s and Rays are contracted within 20 years, once the Rays’ lease ends.

    MLB then exists with 28 teams – 14 in each league. The Astros are moved to the AL West, and one unlucky NL team (Pirates? Nationals?) heads to the AL East.

    Two less revenue sharing recipients.

    All this progress in Oakland at the 11th hour…but does anyone wealthy really want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars there in a baseball stadium? Honest question. Is there one wealthy person in the world who would be willing to do that?

  2. Walter Haas’ Zombie

  3. What the Raiders should do IF Oakland builds a new stadium at the current site is build a Raider HOF shrine and memorablia dome in the middle of where the current Coliseum exists.

    According to your new potential stadium site map, it looks as though the Bart walkway will lead right up to where the middle of the existing Coliseum is.

    The Raiders need to build a Raider HOF mecca or indoor facility there. It would be awesome!

  4. even as an oaklander all my life, i’ve always rooted for the sj plan because imo that’s the most likely way the a’s stay log term here in the bay. really i can’t think of anybody spending at least 3/4 of a billion to not only buy the a’s but then to build the park in oakland somewhere. would i love to see it happen, yes but do i think it’s realistic, not really.

    i fear we’ll be talking and talking for the next few years if mlb chooses oakland but like you mentioned, worst case is this whole oak situation falls thru somehow be it the city can’t get the deal done and/or nobody or a group steps up and pays for all of this in the next decade the “c” word is mentioned although as somebody else pointed out you’d need another team to contract and i still find it hard to believe the player’s union would allow such a thing to take place.

    here we are as a’s fans stuck in nowheresville yet again potentially after as a sj backer thinking that it was a matter of years, maybe 3-4, in getting finally the new park the franchise and fans deserved.

  5. Re your last paragraph: I’m not sure why everyone assumes Fisher will want out if denied the South Bay…Fisher has certainly not said that. A signed ballpark deal anywhere increases the franchise value substantially. Lew might sell off his nose to spite his face at that point, but I very much doubt Fisher’s that stupid.

    Lew Wolff owns a relatively small fraction of the A’s. That people assign biblical import to his every utterance (or Mark Purdy’s regurgitation thereof) is mind-boggling.

  6. @FSU – If a ballpark deal in Oakland (or Fremont) can put the A’s debt position in the same place as a San Jose ballpark would, then yes, I could see Fisher staying on. If it’s appreciably worse because of highly variable revenue streams, Fisher could run for the hills before anyone else since his piece is the biggest. Hoping that Fisher stays on just because it’s convenient is highly wishful thinking.

  7. @notsellingjeans. The most powerful union in the country isn’t going to allow the loss of 80 roster jobs, that’s why Selig had to stop talking about it after the Twins’ threat. Relocation is the only real option if it comes to club failure.

  8. @bc–i thought my union, the Teamsters, were the most powerful union? Nah, that was maybe 60 years ago..lol. MLBPA is very strong, and wouldn’t stand for 80 job losses at $3 mill a piece.

  9. Reading a lot of these posts about contraction, MLB acquiring A’s, relocation, being forced to stay in Oakland, etc begs the question: Does MLB really favor the Giants and supposed interests that much over the A’s interests? Especially considering the T-Rights exist for one reason and one reason only? Especially considering T-Rights have changed/been altered many times in MLB’s history? I personally feel that MLB puts All of It’s teams on equal footing, not favoring one over the other and wanting some to thrive while others falter. And let’s not forget that Selig personally invited Wolff and Fisher into the MLB “lodge” and promised them a new ballpark was part of the deal/in the A’s future. Patience my friends.

    • And let’s not forget that Selig personally invited Wolff and Fisher into the MLB “lodge” and promised them a new ballpark was part of the deal/in the A’s future.Patience my friends.

      Tony D.- I’m having an incredibly difficult time being as optimistic/patient as you are. Over the past few months I’ve read things such as “we’ll hear good news after the Winter Meetings” or “there will be news this off-season” (paraphrasing) from your posts. I’d like to be as optimistic as you, but its been almost two damn years. I just want the A’s to have a new ballpark in the Bay Area period and San Jose is the most viable. However, nobody knows what the heck is going on. My optimism is waning.

  10. Meant to say “their supposed interests” above.

  11. It’s pure folly to believe that Wolff and Fisher aren’t on exactly the same page about the stadium. It’s no secret that Fisher is the money man and Wolff is the face and mouthpiece of this venture. Big decisions about it (like where and how to invest multi-hundreds of millions of dollars) aren’t made without discussion and agreement.

  12. There’s a myriad of potential sports development projects in the bay area coming within the decade: 1) A’s stadium 2) 49ers stadium 3) raiders stadium 4) warriors arena 5) quakes stadium and 6) sacto kings (possibly). That’s a lot of money to be throwing around. Out of all of these, the only venues that will be privately financed will be from LW (if the A’s go to SJ that is). I could easily envision a scenario where the 49ers and a’s go to the south bay, the W’s go to SF, and Oakland retaining the raiders and possibly the Kings. That’s still 6 major sports franchises for the bay area. Anyhow, MLB would be wise to expand and not contract its reach into the south bay for such lucrative corporate base. Heck, out of all the idiotic moves the Dorks have made with the 9ers, the stadium location may be the only thing they got right. I can’t fathom how Oakland is going to finance 3 new stadiums/arenas (A’s in 2015, the Raiders in 2017, and possibly the W’s in 2020) let alone one.

  13. If the Kings go anywhere, they’re going to San Jose…

  14. Fisher initially declined to be involved with the A’s and had to be talked into it after flying to NY and meeting with Selig–you can bet that meeting included some level of committment to working on getting the A’s a new ballpark outside of Oakland–keep in mind it was BS who said the A’s should never have been allowed to move to Oakland in the first place. To this date I have never heard him recant that statement—

  15. I’m with notsellingjeans on this one. I think the owners will have the power to negotiate contraction back onto the table in exchange for not considering a salary cap when the next CBA is negotiated (current one expires 12/11/11). Furthermore, I believe the BRC exists to stall the process until the CBA can be renegotiated and contraction can be put back on the table.

    The A’s and Rays make sense as contraction targets since the desired moves for both teams run into territorial rights issues with the A’s and San Jose and the Rays with northern New Jersey.

    • I’m with notsellingjeans on this one. I think the owners will have the power to negotiate contraction back onto the table in exchange for not considering a salary cap when the next CBA is negotiated (current one expires 12/11/11). Furthermore, I believe the BRC exists to stall the process until the CBA can be renegotiated and contraction can be put back on the table. The A’s and Rays make sense as contraction targets since the desired moves for both teams run into territorial rights issues with the A’s and San Jose and the Rays with northern New Jersey.

      For the Warriors, they have 75-mile territorial rights.http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2009/02/21/a-reminder-the-warriors-have-75-mile-territorial-rights-which-includes-san-jose/
      Are some of you really serious about this contraction crap!? Really!? Think about it: the Giants have had T-Rights to SCCo./SJ since 1992 ONLY because they themselves were supposed to relocate here. You really think MLB would be that stupid to through the trouble and CONTRACT AN ENTIRE TEAM rather than simply move them 35 miles south of their current location, all the while providing the "colonial master" with a little compensation $cratch? Again, the Giants T-Rights to SCCo./SJ aren't sacrosanct and can be altered/negotiated in the best interest of baseball. Geo and TV T-Rights have changed in the past you know. And no, the Rays possibly relocating to NorNJ in no way compares to the A's moving 35 miles south within the same metro region.

  16. ironically I was told awhile back by someone involved in the SJ effort that BS preferred to wait until after the CBA was resolved. Way back then it really never made any sense and I couldn’t have imagined this process going on until that timeframe….but for reasons pointed out by others its beginning to make sense and I absolutely think that contraction could be on the table at some point during the negotiations in 2011–its provides BS great leverage over the players during negotiations–

  17. …Does it really provide great leverage if the 48 weakest players in MLB are to lose their jobs via contraction?

  18. …What kind of “territorial rights” do the Lakers have? Must be about 12 yards because they share a building with the Clippers. Meanwhile, the Nets are slated to move even closer to the Knicks. If its :Larry Ellison who buys the Clippers (I have no information on this whatsoever)., think he’s going to be scared away by the Warriros “territorial rights” cliams? Remember – he fought San Jose’s precious airport curfew already and won.

  19. Ellison who buys the Kings, I mean.

  20. @Vince–not to hijack a blog but had to correct your comments–TK had to issue a “better information” article after the one you posted–he said the following: “BUT: The NBA Board of Governors can do anything it wants as it pertains to franchise location in the best interests of the league and there is not a high tolerance for watching massive annual losses by any franchise.

    Each owner has a vote on the board. Best interests = the most money for the owners’ collective.

    The Warriors DO NOT have strict veto power over any such possible move to San Jose. They’re a major player in this situation, but all power flows to the board of governors.”

  21. @Nathan – Selig has been pretty clear in saying that the existing system without a salary cap works great for the owners. Revenue was up this year close to $7 billion while player salaries went down nearly 1%, to under $3 billion. That makes player salaries only 42% of gross revenue, compared to 50+% for the other leagues. If there’s anyone that should complain, it’s the players, not the owners. At least MLBPA can boast that they’re not under a salary cap. Their system is worse than a cap.

    Any argument that MLB could put forth that there is some kind of hardship that could lead to contraction is complete, utter BS, moreso than the other leagues. Could they put up a threat? Yes. Would it be serious? I doubt it. Whether they try to contract the teams to eliminate 80 jobs or create 26/43-man rosters, it’s just another way to drop that percentage. And frankly, over the last 40 years there has been only one reason to contract a team in a major sport: it was so poorly run that it couldn’t survive. Revenue sharing has eliminated any chance of that happening again.

  22. Having to pay welfare to teams via the revenue sharing is a pretty good starting point indicating that the market is saturated and certain teams can’t survive without welfare…which of course both the A’s and Rays fit that bill-

  23. @GoA’s – Well then MLB should contract the Padres, since they had the lowest payroll in 2010 and may be the largest revenue sharing recipient this year.

  24. they have a ballpark—-or otherwise the answer would be yes—bottom line is to reduce the number of welfare recipients—what is the benefit to the owners to have these teams in the league–especially those without new ballparks—and therefore have very little chance of contributing rather than taking—

    • they have a ballpark—-or otherwise the answer would be yes—bottom line is to reduce the number of welfare recipients—what is the benefit to the owners to have these teams in the league–especially those without new ballparks—and therefore have very little chance of contributing rather than taking—

      And the A’s can (or will) have a new ballpark in San Jose, and thus will go a long way towards getting the team off of revenue sharing welfare. You provide a team an opportunity to get a new venue and “contribute rather than take”…YOU DON’T DO IT BY CONTRACTING!

  25. @GoA’s – The point is that all of the regular posturing statements MLB has made in previous years – cost certainty, out-of-control salaries – are absolutely not applicable here. Exactly how is MLB going to convince the public with its argument that “These teams don’t make quite enough money, so we’re dumping them?” That dog won’t hunt. Instead they’ll get backlash in the form of cries for increased revenue sharing, or a drive to kill the antitrust exemption outright. That’s exactly what they don’t want because they don’t want any major changes to the current system and they don’t want any serious scrutiny of it.

  26. @Tony- I don’t think there are many people that would debate the economic advantages of SJ but for reasons unknown to all but speculated by many…we are still in the quagmire nearly 2 years later….setting aside this issue and assuming that for whatever reason the A’s are not allowed to move to SJ do you think the brand of MLB or its profit would suffer one bit if suddenly the A’s and Rays cease to exist anymore? Especially the A’s where you already have a team in the same market–obviously not what I am pushing for but from a strictly financial perspective it makes absolute sense to consider it and at minimum use it as a negotiation tool to drive some concessions from the players-

  27. @ML–what public would be outraged that would have such a significant impact on MLB? I can hear the collective yawn of Yankee, Red Sox, and Phillie fans that Oakland and TB fans and local politico’s are upset—remind me again of which of the local politicians are willing to take on the challenge of removing the anti-trust protection? And if you truly feel that MLB strategy is trying to fly under the radar to avoid any scrutiny of its anti-trust protectioin than they are really exposing themselves if they lock SJ out and SVLG steps in as you have suggested—

  28. @GoA’s – Any city that felt aggrieved (San Jose, Oakland, St. Pete/Tampa) would automatically have MLBPA as an ally because of the potential job loss. From there all they’d need is one member of Congress to take it up as a pet cause and get an injunction. Do you think MLB has any interest in that kind of PR war? Do you think Selig wants to fly to DC to make another embarrassing Excel presentation in front of Congress?

    Think about it this way. What does MLB have to gain and lose from contracting the two teams? They won’t gain any more revenue, but the big money teams will have two less teams to pay out revenue sharing. Who cares? The Yankees have already figured out how to lessen their luxury tax payments more than contraction would.

    Most importantly, Selig will have undermined the “golden era of baseball” under his watch by killing two teams, a fate normally reserved for fringe leagues like the XFL or women’s pro sports. If baseball wants to give the appearance of being a fringe league, contraction’s the way to go. Selig’s not going to do that.

  29. @ML–lets agree to disagree again—but of course Oakland politico’s challenging the anti-trust exemption would actually be ironic in that it is the only reason they have a team today…given the attendance in TB I doubt that there would be enough interest of any politician or our Congress given that there are much more pressing issues than fightng for millionaires interests-imagine the pettiness of Congress stepping in while unemployment is still double digits–

    While the big money teams may not care because they can figure out how to minimize their welfare payments it doesn’t bode well for any business that 30% of its franchises have to receive welfare in order to stay afloat.

    relative to the golden era of baseball—that ended with the steriod tarnishing that BS has his fingerprints all over—and from a brand value it doens’t help to have perennial horrible teams (Pirates, A’s, Cleveland) with little chancing of producing enough revenue to be able to compete against the real teams—-

  30. @GoA’s – I still haven’t heard a good reason why MLB and the owners would pursue contraction. Every war fought by the owners is the result of a cost/benefit analysis. There is too much potential cost and not enough benefit here. $600 million for two teams ($21.4 million per remaining team) plus the cost to buy out the remaining lease years at the Trop. The war to eliminate 80 player jobs from the league plus hundreds of other related jobs for the foreseeable future. The likelihood that Barbara Boxer could easily get on a soapbox about this issue as opposed to moving a team a short drive south – a much harder case to make.

    Just as some people around here challenge the pro-Oakland crowd to make the case for a ballpark deal there, I challenge anyone to run the numbers on contraction and show me a situation in which it makes sense. There is nothing simple or direct about doing it, and the fact that we haven’t seen it in decades only makes us that much more removed from that difficulty. Selig considers now part of the “golden era” because of the unprecedented economic expansion of MLB, and after all, as CEO he has been crowing about that for years.

    As for the “welfare” argument, I’ve said for a while now that it’s not about getting the A’s completely off the dole. There will be instances where they continue to receive revenue sharing just because the revenue disparity is so vast. It’s all about putting the teams on better footing. MLB has a $357 million credit facility at its disposal. What makes more sense: investing some of that money in its assets, the teams? Or does it make more sense to use that money to cut those teams off at the knees and risk the alienation that would follow?

  31. @ML–it absolutely makes sense from a financial perspective—you eliminate 2 of the lowest revenue producing teams and ultimately distribute what today amounts to about $60M/year of welfare for these teams back to the remaining 28 teams. Recognizing that more than likely you would see a sizable portion of the lost revenue captured by the other team in the same marketplace than you have made a reasonable financial impact–

    Eliminating 80 positions is only strengthening the 28 teams that remain improving the product on the field and ultimately having some impact on driving down salaries as demand is down (2 less teams) while supply remains the same. You make the point, and it is an important one, that even with new facilities, these teams will most likely remain on welfare albeit less because there is an expectation that revenues will increase—whether its signficant enough to make a difference remains to be seen.

    Where I agree with you is whether BS has any energy for dealing with the political aspects. But relative to BB doing anything—sorry—she isn’t going to have the SF politico’s chanting along side of her and once again—she would be arguing a cause that would only further weaken Oakland’s reason for having a team to begin with.

  32. @GoA’s – $60 million distributed among the teams who would pay translates to $3 million per year for 20 paying teams, or a one-year contract to an average salary player – essentially, Jack Cust. Is that really worth fighting for? Explain to me how it’s worth it.

    Would the Giants benefit? Sure they would. Enough to make up for $100 million in lost revenue from the A’s? I doubt it. The ballpark can’t get much bigger. Ticket prices are already quite high. Sponsorship deals won’t make up the bulk of it. And there is no substitute for losing the Tampa Bay market except for moving a team elsewhere.

    Exactly what is the argument for improving the product on the field? In 2002 the argument was diluted pitching. That has gone out the window, as we’ve seen over the past two years. What does that extra $3 million buy? It doesn’t materially affect the ability to lock up pre-arb players or sign franchise cornerstone quality post-arb players. It might get you a Cust, LaTroy Hawkins or Ryan Theriot. Big freaking whoop.

    Run the numbers. Understand that the only teams that would really benefit are the Yanks and Red Sox, and they’re already doing well at the expense of the rest of MLB. I’m still open to a really well-conceived argument in favor of contraction. I just haven’t seen it yet.

    BTW, it’s worth noting that MLB’s current CBA runs out a few months after the NBA’s and eight months after the NFL’s, yet there are very few hardline issues this time around for MLB compared to the other two leagues. For NBA/NFL there are major fundamental disagreements about core issues like contract lengths, guaranteed money and revenue sharing. MLB’s items right now are draft reform, expanding the playoffs and maybe getting a real HGH test as part of the drug policy. Agents aren’t complaining about the numerous nine-figure free agent deals this offseason. Neither are players. The only major economic issue may be revenue sharing, but that has more to do with the embarrassing numbers from the Deadspin leaks than anything else.

  33. re: You really think MLB would be that stupid to through the trouble and CONTRACT AN ENTIRE TEAM rather than simply move them 35 miles south of their current location,

    …I, for one, think it would be. They’ve already shown how stupid they are already by refusing to let the A’s look at San Jose.

  34. Some of you must think contraction is a relatively trivial thing to pull this off. We know that MLB has moved three teams in the last 40 years. When was the last time MLB contracted a team?

  35. The last team to be contracted in any of the 4 major sports had its origin in – drum roll, please – Oakland. The Oakland Seals (sometimes called the California Golden Seals) were moved to Cleveland around 1976 and ended up being “folded” into the Minnesota North Stars, reducing the NHL by one team.

    If MLB can’t get a new ballpark in Oakland, is too plain stupid to allow one in San Jose and has no place to move the A’s to, then what’s left then playing in the Coliseum for eternity or contracting the franchise? I suppose some other city will step up to the plate, like San Antonio.

    The 3 teams moved n the last 40 years – Expos to DC, Senators to Arlington Tex, and Pilots to Milwaukee, right? Selig, the prime minister of “territorial rights are sacred,” himself moved a team to within 70 miles of two other teams.

  36. @pjk – You didn’t answer the question. When was the last time MLB contracted a team?

  37. I don’t know. There must have been some early in the 20th century that didn’t survive.

  38. re: My optimism is waning.

    Mine, too. I think we’re on a 5-year countdown to the A’s departure from the Bay Area, thanks to the Giants. At which point i become a non-fan of MLB. The owners are too terrified to let the A’s go to San Jose and Oakland has no money for a ballpark but expects someone to just give them one, which isn’t going to happen.

  39. How in the world did we end up in this mess? I sat in my ofiice trying to understand what might be going on, and where we may be headed. Before I give my thoughts, here’s a suggestion to ML. How about a dedicated thread where there was no back and forth discussion, but only opinions on where posters thought this was going? It might be interesting to read the thread 6 or 12 months down the road to see whether we’ve progressed any further.

  40. Not trying to start a flame war. Just a story for fun:

    A lot of us have been through this before. You’re in a relationship with someone for a while. You love them but there are problems that despite each of your best efforts can not be solved. The relationship drags on for years. Breaking up is too difficult. You live together. Who gets the apartment? What about the couch or record collection? Each of you care deeply for the other but sometimes things just don’t work out. You agree to break up but you’re gonna stick out the final few months on the lease together. It’ll be fine, right? Just because you’ve broken up doesn’t mean we can’t be friends? Right?


    Then you meet someone else. They’re awesome. They’re really into and really give you a sense that you’re important, and wanted. It’s a match made in heaven. They make you a better person. You make them a better person. Together, we can take anything life throws at us. Only thing is, you’re still living with your ex. You may or may not have had the “dating others” talk. But you’re both adults. Each of you knew the day was coming. You just never realized it’d you be that started dating again first.


    Something changes in your ex though. She knows you, she knows when something is different. You’ve met someone else! She can’t let that happen! She can’t let all those wonderful memories of the years you’ve spent together slip away. She starts wearing her attractive clothes again. She’s taking the time to fix her hair and put on some lipstick & eyeliner. She’s trying to get you to stay. Then wham! Please, baby– don’t go. I can change. I can really change. Look, see? I have an organize my life and make the effort to make this work between us. I can built you the ballpark you’ve always wanted. Just give me another chance? … Oh…. you’ve moved on?….. Oh…. ok…. yea…. I’m fine. Well, I’m gonna go ahead and build one anyway. Next thing you know, you’re running into legal roadblocks due to seldom use, but relavent common-law marriage loopholes. –To be continued (if MLB ever makes a ruling).

  41. @pjk – The answer is the National League in 1900, which predates the entire history of the American League. Contraction is much bigger than a few people feeling slighted in San Jose or Oakland. It’s a major deal, and one that not only I suspect Selig doesn’t have the stomach for, but also one that he really has no idea how to do.

    @fc – Good idea. I’ll create a separate thread prior to New Year’s for people to express themselves. I’ll have to moderate it heavily since a lot of people can’t help but get into the same old tired, cyclical debates.

  42. In my opinion, one consequence of our current economic woes will be that MLB transitions back to more of a “retail” model, by which less emphasis is placed on corporate ticket buying. Don’t get me wrong, it will still be a major source of revenue, but not to the extent that it was envisioned 10 years ago. What this may do is cause MLB to take a second look at places like Portland, Charlotte, or San Antonio, that are good sized cities but lack a huge corporate base.

  43. If contraction is a complete non-starter then why were the Twins and Expos close enough to being gone less than 10 years ago that the owners voted in favor of contraction and people were writing mock dispersal drafts? Are revenues that much higher now as opposed to 2001 that makes it a complete non-starter as opposed to only nine years ago?

  44. @ML – the most repeated phrases on this site come from: pjk and Tony D.

    pjk: “…who is going to buy for $500 million and build for $500 million…?”
    Tony: “…don’t worry SJ A’s 2015…” Can’t get “mad” at Tony … Raiders!

  45. Maybe things get repeated because we’re all anxious for some news from MLB and they don’t give us any. Just keep us hanging for years and years. No word on the “blue ribbon” report, no word on San Jose, zip. Just Oakland working on an EIR for a ballpark that the city can’t pay for.

  46. I think the real problem is some people putting personal slants on everything; making issues of policies & procedures into issues of right & wrong/just & unjust. They sensationalize and run with wild assumption that spark back n’ forth yapping about essentially nothing. At that point, it’s not discussing the news. Instead, it’s a few grown men yammering on about not getting what they want when they want it and/or who deserves this or that.

  47. @Nathan – Yes, the financial picture has changed that much. MLB has roughly double the revenue in 2010 that it got in 2002, and it has a revenue sharing plan in place, something that wasn’t there when the 2002 CBA negotiations came around.

  48. @ML–@ML- based upon what I know about revenue sharing 31% of the local revenues are thrown into a kitty with the total than averaged over 30 teams—based upon this average a team either receives or contributes to revenue sharing (about $5.8B in local revenues)–a second component is the leagues distribution of money it takes it from a corporate perspective. Using local revenues only there are only 8 teams that contribute to revenue sharing with the Yankees being the largest and the gints the smallest at just over $1M on $200M of local revenues. There are 22 teams that benefit from this with the A’s in the top 3 based upon $155M of local revenues. Eliminating the revenue for the A’s and Rays and using the same formula you now have 14 of the teams paying into the kitty with the Tigers at $188M of local revenues being the last.

    But I will accept your premise that $60M on $6B of revenues isn’t worth the headache of making it happen—-and recognizing that the difference in local revenues between the gints and A’s is less than $50M than with this type of attitude it explains how the owners could probably care less about the A’s moving to San Jose and generating an addional $30M of revenue—in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t move the dial enough and therefore easier to accept that regardless the A’s will be on the dole with or without a new ballpark in Oakland

    While it might be small dollars in the general scheme of things ($60M on $6B) it is still real dollars that impact the total number of welfare recipients and puts near 50% of the teams in the black based upon local revenues. But lets take your assumption that MLB and especially the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets are just fine with the current system and don’t care about changing things—-than that is probably why the A’s cant get the necessary support to move to SJ—

  49. David,
    I was ready to blow you up with a mean response to your last post, but DA RAIDERS shout out at the end saved ya ;o)
    Merry Christmas bra!

  50. Tony’s position is grounded in three words: “San Jose Athletics” And whatever plan, proposal, strategy, or point of view that ultimately leads to that name is what we’ll see advocated by him. Like I said last week, Lew Wolff could kill most of the traffic on this blog by announcing tomorrow that the team will be the “Golden State Athletics” no matter where they play.

  51. @GoA’s – The big market teams don’t like the luxury tax or revenue sharing. But they also aren’t so against those things that they would lobby for a salary floor, which could create as much if not more competitive balance as a salary cap. So for them, the status quo works. That has little to do with the A’s specific circumstances vis-a-vis moving.

  52. @Georob–with LW’s infatuation with SJ, I’m surprise he hasn’t changed the name to SJ A’s while still playing in Oakland. He wanted San Jose or Silicon Valley in the name in the Fremont plan.

  53. Taking a step back from how the overall revenue pie is divided up, it helps to remember why the pie is the size it is. Having a MLB franchise represented in all major US markets maintains high brand recognition coast to coast. Financial mechanisms like salary floors or revenue sharing, though different, are striving for the same thing– improving the financial stability of individual franchises without sacrificing the overall success of the overall industry.


    It’s safe to assume Lew Wolff and Co. are aware of this. You don’t purchase a Starbucks in Gilroy in hopes of matching the revenue of a Starbucks in Time Square. Wolff has said he’s currently all-in on San Jose but that’s based on the current set of circumstances. If MLB rules in favor of Oakland then Oakland and the A’s agree to terms on funding, I wouldn’t see why Wolff/Fisher would sell. I always felt that they would sell once a new ballpark was open regardless of where it is in the Bay Area. In regards to financial operations and the A’s future residence, it’d be absurd to think that MLB would make a ruling that puts the A’s in a vulnerable position.

  54. @Briggs–i agree Wolff would sell a few years after a SJ park is built, to get maximum profit while things are still looking good before the novelty of the park wears off.. But disagree with you on saying he wouldn’t sell if Oakland gets the nod. He really doesn’t want to be in that town and said he’s done looking for a site. They’ll sell to locals and move on, with a much bigger profit in 5 years ownership than the previous 3 ownerships combined. That’s the sick part: they don’t do much in their 5 years but bitch and complain, keep profits from the revenue sharing and cash out with 140 mill more in profit.

  55. @ML–one comment you made that I don’t agree with is that if the A’s were to leave town than the gints would see little bump in revenue—if this is accurate why would they be so opposed to the A’s moving to SJ where MLB guarantees a certain level of revenue for them? From my perspective a single team in the bay area would definetely have increased revenues–otherwise to be so adamant in their stance makes no sense

  56. @GoA’s – I should have rephrased that. In the near term, the Giants wouldn’t see a major bump. Once they got new media deals in place – deals that wouldn’t come for a few years at least – then they’d see the benefit. The big win for them would be franchise value, which would catapult to near where the Red Sox are now.

  57. So exactly how does MLB calculate franchise value? Do they take into account the demographics of a teams’ “territories”? If so, maybe that’s a big reason the Giants are reluctant to give up(or share) Santa Clara County. Perhaps they don’t care as much about loss of potential revenues as much as they do franchise value.

  58. @ML–according to Forbes 2010 figs, the G’s value is at 483 mill and the RedSox at 870 mill. That’s quite a jump from 9th to 2nd place. The Philly’s, in a similar size single team market (if the A’s are gone, and I highly doubt that), are at 537 mill and get huge TV ratings. I can see the G’s maybe at 600 mill, but over 800 mill? Wow!

  59. @jk-usa – The Red Sox valuation includes Fenway Park, the valuable land underneath it, and an 80% stake in NESN. The Giants don’t own the land under AT&T Park and have only a 30% share of CSNBA. The Giants can’t get to $800 million in the next decade, but $600-700 million may be possible.

  60. Oakland is just staying afloat in the process and praying for a billionaire to come in and save them. Their EIR is well over due but I always say “better late than never”, so it is a positive sign for them to actually pick a site and stick to it.

    It is too bad Wally Haas was a “nice guy” and a poor business man. I do realize by letting the Giants look at the San Jose in the early 1990s he thought he could get San Francisco but in reality he was foolish to think that. The Giants if they moved to San Jose back then would have pocketed SF as well leaving the A’s in the same quandary they are in now.

    BS should have listened to Steve Schott years ago and took this issue to a vote when Schott was able to corner it.

    Regardless of the CBA, I have to agree with ML that MLB makes $$ regardless of the A’s being in existence or not. Therefore the lack of owners votes to move to the team to San Jose is the only logical explanation. This makes contraction not possible and MLB would buy and relocate the team as its last option. Contraction requires all the other owners to pay off the owner of the contracted team at once.

    The A’s need a new place to play and BS stalls because of his own idiocy and MLB’s wrongful Anti-Trust exemption.

    I am Pro-SJ but even I am praying for a “Oakland miracle” at this point.

  61. @Sid–you may rip the memory of Walter Haas all you want about being such a poor business man, but there’s one thing he was and that Wolff will never be is a winner, as in a World Series winner. On top of that, he was a class act, that employees, players, the press and fans respected immensely.
    Walter Haas treated his employees like family when he owned the A’s. In 1989, A’s employees returned the favor by presenting Mr. Haas with a plaque, and each employee dedicated many hours of community service in honor of him. Can you see the same thing happening with Wolff? I don’t think so.

  62. @jk-usa – Wally Haas is not coming back. Deal with it.

  63. @jk-usa- Wally Haas may have been a “great man” and he may have been “respected” but he was a poor businessman and that is why A’s are where they are today…Small market and stuck in a football stadium.

    You need to realize that this is a “business” and all that sentimental stuff you talk about means “zero” in today’s world…ask the Giants across the Bay.

    Wolff nor any other owner (Except for Mike Ilitch in Detroit) is willing to lose money on a professional team. Wally Haas by being a “nice guy” and not a “smart businessman” put the A’s in this position.

    When the A’s leave the Bay Area in the next few years it will hit every A’s fan real hard the reality of the situation.

    I too believe it or not is praying for a “Oakland miracle” as I have come to terms that San Jose will never get a MLB team because of the Giants and dare I say it “Wally Haas”.

    • @jk-usa- Wally Haas may have been a “great man” and he may have been “respected” but he was a poor businessman and that is why A’s are where they are today…Small market and stuck in a football stadium. You need to realize that this is a “business” and all that sentimental stuff you talk about means “zero” in today’s world…ask the Giants across the Bay. Wolff nor any other owner (Except for Mike Ilitch in Detroit) is willing to lose money on a professional team. Wally Haas by being a “nice guy” and not a “smart businessman” put the A’s in this position.When the A’s leave the Bay Area in the next few years it will hit every A’s fan real hard the reality of the situation. I too believe it or not is praying for a “Oakland miracle” as I have come to terms that San Jose will never get a MLB team because of the Giants and dare I say it “Wally Haas”.

      “I have come to terms that San Jose will never get a MLB team…” Remember you stated this in the future Sid, because I’m confident we’ll both have a good laugh over this in the near future. Again, after the groundbreaking ceremony, first rounds on me at Henry’s!

  64. @Sid. Don’t agree with your assessment there. Never is a long time. Name one time in MLB history when the most economically beneficial course did not eventually win out.
    Haas’ purpose in buying the team was to save major league baseball in the Bay Area for the benefit of the fans (I heard Roy Eisenhardt say that in a speech in 1982). That’s being a philanthropist, not a poor businessman.

  65. Pingback: Contraction and What it Would Mean for MLB, A’s and Rays, Straight Ballin Blog | BallHyped Sports Blogs

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