News for 3/14/11

Today’s hearing for Santa Clara County and the City of San Jose may set the stage for a proper settlement between the two parties over $62.9 million in redevelopment funds owed to the county. The Merc’s Karen de Sá has the details, including this bit from County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who has long been a ballpark backer:

“This is what we call a straight breach of contract, it’s not that much different than if somebody got behind on their car or house payments — you gotta settle up,” said board president Dave Cortese. “The difference is, this isn’t money for a car payment, this is money that needs to go toward all the services the county provides, everything from emergency rooms to a regional park service, libraries and courthouses. There’s no end to the hardship that would result in us being out of pocket $63 million.”

City Attorney Rick Doyle is among those who believe a deal can be reached by Wednesday, which is when the State Legislature is supposed to hear the new budget proposal.

Santa Clara is set to wrap up its work to protect RDA funds for the 49ers stadium project tomorrow.

San Diego is considering a Diridon-like transfer of 135 RDA-owned properties to the City.

Longtime NY Times baseball writer and anti-blog curmudgeon Murray Chass keeps up the weekly trickle of nationally-sourced articles pushing for the A’s to move south. This one follows a widely used AP piece last week. I sense a strategy in there… Chass’s column comes two years after a similar entry at his site, the difference this time being the appearance of Bill Neukom on the scene.

Jonah Keri’s new book about the Moneyball-style rise of the Tampa Bay Rays is out. The book is titled The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First.

Added 3/15 1:00 AM – In Sunday’s edition of the Chronicle, Matier and Ross reported that Denver attorney Paul Jacobs was hired by Oakland to be its lead negotiator for the Victory Court project. The $455 per hour hiring, which wasn’t publicized immediately because it was done in closed session, is a big deal because Jacobs is prominent in the Western US for working on stadium deals. His biggest claims to fame are his role in putting together the resources that eventually created the Colorado Rockies, and the ballpark and land development deal around PETCO Park. As is often the case in the stadium game, Jacobs isn’t batting 1.000. More recently he worked on the aborted Pacific Commons project in Fremont and was retained by the City of Oceanside in its efforts to figure out a football stadium deal for the Chargers. One thing I’m curious about is whether or not the firm Barrett Sports Group was brought in. The last two links include mentions of Barrett Sports Group, the “other half” to Jacobs, with both hired as a package deal of sorts. Jacobs handles the real estate stuff, while BSG takes care of facility planning and financing. BSG counts A’s and Giants ownership as two of its many current or former private sector clients.

59 thoughts on “News for 3/14/11

  1. This is why many people do not trust, or believe anything Lew Wolff has to say about the A’s stadium situation:

    http://www.murraychass.com/?p=3086
    2011: “I didn’t have San Jose in mind because I tried everything in Oakland,” Wolff said. “We tried Fremont in our district. We spent $30 million on that.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1998/03/20/SP56243.DTL
    1998: “A major South Bay developer said yesterday that if the A’s are going to get a new Bay Area ballpark built, it would need to be in San Jose.

    “If I was going to pursue a ballpark, I would certainly do it in San Jose, not depend on a vote outside of San Jose, and I would work through the mayor and the Redevelopment Agency,” said Lew Wolff, a key figure in San Jose’s downtown renaissance. “It’s the difference between a big-league city and a nonbig-league city. I wouldn’t spend five minutes on any other city besides San Jose.”

  2. @ML – Shouldn’t the TBR book be entitled, “How to suck so bad for so long to get good draft picks and win”? :X

  3. David,
    Everything you rehashed is old news. If you had been at this blog, and the original baseball SJ, for nearly 7 years you would have known that stuff.
    Wolff has been the A’s owner since (what) 05? The A’s have needed a new yard since (what) 1995? I pitty the fool who doesn’t blame the city of Oakland for the A’s finally leaving the town.

  4. @TonyD–it may be old news, but it shows you where LW’s is coming from, and i don’t like it. Schottmann, like Jerry Brown, didn’t show an interest in Uptown, everyone’s favorite ballpark site, so it’s not just the city at fault. If 20 acres in Uptown were presently available, LW would find some excuse not to build there, because his heart’s in SJ, and never was in Oakland.

  5. The reason Wolff would find not to build there? It can’t be paid for. That is a legit reason.

  6. “The South Bay is the single-most compelling part of our fan base.” Are you kidding me? The single-most? Absurd!

    • “The South Bay is the single-most compelling part of our fan base.” Are you kidding me? The single-most? Absurd!

      Agreed! That’s why AT&T Park is located in downtown San Jose and the WS victory parade went down Santa Clara Street. Larry Baer, much like M & R, speaks from his rump, so I wouldn’t worry to much about what he says DB.

  7. @ST: your link from ’06, and any other from between ’99 and that year, I just try to ignore…the Brown mayorial era. Jean Quan is–acting anyway as–the absolute opposite of Jerry Brown, when it comes to keeping the A’s in Oakland. JB is now trying to further hurt Oakland with the RDA “threat”, while Jean picks up where Dellums left off; that is, with his and former council president Brunner’s letter to MLB, leading to the formation of the BRC. Could we have expected more of an aggressive approach? Sure, if he really expected Fremont to fall through, of course. However, here we are, and it will be interesting to see what Jacobs and Oakland officials can do together. They still need the money, no doubt, and successful negotiations with the businesses at the VC site. I’m looking forward to that first EIR draft being complete later this month, and seeing what transpires from that.

    • @ST: your link from ’06, and any other from between ’99 and that year, I just try to ignore…the Brown mayorial era. Jean Quan is–acting anyway as–the absolute opposite of Jerry Brown, when it comes to keeping the A’s in Oakland. JB is now trying to further hurt Oakland with the RDA “threat”, while Jean picks up where Dellums left off; that is, with his and former council president Brunner’s letter to MLB, leading to the formation of the BRC. Could we have expected more of an aggressive approach? Sure, if he really expected Fremont to fall through, of course. However, here we are, and it will be interesting to see what Jacobs and Oakland officials can do together. They still need the money, no doubt, and successful negotiations with the businesses at the VC site. I’m looking forward to that first EIR draft being complete later this month, and seeing what transpires from that.

      Brunner’s letter to MLB did not lead to the formation of the “BRC”! Where in the hell did you get that?

  8. In both Coors Field/Denver and Petco Park/San Diego, public funds went towards direct construction costs of said ballparks. San Diego even witnessed lawsuits because of it. In this economy, and with RDA’s on their death bead, can we really compare Oakland with Denver/San Diego in terms of available resources, corporate/financial support? Not bashing, but this isn’t a big deal unless Jacobs comes up with the cash to actually CONSTRUCT the ballpark. It would have been difficult even with RDA for Oakland to acquire ALL the land at VC and then relocate ALL the businesses…without RDA? I will tell you this: that $455 an hour IS A BIG DEAL! Talk about taking “Da Town” to town.

  9. Regarding Paul Jacobs, if he worked on the Pacific Commons project with Lew Wolff, he’s now in effect working counter to Wolff’s efforts in San Jose. There might be similar moving parts in the Fremont and San Jose private financing. This definitely sheds some light on why MLB might be holding off on their decision. If Oakland succeeds in retaining the A’s, I really hope it’s a ballpark I don’t feel guilty about sitting in because even though I endorse SJ, a VC ballpark would be a lot more convenient for me.

  10. Briggs,
    The man is getting PAID to the tune of $455 an hour! I’d work counter to anything for that kind of jack. Really, I don’t think this is that big of a deal and has no bearing whatsoever on a “BRC” decision.
    Again, Denver and San Diego had massive public financing for their ballparks. Knowing SJ and Fremont’s private financing schemes (if this is in fact true) is irrelevant IMHO.

  11. happy second anniversary of the BRC-simply amazing is all I can say

    @Briggs- with most of the land already acquired or in negotiation in SJ they don’t need the services of mr. Jacobs- he can make a pretty tidy sum negotiating with nearly 20 different property owners inOakland

  12. Let’s also not forget that, sports facilities aside, Jacobs is also prominent in real estate and development deals. Even without a ballpark at Victory Court, Oakland will still need legal services in terms of eventual acquisitions/relocations and whatever is built; be it residential, commercial or mixed-use development. The $455 an hour shouldn’t go wasted at Victory Court, and Oakland developers (and by extension politicians) will be $itting pretty.

  13. Last thought on this “big deal” : “(Paul) Jacobs involvement began Aug. 23, 1990, just days after (Denver) metro voters approved a sales tax to fund a new baseball stadium (Coors Field).” Need more be said about this development?

  14. @DavidL – yes, it’s an 06′ article elaborating on the failures of Oakland. So from 06′ to now, what has Oakland done? Nada, besides a last second effort w/ an EIR and no financing plan whatsoever. And it’s all fine and dandy Oakland is hiring megabucks lawyers and talking with MLB, but you forgot one important detail: it hasn’t got consent from the actual owners of the A’s. You Oakland haters will have to kiss LW arse whether you like it or not to make it happen. You can tell him not where to go, but you can’t force him to stay either.

  15. I’d say this… It makes me feel warm inside that Oakland has hired someone who has successfully, and unsuccessfully, worked on funding mechanisms. He will be realistic and try to put something together that makes sense for Oakland. In the best case for all of us Bay Area A’s fans, something is worked out that makes sense and the A’s stay put, or nothing comes to fruition and Bud opens San Jose… Either way, the 2 years (and counting) of quagmire are a thing of the past.
    .
    I think of this as akin to Marriage Counseling for a couple on the outs. Nobody can say Oakland isn’t giving it a go, that they didn’t try. They are putting in the time and effort to keep the marriage going. There are things outside of their control, and they may yet doom the marriage… But if they are going down, they are going down swinging.

    • I’d say this… It makes me feel warm inside that Oakland has hired someone who has successfully, and unsuccessfully, worked on funding mechanisms. He will be realistic and try to put something together that makes sense for Oakland. In the best case for all of us Bay Area A’s fans, something is worked out that makes sense and the A’s stay put, or nothing comes to fruition and Bud opens San Jose… Either way, the 2 years (and counting) of quagmire are a thing of the past..I think of this as akin to Marriage Counseling for a couple on the outs. Nobody can say Oakland isn’t giving it a go, that they didn’t try. They are putting in the time and effort to keep the marriage going. There are things outside of their control, and they may yet doom the marriage… But if they are going down, they are going down swinging.

      Jeffrey,
      Respectfully: Jacobs did not work on the funding mechanisms in Denver or San Diego. In both cases public financing was approved for the facilities. He merely acted as (basically) the laison between the cities and teams in terms of stadium development. In San Diego, Jacobs job went further as he helped facilitate the surrounding developments at Petco, which a lot of was private. Again, he’s a commercial real estate attorney, and his services will be needed at VC even without a ballpark (which most likely will be the case).
      FWIW, who’s the main negotiator for Cisco Field/Diridon South? That would be Lew Wolff and the A’s.

  16. @TonyD–if LW hired Jacobs, you’d be doing cartwheels right now.
    You have to rip ANYTHING Oakland does…amazing.

  17. Sorry Jeffrey if my tone is a bit sour in my last post. I’m being very patient about this, but at the same time, I’m tired of developments such as this hiring being completely blown out of proportion in terms of “news” or “importance.” Yes, patience! But it will be a great day when an announcement is finally made. For this SJ native, it will be even greater if it finally means our freedom from the Giants and a true cornerstone for downtown SJ development.

  18. Resort to gymnastics (and possibly hurt myself) if Mr. Wolff hired Jacobs? I never even knew this person existed until this morning. And why would the A’s/Mr. Wolff need his services anyway, considering they’re going to privately finance Cisco Field and SJ has nearly all the land locked down? Who knows, maybe Mr. Wolff will hire Jacobs to help facilitate the rest of the Diridon development or Airport West…or maybe not.

  19. Petco Park and Coors Field were not entirely publicly funded (sure they were mostly public, both over 80%). I don’t think it puts Oakland in some kind of “lead dog” position to have Jacobs on board, but the guy has worked through deals with MLB. Obviously, this is a different situation and there are no guarantees. Maybe he says “You have to pay for 80% of the park to keep the A’s.” If so, I’d imagine San Jose would be the only horse in the race. Maybe he isn’t even working on financing construction. Hopefully, someone is.
    .
    The main point here, is that Oakland is doing SOMETHING and has been doing things for a while now. Jacobs is an experienced negotiator, when it comes to MLB anyway. It is good for those of us who are location agnostic, potentially good for Oakland Only. Maybe even good for San Jose if he proves that a deal that works for everyone can’t be reached in Oakland.

  20. Respect your opinion Jeffrey. Both Petco and Coors over 80% publicy financed? Wow! I think if either Oakland or San Jose tried to go that route the citizens of both cities would storm their city halls ala the Middle East protests. By the way, lost in all the hubub over Jacobs hiring was the Murray Chass article (just read it). Now that was awesome! Good to see Selig has issued a gag-order, with Neukom stating he’s been instructed not to talk about San Jose; IMHO that could only be a good thing. Perhaps Selig, through Neukom, also stuck a sock down Baer’s mouth as well (we should all hope for that).

  21. I will never root against a sock down Baer’s mouth… Dude has irked me since the first time I heard him speak back on Fox Sports Net.
    .
    I agree with you… If Jacobs is here with the intention to try and strike a deal on par with what was done in San Diego or Denver, it is good news for San Jose.

  22. And… The Murray Chass piece is pretty interesting. I consider him a “traditionalist” and find it interesting that he would be on the side of relocation. It seems like, media wise, everybody but the SF based media is in favor of the A’s moving south.

  23. re: It seems like, media wise, everybody but the SF based media is in favor of the A’s moving south.

    …Absolutely correct..

  24. Speaking of sticking socks down big mouths, I have an extra long, very thick, super smelly gym sock I’d love to shove down Wolff’s mouth!!

  25. re: I have an extra long, very thick, super smelly gym sock I’d love to shove down Wolff’s mouth!!

    …the nerve of that guy Wolff, not wanting to lose BigTime $$ building a ballpark in Oakland.

  26. Jeffrey: I agree that in general, media people who live/work in SF consider SJ too far away to be truly local, so they want to keep the A’s in Oakland. They also, by and large, are verbally oriented people who don’t have a great grasp of economics. However, I’m a longtime employee of SF-based media and favor the A’s moving south to stay alive and maximize revenue, as I’ve written several times.

  27. @pjk–who says he’d lose big time in Oakland? He’s made more money in Oakland than Finley or Haas ever did. Haas lost big money those last 5 years, not to break the team up .If it’s all about money, and I know it usually is, put the team up for sale and live happily ever after with your millions. If SJ happens, he’ll probably sell after a few years when their at peak value and let the new owners deal with big debt and declining attendance during those lean years.

  28. @baycommuter, I get it. I know not every SF based media member is anti SJ, thanks for clarifying. I was just commenting on the tone of articles… You have guys like Ratto, Greg Pappa, Carl Steward, Monte Poole, etc. who constantly hit on conspiracy theories/emotional rants about why the A’s should stay in Oakland. Then you have folks like Purdy who hit on economic reasons the team should move South (not that he isn’t biased). But when you move to folks who are not emotionally, or otherwise, invested in where the team plays within the Bay Area… They seem to be pretty unanimously in favor of a move South. Though i am sure there is some national writer who has written a “stay in Oakland” piece that i am forgetting.
    .
    It sort of mirrors this site, when I think about it. There are folks like me who think the economically viable path to a new stadium runs through San Jose. The there are folks invested in San Jose who make similar arguments. Folks in favor Oakland tend to make emotional arguments.
    .
    It seems to be emotion v. economics. Though I am not sure how Bud Selig sees the whole thing…

  29. I agree that in general, media people who live/work in SF consider SJ too far away to be truly local, so they want to keep the A’s in Oakland.

    Yes, that’s because SF’s view of Oakland is much like that of Russia and its old satellite nations. Oakland is considered by SF to be its domain, well within its sphere of influence. San Jose is too far out of SF’s grasp to wield as much influence. That’s also why San Joseans do not take kindly too SF meddling in their affairs, in sports or otherwise.

  30. @ST: “Last second effort”? No way. It started with Uptown years ago, and Jerry Brown shot that down, including his firing of a guy who tried to make it happen for Oakland– Robert Bobb. As far back as ’06, Ignacio De La Fuente told me face to face that there were two places that they had in mind; this being after Wolff started to pursue Fremont heavily– Oakland didn’t give up, and IDLF reminded me to not look too much into what I read in the papers. A few years ago, the proposals of the 3 JLS sites are in their embryonic stages, and now narrowed down to Victory Court’s site.
    So how, ST, is this last minute, if it initially started 10+ years ago during the Shottman era, and resumed post-Uptown site, during the Fisholff era? It may seem that way because Oakland waited for Fremont to fall through. While Wolff kept flipping Oakland the bird, two years ago Dellums and Brunner go over his head with the letter to MLB, leading to the BRC. It may also seem that way because for only 2 months plus, Oakland finally has a mayor who is really stressing the A’s importance in Oakland and going very public with it: Jean Quan.

  31. @Tony D– alright, to be clear, Selig put the BRC together, yet it was the letter by Dellums and Brunner that led to that decision by Selig.

  32. DavidL, that is the most creative tying together of stadium development events in the history of this blog. You deserve a medal.
    .
    And, you should know that we knew from the onset that Victory Court was the site. There was no paring down of sites to get to it, at least not like you speculate above. It was all bunch of hype and political gamesmanship to convince folks like you that there was some sort of open process going on. In fact, if there was a apring down that included Howard Terminal it is evidence that your chain of events above is a fairly loose interpretation and have little relation to one another. Considering the fact that Howard Terminal was originally ruled out during the HOK study that named Uptown to be the best site in all of the East Bay. Oddly enough the second best site was the Coliseum (didn’t Lew make a pitch for that site?) and Fremont (funny how that came after the Coliseum). I could share the email I got in November of 2009 (Hey, isn’t that a month before Oakland announced their three sites?) that even that stated “The Oakland Fire Training” site was the site for Oakland… But why bother.

  33. re: He’s made more money in Oakland than Finley or Haas ever did.

    ..Take away the MLB welfare checks and how much has Wolff made?…Declining attendance during lean years in San Jose? You mean like the Sharks, with 18 years of sellouts whether the team is good or not? San Jose has proven it will offer strong support of major league sports even when the team is lousy. Oakland has proven it will offer weak support of major league sports even when the team is great. Let’s take one lean year for the A’s attendance-wise: 2006 – team wins division, went to the ALCS and is ranked 26th out of 30 in attendance.

  34. If Lew Wolff could make $$ and build in Oakland he would have done it years ago….or for that matter Fremont.

    Jeffrey is correct is his assessment of the time line and the order of sites that were preferable.

    San Jose is the center of a huge economic engine known as Silicon Valley and based on 8 categories by CareerBliss.com the #1 place to work in the US with SF being #2.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2011/02/04/san-jose-named-top-us-city-to-work-in.html

    By building in Oakland they would be spitting the corporations up in the same metro area while leaving the most major metro area (for corporations/jobs) in the Bay Area alone 50 miles away untapped…..Not to mention the SF Giants have most of them in their back pocket already for years.

    Only 25% of Silicon Valley Corporations do business with the Giants. That leaves 75% of a huge corporate base sitting there because of no team being in the general vicinity.

    It does not make sense to build in Oakland for this reason alone.

    This is a business guys as much as I hate to say it……It is a game but without the business piece there would be no team to argue about.

    If Oakland wants to pay for the ballpark and the infrastructure and the land then so be it. Otherwise stop wasting time as in San Jose it can be privately built and the corporate support is obviously there.

    God I hate Bud Selig with a passion…..What a pansy, he can use his “best interest” powers at any time to solve this problem. Or convince the other owners to vote on this. With the CBA expiring they may contract the A’s which will cause lawsuits from San Jose and/or Oakland.

    Something has to give here…..It is as Jeffrey put it a true “Quagmire”.

  35. @pjk–can we re-visit the W’s/Sharks comparison once again? The W’s sold out 89-96 in the old arena, at 15,025, with a couple of good playoff years. Their one year in SJ, sorry to say SJ boosters, didn’t sell out, and averaged a respectable 15,167. The first 5-6 seasons at the new Oracle Arena, attendance was light (12-16k), but growing every year with some horrid teams. Cohan boosting the ticket prices big time didn’t help. That one magical season in 2006/07 with Baron Davis and company really turned the team around, and they’ve been at 18-19,600k attendance since, even though they’ve failed to make the playoffs again. The Sharks rarely have missed the playoffs in their history, making it 11 of the last 12 seasons, and 13 of their 18. If the W’s had the Shark’s success, you can expect sell outs. The W’s also have bigger TV ratings too, so their interest is much broader. The few times I’ve heard the Sharks on the radio, most ads are for the hotels and restaurants near the HP. Meaning, outside the 17,558 who regular pack the Tank, the interest is rather limited.

  36. You’re comparing the Sharks permanently in San Jose to a terrible Warriors team camping out in San Jose for one year with no intention of staying? How does that comparison make sense? The Warriors nonetheless did set a team record for attendance that one year in San Jose.

    If Oakland were such a slam-dunk great place for a privately built ballpark, how come Wolff and the previous owner Steve Schott have had no interest in building one?

  37. The Warriors: So proud to be in Oakland they call the team the “Golden State” Warriors.

  38. @PJK– any sarcasm aside, the Warriors owners will seemingly never have pride in playing Oakland, hence not using the city’s name; many of us are aware of that already. These big money owners could solve that problem by privately financing an arena in SF, can they not?
    Back to the A’s and Oakland…the days are counting down towards the first EIR draft to be complete…an interesting time awaits.

  39. The San Jose v. Oakland arguments using Sharks and Warriors data are way off base. NHL and NBA attendance has nothing to do with MLB attendance. Add to that the Sharks and Warriors benefit greatly from being the only game in town for their respective sports. Those oranges have nothing to do with the A’s apples.

  40. @pjk–“a terrible Warriors team camping out in San Jose for one year with no intention of staying?”
    Kind of sounds like Wolff and his A’s, camping out in Oakland with no intention of staying.

    I agree on the Golden State name. Shameful. The owners would love to name them San Francisco Warriors.
    Jean Quan;s gonna push a name change to Oakland, but we’ll see if that’s a waste of time.

    I

  41. @Jeffro–Glad to see you in here as of late; it’s been awhile. Is ML taking a breather and you stepping in moderating this wacky board in his place?

  42. Staying away from comments on this thread. I’m watching Sacramento right now.

  43. lots of Oakland bashing …. again … thanks pjk … do you hold your nose when you drive to the coliseum?

    @ML – you can fix this, if you want to ….

  44. @ jeffrey “NHL and NBA attendance has nothing to do with MLB attendance.”
    I have to respectfully disagree, at least in the Sharks case. NHL hockey is a niche sport which has struggled in nearly every non-traditional market it has landed in – except San Jose. The fact the Sharks have been so successful is indicative of much broader demand in San Jose, (a) for recognition for the city, and (b) for major league sports in general. Do you think people going to Sharks games, particularly in the early years, were hockey fans per se? They went because they were thrilled for the recognition of their city finally having a major league team, and also because it was the only one that was remotely convenient.

    @jk “Kind of sounds like Wolff and his A’s, camping out in Oakland with no intention of staying.”
    If this is intended as an excuse for the A’s poor attendance it won’t wash, as it ignores nearly forty years of poor attendance before Wolff. Community-minded Walter Haas suffered much quicker attendance loss that either Wolff or Schott when the team’s fortunes turned on his watch. Oakland has simply not proven a good location for baseball. It may be a good football town, and it may be a good basketball town, but there simply is no evidence it is a good baseball town.

  45. @jk “The W’s also have bigger TV ratings too, so their interest is much broader.”
    NBA basketball is simply wildly more popular than NHL hockey. You could make the same comparison is virtually any market which has both, and it would come out the same.

    BTW, I also agree that “Golden State” is a travesty and that the team should be the Oakland Warriors.

  46. and riffing off of bartleby, Mount Davis isn’t solely to blame for the poor attendance. Further, the 1968-1999 attendance comparison between the Giants and A’s is misguided. The A’s fielded some excellent teams during that time and played in a much nicer ballpark yet their drawing power was essentially the same as the Giants.

    Though, this is barely a footnote in this current environment. The A’s need a new ballpark now regardless of how well or poorly they drew in decades past. We all know the current state of affairs. We know it rests with MLB deciding whether or not permits the A’s to built in SJ. Bickering isn’t going to change that.

  47. Being from San Jose I echo Bartleby’s statements on the Sharks being the only team in such a large city.

    Do I like Hockey? No, but I root for the Sharks because they are the only team my home town has despite the fact it is by far the largest City in the Bay Area.

    @jk- Terrible comparison with the Warriors, for the simple fact they are the only NBA team in a 8 million person market as Jeffrey points out

    The Warriors get fans because there is no other option.

    To put it in perspective:
    -The Warriors are 12th place in the West and are top 10 in attendance.
    -The Hornets are 7th in the West and are bottom 7 in attendance.

    If the Hornets were in San Jose they would be selling out every game no problem with the quality team they have. The Warriors in turn would lose 2k fans per game and still would be in the top half in attendance despite a bad team.

    That tells you right there the Bay Area is in fact a 2-team NBA market, with the Kings leaving it is only a matter of time before San Jose gets a team….probably sooner than later.

    The A’s on the other hand have direct competition 10-12 miles away with the Giants who have the best ballpark in MLB and are defending WS champions.

    The A’s need to get as far away from the Giants as possible to succeed from a business and fan perspective.

    Briggs is correct despite the A’s having much better teams from 68-99 they outdrew the Giants only 17 out of 32 years……that tells you something right there.

    Oakland even with the Raiders gone for 15 years did not get good attendance and with ATT Park so close a new ballpark would not change the A’s still getting revenue sharing from the league.

    It is ironic that the Hornets or the NBA itself will be in the South Bay before the 49ers and A’s….WOW

  48. bartleby… There are several factors that have contributed to San Jose beating the NHL Sunbelt Jinx… It isn’t JUST because of San Jose on the jersey, though that is part of it for some folks. For instance… The Bay Area has a lot more people than most of the other non traditional markets… That helps. The Sharks draw from as far away as Sacramento… That helps. The Bay Area is place where folks from all over the globe come to live… That helps.
    .
    It would be speculation to say that an NHL team anywhere in the Bay Area would draw just as well. Pointless, really, because there is no way to disprove/prove it. The bottom line is that the NHL finally made the Bay Area work in San Jose, and while South Bay pride may be part of the reason the team draws well, it certainly isn’t the only and I don’t think you can say it is the most significant. I can definitely say that there is no correlation between hockey attendance and mlb attendance, in general. That is simply math.

  49. San Jose isn’t on the jersey. A Shark biting a hockey stick is.

  50. Has anyone picked up The Extra 2%? Just out of curiosity, are there any A’s fans here who didn’t like Moneyball?

  51. FWIW there is an “SJ” on the Shark’s home alternate jersey. 😉

  52. @ jeffrey “It isn’t JUST because of San Jose on the jersey”

    I agree. However, I think this is a much bigger factor in San Jose’s case than for other Sun Belt NHL teams. San Jose is the tenth largest city in the US, but has less name recognition than any of the other top ten and many cities that are far smaller. Large numbers of folks on the East Coast cannot find San Jose on the map. As such, San Jose suffers from a bit of an inferiority complex. So I think the civic pride factor attached to Sharks games is a much bigger factor than it is for NHL cities like Phoenix, Anaheim, Tampa, Atlanta, Miami or Nashville, all of which have other major league teams AND are well known by the world at large for other reasons.
    “The Bay Area has a lot more people than most of the other non traditional markets… That helps.”
    A little, but if you’re looking at the Bay Area as a whole, it has an unusually high number of teams for a market of its size. The Bay Area is not that much larger than Miami or Atlanta, but has six professional teams compared to four in those markets. And as is constantly pointed out by pro-Oakland folks, San Jose is not terribly convenient for folks in the North Bay. Although I don’t have statistics to prove it, my sense is that Sharks attendance is largely Santa Clara county driven, whereas the Warriors draw far more widely through the region.
    “The Sharks draw from as far away as Sacramento… That helps.”
    Do you have any evidence that the Sharks draw more than a token number of people from Sacramento? If Sacramento represented a significant part of Sharks attendance, I would be very, very surprised.
    “The Bay Area is place where folks from all over the globe come to live… That helps.”
    How so? Do you think a big part of Sharks crowds are made up of Finnish emigres?
    “It would be speculation to say that an NHL team anywhere in the Bay Area would draw just as well. Pointless, really, because there is no way to disprove/prove it.”
    All true, but I’m going to speculate anyway. There is some reason why hockey has succeeded in San Jose but struggles in other non-traditional markets. There are five professional teams bunched up in a relatively small area in San Francisco and Oakland. I don’t believe if the Sharks played in Oakland they’d be doing anywhere near as well. What reason do non-hockey fans in San Francisco and Oakland have to adopt the sport? They have plenty of sports choices a stones-throw away already. Whereas in San Jose, before the Sharks came you had to be very committed to want to try to see a professional sporting event on a weeknight. There’s no doubt in my mind a lot of people in the South Bay became hockey fans largely because it was convenient.
    “The bottom line is that the NHL finally made the Bay Area work in San Jose, and while South Bay pride may be part of the reason the team draws well, it certainly isn’t the only and I don’t think you can say it is the most significant.”
    I never said it is the most significant. But I do believe it is significant, and would be an even bigger factor with a big-time sport like MLB. People down here are very excited about the possible validation, and I know a number of Giants fans who would adopt the A’s if they came down here because of convenience and/or civic pride.
    “I can definitely say that there is no correlation between hockey attendance and mlb attendance, in general. That is simply math.”
    There may not be a direct correlation. However, I do think Sharks attendance is a strong clue about the hunger for major-league sports in the South Bay generally, for reasons which may not apply to the same extent in other hockey markets.

  53. @David–cool article. I’ve seen several similar articles the last few years in other publications like the NY Times on Oakland’s great food scene. Haven’t seen any on San Jose’s though. They do have a Spaghetti Factory in downtown SJ, where as Oakland’s at JLS was torn down due to it not being earthquake safe and the new expansion/renovations at the Square.

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