Radio update and other news for 3/28/11

The weekend came and went with no movement on the KTRB front. Strangely, the Bay Bridge Series will be broadcast on former flagship KFRC-1550 AM. Why? I don’t know, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a Plan B. Still holding out for a final resolution, which Rick Tittle suggests could be coming today. Time for a poll.

The Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick wrote what amounts to a eulogy for the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Worth reading.

In related news, details are emerging about the deal that will bring the Kings to Anaheim. Not included in the $75 million relocation cost are the payment terms of existing debt the Maloofs have with the Kings.

The Maloofs inherited the terms of a $70 million loan from the previous Kings owner when they bought the team, and there’s a reported $67 million left on the loan, which also stipulates a prepayment penalty of $9 million.

That $76 million would have to be paid in full if the Kings relocate or else the Maloofs would lose their arena and the City of Sacramento would acquire a $25 million stake in the team.

Wondering how the 2022 World Cup in Qatar can occur in the hot desert with no domed stadia? Try artificial clouds.

That thing hovering over the stadium? That's a cloud.

Attendance at the Cactus League is down, leading me to believe that it’s oversaturated. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

The Cactus League has essentially been divided into the haves and have-nots, with nine of the 15 teams located on the economically troubled west side of Phoenix. Instead, fans in Arizona are choosing to watch games on the Valley’s east side, where the San Francisco Giants, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Cubs are responsible for more than one-third of the Cactus League’s draw.

AEG chose Gensler to be the lead architect on the downtown LA football stadium, if it happens.

gojohn10 is promoting a worthwhile fundraiser event.

Please join me in supporting Children’s Hospital Oakland by attending an A’s game. I am organizing a fundraiser for the Aug 13th game vs Texas. This is Ray Fosse Bobblehead day and will likely be an important game that will propel the A’s toward the AL West Crown. Tickets are in the Plaza level and are $20 (regularly $24). $8 from every sale gets donated toward the hospital.

If you are unable to attend the game, please consider purchasing a ticket or two anyhow, and donating them. We will be working with various departments in the hospital to identify patient families in need and we will donate as many tickets as possible so that the kids and their families can be present at the game too!

Tickets sales have to go through us and are on sale at the hospital. Since this is inconvenient for most of you, I can purchase the tickets for you if you paypal me. For more information contact me at the email I’ve set up for the event:

I want to sell as many tickets as possible so I am willing to split up the seating so pro-Oaklanders and pro-SJers can enjoy the game in peace 😉


More on the radio situation as it happens.

Update 4:00 PM – Rich Lieberman has the latest. Have the A’s walked away from the table? Is it like going to a car dealership and getting up to leave as a negotiating tactic? We’ll see.

20 thoughts on “Radio update and other news for 3/28/11

  1. Not really shocking why Cactus League fans are going where they are. The east side stadiums are easier to get to (I visited Surprise, Peoria, Phoenix, HohoKam, and Salt River Fields this year, and the west stadiums are just so much further from the population center than the others (particularly Goodyear and Surprise). Additionally for the 4 teams doing well in particular this year, also not a shock. Giants won the Series and this year Phoenix was loaded with Giants fans at every game they played at, home or away, and several they weren’t at too. Rockies and Diamondbacks are benefiting from being at the brand new Salt River Fields, which frankly is in a class all it’s own when compared to the other cactus league stadiums (it truly feels like visiting a major league park that just happens to be a little smaller, not a traditional spring training park). And the Cubs are of course perennial attendance draws because of all the Chicago natives who come down for a winter break.

  2. I’m curious to see what the A’s plans are for KTRB. They’d have to bring in top-rate consultants and eventually talent to transform the station into a viable money maker. I’m sure they’ve thought this thing through, but I’m looking forward to the details. Are they the primary party within a group of investors that’re purchasing the station? If not, are operating costs being covered directly from the A’s?

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone (who has order one) received their new gold jersey yet? My expected delivery date came and went and it hasn’t even shipped yet. I escalated my complaint beyond Customer Service and am waiting for a call back from Shop MLB’s Operations Dept. It’s poor execution to sell new gear but not have it ready by Opening Day.

  3. Without knowing the particulars of the negotiation… It is hard to pick a side. The A’s would probably be best served on an all sports station, but I wonder if the Bay Area can really sustain 3 all sports stations?
    From Comerica’s side of the thing… I am not sure if they think they can offload a bunch of debt by selling the station to someone else who offered less in the initial bidding process?
    The whole thing is baffling right now. The stadium hunt, the radio hunt, Connor Jackson on the roster… It is all baffling.

  4. The beat writers keep commenting on how KTRB has a higher wattage and how this is terrible news. But, I remember reading before that KTRB is frequency-blocked (or something to that effect) by a hugely powerful station in Denver. If the latter is true, what good does it do the team to buy a station whose signal is affected by a situation beyond its control in Denver?

    I’d love for the A’s to create team-centric programming, but what good does it do if people around the Bay can’t hear it anyway?

  5. the only other radio station that is bought up soley by a mlb team is klaa by the laa. stl bought a station themselves but their games are on kmox now yet still own their own radio station.

    here’s a bit of info on klaa.

    wolff has said before he wants to model the a’s after the laa and if the a’s do eventually buy 860 which i think they eventually will, maybe he’ll model 860 after

  6. Nightengale’s East side/West side theory is a gross oversimplification of the attendance issues. When Camelback Ranch opened in 2009, they had great attendance, but the new-ballpark novelty factor eventually wears off. If your team is an also-ran, you may only fill the park when the Giants and Cubs come around. If then.

    HoHoKam is in a so-so part of Mesa that’s probably seen better days. Pretty comparable to the area around Maryvale. It’s not as if all the money in metro Phoenix is in the East Valley. Scottsdale to Surprise only took us an hour…that’s less than my daily commute.

    Dan’s analysis is spot on. Salt River is the talk of the Cactus League right now; we met several people who went there on non-game days just to check it out. Of course they’re doing well. Check back in 3 years, especially if the D-Backs continue to flounder. They have a hard enough time selling regular season tickets.

    The Cubs and Giants will always do well. It’s the teams and the willingness of their fans to travel that matter. Just wait until the new Cubs place opens in 2014.

  7. problem about 860 is the same with probably most stations that the a’s could air on. they shut down during the night or at least power down.

    mentioned klaa previously and they shut down from being a 50k watt station during the day and move to a directional antenna where it goes from 50k to 20k at night.

    1550 for example i don’t think has as strong a signal either in the day or night as 860 did before this whole the station went into receivership.

    there’s not many radio stations that either the a’s could buy or stations that would pick up the a’s that are as good as all a’s fans would want. the only station that remotely would come close would be kgo 810 and i don’t see them picking up the a’s anytime soon.

  8. Arrgh! Wrong email address for the fundraiser. I guess you know what is on my mind. The correct email address is

  9. Briggs I ordered the gold jersey the day it became available in feb. I received it about a week later. sorry to hear you are having a problem with that.

    Is 1550 a more powerful station than 860? I don’t remember it shutting off at 8:30 in the middle of games.

  10. i think 860’s signal is better. also unlike with the raiders, the a’s won’t have an fm station to also listen to if they can’t get the am reception on 1550.

    still think that the a’s will buy 860. imo just too much to lose in losing potentially your own 24 hour SPORTS radio station where you can CONTROL what’s on air.

  11. The Kings are going to Anaheim. That loan for 67M will be repaid on the spot with the 9M dollar early payment fee. The Kings will then turn around and “sell” Power Balance Pavilion (That sounds weird) back to Sacramento for 25M or so and be gone.

    I am actually very happy to see this happen as I have been saying the NBA is in too many bad markets and now with the Kings gone to Anaheim there is one less “bad market” the NBA is in.

    It is a good move as having lived in Orange County for college I can tell you that Staples Center is 2 hrs from OC in traffic. Now OC, Riverside, and San Bernandino Counties have someone to go watch.

    Too bad when the Royals (Kings) play the LA Lakers at home it will be all Lakers fans in the stands. Essentially the Lakers will get 2 more home games a year.

    Now for the NBA to get a team to San Jose soon as it does not make sense to leave the Warriors all by themselves in Nor Cal.

  12. what nba teams are willing to make the move out of their current location?

    i keep hearing two teams in particular, the hornets and grizz. doens’t look like no can handle a nba team. grizz i don’t think should’ve ever made the move out of vancouver. i read here a few weeks back about teams moving and somebody mentioned the pacers? really. conseco is widely regarded as the best nba arena and the city of indy and the state really is a great basketball area. why would they leave?

    sj, kc, and sea, maybe even van are all cities that could be looking to gain an nba team. sj, kc, and van all have the venues with both sj/van already have had nba games played at their venues. kc’s arena is supposedly nba ready too. sea doesn’t have an arena. they’ll probably build a new one as i doubt they’ll once again renovate key arena which is something they already did back in the 90s.

  13. i don’t see how comerica wins here. a’s have their fall back station in 1550. a’s supposedly offered the most out the initial bids back late 10/early 11. unless one of the other groups that bid for 860 months ago ponies up. even then will the other group come close to what the a’s feel is a fair offer for 860 currently, i doubt it and that other group would know the a’s are out and could potential offer considerably less than the a’s offer?

    if a’s just walk away now and don’t look back and comerica sells 860 to the other group for less, they both lose out in essence with comerica losing more.

  14. RM,
    What’s more important: owning your own radio station or having a stake/ownership in your own sports channel?
    I ask because the A’s might be presented with an opportunity to buy the Kings stake in CSNCA when they move to Anaheim.
    Maybe they view “owning” CSNCA as more important short term than throwing the bank at 860. Just my theory.

    • @tony d. – It’s usually easier to get a stake of a RSN, so that’s more commonplace. A radio station is a great thing to have especially with the hegemony the A’s face in the Bay Area. Both can be great from a revenue standpoint. An RSN can be a cleaner route to revenue since an ownership means getting a piece of monthly subscriber revenue, whereas radio stations are dependent on ads.

  15. i hope someday they’ll have both but i’d guess they’d rather have ownership of a tv station than radio station. i’m guessing they get more ratings and revenue on the tv side of things when compared to the radio.

    still have a radio home where your fans can call in and talk about the team is huge. a’s fans got a little taste of that with the much improved post game show with townsend and with tittle’s mid morning show from sportsbyline. i can only dream and imagine a lineup of local radio shows or local oriented shows thru out the day taking phone calls about teams like the a’s and even raiders, even though i’m not a raiders fan, although don’t know how realistic that would be. still what 860 has now as small it maybe has been a huge breathe of fresh air and hate to lose it because i wouldn’t bet on 1550 or most other radio stations the a’s coud go to would carry other sports related programming other than the a’s games and pre/post game shows.

  16. hilarious letter written by sacto city manager asking…I mean begging…for Anaheim to stop negotiations—makes the sf and oakland letters look only half as ridiculous—read this for a good laugh- poor guy must want to put a bag over his head for having to write this–


  17. @ML–.html

    I suggest a blog post on the financing mechanisms being used to lure the Kings to Anaheim.

    This article above from the OC Register I found very interesting.

    The terms of the bonds being floated state that the City would delay its share of the profits from the Honda Center until the bonds are paid off.

    The bonds themselves are being 100% funded by “private” investors from the Orange County area. A flex of muscle from the local corporations.

    It also states in the event the bonds go bad and the project fails the investors take the risk of non-payment…..that is unheard of! Hence why the City is making a sacrifice short term by not taking payments.

    It seems Anaheim and their private sector are very confident on the Honda Center generating enough profit over 10 years to cover the bonds principal and interest for these bonds.

    Right now one could infer the Honda Center is making 12M a year or so from the Ducks and all the events. They are estimating an additional 5M-10M a year from the Kings being tenants.

    At first glance I would have to agree this is a good move where the private sector is essentially paying for the Kings to move to Anaheim.

    The Orange County and Anaheim taxpayers are in no way responsible for the bonds and they get an NBA team local to them for no cost to them.

    This has to be one of the best deals that any city has ever reached for a professional team to relocate.

    If OC could pull this off I am sure Silicon Valley could do something similar for the A’s. I now see why Lew Wolff says he can build in San Jose and not Oakland.

    What private investors would invest in bonds to build an Oakland ballpark? A San Jose ballpark could use the exact principles that Anaheim used with its private sector to fund a stadium…On a larger level of course.

    The SVLG letter has to be 3 or 4 times the support OC had for an NBA team….It is hard to argue otherwise.

    Sorry for the long running comment and I do not mean to hijack the thread…..U did mention the Kings briefly though! 🙂

    Your thoughts?

  18. both steward and inman this morning either thru tweet or an article they wrote in the newspaper said from their source the a’s will have worked out a deal with 860.

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