Nuggets from the Boxer and Reed interviews

I recorded the two interviews using TuneIn Radio (really worth getting on your smartphone platform of choice), so I had a chance to listen to them again. I picked up on a few things that I thought would be interesting to discuss. First, the Boxer portion.

  • Boxer mentioned that the suite requirement for Victory Court was 32-33 boxes, not 40 (which is what Wolff is aiming for). Perhaps this would explain why the capacity is greater (39,000), to make up for the reduced suite requirement. Maybe this is a realization of how difficult it is to sell suites in the East Bay with the corporate environment.
  • Since Boxer left Oakland’s Planning Commission in February, he hasn’t been as plugged in regarding the EIR process. That’s a shame when you consider that there’s such a vacuum when it comes to real information right now.
  • Townsend was bit miffed when he tried to get Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on for the segment. Her office referred him to Boxer instead. That’s not to say that Boxer wasn’t good – he was, especially because he talked for an hour – but it shows there’s a disconnect. They want to say that they’re operating within a gag order, but that gag order should be extended to San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, so why was he available while Quan wasn’t?
  • People jumped on Boxer for misstating attendance and Townsend for naming the wrong company for the ballpark, to which I say, “STOP.” None of that matters. You’re getting distracted by the most insignificant details.
  • The Coliseum has been effectively deepsixed as any kind of ballpark site by MLB.
  • Boxer admitted that if redevelopment goes away, getting the plan going would be very challenging. He notes that some development powers should be enshrined in a successor agency, though it’s unclear how far-reaching those powers would be. What’s going for Oakland is that CEDA/ORA has bonding capacity for further land acquisitions and infrastructure improvements.
  • Boxer also mentioned that the EIR process takes the better part of a year to complete. While he was probably referring to the entire process (it usually takes longer), a draft shouldn’t take anywhere near that long.
  • Boxer alleges that Schott/Hofmann didn’t pursue the Uptown site because if they committed to it, they feared that the franchise’s value would drop. Curious. Update: The franchise value would have dropped because the team would have been less attractive if it were locked into a new stadium.
  • Boxer mentions in passing that Wolff may have violated the contract with the Coliseum Authority by talking to San Jose in the past. That again? If that’s a problem, then just sue already, stop talking about it and do it. Before John Russo escapes to Alameda.

Now for the Reed segment, which was much shorter.

  • Reed hasn’t had any direct contact with Bud Selig. He and his team have been working solely through Selig’s committee. Reed thinks the work is finished, though it’s hard to tell at this point.
  • As in recent print interviews, Reed is palpably frustrated.
  • Reed’s not giving up on the ballpark as long as Wolff is optimistic.
  • No word on whether Reed would try for this November’s election. I’m guess no unless word comes down from on high.
  • Reed referred to the new joint powers authority (San Jose Diridon Development Authority) as carrying on the ballpark development work as SJRA shrinks or disappears.

What did we learn today? Not much. There will be some pro-Oakland folks who are happy that Boxer was on for an hour, which was good. However, the fact that no new information came out was highly disappointing. Hope can’t live on words alone.

P.S. Really great work by Chris Townsend today. There’s been more stadium talk in the last week than in the last five years on all of the sports and talk radio stations combined.

25 thoughts on “Nuggets from the Boxer and Reed interviews

  1. I am in love with 95.7

  2. Something else with regards to the Boxer portion: when asked by Townsend if Boxer’s rhetorical question of “Why can’t they(South Bay companies) support a team in Oakland” had ever been broached by Boxer to those same companies, he solely responded “No.” Should he have not had a discussion with someone from the SVLG? That was a telling moment to me.

  3. “Wolff is optimistic.” That’s all you need to know.

  4. Tony, Uncle Lew has been optimistic for, what, 5 years now?
    Gmanca… Devil’s advocate: why would LGO approach SVLG? It isn’t a secret that SVLG wants the A’s in San Jose. Of course they will say “We aren’t interested” now. The real question is would they be interested in an Oakland park if San Jose is shot down by MLB? I’d think they would be pushing for round 2 in Fremont.

  5. While the SVLG companies would prefer a ballpark in San Jose I think many of them would buy advertising and suites if it gets built in Oakland. A shiny new ballpark in a hip upcoming area has a way of attracting advertisers.

  6. Jeffrey, the real question you posit would require LGO to talk to the SVLG, correct?

    The fact is that there should have been some communication between LGO and SVLG to see what the issues are so that should there be a future option in Oakland that there would be some covered territory between the two. If the SVLG position is that they won’t support a Oakland stadium at all, then LGO should know that and be able to explain the situation to an audience as opposed to the rhetorical flourishes from Boxer. It points to the lack of due diligence and reactive work that the Victory Court proposal has been fraught with.

  7. Why would you advertise in Oakland when yxou got A much higher profile park in SF? Sorry- can’t see SVLG companies supporting a ballpark in Oakland to the level in SJ or SF

  8. @ Jeffrey,
    5 years ago Wolff was talking Pac Commons/Fremont, all the while keeping an eye down the road at DSJ. But I’ll give you Fremont. If (and at this point in the game I think it’s a big “if”) somehow SJ was shot down by MLB, I think Wolff and company go back to Fremont vs. dealing with Oakland. At this point the only thing that can screw up San Jose is…well…San Jose.

  9. By the way, way OT: Tony La Russa’s daughter is now a Raiderette. Rejoice Raider Nation!

  10. A large percentage of the Silicon Valley corporate market is found in Redwood City/Menlo Park/Palo Alto/Los Altos/Mountain View. Anyone who has ever tried to cross the Dumbarton Bridge during rush hour will tell you companies in that area will not buy club seats or suites in Oakland in any significant numbers. The trip literally takes at least twice as long as the trip to AT&T Park, and there is no transit option which shortens it or relieves the pain. Why on earth would they?
    I take Boxer’s comments on the number of suites and overall seating planned for Victory Court as a tacit admission of what I’ve been saying all along, not to mention the notion that an Uptown ballpark would have actually made the franchise value go down.

    • BTW, I added a note to the post about Uptown. The franchise value drop was feared because the A’s would’ve been locked into the Uptown ballpark instead of being “free agents.”

  11. Roscoe, I don’t doubt that some woud buy packages in Oakland… I do doubt that it would be enough to come up with the necessary commitments to pay for the theoretical stadium. 35 box holders certainly isn’t enough.
    gmanca, sure. It would require they talk.

  12. Exactly, the franchise value would have “dropped” because it would have limited the number of potential buyers for Schott and Hoffman. Boxer said they were trying to unload the team at the time.

  13. Jeffrey, I see your point and it is a good one. I’m thinking there might be other companies that are not in the SVLG that would also be interested. Dreyers, Clorox, Chevron, Wells Fargo, Pandora, and Pixar come to mind. A combination of SVLG and other East Bay companies might just be enough. Does that not sound reasonable?

  14. That’s as bad as Power Balance Pavilion.

  15. The Big instead of the Big O? I can live with that.

  16. re: Overstock sponsorship of the Coliseum. I see Overstock is based in Salt Lake City. So we’ve yet to ever see an East Bay corporation step up and buy naming rights in Oakland, still

  17. @pjk As long as they still sell soda and coffee it’s cool.

  18. PJK. Remember the Compaq Center at San Jose? Compaq was from Houston…

  19. Barteby is 100% correct that Silicon Valley corporations will not support an Oakland ballpark. You guys ever take 880 North into Oakland during rush hour?

    It is as they say “murda” (Hip hop slang term).

    This is why Victory Court is not feasible because why sit 1.5-2hrs from Silicon Valley when you can take 280N with no traffic pretty much and get there from South San Jose is 1hr or less???

    Even if you are from the East Bay or SF getting to that location is not fun at all and that is something that killed VC in the eyes of Lew Wolff years ago.

    Uptown lowering the value of the team? What kind of logic is that?

    A shiny ballpark in Uptown would have increased the value of the team big time and allowed Schott/Hoffman to sell for more.

    Remember Schott/Hoffman offered $100M for a new ballpark if Oakland/Alameda County could come up with the rest. They even had an agreement to renovate the Coliseum for basball before Mt. Davis ruined the place.

    If Schott and Hoffman could have gotten Uptown done they would have clearly moved forward with it considering the above evidence.

    Doug Boxer has always been a strange dude to me…..Now even more so than ever.

    On a side note I agree with Townsend that the A’s have 3/4 vote or San Jose would have been trashed days ago……It is just Selig not forcing a decision upon the Giants that is stalling this out.

    If 2015 holds true then by the end of this season some decision must be made.

  20. somebody just shoot me if the Raiders and the A’s are still playing at the Big…otherwise known as the shithole… in 2017

  21. The naming rights deal may have been the best thing to come out of the HP/Compaq merger, even the entire Fiorina era.

  22. Compaq had a very large campus in Cupertino, so it’s not like they were totally out of the area.

  23. Roscoe, none of us really know what sort of corporate support is necessary. Using the Giants funding mix as a guide… The corporate base would need to come up with 20% from Luxury Box/Charter seats and 28% fr0m naming rights (plus another 2% between the two as Pac Bell park had 4% TIF). Pac Bell was 48% presales/naming rights and 48% a loan.
    So basically, 50% of the stadium’s construction would have to come from presales of tickets and naming rights/sponsorships. $230M. The A’s would also have get a $230M loan. That is if the estimates of $460M are true and the A’s use the exact same funding mix as the Giants.
    That is a lot of scratch.

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