News for 6/27/11

You should be following CNBC Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell on Twitter just for the knowledge drops. Today you get the bonus of all bonuses: Rovell ripped his pants going through an airport security checkpoint and is dealing with the embarrassment.

Unlike Rovell, Frank McCourt apparently feels no embarrassment. He had the Dodgers file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Delaware court today, in what could be interpreted as one last-ditch attempt to maintain control over the team. $150 million in additional short-term financing may be coming from a JP Morgan-run hedge fund, with a whopping 10% interest rate (though it’s not a worse deal than what the Mets are getting). An initial bankruptcy hearing will be held tomorrow. Both Jamie McCourt and Bud Selig have expressed disapproval with the bankruptcy filing. For his part, Selig is said to be offering a better interim financing deal than what JP Morgan is giving Frank McCourt. Selig’s strategy has been for some time to do nothing and give McCourt enough rope to hang himself. By allowing McCourt to perform this maneuver, Selig has given his combatant just a little more rope.

Governor Jerry Brown and leading Democrats in the California Legislature gave a brief statement in support of a new budget which, through a series of cuts, cover up to 75% of the remaining deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. The rest is a $5 billion can that Brown is kicking down the road. Brown is now aiming for a November 2012 election date for tax extensions he was gunning for this year. The press conference was incredibly light on details. Naturally, Republicans want nothing to do with the budget plan. Oh, and then there’s this from Sacramento Bee Capitol reporter Kevin Yamamura:

Already-approved redevelopment bills will go to Guv as part of new Dem #cabudget.

The new budget has been designed to pass without GOP votes, just as the previous one did before Brown vetoed it. Redevelopment interests are looking to file lawsuits as early as this week.

Oakland City Council is expected to approve the sale of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center to the city’s redevelopment agency for $28.3 million, in an effort to bridge the city’s budget gap. Not known is exactly how much of the sale proceeds will be used for the budget, with all three budget proposals using different amounts.

In radio news, Lew Wolff will be on The Chris Townsend Show Wednesday. 95.7 also hired former 49er cornerback Eric Davis to start at the station on August 1, at which point we can only hope that the NFL lockout is over and Davis can talk training camps. I bet they’ll figure out a way to team Davis up with Rick Tittle, who will do the 1-3 slot on Wednesday as part of a cavalcade of hosts, including CSN’s Jim Kozimor and Brodie Brazil today, Dave Benz and Scott Reiss later in the week.

35 thoughts on “News for 6/27/11

  1. re: Oakland City Council is expected to approve the sale of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center to the city’s redevelopment agency for $28.3 million,

    …So does this mean most of Oakland’s redev money for VC is going to the Kaiser purchase instead? What does that leave Oakland with? $18 million total to condemn properties and make infrastructure improvements at VC? (Meanwhile, more than six months and no preliminary EIR. Sure looks like they’re just keeping a lid on what might be very bad news in that report. )

  2. McCourt is dragging MLB through his mess…what a terrible thing to do to a historic franchise. How long till Selig acts?

  3. @pjk – The money comes from whatever balances are on hand for two redevelopment districts who bring in the lion’s share of tax increment. Once those are cleared and other commitments are accounted for, there’s almost nothing left.

  4. hmm, that must mean he’ll be teamed up with Townie.

  5. so is 95.7 gonna hire somebody in the media here locally linked to the raiders like a romo or atkinson down the road?

  6. @letsgoas Please, no Romo. There are so many other ex-Raiders available. That guy is not a good representation, in my opinion.

  7. @David – lol, lacob pulled a Neukum and trying to establish a south bay presence so he can claim future TR when Ellison buys a team!
    @ML – are all if these oakland moves legal? Selling to yourself at a premium rate seems somehow unehtical. What happens down the road when there’s no longer an RDA to bail itself out? Really shady imho….

  8. Btw – sorry about spelling errors, this ipad2 is a little difficult to write on.

  9. Here’s yet another article on the A’s attendance woes. Good quotes by Andy Dolich.

    …”Really, it just made me sad,” he said. “There was a time — and it’s getting harder for people to remember — when the Coliseum was the place to be. It was the Giants who were an afterthought. It was the Giants who were playing in a dump and waiting for high-profile opponents to come into town. It’s completely flipped.”
    In the meantime, owner Lew Wolff repeatedly has said that the Coliseum is not a viable business option and wants a new venue in the South Bay.
    Dolich thinks such threats might be backfiring at the ticket window. “Ownership’s message has been: ‘This is a cesspool and we’re getting the hell out of here.’ That’s the message that’s been permeating for five years? Six years?”…..

  10. Yeah… I think Dolich is an awesome guy, but this is really unrealsitic:
    “The Haas family didn’t threaten. They didn’t complain. They built a heck of an A’s team, brought in a great manager, bonded with the community — and looked what happened. It’s not like it can’t be done,” Dolich said. “No, you’re not playing in AT&T Park or Camden Yards, but why not just do what is the most important thing in pro sports: doing what it takes to win?”

  11. @Jeffro–AD was a marketing genius back in the day. The whole Billy Ball thing was a hoot. Love the song, the whole TV ad campaign. I still have a Billy Ball shirt tucked away from 1981.
    It was so cool to see actual A’s TV commercials and print ads. Before that, Finley spent little to nothing on marketing/promotions. You had to have schedule or program to know what was coming up, and there was only a few thousand (or 100?) who had

  12. I think Dolich was referring to is play with the hand you are dealt with. Yes we all want a shiny new park , but we don’t have one. And one isn’t coming in the near future, even if things go Lew’s way. Meanwhile stop bashing the facility and run it better. Thats what the A’s SHOULD be doing.

  13. …it’s interesting how the A’s are just not even in the consciousness of the Bay Area, largely thanks to the success the Giants have had with their ballpark and on the field. The Coliseum IS a problem. Fixing it up is like George Steinbrenner’s comment about not going to dances with old ladies in new dresses. I’m not really seeing anything the A’s can do to run it better; they already have the best prices in professional sports and still, no one goes. Oakland and Alameda County ruined whatever possibility there was to fix it up for baseball by turning it into a football monstrosity, producing a facility inadequate for both sports.

  14. Let’s see what the A’s can do to run the Coliseum better and check off what’s already been done::
    * Some free parking – check
    * Cheapest tickets in all of pro sports – check
    * Kids section – check
    * All-access club section – check
    * Wide selection of foods – check
    * Wide selection of souvenirs – check
    * Lots of giveaways – check
    * BART access – check
    * Lots of parking – check
    * Economical luxury suites – check
    …And now the end result: 27th out of 30 in attendance, a figure skewed high because all the premium, high-demand teams (Red Sox, Yankees, Giants) already have visited the Coliseum. Now, it’s only the Marlins, Blue Jays and other low-demand teams coming in. But I’m sure people will continue to blame all this on the owners (“They canceled FanFest!”) We’ve already discussed the issue of improving the team, something a bit out of the A;s control when topnotch free agents like Beltre flat out refuse to consider Oakland and others apparently have no-trade-to-Oakland clauses in their contracts.

  15. pjk is right. You can slap lipstick on that pig that is the Coliseum all you want and talk it up all you want, but in the end it’s still the “cesspool” that Dolich claims Wolff and Schottman were calling it all these years. Fact is no amount of talking up the Coliseum will repair it’s poor sight lines, lack of amenities, lack of any views, crappy (arguably dangerous) surroundings, etc… He’s unrealistic in comparing the old days of the 70’s and 80’s to today. Stadiums back then were all like the Coliseum or worse (like Candlestick). Today the Coliseum is literally the last of a breed and the worst venue in MLB. No amount of talking it up will help that. Nor will fielding a great winning team. They tried that in 2006 and they couldn’t even fill the stadium for playoff games.

  16. Dan they sold out every game for the 2006 playoffs.

  17. re: 2006 playoff sellouts

    …Wonder how much of that was walk-up sales. I entered the “lottery”: for 2006 World Series tickets and got them with no problem. And the A’s that year were ranked 26th out of 30 in overall attendance, despite being just 4 victories shy of a World Series berth.

  18. The playoffs that had a lot of empty seats was 2002 against Minnesota though that was due to being screwed over and playing two midweek day games.

    I understand what Dolich is saying because I think the A’s marketing has been quite poor. However though it was true that “you’re not playing in AT&T Park or Camden Yards” during the Haas years, in the late 80s and early 90s nobody was.

  19. …How has their marketing been “quite poor?” What are they supposed to do? Send Kurt Suzuki door-to-door to pitch tickets? Since the 1990s, the A’s have had their ballpark downgraded against their will to a football stadium while everyone else got ultra-modern digs, including having baseball’s showcase ballpark right across the Bay. Wonder why no one wants to go to A’s games?

  20. …FWIW, I believe that some day, this sad sage will indeed have a happy ending – for the A’s. They will get the snazzy ballpark they richly deserve but it’s looking more and more everyday like it won’t be anywhere in the Bay Area. Some city will embrace them rather than disrespect them. (Too bad this city probably won’t be San Jose) And we can watch already-sky-high Giants tickets skyrocket even further in price once the Giants get their monopoly. Won’t matter to me, though, I’ll be done with Major League Baseball, except for maybe having a casual interest in the Dodgers and, yes, the A’s, wherever they end up. And, of course, rooting nightly for whatever team is playing the Giants.

  21. @Nathan–2002 playoffs were messed up. Empty seats from high prices ($35) for the 3rd deck against boring Minn. on a weekday game day. Also remember it was the freak show carryover from 2001 with Barry Bonds across the bay, and they were in the playoffs too.
    But they did sell out the smaller capacity tarped playoff games in 2006. I’d say, if they somehow make it this year, open section by section the 3rd deck based on the demand, and don’t overprice it like last time.
    @pjk–root for the Dodgers if the A’s leave? WTF? I guess if LW owned them, a lot on here would too, since they love the guy so much. I hate the Giants a lot, and the Dodgers are a close 2nd.

  22. …It’s very simple: Root for the Frisco Giants biggest rival.

  23. @pjk – finally, something other than being A’s fans, that we can agree on!

  24. @jk You think $35 for playoff tickets is overpriced? This is not helping your claim to having a good grasp of economic reality.
    And as an A’s fan, what on earth do you have against the Dodgers? All your SoCal disdain should be focused on the Angels.

  25. @eb ” Please, no Romo. There are so many other ex-Raiders available. That guy is not a good representation, in my opinion.”
    There you go, another thing we agree on! I hated Romo when he was a Niner, hated him as a Bronco; sure wasn’t happy when he became a Raider. Even before the Marcus Williams thing, which was a total disgrace. I think he’s one of the most classless people to ever play in the NFL (and that’s saying a lot).

  26. re: All your SoCal disdain should be focused on the Angels.

    …a bit hard to hate the Angels sometimes since they gave us 8 more years of being able to say the Frisco Giants had never won a World Series. And they kept Bonds from ever getting a Series ring. I’m grateful to the Angels for that.

  27. While I wouldn’t join them in rooting for the Dodgers I can understand the logic. If the A’s leave I would still hate the Giants, their organization and their fans. Rooting for their biggest rival would make sense. Only reason I wouldn’t join them is I already root for an NL team actively in the San Diego Padres.

  28. more we can agree on pjk!

  29. re: I hate the Giants a lot, and the Dodgers are a close 2nd.

    …I thought the enemy of my enemy is my friend? Hating the Giants AND the Dodgers? Huh???

  30. I hate the Giants for lots of reasons and the Dodgers for one: The1988 World Series and that #@%&!! Kirk Gibson highlight they show over and over again. If the A’s leave the Bay area, I’ll choose a random NL team with no history against the A’s- the Colorado Rockies maybe.

  31. If the A’s leave I don’t know who I’d root for, but I do know that I would cross my fingers for ANY team that plays the Giants. I’m probably bitter, but as of now Giants = my most hated sports franchise.

  32. 2 teams I like—the A’s and anyone who beats the gints… an A’s fan no matter where they go—and will never be a gints supporter–

  33. Yes, I root for whoever the G’s play, but the Dodgers beating us in 1988 and that a-hole Lasorda, I hate this franchise with a passion and am laughing my ass off on what’s happening to them now. The Angels will outdraw them for the first time EVER.

    @Bartleby–if I recall correctly, Minn and Angels had seats as low as $10 in 2002 for first round playoffs. Ours was $35. You need to price what your market can bare. Greed and it backfired. I’d say if it was similar thing this year, open the 3rd deck and sell them for $15-20.

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