News for 8/30/11

There’s a little back-and-forth between the Chargers and a LA-based blogger who has concluded that AEG is buying 96% of the team from the Spanos family, with the intent of moving the franchise to a new downtown LA stadium. Chargers spokesperson Mark Fabiani has said unequivocally that the team will not be sold.

Tim Kawakami has done some back-of-the-envelope numbers on financing for the 49ers stadium and has come up with many of the same conclusions written here a year ago.

Chron sports editor Al Saracevic reports on a new parking study commissioned by a SF Planning Commissioner takes issue with the 49ers stadium EIR’s assessment that parking inventory will be “equal to or superior to any in the NFL.” Considering the way this new study was derived, the results have to be taken with a grain of salt. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t good points. I’m absolutely certain that tailgating, of the kind Niner fans currently experience at the ‘Stick, will be practically extinct. It’ll be largely replaced by team-sponsored fan zones and other tailgating facsimiles.

BANG is asking fans to submit suggestions as to how the Raiders can increase attendance in Oakland. Send responses to or

A fan fell down a stairwell at Rangers Ballpark on Saturday. The unidentified 24 year-old man was knocked unconscious by the fall and remains in a local hospital.

I want take this opportunity to address something discussed in the last comments thread. There’s an opinion – generally espoused by Rick Tittle – that the A’s should spend money on the Coliseum to make things a little more fan friendly. Tittle frequently cites the investment made by Peter Magowan when he assumed control of the Giants as a good example. It sounds good in theory, but it doesn’t explain how this would work. Let’s get a few facts out of the way regarding what the Giants did:

  • The Giants spent $5 million in 1994 to add new LF bleachers, field boxes, the outfield fence, and the out-of-town scoreboard above the RF pavilion.
  • The money also went toward replacing the dirt warning track with the rubberized “tartan” surface. After all, you can’t have high rollers in field boxes stepping on dirt to reach their seats, or have wind-blown dust in their eyes.
  • In 2011 dollars, the inflation-adjusted value would be $8 million or less.

We’ve talked a lot about what it would take to spruce up the Coli, even to the point of fans initiating the effort since we can’t expect the A’s, Raiders, or Coliseum Authority to do it. We’ve heard that the Coliseum Authority may be replacing the obsolete scoreboard system, which is a good and necessary move. However, there aren’t many other changes that could be made that wouldn’t adversely impact either the A’s or the Raiders. Consider this:

  • I’ve suggested in the past that the best way to expand the lower concourse is to take out the last 3-4 rows of the field level seats and make new platforms for wheelchair seating areas and standing room sections. Doing this would remove 3,000+ seats, which would drop the Coliseum’s capacity below 60,000, below NFL guidelines. I can’t imagine either the Raiders or the NFL going for that, even if the Raiders don’t routinely sell out the joint.
  • The A’s can’t add more seats on the field because space is taken by the dugouts, the existing field boxes, the rolled up field tarp, and the bullpens.
  • The A’s can’t reduce foul territory by reconfiguring the lower deck without major engineering and construction challenges.
  • The Coliseum does actually have some modern amenities, such as the West Side Club and the Diamond Level seats.
  • As much as people complain about the troughs in the men’s restrooms, the decision to keep those in place was made in 1995. Have you ever noticed that the troughs have those sensors above that can tell when you’re finished and then flush? That’s the extent of change in the original restrooms.
  • It’s possible that the A’s could invest in expanding the clubhouse facilities, but I don’t know what complexities lie in attempting that.

Now let’s say that you own the A’s, and like what Magowan did 17 years ago, you’d like to spend $8 million, no, up to $10 million on the Coliseum to improve the experience. Take the scoreboards off the table. What would you improve? Do you have any idea how much it would cost? Is there a decent chance you’d recoup that investment? One thing to keep in mind is that when Wally Haas sunk money into the Coliseum, he was eventually paid back by the Coliseum Commission. He eventually saw greater revenues during the Bash Brothers era, but was unable to sustain that in the long run. Many of the current deficiencies with the Coliseum can’t and won’t be addressed by quick fixes.

Before you chime in, read this ESPN article about the A’s and their relationship with the Coliseum by Mark Kreidler, one of the “Rise Guys” brought in from Sacramento a month ago. Then look at the date. Some things never change.

134 thoughts on “News for 8/30/11

  1. I can’t agree with the condition that the improvements have to be made with the caveat of recouping cost. When Magowan made the improvements, he was not assured the vote in the approval for the new ballpark. Nor do I agree with the putting-aside of the scoreboard improvements because of the fact that it’s taken 8 years for there to be any change.

    I would have them change the double walls in the outfield to either a half slant or curve to allow for more home-runs, improve the PA system, and significantly improve concessions. If it’s feasible, change the scoreboards to screens.

  2. vucinich said years ago that they’ve discussed expanding the a’s clubhouse which is one of the smallest in baseball and he said they can’t since the walls are load bearing. couldn’t they just add load bearing columns then?

    agreed with the above poster to maybe get rid of the double wall and make it a single wall. the park plays big for the most part so you really don’t need to have the double wall even at the 362 and especially 388 marks.

    i don’t know how they can cut down on foul territory but according to townsend on the post game show he’s talked with the security guard who sits near the visitor’s dugout and said players have told him the park being so anti hitters is one of the main reasons why nobody of stature will ever sign with the a’s until they get a new park. add to that playing probably half your home games in front of 6-8 thousand and the a’s won’t ever be a draw until they get a new park for either players or the non die hard fans.

  3. I’m with all of Genaro’s changes, as well as starting a small museum say where that currently pitiful hole in the wall bar is behind section 120 (it’s pitiful that San Diego State baseball has a bigger museum at their 1500 seat stadium than the A’s do at their park). Paint some of the exposed concrete as nothing is less inviting that dull gray cracking concrete. Remove the damn fences between the concourse and the field so that people can see the field as they circulate around. Repave the entrances at gates A-D so that it doesn’t look like the park is falling apart as guest’s first impression. Add more lights to the concourse/gate areas so it’s not so damn dreary and depressing. Create a more exposed and larger “kid zone” for kids and families maybe up in one of the plazas behind the flag poles in left or right field. Take the tarps off the main third deck, the experiment had merit at the beginning but now that it’s failed it just stands to highlight how few people are actually showing up and puts more seats farther from the battery. If anything tarp the “plaza outfield” seats along with the top of Mt Davis and just leave the “bleachers” open in the outfield to make the fan alignment more like the Coliseum’s heyday.

    These are just a few of the cheap and easy improvements I can think of off hand that wouldn’t cost the FO very much at all but would make the Coliseum that much more inviting for people visiting it.

  4. @Genaro–help me out on what the city of Oakland or the Coli Authority has done to support the A’s? Over the past several years they have been acquiring land around the Coli and just last month the council authorized $4 million in redevelopment funds to pay for a design plan and an environmental impact report. 16+ years after the return of the Raiders ruined the Coli they are shelling out again for a pipe dream…..and absolutely no guaranttees that the Raiders wll stay….and in the meantime–what have they done around VC to acquire property for the A’s ballpark….nothing…and the status of the EIR—going on 9 months and no word ? You have a right to be pissed off but direct towards the politicians in Oakland that continue to stroke the Raiders while flipping off the A’s—

    Given the lack of leadership in Oakland every day that the A’s have to stay in Oakland is a wasted day–

  5. GoA’s, I agree. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be staying in Oakland for 3-5 years or more. As of right now their last year in the Coliseum is pretty much up in the air. So they need to start treating the Coliseum as more than just a place they’re occupying until San Jose or ??? is done. It is home for the indefinite future. Time to start realizing that and treating it as such if the city isn’t going to. Because yes the city owns it, but the city doesn’t use it, the A’s do for 81+ games a year. And just living with it as is, isn’t working.

  6. It seems like that article could be applied to the Giants/Candlestick, Phillies/Veterans Stadium, Pirates/Three Rivers, Padres/Qualcomm, Mariners/Metrodome, Astros/astrodome, etc. basically any multipurpose stadium/baseball team. Nostalgia aside, i agree that the Coliseum has never really been a direct positive symbol of the Athletic’s franchise. Hopefully, a new baseball only stadium in Oakland will correct that.

  7. I agree that Oakland has lagged and that their latest half-hearted attempt at saving the A’s has not only prolonged the committee’s report but also the on-the-field uncertainty. I am not of the belief that all is ok with the Coliseum or that owners are carpetbaggers etc.

    But that does not absolve Wolff and Fisher from handling the Coliseum issue poorly from the get-go. They could have added improvements once they bought the team in addition to tarping the third deck so that they could say, without equivocation, that they did all they could to maximize revenue but it just wasn’t enough.

    Basically, Wolff has fought a public battle that he has limited control over while underestimating the obstacles in high-profile public planning with the whole Fremont situation as the biggest and clearest example of this.

  8. Brandon Allen and Trevor Cahill laughing together is pretty awesome to see.
    Go A’s!

  9. My theory is that the single biggest factor in the aesthetic quality of a ballpark is the view of the outfield. Think about it: is there any ballpark where the beauty of the ballpark rests mostly on the fair territory seating bowl? Maybe Fenway, but that’s about it. Mostly, a seating bowl is a seating bowl is a seating bowl. And aside from the distance from the field, I don’t think the fair-territory seating bowl at the Coliseum is much better or worse than any other seating bowl.

    So the big problem is Mount Davis. And to me the problem with Mount Davis is only in small part that it blocks the view of the hills. 90% of the problem to me is that from the day it was built, the position and heights of the outfield fences became completely arbitrary from foul pole to foul pole. There is not a single spot anywhere along the outfield where the fence has any good reason for its location and height. Form and function don’t follow each other at all, so the result is ugliness.

    So if had $8m to spend, the first thing I’d do is get form and function back in alignment. I’d fix the outfield fences with this rule: wherever there is seating in fair territory, it is not a home run unless the ball lands in the seats. No more stupid ledges above the out-of-town scoreboard–we’re zapping the scoreboard. If you want out-of-town scores, we’ll give you free wifi throughout the stadium. Meanwhile, everywhere there are seats, the fences are flush with the seats and go all the way up to the seats. Yes, this makes home runs even more difficult, but we’ll make up for that by making the fences a bit lower, say 7′ high, at the stairs and in center field, which leads to more over-the-fence home-run-robbing catches by outfielders.

    I don’t know if there are any logistical reasons why this can’t work, but I can’t imagine changing the fences would cost much more than $1 million, let alone $8 million.

  10. @Genaro;eb;Dan—have each of you written to the Oakland polticians wth the same venom that you have towards LW–sorry—I can’t mistreat my wife and expect that she will still be there when I decide its what I want—-A’s have been mistreated for years—and to hold LW accountable and to expect that he and JF invest in a distressed property when the city in which the property sits chooses to direct its money elsewhere is beyond me—

  11. @Dan–great suggestions, and they don’t sound too cost prohibitive. A little museum where the pitiful bar is a cool idea. If LWwould even meet you halfway on some of these, I may lay off the guy for awhile…lol.

  12. @GoA’s – Do the A’s pay any rent at the

  13. GoA’s, you do it because it’s good business and a good way to treat your customers. Has the city been less than supportive. Hell yes. Should the city be chipping in for improvements. Sure thing. But will they, no because they have no incentive to. But at this point the A’s need to do it for themselves, their players and most importantly people like us their customers, not for the city. It may seem like corporate welfare but remember, the city doesn’t need the Coliseum, which is part of why they don’t do much to upkeep it. The A’s however do need it as they have no other home. If the party who needs it most won’t improve it for the sake of their fans and players why would the city bother?

  14. Its to bad we’re still even talking about the mausoleum. IMHO, ownership is doing the right thing by concentrating resources on the future and not throwing good money after bad. Eb, feel free to enter reality whenever you see fit (last sentence on last post). Or perhaps that was sarcasm (if so, my bad).

  15. so none of you answered my question as to whether or not you have complained to Oakland politico’s rather than bitch about LW not fixing it at his cost—actually I guess you did by your silence–sorry–its business guys– as an owner of properties I would never expect that my tenants would upgrade the properties because I let them go to a state of disrepair. They would do the logical thing–either request that I upgrade them or decide to move—A’s should have been allowed to get out of the dump years ago—thru no fault of LW or JF we are still stuck there—as I said–every day is a wasted day–I wouldn’t invest a dime or any time if it was mine–

  16. Do the A’s pay little or no rent? Squatters always make upgrades …

  17. So I’m supposed to write to a city and county that I don’t live in yet posting negatively about Wolff on a forum is considered equal? I don’t know if you missed it, but I bagged on Oakland for being late in the game out of spite. If they move to San Jose, it’s closer to me but until they do, I still want the team that I root for to stop sitting on their hands and ignore the on-the-field product.

    If you can’t admit that both sides are to blame, there’s no point. Wolff’s tenure has been mediocre in execution and there’s no denying it.

  18. A’s and Raiders pay approximately the same rent–and who gets all the attention from the city? Why not call AD up and ask that he put some bucks in to fix it so it can be knocked down in the next 5 years–and Genaro–perfectly happy with LW’s execution—my opinion–don’t expect that you support it–but I do invest in season tix—which I am beginning to question–not because of LW but because of bs/mlb

  19. David the A’s pay very little rent. Far less than what they should be at market value.

    GoA’s, as for writing Oakland’s poltiicos not only do I not live in there jurisdiction (hence they don’t give a shit what I say), even if I did they wouldn’t give a shit. Politicians don’t care what their constituents think beyond their next reelection bid. Spending public money on a stadium that doesn’t benefit the city is a non-starter for them.

  20. @ Dan – “politicians don’t care what their constituents think”. Incorrect assumption: I have contact both Sam LIccardi as well as Chuck Reed and they both have responded (with Sam L. via his blackberry!). So it’s dreadfully obvious: the A’s, Raiders, Oakland, and it’s fan all dread the Coliseum, yet they have better attendance then even during the twilight of the Haas years. Why is that again? :X

  21. btw… I also tried to contact Jean Quan and her office, even though I am not an Oakland resident and never got one response whatsoever….take that FWIW….If you thiink nothing will happen and eventually do nothing, guess what? Nothing will happen…..the same kind of mindset that has plagued Oakland for the past 15+ years (do i sound like a broken record or what?)….

  22. “Spending public money on a stadium that doesn’t benefit the city is a non-starter for them.” Interesting comment in that Oakland is proposing more than $100M from a transportation fund of all places to fund a new $900M stadium for the Raiders—wtf—why not direct those dollars to the A’s—and why no outcry by you and the other LW bashers that Oakland isn’t doing enough to keep the A’s–

  23. “If you can’t admit that both sides are to blame, there’s no point. Wolff’s tenure has been mediocre in execution and there’s no denying it.”
    Well said.
    @Tony D.” feel free to enter reality whenever you see fit” Thank you, maybe I’ll try it sometime.

  24. @eb—LW has been mediocre–how would you rate the city of Oakland in execution—honestly?

  25. @GoA’s Oakland politicians you mean? They are one of the worst bunches in the U.S. There are a few good apples, but the political scene in Oakland is a chaotic mess. I’ve said that from the beginning. I feel like it’s perfectly okay to be dissatisfied with Oakland politicians AND Wolff/Fischer. Life isn’t black/white.

  26. “yet they have better attendance then even during the twilight of the Haas years. Why is that again?”

    Because the Haas family was fielding a good team and maintaining what was then still one of the better ballparks in baseball. Today’s owners field crap teams and have done nothing to make the Coliseum “inviting” beyond lowering the face value of tickets to no effect. Doesn’t matter what you sell crap for, people will still see it as crap. You have to change the product, not the price.

  27. Was just cruising the Oakland ClubHouse website and the guys were talking about the MoneyBall premiere next month at the Paramount. One fan was wondering if the balcony will be tarped off…lmao!!
    I don’t think they’ll have any problems packing that place. I’m going to check for tix. Should be a blast.

  28. @Dan
    “Doesn’t matter what you sell crap for, people will still see it as crap. You have to change the product, not the price”
    I agree with you to a degree. If this were truly the case, why then did the A’s draw fewer fans in 2006 (the year they made the playoffs) than the year before, and why did attendance continue to drop into 2007?
    We’re Warrior season ticket holders. I was shocked a few years ago when I went to Oracle for their annual upgrade day. Because of the team’s performance, the number of seats available for upgrade had increased significantly from the year before. If I had the money, I could have upgraded to seats immediately behind the visitor’s bench. They had tons of courtside and sideline club seats available. At the end of the season, they announced a cut in ticket prices. The result, I’m guessing they now only have a couple of hundred seats available for upgrades. This despite the team’s continued mediocre performance.

  29. fc, the results of a team on field usually don’t impact attendance until the following year. But the utter failure of the 2006 team in the playoffs after the similar failure of 2000-2003 wore on people. Just read one of the fan message boards from that time and it’s quite apparent that many people didn’t see the A’s as a “successful” team in 2006. Just the latest of a string of moneyball failures. The press of the time also helped perpetuate that as well…

  30. Srsly, Ken? You want to maximally depress offense at the Coliseum?

  31. 1. Paint over, or add panel covers to, all the dark grey, old, ugly concrete on the inner concourses, especially the lower concourse. Same with entry ways.
    2. Install brighter lighting on inner concourses.
    3. Add more A’s banners throughout inner concourses, entry ways, and around stadium
    4. Resurface cracking asphalt on entry ways.
    5. Beef up family fun area. Took my wife and kids to a game back in May, was underwhelmed with what they had there. Maybe add bounce houses? That’s easy.
    6. Improve sound system.
    7. Improve food offerings/concessions
    8. Make outfield fences consistent, and perhaps move inwards a bit, and lower LC and RC fences.
    9. Add LED moving display boards to bottom row of upper deck of Mt Davis. What I’m talking about is the type of animated display boards you see around the fields at many soccer and NBA venues. This could be used for advertising between innings, and for big HOME RUN scrolling banners when the A’s hit dingers (or other similar type stuff). In other words, turn ugly-ass Mt Davis into less of a monstrosity, and more of a “fun” thing.
    10. Tarp over, with green A’s banners, concrete stairs behind left field and right field.

    I strongly believe all of these things will improve the fan experience.

  32. BTW – any money spent on improving your customers’ experience is always, always money well spent. It has to be done within reason of course. But anytime you invest in making your customers happier, it always pays off in the long run.

    • @jeff-athletic – Not always. The Rays spent millions on improving Tropicana Field and they got virtually nothing out of it at the gate or anywhere else, even with a team that went to the World Series. The public isn’t exactly clamoring to help them build a new ballpark.

  33. “…the utter failure of the 2006 team in the playoffs…”
    Are you serious? Didn’t they sweep the Twins in 3, with Zito out dueling Santana? Wasn’t that the first time they were able to advance to the ALCS since the early 90’s? And who could forget this?

    Gee, with that kind of attitude, it’s no wonder there is so much appathy in the A’s fan base.

  34. Jeff, like your ideas as well. And yes it is money well spent. I mean I get those that find it as “throwing good money after bad” back when we and Wolff planned to be out of the Coliseum by now in an Oakland/Fremont/SJ ballpark. But the sad fact is we’re still there and will still be there for 3+ seasons. It’s time they start thinking a bit longer term again about the Coliseum because it will be home for several years to come. And as has been pointed out these are not pricey upgrades, and they’re things teams in similar situations (public stadium, shared but primary tenant, indefinite limited future) have done to their ballpark for the good of their customers when the city won’t pay.

    It’s either that, or stop playing passive old man and force Selig’s hand on the SJ ballpark and either get building in SJ or get selling and let the next party have a crack at it. Because Wolff stays in this “passive” wait and see mode with Selig it’ll be after he leaves office until we even hear about SJ and only if it then passes will the 3 year construction period start.

  35. “Because Wolff stays in this ‘passive’ wait and see mode with Selig…” Just my opinion, but I’m pretty sure that Wolff knows how this will all play out in the end. Heck, as mentioned a few threads ago, they’re (Wolff/A’s) working hard at this (Cisco Field) everyday; this isn’t the case if Wolff doesn’t know how this will all end up. He talks to his good friend Bud every week and the other owners “tease” him about a “decision” from Bud.

  36. @ Dan – “Because the Haas family was fielding a good team and maintaining what was then still one of the better ballparks in baseball. ” I think you are confusing yourself. My point was, during Haas’s last year as an owner 1995, the A’s drew an average of 16,310 even as you noted that it was ” still one of the better ballparks in baseball”. But this year, with the tarps, mt. davis, and mausoleum atmosphere, it is still outdrawing then. But you continually cite that drastic changes need to be made and ignore the relevant attendance figures and on field record of the teams which has much better correlation than say a new scoreboard or even urinal troughs! :X Also, “the utter failure of the 2006 team in the playoffs“…seriously? /sigh

  37. Is the 220k more in yearly attendance from 2005 to 2006/7 really “virtually nothing?” They had lost a tiny bit more games in those seasons compared to 05 as well.

  38. @Genaro – Actually, yes. Long term it hasn’t done much for them either.

  39. Sorry, I can’t agree; they got more attendance on average in the immediate years after the improvements compared to the seasons outside of the three-year new park grace period.

    Average ticket price for the D-Rays in 2006 was 17.09 and constitutes about 3 million more in attendance revenue.

    They are doing better in attendance than they were before the upgrades. For a crappy stadium in a completely crappy location, that’s not insignificant.

  40. @Genaro – Considering the annual revenue sharing check they get – probably around $20 million or so – that’s not saying much. Whatever goodwill was earned by the gesture has been more than offset by the team being unable to compete in the AL East this year. And keep this in mind – $35 million was spent on fixing up the Trop.

  41. Please send in suggestions about what the Raiders can do to increase attendance to the newspaper (Turn 2).

    One suggestion: commit to Oakland.

    A’s observer


    I know the Coliseum is not the greatest place to play but let’s put things in perspective; there could be worse things than owning a baseball team that still makes lots of money for you and playing a game for millions of dollars. Bottom line: If I was a player or owner, I wouldn’t complain; you could be in far more challenging situations.

  42. the Raiders problem is now a lack of commitment to Oakland? What was it all the other years?

  43. ML, more analysis of an in-depth nature is needed on this subject; my rounding was based on a number that I calculated to be 3.7 million in net-increase from 2005 to 2006; that would be 1/5 of the revenue sharing check, not peanuts. Going by a cursory look, they are going make 327K more in attendance revenue than they did in 2007. That’s not an offset from attendance seen after the improvements that were made prior to and during the 2006 season and it doesn’t take into account other sources of revenue from souvenirs, concessions, and private party reservations.

    35 million is a lasting investment that the Rays made with the acknowledgment that they would be presenting a new ballpark plan two years later.

  44. The Raiders need to win on a remotely regular basis. Having some marketable stars couldn’t hurt, either. It’s been a lllllooooonnngggg 8 years.

  45. For the 49ers the #s I have are:

    150M- Suites sold
    200M- NFL loan (No Raiders)
    114M- Santa Clara

    100M- Advertising, more suites, SBLs, and season tickets
    300M- Naming rights

    That is a total of 864M without the Yorks putting a dime of team money which they have the delta of 123M easily in team coffers. I am assuming a 987M project.

    Kawakami is wrong the that # will go up as the market has dipped again (and will do so at least one more time) in relation to construction costs and housing….Kawakami after Newhouse and Ratto is the next “born idiot” writer in the Bay Area….I miss Bud Geracie and his wake of the week.

    Granted once they sell everything they will take it all to several banks and with the contracts in hand get construction loans to build it and the interest will be a tough pill to swallow on that over time. That is the real issue on getting this done. Can the 49ers alone hand the debt service?

    If the Raiders join then everything works out far better as the 49ers/Raiders together will be able to get loans far easier and be able to handle the debt service.

    I do think the Yorks will have to sell a “piece” of the team to get this done alone. With the Raiders there is no need.

    As for the Coliseum….

    Why in god’s green earth would any A’s owner put $$ for that place? The City/County screwed over the team years ago with Mt. Davis and they should be forking over the dough to do this along with Mr. Davis….Not the A’s in any regard.

    Does not make sense in any way for the A’s owners to improve something that would be beneficial to the Coliseum Authority or the Raiders in any way…..Your better off sitting around and rotting there, saving $$ for the next stadium or for buying the Dodgers…

  46. Sid, where are you getting the advertising figure? Naming rights? Which corporation has come forward for that $300M?

  47. How much more “committed” to Oakland could the Raiders possibly be under the circumstances? They have the Niners begging them to join a bona fide project for a SOTA stadium with rare California public financing that would roll as soon as they signed on. Instead, they’re being cagey and clinging to some pipe dream of a single team, privately financed football stadium in Oakland. As a result, they may blow the possibility of playing in any new stadium (with the possible exception of LA, though that seems remote). I’d say that’s pretty committed.
    Anyway, as I’ve pointed out a zillion times before, there is no evidence whatsoever that “owner love” materially increases attendance.

  48. @monkeyball — No…you could actually change the fences as I proposed and have zero net effect on offense if you want. You just have to calculate how much to move the fences in or shorten them where there aren’t seats (stairs, centerfield) to offset the how much they are raised and moved back where there are seats (poles, left & right center). And with the way balls are tracked these days and understanding linear weights and you can calculate the effect of these fence changes with great precision.

  49. @LS–the Giants will claim (again) that they barely broke even this year by not making the playoffs. And if attendance drops off even a little bit next year (not selling out every game), things will be very tough in the city by the bay…lol. Uh, Forbes has them making a 29.9 mill. profit last year. I’d trust their figs over the lying bastards at the Lodge any day.
    The A’s also claimed to have just break even last year, give or take a million, (LW’s words, not mine), even though Forbes reported a $23.6 mill profit for them…SMH.
    I don’t have a probelm with teams making a a profit–it’s the American way–but don’t lie about it.
    BTW, put some of that extra loose change back in the team or the facility at least.
    Too bad teams weren’t publicly owned like the GB Packers.

  50. Once again, Forbes writes these articles without any access to the books. It’s all guesswork. But it’s really hard to believe that the Giants, who sell out every night and charge over $100 for some seats, are not making money hand over fist.

  51. @pjk

    Amen brotha. Last I read, the Giants have a $20 million a year payment on AT&T, which goes away when it’s payed off by 2015 (or 2017?).

    Seeing as how they just absorbed the fat contracts of Rowand and Tejada, and are pondering doing the same with Zito, methinks they can easily afford the mortgage payment on AT&T.

    And looking at the constant sellouts, and the outrageous prices at AT&T …

    Their stance that they barely break even – laughable, outrageous, ridiculous, flat out, unmitigated bald faced lie.

  52. @Jeffrey- I combined advertising with future SBL and more suite sales as 100M. Considering 150M have been sold that # is “reasonable” considering there is 4 more years left before the stadium is ready to play in.

    Naming rights I am using the barometer set by Farmers and MetLife for LA and NY. Those were 700M and 400M-500M respectively.

    Considering the huge corporate base in Silicon Valley 300M is not a bad figure and if 2-teams join then that might be an underestimated #.

    Therefore my #s may be “back of the envelope” but are not unreasonable. The #s Kawakami does are off and that is because he is a sports writer and not a math guy or anything even close to it.

    The key here is the debt service and can the 49ers handle it long term. Building the stadium is one thing but the interest will force them to sell a piece of the team unless of course Al Davis steps in…

  53. @Jeff-Athletic- The Giants are horrendous with their arguments. Larry Baer has said that if the A’s move to San Jose both Bay Area teams would become revenue sharing “losers” and that the Giants would lose 500k in fans a year.

    Wow….ridiculous on every level.

    In reality both would be “winners” revenue sharing wise and the Giants on paper would not be hurt at all as long run as San Jose is 50 miles away. The Giants just don’t want the A’s succeed on any level and they are selfish pricks for being so….This coming from a lifelong Giants fan.

    If MLB did not have this AE that allows Selig to act like “God” the A’s would have been in San Jose several years ago. Not to mention it was Selig who combined both leagues which created this problem.

    Before the leagues were combined, T-rights were done by NL and AL teams. Therefore the Giants T-rights would only apply to NL teams and that is how the A’s moved to Oakland in the first place in 1968 because they were an AL team.

    Selig caused this mess and it is too bad he is into being a coward and not doing the right thing.

  54. @Sid

    No doubt about it. The Giants want the A’s the fail, or just go away, completely. In all honesty, if I were in their shoes, I’d probably want the same, from a pure business standpoint. Any team in a two team market wouldn’t mind one bit if the other team went away.

    But seeing as how the A’s gave them the south bay market, to be “good for baseball”, and it was contingent on the Giants actually building there (which did not happen), and seeing as how all other two team markets are shared, and seeing as how the bay area split is 6 counties to the Giants, and 2 counties to the A’s, the Giants position is so ridiculously petty that it is surreal.

    I call it really really bad karma, and the Giants are now suffering for it. Not at the gate, but in their performances and injuries. I don’t really believe it’s a direct cause and affect, but I am definitely enjoying some serious schadenfreude.

  55. Just got the info on tix for the World Premiere of Moneyball at the Paramount.
    Not cheap, but all for charity– Children’s Hospital in Oakland and Stand Up For Cancer!
    $100 for rear balcony; $200 for front balcony; $500 for prefered MVP seats with private after party access; and Diamond and Grand Slam group packages with MVP seats and tables for the party, which averge out to about $750-800 a person.

  56. …think I’ll stick with $5.75 at the Almaden Cineplex in Willow Glen. Of course, it is good that the premiere is actually being held in Oakland instead of Frisco or LA. (I still remember Johnny Carson commenting about Rickey Henderson breaking the stolen base record “up in San Francisco.”)

  57. @jeff-athletic
    I feel ya 100%.

    Another thing that is strange is that when the AL and NL combined why wasn’t the whole market shared like Chicago, New York, and LA?

    My thinking is because Wally Haas being the poor business man that he was did not care and the Giants pulled a “fast one” on the A’s and MLB.

    Haas for how much he spent, never understood business and the dynamics around it since he was in fact a “spoiled rich kid” born with a “silver spoon”.

    The CHI, LA, and NY owners were all smart enough to have their territories shared when the leagues combined. Haas should have done the same to protect the A’s.

    Otherwise, the reason why the Giants needed permission from the A’s to explore Santa Clara County was because it was shared NL/AL territory but since the leagues were separate they needed permission from the A’s.

    Then when the leagues combined the Giants “slyly” added SC, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties therefore bottling the A’s in the East Bay for life.

    Unbelievable the Bay Area did not become shared back then and it is Haas’ fault. Any other owner would have seen this one easily.

  58. I think even $1.2 bill is too rich for LW/JF’s blood, unless they were to bring in outside help. They got a bargain deal for the A’s in 2006, and has almost doubled in value in 5 years. Pretty good for not really doing much on and off the field since they bought the team, excpet for their obsession over SJ which may never happen.

  59. …The A’s value is probably helped by their being free to move in two years.

  60. What adds to the Dodgers value is Dodger Stadium and 350 acre Chavez Ravine. The park has seen some upgrades, but it’s still rather old and way too big. They’re averaging 36k, their lowest in 20 years, and the now shows are up to 10k per game.

  61. “he(Haas) was in fact a “spoiled rich kid” born with a “silver spoon”. Why was that necessary?

  62. @Sid–FYI, Mr. Haas saved the A’s from going to Denver in 1981. You should be thankful for that, but are just bitter on him giving the G’s TR’s to SCC. Haas’ ownership turned around a patehtic, sinking franchise into a competior and made the Coliseum a much fan friendly place to see a ball game, fixing the place up, adding more variety in food, music between innings, and great promotions among other things. Sure, he was born into wealth, and so was John Fisher. It’s what you do with that wealth to make a difference in the world that matters. He set up foundations early in life, gave generously to many causes and never stopped. I haven’t heard much what JF has done with his money except buying expensive art. Haas’ leadsership in Levi Strauss glory years was pretty impressive. So calling him a poor businessman is quite ignorant on your part. Wanting to win and keeping fan favorite players was expensive and didn’t alwys work out, but It’s not always about making an easy buck. JF and LW couldn’t hold a candle to this man.

  63. @jk-usa- Too bad Haas was a poor business man and he is the reason why where we are today.

    John Fisher is bad example…why? It is because he is the “silent partner” not the head guy like Lew Wolff is. Fisher makes no decisions, Wolff does. Wolff is a solid businessman and understands this stuff in and out.

    Haas was the wrong guy in the long run. He buried the A’s by letting the Giants into San Jose and did so even more by not demanding T-rights be shared.

    Was Haas a great man? Yes he was….I am not debating that. He was an amazing philanthropist and an overall a good dude….An trooper and upstanding citizen as a person.

    Was Haas a good businessman? No he wasn’t and that is what matters “right now”. His nature was of a man who is too “nice” and look what happened? Nice guys finish last and the A’s are paying for it.

    It was Haas who let the A’s lose 30M a year to remain competitive and when he had the chance to boot the Giants out of the Bay Area he got “back stabbed” for his generosity….Albeit he was long gone and the franchise took the brunt of it and still is.

    In sports there is “karma” or “logic” and no “justice” as you can see by the situation currently in front of us…The Giants finally winning the World Series in the midst of this tells you that.

    On a side note….the offer for the Dodgers is bad as Selig has not approved from reading around. Selig does not let just anyone into the Lodge…..You need a pass and I do not think these guys have one.

  64. @sid–Wolff should stick to his real estate, because he has no idea how to run a baseball team.

  65. …Sid’s right. Haas was so benevolent he locked the A’s into a place where they can’t get a new ballpark. He only asked for two counties while letting the Giants have 6. The Giants are now rubbing the A’s noses in Haas’s generosity and, to add insult to injury, are personally banning the people of San Jose from ever having Major League Baseball. If the A’s leave the Bay Area, we can look at Haas’s decision to only ask for Alameda and Contra Costa counties as a major cause.

  66. Wally Haas was a great man and a great baseball owner. Probably the Bay Area’s best sports owner, if you take into account Eddie D.’s scumbag behavior. Was the decision he made about San Jose the best for the Athletics in the long run? Probably not, but if he went along with kicking out the Giants he would have gone against his own character and he would have been looked at as a villain by the majority of Bay Area baseball fans. I hate, hate, hate the Giants, but I wouldn’t want them to have left. As a Raider fan I saw in my family the devastation of loosing a team can cause. God forbid the A’s leave the Bay, I will not hold a grudge against the Haas ownership, he brought way too much joy to all of us.

  67. @jk- Have to disagree with you here. Haas didn’t save the A’s from moving to Denver. It was…you guessed it… the City of Oakland who denied Finley release from the stadium contract….for the second time. From Wikipedia:
    “Finley nearly sold the team to buyers who would have moved them to Mile High Stadium in Denver for the 1978 season and the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans for 1979. Though the American League owners appeared to favor the Denver deal, it fell through when the city of Oakland refused to release the A’s from their lease. The city was in the midst of its battle with the Oakland Raiders over their move to Los Angeles and didn’t want to lose both teams. Not surprisingly, only 306,763 paying customers showed up to watch the A’s in 1979, the team’s worst attendance since leaving Philadelphia.”
    Two years later, Finley’s wife wanted a divorce, but wouldn’t accept partial ownership of the team as settlement:
    “He agreed in principle to sell to businessman Marvin Davis, who would have moved the Athletics to Denver. However, just before Finley and Davis were due to sign a definitive agreement, the Raiders announced their move to Los Angeles. Oakland and Alameda County officials, not wanting to be held responsible for losing Oakland’s status as a big-league city in its own right, refused to let Finley out of his lease with the Coliseum.”
    I sense a pattern. A’s get ready to leave, and Oakland freaks out. Not unlike the past two years. Third times a charm, though, right? Methinks Oakland has zero major teams by the decade’s end.

  68. Three ownership groups in four have wanted to move the team out of Oakland, dating back to the 1970s. So either the A’s have had the misfortune of consistently getting stuck with meanie owners or maybe these guys are on to something.

  69. Levi’s seems to be doing pretty well.

  70. @pjk–what a selective memory you have, How about all the times the Giants owners wanted to move the team out of SF and/or out of state? Finally an ownership (who didn’t bitch and whine at the Stick) was committed to a new park in SF and made it happen, and the rest in history. The same thing could and should happen in Oakland. Too much rich, colorful history in the O to throw away for a move down south. I’m hoping this big MoneyBall premiere gets some positive press for the O, which may help the O’s chances to hang on to their team. How about a big announcement by Bud Selig in front of the 3000 people at the Paramount that Oakland’s VC is picked for the new ballpark, and LW can join in or sell. That would be cool.

  71. We’ve already gone over how a privately built ballpark is not going to work in Oakland except as an act of charity. Which corporations are going to provide the funding? The same ones that leave the suites empty at A’s and Raiders games now? So you still think other ownership groups will be lining ready to spend $850 mill to $1 billion of their own money to buy the team and build a $500 mill ballpark? Good luck with that one. Can Oakland even buy up the land for a ballpark like San Jose has done? I don’t see how. The owners will have to pay for that, too. (LIke it’s been said, nothing is stopping prospective ownership groups from stepping forward and offering to do this project now. But the silence is deafening.) And like it’s been said re: A’s history in Oakland – the Brooklyn Dodgers are probably the most-storied team in baseball history. But they could not get a new park in Brooklyn. So they left.

  72. FWIW, A’s ownership groups have wanted to move the team even when there was nothing at alll wrong with the ballpark. Even when it was a great ballpark for its time. With the Giants, Candlestick was a problem from Day 1. So the two teams’ situations are not really comparable over the long term.

  73. It’s not just the Coli that’s the problem. It’s also the city, not enough corporate support, and only having Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

    Even when the Coli was good for it’s time (before Mt Davis), the A’s still were financial minnows.

    The Bay Area is huge, and has lots of corporate wealth. You’d think that it offers plenty to be a viable two team market.

    But alas, it seems like it has always been problematic. But now the G’s have there great new ballpark, and they’re doing great, with even better times up ahead when AT&T is paid off.

    And the A’s will be in the same position if they can build at Diridon, with little or no impact on the Giants.

    Lets face it, both teams draw from all over the Bay Area, and Northern California. Right now, the Giants have the lion’s share of everything.

  74. The Giants enjoy having the A’s consigned to the least-lucrative part of the Bay Area while they get lucrative Frisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and several counties beyond those. Not putting the East Bay down, but that’s simply the way it is.( Just like saying Frisco is a great tourist destination but San Jose is not. Like it or not, that’s the way it is) Selig can come in and fix this but is too terrified of what the Giants might do. And the beat goes on.

  75. @pjk,
    What might the Giants do? Remember, no lawsuits allowed in Da Lodge brah!

  76. Is there a rule in MLB that prohibits marketing in any territory? Is there a rule in MLB that prohibits companies, anywhere, from supporting any of the franchises? If not, I don’t see what the “problem” is.

  77. Well, if there is such a ridiculous rule then the A’s are violating it since I have seen A’s billboards prominently in San Jose. I wonder if I’m violating MLB’s idiotic territorial rules myself when I drive from Giants territory to see an A’s game? …If the A’s had move to Fremont, they would have likely been called the San Jose at Fremont, making a mockery of MLB’s territoriies, since they would be named for a city that they are forbidden to play in.

  78. @Tony D.

    “What might the Giants do? Remember, no lawsuits allowed in Da Lodge brah!”

    I would love, Love, LOVE!! to watch the Giants big-@ss hissy fit if/when Selig rules in favor of A’s at SJ.

  79. David, TR’s only really impact where a team can build a stadium.
    The “problem” is that Silicon Valley companies aren’t going to spring to build a stadium in Oakland, at least not right now.
    If Bud says “stay in Oakland” then maybe that changes. Though I really don’t think so.

  80. I would love, Love, LOVE!! to see LW throw a big-@ss hissy fit if/when Selig rules in favor of A’s at the O. That would be priceless!! He then throws in the towel, cashes out, sells to locals and retires in Tahiti. Oops, forgot, he has that exciting, mind-blowing soccer venue to finish. BB can be his GM, and he can bedazzle everyone with another Moneyball team and maybe bring home a cup or a boot or whatever the hec they give out.

  81. …if Selig rules in favor of the A’s staying in Oakland, let’s hope he has about $500–$600 mill available to pay for it, otherwise it’s not going to happen. If MLB really really wants the A’s in Oakland, MLB will have to pick up the tab because no one else will. Not the city of Oakland. Not the current ownership. And no prospective mystery owners have emerged either, as I’ve said. How many ballparks has MLB chipped in to pay for? Zero.

  82. They’re not up for sale, so that’s why no mystery owner has emerged. Put them up forr sale and I’ll bet there would be lots of interest, unless BS really has it in for the A’s and denies another qualified pro-Oakland group.

  83. I think we’ve been through this before: the 49ers were not for sale, but Steve Young tried to buy them; the Warriors were not for sale, but it was no secret Larry Ellison wanted to buy them. Who’s made it known that they’re ready to spend $850 mill to $1 bill to buy the A’s and build a ballpark in Oakland? Nobody.

  84. Bud can’t say “you must build in Oakland” he can only say “you can’t build in San Jose”

  85. @Nathan–if Bud says “Hey Lewie, make Oakland work, ” I think Lewie may take his advice. Without Bud, him and JF wouldn’t even have the team, making 20 mill profit a year and doubling the value in 5 years. We should be so fortunate.

  86. Let’s not kid ourselves here: after nearly two and a half years of “study,” Bud’s not going to tell Lewie to make it work in Oakland. These are $mart men we’re talking about here: no money for land acquisitions, business relocations, massive infrastructure improvements, public financing (wont even mention corporate support…oops, just did!)…you figure it out Sherlock.Sherlock,!

  87. “these are smart men we’re talking about here.”
    That’s the funniest line i’ve heard all week!!
    On that note, good night and GO A’S!!

  88. To JK-USA:

    Bud Selig already torpoedoed a pro-Oakland group so I believe there’s zero chance of him approving the sale to another pro-Oakland group.

    The A’s exit out of Oakalnd was pre-ordained by the rejection of the first Oakland group and the subsequent installation of LW and JF.

    Let’s try to grab that beer; I’m thinking we can maybe meet at Ricky’s sometime?

    A’s observer.

  89. @A’s Observer–sounds good. I’ve befriended a lot of good pro-Oakland guys like yourself online but haven’t met with any outside yet.

  90. The funniest thing I heard this week was the idea that Buddy would tell Lewie to make it work in Oakland (stomach still hurting from that one). Oh well, no need to further engage with denialists on this thread…next topic!

  91. To JK USA:

    Let’s figure out a time and make it happen.

    Are you a Raiders fan as well?

    A’s Observer.

  92. ML, that would be cool. Thank you. 🙂

  93. @A’s Observer–yes, I’m a Raiders fan and also a Warriors fans, but not like I use to be. The A’s are my team going back 40 years, through thick and thin, and it’s pretty thin now. It’s depressing how bad things have gotten and their uncertain future.

  94. ML, I wonder what your thoughts are on the recent and sudden negative-state of flux surrounding the Astros, Dodgers, and Mets, with respect to a possible answer from the BRC? May this force Selig to act due to it being the “easiest” decision?

    • @Genaro – If we take Wolff’s statement that the A’s “aren’t on the backburner” at face value, then yes, it’s possible. You have to think that there’s some level of priority to resolving these teams’ crises. For the Dodgers and Mets it’s mostly about letting the legal system work through it, which won’t happen quickly. For the Astros it’s more about whether or not Drayton McLane is in a rush to get rid of the team. The Astros and A’s situations are entirely internal MLB affairs, so those could be resolved first. Can’t tell with Selig.


    JK – Marine Layer provided our respective email addresses so please email me when you get a chance.

    ML – Thanks!

    A’s observer.

  96. Selig won’t force anyone to build in Oakland because the Giants are 12 miles way. The $$ does not make sense for a privately financed ballpark so close to ATT.

    MLB would have to subsidize the A’s even more because the debt service would kill the team slowly.

    Hence why Selig won’t force Wolff or anyone to build in Oakland. The question is can the A’s build in San Jose that is being posed. Oakland can go forward anytime but $$ wise it does not make sense to do it privately.

    Now if Oakland offered a public ballpark Selig would push Wolff towards that….Not happening unfortunately.

    In that scenario you would see the Giants “sell” San Jose in a heartbeat. A ballpark 12 miles away would hurt the Giants far more and they know it….They block San Jose because they know full well Oakland is impossible and it is their chance to kick them out.

    Selig in his own old school mind hates privately financed ballparks and hates Oakland in general for even having the A’s in the first place. This plus 2 private ballparks in the same market? He loathes it 100% and to him that is the last ditch scenario….hence the delay.

    The A’s only stay in the Bay Area regardless of ownership if all else fails and Selig has no choice but to open up San Jose.

    Selig would rather relocate the A’s out of the Bay Area rather than reverse the Giants T-rights. Until the moment that is not possible nothing will happen period.

    902 days tells you that loud and clear…

  97. Whatever Sid. (Yeah! That’s why Lew and Keith Wolff are working hard on Cisco Field everyday, and brother Budd is fully aware of this. Anyhow, glad you know more about the current situation than the Wolff’s themselves).

  98. @David “Is there a rule in MLB that prohibits companies, anywhere, from supporting any of the franchises? If not, I don’t see what the “problem” is.”
    The rules which govern here are the free market and simple logic. There simply is no demand amongst the firms that are the target markets for $200-per-game club seats and $7,000-per-game suites for committing to purchase such tickets and drag important clients through 90 minutes to two hours of painful traffic on a regular basis over a five or ten year period.

  99. @Tony- If I am right then it makes sense why Wolff stays so quiet.

    Wolff wins either way, he gets San Jose or the Dodgers. If you were him wouldn’t be patient?

    Selig has known him way too long and it was Selig who put Wolff in this bad position. You don’t think the two sat down “off the record” and discussed this in detail?

    Wolff says there is no plan B and that if San Jose is shot down he would look to MLB for direction. Selig stating no decisions will be made until “all options have been exhausted”.

    This plus 905 days, no response to SVLG or Mayor Reed? No ballot vote? The fact MLB makes more $$ moving the A’s out of the Bay Area?

    How can anyone including you be “optimistic” at this point? This does not make sense on any level for the A’s to move to San Jose at all…San Jose MAY happen Tony, I pray it does. But it is the last “ditch” option and the facts are loud and clear.

  100. …it does seem kind of illogical that Wolff would be hiring architects for a San Jose ballpark if he did not think he’d get to build it. Maybe they’re just waiting for Victory Court to officially strike out before giving the firm go-ahead for San Jose. Oakland obviously has been in no hurry to release its draft report, which can only make us think the findings so far are not optimistic.

  101. @Tony & pjk, – What exactly have the A’s been doing with regard to preparing for San Jose? Outside of the renderings which were released some time ago, I haven’t read or heard about any further action on their part. Did Wolff discuss any of this in his interview?


  102. FWIW, SuSlu tweets that Moneyball world premier will not be in Oakland, but Toronto instead.

    “Not sure if everyone is aware of this, but the “Moneyball” world premiere is not in Oakland – it will be Friday at the Toronto Film Festival”
    “There will still be a premiere in Oakland on Sept. 19. Just not THE premiere. #Athletics”

  103. @fc–well, at least the official premiere wasn’t in San Fran or San Jose.

  104. @fc,
    Read part 5 of the big interview; “nose to the grindstone” stuff. Wolff did mention something recently about son Kieth working hard everyday on cisco field; can’t remember which interview it was (might have been Slusser’s).

  105. from SFgate, 9/8/10 (almost exactly a year ago: A’s owner Lew Wolff said Tuesday he has hired 360 Architecture, based in Kansas City, to design a stadium for the Athletics in downtown San Jose. The firm will also design a separate stadium near the San Jose airport for the Earthquakes soccer team, also owned by Wolff…

  106. “fc–well, at least the official premiere wasn’t in San Fran or San Jose.”…you’re okay that it’s premièring in another country instead of in the bay area?!!! Wow…..

  107. @pjk- San Jose could still happen but it is last ditch.

    Wolff has to hedge his bets just in case Selig does open up the South Bay to him. I am sure Selig himself has told him something to that extent.

    But the evidence to this point shows Selig has another plan in the works and until that has been “exhausted” as he has put it. No decisions will be made.

    I hope Moneyball rakes in a killing at the box office. I hope it portrays the Giants organization as greedy bastards that they are.

  108. @Anon–at least it’s in an American League city. The Toronto thing doesn’t bother me. A bunch of movie snobs at the Film Festival–whoopty doo.This will be a huge event for Oakland that will raise over a million for charity, and that’s pretty awesome.

  109. @Sid–re: “I hope Moneyball rakes in a killing at the box office. I hope it portrays the Giants organization as greedy bastards that they are.”

    And portrays Oakland as a fun place to play ball with great fans, a great history and a city deserving of a new ballpark like everyone else in MLB.

  110. ….Oakland believes it “deserves” a new ballpark but doesn’t want to spend any money to get one. Therein lies the problem. I think I deserve a new car, but as long as I don’t plan to spend any money on one, it aint happening. How many cities got new ballparks in recent years with no public contribution? None that I can think of. Even Frisco contributed something like 5%. But Oakland wants the ballpark for free.

  111. …Not sure how Moneyball can portray Oakland as having “great fans” when one of the premises of the movie is the team doesn’t have enough money. And it doesn’t have it because it doesn’t sell enough tickets.

  112. @pjk–to go what we’ve gone through all these years,we have the best fans in MLB, just not enough of them. The Giants sell out, but the fans aren’t really into the game ,don’t know much about the game and just wear stupid shit on their heads. The ones that braved the Stick all those years we’re die-hards, not these clowns.

  113. …the late NJ Devils owner John McMullen once said this about Devils fans: “I love our fans, we just don”t have enough of them.” That’s the problem in Oakland. Not enough fans, like you said. As long as the majority of voters place no priority on paying for a new ballpark, there won’t be one. Oakland voters elected vehemently anti-sports Jerry Brown as mayor twice. A guy who actively blocked new ballpark efforts. And he’s not the only one who did less than nothing for the A’s. So let the chips fall where they may.

  114. …and as governor, Brown has done the same thing, attempting to kill off redevelopment and even suggesting the 49ers and Raiders could play at stadiums at Stanford and Cal, instead of building new ones. But this is the guy the people wanted.

  115. @jk-usa- I was one of the die hard Stick guys back in the day. I know what you are saying about “bandwagon” fans and people not watching the game on their IPads at games.

    Too bad those people have $$ to spend.

    Oakland may “deserve” a new ballpark but no one gets anything in life for free because they “deserve” it. That is the hard fact of life unfortunately.

    Moneyball only exists because of the Giants 12 miles away. Without them nearby the A’s would be big market anywhere in the Bay Area like the Warriors are in Oakland right now.

  116. Selig’s plan for the A’s has always been consistent. He wants the A’s and Giant’s to make an agreement so he doesn’t have to make a decision. If the A’s and Giant’s can’t make an agreement, then he delays making a decision until hopefully the A’s and Giant’s make an agreement.

    In other words, I don’t think he wants to make a decision at all. He will wait until he doesn’t have to make a decision. Possible changes include Giant’s letting A’s move to San Jose (fat chance), Oakland says they can’t develop a stadium for the A’s in Oakland (Oakland will never say this), Wolff sells the team to another owner who will build in Oakland or move the A’s out of the Bay Area. The other option is if the A’s requires more money from the rest of MLB which causes the rest of the owners to demand Selig to make a decision.

  117. re: Wolff sells the team to another owner who will build in Oakland or move the A’s out of the Bay Area.

    …most likely the latter of the two, if the team goes up for sale.

    re: Oakland says they can’t develop a stadium for the A’s in Oakland (Oakland will never say this),

    …Correct. They won’t say it. But it sure looks like that is the case, especially given the amount of money Oakland is willing to contribute toward construction ($0.00). They probably have no money for land acquisitions or infrastructure, either, leaving that to the lucky owners.

  118. @Sid & @jk-usa – Does anyone seriously have a problem with people using mobile devices to look at Gameday or read articles about their team while at games? Or maybe busts out a work email during a day game in the middle of the week? Baseball is one of the most “ACTION-slow-slow-slow-ACTION” sports there is. Do you expect people to just sit around and twiddle their thumbs in between batters when they could either a) learn more about what is going on in the game or b) do some work so that they can take the time off to go to the park during the work week?

  119. @LS–I guess I’m showing my old age here (49) and am kind of an old school and don’t bring that stuff when I go to games. I turn my phone off and don’t call/talk on it if i really have to.I find plenty to do like manually keep score with a pencil, and talk to my wife, friends or other fans around us IN PERSON. What a concept, huh? I sometimes bring my Walkman and listen to the game on the radio like I’ve done on and off for 40 years now, but miss the play-by-play with Bill King and Lon Simmons big time. Regardless of how slow the game is, people need to put all that stuff aside for a few hours and enjoy the game and baseball atmosphere.You can easliy miss a great play or something odd happening on the field if your punching away on an e-mail or your FB wall,

    • @jk-usa – You’re quite wrong on this, and LS is correct. I’ve had plenty of conversations with the other fans around me while I’ve used my iPad or phone, including during the last three games I’ve gone to. It’s not a big deal. Used correctly it can actually enhance the game experience. AFAIK I’m the only fan toting around an iPad to every game I attend.

  120. @ML–to each his own I guess. I remember you taking i-pads to games and everywhere else you go.I guess we on here should be thankful you do for the info you share with us when you’re out and about like your roadtrips and stuff. Don’t have an i-pad yet or a smart phone. Still have an old style flip phone. Surfing and typing on a smart phone is a pain and even worse on my flip phone. I love my laptop and desktop with the full keyboard and big screen,, but they say that these will be extinct one of these days.

  121. from stick figure cave paintings, to stone tablets, to pencil and paper, to printing press, to type writer, to keyboard, to touch screen… It’s evolution, baby.
    I wonder if cavemen got all grumpy when someone first brought a stone tablet and chisel to whatever equivalent of a sporting event they had. I imagine there was a lot of hootin’ and gruntin’ going on when that went down.
    Carry on.

  122. It will be a sad day when a future generation won’t know how to write his/her name on a piece of paper. I know cursive’s not even taught at some schools. I have dozens of autographed balls, pics, programs, cards, caps, etc…A tweet don’t cut it for me.

  123. News for 9/9 – Forbes valuation on the NFL is out. One interesting snippet from the chron:

    “The figures also dispel a perception that the 49ers spend less than the Raiders. Despite being the lowest revenue producing team ($217 million), the Raiders made $23 million in operational profit. The 49ers made only $1.5 million.

    I wonder if the pro-Oakland guys are going to rag on ol’ Al on this too for making a profit and pocketing it. :X

  124. Those are interesting figures, because as of 2009 (most recent figures I could find) the Raiders payroll was about $8 million more than the Niners. Of course, that could have changed since then, but I kind of doubt it. It looks like the Niners spend a lot of money on other stuff.

    Could it be stuff relating to the quest for the new stadium? Perhaps the cost of buying out unsold tickets so they can claim bogus “sellouts” and get games on TV?

  125. Bartleby,
    Curious: do you have any idea if the Niners bogus sellouts pay off in terms of greater TV revenue? I wish the Raiders could have these faux sellouts so that they 1) could be on TV more often and 2) generate greater revenue (assuming the answer to my question was yes).

  126. Good point Tony. By showing all local games, wouldn’t the added tv ratings revenue make up for lack of tix sales? It doesn’t make sense.This whole black-out thing is ridiculous. The lock-out didn’t help tix sales and they should lift the blackout rules because of it. If you show the games and how exciting it is, it may trigger more tix sales.Your gonna see more blackouts this year than in the past.

  127. If you had to pick… Roger Goodell or Bud Selig? I feel like Goodell’s approach to managing the NFL might actually be an opening for MLB to regain the “top American sports league” mantle.

  128. @Jeffrey–Both are duds IMO. NFL attendance has gone down a bit, but TV ratings are still solid. The blackout rule should be lifted though. Totally stupid. MLB attendance has fallen the last 3 years and is up 65 fans per game from last year, and playoffs and WS ratings are way down. Good ratings at local level I guess, but to take over as the top american sports league, i don’t think so. Too slow for the young generation who want instant gratification. The afforadability factor for families is a plus over the NFL in a lot of parks, but tix in many markets are still too high and is outpricing many folks.
    BTW, the A’s have fallen to last place in attendance for the first time this year. 101 per game behind FLA and 114 behind TB, but still 777 a game ahead of last year, or 4%.

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