News for 1/10/12

Didn’t expect to have so much news this week, and it’s only Tuesday. Here we go.

  • MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to accept a two-year extension to his current term, which expires after the 2012 season. If Selig looks at the A’s as unfinished business, then it’s good he’s staying on instead of throwing the A’s over the fence for the next commissioner.
  • U.S. Department of Transportation officials were expected today to recommend $900 million in federal matching funds for the BART-to-Silicon Valley Phase I extension, which would terminate at the San Jose Flea Market. The decision would then move to Congress to approve, which was characterized by Gary Richards as a “formality”.
  • During the Raiders press conference introducing new GM Reggie McKenzie, team owner Mark Davis fielded a few questions about the stadium situation. He maintained a similar stance to his father about stadium prospects: “We’re going to try to get something done here (in Oakland) but if we can’t we have to get something done somewhere.” Oakland, Santa Clara, and LA are under consideration, without Davis committing to any specific site. The hiring of McKenzie will allow Davis to focus on the stadium search. One thing I took away from the presser: Mark Davis is committed to owning the team in the long run and considers it his family.
  • Oracle is opening a new office in downtown San Jose, in the same building as accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The office could have 265-440 employees. Oracle owns the building as part of its acquisition of BEA Systems.
  • SF Planning Commissioner Mike Antonini has been working with architecture firm HKS (Rangers Ballpark, Miller Park) and a financial services firm who could provide up to $600 million for the forlorn 49ers Hunters Point stadium project. Antonini is trying to raise $1 million from private sources to complete a study.
  • Oakland’s City Council is discussing (right now!) how to deal with the end of redevelopment. There is talk about a successor agency, which would be very limited in scope (affordable housing mostly). Oakland North has an excellent infographic explaining where the redevelopment budget goes. Oakland appears to have two choices: A) allow the successor agency to be created but not with enough money to properly operate, or B) let it expire completely and lose all control or powers normally attributed to redevelopment agencies. They have until Friday to make their decision.

More as it comes. Owners meetings start tomorrow, with the A’s not on the agenda. The Merc’s Tracy Seipel has an overview of the current situation.

42 thoughts on “News for 1/10/12

  1. I thought Oracle sold that building. It was supposed to become BEA headquarters but BEA was no more.

  2. From the Merc’s TK blog:

    -Q: Is it important for you to stay in Northern California?

    -DAVIS: It’s important to get a new stadium. That’s really important. I mean, it’s such a competitive business. It really is competitive. We can’t compete for a lot of the players that other teams can, at times.

    -Q: Is Los Angeles a possibility?

    -DAVIS: Yeah, Los Angeles is a possibility. Wherever’s a possibility. We need a stadium.

    Funny, how Wolf gets berated for possibly leaving Oakland, but Al/Mark get a free pass (after already leaving once)…..

  3. Didn’t care for Seipel article that much. No where does she mention 1) why the giants have t-rights to SJ in the first place, 2) the other two-team markets are shared territories and 3) that the giant’s can’t do shit about MLB granting the A’s SJ. At least highly respected Noll and Zimbalist get it! Here’s hoping for a nice surprise over the next few days.

  4. @Anon If Davis actually follows through with L.A. to the point Lew has with SJ, there will be plenty of outrage(more than Wolff is seeing), believe me.

  5. Eb, what if he follows through with a move to Santa Clara?

  6. townsend brought up the issue too about how the w’s and raiders who the city of oakland helped renovate their current venues at the coliseum complex for those two teams specifically and they’re likely moving out of oakland within the next decade too and where’s the outrage with those two teams?

    mean while the a’s franchise has been treated as 2nd and 3rd class citizens even though they’ve provided the most success in terms of 4 world titles to the city and they wanna move out when the city of oakland screwed up the coliseum and at this time has NO VIABLE plan they’re looked as the biggest villians in recent east bay sports history.

    doesn’t make no sense to me personally either.

  7. Yeah, the Warriors aren’t exactly hiding the fact that they are interested in moving to SF. And the Raiders have left before, and they’ll leave for Santa Clara or LA in a heart beat- don’t kid yourself Oakland. East Bay A’s fans are giving LW all of this cr*p about possibly moving, but the funny thing is, that’s the one owner they shouldn’t be mad at.

    $180 million to ruin the Coliseum for baseball when the Raiders came back from LA, $100 million to renovate Oracle arena for the W’s 10 years ago- the city of Oakland is STILL paying for both upgrades (something like 20 million a year just for Mt. Davis). Oakland will be paying for Oracle/ Mt. Davis YEARS after those teams leave Oakland. That’s actually something worth getting upset about- those two teams leaving your city to pay millions for renovations to an empty arena/ stadium. And the W’s & Raiders aren’t even pretending to put Oakland first as they eye new digs. But Lew Wolff catches all the BS and conspiracy theories, with people holding up dumb signs in the outfield stands every time I go to a game. Talk about a double standard…

  8. @Jeffrey I imagine it would be a lot more palatable. They would be keeping the city’s name, which leaves the civic connection intact and opens the possibility of the team, perhaps, coming back to Oakland at some point. Also,sharing a stadium in the Bay Area just makes a lot of sense. I’m sure there would be people upset, though. The thing is, Raider fans have already had their team taken away, I’m sure at this point most of us desperately don’t want that to happen again. If SC is the only option and we still get to keep the team’s city/heritage true, I’m sure most would bite the bullet. It’s mostly a tv sport nowadays anyhow, unlike baseball. Still, Oakland and the Raiders go together pretty well…
    Man, sometimes I regret being a fan of the teams that I follow. For God’s sake, can’t just one of my teams stay in Oakland and be stable.

  9. @eb,
    Is there solid proof that the Raiders would remain “Oakland” if they moved to SC? I’ve never read or heard anything about this, so I’m just curious of where you heard that. Thanks in advance.

  10. @Tony D. I don’t have any inside info and bartleby and I have argued about this before, but the “Oakland Raiders” is a pretty strong brand. I can’t imagine they’d alienate their hardcore East Bay fan base by calling them the “Silicon Valley Raiders” or “San Jose Raiders.” Could you imagine John Facenda spitting out those names?

  11. The Raiders news is good for those that want them to stay in the Bay Area. To move to LA the Raiders by all accounts would have to give up a sizeable portion of the team to AEG. If Davis wants to maintain control the only way that happens is Santa Clara or an unlikely Oakland plan.

  12. LetsGoA’s, it’s probably because the Warriors have never fully embraced being an Oakland team (they’ve never been the Oakland Warriors), so moving back to San Francisco is not really any loss. And the Raiders have already left once alienating many fans who were the “Oakland Only” of that generation. Many of the fans who remained didn’t care as much that they were in LA and wouldn’t care as much if they went back to LA or down to Santa Clara. The A’s have been the constant that has always had the Oakland name on them and has won the city the most accolades and championships of the 3. Despite being the only one of the 3 wronged by the city.

  13. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens with the Raiders. I wouldn’t assume anything about the name other than “Raiders” will still be in it.
    I have to say, however, I find mind numbing that “sharing a stadium” just makes sense while “actually going after something that can be built” is not.

  14. “I have to say, however, I find mind numbing that “sharing a stadium” just makes sense while “actually going after something that can be built” is not.”
    In relation to the A’s and San Jose? What do you mean?

  15. Yes. In relation to the A’s and San Jose.

  16. Still not clear on what point you were trying to make. The A’s aren’t planning to share a stadium with anyone in San Jose.

  17. Well, 8 games a year and a price tag of 2 billion dollars, for two teams in desperate need of new facilities in the area seems to me to be a slightly different scenario than what the A’s find themselves in. There’s also the difference in the nature of the sport, the dumping/reclaiming of city/identity, lack of a direct out of state competing interest, etc. I’m also pretty sure we differ on the nature of why one roots for a team and the impact of civic allegiance. I understand where you are coming from, I just disagree.

  18. The Raiders are in desperate need of a new facility 15 years after they were given a brand new facility at the expense of the A’s- not to mention the $140M hangover that still exists- quite possible Oakland tries to give the Raiders 2 new stadiums the while never finding the money to even do an EIR for the A’s- and who is the villain….riddle me that

  19. It’s got to be the A’s ownership’s fault. If it was the city of Oakland, then the people of Oakland would have to admit that they put the wrong people in charge.

  20. I think a majority of Oaklanders recognize the lackluster politicians they have put in place. This whole situation is messy all around,with enough blame for all parties involved.

  21. Fair enough, rarely is one side completely without fault.

  22. Sorry- don’t buy into deflecting the blame away from Oakland to all parties- LW said he tried for quite some time to get something done in Oakland- has documented accounts of it- BRC was esablished to figure out if there was a way to get this done in Oakland- they haven’t come back with a solution- accountability lies with those that chose the Raiders and W’s over the A’s- you have the Raiders announce today during a press conference tha they have been having discussions with LA- where is monte- how come no rant towards the team that wants out of a 15 year old stadium that still has 140M mortgage- Oakland has screwed the A’s time and time again- time to move onto greener pastures-

  23. @eb – this isnt meant to be mean or attack you, but I dis-agree with many of the points you make in this thread.
    “Raiders” is brand name by itself. That’s evident in Oakland now and it was also evident in LA before. There’s no telling what the Raiders would do if they went to SC, but i wouldn’t just assume they’d maintain their “heritage” if there was a greater financial incentive otherwise. Certainly, SF > SJ or Oak, the A’s are arguing SJ > Oak, what’s to say the Raiders don’t come to the same conclusion? I would think alienating your “hardcore fans” becomes a lot more palatable if you’ve got a new strong corporate base, large-enough new fan base (to withstand the alienated minority) and other means of generating revenue. This is a business first and foremost. NFL, MLB, NBA they’ve all got no problem screwing their “loyal” fanbase (look at ticket prices, look at the Supersonics, etc.)
    Also, even if they stayed the “Oakland Raiders” if they moved to SC, how is this really keeping their “heritage” and how could you justify that? They’re effectively leaving Oakland behind (what’s the financial or other benefit to their heritage city if they moved to SC?? none of the revenues would be enjoyed by Oakland. Oaklanders would feel good if they won? that’s very fleeting & momentary). I just can’t see how you’d happily accept that because they would in no way reflect Oakland or it’s (quoting jk here) grittiness, under-dog spirit or whatever (they’d be no different than the Niners – – how could any Raiders fan be okay with that? lol). Yeah, everyone will have to say “Oakland Raiders” that’s about it. Or they can just say “the Raiders”. I’m sure enough people already know Oakland exists (unfortunately enough people here mention it negatively). What does this move to SC really do to reflect or benefit Oakland’s heritage??? The Raiders will go to SC bc they want the SC $$$ and what incentive would they have to ever go back to Oakland?
    Lastly, NO NO NO, you can’t necessarily justify the Raiders moving to SC for cost and not the A’s. Regardless of the price & number of games (which are actually reasons why i would personally be pissed if the Bay Area committed/built 2 stadiums when they both should share just one – – so in a way i agree with you here), you cannot differentiate the plights of the Raiders & A’s because of it. They’re both similarly severely limited in resources by their present location and given the challenges of our current economy & lack of support for public funding in CA they both have the same challenge of identifying the most sound, complete & financially-viable plan to privately finance a new home. (And actually, you try to differentiate b/w the natures of each sport… well, part of the diff is the NFL is a larger revenue-generator so you can almost better equate the diff in stadium cost for each bc of that) Both teams are pretty damn desperate at this point (but at least the Raiders got “new” stadium 15yrs ago) andhe A’s have made the argument they’ve done their due dilligence to ID a viable location/plan, if the Raiders went to SC, they’d have done the same thing as Lew “he lied & never tried” Wolff. If both teams went to the S Bay, regardless of the city before their team name, they’ve both left Oakland behind and there’s limited to no tangible benefit(s) to be enjoyed by Oakland at that point. I would think/hope Oakland fans would be F’ING PISSED with Mark Davis and how he answered that interview (and admitting they’ve talked to LA). It’s no different than Lew Wolff saying he’d build in SJ 10-15 yrs ago or whatever.
    (not my most coherent paragraphs above, but hopefully my point is made – – it’s late)

  24. @Dirty You’ve made some interesting points, but I’m confused as to the overall message of your post. First things first, the strength of the “Oakland Raiders” brand. I agree that whatever a franchises logo/name/color scheme, that is going to always be the number one marketable aspect of that brand. However, certain team’s cities evoke an image with the franchise that ADDS to the marketability, ala the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers, etc. It would be harder to promote the Steelers as “tough,” for example, if they were changed to the Del Boca Vista Steelers. Heck, even the Green Bay Packers brand, I think, would take a hit if they began to call themselves the Milwaukee Packers. You even say yourself in your post that the Oakland Raiders represent a grittiness and under dog spirit. I’m just saying that keeping Oakland in front of the Raiders adds a mystique that adds to marketability. Just my opinion.
    If the Raiders decided to share SC with the 49ers, I don’t believe they would be totally leaving the city of Oakland behind, if the Raiders still played under the Oakland banner. It would be a tremendous shame to not have the team in city limits and some of the edginess of game day would lessen, but Raider fans would still make the trip and support the team. I would also imagine the team would continue its charities in Oakland, would host a championship parade in Oakland (as far fetched as that sounds nowadays), would keep Oakland’s name mentioned as an NFL city, etc. The Giants/Jets/Cowboys/Redskins all play outside their home base, yet still represent their cities. Believe me, I don’t want the team to leave, I was just saying I believed Oakland Raider fans would be more accepting of SC than LA.
    It’s your last paragraph that kind of confuses me. You say I cannot differentiate between the two team’s circumstances, yet you want me to be pissed at Davis and Wolff? Look, I understand the current situation. Both of the teams I love are possibly going to leave my hometown. It is really depressing and I’m certainly biased. I just think that a two team NFL stadium makes a lot of financial/logistical sense, where as the A’s situation is a whole other animal. BTW, I’ve always said that while I will root for an Oakland stadium until the final buzzer sounds, I’ll still cheer for the team in SJ. The team just won’t represent what it once did to me.

  25. @eb- sorry but the negative perception of Oakland is very real, whether or not there is a valid basis for it. I would not be surprised if the Oakland “mystique” proved to be detrimental to marketing luxury suites and seat licenses to millionaires in a new SC stadium.

    The comparisons to Green Bay and Pittsburgh are not apt. Those cities have a “gritty” but by no means negative reputation.

    Of course, I’ve always found it silly that American sports teams required a city identifier in their name. Can’t a team ever be just “The Raiders” or “The Athletics”? Like “Arsenal” or “Aston Villa”. Not London Arsenal or Birmingham Aston Villa.

  26. @eb, yeah I rushed that thing out. I just thought you were making too many subjective arguments to rationalize the Raiders possibly moving to SC compared to the A’s doing the same thing. That’s just my opinion. You say it makes financial/logistical sense for the Raiders to move and I agree with you there. However, unfortunately for Oakland, based on the present available data & events (i.e., what each city has done and where they currently stand) there’s a strong argument then that SJ is the better financial/logistical location for the A’s too. You have the right to disagree and that’s fine (I do give you credit, you’ve never been anti-SJ, you’re rooting for your hometown & there’s nothing wrong w/ civic pride). Regardless, I just personally would be shocked if Oaklanders, who are upset at LW for wanting to move to SJ (and accuse him of wanting to do so before he even owned the team) would let Davis get a free pass (even though the Raiders have already left once, screwed the city into a horrible stadium deal and are now talking/using other cities against Oakland).

  27. Dirty pretty much hit on what I meant. Both Oakland’s NFL and MLB team are looking to leave for essentially the same reason. They can get something done somewhere else that they can’t get done in Oakland. It is all about financing a stadium privately. The whole ” lied, he never tried” is a bunch of bullshit.

  28. eb, we probably root for the A’s for similar reasons. I was born in Oakland. My parents graduated from Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo. I have lived a good deal of my life in the East Bay (everywhere from Concord to Castro Valley to San Leandro to Oakland to Pleasanton).
    My Uncle Kevin (RIP, Pigden), who used to remind me all the time that I was born in the shadow of 3 world series trophies in Oakland California 1975, got to me first. He used to take me to games all the time and my fan hood was born. His brother, Uncle Larry, who is 1 year and 2 days younger than Uncle Kevin was a Giants fan. Thankfully he didn’t take me to many games.
    I feel like I grew up in the bleachers (RIP) at the Oakland Coliseum. I have raised my 3 daughters (not all the way raised exactly but well into their indoctrination) as Oakland A’s fans. I want to take them to games for as long as humanly possible and I hope to one day take their children to A’s games. If it is in Oakland, great. If it is San Jose, great. As long as I can reasonably make it to 20 ish games a year, and listen to Ken Korach call the rest… I am golden.
    The only way I see that happening is in San Jose. Barring some unforeseen event.

  29. @Al Does St. Louis hurt the Cardinals? Baltimore the Ravens? Detroit the Lions? New Orleans the Saints? All of those cities have crime rates higher or similar to Oakland’s. If grown men are afraid to attend an “Oakland Raider” game in Santa Clara because they think some sort of “Oakland” violence will follow, well, that would be pretty amazing.

  30. eb: NJ Devils have been mocked for playing in “dangerous” Newark while the Saint Louis Blues, playing in a town with a higher crime rate, get none of this same treatment. Perception becomes reality, like it or not. I know Oakland has its crime problems but the Coliseum and tourist attractions there apparently are insulated from all that since I’ve never had any problem visiting Oakland…If the Raiders end up in Santa Clara and change their name to Santa Clara, San Jose, Bay Area Raiders, whatever, it will be because they can make more money and sell more luxury suites without the name “Oakland” attached to them. That will be the deciding factor.

  31. @ eb – while crime rate may be on par and lower on those cities, it’s the perception of the team and its fan (maybe from the LA thug days) that may influence corporations and people to go to game. Do you want to give tickets to a client or employee to a franchise that has a disparaging image? How would that reflect on you then?

    I still find it remarkable that you are giving a free pass to the W’s and Raiders owners and continue to lambast LW and the A’s. Since the change of ownership, it’s been widely rumored that the W’s were interested in leaving to SF and finally reaffirmed a couple of weeks back. Did Wolf go directly and publicly started negotiating with SJ when he got on board? And as for the Raiders, I can’t still fathom the romance with the team after getting heartbroken once already and now being conveyed that another breakup is likely in the future. Yet, the A’s are getting all the flak after getting trampled on by the Raiders and have stayed quietly in Oakland the past 15+ years watching on politician after another promise a new venue for them. /facepalm

  32. eb – also b4 you get all sensitive on me for the perception of Oakland, let it be known that I would favor them keeping the Oakland name if they moved to be co-tenants with the Niners. Of course, I’ve also stated before that I could care less if they moved there or not! :X Go Niners! 🙂

  33. Somewhat off-topic, but it pertains to LA football and the Raiders. This facebook page keeps frequent tabs on the Rams situation in St Louis, as it is run by LA fans hoping the team returns to SoCal.
    They also voice their immense displeasure at the thought of the Raiders going back south, with more vitriol towards Raiders fans than we see up here. It’s bizarre how this big web of relocating franchises is tied together.

  34. @pjk The Yankees were mocked for playing in the dangerous Bronx, they’ve done just fine. Anyway, I understand the opposite view on this subject, I just think the concept is silly.
    @ Jeffrey I stand corrected. 🙂

  35. My perception of city names is that only a few of them actually really create meaningful brand value (New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco)… And it is really only important in two team markets. I think for every one person that feels passionate about Oakland (good or bad), there are a handful of people who really don’t care. This would probably be no different in San Jose.

  36. Does anyone else think Mark Davis, with that haircut, is trying out for the Jim Carrey part in a remake of “Dumb and Dumber”?

  37. @ pjk I was thinking Mark Davis looked a bit like Little Lord Fauntleroy

  38. When I saw Mark Davis, I thought to myself, “He got the zombie gene.”

  39. I’ve seen Little Lord Fauntleroy sitting courtside at W’s games with some hot Bettys over the years. He’s either got the hot “Zombie” gene, the hot tamale, or the fat wallet.

    Oh yeah, Big Al did hit him repeatedly with the ugly stick. Oh yeah.

  40. Okay, that’s enough of that.

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