The following letter was placed in today’s Tribune (PDF).
An Open Letter to John Fisher, Majority Owner of the Oakland A’s
May 8, 2012
Dear Mr. Fisher:
After five years of failed efforts to move the A’s out of Oakland, the time has come for you to sit down with Oakland and Alameda County officials to negotiate to keep the team in a world-class ballpark in Oakland. If you won’t do this, then, as long-time Oakland A’s fans, we’d ask that you please sell this once proud franchise to someone who will own and operate it as both a successful team and as a civic asset for our community.
Since moving to Oakland in 1968, the A’s have achieved tremendous success on the field, winning four World Championships, six American League Pennants, and 13 AL West division titles. The Oakland A’s have produced five Cy Young, seven MVP and seven Rookies of the year winners in Oakland – a far better record of success than almost any Major League team and certainly better than the San Francisco Giants.
Prior to your decision to buy the team, the people of the East Bay supported their A’s, regularly drawing in excess of 2 million fans a year while also receiving strong support from the business community. But your very public campaign to leave Oakland has taken a serious toll on the team’s ability to draw fans. Annual attendance has dropped 25% (from 1.9 to 1.4 million) in the five years since your management team proclaimed, “it’s out of the question” that the A’s will remain in Oakland. The drop-off is even worse if you go back to 2004, the year before you bought the team, when the A’s drew 2.2 million fans. Overall, during your ownership, attendance per game has dropped 33% from 27,000 to 18,000.
This decline in attendance following your ownership of the A’s comes at the same time the East Bay, the A’s territory, has continued to grow rapidly. In fact, the East Bay is one of the fastest growing regions in the area and is home to hundreds of large and growing companies including The Clorox Company, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Chevron, Pixar, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Pandora, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, 24 Hour Fitness and Cost Plus to name just a few. And, the East Bay is also at the geographic center of one of the largest and most important television markets in the country.
And, while the market and the historic record of fan support make clear for all to see that the East Bay is a proven good baseball region, there is nothing that precludes the A’s from competing for corporate sponsorship and fans from Silicon Valley right now – other than, of course, the quality of the product on the field, commitment of the team to provide a good fan experience and the competence of management.
Above and beyond its demonstrated market capacity, the people of the East Bay reflect the mosaic that is California. It is one of the most diverse regions in the country and Oakland is perhaps the most diverse city in the country with large African-American, Latino and Asian-American populations. Baseball constantly talks about its commitment to diversity – and presumably such a commitment would apply to owners such as yourself embracing being in such a diverse market. Oakland and the East Bay’s diversity is a strength that the A’s management should be looking to benefit from and of which Major League Baseball should be proud.
We understand that you and your investors need to make a return on your investment. However, given what you paid for the team and its most recent Forbes magazine valuation, you will certainly achieve a very good return when you choose to sell the team. And, given that the East Bay has proven it is a good baseball market from a business perspective, you will be able to make even more money – and do the right thing as the steward of a civic asset that is so important to the region – by committing to three basic principles.
First, commit to actively work with the ongoing effort to build a new stadium in Oakland. This effort is well underway and making significant progress.
Second, commit to winning by investing in the team. To date, the enterprise value of the team has gone up; you make money through baseball’s revenue sharing model; and re-invest very little back into the product on the field.
And, third, commit to showing respect to the people of Oakland and the East Bay. Since you acquired the team, time and time again efforts have been made to disrespect the fan base and the broader community. Obvious corporate sponsors are never contacted. And, the fan experience at the ballpark is less than ideal as compared to other Major League venues.
Mr. Fisher, the time has come to do the right thing. Sit down. Talk. Agree to keep the team in Oakland where it belongs.
Oakland Jobs & Housing Coalition
President, Green Stampede
President & CEO
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
A’s Season Ticket Holder Since 1988
More unwitting pawns for the Giants in their quest to kick the A’s into the dustbin of history once and for all.
re: there is nothing that precludes the A’s from competing for corporate sponsorship and fans from Silicon Valley right now
…sure, if Oakland were conveniently accessible from Silicon Valley. It isn’t.
re: Prior to your decision to buy the team, the people of the East Bay supported their A’s, regularly drawing in excess of 2 million fans a year
…7 times above the median attendance in 44 years, 15 times in the playoffs.
Being only in excess of 2M fans is not good. Giants are belly-aching over getting below 3.25M or something. Think about that.
If the East Bay is the proven baseball region that this says, why have three of four ownerships wanted to leave the place while the fourth bailed at a discount, just to stop the red ink? Once again, why don’t these folks stop with their PR campaigns and just come forward and put $1.2 billion in escrow, to prove they can both pay for the franchise and a new stadium? If the PSLs don’t work out and the suites and sponsorships don’t sell, the escrow account will be there to cover the shortfall.
re: Since you acquired the team, time and time again efforts have been made to disrespect the fan base
…disrespect the fan base with: $2 ticket nights, free hot dog nights, free parking nights, $38 for behind-the-dugout seats; fabulous giveaways (I’ve got a houseful of great A’s giveaways, stuff I don’t even want to use so I can maintain its value). I guess I should get out of here for a while now.
I watching the MLB channel yesterday and the Indians were on and it looked a lot like the Coliseum in the stands.
Check out the highlights and if it isn’t Boston, NY Yankees, or Philly – you will see scores of empty seats this season.
The owners are pricing out the average family. It seems like the plan is for the working-class to watch on TV, while the “privileged” attend the games in suites …
Nice letter in the TRIB. Sell Fisher, sell!
Talk about a load of misinformation and half truths…
“The owners are pricing out the average family. It seems like the plan is for the working-class to watch on TV, while the “privileged” attend the games in suites …”
That seems like the SJ plan in a nutshell. Hence the reduced capacity, seating “neighborhoods” and other such things to make this the best corporate experience in baseball. Its really nothing new, it’s all over MLB, I just never seen it done so transparently.
The A’s are getting their asses handed to them in this PR war.
@gojohn10 – Do you think that matters to Wolff and Fisher?
Confused on your comment. You pretty much agree that the current model is pricing out fans all over baseball. Then ask the owner putting the cheapest tickets out there to sale? You don’t honestly think new owners would make things cheaper? Things would just get worse, especially after putting all that money to buy the team.
@gojohn10 Agreed. It seems in the last week or so the PR machine of Oakland has actually been on the winning side. Normally when Oakland politicians roll out their press conferences Wolff & Co. are able to win the day, but not so much this time. Perhaps the business community is helping Oakland’s cause as articles are starting to call for the A’s to sell.
@Mike – I never said that a new stadium in Oakland (or anywhere else) would continue to have $2 Wednesday’s and all of the other things currently offered at the Coliseum. I will be able to afford a PSL and tickets, so it won’t affect me. I currently don’t have any season tix, but I do subscribe to MLB Extra innings.
re: Then ask the owner putting the cheapest tickets out there to (sell)?
…I’ve got two $16 third-level behind-the-plate seats for the Yankees, which include something like $5 or $6 in food. And they’re giving out calendars that day. (Yes, the notorious third level that people want uncovered.) What a greedy meanie, that Lew Wolff.
Jorge Leon, President of Green Stampede? Oh my… the political maneuvering behind reaching that office must’ve been tricky. #scarcasm
Why not currently have tickets if you love the team? Support them while they’re here. It would be a lot harder for Selig to ok a move San Jose if people were showing up now. That’s why even though I’m currently a season ticket holder and live close to Oakland. I just don’t see even with a new Stadium things not being empty again a few years after. The current fan base doesn’t show any signs of being true supporters through the good and the bad. Save a few loyal fans. The same goes for the corporate businesses now saying they would be there for a new park, why are they not showing that support now.
I have always thought the best way for a city/region to keep a team is to not give them a reason to leave. Over the last week there has been a lot of talk in the East Bay about supporting the A’s. Now might be a good time to start giving the A’s a reason not to leave. It will be interesting to see what attendance will be like for the upcoming homestand. The team is playing some pretty good ball, and they are only 4 games out. The weather is suppose to be outstanding. A nice bump up in attendance may be a small indication that there is still some interest in saving the A’s.
I am sure that this Leon guy is probably a nice guy, but seriously, come on. If he is attached to your open letter, talk about knocking down some credibility.
So the Oakland Tribune posted a fan letter to the owners? Meh.
Fisher and Wolff would never host a presser to discuss selling. By doing so it would acknowledge these parties. They are smart to not acknowledge. What they should do is be more fervent in pushing for some resolution with the owners. They may be doing that and we don’t know. We shall see.
And a sincere question – is there anyone who penned their name to this letter that has any credibility? A season ticket holder and the founder of BaseballOakland.com? I have to think that the SVLG letter to Bud Selig carries more weight. But hey, I’m all for a ballpark anywhere, so if this gets things going in either city, fine by me.
I think the letter was well written but unfortunately, they basically prove Wolff’s point by highlighting the 2.2 million fan attendance. Also, with all due respect, who are these people? Do they have any serious clout in the business community?
if this was signed by powerful people with the financial wherewithal to keep the team in Oakland that’s one thing, but this seems more like a fan’s plea to the Wolff to step aside for their savior that may or may not exist. To me this does more harm than good.
If you’re a baseball fan, and a fan of the A’s why not make an effort to get out to see a game?
David: So you’d rather plunk down thousands of dollars for PSLs just to keep the name “Oakland” on the road jerseys, when for a 30-mile drive to San Jose you could keep your PSL money and root for the team just the same. OK.
The argument showing “surprise” that fans in Oakland aren’t selling out the coliseum every night by buying tickets from the current ownership group is getting very, very tired. A’s fans who want the team to stay in Oakland have had enough of Lew Wolff and his “it can’t be Oakland” talking points. The fact that SJ has not yet happened, which many A’s fans assumed was as good as done a year or two ago, has revived the hopes of the large number of A’s fans in the 510/925/707 who want nothing more than a new stadium in Oakland. The excitement and energy following the Clorox press conference last week only reinforces that.
If the current owners and pro-SJ A’s fans really want to see the Coliseum attendance go up (which, for obvious reasons, they actually don’t)? Have Lew Wolff commit to opening a dialog with Oakland if the A’s reach a designated average for remaining home games, say 25,000. Or, for us pro-Oak fans, take it to the fantasy extreme: have MLB commit to pursuing a legitimate new ownership group in Oakland if attendance at the Coliseum averages 30k.
Obviously I’m oversimplifying all of this to an extremely high degree just to make a point, but I want to highlight what would truly motivate East Bay fans and corporations to spend their $ on the A’s. Would it be to support owners who show disdain for the region and want nothing more than to leave? Or to show support for the team and the organization, and a commitment to keeping them in Oakland? Right now you can’t do one without the other, but if you could, it would demonstrate the passion of East Bay fans that pro-SJ arguers are so quick to dismiss.
“The owners are pricing out the average family. It seems like the plan is for the working-class to watch on TV, while the “privileged” attend the games in suites …”.
What major professional sport is not having this happen?.
“I’ve got two $16 third-level behind-the-plate seats for the Yankees, which include something like $5 or $6 in food. And they’re giving out calendars that day. “.
I’m taking the wife and kids on the 25th.
For an average fan, purchasing a PSL is a serious waste of your money.
Dear god (OK, Selig), please let it end!
This letter offers nothing new or anything of any substance.
Why do these East Bay people assume so much when they know so little? Oakland has zero sites that are viable.
Forget $$ and corporations, there is a bottom line here and that is Wolff left no stone unturned in the East Bay.
Selling to a new ownership will not help things at all. The Coliseum site is not what MLB wants, if it were viable they would have told Wolff to build there, or Victory Court or Howard Terminal.
These ignorant people on this letter do not realize the big issue here. They seem to think Wolff and Fisher are sandbagging it to get to San Jose.
In reality, San Jose is the last option left and if it was not MLB would have done something in East Bay a long time ago regardless of ownership.
Hence the delay as Selig maneuvers to get the A’s to San Jose, which to Selig is the nuclear option.
JH510, but you’re assuming A’s fans didn’t show up just because Wolff is the owner. They didn’t show up in respectable number before Wolff owned the team. Sure it’s gotten worse since Wolff took over, but by and large long before Wolff A’s “fans” weren’t supporting the team in Oakland. This isn’t a recent development.
However, let’s say that the A’s find a way to stay in Oakland, I feel that the TR fight needs to go on no matter what! Does the next generation want to have this same fight in 50 years? If these TR rights are not corrected, and the A’s stay in Oakland, its only a matter of time before they are forced to leave the Bay Area for good.
@JH510 – If those goals were being reached now there would be no debate about whether or not the A’s are sustainable in Oakland. You can’t have it both ways by claiming the fanbase is strong, trotting out cherry-picked and misleading information to support your argument, and then not actually showing how good the fanbase is by not supporting the team.
This goes well beyond simply not attending games. Radio and TV ratings are poor too. If you want to blame everything on ownership, fine. Just don’t be surprised when ownership and MLB ignores you.
“For an average fan, purchasing a PSL is a serious waste of your money.”
Is it? Aren’t they simply investments that, down the road, one could sell for a profit (or loss)?
It seemed really official until I saw Jorge Leon and Mike Davie on there. That’s like pjk and Tony writing on behalf of San Jose.
I’m disappointed no one asked when Wolff will remove the tarps.
The (Knauss) press conference was all CEO’s. I don’t see any “problem” including hardcore fans, in today’s press release. It makes sense to me.
Also, I don’t get why they bothered addressing the letter to Fisher. Sure, he’s the money man, but Wolff is the owner for all intents and purposes. Fisher stays behind the scenes by choice; I find it hard to believe he even cares much about the A’s on a day-to-day basis except when it comes to signing checks.
Probably accurate, Nam. I’m just a fan with a lot to say in this particular chat room. That’s it. I have no official status with anybody. Maybe I should appoint myself president of “A’s/Sharks Fanatics for San Jose.” That should do it. Sounds as good as “Green Stampede.”
Unbelievable. The amount of disdain towards the city of Oakland is downright tragic. For those of you who think that getting a stadium built in Oakland is completely out of the question think again. There are gorgeous viable options in Oakland that will honestly turn the team, organization, and community around. And when Wisher said “they left no stone unturned” in Oakland they were straight up lying to everyone in the community. 1) They have been trying to move the team before they even owned it! 2) They looked at a stupid plan near 66th street and when they realized no one would buy that they set sail to the south bay. Obviously it is going to take a lot of work and money to be completed but getting ANY stadium built in California is going to require that. I am just sick and tired of the owners bashing oakland, the media bashing Oakland, and even some of the fans bashing Oakland. It is one of the biggest up-and-coming cities in the United States (currently spearheading a modern day cultural renaissance) and it would be foolhardy to leave this proud and historic city. If you call yourself an A’s fan and you still support this owners group, get out. Leave. Go enjoy your corporate sponsors at AT&T Park with the rest of the yuppie scumbags (ahem Wisher) but leave the loyal die hard fans here in Oakland where the belong. Let’s go A’s. Let’s go Oakland.
@Jb510 – I saw Wolff’s evidence. Am I a liar? He could bury and embarrass Oakland if he wanted to, but what would the point of that be?
BTW – Next time try to respond to my points instead of going on an ad hominem attack.
@eb – Let’s see. East Bay fans have had trouble supporting the team in the past, won’t support the team with Wolff/Fisher at the helm, and have stated vociferously that they won’t support the team if it’s moved to the South Bay. I believe that’s called a lost cause.
“Do you think that matters to Wolff and Fisher?”
It really should. The A’s already have a huge PR problem in the Bay Area and suffer from a negative image. Further spiraling down that hole is not good, no matter where the new stadium will be. Wolff/Fisher are in the entertainment business, they need positive press to win over fans who might otherwise be Giants fans or non-baseball fans. This is why they are getting smashed by the Giants’ PR machine.
I met Jorge Leon a couple weeks ago at a post-game tailgate. Let’s just say that I was not impressed by his ability to logically think about the whole situation.
“The (Knauss) press conference was all CEO’s. I don’t see any “problem” including hardcore fans, in today’s press release. It makes sense to me.”
I agree, it humanizes this whole plight. Having your teams owner essentially say fans in the East Bay aren’t “good enough for me” is bound stir passions among the fan base.
Average SF Giants attendance during the final 8 seasons at Candlestick/3Com park: 23,081.
Average Oak A’s attendance during the last 8 seasons at Coliseum: 21,808. Which includes the last 4 years of having an ownership group that has had its primary goal to build a new stadium in another city.
Does this mean Oakland/East Bay has the same strength in fan numbers/corporate horsepower as SF or the South Bay? No. But it should show that simply pointing to low attendance figures at an outdated stadium may not accurately represent the fan base that can be tapped into with a new facility (especially downtown on a waterfront).
And is it a surprise that a team with new players every year and a low payroll isn’t attracting large radio and TV numbers? Again, no.
I’ll return to my key point, that I think is getting misread: I’m not arguing that the San Jose A’s would not thrive and be an immensely successful organization, I wholeheartedly believe they would. What I’m arguing is that the Oakland A’s playing at a downtown waterfront stadium would be successful, and able to have a sustainable fan base in large numbers, increase its TV and radio ratings, and field a successful team on the field with a higher payroll.
However, by and large I know most of you reading this will kindly agree to disagree with me, but I appreciate you letting me have my points heard.
(Attendance figures taken from http://www.baseball-reference.com)
This letter is complete and utter bullshit. There are things taken out of context and by the way… a privately financed stadium in Oakland can’t be paid for by 2.2 million fans through the turnstiles every fifth season.
What stops folks from coming to the Coliseum? The Coliseum… Believe what you want, but the Coliseum is bad for attendance and has been completely horrible for baseball since the Raiders came back. The fact that these same guys keep trotting out this garbage and anyone buys it is laughable. Silicon Valley companies don’t do things at the Coliseum because they can do them in a REAL gem of a baseball only facility right across the bay. It has nothing to do with Wolff… Unless of course you think the same guys that are trying to help him get the team to San Jose don’t like him.
This comes from the debating school of “If the facts don’t have our back, let’s take things out of context to give the appearance that they do.” You know, like leave out the entire history and focus on the last five years leaving out context… Because context shows this is a 4 decade pattern in Oakland and that winning hasn’t always been enough… Overspending the teams means and winning, sure!
I’d love to debate anyone of these guys on the facts live and in person. Just like I did on Athletics After Dark. I’ll call myself Jeffrey August, President of My Own Domain. It’s easy to win a debate when you let the facts shape your argument rather than trying to shape facts to fit an argument…
After five years of trying? How about after 16 years of trying to get something done in Oakland? I’d be looking somewhere else at this point too. People who get things done take no for an answer even when it isn’t an explicit no… 16 years of nothing is a “no.”And it’s still going by the way…
The truth is Oakland’s only plan right now is one that goes contrary to what has been successful in many other markets (and the opposite of what Don Knauss endorsed on three different radio shows with three different media outlets… Go figure, they still don’t have agreement on an actual site), and it supposedly patterned after a mega development that was successful for the same reasons that other MLB stadiums have been successful, but it isn’t. It isn’t rocket science… Take an underdeveloped area adjacent to the urban core (downtown) that is in the path of growth already and build a magnet development (like an arena, a ball yard, football field, a shopping mall, a convention center). The magnet development extends the reach of downtown and speeds up the infill development. #winning for the City and the sports teams!
LA Live is in downtown LA. The Coliseum is several miles from downtown. To get that mega development up and running it will take a decade. And without any of the other factors that made LA Live successful, why does anyone expect it to be successful? Note, that this is very similar to what Wolff’s plan was in Fremont… You know, the one you Oakland Only guys called a “land grab” and “unrealistic.” Be objective… The only difference is that it is in Oakland and that doesn’t really mean it will be any better. The other difference is that there was actually a way to pay for it in Fremont. Oakland is working with Uptown killers Forrest City on a financing method for Coliseum City… Anyone want to bet that it will look a lot like the proposed financing scheme Wolff pitched for the area in 2006? Surrounding development pays for the stadiums to some degree? Color me shocked when that happens.
re: There are gorgeous viable options in Oakland that will honestly turn the team, organization, and community around.
…MLB appointed a “Blue Ribbon Committee” to explore ballpark options in the A’s current territory of Alameda and Contra Costa counties in March 2009. Thirty-eight months later, this committee still has not found any site that works. At some point, it’s time to recognize they’re looking for something that’s just not there. Coliseum site – lacks ambiance, is not downtown, no waterfront access; Howard Terminal – big trains going near it or through it, unmovable sewer line; Victory Court – $250 million for site acquisitions and preparations, current property owners don’t want to sell..
Who wasted $30,000,000 in Fremont?
Who had a press conference with Selig, to announce “Cisco Field” in Fremont?
Is this the same guy who we are supposed to believe can get it done in SJ?
Is this the same guy who said “Bob Geren is doing a great job”?
Beane has done a few good things as GM under Wolff, but what has Wolff done (successfully) to garner all this trust in his “plan” for SJ? and where are the details for his plan?
jb150… respectfully, I’ll stay right where I am. You have no right to tell anyone to get out. If you don’t like the team and it’s direction, you have plenty of other options.
David… what owner doesn’t say “insert manager name here is doing a great job” when asked even if it is right before the guy gets fired? You know better than that.
And for the record, I do expect a guy who has a history of getting developments done to get it done in San Jose. At least more than I expect Oakland’s political leadership to get it done.
Good post, JH510.
@Jeffrey – he can build hotels, but what’s his record with building sports arenas and fielding a decent baseball team?
His record is spotty. Good at hotels. Bad at running a baseball team. Terrible when it comes to PR, imo.
@ML: sorry but just one last thing. I haven’t been meaning to “trot out cherry-picked numbers and misleading information,” but if I did, I apologize. In my last post I tried to point at simple attendance figures to support my point.
Finally, I’ll just say on a personal note I’m sorry to see your posts taking on such a strong pro-San Jose tone in recent months. You’ve been following these issues closer than the rest of us, and you know much more of the back story and history behind these debates, so I’m sure your argument is based in how you honestly see the A’s stadium situation. But for me, I originally begin visiting this site to get the latest news and updates on the new stadium for the A’s, wherever it might be. Obviously I’m in favor of that happening in Oakland, but until know I didn’t realize how strong your feelings were towards that not being an option. Clearly this is your site and that’s your right, but accordingly I’ll be viewing your future posts and arguments in a different light, as a result. I don’t mean to get on my soapbox and preach, but just wanted to let you know how one regular reader feels.
But above all, thank you for providing the forum for all of us passionate A’s fans to express our views.
@JH510 – You’re right. I do know the backstory far more than most. If you want to interpret my posts one way or another that’s fine, I can’t stop you. My perspective is this: Oakland backers are so hungry for any positive news that they’ll latch onto anything – Victory Court, Coliseum City, Knauss group – no matter how (un)substantial it is. I urge everyone in SJ or OAK to take the blinders off and try to understand what this effort truly entails. That’s the point of having this site. If PR points outweigh the actual realities on the ground, then I have failed in informing the public. And frankly, that’s sad.
And what is Oakland’s record with getting world class sports facilities built?
I find it hilarious when people write in the comments “the blog is taking on a pro-sj stance.” How can reporting real news and facts (and just not PR drivel) be construed as having some sort of bias? SMH
By the way, first time commenter and a big fan of the blog. Seems like the only place where you can get any reliable info on the stadium issue
@JB510 – no one is saying Oakland as a city, independent of baseball, is worth disdain. Oakland is a fine place. What people are saying is that Oakland, as the anchor town for one of 30 MLB teams in the country, isn’t cutting it. The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. The city itself, however? Just fine.
“The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. ”
You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.
Detroit, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland: Big Time Public $$ spent on new stadiums.
Oakland: No $$ at all available to pay for a new stadium. If Oakland wants to pay for a new ballpark, it would have one. But Oakland wants the ballpark for free…And we’ve already discussed 10,000 times how Oakland doesn’t cut it as a place to privately finance a ballpark.
They should have finished the letter by saying “agree to keep the team in Oakland where it belongs OR please just sell the team”.
May 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM eb(Quote)
“The current stadium is bad. The attendance situations is bad. The area surrounding the Coliseum is bad. The way it has bumbled through stadium plans going on 2 decades now is bad. ”
You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.
Here’s some irony. This letter is getting more attention here, an accused anti-Oakland site, than anywhere else I can find on the intarwebz. BTW….
@Jeffrey: I’m informing you that I intend to seek my party’s nomination to run against you for the Office of President of My Own Domain. See you in November.
“You just described San Francisco’s position before At&t, Cleveland, Miami, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. That’s hardly unique to Oakland.”
How many of those teams had another team build a brand new state of the heart stadium on the water to compete against? Which is also the in thing to do and seen by the public as the nicer city. Which is not going away.
So comparing how Oakland is like SF before AT&T has some merit. You have to realize how things have changed now because of AT&T. Oakland won’t be able to steal all those fans away at this point. With no public money in play you have to look for other things to help. The main thing is corporate money which the south bay has. The other thing is hoping south bay people will come to games in SJ against battling the traffic to go north. If there going to battle traffic anyways, might as well pick the stadium in SF over Oakland for the general public. Besides how great you think Oakland is the perception everywhere is SF is nicer. That can’t be changed and AT&T has become the “thing” to do.
What is unique to Oakland, is that they don’t have the corporate backing to pull off a privately financed stadium just like all those other markets that had publicly funded stadiums… Yet, there is no public funding available for a baseball stadium.
Look at the folks they reference in the letter… Peet’s Coffee has revenues of $378M and a 4% profit margin. Cost Plus has revenues of $963M and about a 2% profit margin. Pandora $274M and a negative profit margin. Dreyer’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nestle…I get Safeway, Clorox, Kaiser, Chevron (who wasn’t at Don Knauss’ big friggin’ deal of a press conference for some reason… hmmmm)… But that’s not enough.
Most of these companies will want to be part of a stadium ANYWHERE. They are consumer brands that want the exposure. The Silicon Valley companies aren’t all in that bucket… They want to be part of a stadium in San Jose to be in front of technology executives who make purchasing decisions. This isn’t some bullshit spin pr machine produced half truth. It’s fact.
Just compare this list with the SVLG letter signatories to those that showed up at Don Knauss’ Earth Shattering Announcement of 2012… It’s not even close.
jb510, you’re damn right many of us have disdain toward Oakland. Mainly Oakland’s leaders. It’s minutes to midnight and suddenly Oakland, a thousand days late, 3 billion dollars short and 4 ballpark plans later, is trying to wage a PR war with nothing but fluff to derail the as yet only stadium plan to keep the A’s in the Bay Area that has any chance of happening. And to do it they’re touting out BS numbers about how “good” Oakland’s support is and a few CEO’s who to date have put nothing or next to nothing as an investment into a team they claim to love. If they really did they’d be buying luxury boxes at the Coliseum, putting their names on the ballpark, buying signage, and most importantly if they’re serious about buying the team they’d say WHO that group really is, how much they’re willing to spend, and how they plan to privately finance an Oakland ballpark. But per usual when it comes to Oakland’s leaders, they talk and they talk and they talk… but they never actually do anything.
@dknight007 @eb – well, the difference is that Oakland leaders now want to build a new place right next to the old place, which is a good part of the problem in Oakland right now. The best city-center spots were either given away in the now-distant past or require significant capital improvements to even be an option. And that’s assuming the displaced businesses don’t put up a fight.
The fact remains that SJ offers too many attractive points about it for the A’s not to be clamoring for it: better location relative to the city, better corporate support, a lot of legwork already done, an available plot of land for purchase, and pledged naming rights
Coliseum Case Study
Ed. – Again, keep the quoted text to a minimum. Links are sufficient.
CFL, was there a point to that novel?
I just reread the letter and it occurred to me that the Oakland crowd is pretty tone deaf when ti comes to speaking to business people, like John Fisher and Bud Selig. It’s like they think telling folks what is in it for Oakland will make Bud Selig make a business decision.
Anyone else get that, or am I missing something?
Again, comparing the A’s to others in single-team markets. The Giants were bumbling and stumbling, too, but they righted their ship first. Now they have a huge hand in the market, not far from where the A’s are and even closer to where it is suggested the A’s should be. The same brand of casual fans waiting to be awed in Detroit, Cleveland or wherever have already been awed by AT&T in the bay area. Playing in the Giants’s shadow will not work the same magic as elsewhere, because the accessibility of a brand new stadium is nothing novel anymore. There needs to be a lasting foundation after the honeymoon period, and the unfortunate reality is that big companies are necessary for that, not average fans who watch games and have a rooting interest.
Ed. – Text deleted. A link will suffice. I don’t need copyright hounds breathing down my neck.
CFL, after digging on the site you linked to I found the actual study I think you were trying to get at. It’s interesting, but I also think they under estimate the costs of several things. For instance they assume a football stadium would cost 863 million which includes the 150 million in outstanding Coliseum debt from the building of Mt. Davis (essentially meaning that a new football stadium alone would only cost 713 million. After seeing the billion dollar price tag on the new Santa Clara stadium I’d say 713 is a gross underestimation. And as it is they already were working with a 400 million dollar funding shortfall that the Raiders were going to have to fill to get to 863 million. Which means the shortfall is likely more in the 700-800 million dollar range on the football stadium alone.
There proposals to fill the gap are also pie in the sky optimistic.They propose filling in part with PSLs (we all know how well that worked out in Oakland last time they tried it) and outside events on a level equal to the LA Live complex in the heart of the LA basin (which we also know will never happen in South Oakland).
So while it’s an interesting study, it’s also fatally optimistic.
:re: appear to be fizzling out.
So says the East Bay Express. The official word on this from Selig is no decision has been made.
CFL, also that study doesn’t even deal with the A’s ballpark. Also you should stop re posting entire articles. It’s copyright infringement. Better to just link to them.
@Jeffrey, That’s how I’ve seen it too. Especially in Doug Boxer’s interviews & quotes. Their message as been universally “Building a stadium in Oakland is good for the city of Oakland.” Never about how it’s good for the people doing the building in Oakland.
I love the team. I have loved it for as long as I’ve lived in Oakland (my entire life). My options are simpIe: Try as hard as I can to keep the team I love in the city I love because for me, and most fans I know, they go hand in hand. Do you honestly think that Wolff and Fisher are good owners, I take that back, decent owners that care about their fan base and want to see their team compete at the highest level possible? Or do you think that they are crying wolf about a bad stadium in a bad city trying to get a money grab in the south bay? To be honest, I think it’s both. But to me, that is unnacceptable which is why I’m so adamant about the owners selling the team… Clearly this a very emotional issue. We are all A’s fans, we all want the best for the team. It’s just hard for me to hear the same arguments I’ve been hearing for 6 years and seeing literally no progress.
P.s. I think a newballpark podcast would a great forum for people like us to air out our grievances.
Also, ML I do read your site every day and thank you for following the situation as closely as possible. It means a lot to us.
Jb, to be crying wolf their complaints about a bad stadium would have to be untrue. They’re not. The Coliseum is a shithole. It’s is by far the worst stadium in MLB (and second worst in the NFL after the soon to be abandoned Candlestick Park).
@ Jb510- I have been an A’s fan for over 30 years, through thick and thin. I have spent many days and much money at the Oakland Coliseum. I have never lived in Oakland (San Leandro is as close as I got) and never will. I love my team and support its current ownership group. I have been following this stadium saga for years and feel I have a good grasp of the issues thanks to ML and Jeffrey on this blog. i support a new stadium effort anywhere in the bay area. Who are you to tell me to get out? I suggest you leave these inflammatory statements locked up. Most of us here don’t put our heads in the sand when it comes to realizing the difficulties in building a new yard whether in Oak or SJ. That is why SJ gets the most attention, because it has accomplished the most. Please refrain from attacking the fan base and stick to the facts.
@ML In situations such as these, where there are so many nuances and so much emotion, PR will always win out. Your site has done an amazing job of keeping the general public informed. However, the simple fact is most people are not regular readers and/or are not willing to keep an open mind about the issue. The fact remains that your site had been extremely influential and I can only imagine how much worse things would be without it.
As to whether W&F care if they are losing the PR battle, I’m sure they’d rather win the war (A’s to SJ), but I sure hope they care about their image. Regardless of where in the Bay Area the A’s end up (god willing), these unanticipated delays are resulting in them taking some serious lumps that will have long-term repercussions for the popularity of the francise as long as they own it.
@gojohn10 – Oh I disagree. The winners get to write history. The losers end up marginalized on the sidelines, as Dan said, shrinking with every passing year.
Correction gojohn, as long as they own it in Oakland. If they get to San Jose the small percentage of people who are Oakland-Only A’s fans (and we know that’s a small percentage given how few of them actually go to A’s games) will be largely irrelevant, forgotten, and replaced by larger numbers of new A’s fans.
jb150, they definitely aren’t crying wolf about the stadium no matter how many half cocked reactionary bullshit articles baseball Oakland writes to the contrary. After the 2006 season, what did the owner’s do in regards to payroll and what did they get out of it? If you don’t know, maybe you should look it up. If you do know, I am sure it was just some nefarious plot or some other ridiculous thing in your eyes. Raising payroll coming off the deepest run into the playoffs the team had in years and losing season ticket holders wouldn’t work for me either,.nCall me a carpetbagger or Wolff apologist all you like.
And please point me to a single quote from Lew Wolff or John Fisher in which they referred to Oakland as a “bad city.” Just one…
The A’s have been my favorite team for 36 years, 37 next month (or the entirety of my life). I am tired of fans telling other fans to “get out” unless they agree with you and your spin. You hold no moral high ground and have no right to tell anyone to go away. I’ll stay put and root for my favorite team as long as they are playing baseball in the Bay Area.
How bout this for a question, Why do you think Oakland’s political leaders will be able to get something done? What is about everything that has happened since 1995 (zeroing in on 20 years of futility) that gives you any confidence in your elected leaders? If you were the owner of the A’s and had dealt with all the bullshit around getting something built, being passed over to actually have your stadium ruined, and having any other attempt at building a stadium thwarted in one way or another… Why would you stay? This isn’t an emotional issue for the owners of the team, it is a business one. Ignoring that fact is why Oakland is in this position, anyway.
CFL, what did Bud Selig say about the A’s to San Jose? Something about working on a solution between the two teams, was it? Dang, I guess the East bay Express has a better idea than he does…
@ Dan – Maybe it’s because I have club seats for the Raider games and my experience is different from someone sitting in the black hole, but I think there are several “worse” stadiums in the NFL. I’ve visited 2 of these places in the past 8 years but I happen to believe the stadiums for the Dolphins, Bills, Bengals, Vikings, and, yes, even the Bears pales in comparison to Oakland. Well, pales is probably too strong of a word but I do think these stadiums really suck and would deserve the title “shithole.” Yes, the Bears renovated their place awhile back but it’s just I can’t believe they spent so much money on a renovation that, quite frankly, didn’t seem much better than the Coliseum. I think they spent like $600 million. Whatever. If you’ve ever sat in the club section (mine is the West Side), I have never had a bad experience. Well, I did see a guy puke in his seat one time years ago, but I digress. I actually brought my 2 boys (ages 5 and 3) to a game last season and, unfortunately, we spent the entire 2nd half in the Kid’s Zone area so they could play. Luckily they had big screen TV’s there so I could see what was happening. But, by and large, I still can’t figure out why people call the Coliseum a shithole without explaining why. Again, maybe I’m biased because I have, admittedly, very good seats in the club. I never have to wait for the bathroom, the food and beer is excellent, the club area is clean. The fans are tame compared to other parts of the stadium.
And it’s another day’s worth of developments to reinforce Selig’s long-held belief that the A’s should never been allowed to relocate to Oakland in the first place.
@Dan Perhaps, but the anger seems to have permeated into the uninformed casual fan. That Trib poll had 90% of respondents saying W&F should sell. I can’t imagine they would have received a rebuke that severe even a year ago. Maybe these feelings aren’t long lasting for casual fans, I don’t know.
I’m just starting to think how all this mess can be fixed, though (thanks Bud). Is a new ballpark enough to heal all the wounds? Does that even matter? Are we now talking about a SJ fanbase that is mostly made up of new fans?
“Jorge Leon – President, Green Stampede” I almost swallowed my lunch whole seeing this. And Pro Oaklanders are excited about this?!!!! ROFLMAO…….
Columbo, for baseball the Coliseum is a shithole for the following reasons (and this is a non-exhaustive list): Mount Davis; being multipurpose to begin with; concourses are far too narrow, dark and dank with terrible circulation even on game days with small crowds (not to mention the counter-intuitive addition of the fences blocking views of the field from the concourse); small, out of date, falling apart scoreboards; some of the worst food safety in sports; bathrooms that while novel are some of the most disgusting I’ve ever had the displeasure of taking a leak in; seats way too distant from the field; seats that aren’t angled toward the battery; lower deck is far too shallow especially in the lower half; distant upper decks with some of (if not the) the most distant views in MLB; terrible industrial wasteland neighborhood with NOTHING to do in it except maybe get mugged if you stay too late after a game; as part of that, too distant from downtown Oakland; overrated access from the freeway thanks to the poor design of the Hegenberger exit especially coming from the south; field torn up every fall by the goddamn Raiders making the A’s a laughing stock nationally; I could go on but you get the point.
The Coliseum is exactly what it looks like from an aerial view. It’s a giant toilet bowl that is the last vestige of a dark suburban multipurpose time in “ballpark” construction. Time has long since passed it by and it needs to join the other 15 similar stadiums in the dustbin of history and close out that mistake of a chapter in baseball history.
Columbo, come on dude. I too have been to several stadiums and it is your silver and black tinged glasses that have you putting the Coliseum above any of those places. Like I said, the most electric event I have ever been to at the Coliseum was this years season opener with the Jets. I went with a large group, all first time visitors to the Coliseum. We sat 6 rows off the field and none of those guys ever want to go back as a result of how crappy the Coliseum is.
On that topic sort of, when are people going to realize that calling a duck a duck isn’t a bad thing. The Coliseum, a place I personally love, is objectively a crappy stadium. Refusing to admit that damages your credibility. Of course it’s my favorite stadium in all of baseball, that’s because I get to watch my favorite team… But I am not the fan that the team needs to be there to grow it’s revenue. I am going to be there no matter what.
People like Jorge Leon and Mike Davie have absolutely zero credibility on this issue at all because they have shown time and again that they aren’t arguing from a position of facts, no matter how they try to dress up their letter.
gojohn, problem with a poll like that is who is going to vote on it? The voters will be the hardcores, not casuals. Casuals wouldn’t bother. And even if they did, did you see the grand totals of folks who’ve voted on it? 327 people… that’s it. It’s on the front page of the city’s largest newspaper and it only garnered 327 votes. And that’s with supposed support groups like LGO asking their followers to vote on it as well as it getting coverage on sites like this. Shows you how much “support” a group like LGO and hardcore Oakland-Only fans really have. They may be printing lots of letters to the editor today (probably in an organized effort to blanket all the east bay papers), but in the end they’re just letters to the editor like granny writing in tomorrow about the cat crapping on her lawn. And in the end they’ll be just as irrelevant. So what it the 286 voters who want Wolff to sell want them to sell… I’m sure the A’s can find 286 new fans to replace them in San Jose, plus about 30,000 a day more.
What’s the story with Jorge Leon? I’ve never heard of him before but he apparently has a reputation.
@ ML – “The winners get to write history. The losers end up marginalized on the sidelines,” With respect as always, I am honestly having a tough time with this statement. By that I mean the “winners” get to write history, I’m thinking the definition of winners should be addressed. Winners by force, winners by manipulation, winners by honesty and integrity, and on and on. I would add that “winners,” usually through force, coups, or manipulation throughout history actually “rewrote” the true history because the losers ended up in oblivion and had no say any longer.
@Columbo – However you feel about it doesn’t make it less true. If the Giants succeed in driving the A’s out of the Bay they’ll have done it through force and manipulation. And if the A’s are sold to a pro-Oakland group there will be no shortage of manipulation there as evidenced by the current PR campaign. And if the A’s end up in SJ it’s because Wolff convinces the Lodge that there was no where else to go.
Columbo, in this case the winners won’t have to rewrite history. Oakland’s done a fine job of writing themselves in as a pretty bad chapter in history all their own. Derailing several stadium plans, putting their football team before the A’s despite the fact the football team doesn’t give a rats ass about Oakland, mediocre fan support in all but a handful of years, excuses and misdirection regarding saving the A’s for their city, and a largely antagonistic relationship with several ownership groups. Seems like the “winners” won’t have to rewrite anything in this case.
“If they get to San Jose the small percentage of people who are Oakland-Only A’s fans (and we know that’s a small percentage given how few of them actually go to A’s games) will be largely irrelevant, forgotten, and replaced by larger numbers of new A’s fans.”
Are you seriously okay with starting over with the A’s fan base? That blows my mind and comes across as incredibly disrespectful to the long time East Bay A’s fans who have lived and died with the team, while everyone else ignored the A’s. I’m not talking about “Oakland-Only” fans, but East Bay fans who feel marginalized by this current ownership. It’s in the best interest of the A’s organization to keep and add as many A’s fans as possible, wherever the stadium gets built. The idea of dismissing the hardcore fans who have been there since the beginning is disgusting. These are people you’ve sat with at games, cheered with, high fived, etc. I understand getting frustrated by those on the extreme fringe, on both sides, but you yourself have said Wolff is a lacking owner. Why is someone else’s venting any different than your or less important?
“We sat 6 rows off the field and none of those guys ever want to go back as a result of how crappy the Coliseum is.’
Do they attend 49er games, cause that would invalidate their position? Or are they just casual fans or transplants? It’s hard for me to fathom a football stadium’s amenities being the deciding factor over fan atmosphere/team performance. Baseball is a different animal altogether, but football is all about electricity, tailgating, etc. not aesthetics, IMO.
@ Dan – I’m not dismissing your arguments about the Coliseum for MLB. I was responding to your comment that the Coliseum was the 2nd worst NFL stadium behind Candlestick. I was merely giving my opinion that the Coliseum, IMHO, is not a shithole for NFL. @ Jeffrey – First of all, let’s not bring credibility into this. People are people and, as such, have different opinions. You said that for me to not admit the Coliseum is crappy is undermining my credibility and I believe that is ludicrous. “If you are not with us you are with them,” is what I get from that. Speaking strictly for the NFL, I have great seats. I have a great experience. You went to a game with a bunch of guys who didn’t. That’s fine; people have different opinions. I explained why my experience is enjoyable and, thus, why I don’t think the stadium is the shithole people portray it to be……for NFL (in response to Dan). What I’d like to know is where were your seats (yard line), what specifically did they not like about the “crappy stadium?” I ask because I’ve sat in the 1st level for Raider games in the past and it sucked. Why? I hated the fact that everybody stands up during the entire game and I can’t sit down to eat without missing the action. Secondly, on a hot day, the sun beats the hell out of my white ass. Thirdly, the crowd is much more rowdy down there. And lastly, waiting for food or the bathrooms is absolutely ridiculous. Those would be my arguments about the Coliseum being a shitty experience for NFL but, quite frankly, that is different from saying the Coliseum is a shithole, IMHO.
eb, you’re taking what I said and applying it broader than what I wrote. I didn’t say east bay fans I said Oakland-Only and I meant Oakland only fans. There are plenty of east bay fans on here that while not happy about the A’s moving to San Jose realize it’s in the team’s best interest. Hell many of your marginalized fans feel similarly. There aren’t many “Oakland-only” fans out there. That’s the point and the problem.
If East Bay columnists and these Oakland-only fans were truly serious about getting a stadium built to keep the A’s they wouldn’t have elected or re-elected Brown, IDLF, Dellums, etc, that kept the the JPA from at least considering the A’s at the same level they did the Raiders. Maybe those folks made the right decision from a fiscal perspective for the city of Oakland, but the legit chance the A’s had to stay was wasted. Why didn’t they complain more when Schott and Hoffman owned the team. Those guys were really cheap. All of the manipulation of facts that this group does will only matter if Wolff/Fisher are forced to sell. Given the way things are going financially for MLB, I wouldn’t sell, too much growth now with these tv deals. We went to the ALCS and drew 1.9 million fans in 2006. I’m sorry but I just don’t put much weight in what these parties talk about in their press conferences or letters.
And it may not be a fun thing to realize, but reality bites sometimes. You don’t think the A’s can’t replace the small number of Oakland-only hardcores that will abandon them if they leave Oakland?
@Dan I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, but when I see “Oakland-Only” on here I assume people mean those who support LGO’S cause or want desperately for the team to stay home, in Oakland, first and foremost. I agree, I would wager there are very few who would quit being A’s fans if SJ happened, but there are a lot of us who want things to workout in Oakland and aren’t exactly thrilled with how this possible transition is going. Honestly, I would view an A’s move to SJ as a “loss” for East Bay fans. I expect Oakland/the East Bay to fight to keep the A’s. If done right a new stadium could mean way more to Oakland than it ever could to San Jose. Does that mindset make one an “Oakland Only” type?
Columbo, what you should get from that is that objectivity matters. A lack of objectivity is tantamount to a lack of credibility. And yes, it is important even when you are expressing an opinion. We were on the “home plate” side. We had no trouble with having to stand up the whole time. The problems were more about things like the concourses, the crappy “flow” of getting around the stadium, the fact that all the beer lines backed up to the spite fences, the spite fences themselves (waiting 10 minutes for a beer and you can’t even follow the game), the dank/dark nature of the stadium in general. It wasn’t hot, I had a perfectly great time but nearly every sporting event I ever go to is in the Coliseum so I knew what to expect. My friend Callahan said to me “How can such a beautiful area have the two shittiest football stadiums around?” He has been to every stadium in the NFL but Seattle, so I take him at his word.
eb, they are not casual football fans. They are transplants and they don’t like Candlestick much either. What I find hard to believe is that anyone thinks that amenities don’t matter. That trying to make it through a crowded concourse to get a beer isn’t important to anyone but causal fans. It didn’t help that some dude whipped it out and took a leak in front of us as we waited to get into the stadium, but that is definitely not specific to Oakland (drunk football fans whizzing all over the place, that is).
@ Dan – I think there are more “Oakland-only” fans than you realize. Can SJ recoup these lost fans? Probably, because ownership obviously thinks so, although I believe they’re looking at the corporate dollars more so versus us “average” fans. @ Nicosan – “Why didn’t they complain more when Schott and Hoffman owned the team. Those guys were really cheap.” Cheaper than the current ownership? Well, never mind. My personal opinion is that that there were huge complaints back then but the team was winning. There was a coalition of people pissed off that the Dolich/Zimmer/Piccinini group didn’t get the approval because they wanted Schottmann out. However, winning solves many problems and that’s why attendance (while all of you think it was substandard) was better than it has been under Wisher. Cheap + a public foot out the door + winning/name players = Decent attendance. Cheap + a public foot out the door + losing/no names = Crap attendance.
@Jefferey I can see your point about the hassle of getting a beer, but is having a tough time getting a beer enough to wipe out the rest of the atmosphere? I guess it depends on your preference. Personally, I never buy overpriced beer at Raider games, just tailgate and get a proper buzz on. As for the gentleman relieving himself, yeah, the caveman crowd is a large reason why football games can be a negative experience.
eb, Not at all. You’re definitely an Oakland partisan, but that’s fine. It’s the delusional Oakland-only types that don’t recognize that so far Oakland has done jack to keep the team that piss me off. It’s the ones who think a PR war is actually beneficial to them when in fact it’s nothing but the same fluff Quan, Dellums and the rest of the ilk running Oakland have been trotting out like a dog and pony show for the better part of 15 years now. The latest news is nothing but a new chapter in the same old tired story out of Oakland’s leaders. And if it’s end result is that San Jose is derailed… then what? I’ve no faith in any of the morons who run Oakland to get anything further done on an Oakland stadium or even the sale of the team.
Don’t get me wrong, I may prefer San Jose at this point, but if Oakland can do more than tout DOA plans at the Coliseum and bring out a couple of CEOs who claim to have interest but have yet to back that up with $$$, I’d be all for it. If Oakland can come up with a real stadium site and a real funding plan that’s not held together with rainbows and sunshine I’d be all for it. And you’re right to the extent that this whole process hasn’t gone well even if the A’s do end up in San Jose. It’s taken FAR too long, been FAR too divisive of the fanbase, and it’s been far too convoluted due part to Oakland’s repeated aborted attempts to save the team, in part due to Wolff and his blunt nature, and in large part due to Selig’s lack of leadership.
@columbo I agree there were complaints, but they didn’t try this hard to get Schottman out. I hated Schottman because they were damn stingy when it came to small trades for little pieces the team could have made. I was happy with whoever was going to come in and invest what was reasonable for the product. If anything, I think Wolff and Fisher have shown a greater willingness to give the front office some financial help. I remember when it was Mike Blowers and Tom Candiotti were our expensive pieces. But to me its pretty hypocritical of them to be so damn quick to get Wolff/Fisher out. Do you want a team 35 miles farther away that can compete or one in a bad park with no financial security in the future. I’m sure there are folks out there that who have the wherewithall to buy the team but I have my doubts that in this in this financial climate they can do it in Oakland with 450,000 people and far from downtown vs. Downtown San Jose. Given where commercial development makes sense San Jose has a much better shot to succeed.
You can’t buy land, finance a stadium and increase payroll with $2 tickets. How many times would the A’s have drawn over 2 million from 2000 onward without the reduced ticket prices? I’ve met 3 of the 5 people who signed this letter. I hope they get put on the radio to discuss this; to be questioned about it. It won’t take you long to figure out their thought process doesn’t look at all the facts. In fact they tend to create their own “facts”. Mike Davie is inviting people on twitter to talk to him in RF tonight. I’m thinking about going, but I’m not sure I can stand the love fest. Intead I’m planning on writing letters to the editor. I hope others do too. I appreciate this blog very much, but what gets said here (the informative analysis and discussion) tends to stay here. I’m tired of those RF fans being the public face of A’s fans. This fan base does seem to be fractured, too much of that fracture gets blamed on ownership. Some of that fracture is do to uninformed fans speaking as if they know all the facts and have all the solutions. I hope one way or another word gets around there plenty of fans like me who completely disagree with the contents of this letter and the opinions of its signees.
@ Columbo – “Cheap + a public foot out the door + losing/no names = Crap attendance.” 2006-2007 says hi.
@ eb – sorry, but i have to call bullshit on your supposed “stance”. You like to broadcast yourself as an Oakland sentimentalist in name, but when called out on the failures of Oakland, you cower and attack vehemently as an Oakland only proponent. At least guys like JK-USA didn’t have to be 2 faced about their beliefs and admitted their position. This is not a personal attack, but an observation especially whenever you like to call out folks by stating “I dare you to say that in person” mantra.
I hope Wolff is marching over to Selig’s office to show him the noise level being created through his inability to lead MLB to a decision on this. For fuck’s sake, screw your damn need for a 30-0 or 29-1 vote, rattle some cages, and get this thing done with 23 votes. And if you can’t get 23 votes, just say so and let’s move on from there. Enough with the theater of the absurd. This has become utterly preposterous.
Dude: With Oakland’s existing status not changing (no $$, no site) and now San Jose’s site acquisition thrown into question by the state, I’m not sure what Selig can do right now but keep the status quo – as in do what he has been doing on this situation: Nothing..
@Dan You’re right about the poll. I’m just frustrated and with frustration comes indifference and laziness with respect to the facts. How much more of this will A’s fans have to endure? I’m spent.
gojohn, Don’t feel like you’re alone. I’m frustrated too. Frustrated with the seeming indifference of the ownership group to the dire situation their team is in, frustrated with the glacially slow pace of Bud and his cronies, frustrated with Oakland’s half hearted cock block attempts to “save” the team, frustrated with the state potentially undermining both cities ballpark plans because of the RDA clusterfuck, frustrated with the divisive nature of this whole mess and how it’s made certain fans into “enemies”, frustrated with our old disgraceful “ballpark”, frustrated with yet another losing season, and frustrated that there’s not a damn thing we can do about it except stop rooting for the A’s and find a new team to root for that’s not so damned infuriating.
It’s been even more frustrating for me having moved to San Diego part time and seeing at least in part what the A’s should have and A’s fans deserve being enjoyed by another city (I would hope that the A’s would be better on field than the Padres but you can’t fault pretty much anything the Padres do off field). I’m sure the same realization and frustration would have hit me sooner if I wasn’t such a big Giants hater who avoids them and their ballpark like they’re diseased.
eb, i stated that too narrowly. It wasn’t just getting a beer and I hear you on the tailgate when a six pack is the cost of a beer in the stadium, it make a lot of sense. Some folks go to games with the intention of buying beer and hot dogs and strolling around. It’s one of my favorite parts of visiting a new stadium… 3 innings in my seat, 3 strolling to check it out and eat whatever the signature food is (Houston’s Beef BBQ Baked Potato at both Minute Maid and Reliant is well worth the future coronary), back to 3 more innings in the seat or somewhere nearby.
Sports are a social event… One game last year me and ML and my brother sat in the Field Irish Pub for 3 innings on a whim and it was a great time. At that Raiders game, I couldn’t fathom even trying to get to the Field Irish Pub. The Coliseum is not very friendly to this kind of activity when you get more than 20k in the joint.
Guys, off the top of your head do they sell microbrews at Coli? Which? Im going to be at May 21 game vs. Angels
@ Nicosan: Not that I can think of. I usually get my beer on the lower concourse at the booth that sells Fat Tire, Stella, Sierra Nevada. I’m not certain about the West Side Club, but those might be your only options outside of Budweiser.
@Jerry: Cool story, bro
Everyone dumps on Oakland for it’s poor attendance. But you San JosA’s assume that a ballpark down there would fill up, no problem. You have absolutely no evidence, nor can you have any, that the team would draw any better in SJ than in Oakland.
Wolff and Fisher have shown they are incompetent when it comes to MLB, no matter how successful they’ve been in other businesses. They’ve had years to do it, Wolff is Bud’s frat brother and came in here looking like he had pulled all the right strings, and they still can’t get it done. They have lost their credibility and turned off so many fans. They are a disgrace, pure and simple. The best thing they can do now is sell to the Oakland group.
Hey Jerry, noted.
By the way Jerry, were you actually trying to say something of value there or just spout crap contained in a half cocked letter with nothing but emotion to back it up? Just checking.
There may not be any evidence that a San Jose Athletics would work here, maybe because there is no team here yet? We do have a ton of evidence that it hasn’t worked amazingly well in Oakland, aside from a few years here and there. And why in this letter does it tout the sublime feat of 2 million fans, when if the Giants got that, Larry Baer would splash hit himself? Wow, those are some low standards.
All I know is that I have been an A’s fan my entire life, born during the first world championship in 1972, and my entire life of fandom has had attendance figures as a concern. And I’m kinda sick of that.
By the way Jerry, to quote you, “They’ve had years to do it.” You can apply that to the city of Oakland and any of these mystery ownership groups that don’t exist. We’re at year 17 since Mt. Davis. Truly pathetic.
Phil Matier was on KCBS earlier this morning talking about the letter/situation…his opinion seemed to be that the City of Oakland sees a glimmer of hope in the Dodgers sale — hoping it could be eye-opening to John Fisher in terms of the money he could make off a potential sale of the A’s. He also seemed to acknowledge this was the City’s only gameplan…there is no real intention of trying to work with Wolff/Fisher at this point, unless they’d like to sell.
BTW, when the A’s swept the Giants last year, there was a whole lot of Green and Gold around San Jose. It was nice to walk into a restaurant in Almaden with my family and have some dude say, “Hey, cool shirt,” while I was wearing an A’s tee. He was rockin’ one too. Wherever the stadium is built, Oakland or San Jose, there will be renaissance of the brand, without a doubt. Diehards don’t switch allegiances, casual fans do. To think that San Jose would simply say “meh” if a stadium is built here is absurd on every level possible. Absurd.
@Nicosan and Briggs, I’m pretty sure there’s Widmer at the Nachos stand in RF and a little Firestone (at least that’s what it wound up as last year) stand next to that. The New Belgium stand usually has Ranger IPA as well as Fat Tire too. Field Irish Pub has Trumer Pilsner as well as the standard Irish imports (Guinness/Harp/Smithwicks) too.
@ Columbo “Maybe it’s because I have club seats for the Raider games and my experience is different from someone sitting in the black hole,”
Nail on the head, right there. I was a season ticket holder for 15 years starting when the Raiders returned in ’95. I spent about one year in the temporary East Side bleachers, 3-4 years upper deck Mt. Davis, one year in the club and the rest in three different lower level locations, East Side and West. Since giving up my season tickets, I’ve had the chance to sit in a few different locations. If you’ve spent almost all your time in the Club, there’s no doubt that’s coloring your view on this. Let me just say, it’s a different world out there.
Actually, I’d say the best thing about the Coli for Raider games is that the Club Seats are so moderately priced. They’re not cheap in absolute terms, but they’re very cheap compared to Club Seats in most other NFL stadia, and compare favorably with the cost of regular lower level seats in many.
“but I think there are several “worse” stadiums in the NFL. I’ve visited 2 of these places in the past 8 years”
With all due respect, if you’ve only been to two others, you’re really not in a position to rank those you haven’t visited.
” but I happen to believe the stadiums for the Dolphins, Bills, Bengals, Vikings, and, yes, even the Bears pales in comparison to Oakland.”
I’ve been to nineteen current NFL stadia for games, including New Meadowlands (which obviously serves two teams). I’ve also been to the Metrodome for college baseball and have visited the exterior of a few others on non-game days. My assessment of these:
Dolphins: A little overrated, and showing its age. It does suffer from a non-descript location and bad traffic access. But still, it has far better sightlines, wider concourses, better/easier concessions and bathrooms. I rate it a much better overall experience than the Coli.
Bills: Have not visited this one. However, as a football-only venue, I have to believe it offers better sightlines than the Coli, and it also has a rep for passionate fans. Hard for me to imagine what the Coli’s competitive advantage could be, but I’ll reserve final judgment until I actually visit.
Bengals: Seriously? How does this one even get on your list? It’s a beautiful, football-only stadium with better sightlines, wider concourses, right on the river and in the heart of a lively downtown. It is dramatically better than the Coli in every respect.
Vikings: As noted above, I was not here for football, so can’t take the crowd experience into account. But again, football-only stadium, far better sightlines (especially the upper deck, which actually offer better views than the Coli Club), right in the heart of a vastly underrated downtown. I’m not a fan of artificial turf, but if I lived in Minnesota and that was the cost of not being outside in December I might become a fan pretty quickly.
Bears: Really? I mean, really? This is so far off the mark, I’m guessing this is one of the ones you have not been to in person.
Soldier Field is arguably the most architecturally distinctive venue in the NFL. I love how they preserved the iconic, historic structure, and the juxaposition between the older shell and the new, modern, space age interiort.
Soldier Field has nice, wide, bright concourses with exhibits about the Bears long, proud history. It’s located in a beautiful, park like setting next to a lake in the heart of the City. It is convenient to transit, and Bears fans are right there with Raider fans for energy and passion. It has all the premium seat/suite amenities you would expect from a modern stadium.
In all seriousness, I’d put Soldier Field in my top five stadia, if not higher. I don’t know what else you would want in a stadium.
Pat, problem is they’re assuming a guy with over a billion dollars to his name, needs more money right now. The Dodgers wouldn’t even have been sold unless the court had forced McCourt to sell. Why would Fisher sell when he can hold the team as is with Wolff doing ALL the work for him and still see his investment nearly double in value in under 7 years? It will continue to go up if the recent market trend is any indication adding even more value to his portion of the team with again, no work involved on his side. He’d have to be a moron to sell under those conditions.
@ Dan – even worse, I’m trying to understand how Knauss or any supposed ownership groups would try to bait LW/Fischer into selling at some outrageous price ($800+ mill?), then spend another $500 million for the stadium, AND then pass those associated “ownership costs” down to the fans via PSLs. Does anyone in their right mind really think it won’t fail faster than you can say Mount Davis? Remember, these are supposedly the same groups that hasn’t even spent an actual dime on supporting the A’s now ?
@ Jerry- Hey, I’m all for hurting the Giants attendance, and I think a waterfront ballpark of our own in JLS would definitely fight fire with fire. I don’t think you are going to win any attendance battles with Coliseum City. And you are right, there is no evidence that SJ would draw any better, but 2.2million is a pretty low bar. Still, ignoring the emotional stuff like civic pride and tradition for a second, there is a little logic to the way a ball park in San Jose splits the population of the Bay Area. I admit that it’s not a perfect example but the best way to divide the 9 million people in the CSA of Washington-Baltimore is NOT by putting the Nationals 12 miles away from Camden Yards in another part of Baltimore. The SF-Oak-Fremont Metro area (without SCC) has only 4.4 million people. And granted, some fans do come from the south bay, but the percentage is comparatively low. A SJ ball park would be even further from AT&T than Orioles- Nationals. And slightly OT I can’t believe how well the Sharks are supported down there. They sold out every game this year despite a sub par year.
17 years and not even an acceptable site… I think it’s time to kind of call this put for what it really is… Desperate. Don Knauss hasn’t heard a thing and is “shouting form outside the walls” as he said on Murph and Mac. He was prompted to do this because of rumors that the A’s would be on the agenda in a week. Oh, and… Bud Selig recently stated, twice, that he is working to fashion a deal… Hey but the A’s have drawn 2 million 11 times, despite 15 playoff appearances. BULLSHIT
A quick read through these comments will illustrate just how complicated the situation for the A’s really is.
Oakland – lacks dedicated local ownership and even if local ownership were to get involved the challenges to constructing a new park are possibly insurmountable due to the economics of the area.
San Jose – Territorial rights issue is a pandora’s box for MLB – that’s why owners are not willing to go there. It’s more complicated than just the Giants/A’s making a deal ala Washington DC/Baltimore. Combine that with California’s stomping on redevelopment opportunities and the golden egg that was the draw in the first place has now become precarious. Not looking good at all.
I think that if Selig, MLB, A’s ownership, and the city of Oakland all together wanted a new ballpark to happen in Oakland it would still be hard but could be done. The odds of those four groups actually aligning are faint at best and even if they did it would not be an easy thing to accomplish.
As this problem becomes more of a thorn in the side of the league expect to see other options shake out. As I believe territorial rights to be the real issue for MLB in this situation I think we can count out markets like San Antonio and Portland. They represent similar territorial issues without the overwhelming market size needed to overcome them, and even that would be questionable at this point.
Expect Les Athletiques de Montreal in the near-term future. Montreal is a major and viable market with a temporary stadium, emerging ownership options, and the ability and will to build a new park. If relocation out of Oakland is necessary it’s really the only option. The situation there is completely different form ten years ago and there is quite a bit of big media money involved now, plus a stronger Canadian dollar. Most importantly, there is no need to open the can of worms that is MLB territorial rights, something owners are clearly not willing to do.
Also remember that Selig has called the two-market bay area a “mistake” and he would love to see the Giants have the place to himself as a new “mega-franchise.”
The only other possible relocation site is Sacramento. This has become more viable again with the Kings arena deal blowing up. Sacramento cannot support two pro teams with a schedule that heavy but it can support one MLB team if and only if that team is the A’s. That’s a really elegant option I’d like to see happen but it again would require big private money. Oakland can find that private money but Sacramento may not be able to. Public money for a stadium there could only get you half of the way to a new ballpark.
It’s all good. The A’s will stay in the Bay Area, whether it be Oakland or SJ.
I’m of the camp, that the A’s need a new ballpark in the South or East Bay, just as long as they stay here.
Vikes are going to wind up in LA. haha
Don’t know about that. They did approve about 105 million for the Vikings stadium. Next week we find out the likelihood of the Rams staying in St. Louis too when the particulars of their stadium plan are revealed.
re: It’s all good. The A’s will stay in the Bay Area, whether it be Oakland or SJ.
…if Wolf/Fischer capitulate and sell and the new owners then make the same findings as Schott/Hoffman and Wolff/Fisher – that a new ballpark can’t happen in Oakland – then all the current PR campaign does is stall by several years the departure of the team from the Bay Area, when Wolff/Fischer could have kept them here forever with a new stadium in San Jose.
@ bartleby – Good points all around. I would like to address them one by one, if I may. 1) We agree on the club area. I am very fortunate and extremely humble that I have the means to obtain the tickets that I do possess. I wish others could enjoy the experience because it’s quite unique. 2) I agree that I cannot be a critic for the ones I’ve mentioned simply because I’ve only been to two. I do, however, have “friends” who have visited these places time and again and I was basing most of my opinions on their feedback to me. That was wrong of me because I didn’t personally experience all of them myself. 3) Back in the early 2000’s (is that how you say it?) my brother and I flew to Chicago for a week. We stayed in downtown, partied on Rush (worthwhile), and proceeded to attend a Notre Dame game, which was only 90 min from Chi. O.k., that was probably the best experience I’ve ever had in terms of football, even though alcohol sales were prohibited once in the stadium. There is absolutely no comparison to college football from literally 6am until the game is over and I’ve been to plenty of Cal and Stanford games. Nothing can compare to what I saw in South Bend on that Saturday. Luckily, we we planned it properly and went to Soldier Field. Despite your assessment, I have to say that I was unimpressed. It does have history like Lambeau. It has a great tailgating atmosphere with wonderful, generous people who gave us free food and drinks, etc. Strictly speaking about the stadium, though, I found it to be o.k. My personal opinion is that I have a much better time in my club seats at the Raider game. Whatever. Everyone has their own opinion. I’m not saying it was horrible at Soldier Field but I didn’t quite get the same satisfaction as I get at the Coli. Perhaps it’s because I spent $400 on the internet for 2 tickets and we sat in a very poor location. Plus, the weather sucked big time. I remember it was sunny in the morning and the freaking clouds and rain came with the wind at about the 2nd quarter and I was literally ready to go. I didn’t though. One awesome thing we did was we went to Knute Rockne’s grave in Indiana. It may not sound like a big deal but it gave me the chills. I took at least 25 pictures there. In closing, Bartleby, you make excellent points.
“San Jose – Territorial rights issue is a pandora’s box for MLB – that’s why owners are not willing to go there.”
@Oaklandfan – MLB opened that can of worms when they decided to divide up the Bar Area by county. The territorial rights issue is more about righting a wrong than opening a can of worms. That can was opened in 1992. Lew Wolff wants to close it. If MLB doesn’t want to do that, Wolff is well within his rights to legally question the validity of this divide since the 3 other 2 team markets share all of their territories equally.
For some reason, I don’t see Montreal happening.
Almost forgot; I did think it was a smart move to have this letter, unlike past letters, printed without the signature of Sgt. RF Asshole. Although his signature would have added proper insight as to the persons involved with this letter.
@ Columbo After re-reading my last post, it came across a little snottier than I had intended. Sorry about that. I dash these things off quickly sometimes, and capturing the right tone in text has its challenges.
On Soldier Field: If you’ve been there in person, then your opinion is as good as mine. I get that some people don’t like the juxtaposition between old and new. And since it has limited parking, it doesn’t have as much tailgating as some other places (although they do have plenty of on-site partying). There are always tradeoffs. For me, I’ll trade vast parking lots for a scenic location and a vibrant city nearby any day. (Of course, as an out-of-town visitor, I’m not really going to be doing serious tailgating anyway.
I should add, when I make these assessments, I’m trying to be as objective as possible. I personally have had lots of great times at Raider games at the Coli, but I’m a Raider fan, so I try not to factor that into my analysis. Objectively speaking, I’d rate the Coli second worst of the stadia I’ve actually seen a game at, ahead only of Candlestick. (Although I’ll admit the difference between the Coli and Qualcomm is not much).
I should also say, my taste for the Coli hassles is diminishing as I get older, the building continues to age, and frankly, the fan behavior seems to get worse. At most venues I think Club Seats are a rip off, but at the Coli I find them increasingly more worthwhile, especially at current pricing. I’d rather go to just a few games and sit in the Club than endure the people vomiting in their seats. (Which I’ve personally witnessed 2 or 3 times, which was 2 or 3 times too much).
@ Columbo I am curious, of the stadia you mentioned, what was the other one you’ve been to?
Any chance something important happens at next week’s owners meetings?
@ Columbo Not that you asked or necessarily care, but my four favorite NFL stadia (in no particular order) would probably be Tampa, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. After that the curve gets flatter; maybe Detroit, New England or Arizona would take the fifth spot.
Also, it’s a mediocre stadium, but I had a really good time at a game in Jacksonvillle (Raiders v. Jags). I stayed downtown, which was very festive the night before game time, then took the boat to the game, which was a great way to go. (Absolutely roasted in my seat, though).
who is sgt right field asshole?
@Jeffrey – In the past when the name Mike Davie has appeared on public statements, postings and such; mostly released through the Baseball Oakland website the name RF A-Hole has appeared with it. His real name is Keith Salminen (sp?) and is part of the Mike Davie, Jorge Leon right field clique whose letter was printed today. He’s spoken at city council meeting and what not; good for him. But unlike how referring to someone as their screen name is common in a discussion section, they put out releases to the public criticizing ownership, asking for support, ideas and had the name Sgt. RF A-Hole attached to it as opposed to his real name. You know, being marketing geniuses. Somewhere in the archives of this blog site you’ll find one of those postings. There are several of them.
@Anon You aren’t really worth the response, but I’ll bite. The only time I have said “Say it to their face” is when you were trash talking Union workers and giving personal attacks to anyone who favors an Oakland solution. I look at it this way, if this “issue” bothers you so much, it must have stuck a cord. Slinging insults online is vastly different than saying something in person and is the coward’s route. Disagreement is far different than generalizing about a group of people with a different viewpoint. In the end, I really don’t care what you think. I’ll continue to support the A’s no matter the location, but I will do my part in trying to keep them in Oakland. In the meantime, don’t bother with my posts if they offend your sensibilities. Believe me, I have learned to ignore yours.
@ Bartleby – Well, I hate to say it this way but I’ve been to 4 super bowls, one being at Sun Life, aka Joe Robbie. That’s probably not a great example and I wish I would have rephrased my original post but it is what it is. I’ve also been to (super bowls) Qualcomm, Tampa, and the Superdome (I was too young for bourbon street unfortunately) . I was not impressed with Joe Robbie (Sun Life) but that was in the 90’s. My arguments about NFL stadiums probably have little merit but I can say that my club seats at the ‘O’ are spectacular and I look forward to them each and every week. I only wish others could experience the Raider games as I do because I think there would be a different perception.
@ Columbo I was at that Qualcomm Super Bowl, too. Ouch. I was prepared for the possibility of losing, but to pay all that money and have lost all hope by the second quarter was brutal. Never felt like I got to enjoy the game, even briefly. Not to mention the pain of seeing Gruden celebrate afterward.
(I did get to see the subsequent Raiders/Bucs game in Tampa that knocked them out of the playoffs and got Gruden fired. Didn’t make up for the Super Bowl loss, but a good day nonetheless. The funny thing is, I really don’t have anything against Gruden, and would welcome him back as Raiders coach. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help feeling some shadenfreude seeing the Raiders beat him and get him canned).
I hope I get a chance to see another Raider Super Bowl in my lifetime. Then again, for an event like that, there’s something to be said for seeing some teams you don’t have quite as much emotional investment in and just being able to enjoy it as an event.
@ bartleby – Were you one of the “lucky ones” who had to stand out in front of Qualcomm while they searched everyone going in (post-911)? Do you remember the temperature that day? We left from our hotel 5 hours before game time so that we could get some food and enter the park. We walked in 20 minutes before kickoff.
@ Columbo I remember a long queue they’d set up with jersey barriers, and I remember getting searched. I don’t remember it being as long as four hours though, maybe an hour or so? We took the trolley to the game, so would have entered at whatever gate was closest to the station.
I remember being disappointed we didn’t get to enjoy more of the pregame hoopla, and then being told by another Raider fan in one of the beer tents that Barrett Robbins had run off to Mexico and was out of the game. I remember feeling uneasy, that that was a bad omen. “Don’t worry,” he said, “Treu’s a starter, we won’t miss a beat.” Famous last words.
I still have the little logo radio and seat cushion they gave out, somewhere. Never used either one ever again.
Columbo, isn’t that the point of club seats, though? A premium experience.
A’s just win on walkoff Grand Slam HR by Brandon Inge
@ eb – as expected you continue with your “cowardice” rant but that’s okay. i’ve gotten over your bitch sensitivities to everything a while back. And guess what, i’ll still call you out everytime you spew out your two faced vitrol about anything supposedly anti-oakland. /kiss-kiss 😉
“i’ve gotten over your bitch sensitivities to everything a while back.”
Thanks for proving my point. Stay classy.
@ eb – anything for you darling 😉
btw – wtfbbqoakland…..let’s see if Don Knauss is up to his word of working with present ownership…..
A’s owner Lew Wolff said Tuesday that he would be willing to meet with Don Knauss, the Clorox chief executive officer who is spearheading the latest effort to keep the team in Oakland. But Wollf, who is traveling in Europe, said he would spend most of that meeting outlining his unsuccessful efforts to build an East Bay ballpark. “If they want to look at all that, I would do that,” Wolff said. “I would be delighted to meet with him.”
@ bartleby – I have that same seat cushion as well… in storage. I’m very surprised that you got into that game in an hour or so! I was, unfortunately, stuck with all of the other sheeple in the blazing sun with no overhang for several hours minimum. It sucked big time. I happened to start talking to a local in that area and asked him, since it was winter and all, how the hell it was so hot? He said that it normally didn’t get quite that warm at that time of year and we were just unlucky. Truthfully, me, my brother, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my niece all got bad sunburns because we didn’t plan for this properly, i.e. didn’t think would be quite that warm. It’s good to hear that you got in there so quickly. As far as Robbins, I was at a pre-game party the night before at some hotel and found out that “a player” was missing in Mexico. We thought he was dead for the longest time, whoever he was. It wasn’t until later that night that we found out it was Robbins. I personally didn’t think it was a big deal but, in retrospect, given Gruden’s knowledge of the Raiders offense, it was a huge loss to say the very least. @ Jeffrey – You are correct. That’s why I stated that I am extremely humbled that I have the ability to sit in the club section. It is definitely a luxury that I wish everyone could experience.
I hope Wolff does meet with Knauss and does show him the extensive portflolio on failed or non-starter Oakland projects Wolff supposedly has in his possession. It would make me laugh my ass of it Knauss came away from that meeting and promptly gave up any idea of buying the A’s due to the all but impossibility of building a ballpark in Oakland privately.
dknight, a little off topic but I guess you ended up being dead wrong about the Vikings. The Minnesota state legislature just voted on and approved a half billion dollars for a Vikings stadium which is almost all they were asked for. They’re only between 30-100 million shy of the total, but with the NFL’s help I’m sure the Vikings will make that up just like the Niners did as it’s not a lot when you consider the nearly 1 billion dollar price tag of the project. It looks at though the Vikings have joined the Niners on the “not going to LA” side of the LA equation. That leaves just the Raiders, Rams, Chargers, and Bills as potentially LA bound. And of the three, the Bills aren’t moving as long as Ralph Wilson is still breathing meaning it’s really down to the Rams, Raiders and Chargers at this point (ironically all 3 being former LA teams). Raiders have no stadium prospects in Oakland right now (and only limited interest in SC), Chargers are still trying to figure out what to do down in San Diego (which will probably not shake out until after the next mayoral election), and the Rams counter-proposal to the city of St. Louis in response to their initial proposal is due to be released on Monday. After that is revealed (and rejected as it likely will be based on what is coming out of St. Louis) then the Rams will be in full play as well as they’d be able to break their lease at the Ed Jones Dome in time for the LA stadium opening.
These letters provide no substance to the debate. The corporate support needed isn’t present in these letters. These letters amount to nothing more than any of use posting on this site. What these letters have done is to fan the flames and highlight the deep divide that is happening between A’s fans. We all love this team and want to see this team succeed. I hope A’s fans can remember that when this issue is finally resolved. In Bud Delight years, that resolution will probably only be another 20 years.
Agree with @jeffrey on his position that Oakland has had 15 years to come up with basically nothing in terms of site commitment and basic infrastructure dollars. I don’t think Coliseum City is a viable option.
Also, thanks guys for the Beer info, excited to be back to watch the A’s beat the Angels.
I’m not sure if this binder is as amazing as some of the Wolff apologists want to believe. I mean Doug Boxer, Jorge Leon and others have seen it as well as MLB and still no one is convinced or nothing has happened. I think Wolff should put it up as a PDF or something. If whats in it is true than we can put this all to rest. No need to be sidestep on a position that you believe in strongly.
d jr, Jorge Leon has seen it and was unimpressed? No way?
What would putting it out in a pdf do for anyone? I mean, I am all for openness but when you got people that want to spin “2 Million 11 times” as something significant what the hell good are facts?
Also, I think your interpretation that “no one is convinced,” especially in regards to MLB is way off base. Unless of course by “working out an agreement” Bud Selig just decided that was the way to go without looking at “the binder.”
PS- It isn’t a binder. It’s like an attache case thingy.
Jeffrey, didn’t you debate Mr. Lied and Tried on a podcast? Is there a link somewhere?
Since the open letter writers want to cite Forbes figures as credible, here’s the latest, from ESPN today re: the Saint Louis Blues sale: “The $130 million price is well below the $157 million that Forbes had valued the Blues in December, which was 27th among the 30 NHL teams according to the magazine.”…
Maury Brown: How Oakland Business Leaders May Have Killed the A’s to San Jose
re: Maury Brown: “The bottom line is, Knauss provides those owners opposed to the relocation of the A’s with an added talking point on why the move shouldn’t happen.”
…What has Knauss provided but the same old already-rejected sites (Victory Court, Coliseum, Howard Terminal) and a financing mechanism that won’t work (PSLs)? Pundits can write all they want. Will an outsider (Knauss) throwing his 2 cents in count more than what MLB’s A’s ballpark committee has found in more than 3 years? That committee obviously hasn’t found any sites or a way to get a ballpark done in Oakland, or we’d have heard about it already.
@Jeffrey: If you weren’t so arrogantly one-sided in this discussion and so obviously biased against Oakland, you could see exactly what my point was. It makes sense to anyone with a reading comprehension level above the sixth grade, but if you can’t figure it out, then i would suggest leaving your criticisms of others’ opinions to yourself.
Hey Jerry… Whatever you say.
Looks like you can remove Cost Plus from that list: http://business-news.thestreet.com/mercury-news/story/bed-bath-beyond-buy-cost-plus/1
It really depends on how they decide to operate the business. I’d imagine the management will all move to New Jersey, but Cost Plus is still a consumer brand that could want things like signage in a prominent place.