Save Oakland Sports meeting 6/25/12

I headed up the Nimitz to attend the biweekly Save Oakland Sports meeting at the Red Lion Hotel on Hegenberger. The meeting ran two hours and was, despite the organization’s rather young state, quite well run. S.O.S. is really just getting started with its various activities, so I’m going to refrain from appraising their efforts. I can tell you that it looks like an eager, resourceful group and broad coalition, though they’re aware that Oakland and the greater East Bay are under pressure to deliver for the three teams without much time to do so.

If you want to know more about what S.O.S. is doing, I suggest you attend one of the meetings. Again, they’re held at the Red Lion Hotel in Oakland near the airport, though the venue could change from time to time. If you’re pro-Oakland, I urge you to attend. The group needs people as a show of strength, and they’re soliciting creative ideas to help bolster support for the teams and new venues. I’ll even go so far as to say that if you are pro-Oakland and you’re not attending, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

At the previous meeting, Mayor Jean Quan gave her thoughts on the Coliseum City plan. One notable thing I picked up was that she said that the Pier 30/32 rebuild would cost $400 million, not the roughly $100 million many had estimated previously. I don’t know where that figure comes from, but it seems inordinately high. We’re talking about removing old piles from the bay, driving new ones, and building a 13-acre concrete deck on top of it. It doesn’t matter that much if you’re building on the water or on mud next to the water because around here that mud is a huge liquefaction risk (ironically, partly due to pile driving). I’ll try to verify this in the coming days.

Now, if you’re wondering how I was treated, I’ll put it this way: When I introduced myself, I got a good amount of applause. One of the members expressed reservations about having me there because he considered me a pro-San Jose guy. Given the chance to clarify my stance, I said, “No offense to Oakland, I’m just a get-it-done-quickly guy. I’m not particular about cities.” Everyone I met was friendly and respectful, even if we had disagreements about actions and motivations. Folks, we can have a clear, reasonable dialogue on these issues without resorting to name calling, accusations, and recriminations. I don’t know how S.O.S. is going to do in the future, but I have the utmost respect for what they’re doing and how they’re going about it. Good luck, Save Oakland Sports.

39 thoughts on “Save Oakland Sports meeting 6/25/12

  1. re: At the previous meeting, Mayor Jean Quan gave her thoughts on the Coliseum City plan. One notable thing I picked up was that she said that the Pier 30/32 rebuild would cost $400 million…

    …sounds Oakland’s plan to save the Warriors is the same as its plan to save the A’s: Believing that the Warriors, like the A’s, are stuck in Oakland whether they like it or not and must build their own new facilities there. Not much of a sales pitch, if you ask me.

  2. Very well written and thought out critique!! Thank you for stopping by last night, and certainly thank you for your positive comments and for giving S. O. S. a place for your readers and followers to get to know save Oakland sports!! This organization is in much need of exposure and I’m sure via your webpage S. O. S. will capture the attention and interest of more folks like us that want nothing more than to retain the teams that currently call Oakland their home.

  3. To Marine Layer:

    Thank you for your attending last night’s SAVEOAKLANDSPORTS meeting and for your balanced and encouraging post today.


    A’s observer (A member of SAVEOAKLANDSPORTS –

  4. Man. Talk about taking the high road. Thanks for this post.

  5. This post and going to the meeting last night should put to bed the notion that ML is just “pro San Jose”. And who knows maybe SOS will do some good, but as ML says, lets do it quickly if you’re going to do it. Tomorrow is the Blue Ribbon Panel’s 1200th day considering the A’s move and we’re now in year 18 that the A’s have needed a new stadium. Nothing about this travesty has been “fast” to date be it in Oakland or San Jose.

    As for Quan’s $400 million number on Piers 30/32. It’s nice to see she’s moved on from consorting with the enemy to block moves to making things up to try derailing moves now. Her capacity for self delusion never ceases to amaze me.

  6. ML-

    You should have asked if anyone there has 1bil or so for the A’s because it will cost 1bil or more to keep the A’s in Oakland.

  7. It’s one thing to want to keep the A’s in Oakland but the people of Oakland have consistently elected officials who want to do nothing for the A’s, like Jerry Brown. As I’ve said before, one candidate even placed on his platform last year a pledge to spend “not one dime for the A’s.”

  8. pjk, in fairness, Oakland didn’t elect Perata (the guy who said not one dime to the A’s). Problem is they weren’t given a better alternative as we’ve seen with how Quan is working out for the city. So blaming Oakland for electing bad leaders is kind of a red herring. They’ve not been given anyone good to elect in years.

  9. A dome in Northern California? Add hundreds of millions to the cost when the stadium would be in a place that has sunshine 300 days a year and almost no rain at all during the spring and summer? You’re joking, right?

  10. It wasn’t Perata – it was another candidate who believed he could score points with voters by pledging to do nothing for the A’s. This candidate didn’t win, but still in his assessment thought he could get some mileage with the voters with that stance. Jerry Brown – about as anti-sports a politician as anyone will ever see – was voted in twice by Oakland voters.

  11. quan is an idiot if she wants to build a dome stadium. oakland has the best weather in the united states. that makes ZERO sense. good thing, mark davis would never go for it.

  12. @ ML – I ask sincerely and inquisitively, but can you recap SOS’s plan to save the team(s)?

  13. Save Oakland Sports sounds like an organization that is putting its hope in trying to sue teams from leaving as it did in 1981 when it tried to sue the Raiders for “emenant domain.” Another pathetic Oakland attempt @ trying to stay relevant as a city. Oakland is the only city in the Bay Area that has increased its violent crime rate over the last 5 years while all other cities have decreased. What a joke of a city as I am ashamed of being from there. Do something with substance Mayor Quan and SOS instead of trying to sue or bring progress down. I’m happy San Jose has interest in my A’s, you Ms Quan do not.

  14. A’s man, what makes you think that’s SOS’s strategy?

  15. To A’s Man:

    Upon what do you base your comment?

    A’s observer.

  16. @Chi – There was no mention of Coliseum City investors. Supposedly Mayor Quan’s committee is working on that. You should go to the meetings to get more answers.

    @A’s Man – You’re WAAAYYYY off base on the strategy.

  17. No BART in San Jose yet but you can take BART to Millbrae and get CalTrain from there.

  18. @ A’s Man – “Oakland is the only city in the Bay Area that has increased its violent crime rate over the last 5 years while all other cities have decreased.” After reading your comment I was curious about this so I downloaded the crime stats for Oakland and, from 2007-2011, violent crimes have decreased by 14%, property crimes have decreased by 17%, and all crimes dropped by 16.3%. I can’t speak about other bay area cities but as of the end of 2011, Oakland’s rate dropped going back 5 years.

  19. @ML

    Driving piles does not cause liquefaction. Bedrock is very near Piers 30-31, as evidenced by the Bay Bridge abutment, so piles would not have to driven very deep to support the pier. However, very deep piles were needed for AT&T Park because it is further south of bedrock.

    As an Oakland resident, I am embarrassed about the Coliseum City project proposal. The only benefit of the study, will be to plan what to do with the land after the teams leave. And unless, the plan addresses solving crime/lack of jobs problem in East Oakland, the highest and best use of the Coliseum will be another remote parking lot for the Oakland Airport. To visualize the future, look at the vacant Superdome in Houston.

    Kind of sad.

  20. @ Columbo,

    Sorry Columbo, here is the statistic:

    “The statistics, though, reveal difficulties in some places. Violent crime went up 6 percent in 2011 in Oakland, which had the fourth-highest rate among U.S. cities with more than 100,000 people. Oakland was safer than only Flint, Mich., Detroit and St. Louis.”

    Like I said, a sorry state of affairs from a city that was my home. I have moved and so should the A’s to pastures that are greener and welcoming to a team that has won 4, not one, four world titles in yes, sorry to say, Oakland. Home of Mayor Jean Quan who will do nothing to stop the most successful team in the Bay Area from leaving, nothing other than trying to whine and sue like they always have done in the past.

  21. @ A’s Man – Unless I misinterpreted your original post, you said that Oakland had an increase in violent crime over the past 5 years and was the only city to do so. What you just presented in your last post is that violent crime in Oakland increased 6% from 2010 to 2011, which is true. I was responding to your 5-year statement and presented the fact that Oakland’s violent crime dropped in the period from 2007 to 2011 by 14%. That is a fact. Sorry A’s Man.

  22. I believe genderfication is mostly a Frisco thing.

  23. Most dangerous cities in America:

    @ Columbo, 14 more murders in 2011 than in 2010. No team wants to be in a city that is not progressing and when the mayor wants to sue and whine about teams leaving it makes it worse for everyone. Case in point, Mayor Quan has talks with the Giants about the A’s whining and kicking her way saying to major league baseball, “its not fair, its just not fair,” what a pathetic way to keep a team in an area that needs to change its image and fast.

    The Raiders, A’s, and Warriors need a city that will work with them instead of aggressively suing them and fighting their plans to improve. In response to the Warriors move, all Mayor Quan can say is “the cost to fix the pier will be $400 million,” once again, negative whinny response without any substance.

    Here are the facts about Oakland and crime:

    “Oakland historically has been among the most crime-ridden cities in California, with a violent crime rate this year of 16.8 per 1,000 people. There were 14 more murders in 2011 than in 2010, causing Oakland to maintain the ninth-highest murder rate in the country two years in a row. Oakland is the number one city for both robbery and motor vehicle theft rates in the country. Oakland city councilmember Desley Brooks, who wants to allocate $11 million in revenue to the police force, acknowledges the increased violent crime, saying, “we cannot ignore that we have had an increase in violent crime, and so we cannot continue to do the same thing the same way and expect that it’s going to be a different result.”

  24. Stop with the crime-related posts. Not relevant to the post’s subject matter.

  25. A’s man, you never did answer my question. What makes you think that SOS’s strategy is to sue the teams? I may not agree with their goals anymore, but I’ve seen nothing to indicate they’re planning on doing anything of the sort.

  26. @ Dan – what is SOS plan?

  27. I don’t think they have a solid plan yet from what I’ve seen. That’s the point I think of these early small meetings they’re holding is to figure out ways to help the city and those parties that have said they can help keep the teams in Oakland to do so. (ML’s been to a meeting I’m sure he’s got a better view of it than I do). But nothing I’ve seen has led me to believe they’re leaning toward lawsuits or the like.

  28. @ Dan – thanks for clarifying. I’m curious to see their plan as well and if/how it involves Oakland’s politicians… /cringe

  29. I’ll bet SOS doesn’t even have any money to file lawsuits even if it wanted to – which it probably doesn’t. But the problem is they have been already been overruled by Oakland voters who, time after time, have elected politicians proud to do nothing for the A’s.

  30. Chi
    June 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM  (Quote)
    Do you guys think we should sign Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds… who knows it might sell some tickets… i mean of course it would.. The Oakland A’s need to start hitting better if they want to make a playoff push.


  31. re: But u have to admit the A’s need to find some sluggers

    …How about Reggie Jackson and Willie Mays? They’re both available.

  32. @ Chi – do you exist in the same universe as us or dies Reddick and Cespedes not ring a bell?

  33. If JQ’s plan is ‘it will be too hard for the W’s to leave’ then I agree with the negative sentiments. However, I didn’t necessarily take that away from her comments. A good move on her part is beating the drum of “Look, the W’s aren’t gone yet, not by a long shot. There is a huge cost, among other things, that cast a serious doubt on the W’s moving’ ……followed by some outline of a REAL plan to keep the W’s in Oakland. Fans in the area have supported the W’s pretty well. IMHO that means there will be less political resistance to Oakland pols ‘greasing the slide’ for a new home in Oakland for the W’s (on a side note, I do not think the will is there for the A’s – not even close). IMHO, drop the humongous all in one plan idea and take the W’s as a single entity. Admittedly I am ignorant on the hurdles to do the following, however, basic logic says an arena is a smaller footprint. Why not look to a JLS/water front location? Sell a plan to the W’s and citizens that gets some of the land/infrastructure done for it (put it to a public vote) and get the W’s to pay for the building. I know I am over simplifying it……. but isn’t that a far better and FAR more realistic plan than trying to get 3 Pro teams, businesses and corporations to pay for this incredibly huge project in a less than attractive coliseum area? Seriously, how difficult can you make it for yourself to expect that many entities to come together for the CC plan?

  34. How do you know that Oakland has no private investors or public funding? I believe Oakland does have both. I saw a report a few months back that stated there was about $400,000 gap for Oakland to build an $850,000 football stadium. & I believe progress has been made since then. Oakland may not be able to get a new stadium built, because it is difficult to get a stadium built. But not only does Oakland have more resources than many think, (Oakland is about to start a $billion expansion of the 4th biggest port in the nation, is working on an air-rail connector from the BART to AirPort, & is fixing up the Coliseum area), but other cities within Alameda County: Alameda, Dublin, Pleasanton Berkeley, San Leandro, and Hayward have interest in Oakland keeping it’s teams too. Oakland can build a stadium cheaper than any other city in California because of zoning & environmental impact. Oakland has done nothing to stop the A’s from building in SJ, that’s the Giants. Oakland has done nothing to stop the Warriors from building a stadium in SF. But there is a lot of red tape & environmental impact issues that will make it very difficult for the any team to build a stadium in SF, & they choose the most difficult location in all of SF to build a new basketball arena. Oakland has just pointed out that there are far more challenges to get a sport arena built in SF or SJ. Oakland is centrally located in the bay area & has the best parking & transportation options. Not only that but new stadiums can be built for 30% less in Oakland than any other city in California

  35. & the proposed new Football Stadium in Oakland will be a dome with a retractable roof so it a be a convetion hall & concert hall, so it can make $ the 355 days a year there are no football games. Multi-use is the only way it will happen in Oakland, very smart. My break is over back to work.

  36. I don’t call meetings between Quan and Giants ownership doing “nothing to stop the A’s from building in SJ.” She’s a party to that now.

  37. @Chi – That is not a strategy. That’s laziness.

  38. @PJK

    “As I’ve said before, one candidate even placed on his platform last year a pledge to spend “not one dime for the A’s”

    Yes you have said this before, 3 times I think. Can you link to an article, or provide a name? can’t seem to find that quote attributed to anyone but you. Also, per an earlier post by you in which you posted this claim, the time frame would have been two years ago in 2010.

  39. @Dan…thank you for providing the name of the politico that PJK was citing. Clears that up.

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