Let’s be clear about one thing. This was a pep rally. No more, no less. Rick Tittle set the tone as the emcee, talking about how teams are private entities, yet fans can make their voices heard through rallies like this. True to form, no official representatives from any teams were on hand. Tittle did his best to gin up the 200 or so people in attendance, talking up how Oakland is the only city in California with NFL, MLB, and NBA franchises. He also taunted a little, getting the crowd to respond when asking if certain other cities were “big league” (hint: one of them has the initials S.J.). Tittle finished his opening remarks by rattling off the names of numerous political and community leaders that were at the rally.
The podium was handed off to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who started off by giving a non-update on talks between the City and teams/leagues, not that anyone expected an update. She then talked about the “Oakland Loves Its Sports Teams” week, which will start with the Raiders’ home opener against San Diego on 9/10, a Monday Night Football game. The bookend event is the 9/14 A’s game against Baltimore, which is both the Star Wars fireworks night and an A’s blogger night set up by the team’s media relations department. Quan encouraged fans to sell out both events, which given the circumstances, should not be too difficult. During the week will be other events, including a fundraiser. Curiously, the Warriors were only mentioned in passing by Chris Dobbins and perhaps one or two other speakers, and none of the new signage (see pic above) references the W’s. This may have something to do with how the W’s preseason doesn’t start until October. Yesterday’s revelation of the team hiring an architect for their dream SF arena probably doesn’t help. Still, the W’s are the one team whose practice facility is located in downtown Oakland. You’d think there’d be more than a token mention.
A number of others took the podium, including City Council member Rebecca Kaplan and a person from Rep. Barbara Lee’s office. Throughout the 40-minute rally, there were frequent mentions of Coliseum City and how the project can help revitalize Oakland. Strangely, I didn’t hear a peep about Howard Terminal. Now that the Port is onboard, I was surprised that Howard Terminal wasn’t discussed even a little bit. Maybe I missed something while I was tweeting during the event, but “Howard Terminal” is a phrase that would’ve gotten my attention. (Ed. – I did miss Kaplan’s Howard Terminal reference while I was tweeting.) Now that I think about it, no one from the Port was there either. In the grand scheme of things the omission doesn’t matter much, yet it remains notable. It seems as if the two efforts, such as they are, are running in parallel and there’s no effort to unite them. It sends a mixed message.
Since we’re talking about mixed messaging, I got something else from the tone of the event. On one hand, Oakland supporters talk about how devastating losing the sports teams would be, how much of an impact they make economically, civic pride, etc. At the same time the City is treating the W’s somewhat cavalierly and the A’s in a standoffish manner. It’s what a jilted lover sounds like, and it makes little sense. Don’t get me wrong, events like this and the upcoming weeklong affair are important to elevate the topic among civic discussion. There’s a feeling that this is more of the same, wake me up when you have something new.
Throughout much of the event, there was a protester on the other side of the still-fenced off Frank Ogawa Plaza who was decrying the event, yelling, “Save Oakland, Not The Raiders!” The undercurrent of protest remains, even as the City announced this event on a Friday and held it at 11 AM the following Monday. What would happen if a rally like this were held on Monday during rush hour, with Occupy protesters ready to go? I can’t imagine it’d be pretty. As much as the City keeps claiming that these new sports investments (that’s what they are) won’t require voter approval, they are kidding themselves if they think the City’s residents won’t put serious pressure to put any stadium project to a vote. That’s why this stage is so easy and positive. There are no details. No costs. No sacrifices to make. Unfortunately, the placards and pom-poms have to be put away at some point. Quan ended her remarks referring to her attendance at the recent 15-inning game saying, “It may take a while, but we’ll win in the end.” If I’m a league commissioner in a New York high-rise, I can’t think of a more confidence-inspiring message.
Apparently Rebecca Kaplan’s speech mentioned Howard Terminal at the press conference/rally: “And I’m very excited about the possibility of Howard Terminal near Jack London Square – with waterfront views, this site is adjacent to great restaurants, the ferry terminal and easy access on the free Broadway Shuttle.”
Maybe at this point one thing depends on another and speaking in concrete terms isn’t the wisest political strategy. I dunno.
@eb – Thanks. Will add that to the post.
Glad I didn’t take time off to go…
So CC is dead now?! /facepalm
I want to give Oakland and the people that came out credit for continuing to try to rally support, and a number of people I know went there. It’s just tough when progress on anything with the city seems so slow and without any real evidence of strong leadership and a clear plan.
I also have to say, from a cynical side, it’s clever of the mayor to promote selling out two games which, as you said, are already likely to be filled to capacity. Monday Night Football and a home opener for the Raiders against San Diego? Fireworks and Star Wars night against Boston? Easy to piggyback on those games. How about getting more people out to a Tuesday night A’s game?
Trying to take shots at San Jose is also not the best way to promote Oakland right now. San Jose has the Sharks, who have had more success during their history than any other Bay Area team over the same timeframe if you want to talk winning seasons.
Sharks: 11 winning seasons since 1991-92 (counts their expansion years, as all 11 were actually in the past 12 seasons), 15 playoff appearances in 20 seasons
A’s: 8 winning seasons over the same period, one at .500, and this year’s not counted yet but that should make it 9. 5 playoff berths, 6 if you go back to 1992, and hopefully they’ll get in this year. Granted, it’s a lot harder to get into MLB’s playoffs.
Raiders: since returning in 1995, 3 winning seasons, 5 more at 8-8, 3 playoff appearances.
Warriors: well, they’re on their way back across the bay but I don’t think we really need to ask what’s happened with them over the past two decades.
Yet, of the three Oakland teams, they’ve drawn the best if you compare to facility capacity. Yes, we know the story about the Coliseum, the PSLs for the Raiders, how everyone hates Lew Wolff, etc. But the Warriors were also the area’s only basketball team, so they did draw from all parts of the Bay Area. Yet, they’ve had the worst teams over the same timeframe.
The Sharks consistently sell out their building, and that’s not just because only people from San Jose go to see them. It’s time Oakland – and San Jose for that matter, if they are – realizes that their teams come from many different parts of the region and, at least in Tittle’s case if A’s and Raiders attendance is any indication, you’d think better ways could be found to prop themselves up instead of trying to suggest other areas aren’t big league enough.
It’d be nice to see the A’s get a great, new facility in Oakland, but whether it’s San Jose or Oakland this whole thing needs to be figured out ASAP. Selig has made us all wait long enough.
Anon, I don’t think CC is dead. I think there are competing plans within Oakland. CC, in some form, will be the plan for the Raiders until the Raiders either help make it happen or go somewhere else, I imagine
This is sad. If they break up the proposal, you’re talking 2 ballparks to build and i can see the costs ballooning to well over $2billion. In a deep dark corner at the bottom of my heart, I’m still rooting for Oakland to pull it out since it parallels the A’s underdog spirit. Howeve, with the continual proclamations, announcements, press conferences, rallies, etc., that seemingly contradicts one another and makes Oakland looks fractured and not grounded to reality it’s really hard to understand the logic, much less not be critical of their efforts. Anyhow, on this Oakland rally day, i’ll leave it be and wish all the Oakland pundits good look and hope they have a feasible plan SOON…anywhere!
“their teams come from” = “their fans come from”
Synopsis: Oakland loves its teams but will not do what it takes to keep them – pay for new facilities.
@pjk – That’s not the game right now. The bar for Oakland is extraordinarily low: provide support to get new privately-financed facilities off the ground. The problem is that once you do that twice or three times, it costs as much as paying for one new facility publicly. That’s a good reason to skirt the “paying for it” discussion.
Interesting strategy to bash SJ… the area that is so important to the gints to support their privately financed ballpark. You would think that Oakland would realize if they are going to even have a chance to develop a privately financed ballpark they at least need a peice of the SJ corporate pie–
I’m glad to see some local support from Oakland public figures and fans, even if a small step. I do not think taking a negative stance towards SJ is a beneficial thing to do, it doesn’t help anything in the process. Simply stating negative opinions about a “rival” city detracts from focus on legitimate points that will move the A’s closer to getting their new stadium. But overall, even though this was only 200 people and not 20,000, I can’t envision Ron Dellums or Jerry Brown holding this kind of rally, so this is a positive step for Oakland and their partners.
In principle, I think we can all agree that there is a difference between taking pot shots at a city and espousing legitimate questions. There is no place in this debate for pot shots directed at either city. Hell, I think some “legit” questions are really just pot shots in disguise (Oakland’s crime rate). I wasn’t there, so I can’t really know for sure, but if Tittle was really engaging in pot shots at SJ it’s really disappointing.
I asked the crowd if San Jose was a Big League city. The crowd responded in the negative. You can call it a “pot shot” if you want. It’s just a factual statement until they get a MLB team. I will always support the A’s, whether they go. I’d like them to stay where they are. The mayor asked for my support and I was glad to help. Oakland gets bullied by the press and someone needs to stick up for it. Go A’s.
@RT- bet those 75 Silicon Valley CEO’s who signed a letter in support of SJ are lining up to buy. Boxes at a new privately financed ballpark in Oakland- talk about locker room material for LW, SJ and bs- dumb is too kind of a word
Yes, San Jose is prevented from becoming “big league” by artificial restrictions imposed by MLB. Oakland gets bullied by the press? Pretty much all East Bay and Frisco columnists and commentators have been 100 percent behind Oakland keeping the team, without ever explaining how that can be done in the absence of public funds and with weak corporate support. San Jose won’t pay for the ballpark, either, but the corporate support is there.
@ML – I wish I had known you were there. I would have been glad to shake your hand.
@Rick Tittle – HELL YEAH! I was there. We’re here and we are sticking up for Oakland. There is a lot of horseshit bad press to un-do, but we Oaklanders never back down from a challenge.
It’s very interesting to read the comments on this site. Funny to hear the logic how people justify taking all of these teams from Oakland. It’s very clear that some people have never actually been to Oakland.
Rick – it’s a loaded question and you know the response it’s going to get from a pro-Oakland crowd the moment you ask it. Better to focus on the positives Oakland brings without baiting questions like that.
San Jose isn’t a “Big League” city. That’s why it is fervently working towards getting the A’s and why it wanted the Giants. I don’t know if the comment was called for or not, but it’s hardly “locker room material.” I doubt Lew or Bud or the baseball owners will be swayed by what an MC at a pep rally says. Besides why would MLB or even Lew care about a supposed slight against SJ? They don’t represent the city in the least (maybe Lew does slightly, but it’s not like that gaff would be a game changer.) They want a financially feasible and smooth transition towards a new park, wherever. Kudos to you Rick for commenting on here.
The only reason San Jose is not a “Big League City” is because both Bay Area teams are fighting over the right to make it one or not.
How’s that for circular logic?
C’mon… That’s ridiculous. Is SJ a major league town? The NHL is a major league sport, is it not? Or were you specifically talking about baseball? I am sure you clarified that before saying anything. Statement of fact… Ironic that this is exactly how someone who might smear Oakland for how their crime rate should preclude them from keeping the A’s could be expected to respond. “I was only stating a fact.”
I find the critique of the press about Oakland, in this particular case, way off base. Tell me besides Mark Purdy… Who in the local press writes articles about how the A’s should be allowed to move to SJ? Monte Poole? Dave Newhouse? Ray Ratto? Lowell Cohn? Greg Papa? Rick Tittle?
Lakeshore… Who is it that comments on here that has never been to Oakland?
I didn’t expect to find many allies on this site (for obvious reasons). We’re all A’s fans here, right? Just asking. I’m not a San Jose “hater”. I have many cousins, aunts, uncles and friends there. You won’t find a bigger Sharks fan than me. I worked their first 10 years on tv, from the Cow Palace to the Tank. I love the Shark Tank and always have a good time there. It would a million times easier for me if the Sharks were in Oakland, but they’re not. They belong in San Jose. I feel the A’s belong in Oakland. Some of you ran with my “big league” comment to mean that the city is too small or can’t support a team. Of course they could. Again, you’re simply not Big League until you have a Big League team. And as for it being a loaded question – did that really need to be pointed out? 🙂 I’d post more often but I HATE typing on this iPhone. Go A’s (I hope we can agree on that!)
@RT–good luck finding $120M naming rights sponsor in the big league city of Oakland—not wise to puff out your chest and pound on it when your 120lb weakling when it comes to corporate funding–
Wow, Tittle got many of your panties in a bunch. Settle down, it’s no big deal. You’re sounding as victimized as many of the people you criticize.
@eb—when you have a naming rights sponsor headquartered in the city of SJ willing to give $120M to a ballpark in SJ–tell me that they dont take exception to the place they do business being called “not big league”—bottom line, if the A’s cant move to SJ, then Silicon Valley companies will still have the ’49ers, Sharks and Earthquakes to invest their entertainment dollars in—doubt they will be sending much up Oakland’s way–
Maybe it’s me, but if you’re there to talk about how much you as the city of Oakland loves your teams, seems the focus should be on that instead of encouraging shots at another city.
I’m neither anti-Oakland nor pro-San Jose as much as I’m pro-ballpark, but if things were so great in Oakland you wouldn’t need a pep rally in the first place.
@ML–agree in the scheme of things–but frustrating that the best Oakland can do is a bit of name calling and hide behind TR argument while still putting nothing viable forward so that, as A’s fans, we can get excited about it–also find it interesting that RT doesn’t call out SF for wooing away the W’s—what’s up with the selective bias?
@ Rick – Curious, what’s your proposal for keeping the A’s in Oakland? WOuld you support public subsidy / guarantee for revenue/attendance so they are kept in your beloved city?
Has CC ever actually been alive in the first place? The whole thing seemed like a pipe dream from the word “go.”
Well to be fair, you can replace “CC” with VC or HT and I think they all stand equal chances for success. =/
@James – Oakland/Alameda County are spending $3.5 million on Coliseum City, so YES, it’s alive.
if this pep rally was of any real consequence, a stadium deal would that much closer to being a reality. As ML states in this post, the rally was not and we aren’t any closer. The perception that Oakland is being beat up is false, rather the elected officials in charge of the process in Oakland have been. One doesn’t equal the other, and if people had a genuine issue, maybe they would ask the Council or the Board of Supervisors why they do a poor job. The commissioner and the blue ribbon committee probably are not paying a lot of attention as the lack of action has shown, and if they did they would see a hundred folks with the argument and the rallying cry akin to the turtle beating the hare. But the hare isn’t waiting around.
$3.5 million? JUST $1.7 BILLION TO GO!! (sorry Brah, couldn’t help it 😉
Another win! 13 over .500!
Civic pride – i love it!
@Rick Tittle – A’s fans made a lot of noise until they got you on 95.7. I’m a fan!
Is it a pot shot to point out that the Earthquakes got over 300 people to city hall for the stadium hearing while Oakland got 200 to support all three teams in the biggest leagues? That’s MLS against the NFL, MLB and NBA. I know it’s not directly apples-to-apples because the Quakes had a vote on the line that night, so it was more than just a rally, but I am nonetheless underwhelmed by the Oakland turnout. It has nothing to do with one city being more “big league” than another, as I fully recognize that the Warriors and Raiders have been shown support far beyond their actual success. The A’s are a different story altogether, as many of us know from simply Googling attendance and standings from the past five decades.
Oakland does have one thing on their side that San Jose does not….Bud Selig continues to pray for an “Oakland miracle”.
Selig must have the votes to overturn the Giants rights or why would he take heat over this issue if he did not have to?
Pretty much he feels he needs “all options to be exhausted” and Howard Terminal is one last chance for Oakland.
I just wish Oakland and their city council would step up and state a financing plan including a public subsidy of some type.
I am not saying they should pay 100% of the ballpark but 50% and site cleanup/preparation costs.
In that case, Wolff would be forced build in Oakland, which I actually have no issue with it. I just do not like to see pipe dreams being supported by the likes of Ratto, Newhouse, Poole, Papa, etc…
The issue I have is Oakland wants a “free ballpark” when they do not have the corporate support to privately finance it the way San Jose does and they cling to that hope when it is painfully obvious it is not possible.
San Jose can get a free ballpark because of their private sector and no other reason. Very few U.S. cities can afford to privately finance any kind of sports facility regardless of sport much less Oakland.
Oakland needs to be realistic, and if it means them proposing public financing lets see it so that it can exhausted or passed. Enough of press conferences for no reason…..
I mean to say lets have Oakland propose public financing so we can see it exhausted or passed by a public vote.
How many votes does it require to put forth a public referendum for an A’s subsidy?! If i were LGO/SOS i’d take it the voters and finalize this with the broader residence once and for all. With supposedly 45k members, should be pretty easy unless they’re afraid of public pushback. 😡
Should be signature for a petition and not votes, sorry.
Nam, yeah I’d consider that a pot shot. The two aren’t related.
It’s fine if people want the A’s to stay in Oakland for purely emotional reasons. That won’t be enough to keep them there, however. Financing in Oakland is a very big question that hasn’t even been broached. On top of that, there is still the lack of a plan for any site.
I too am happy of the A’s can stay in Oakland… Pep rally’s wont make it happen.
Where would the money come from for a public subsidy? Who is going to pay for it? The city is still paying on Mount Davis and the Raider subsidies. If the city of Oakland wants to keep the A’s than all these fans need to come out and sell out the O.com stadium until the end of the current lease (2013). Make the current ownership group think twice about moving to San Jose, but this will never happen, most A’s fan want lower ticket prices, firework shows 81 games out of the year etc, and the Yankee and Redsox in town every other weekend. A’s tickets are one of the lowest in baseball, there is no reason why they should not be selling out games. I have a feeling that even if there was a new stadium in Oakland ppl would not show up unless there was some sort of “special” that is just the mentality of most A’s fans. It was like this when I was a season ticket holder between 1998-2003 and I am sure it is the same mentality now.
As a diehard A’s fan, I read this blog and its comments religiously. It’s awesome to have you, Rick Tittle make an appearance. Though ultimately I disagree with your position that Oakland is the only place the A’s belong, I still love your style and passion for your teams.
I’ve lived in Livermore my entire life and it’s almost the geographic center between OAK and SJ. My point of view has always been that I don’t really care where the A’s play as long as it’s somewhere in the Bay Area and the new yard is befitting a team with such a rich and winning history. Be it Oakland, San Jose or Fremont. BTW, Pac Commons is a 25 min drive from my house, but I digress. 🙂
What really rubs me the wrong way about the “Oakland-only” mentality though is that, in its worst moments, it seems to play to the thuggish stereotype people have about Raider fans. Like somehow you’re not a real fan unless you fit into some “us-against-the-world” orthodoxy.
I also don’t understand how any of Oakland’s teams “belong” to Oakland. The A’s came via Philly and KC. The Warriors came from Philly and SF. The Raiders went from SF to Oakland to LA and back to Oakland.
If Oakland keeps their teams, great. I’m more than accustomed to the city and find its bad reputation to be greatly exaggerated (as long as you don’t venture too close to certain areas). I’ve had great times there and wish Oakland nothing but the best. If Howard Terminal is realized and a new waterfront yard is built there, I’ll be ecstatic.
But, if I’m being honest about where I’m at; I don’t hold any allegiance to Oakland. I want the A’s in a better position than they are now, financially. They are my favorite sports team, and I personally need the stadium madness to stop. OAK, SJ, or Fremont. One of the three. Even if it puts one of my favorite websites, RM’s blog out of business. 🙂
@Travis – Well said. Don’t worry about me, I’ve got other stuff in the pipeline. 😉
The Raiders, A’s and Warriors draw support from throughout the East Bay.
That point is continually overlooked. There is plenty of economic wherewithal in the East Bay to support and enable all three teams to thrive. That’s not hyperbole; that’s emperical, historical fact.
The predictable snickers and jabs about “only 200” people showing up at this “pep rally” – which by the way was a press conference – are also not justified.
The fact that 200 people showed up at 11 a.m. on a Monday (last I checked Monday is usually a work day for most people) is actually quite astonishing.
And for the record, I have read reports on this blog that only a handful of people have attended hearings in San Jose re: the A’s in the past. In contrast, the hearing for Victor Court about 18? months ago drew some 300 people!
All I and the other Oakland -supporters ask for is fairness and fact.
I think most people in the business of marketing, politics or PR would agree that 200 people turning out at 11 a.m. is a great turnout.
In full disclosure, I’m a member of SAVEOAKLANDSPORTS which participat ed in this event which had a very positive energy.
At least we’re trying to do SOMETHING, right?
There is too much sensitivity over the SJ comments. Was it a pot shot? Sure…..a mild pot shot. But come on, it’s a rally. It’s the exact time for firebrand speeches and comments about how you’re better than the other guys. To me it would be almost comical to say “hey, those other guys are good but so are we” (what a rousing ovation that would get!).
This has no effect on the ultimate issue. BS/MLB have to know what each option’s pluses and minuses are by now. Additional motivation by SJ or anyone else is past the point of having a significant effect. At this point, likely, MLB has a decision they are most likely going with. Everything happening up until the announced decision is probably to erase as much remaining uncertainty as possible, PR, and having the best $$$ plan/road map in place post announced decision.
“At this point, likely, MLB has a decision they are most likely going with…” Nailed it! But because we little people haven’t heard the decision, “BS doesn’t have the votes..MLB is scared of changing TRights..San Jose will never happen..bla bla..” Until we hear OFFICIALLY from Selig/MLB …pep rally away people!
@A’s Observer – the bias against Oakland is on cruise control.
Hey Ricky T…..I think you should have ML and linusalf as guests on the sportsbyline show sometime soon. That would make for some compelling radio!
It is not a bias against Oakland to point out the disparity in corporate support. A’s observer, 12 companies showed up to back Don Knauss, 35 ponied up into an escrow account. That’s not nearly enough.
Why haven’t Knauss, etc. inked a company to buy naming rights in Oakland for $120 million? Can’t be that hard, can it, if Oakland is the viable site for a privately funded ballpark that these guys insist it is? Just get a company to come forward and show the contract that says “We will spend $120 mill for naming rights for a new Oakland ballpark. Signed on the dotted line.”
HCF, it’d probably just be a replay of the Jorge Leon v me thing on Athletics After Dark
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Can you show everyone the $120 million guarantee – as you say “on the dotted line” – from CISCO for a new stadium?
You want me to physically show you the Cisco contract that’s been publicly announced for years? Kind of stretching it, don’t you think? Why don’t you lobby East Bay companies to match the Cisco offer in Oakland? Don’t you think that would be more productive? How does my producing the Cisco contract help get a $120 million naming rights deal done in Oakland? It doesn’t
You demanded a “contract” from Oakland but don’t demand one from the South Bay?
Sigh and double sigh.
The Cisco naming rights contract is a matter of public record. Is your plan to boost Oakland all about bashing the progress San Jose has made instead of taking positive steps to get a ballpark done in Oakland? Knauss & Co. have been on board for 3+ months now. What steps have they taken to get a $120 million naming rights deal in Oakland? Seems to me that would be Exhibit A for the viability of a privately built ballpark in Oakland.
@pjk / A’s observer – This is going nowhere.
Final comment on this matter.
I have not bashed San Jose. You’re mistaking me for others perhaps?
I believe Oakland has numerous advantages that make it the superior stadium location in the nation.
What public agency maintains this record of the naming rights deal with CISCO?
I can’t remember if this has already been discussed in the past but how many of the corporate supporters for the San Jose ballpark are on record of NOT supporting a ballpark on Oakland if territorial rights are upheld? Makes me wonder if Wolff truly starts from zero or of there is an unstated degree of support that is not being disclosed for Oakland to help support the San Jose cause.
Bill, it’s a good question that no one really has an answer for. The SVLG wants the A’s in San Jose and won’t pledge support for Oakland while that’s a possibility.
From the perspective of companies entertaining clients, commuting from Santa Clara County to Oakland during rush hour won’t cut it. Try it a few times for yourself.
Confused about Kaplan’s stance–someone indicated in their comments that she supported the HT site at this rally…but tweets last night show she is talking CC again– am I missing something?
“Kaplan: “The A’s don’t know the way to San Jose.” County has site, infrastructure. Needs focus on negotiating good lease deal. #oakdebates ” and…
“Kaplan’s top priorities: …Coliseum City, among others. #oakdebates”
Someone didn’t send her the right script.