About Oakland….

I was born in Oakland. This simple fact means that I will always have a fascination with the city. It also means that I will always root for good things to come Oakland’s way.

I regularly visit Oakland. My favorite thing to do in Oakland is impossible to say because there are so many things I love to do in Oakland. I love to see my daughters laugh and have fun at the Oakland Zoo, for example. I enjoy strolling up and down College Avenue and eating at the Crepevine. It goes without saying that I really enjoy spending time at the Coliseum Complex (be it A’s, Raiders or Warriors games). And Rudy’s Can’t Fail‘s $5 shot and PBR isn’t all that bad either (except the whiskey tastes like gasoline, but what should I expect for $5?).

So folks who prefer Oakland stay the home of the Athletics long term, let’s start from a position here of “We agree, Oakland is a nice place.”

There are other things we agree on, as well. One is that Oakland some times gets short shrift in the local papers. Some times the headlines get a little gratuitous (when was the last time you noticed a positive headline?). We all know that Oakland, being the 46th largest city in the country and like many other medium sized and large cities, has certain neighborhoods with crime problems. That has nothing to do with whether the A’s should continue to play in Oakland, it has little to do with quality of life for the city as a whole and repeatedly pointing it out is tantamount to taking “pot shots” at the city.

So, let’s set that aside too. We agree that Oakland sometimes gets pot shots lobbed in its direction and they aren’t always fair.

Now can we have an honest discussion about the things we don’t really agree on? Let’s keep in mind that there is a difference between legitimate critiques and having “a bias against Oakland.” There is a difference between asking fair questions and casting aspersions toward the Bright Side of the Bay. In short, pointing out obvious challenges is not that same as leveling baseless attacks at Oakland or its citizens.

In the early part of this season I read a letter written/signed by some fans dedicated to keeping the team in Oakland and I had to shake my head. The very first point they made about off the field issues (the East Bay has traditionally supported the team by regularly drawing in excess of 2M fans) was an intellectually dishonest statement and symptomatic of the spin campaign that has been waged by Oakland advocates. This is not to say I don’t appreciate their passion, or that I have a personal hatred for them.

“Intellectually dishonest” can come off as fighting words, I agree. So let me clarify. First, by being imprecise with the English language and using a qualifier such as “regularly,” the Oakland boosters allow themselves wiggle room. How do you quantify “regularly?” For me, and I’d argue for most people, that word means “usually.” Which is to say, “often.” How many times have the A’s drawn in excess of 2M fans? If it’s regularly, it has to be at least more than half right? The A’s have been in Oakland for 44 seasons. They have drawn in excess of 2M fans 11 times. I don’t think it is a stretch to call it “intellectually dishonest” to tout something that has happened 1/4 of the time as “regularly.”

And further, who decided that 2M fans was the threshold for “strong support?” That is an arbitrary number. I have been consistent in arguing that the real measure of successful attendance is “How did a given team perform against the MLB median in a given year?” I’ll agree, this is also imperfect. It doesn’t directly account for how wins and losses impact attendance. It doesn’t account for the fact that baseball stadiums come in various shapes and sizes. However, it is a heck of a lot more objective and accurate than picking an arbitrary number. For the record, 2M fans in the current day and age is in the bottom third of all of MLB attendance, below the MLB median. How does that equate to “strong support?”

Many folks in the pro San Jose camp point to things that happened when Jerry Brown was Mayor, or that didn’t happen when Ron Dellums was Mayor, as evidence of historical failures. I agree with you Oakland boosters that these failures are ancient history and irrelevant to the current state of stadium hunting affairs. However, the “slam dunk” you were all heralding at Victory Court turned out to be vaporware without a single peep about how you had been bamboozled. The grand “plan” of Coliseum City worked to convince the Warriors to leave Oakland (“We’ve met with Mayor Quan on numerous occasions,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said. “We’ve not gotten any definitive proposals from her.”). Next up is the many times visited, and previously rejected, Howard Terminal.

And let me be clear… It is not unfair to point out that Victory Court, once heralded as a viable site, turned out not to be. It isn’t a pot shot at Oakland to point out that Coliseum City (touted as the mega development that would convince the A’s, Raiders and Warriors to stay) is reportedly supported by a single sports franchise, provided the excuse for one to leave and was considered and rejected by the other long ago. It is also not a shot at Oakland to point out that Howard Terminal was the most expensive proposition in 2001 (which means it is still expensive) and has numerous hurdles before it can be built. Pointing these things out doesn’t mean that Howard Terminal couldn’t house an aesthetically pleasing ballpark. Pointing these things out is accepting reality. And really, that’s my biggest gripe with the “Keep the A’s in Oakland” movement, in general.

When is the “look in the mirror” moment? When do the people who want to keep the A’s in Oakland stop with the PR and start with the doing? Where is the outrage and indignation towards the Oakland City Leaders over the whole kabuki theater around an EIR for Victory Court that never happened? How does  whole group of people get so invested in a potential site and then not even make a peep when it comes home to roost that the site was as unrealistic as many critics pointed out? When do the Oakland proponents start pushing the City to begin an EIR for Howard Terminal? When do folks start to actually question if Howard Terminal isn’t just another Victory Court? Why is it the City leaders get a free pass?

Let’s get real. When folks point out that there are many more corporate/business customers available in Santa Clara County, in San Jose or within 21 miles of the proposed Cisco Fields site… Those aren’t attacks at Oakland.  Cisco pledged $120M over 30 Years for a Ballpark in Fremont. Are we really supposed to believe they wouldn’t offer something similar in the heart of their base of operation? No company has made a similar proposal publicly for a stadium in Oakland. Are we just supposed to believe that there is some mythical company that has this covered? 75 CEO’s signed a letter of support for the A’s potential move South and sent it to Bud Selig. Those 75 CEOs were writing on behalf of an organization that represents $3 Trillion to the world’s economy. Conversely, Don Knauss had 11 other companies (some of which are huge and some which haven’t turned a profit) with him at his press conference. It isn’t just a matter of perception. The business customers in San Jose are far more plentiful than in Oakland. Ditto the South Bay as compared to the East Bay.

Combine this difference in corporate sponsorship opportunities, with the paltry attendance numbers and there are legitimate concerns about privately financing a stadium. That isn’t an attack on Oakland. It is a legitimate concern. There has been one fully, privately financed stadium built in MLB since the influx of stadiums began in the 1990’s: AT&T Park. 48% of that private financing depended on advanced ticket purchases and naming rights. To get more granular, 20% of AT&T Park was financed by PSL’s and 28% was financed by a lucrative naming rights deal. Another ~48% was provided in the form of a loan by Chase Bank.

What I am saying is that if you want to get something done, you need to address the actual challenges, not fight perception. Making statements about how great attendance has always been, in the face of evidence to the contrary, won’t get a stadium built. Getting commitments from guys like me, or the 51,000 folks on the LGO Facebook group, to buy season tickets for a brand new Oakland ballpark will.

Arguing with folks that Cisco won’t sponsor a stadium in San Jose, when we all know they will, won’t get a new stadium built in Oakland. Getting Chevron, or Clorox, or some other very large company to agree to a naming rights deal that pays $4M a year over 30 years (and having them shout it out publicly) will.

These things won’t get you all the way there, Oakland proponents. But they can get you 48% of the way to paying for it and that’s a whole lot closer than you have come to date.

 

108 thoughts on “About Oakland….

  1. Nicely done, Jeffrey. Everyone that makes one of those hackneyed, snide remarks attacking Oakland or San Jose should be bounced off the comment boards until they re-read this post in its entirety. If you don’t have anything new or accurate to say, unplug your keyboard.

  2. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I can’t really argue with anything you said.
    .
    Wonder what Leon & Co would say about this? “There are things happening behind the scenes but the companies don’t want to jeopardize their existing relationship with the team.” Well, keeping it all hidden isn’t going to help people on the outside rally to support you. Perhaps if it looked like the Oakland Train was gaining steam, some South Bay companies would jump on board. Instead, it looks like the Oakland Train is sitting in the station, cold engines. BUT there are people sitting on it with flags and pom poms.

  3. re: The grand “plan” of Coliseum City worked to convince the Warriors to leave Oakland

    …Ouch!

  4. It can’t be said much better or more accurately than this.

  5. Great summary of your thoughts Jeffrey, and really nailed it on the head about the need to focus on substantive issues in forums like this as opposed to pointless insults back and forth.
    .
    I also strongly agree with you on the need to hold Oakland officials accountable to actually pursuing the necessary steps towards building a stadium, and not just “talking” about it. As a half-glass-full Oakland supporter, I’m hopeful that HT may have a realistic chance at coming together, but rallies and letters alone aren’t going to cut it. I also agree, as I’ve stated here before, that clearly SJ is presently in a better position in terms of corporate support, even if right now that is moot due to territorial rights.
    .
    The only point I take issue with, which I’ve also stated here before, is the attendance issue as a reflection of true fan support, aka “butts in seat”, that is possible with a new stadium located in downtown Oakland. Take a moment to imagine the Coliseum in your mind: the cavernous cement, the antiquated features, the lack of anything to attract anyone but diehard A’s fans within miles. Now, if you’ll bear with me, imagine it wasn’t the Oakland Coliseum but the San Jose Coliseum. Putting aside arguments about whether SJ would have built a new stadium already, etc etc, just imagine literally the Coliseum facility somewhere comprable in San Jose. Do people honestly think that fans would be filling that stadium day in and day out?
    .
    I guess my point is, not long ago everyone agreed on the simple fact that “the Oakland A’s need a new stadium.” Period. Over the last 3+ years, a certain segment as taken that to now mean “the A’s need a new stadium in San Jose.” The points you bring up in this post about holding the City of Oakland accountable, about potential benefits of SJ, etc. are all valid. But I would argue, that if somehow the stars align and a stadium at Howard Terminal opened in April 2017, the people who support the A’s, the City of Oakland, and the East Bay as a whole will converge to fill that stadium on a regular basis. Blaming previous low attendance numbers on the the lack of support from fans, as opposed to a non-viable facility, is a faulty argument in my mind.

  6. JH, that might be a bit revisionist. It wasn’t recently that everyone agreed the A’s need a new stadium. It’s been nearly 20 years since everyone agreed the A’s needed a new stadium. As for his argument being faulty, if he were just talking about the last decade your argument would be sound. But he’s talking the whole history of the A’s in Oakland. And in that entire history they’ve only had a handful of seasons in the top half of MLB attendance. And more often than not they’ve been one of the bottom teams. Long before the current stadium boom.

  7. …The Giants, who had poor attendance at Candlestick, could look at radio and TV ratings and gauge that a privately funded ballpark in Frisco would, because these ratings proved the team had a lot of fans. I’m not so sure the A’s can look at these same ratings and draw the same conclusions as the Giants. Even when the A’s had a new facility and World Series teams in the 1970s, attendance wasn’t great. We would be crossing our fingers that a new ballpark in Oakland would suddenly sell out for the long term. And, of course, the days of $2 tickets, $40 to sit behind the dugout, free parking Tuesdays, etc will all be gone if the A’s are mortgaged to the teeth trying to pay off a new facility.

  8. …Frisco would work.

  9. JH510,
    Thanks for reading. There are several factor to consider when talking about attendance. One thing I looked up recently is how often have teams been in the lower half of MLB team and been a playoff team, for instance. This is to gauge how wins and losses have impacted an individual team’s attendance. The A’s lead in that metric, with only the Orioles of the early 70’s, the Giants of the late 80’s and the Rays of recent years experiencing this.
    .
    Would the coliseum in San Jose be full? I don’t know, but just the geographic factors point towards it being more full. The Coliseum is not only impacted by it’s lack of amenities, it is impacted by the wealth of amenities within shouting distance. But materially, I wouldn’t expect it to be that different.
    .
    Though, you’re missing my point. If Oakland boosters were taking pledges for PSL’s and season tickets right now, the attendance question could be nullified (or validated). Attendance is only important to this discussion as a function of the fan bases ability to fund a privately financed stadium.

  10. @Dan: sorry, I was unclear in how I wrote that; I didn’t mean that only recently have people called for a new stadium for the A’s, it was more that only recently has that argument evolved into a “new stadium in SJ.”
    .
    Regarding the attendance numbers, I agree that the last decade really reinforces how dire the Coliseum is. But I think it goes beyond that.
    .
    Since you mentioned it, let’s look at the attendance figures before the “stadium boom”:
    .
    Between 1970-1989 (figures taken from ballparksofbaseball.com):
    .
    SF Giants total attendance at Candlestick Park: 22,278,432
    .
    Oakland A’s total attendance at Oakland Coliseum: 23,459,347
    .
    Does this mean that local fan support in San Francisco is less than the local fan support in Oakland? If you argue solely based on attendance numbers at these stadiums, then yes.
    .
    I, on the other hand, argue that its actually the facility. Once the Giants were able to secure their new facility in a prime downtown waterfront location, the fans have come and they haven’t stopped. I believe the same is possible, and probable, in Oakland.

  11. @jh510,
    I completely agree with your last paragraph IF the city of Oakland can contribute a large amount of public financing to a HT ballpark. Short of that, no privately financed ballpark is happening in Oakland, regardless if it would work attendance wise (see corporate support and the sale of luxury suites, club seating and sponsorships).

  12. Also, no ballpark is built in Frisco if it is publicly financed.

  13. @Jeffrey: I totally agree with your last point, regarding a formal way for fans to show support by purchasing some kind of commitment to future season tickets/PSLs/etc.
    .
    Personally, I know a lot of us on this board as well as others around Oakland would jump in head first to do this, if the opportunity came up. The problem, I think, is how this would actually be feasible.
    .
    In my mind, the only way to really do this would be some kind of formal mechanism through MLB, and not a “booster group” or something simliar. Am I, or any typical East Bay resident, going to cut a check to someone who knocks on my door and says “give me $ to show your support for the A’s”? Probably not.
    .
    But, what if MLB’s “blue ribbon panel” put together a formal website that allowed me to enter my name, address, contact info, and credit card # to get a spot in line for season tickets at a new stadium, if/when it happened? I would be there the instant that site went live. And they could do the same for San Jose. And if that was the one way for all fans to do it, it would make that process a lot more clear. Is that realistic? Obviously not. But say they did that, and said “we’re giving both cities until Dec 31 to secure 30k commitments for season tickets”, you’d get both lists filled pretty darn fast.
    .
    Moreover, this doesn’t even address the issues of current ownership sticking to the “never going to sell the team” and “never going to build in Oakland” lines, which further clouds the perception of fans not closely following the stadium issue but would be in full support of the team in Oakland.

  14. The A’s won 4 World Series in that 1970-89 timeframe while the Giants won none and the A’s clearly had a better facility, with everyone acknowledging Candlestick as perhaps the worst MLB park ever built. Yet the attendance is about the same. Beginning in 1993, the Giants began leaving the A’s in the dust at the Box Office and it didn’t matter if the A’s had the better team.

  15. JH510,
    .
    You are missing the point. I am not using attendance as a measure of fan interest. That’s irrelevant. The point is that in order to privately finance a stadium a whole bunch of people will have to buy a whole bunch of tickets in advance. Instead of arguing about attendance history (an argument that they really don’t have a leg to stand on), the Oakland booster groups should be proving there are enough folks willing to buy PSL’s and season tickets in advance to cover a considerable chunk of the construction cost. That is entirely relevant. In SF, it was 20% and it most likely will need to be more in Oakland (because the stadium in SF was built for $357M, in Oakland it will be over $600M at Howard Terminal based on the estimates from 2001 plus inflation).

  16. Jeffrey – well said (much more eloquently than i can ever put it)!

    Monte Poole / Ray Ratto / Rick Title / et. al, – this is the real issue facing Oakland A’s!

  17. I understand the significant and worthy questions that follow keeping the A’s in Oakland. Oakland and the East Bay IS working at a disadvantage to SJ in terms of corporate support, but so would the majority of sports cities in the U.S., comparatively. That does not mean, however more difficult, something in Oakland can’t get done. Questioning should absolutely continue and Oakland officials and the East Bay business community should be prepared to answer them. I’m of the opinion that all of this stadium planning has gotten a late jump and am hoping answers will come soon as events fall into place (I could be naive here, I admit.) I think that when Oakland supporters get upset about “Oakland bashing” on here, it’s not because of logical questioning by ML, it’s the REPEATED droning of why Oakland can’t work (I even see some of the same posters on here repeating the same message on other online venues, word for word), it’s some here calling Oakland a “dying city”, it’s the obvious rooting for Oakland to lose all of its teams, etc. Obviously it’s just a minority of posters that say this stuff, but it can taint the whole blog as a harsh place, especially if you’re really hoping something in Oakland works out.
    As for attendance, I really think that the Bay Area’s initial population numbers and the fact that the Giants are regional and the A’s aren’t are the biggest culprits. I mean the A’s only now have their radio situation worked out. A new stadium will draw wherever the location, but there will still be A LOT of work making this a regional team, not a niche one.
    Whatever our possible differences of opinion, I do appreciate this entry.

  18. JH510,
    How’d they do it in Winnipeg? All SOS needs to do is create a database of people who want to join the waiting list for season tickets (and PSL’s). It is more than just season tickets. In Santa Clara, for the “cheap seats” it is $6000 for a PSL and $150 per seat for a 10 game season ticket package (the PSL can be paid over 10 years). The first season’s outlay would be $2100 and the PSL holder would be obligated to $600 a year, regardless of whether they bought seats for the season or not, for the next 9 seasons. While the idea that 30,000 people would sign up seems far fetched to me, that would generate $180,000,000. This is overly simplistic because certain seats can bemand high PSL prices and Luxury Boxes would generate more, etc. But if it averaged $6000 per PSL and there were 30,000 sold it would be this number.
    .
    Regardless of if anyone thinks this is feasible, a step towards making an Oakland stadium happen is proving that people would be willing to commit to something like that in order for a stadium to happen in Oakland.

  19. @Jeffrey; sorry, I’m really trying to get your point, and I think I do, and I agree with you. Attendance numbers aside, what I stated above is that there needs to be a uniform and legitimate way for “folks willing to buy PSLs and season tickets” in Oakland to do so, and it needs to be more substantive than just putting our name on a Lets Go Oakland petition.
    .
    As an example, if we had a MLB-acknowledged website where we could put in our contact information, a deposit on season tickets, and a guarantee that we will have rights to season tickets at a new baseball stadium in Oakland, that would facilitate fans actually doing so.
    .
    As of now, that’s not going to happen, and it remains in the fog of MLB not acting, ownership not interested in Oakland, and East Bay fans that are unclear about what options are actually feasible for the team.
    .
    But I’ll just leave it with my point being that a lot of us pro-Oakland supporters aren’t shying away from the idea of actually showing support for our team staying here buy buying season tickets at an Oakland stadium, we just don’t have a way to do it in a realistic fashion. And I wholeheartedly agree with you that we need to have that in order to make a stronger case for Oakland. And I also agree that simply pointing to “paltry attendance numbers” doesn’t strongly support the argument one way or another.
    .
    Thanks again all for the chance to contribute.

    • As of now, that’s not going to happen, and it remains in the fog of MLB not acting, ownership not interested in Oakland, and East Bay fans that are unclear about what options are actually feasible for the team.

      @JH510 – This is the type of passive, cheerleading, do-nothing-until-someone-else-does-it attitude that I think Jeffrey was alluding to. Why do you need to wait? Why not drum up the support to force the issue and show how viable Oakland really is? Why not get an official petition out to the citizens of Oakland (you got a newspaper ad before)? Why not get deposits from the 51K FB members?

  20. JH, you got it. I typed the other one while you were typing yours 🙂 Only quibble, MLB won’t do it. SOS or LGO would need to and they don’t even have to take people’s money yet.

  21. @Anon: my point wasn’t that drumming up support from Oakland fans “isn’t going to happen”, it was that getting something formally acknowledged by MLB isn’t going to happen. So I agree with Jeffrey on that point. Rather, I’m excited by the fact that wheels are starting to turn in Oakland regarding HT, with support from City officials, the Port of Oakland, corporate backers, and others, and with that energy will come increased attention and participation from Oakland fans who would buy season tickets/PSLs/etc.
    .
    To that end, I’m excited about some of the ideas Jeffrey puts forward (i.e. the Winnipeg model) that I hear are coming together in certain channels of Oakland supporters, and finding a way to uniformly bring them together in a way thats recognized, formally or informally, by MLB, current A’s ownership, and potential ownership groups interested in keeping the team in Oakland.

    • @Anon: my point wasn’t that drumming up support from Oakland fans “isn’t going to happen”, it was that getting something formally acknowledged by MLB isn’t going to happen.So I agree with Jeffrey on that point.Rather, I’m excited by the fact that wheels are starting to turn in Oakland regarding HT, with support from City officials, the Port of Oakland, corporate backers, and others, and with that energy will come increased attention and participation from Oakland fans who would buy season tickets/PSLs/etc.

      @ JH510 – first, i must apologize if it seems i am “attacking” you, as I am not (i just have a very direct style). Secondarily, I cannot understand why you’re excited about things “starting” for HT. As Jeffrey pointed out, instead of getting strung along for the show, when will you start questioning your leaders whether this is real or another vaporware concept (VC?). When will you ask what happened to the glorious proclamations of CC? I think a lot of the supposed “oakland bashing” stems from an outward attitude of accepting any and everything the City Leaders throw at the mass. Someone needs to actually question whether it is viable for once….

  22. When HT was proposed in 2001, wasn’t it the most expensive site mostly because of the cost to buyout and relocate a tenant who had no intention of leaving?

  23. JH, I hope the Winnipeg model is adopted. I have heard nothing to lead me to believe that it is. And for the record, I’d be happy to join the list.

  24. gojohn, Parking and Traffic Infrastructure where big ticket items as well as port relocation.

  25. Jeffrey, thanks for the post and for raising the questions you raise.

    The reality is, however, that the viability of new ballpark in Oakland will be determined by whomever the owner is. We can all opine as to that but since no one on this board (I think) will be making the decision to invest these dollars, our opinions are just that.

    If it’s the current ownership who is determining viability, then we clearly know the answer — no.

    If there is a new ownership group who defines viability differently (i.e. a different ROI), with different variables, then maybe the answer will be yes. We just don’t know.

    Oakland’s approach seems to be to make a site available which will probably happen with Howard Terminal in the coming months. If that indeed occurs, MLB will be presented with the opportunity to negotiate to build a ballpark at a 50 acre waterfront site, close to mass transit and entirely controlled by a local government. It will be interesting to see what happens after that.

  26. JH510, I’d have to agree that waiting (or looking) for MLB to participate is a lost cause. But you (and by you that could be anyone from SOS to LGO, etc.) can look at a true goal (say 50% of the cost). Use the 49ers PSL numbers, scaled them down to fit a more Oakland-friendly count and figure out just how many people you’d need to sign on. Then have a page where people can pledge that amount, collecting contact info, etc. (no actual money) with a counter of how much money is pledged. Then when you hit that mark, you’d have something concrete that you could take to the city, the team, & MLB and say “Look, we *CAN* support a team, here’s how.” and give them that list.

  27. @Anon: I don’t think you’re attacking me, but you should understand that calling out a pro-Oakland fan for being “excited” about the potential of his team finding a location for a new stadium could be interpreted in a less than positive light. Just because you are not “excited” about the idea, or your perceived feasibility, of a stadium at HT doesn’t mean others won’t remain interested in it.
    .
    That being said, I totally agree with you that those responsible for moving it forward, City officials, local corporate backers, fans, will need to be held accountable.
    .
    But just for the sake of clarifying why some of us in the minority are “excited” about Howard Terminal being a feasible option for a stadium (and also note, only one of the points below actually has any connection to “city leaders” who are just “throwing at the masses”:
    -the Port of Oakland has stated, on record, that they are “very interested” in a stadium on land they already own;
    -based on previous studies, the HT site has lower infrastructure costs than the now ruled-out VC site, but is in a prime downtown waterfront location that has previously been stated as the preferred location for new stadiums by MLB;
    -the CEO of Clorox Corp., Don Knauss, has gone on record saying he and other corporations will support the team locally;
    -Don Knauss has also gone on record saying, unequivocally, that he has been in communication with a separate ownership group with the financial backing to both buy the team and privately finance a new stadium in downtown Oakland;
    -local elected officials have voiced their support for keeping the team in Oakland that has not been apparent under previous administrations.
    .
    That, in summary, are some of the reasons we’re “excited” about the team’s options for a new stadium in Oakland, so I hope that helps. Take issue with any or all of these points, as I’m sure you will, but just know that it detract from the “excitement” some of us have about Oakland and next steps.

    • @Anon: I don’t think you’re attacking me, but you should understand that calling out a pro-Oakland fan for being “excited” about the potential of his team finding a location for a new stadium could be interpreted in a less than positive light.Just because you are not “excited” about the idea, or your perceived feasibility, of a stadium at HT doesn’t mean others won’t remain interested in it.

      @ JH510 – As I’ve said before, I love the passion that the pro-Oakland crowd has, just worry if it’s grounded in reality that’s all. As for our interpretations, I guess it takes a little more for me to get excited then press conferences, new articles, and proclamations and we’ll leave it as that… 🙂

  28. re: If there is a new ownership group who defines viability differently (i.e. a different ROI),

    …What kind of “different ROI” are you talking about? Shouldn’t the owners make their money back?

  29. Sweet. Business as usual…

  30. Bottom line: great post Jeffrey, and I appreciate the chance to get into the substantive issues with you that are relevant to how the A’s can get closer to a new stadium. Thanks again for taking the time to put this together, and I’ll look forward to future posts like this where us A’s fans can explore what is on the horizon for our favorite team and their future home.

  31. Stan: Don’t want to read too much into what you’re saying, but it sounds like the same old “Here’s a site, it’s your problem if you don’t make any money or lose money building here” approach. Who is going to build at Howard Terminal under such charitable terms? Nobody. We’re talking about a $500-$600 million project here. And we’re talking about a site needing cleanup and major railroad crossings.

    re: -Don Knauss has also gone on record saying, unequivocally, that he has been in communication with a separate ownership group with the financial backing to both buy the team and privately finance a new stadium in downtown Oakland;

    …And we’ve been waiting 3 months for these people to come forward. As has been said before – the Warriors were not for sale a few years ago but it was no secret Larry Ellison wanted to buy them. Same with the 49ers and Steve Young’s investment group. Why can’t these potential new A’s owners come forward instead of remaining dead-silent? Because they are not really committed, perhaps?

  32. Yes, very well said, Jeffrey.
    I don’t see a privately financed Oakland downtown ballpark as being economically viable, but with what’s going on with the Dodgers’ spending, there might be someone else out there with enough money and risk-seeking propensity to buy the team and finance one. If Selig and the owners took the Giants’ side and blocked San Jose, they could essentially force Wolff to sell to such a group by ending the A’s revenue sharing. I don’t think that’s the right solution, total MLB revenues would be higher with the A’s in San Jose, but it is a possible one.
    Oh, and I think the Rangers have territorial rights to Frisco, so can’t see the A’s moving there.

  33. pjk, of course owners should make their money back. What kind of ROI do you expect to get on your investments? How much risk do you like to take when you invest money? Do you only invest in bonds or do you take more risk and invest in tech stocks? These things are not cookie cutter. Each potential owner group has a different threshold. Why is this so hard to understand?

  34. @SS,
    Private financing of a ballpark. That should answer your question re “viable.” Again, if the Giants relied on public financing from Frisco for then Pac Bell Park, it never happens. The concrete canyons of Market $treet made the Giants waterfront yard a reality.

  35. re: Each potential owner group has a different threshold. Why is this so hard to understand?

    …Wolff has said he can’t privately finance in Oakland and that the Howard Terminal site has been looked at inside and out and has no ability to be implemented as a ballpark. Please share with us what exactly he is missing when he says these things? Please refute his points about private financing and the non-viability of the Howard Terminal site.

  36. @Jeffrey–Good Piece. Didn’t know that HT was the most expensive of all alternatives considered. The Giants will never give up on TR.

    Oakland has to get over having a copycat waterfront ballpark. My understanding is that the Uptown site was the best for a ballpark because it was near BART, freeways and available parking assets. Moreover it was a free site owned by the now defunct Redevelopment Agency. 980 Park has many of these same attributes. Why not give it more press. And a fabulous ballpark could be made to fit on the available site.

  37. @DMOAS – There needs to be actual checks handed over or card numbers collected. Form a non-profit to handle this, whose sole purpose is to guard the commitment money. Lots of people are willing to put up money if they don’t have to lay it out now.

    Basically, I’m saying if the Oakland-crowd wants to do this, they need to set a goal and make like a giant kickstarter out of it. Even that, though, is an imperfect method. Ideally, fans would simply start packing the Coliseum to cheer on a team that has out-performed even the rosiest of expectations. The attendance spike from that is what will get Wolff and Co. to notice. It may be fruitless, true. But is tangible and addresses, one of, if not THE main issue: low attendance figures relative to the league. It has to be long-term, too. Don’t just show up for the last month and then if the A’s start slowly next year go away.

  38. OT:Tierney new co host on the drive is Ric Bucher

  39. re:”Each potential owner group has a different threshold. ”
    .
    What about the banks that have to give the ownership the loans? Do you think they’re going to take on a lot of risk?
    .
    @Bryan Grunwald – I’m kind of tired of hearing about 980 Park. Not even Oakland is looking at that.

  40. @Bryan Grunwald – Get some real numbers, renderings, and a study going on the feasibility of 980 Park, then we can talk about the site being on par with everything else. This blog has been the only place to give 980 Park more than a cursory glance. We’re not going to do your work for you.

  41. we want to see real “cold hard cash”

    cold hard cash !

  42. remember what Tuco said in the good, the bad and the ugly :

    when you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.

    stop talking, do it.

  43. @BG,
    Its not up to the Giants re TRights. See Wolff and Baer interviews from June for reference (95.7 or CSNCA, can’t recall which one)

  44. Just for clarity’s sake… In the early 2000’s HOK did a study of 7 sites in Oakland and Alameda County. 3 sites (Pleasanton $530M, Oak 2 9th $$545-$565M and Laney College $605M in 2001 $) were eliminated based on various factors.
    .
    The remaining 4 sites (Uptown Oakland $385M, Coliseum Parking Lot $399M, Fremont $464M and Howard Terminal $517M) were stack ranked based on various factors. Of these remaining 4, Howard Terminal was the most expensive site to develop. Those that were more expensive were eliminated form consideration as a result of the study.

  45. “What about the banks that have to give the ownership the loans? Do you think they’re going to take on a lot of risk?” Banks? You mean the ones that have 500 trillion of derivatives on their balance sheets not marked-to-market, showing inflated asset values at par? They can’t afford to take unnecessary risk. Oh, wait a minute… the BB printing machine is in overdrive to cover any incurred losses to their banking friends. I change my mind. I think they would take the risk after all for a project of this magnitude. For the small business owner or average middle-class citizen looking for loans, not so much.

  46. To the only Oakland only’s:

    SHOW ME THE MONEY

  47. Columbo: You can be sure banks, who took a bath on the mortgage crisis, are going to be very reluctant to loan out hundreds of millions of dollars on a project as risky as an Oakland ballpark.

  48. @Bryan – Uptown was the best site but Jerry Brown didn’t give a damn about the A’s and wanted apartments there (for better or worse). There are apartments there now and one empty lot too small for a stadium. I don’t think there’s another suitable site uptown, except maybe Valdez Triangle (not sure why this isn’t given more consideration – it’s mostly parking lots and garages)

  49. @ pjk – Perhaps. I suppose it depends on Fed policy going forward. In recent years they have bailed out their friends and stuck the losses on the taxpaying public. Kind of a slam-dunk if you think about it. Make risky investments, check. Earn loads of commissions on reselling those investments as packages, check. Investments blow up, double-check. Call Ben and ask for help, triple-check. Put the burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers, check. If all else fails decimate the currency and throw up your hands, yet to be seen. Of course, there are only a handful of the largest banks that have this cozy setup at the moment, which is shrinking.

  50. @ Cleveland NRAF

    Oakland has no $, SJ has no legal way to get an MLB team, hence the multi-year standoff.

  51. 54 comments and not one mention of how to address issue in the OP:

    What I am saying is that if you want to get something done, you need to address the actual challenges, not fight perception. Making statements about how great attendance has always been, in the face of evidence to the contrary, won’t get a stadium built. Getting commitments from guys like me, or the 51,000 folks on the LGO Facebook group, to buy season tickets for a brand new Oakland ballpark

    /cry

  52. @Cleveland- “show me the money” is not a serious comment.
    .
    The team isn’t for sale. Has any fan-base ever put money into an escrow account, to convince an ownership group to stay in town?
    .
    What Bank is Cisco’s $120 million earning interest in? Pledges are not legally binding. I’m not doubting Cisco’s pledge, but based on what i’m reading in this thread – that would be significant for a lot of people (not me).
    .
    Lew Wolff made this Oakland v. San Jose. Its unfortunate that its come to this, but I don’t want to participate in it.
    .
    Go A’s!!

  53. @ML – It does look like they might leave.
    .
    If ownership won’t play ball, I think Knauss’ approach makes a lot of sense for Oakland.

    • @David – Sure it works for Oakland, but does Knauss’ approach work for the A’s, team ownership, or MLB in the long run? That’s what MLB is figuring out.

      In any case, Oakland booster groups and civic leaders would impress MLB a lot more with pledges like the ones made for the Kings than what’s happening right now.

  54. Hey David,
    .
    Oakland businesses did (though not $10M) a few years ago. If you recall, LGO has (had?) an escrow account that business placed deposits on future luxury boxes. It was originally reported the amount in escrow as $500k.
    .

  55. I’m confused with respect to the role of the JPA in this whole ballpark saga. They commissioned the 2000 HOK study, which looked at sites all over the East Bay. What is the current and future role of the JPA in trying to keep the A’s in the East Bay?

  56. Gj10, I’ll let ML answer, but I believe in the time since the report they have all but disappeared.
    .

  57. Meanwhile, our A’s are 15, count ’em, 15 games over .500.

  58. Not bad for a team “designed to lose” per Monte Poole, Lowell Kohn, Ray Ratto, etc.

  59. Right on ML. Just want to say thank you for hitting the important issues with a clear unbiased opinion as usual. That is all. That and Lets go A’s.

  60. This is an excellent post…you Da Man Jeffrey!

  61. nicely done Jeffrey–impressive how you were able to remove the emotion from the debate and layout a factual, logical argument that we as A’s fans should all take to heart–we can’t afford to go on like this in ballpark limbo—-if Oakland has the goods to get this done then lets put them on the table and get moving—also, nice to see the A’s honoring the little league team from Petaluma before Friday’s game–also liked that the A’s colors comprised their team uniform…

  62. Speaking of our A’s, good to see more folks around the South Bay /SJ sporting A’s gear (hats, jerseys, shirts). IMHO, almost on par with the Giants. I guess winning can be contagious 😉

  63. A’s up 10-3 (although nothing is certain until the final out is made). Nobody is going to want to play this A’s team in the playoffs, a team with 0 pressure on it that was supposed to lose 100 games. Once in the playoffs, the A’s being the only team still playing in an NFL football stadium can become a topic of national discussion: Why is this still the case? Why can’t the A’s get a new stadium in Oakland? Why is Selig terrified of the Giants, etc… Will be great to see players rounding the bases in the playoffs while stepping on yard line makers and maybe a big Raiders logo. And won’t the Raiders love having to wait a while longer before grass can be planted on the infield?

  64. Jeffrey- thanks for the well written post. When discussions degrade into mud slinging I hope we can link back to this piece and be done with it.

  65. If the housing market bounced back enough that Pacific Commons in Fremont came back into play, would a new EIR need to be done? Guessing it depends on the scope of the project and how much it deviates from the original concept.

  66. Looks like the Earthquakes are making progress on a naming rights deal…interesting quote that ties into the importance of a solid naming rights deal and the success of a sports facility…can’t underestimate the importance of Cisco agreeing to a 30 year/$120M deal for the ballpark in SJ…

    “Naming-rights deals for sports facilities usually last 20- to 30-years and often are the difference between the financial success and failure of the building”, said Randy Bernstein, president and CEO of sports and entertainment company Premier Partnerships.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_21435309/san-jose-earthquakes-working-stadium-naming-rights-deal

  67. Gotta hand it to you, Jeffrey. Nice post. Well-elaborated. You have made excellent points which I will acknowledge…but have to disagree with. SOME of them.

  68. @ Tony D, The South Bay is Giants Territory! Just being honest, I live down here and I know. Go to any bar or restaurant on a game night, and the A’s are non-existent on most television. The Giants have a strangle hold on the South Bay, and it’s because the Giants have done a very good job marketing down here. Most of the A’s previous ownerships have been foolish not to take a bigger bite of the market down here, and it was foolish for the Haas ownership to give it away the territorial rights without getting any compensation whatsoever. The A’s will always be a small market team that MIGHT support a winner if they stay in Oakland. I say MIGHT support because it’s a shame the current exciting team isn’t getting the support it should be getting, unless it’s firework night of the Yankee’s are in town. With the A’s current ticket prices and easy accessibility of the coliseum, people should be coming out in bunches considering the phenomenal team they have. Who would’ve figure the A’s to be anywhere near 1st place at this time of year? I believe the A’s will overtake the the wealthy Rangers and win the division!

    I was looking at attendance figures the other day and the A’s have never gone over the 3 million mark in attendance, not even during their 3-straight World Series run from 1988-90. That speaks volumes considering it was pre-Mt. Davis and the park was a lot better than it’s today. You add it’s great accessibility with a BART next to it and it’s reasonable ticket prices and with a capacity of 45K, and it’s a shame the Giant’s figures weren’t all that far behind during the same time while they were at Candlestick and one only one WS representative. The Giants have gone well over the 3-million mark in all of the seasons at AT&T park with the exception of two years. The 2-years in between Bonds leaving and Linecum arriving, but they were still at the 2.85 million mark, incredible considering the tickets and concession prices that one now pays there! I have no doubt a new stadium in Oakland will have some attendance success during it’s novelty years, but let the buyer beware of the lean years! Good luck Oakland in keeping your A’s in a small market because the Giants current ownership have done an incredible job of monopolizing the South Bay!

  69. Lakeshore, which do you disagree with?

  70. @SC Boy,
    Welcome to the blog. Much of what you describe down here is pure BANDWAGON-ISM; recent WS win, beautiful ballpark, winning record and revenue to market the hell out of the South Bay. Heck, I have a female co-worker who didn’t know sports existed until the Giants WS win in 2010. Now she “bleeds” black and orange (lol!). Besides, everything you opinionize about has absolutely nothing to do with getting the A’s to San Jose. (FWIW, almost every South Bay SF Giants fan I know wants San Jose to get the A’s and enter the fraternity of Major League Cities; civic pride is a beautiful thing)

  71. Nice post Jeffrey. Glad you love to bring your kids to Oakland and eat dinner on College Avenue. I love to go to the SJ Airport when I can b/c they fly to Mexico for cheap out of there. Does that mean I don’t hate San Jose?

    Can you please tell me how San Jose’s proposal is going to be built? When will the final piece of land be acquired? When will the public vote happen? How long will it take to resolve the almost sure-to-be filed CEQA lawsuit? but the only reason Victory Court was un-feasible was the fact that redevelopment died. No more no less. You know that, Marine Layer knows that and so should everybody else.
    .
    I love how you point out Oakland’s flaws, yet demand very little of San Jose. Can you please tell me how San Jose’s proposal is going to be built? When will the final piece of land be acquired? When will the public vote happen? How long will it take to resolve the almost sure-to-be filed CEQA lawsuit? These things matter! Not something to be dismissed casually because Lew Wolff says “trust me” You claim that Oakland boosters love to be cheerleaders, but it’s time we do have some accountability towards Lew in this whole mess.

    • @D JR – My goodness, you really are blinded. I didn’t know what we were dealing with until now. I follow the news cycle. For four years the only serious news was coming out of San Jose. For the last 18 months most news has been coming out of Oakland. If it seems like San Jose is being ignored, it’s because I’ve already written about it ad nauseum, and San Jose is at a standstill. There are no meetings, no study or City Council sessions. Do a search for the term “Diridon” and you will have days of articles to read. Perhaps you haven’t noticed that Lew Wolff has very little control of the situation, whether at MLB’s level, State or City/County.

      And no, Victory Court wasn’t dead strictly because of redevelopment. It became infeasible because of its site cost. The redevelopment news merely put VC out of its misery.

      I’m amazed that you read this site so much, with so much bile, and yet, I’m not surprised that you don’t learn jackshit from it. That’s pretty damned stubborn.

  72. re: (FWIW, almost every South Bay SF Giants fan I know wants San Jose to get the A’s and enter the fraternity of Major League Cities; civic pride is a beautiful thing)

    …but as long as they are not outraged enough to boycott the Giants, there will be no progress because the Giants have no pressure on them. The Giants are denying the South Bay a fabulous, lucrative opportunity. The South Bay’s reaction? Yawn.

  73. Dino, I don’t disagree with the overall thought, but your thoughts on VC are naive. Loss of redevelopment was the final nail, only. Convincing 15+ property owners who wanted a park near them, but not requiring moving themselves was a bigger issue with VC. But you are right, there are hurdles with SJ and so far, most of them have simply been taking Wolff’s word that they’re manageable and the same honest, straightforward look should be done for SJ as well.

  74. Good story, if Oakland is serious about keeping the A’s in Oakland, they should follow San Jose’s lead San Jose city officials already have a solid plan for an A’s ballpark in place, also a stadium sponser lined up – ditto for LA city officials who are seeking to lure an NFL team with Farmer’s field.

    Another fallicy by some A’s fans from Oakland is “The A’s move to San Jose is not going to happen” – wishful thinking. The current Tampa Bay Rays owners group had pierced the MLB ATE twice in court – that is likely why Selig awarded them the Rays franchise. They didn’t require a 3/4 MLB owners approval vote and neither do the A’s. Lew Wolff stands a good chance of defeating the MLB ATE in court if he chooses to do so.

    Also, SC Boys comment is more typical giants propaganda. San Jose is not “giants territory”. In fact, San Jose voters (wisely) have previously rejected a giants proposal to move here (how could that possibly be interpreted as giants support by San Jose fans) Bob Lurie though so much of San Jose and and the south bay’s (as well as the rest of the bay area’s) support that he gave up on it and attempted to sell the giants to the Tampa Bay owners group.

  75. re: How long will it take to resolve the almost sure-to-be filed CEQA lawsuit?

    …What assurances do we have that there will be no CEQA lawsuit(s) in Oakland? And will an Oakland ballpark proposal have to go to a public vote and what assurances do we have that it will pass? Remember – this is the same city that voted in anti-sports Jerry Brown as mayor twice.

  76. @ Jeffrey – Too much to type in this thread because it really requires a discussion. And I know in most cases like this we should responsibly remove emotion from this equation, but it actually is somewhat central to this topic. I’ll try to keep on a level that doesn’t seem like emotion to people, though.

    Just for a teaser, in reply to the “Those 75 CEOs were writing on behalf of an organization that represents $3 Trillion to the world’s economy. Conversely, Don Knauss had 11 other companies (some of which are huge and some which haven’t turned a profit) with him at his press conference” comment, this is irrelevant. You don’t NEED a group with market cap of $3T. You need an owner with enough money and sufficient dedication – which Oakland has. Let’s assume Don Knauss and whomever has offered to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland are not on welfare and have enough money to carry out what they’ve proposed REGARDLESS of the estimation that HT is the most expensive site. Let’s further assume they know this and it still has not deterred them from making such an absurd proposition. I know, someone is actually backing plans to keep the A’s in Oakland??? Quick! Totally dismiss it and laugh them out of the room! The nerve of some people to think Oakland is worth investing in, or that it’s even POSSIBLE to invest in…

    @ML – sorry for the duplicate screen name. I’ll use this one from now on. (The REAL Lakeshore has no space between the Lakeshore and the OAK. Lakeshore and OAK are one and the same, literally.)

    • …You need an owner with enough money and sufficient dedication – which Oakland has.Let’s assume Don Knauss and whomever has offered to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland are not on welfare and have enough money to carry out what they’ve proposed REGARDLESS of the estimation that HT is the most expensive site.

      @Lakeshore – Curious, so what came out of DK’s meeting with LW? Why has he been silent?

  77. @Anon – I don’t know. I wasn’t there. Were you? Why has Lew been silent? No, sorry. He’s been quite clear all along, hasn’t he?

    Lemme guess how it went down: DK ptiched an idea, then an offer. Lew sat there with arms folded, eyes closed going, “la la la la la la la I’m not selling la la la la la I’m not even listening la la la la I’m not entertaining any idea that might suggest I lose out on my dream of snuggling up to SJ la la la la la la” Sound about right? Lew refuses to sell, refuses to work with Oakland. Nothing new to report. I’m guessing that’s how it went down, something like a senior temper tantrum.

    • @Anon – I don’t know.I wasn’t there.Were you?Why has Lew been silent?No, sorry. He’s been quite clear all along, hasn’t he? Lemme guess how it went down:DK ptiched an idea, then an offer. Lew sat there with arms folded, eyes closed going, “la la la la la la la I’m not selling la la la la la I’m not even listening la la la la I’m not entertaining any idea that might suggest I lose out on my dream of snuggling up to SJ la la la la la la”Sound about right?Lew refuses to sell, refuses to work with Oakland.Nothing new to report.I’m guessing that’s how it went down, something like a senior temper tantrum.

      @ Lakeshore – Interesting thought process… So, DK makes a big hooplah around a press conference with JQ to announce his intent to support Oakland, possibly buy the team, and to meet with LW. Yet when LW obliges, we don’t hear a peep out of Mr. White Knight and all you can say is “were you there”? Aren’t you the least bit curious why DK has gone silent all of a sudden?! Sticking your fingers in your ears seems to be an reoccurring theme throughout an Oakland stadium search. And as for not selling, I wonder if you’re okay with someone else calling you an old douchebag because they want your house, but you don’t want to sell? Funny, given that the whole purpose of this thread was supposed to implore more action and accountability, then we hear more hot air like this…..

  78. …if Knauss knows people who really want to spend $1 billion+ to buy the team and build in Oakland, it would seem to me that these people would be anxious to shout about it from the house tops rather than remain anonymous and silent. If such an enthusiastic group exists, wouldn’t it be the ultimate nail in the coffin for Wolff’s San Jose ambitions for these people to come forward? “I am so and so and these are my partners so and so and so and we have $1 billion to buy the A’s and build in Oakland. Mr Selig, please help us make this happen.”

  79. @pjk – Well… for sake of argument, let’s assume that the recent meeting in Oakland did exactly what you suggest – DK, Oakland, whomever said we have a site, we have backers – all we need is LW to play ball or sell the team. I’m pretty sure MLB wouldn’t have snuck into town for just another Oakland BS ruse – this proposal must have some legs, or at least MLB isn’t turning it down. Just because YOU don’t know who in the possible ownership group, don’t assume there hasn’t been more information discussed than what has been reported in the news. Let’s further assume that, like most other high value negotiations, much of it isn’t done in the public eye. If I were one of the people with $XXM offering to buy the team, I’d keep my name out the papers until LW decided to sell or play ball.

  80. Why be silent unless you’re not really committed? No harm in going public – “I want to buy the team and I have the money to do it AND build a stadium in Oakland.” What is silence accomplishing? Nothing. Now if I’m just expressing a casual, “We’ll take a look at it” interest and don’t want to be committed, then yes, I stay silent.

  81. MLB snuck into town to speak with both Oakland and San Jose. I wouldn’t read too deeply into that. As for the possibility that another group could have a different view on the ROI, I don’t disagree with the possibility, but you can be assured MLB will be *very* focused on their plans and *they* will be very vigilant in insuring that there is a going to be one. Not too dissimilar to the depths they’ll be viewing Wolff’s plans for SJ before they’d ever agree to grant him access.

  82. Lakseshore and DJR- In the spirit of transparency and open dialogue, here are my best answers/replies for your questions/to your statements (directly to me, I ain’t wading into all this other stuff):
    .
    Djr,
    First, why do you always have to be such an ass? The one thing I see about Oakland supporters that is the most hypocritical is the putting down of San Jose (and you excel at this). If you really think the only reason to go to San Jose is to take a flight to Mexico you are robbing yourself of some excellent cultural experiences.
    .
    But, in order:
    .
    Can you please tell me how San Jose’s proposal is going to be built? Nope. I can infer from statements and the knowledge of how other stadiums have been financed but I can’t tell you completely.
    .
    When will the final piece of land be acquired? Shortly after MLB gives approval for the move (if they do). You are naive if you think otherwise. Have you to been paying attention to the support a single site and plan has amongst San Jose’s leadership?
    .
    When will the public vote happen? It was planned already and scuttled at MLB’s request. Are you asking because you think they never will have a vote? This is the inane garbage I was talking about in the post. If you really doubt there will be a vote if/when MLB gives approval than you should just go read baseballoakland all day. They live in your fantasy world, the one in which Victory Court was completely doable in a 3 year span and a BART infill station near Howard Terminal is imminent, too. (I kind of think you are probably one of the writers for the site anyway, fake email address in your profile, PR talking point reactionary questions and all).
    .
    How long will it take to resolve the almost sure-to-be filed CEQA lawsuit? There is already one filed and it is working it’s way through the court. But this is actually a strength of the San Jose process as compared to the Oakland one, stuff is actually happening… When the hell is Oakland going to START the CEQA process and why aren’t you, as a proponent of a stadium happening at Howard Terminal (I assume), pushing them too?
    .
    Lakeshore, this “You don’t NEED a group with market cap of $3T. You need an owner with enough money and sufficient dedication – which Oakland has. ” is patently false. Please read the article I linked about how AT&T Park was financed. No owner is just going to pay for a ballpark out of their pocket, not Don Knauss in Oakland or Lew Wolff in San Jose or anyone in any city. You are right $3T is not necessary, but a demonstrated ability for local businesses to buy luxury boxes, in stadium signage, and premium seating is completely necessary. Some types of sponsorships will come regardless of where a stadium is built… Budweiser will want pouring rights, for example, no matter where a stadium is built. Some are more about the geography.
    .
    While we’re on the subject of Knauss, I’d love to talk to him in detail about Houston. Enron was the original naming rights sponsor and the City paid for 68% of the stadium. He came along 3 years later and worked a naming rights deal to replace Enron (which is not to diminish that, he has experience negotiating a naming rights deal from the ‘buyer’ side and that is useful). I am not sure what role he had in actually getting the stadium built, considering those facts. I am not doubting that he was involved in someway, just wondering what that experience was and how it translates to the very different reality here. Because, if MLB says no to San Jose, he is going to HAVE to be right for me to be happy 🙂
    .
    Now just to restate to, I appreciate both of you for your passion (both for your city and your team). I respect you as fans and we have a similar goal for our team. If something actually happens in Oakland, awesome! I will own charter seats, go to as many games as possible and I still get to follow my favorite team daily in the local media. Our only difference is that you guys will be unhappy if that same situation occurs except with “San Jose” in place of “Oakland.” I don’t really care where it happens.
    .
    Go A’s! I am off to Turner Field for my first time ever (hitting the Georgia Dome tomorrow night for Auburn v Clemson on the gridiron). I picked an awesome weekend to have a work trip to Atlanta.

  83. @pjk – all we have just determined is that you and I would behave differently if we were part of a secret owners group. End result? Neither of us has enough information to reasonably guess anything about what went down…except for the irrefutable fact that LW hasn’t budged.

    • @all – All groups bidding on a team have to maintain a certain amount of secrecy. Mostly it’s the lead guy protecting the identity of those who don’t want to be exposed. Even then, groups tend to have a modicum of publicity. Look at how the sales for the Dodgers and Padres were handled. Very much public other than the partners. No reason why a pro-Oakland group shouldn’t be at least that visible.

      I remember one thing heard about all of the secrecy surrounding Victory Court was that they didn’t want to turn a land deal speculative and drive up the price. How’d that that turn out? Howard Terminal has zero need for such secrecy since it’s entirely publicly owned.

  84. @lakeshore,
    DK is playing the city of Oakland as a bunch of suckers. He took 500+ Clorox jobs out of Oakland and outsourced them to Tri-Valley. Perhaps feeling guilty he now feels “obligated” to play civic champion, even though deep down he’s aware he’s waisting his time. Just my opinion of course, but re Oakland, DK, and Clorox, it doesn’t really matter at this point…GO A’s!!!

  85. @Tony D is right on. Knauss moved the 500 best jobs at Clorox to Pleasanton, along with 200 contract jobs just a couple of years ago, and all he’s doing with this stadium kabuki is trying to get back in the good graces of Jean Quan and the other Oakland pols. His support for the A’s is nothing but hot air and token gestures, and the only interest it serves is the Giants and those of the re-elect Jean Quan committee. Oakland is a nice little town, but it can’t support a major league baseball team, or an NBA team, or an NFL team. And given the budget problems it has with running a decent school system, policing the community, and attracting employment, it shouldn’t put so many eggs in the sports basket.
    .
    Keeping the A’s in Oakland is not good for the A’s and not good for Oakland. Other than that, it’s a great idea.

  86. @Mossback – the City of Oakland doesn’t fund the schools. The State and Feds do.
    .
    Also, The Warriors have the best fans in the NBA and have sold out Oracle Arena, with terrible teams that never had a chance at the playoffs (year after year).

  87. @David,
    You’re right! Out of all the NBA teams that exist in the Bay Area, the Warriors have the best fans and sell out the most (sarcasm of course). And now they want to bail on Oakland for Frisco FOR THE SAME EXACT REASONS the A’s want to leave for SJ…ALOHA!

  88. @Tony D:

    Let’s get a couple of things straight, I was a Giants fan until their ownership has made it clear that they didn’t want the A’s moving to SJ. Giants’ ownership should do what’s right for MLB and the City of San Jose. I have no doubt SAN JOSE can be a very successful major league baseball city, and it turns me off that the greedy Giants’ ownership has the audacity to prevent it given how the got the SCC territorial rights in the first place. I hope Bud Selig grows some balls and does what’s right for the league, the A’s, and the City of San Jose! I have no doubt the citizens of the South Bay will embrace the A’s if they move down here, that’s why Larry Baer and the rest of his greedy bastards want to prevent it. I have no doubt the Giants want to become the GS Warriors of the MLB where they are the only show in the Bay Area.

    The BAY AREA is definitively a two team market, but the Giants want to squeeze the A’s out of here. I hope it doesn’t happen and hope the A’s find a new home in the Bay Area. I wish the Oakland well because they’re in a bad position with the possibly of losing all 3 professional sports teams. The irony is the team that gets the best fan support in Oakland is the GS Warrior, and they’re leaving for greener pasture in SF. I think it’s totally weird considering Oakland isn’t making any attempt or complaining to fight the move, and didn’t they invest a lot of money to renovate the Oracle about 10 years ago? It’s funny because the W’s haven’t been significant since the days of Run TMC, and they still get great attendance every year. Please don’t bring up the nonsense of the “We Believe” season because it was essentially a team that broke even in the win and loss column and backed into the the playoffs. The W’s then got lucky against a coach Nelson’s Dallas team in the first round of the playoffs and were quickly dismissed in the second round. That’s what happen when fans are desperate for a winner, they go with anything!

    I’m not trying to spread the Giants’ propaganda because I dislike the ownership for being so greedy! I want the A’s to move to the SJ, but I don’t think it will happen due to all the TR bullshit! I’m happy with the Niners coming to SC, the new stadium for the Quakes, and my Sharks! I will follow the A’s regardless if they stay in Oakland, just want them to stay in the Bay Area. I just hope the East Bay fans would start supporting the A’s team with a very rich history, especially right now. It’s a special team that has surprised the baseball world, and they’re only getting 20K for a weekend series against the Red Sox. It’s very sad considering they’re 3-games out of first place and on a 9-game winning streak, come on Bay Area fans and support this team!

  89. “Oakland is a nice little town, but it can’t support a major league baseball team, or an NBA team, or an NFL team.”
    Meanwhile, seven championships later… Oakland has supported the Warriors, the Raiders had constant sellouts before they left and have drawn better than they did in L.A. since they’ve been back (and under horrible circumstances.) The A’s attendance mirrored and bettered the Giants pre-At&t. Get a new park built (easier said than done) and they’ll draw well too.

  90. @Duffer:

    Don’t be silly, the ballot measures for the Giants stadium in SJ did not pass due to poor campaigning. The residents of SJ were foolish not to vote for the stadium measure, but I’m sure they will not make the same mistake again. I have no doubt the SJ would vote favorably for any MLB baseball stadium measure today.

  91. @EB

    Can’t really compare the attendances of coliseum with Candlestick, the Stick wasn’t as easy accessible and didn’t have the great teams that won 4-WS championships. However, look at the attendance numbers and there isn’t incredible differences like there is today.

  92. @TonyD – why do you feel compelled to make those type of comments?

  93. It’s hard for ANY city to support professionals sports. It’s a regional business, you can’t blame Oakland for crappy attendance of Oakland based teams. It’s more about the market around the team…

  94. So then the solution would be to spread out the market…..

  95. @LS,
    Nailed it!
    @David,
    Relax: you often “pound” San Jose without hearing a peep out of me. If I struck a nerve (somehow), my bad. Now, if you’ll excuse me, the beach calls…

  96. @Tony – no i don’t “pound” SJ. I like SJ. I just prefer my A’s in Oakland.
    .
    I was out there today. Milone just didn’t have it.

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