Coliseum Authority, MLB, A’s considering up to 5-year extension

The Chronicle’s Matier and Ross are reporting that the A’s and the Coliseum JPA are in talks regarding what could be a five-year extension at the Coliseum. As expected, MLB is facilitating the negotiations, which is sensible considering the sides’ general chilliness towards one another. There are a couple of interesting bits to the talks:

The lease was handed over to the team three weeks ago, and while details are still to be worked out, A’s managing partner Lew Wolff told us that he is “absolutely” interested in reaching an agreement.

“Even if we were building a new ballpark, it wouldn’t be ready until then anyway,” Wolff said.

According to insiders, one possible problem may be the $50 million penalty the Coliseum wants if the team leaves early for San Jose.

First of all, Wolff is basically admitting that a ballpark wouldn’t be ready until 2018. That’s a two-year slip from previous statements. Whether that’s a process issue or more a Giants mortgage issue isn’t clear. In any case it’s a long ways off.

The $50 million exit penalty is a potential showstopper. The A’s have had exit penalties in previous lease extension, but those simply had the A’s pay the remainder of the lease upfront (plus perhaps a nominal fee) to get out. In this case the JPA is using leverage (no other MLB ballpark in the A’s territory) to effectively force the A’s to stay or pay off more of the horrendously bad Mt. Davis deal.

Wolff, for his part, says he’s interested in reaching a deal. Probably not this deal, though. He probably wants something more along the lines of the three-year deals (plus two one-year options) he bargained for previously. And a $50 million exit penalty is not something I can see either Wolff or MLB approving. To put it in perspective: the A’s haven’t paid $50 million combined in rent since Mt. Davis was built, and that was 17 years ago.

The Coliseum Authority could be playing hardball here, or it could be starting off asking for the moon. It’s the first step of a negotiation that could last all winter, and could get very testy as it moves along. We’re a long way from the situation I described in August, but if that exit penalty is real and the JPA isn’t budging on it, MLB could very well get the impetus it needs to look elsewhere.

82 thoughts on “Coliseum Authority, MLB, A’s considering up to 5-year extension

  1. This probably got need by the Authority, they have the most to gain at trying to put this into the conversation. No way in hell do they sign a deal like that. I could see some penalty, but not $50 million. You are right, they are asking for the moon, hoping for some portion of that.

  2. How does the existing Coli impact a potential stadium for the Raiders?

  3. It kills the design as it was first presented. It was originally envisioned that the new Raiders Stadium would sit roughly on the first base side of the current Coliseum site out into the south parking lot.

  4. Go Oakland it’s ur’s ur birthday

  5. WTF!? 2018!? look, I’ll take a 2018 SJ ballpark any day over no ballpark, but DAMN that’s a long way off. Has to be part of a deal with Giants and their remaining mortgage.
    RM, why do I get this feeling that once this is all squared away Keith Wolff will do the majority of work, heavy lifting?

  6. If the A’s get this lease extension, what are the odds Mark Davis applies to move to LA?…Yes, 2018 is a LONG way off. Some of us will be very old by then. Is it even worth talking about a new ballpark that won’t be ready for six years?

  7. Andy Dolich was on 95.7 this mornign advocating a new stadium on the Coliseum site and removing the tarps. Said there was 20-30,000 a night that didn’t go because of ownership.

  8. The article says that MLB would act as a negotiator, so I guess they are on board for this extension also.
    So this goes on and on.

  9. Is Andy Dolich a member of MLB’s committee?…

  10. OT – Dynamic pricing on today’s game: $45 (with “service fee”) plaza seats, ouch! But oh well….see you guys there! Let’s go A’s!

  11. I hope the A’s don’t take a 5 year stadium deal. The current one year lease is fine, just make the team pay more money. Enough is enough unless this organization can somehow say by the end of the year that it’s going to build a stadium in Oakland, San Jose, or somewhere else in the Bay Area in the next couple of years and still remain competative on the field to bring in fans and sign quality free agents. Pay off the damn the Giants and state publicly that they are going to move the team to San Jose. A’s fans are the best in baseball, but they do not deserve 5 more years of this BS. It would be 20+ years and counting if the A’s ownership some how F’s it up and don’t get a stadium built in the next 5 years. Are fans going to have the patience to see Moneyball 3 in the next couple of years if the A’s decide once again to sell off it’s core players again. Sorry I ranted, did not mean too.

  12. And “Let’s build another joint baseball-football stadium for the Raiders and A’s” Dolich. ‘Nuff said.

  13. PJK Dolich did not say “Let’s build another joint baseball-football stadium for the Raiders and A’s”. He did say to build a baseball stadium on the Coliseam site now the Warriors are gone.

  14. That’s a big scoop by Matier and Ross, I hadn’t heard that anywhere else.

    I have to think at this point that Wolff has been given some indication privately that SJ will happen. The Giants are being given the World Baseball Classic, the opportunity to pay off their entire stadium before the A’s get a new park, etc.

  15. andy d has written in the past about the A’s and Raiders sharing a new multi-purpose stadium–as I recall in the article he justified it by saying it was the only way to make economic sense—would have to google to find the article again–

    personally I discound everything he says—in 2011 he said no way would the ‘9ers build their SC stadium….he is at best a cheerleader that brings zero facts to most discussions—believe his last gig was getting fired by the ‘9ers back in 2010—

  16. A new joint Raiders-A’s stadium = DOA in both the NFL and MLB

  17. The contract may end up reading $50M if you leave after 2013/2014, $10M after 2015, $1M after 2016, etc. But headline will read $50M, giving some cover against those who wanted real hardball negotiations on behalf of the Coliseum.

  18. A’s AL West champs..

  19. AL WEST CHAMPS BABY!!! So fuckin proud of this team . BELIEVE!

  20. OOOO boy… i see a sceduling conflict this month… the Raiders and A’s could end up playing the same day on a sunday… this is going to be intresting..

  21. I agree with “notsellingjeans”, Wolfe has probably already received indication that San Jose is a go. I’ve been following this blog for years and I can’t remember Wolfe ever being this open to anything Oakland. This 5 year extension does nothing more than give the A’s the time they need to get the stadium built down in the South Bay. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if San Francisco receiving the Fall Classic was already Wolfe and MLB paying the Giants for their territorial rights.

    As much as I’m in support of the A’s staying in Oakland, I’m honestly okay with San Jose. It’s a well put together, clean city that has redefined what a big city has to be. I just wish they’d be more transparent about all of this. I think Oakland fans, more than anything, just want clarity. It’s hard to celebrate the A’s doing so well, when you’re not sure if they still even belong to you.

  22. And forgive me for spelling Wolff’s name wrong in my post.

  23. …the longer the A’s stay in the playoffs, the more embarrassing it gets to have both teams being the only ones still sharing a stadium.

  24. I highly doubt that Wolff has some insider assurances of his preferred outcome.
    This team is awesome!

  25. Congrats A’s for a great unbelievable season!

    Andy Dolich came across as an Oakland-only homer this morning on the 95.7, and not as a Bay Area fan. Dolich still doesn’t get it and can’t believe the Niners are paying his consultation firm for their advice. Only naïve folks are going to believe his moronic statement about 20-30 thousand fans currently staying away from the coliseum due to ownership. This A’s team has been the most exciting team in the Bay Area for most of the year, but just look at the attendance differences between them and Giants. Yea, I know all about the beauty of AT&T Park, but look at Marine Layer’s post regarding Dynamic Pricing from Sept 25. It doesn’t only apply to the post season; the regular season pricing was also insanely lopsided considering both stadiums are across the bay from each other.

    Dolich was with the A’s when they hit their highest attendance figure of almost 2.9 million, and that was around the time the A’s were going to 3-consecutive World Series. I’m typically a glass full kind of guy, but those attendance levels were ridiculously low considering the teams the A’s had in the late 80’s and early 90’s, their reasonable ticket prices, the capacity of pre-Mt. Davis coliseum, and the easy accessibility of the coliseum. The Giants have been easily going well over or coming very close to the 3-million mark ever since moving into AT&T. Crazy considering they have outrageous ticket and concession prices. Oakland is a great city, but it really hasn’t been a great baseball city. The lack of fan support of this very special team has been pathetic, and Dolich wants to blame on ownership? Come on, man, be real, and it’s very strange that he has written off the Warriors to SF considering the East Bay has shown a lot of love and support for them.

    I want to keep the A’s in the Bay Area, Oakland or SJ, but I prefer San Jose because I have no doubt the South Bay will give them in big boost in fan attendance. Just ask the Sharks, the Earthquakes, the Niners, but really ask the SF Giants because there’s a reason why they currently have a stranglehold of the territorial rights down here.

  26. Congrats to the A’s!!! I am going to enjoy this post season no matter how long it lasts. Hopefully until the end of October. Least we know we have 5 years or less of bickering back and forth on a stadium issue. I have a feeling that we will all know by January where this team ends up. Anyways congrats to the A’s woot…GO beat the Tigers next week.

  27. OT: Unbelievable game today for an amazing team (dare i say, a team of destiny! :X), however I do have to end it on a somber note:

    PatNeshek: Tonight my wife &I lost our son 23 hrs after he was born with no explanation

    My condolences to the Neshek family. 😦

  28. 2006 need no longer serve as the most reference point for the A’s excelling on the field but still bombing at the Box Office. 2012: Division champs, 27th in attendance. Despite having the cheapest prices in pro sports and all sorts of giveaways…

  29. Don’t mean to be insensitive to Anon’s post before mine. I didn’t read it until now

  30. What a great week for the A’s! This last week has really shown how there is no quit in this team, and also allowed fans to forget about the lousy stadium and uncertain future to focus on the guys on the field, which is why you’re seeing every seat filled.
    More bickering about the low attendance earlier in the season or if the current owners are keeping people away is missing the point. If you were at any of the last week’s games at the Coliseum, you saw all you need to know: passion for baseball and the A’s is alive and well in Oakland, and people will come out to show their support.
    If the A’s need to sign a 5-year lease to stay in the Coliseum so be it. Does that mean they’re selling out every game in 2013? Obviously not. We should all be able to agree the primary reason fans aren’t coming day in and day out is not because Oakland “isn’t a great baseball city”, its because the Oakland Coliseum is well beyond its prime as a facility to attract fans. As I’ve stated before, put the same 40+ year old cement cavern anywhere in San Jose, and people honestly think you’re getting 30k+ a game from April to October? All one needs to do is look at attendance figures between Candlestick and the Coliseum in the 70s and 80s to see the same number of seats being filled, and the change that occurred with the move to Pac Bell, and you see how a new downtown stadium makes a difference.
    Obviously I’m leaving out a huge number of variables related to corporate support, the dire need for the City of Oakland to take the lead one a site, and other factors.
    But at its core, baseball is still about fans, and to discount what’s happening in Oakland right now is selective blindness to a “baseball city” thats still alive and well.
    SF Chronicle Sports Editor Al Saracevic summed it up perfectly in today’s paper: “Here’s hoping Quan succeeds in saving the A’s. … Wednesday’s clinching crowd showed that people still love the green and gold. They simply need a reason to cheer.”
    Go A’s!

  31. Hey, JH510,

    I came to the game from Eureka this past saturday, and I want a new stadium in the Bay Area and the most likely place where they can build one and succeed is SJ.

    I said this earlier – when my daughter, friends and I showed up saturday morning for the Mariner game and got into the Coliseum right before game time, we all agreed that this was an embarassment – that only 20k for a team on the cusp of earning a playoff spot – a spot that wasnt guaranteed at that point.

    I grew up in Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Leandro, riding BART to the games in the late seventies, so not all East Bay natives are “Oakland Only”.

    Sad that someone would take the last three games and point to that as some sort of proof that Oakland is somehow the best site – I’m not gonna go all TonyD on you, but please. For all the Jorge Leons out there hanging ludicrous “we heart T-rights” there are at least as many who just want a freaking stadium somewhere in the Bay Area.

  32. Hello pllraz i really was moved by your comment above… man you came all the way from Eureka??? That is some TRUE A’s fan stiff right there… im an Oakland supporter.. but im starting to doubt that my city represenitives Quan and others… really dont know how or unwilling to put public money to the A’s or Raiders… its sad that she hasnt asked for a damn Vote… to me it would be honest thing to do and provide clarity if the east bay actually WANTS MLB and NFL…

    i called Chris Dobbins of SOS a couple weeks ago, and i asked him a lot of tough questions that he did not want to answer… it was a very frusterating convo and i ended up hanging up on him. With him being close to Quan and other from the Pro Oakland camp and for him to be that stupid.. i would rather have the A’s and Raiders relocate south bay then suffer under these idiots in Oakland… and thats my take.

  33. @pllraz: Thanks for your follow up, but afraid you missed the point of my post. Nowhere did I say San Jose wouldnt be a successful city for a MLB franchise, or that Oakland is the “only” place a new stadium could be built (and something about all East Bay natives being Oakland-only; I certainly know that’s not true); quite the opposite, I’m sure it would thrive in SJ and you’d have good attendance and corporate support there.
    Rather, what I said was Oakland is still a viable location to build a new stadium that’s got a lot of untapped fan support surrounding it. I totally agree that 20k for the last weekend of the season is not a good sign. Where we disagree is what causes that. I think it’s because we have an antiquated stadium not in a lively downtown setting, combined with an ownership group who has told local fans they’re not worth building a stadium for. If I read your comment correctly, you think it’s because there are no longer fans in Oakland and the East Bay who will come out to support the team.
    Of course it’s a small sample size, but when people choose to look beyond the old stadium and the SJ-or-bust owners (two things that may change in the future), I think there are 36k+ passionate Oakland fans that make a helluva lot of noise who might make a case for how great a baseball city Oakland is.

    • Of course it’s a small sample size, but when people choose to look beyond the old stadium and the SJ-or-bust owners (two things that may change in the future), I think there are 36k+ passionate Oakland fans that make a helluva lot of noise who might make a case for how great a baseball city Oakland is.

      Who are these 36k+ fans you speak of and where have the been the rest of the season? If you are insinuating this from the the small sample size of 1 game from Tuesday, please realize that again 1) it was just 1 game and the only one that sold out since the last fireworks game and 2) there were other non Oakland fans that went to the game including myself and friends. Food for thought before you make these generalizations.

  34. @plrraz: sorry, just one more thing, and then I’m done: if you think there is anything “sad” about what’s happened the last three games at the coliseum, and the passion and excitement of A’s fans and the City of Oakland right now, then I couldn’t be happier to disagree with you.
    Enough stadium stuff from me; let’s focus on the important thing right now, and that’s winning games!
    See you all in Oakland on Tuesday!

  35. Plrazz- jh510 didn’t say Oakland is the best location for a stadium, he was pointing out that a crappy stadium is poison no matter what city it is located in. I would add that the excitement we all experienced at the coliseum this past series is something that is unique and is made possible by prices that allow fans of all income levels to come to a game and cheer on the A’s. A new stadium, regardless of the location, will require higher ticket prices which will change the dynamic of the fan experience. While we can all talk about higher revenues and increased payroll, it is the excitement of being in the crowd these past few days that makes the me both proud and excited to be an A’s fan.

  36. @JH510 Just this and I’m done – it’s just sad that some would try and use the last three games as some kind of proof that something can be done in the Town.

    @Berry – Well, I will claim a bit of expertise in the area of public monies, as I am a finance director for one of the larger cities (eureka) in Humboldt County. I go all over the state for league of Ca Cities stuff, and believe me when I say that there is no political will for public monies going towards sports venues in California. I wish it wasnt so…heck I was 18 when the Raiders moved to Los Angeles and 33 when they came back – and I remember trying to tune in to KGO when one of the hosts was railing against the move, saying that it would be a fiasco for the taxpayers (It was the guy who jumped off the GG Bridge a couple of years after).

    I remember yelling at my radio saying it didnt matter, it couldnt possibly matter, that the Raiders coming back were all that mattered, and thinking that whatever it would cost, it would be worth it.

    I say all that to say that I feel you – I understand exactly how you feel. I just don’t want to feel the emptiness that I felt when the Raiders moved to LA ever again (say, why doesnt Rick Tittle ever rant against that move – he constantly waxes poetically about the super bowl the LA Raiders won). A landing spot somwhere in the Bay Area, in my lifetime (I’m 49 now) would be good with me – I’m with Jeffrey.

    Back to Saturday’s game for a sec – my ten year old daughter came with my friends and I – my awesome wife let us blow off a family wedding. Anyway, I put on my Rally Cap in the eighth inning, and she was embarrassed, so my friend Ellen told her about the Rally Cap and how it has mystical baseball powers.

    When we were driving back to Eureka on Sunday (gaaaackkk that was a difficult decison to not go to the game sunday) Ellen told my daugher “now Rachel, you’ve learned a very important lesson this weekend, you’ve learned the power that the Rally Cap holds, and you must use it wisely” to which my ten year old said, “yeah, like only using it to help the A’s win, not the Giants”

    Back on track – those two last paragraphs is what I don’t want to lose with my kids and neices – they dont forget these trips – we go to at least four or five games a year and when I am gone, I want my kids to be saying, man, dad was nuts taking mom and us to all those games, but I wouldn’t trade those memories for all the riches in the world.

    Sorry for the long rambling post.

  37. @pllraz
    Very insightful. Took words right out my mouth. Anyway we will all get over it. But this team is special and loving every moment of it. Glad ratings and attendence is up for the A’s. I live in the brentwood fa area and more ppl especially the teenagers are wearing A’s apparel. Lol where all the Sf giants fans??? On vacation? Hahahaha

  38. One thing about A’s TV ratings. Per Greg Papa via Brandon Tierney, the Giants post game show gets better ratings A’s games. Looks like all those A’s fans in San Jose are not watching A’s games.

  39. pllraz, I was at Sunday’s game and the attendance wasn’t that great either. But I enjoyed your posts on here.
    I had knee surgery on Wednesday early morning and tried to find someone to take me to the game. None of my buddies could get off of work. I figured they didn’t want to take the time off since most of them are gnats fans.

    @ML loved the rally cap tweet.

  40. People lose sight of the fact if Wolff could “physically” build in Oakland he would have by now. He knew full well when he got the team that San Jose was off limits.

    Oakland had failed on several sites over the years and Victory Court and Howard Terminal were deemed not feasible years ago in the HOK study.

    When I say “physically” I mean there is not a site in Oakland or the East Bay that would not cost a municipality 100s of millions of dollars and 3-4 years just to get a site ready for the A’s to pay to plop a stadium on.

    Forget corporations and affluent fans….If this was not true then why has MLB been so quiet with their BRC committee? They know full well Wolff did not miss anything.

    So when Oakland people get mad at ownership…Do not, there is nothing the team can do in its current territory…….Oakland lost the A’s years ago, now the motions are in movement for a full scale move to San Jose or out of the Bay Area.

  41. @jh510,
    Are you seriously implying that all those in attendance right now are from Oakland proper? I have a bunch of family and friends from SJ who’ve been going to games recently. You can also add in the East Bay, North Bay and (apparently) Eureka. Yes, they’re currently the OAKLAND A’s and if I can get a hold of some tix I’ll be screaming loudly “Lets go Oakland!” But please, educate yourself on the financial realities of the Bay Area and don’t get out of hand…GO A’S!

  42. @Tony “Apparently Eureka” ? What’s that mean, LOL. btwy, I left enough info in my post last night for someone to figure out who I am. I suppose all one have to do is google my place of work and position.

    For those of us who travel back and forth to the bay area, its not that big of a deal – one gets used to it. Would I go to more games if I lived closer? Absolutely, but yes, I really, not apparently, live in Eureka.

  43. I hate myself for chiming in on this tired topic but a team with 3 million casual fans is going to draw much better than a team with 300k hardcore fans. No one is saying A’s fans aren’t passionate enough, but there just simply aren’t enough of them.

  44. @plrraz,
    Absolutely no disrespect intended. Using “apparently” was about me being amazed by the distance covered to see a game. Obviously the wrong choice of words; I apologize.

  45. Am I on probation? My comments either don’t show up or are delayed.

    • @Briggs – Your comments are getting stuck in the automated spam filter for some reason. I have to approve some comments manually. It’s annoying for everyone but it’s worth not clogging up the comment threads with spam.

  46. I was at Wednesday’s game – AWESOME.

    One thing, though. Heavily attended games at the Coliseum will just expose even more how inadequate that facility is. An hour before game time, one could hardly move around the lower concourse, and I waited in line for some nachos and a soda for the entire 6th inning at the stand just outside the West Side Club (and we all went nuts when Blevins struck out Hamilton to end the inning). Besides the obvious reason, I’m hoping the A’s make it to win the WS so the MLB will have to deal with their marquee event of the year being played on a field with visible football markings, etc, in a stadium that is ugly. Perhaps this can get Selig off his butt and make a FKing decision already.

  47. @JH510 where has ownership ever said “the fans of Oakland are not worth building a stadium for?” Again, where has he specifically said that? In a number of ways, he has explained his position that the financing is not there to currently make an Oakland stadium a reality, but how does that mean he thinks the Oakland fans aren’t worth it? Are you just inferring this? Because then I can infer that the city of Oakland hasn’t thought ALL of us fans aren’t worth it to legitimately identify a location, commit to it, and vouch its viability. I can’t find a quote from Quan or any other Oakland politician to support that claim but it’s just as legitimate as yours.
    I don’t want to incite a war or words between anyone/everyone else, so I’ll leave it at that. I agree with you otherwise, I’d prefer not to talk about this stuff anymore and just focus on the A’s in the playoffs.
    Let’s go OAKLAND!

  48. I blame Quan Chris dobbins for all the confusion there putting on us Oakland supporters . No real plan, just failed site after failed site. I mean look how this woman has 0 clue on how to handle this situation. I’m from Oakland but I love the A’s , Raiders and Warrirs tttoo much to let Oakland let them all rot in the coliseum.

  49. “Besides the obvious reason, I’m hoping the A’s make it to win the WS so the MLB will have to deal with their marquee event of the year being played on a field with visible football markings, etc, in a stadium that is ugly. ”

    Football markings at the World Series? Oh no! Hopefully the apocalypse will not occur because of this first-ever desecration of a World Series field…well, first except for this:

    and this:

    and this:

    and even worse, Canadian football markings:

    In fact, there were only 6 World Series (’77, ’78, ’81, ’84, ’86, and ’88) between 1956 and 1998 that were not played in at least one stadium shared with a football team.
    Modern baseball fans crack me up. We’re there to watch a game, not look at the pretty field. I never understood why the new stadiums with contrived angles that serve no purpose are good, but football markings which serve a purpose are bad.

  50. Football markings serve no purpose on a baseball field…

  51. The rush of East Bay pride?! Are you @#$%& kidding me?! Its crap like that that doesn’t make me feel bad one bit over the A’s eventual departure from Oakland. Yeah, the hell with those in attendance from SJ/SCCO, Tri-Valley, Fremont, North Bay, Hollister and Eureka. May the traditional SF/Oak media rot where its hot!

  52. Uh, Brian, the cookie cutter dimensions are actually a more modern trait. Look at most classic ballparks and find one that doesn’t have peculiar angles, etc. On a Major League field these days, with all the money involved, you pretty much want pristine field conditions.

  53. I thought my last post was going to really be my last on this, but the one thing that gets me is when people put words in my mouth (or comment, as it were) that aren’t there…
    @Tony D.: I did not say that all fans at the Coliseum were from Oakland. My point was, there is a baseball stadium located within the city limits of Oakland, California that was filled with over 36,000 passionate fans to watch the A’s play a game.
    What got those fans out? The enjoyment of seeing a good team in the playoff hunt. Beyond just a good team, what gets people to a game? Its not a 40 year old stadium with nothing around it. Would a new waterfront stadium get a lot of the same people out on a regular basis? I argue it would, period. Please commence your disagreement, but at least know thats where I stand.
    @Dirty: you make a very fair point, and I will recant on saying that ownership has ever said fans who want a stadium in Oakland aren’t worth building it for. Rather, I guess what I was saying, is that fans I know who live in Oakland and the greater East Bay believe that’s how Lew Wolff feels, and have responded as such when deciding whether to spend money on tickets that go into current ownership’s pockets.
    Why do these fans feel this way? Wolff has gone on record saying, “I have no plan B after San Jose, but it is certainly not Oakland.” When a group of Oakland backers approached Lew Wolff about Oakland locations and the potential of selling the team to an ownership group that would keep the team in Oakland, they were told the team is not for sale.
    Obviously this oversimplifies the years of work that has already happened, the discussions had between ownership and various cities around the Bay Area, extensive studies done, and the dire need for the City of Oakland to take the lead on identifying the best site in Oakland (agree 100% with you on that, @Dirty). But all I can give you is some insight into why some Oakland fans feel, and act, the way they do. Say what you will about whether you agree with that or not (and I know most of you will) but I’m just trying to sum it up.
    In conclusion, I guess I’ll finish with just one more quote from Lew Wolff, which may give you a bit more insight into why fans in Oakland may never be convinced he really wants to see a downtown Oakland stadium:
    “If I was going to pursue a ballpark, I would certainly do it in San Jose, not depend on a vote outside of San Jose, and I would work through the mayor and the Redevelopment Agency,” said Lew Wolff, a key figure in San Jose’s downtown renaissance. “It’s the difference between a big-league city and a nonbig-league city. I wouldn’t spend five minutes on any other city besides San Jose.”
    That quote was from 2005. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a similar quote about the A’s current home city.

  54. @pllraz: ok, one more, just because I can’t stand when people call fans at the Coliseum an embarrassment (which of course, is your right) and because I’m an attendance/stats nerd.
    September 17, 1987, Candlestick Park: the Giants are in first place and hosting the 3rd place Houston Astros, with 11 days until they clinch their playoff spot on their way to eventually losing to the Cardinals in the NLCS later that year.
    What was the attendance at that game? 23,317. Personally, I would argue an antiquated facility, crumby weather, and lack of downtown amenities around the park contributed to that number in attendance, as it did throughout the Giants’ years at Candlestick, in stark contrast to their attendance at a new waterfront downtown stadium.
    I guess my point is, I disagree that only 20k showing up to see a team in a playoff hunt in a stadium like the Coliseum (or Candlestick) is an “embarrassment” as it relates to fans, nor does it reflect the true local support for the baseball team in Oakland in 2012 (or San Francisco in 1987).

  55. We all know Oakland needs a stadium in a Urban site. Be it in San Jose, Oakland, or some place in the Bay Area is mute at this point. We can all agree to disagree on why the stadium numbers are what they are. The cause and effect of two ownership groups trying to move the team out of Oakland for 16 years now, stadium conditions, the lack of amenities around the O.Coliseum or whatever name its going to be next year Coliseum all have contributed to lack of fan support during the regular season. I have pretty much been to all MLB parks in my time outside of Tampa and Miami, and I can honestly say the Coliseum is one of the few stadiums (unless you are tailgating where most people want to get in and get out quickly before and after games.

    Oakland also has the most promotions that I have ever seen for a sports club, and I am sure I am not alone in this observation. We all know that until this teams stadium issues are resolved we will continue to see Spartan crowds until a new stadium is built. You can’t rely on giveaways or fireworks shows to draw crowds, or the A’s to be this good all the time. We can all admit we never saw this coming back in December, I for one thought the A’s would lose 90 games this year. Hopefully there is some sort of resolution at the end of the year and the team will know it status. If the team does get the rights to move to SJ than congrats to the A’s, and in 5-10 years this team should have the resources to outspend most Major League clubs if they so desire. (No I will not do a numbers crunch to support my statement lol)

    I have feeling that if they do move you will see a lot of East Bay fans switch their allegiance to the Giants, some will hate the A’s because they left town, others will not support the team due to ticket prices being significantly higher than they are now. Others will not support the team due to the distance from the East Bay to SJ. I am hoping the A’s move back to Philly so I can start wearing my Philly A’s gear (Just kidding but I did just get a replica Philly A’s uniform and hat made).

  56. @jh510
    Whoa (chill) well what can I say? Lew Wolff loves san jose and really has a big plan to develop it with a new A’s ballpark in sj. I wish lew would see that Oakland had potential.. its just that we don’t have a very good quarterback running this team I.e Quan and city of Oakland leaders. U know jh510. Oakland has the most power in this situation if u think about it. They could easily halt lew Wolff run at san Jose of they could pick just a ONE site to stick too and have a funding plan that they will be in the hook for to build the new ballpark. That would easily get Selig to say that Oakland is viable and to leave the Sf giants territory alone…..but no.. oakland has yet to do that but throw empty rallies.

  57. JH, how can you call yourself an “attendance stats nerd” when you fail to accept that there has been no team in all of baseball with worse performance versus MLB median than the Oakland A’s for a period of 4 decades?
    I am all for a stadium in Oakland. I disagree that a “waterfront” park is all it will take to bring in big crowds. A stadium in Oakland or San Jose will have to have some serious differentiation in order to compete (and not favorably, by the way. just toe to toe) with AT&T Park.
    I have been to several new MLB stadiums and AT&T is easily in the top 3 aesthetically. It draws people all by itself. An A’s stadium will need to be different in order to be better, or more importantly, comparable. The argument that all it takes is a waterfront park is both simplistic and naive.
    Ask yourself this… Is Howard Terminal in a position to match AT&T’s waterfront charm? Objective people know this answer with very little thought. It’s simply put “no.” Look at the struggle that it has ben for decades to develop Jack London Square. It takes more than a waterfront to make something attractive and accessible.
    Oakland would be better served to look at what makes Camden Yards so successful. Baltimore has an excellent waterfront, but it’s ball yard doesn’t prominently feature the waterfront in any way, shape or form. A similar aesthetic exists in Washington DC. It’s right on a river, but it doesn’t feature the river in any way at all. San Diego has a great waterfront, but the stadium isn’t built there.
    Copying AT&T 10 miles away is a recipe for disaster.
    Another thing to consider, all this bluster about the last game of the year misses the point. The argument has always been no one shows up unless the A’s are doing something extraordinary. Wednesday just reinforces that idea (fair or not).
    And it pisses me off that we even have to still talk about this ridiculous situation.

  58. @Jeffrey: thanks for the follow up.
    I guess I’ll just keep beating my dead horse, but all I do is look over to Candlestick vs. Oakland Coliseum attendance during the 70s-90s, and thats all I really need to see for how much faith I put into annual attendance figures related to viability of fan base. Taking into account the last decade of attendance at the Coliseum, and the impact of having to go “toe to toe” with AT&T, just seems superflous.
    Regarding “aesthetics,” we can agree to disagree about what has more potential, a downtown Oakland site on the water, or a site in downtown San Jose.
    And I completely agree, nobody shows up to watch the A’s unless something extraordinary is happening. What I take issue with is what causes that. Some argue its the apathy of East Bay fans, I argue its the facility. Again, agree to disagree.
    But overall, your last point is most relevant. What is the point of even talking about this situation on here any more? We all just get riled up, and nothing changes.
    See you all in Oakland on Tuesday.

  59. I agree with Jeffrey.

    Let’s say lew Wolff decided to stay in Oakland. If u map out Oakland the best places to put the team was in an article marine layer wrote ten years ago go build the A’s a ballpark best grand lake area. Can u imagine a ballpark truly in the middle of Oakland by its more attractive area in piedmont….sigh….the only other place I can think of hypothetically would be the 980 site. It would be cool because downtown Oakland and west Oakland would be connected and it would be the closet to downtown and bart.

  60. @Jeffrey – who said anyone was going to copy AT&T? No one has even got a site through the initial process of evaluation. There are no official plans drawn by an Architect. I want a stadium in Oakland. I’ll HT or CC, or wherever. And it will have its own particular charm. I don’t think anyone is talking about building a stadium and putting a big Pepsi bottle in LF.
    @all – Lew Wolff is responsible for the poor attendance since 2006 period! You all know the facts, but so many choose not to see what’s going on right in front of their own eyes. Hardcore fans will never stop going, but Lew Wolff gave up on the casual fan, the day his group bought the franchise. You have to know your market. Wolff doesn’t know his.

  61. David… Read Let’s Go Oakland’s sign up page:
    “Let’s Go Oakland! is a group of A’s fans, business people, labor and community leaders who are committed to keeping the A’s in Oakland — and building a new, destination ballpark on the waterfront.
    But it’s about much more than just building a ballpark. As part of a larger plan to build new hotels, restaurants, and cafes, a new destination stadium will attract visitors from all over the region. Like AT&T Park did for San Francisco, our ballpark will be a catalyst to bring new investment and jobs to Oakland, kick-starting the next phase of our community’s successful economic development.”
    Their inspiration sounds pretty clear, no?

  62. Wolff-ie has no choice but to re-up, no matter how bad the Mausoleum is or bad the market for making a bigger profit. Getting to the series won’t make an actual Oak. “solution” materialize or force the Gi-ants to give in and hurt their biz by allowing the A’z to invade SJ, the business of MLB doesn’t work that way.
    Wolff-ie & co. knows that the financial upside of SJ far outweighs anything that Oak. can scrape together.
    The region can support only one SOMA-type renaissance area, not two – especially one in Oak.
    Phillies won’t allow the A’z into their territory and the franchises to the north and south won’t want the shrinking $$$ pie to be cut up into smaller pieces.
    A’z are stuck between a rock – no out-of-market alternatives to use as leverage and a hard place – Gi-ants stranglehold on SC County and their domination of the market.

  63. “Like AT&T Park did for San Francisco, our ballpark will be a catalyst to bring new investment and jobs to Oakland, kick-starting the next phase of our community’s successful economic development.”
    That has nothing to due with design or aesthetic influence. At&t park was a privately financed success. The only one, really, of its kind. Why wouldn’t you take inspirations from it regarding economic development and community impact?

  64. @eb – that’s exactly what I was thinking. How it can get done financially, is different than what the finished product “looks like”. Waterfront or landlocked, you still want to have bars, cafes, etc. and that facilitates, hopefully, further “economic development”.

  65. Too bad its not happening in Oakland….don’t blame the owners neither. Oakland shouod have cleaned up the streets on their own dime to at least show that coliseum city can be attactive. I feel bad for the kids of future east bay that won’t have ANY teams. I hope San Jose and San Francisco treat the A’s and Warriors right, like Oakland should have.

  66. so you don’t think the raiders will be staying. out of all three east bay teams, they’re the most likely to stay unless they move back to la but i don’t think la wants anything to do with the raiders especially if they can bring in the chargers and bring back the rams.

  67. @David,
    Wolff responsible for poor attendance? C’mon man, you’re better than that! You’re starting to sound like some folks blaming good poll and jobs numbers on a vast liberal conspiracy. Completely ridiculous!

  68. @letsgoas

    Hopefully letsgoas, hopefully the city of Oakland will have to face some type of PRESSURE, from the people or people within the city ranks, that might view the Raiders leaving too much of a blow for the city to take… so maybe just maybe Oakland will have a plan to keep… but ml touched on the “ballad of mark davis” topic… and preety much Mark has options… does he and Mama Davis wanna stay? yeah.. but they wont wait a long forever..

    meanwhile.. Cmon A’s lets win game 2… at least the sf gnats lost : ) he he

  69. the only place the raiders can go is back to la. we all know it’s likely the chargers will be one of those teams being brought to play in whatever new nfl stadium is built within the next 4-5 years. then you got a group of maybe three other teams in the raiders, jags, and rams. really don’t think the bills who also have issues with their situation in buf are a candidate to move cross country to la.

    i don’t know what the current deal is with those teams and the lease they have with those other cities. if somehow the city of la and the nfl can get either the rams or jags to la, really the raiders are “stuck” in the bay area for as long as i can see as i doubt the raiders owners whoever they are will want to move anywhere else out of oakland other than back to la. then the question is whether they wanna stick it out as the second tenant at the niners new stadium in santa clara or stay at the coliseum as it is now for the next decade until a new stadium is built somewhere in oakland. really don’t believe the raiders or even the city of oakland would want to “renovate” the coliseum much and then build a new stadium. also don’t know if they wanna do as it’s been suggested many times already about keeping the mt davis portion of the stadium and then building a new other 1/2 western part of the venue. i don’t think the coliseum is that terrible for football as it is for baseball, it’s serviceable for maybe another half decade. there could be a handful of improvements made but the raiders i think eventually will want to play in a brand new state of the area football stadium eventually and not another “half ass” renovation as some felt the mid 90s conversion was ruining a quality baseball park into a mediocre at best venue for both sports.

  70. @David “No one has even got a site through the initial process of evaluation. There are no official plans drawn by an Architect.”
    Yeah, so that’s exactly the problem.
    How patient are you willing to be? I mean, damn, I’m pretty patient but at some point there has to be some sort of plan from Oakland’s leadership. It’s not fair for them to have great fans like you who are so willing to protect and defend Oakland while they continue to bumble, play politics and leave EVERYONE in the dark. That’s not fair. To you, to me or anyone else in this mess.
    I still think that however bad of a job you think Wolff has done (which I will not necessarily contest), the city of Oakland has done as comparatively bad. And if you want to compare them against the city of SJ (which has a legitimate site and a fair argument to host an MLB team – – regardless of it’s the A’s or some other team), they’ve done absolutely worst. Taking the A’s (to SJ) out of the equation, I wonder if you’d be willing to debate me there.
    I respect your frustration (after all, at this point, it’s clear we’re all very frustrated), but I’m not so willing to spare Oakland its share of the blame. If the city of Oakland could show me something on the level of what SJ had done, perhaps I’d feel differently (I’m confident others on this board would share that sympathy). SJ did it, Oakland could have done it by now too.

  71. Eb and David, go to and look at the original concept for Howard Terminal. We have been told that the plan for Howard Terminal stadium orientation is the same as it was in 2001. Also, way to ignore the last sentence of the first paragraph.

  72. Also, what in those two paragraphs describes how a stadium can be built? It describes the potential benefit to Oakland, but nothing about having restaurants and bars will pay for a stadium (unless there are bonds being issued against tax increment).

  73. @letsgoas
    U seem to be an Oakland fan like me. Hey I know this might be silly, but would Howard Terminal work for football??? Let’s the A’s have the coliseum…get together with MLB and figure out away to make it happen. But hey Howrard terminal stadium for the Raiders. Now that would be something that wil helboth the NFL and city of O. What u think…uless Howard terminal too small for football

  74. @Jeffery A waterfront park doesn’t equal a clone of At&t. Are all downtown parks clones of each other? What about Camden and Petco, both are built alongside warehouses? Each park has its charms and is built in its city’s image. A water view with Oakland characteristics, i.e cranes, architecture, building material, seating, a giant vintage Mother’s cookie in the background ( I don’t know), is the best possible way to differentiate from At&t, but still offer that park’s biggest selling point, water. A skyline (Oak or SJ), hills, big brick facades, have been done to death, don’t showcase the fact Oakland is a port city (it’s biggest feature), the Bay Area’s biggest focal point (the bay)and, in my opinion is just a much better visual option. I’m sure we just disagree on what would be a better draw to bring people in.
    p.s. I am sick and tired of Detroit.

  75. why would you build a football stadium at howard terminal over a baseball one? i still firmly believe the a’s will go to sj when it’s all said and done but lets say they built a park in oakland, the only place the a’s org themselves probably with new ownership and mlb would want to build a new baseball only park would be in downtown/waterfront of oakland, not in the middle of industrial nowhere which is where the coliseum is now. it’d def be the other way around. a’s/baseball park at the ht site and any raiders/football stadium built at the current coliseum location.

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