Playing the FUD game

Earlier today, a report from an Orlando sports talk show cast doubt on the Seattle Hansen-Ballmer bid, because according to the report, the $30 million nonrefundable deposit was never paid by the February 1 deadline. The “news” created a minor kerfuffle as fans and media in Seattle and Sacramento tried to make sense of it.

A few hours later, outgoing Kings co-owner Joe Maloof chimed in with his first statement to the media in months: The $30 million deposit was, in fact, paid.

The Orlando talk show host, David Baumann, hasn’t updated his story or tweeted any kind of response to this clarification. By the end of business Wednesday, the focus was on Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s State of the City speech on Thursday, during which he is expected to reveal names from the local ownership group (a.k.a “whales”).

Wednesday’s histrionics were a classic example of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Someone misreports something or leaks info that could prove damaging to a competitor. The same thing happened last week with Deanna Santana’s gaffe regarding Lew Wolff’s Coliseum extension letter. Misinformation grabs headlines and spreads throughout the country and industry quickly. Timed strategically in an ongoing campaign, FUD can generate enough negative attention to sink many projects and initiatives.

That brings us to Andy Dolich, who has taken on the role of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area’s “Business Insider”. As an experienced executive in the NFL, NBA, and MLB, Dolich is well-positioned to speak authoritatively on such matters. He’s seen it all – teams thriving (80’s A’s) and floundering (49ers, Vancouver-Memphis Grizzlies), franchise moves (Grizzlies again), and new venue development (also Grizzlies). He’s extremely well-connected and is still well-networked in the Bay Area, where he maintains his office in Los Altos.

At CSN, Dolich has taken on the role of Doubting Thomas regarding two of his former employers that are seeking new homes in different cities. The Warriors are planning their San Francisco waterfront arena, going so far as to ask for state legislation to help ease some of the red tape they’ll inevitably face on the road to a new venue. The A’s continue to be stuck in Lew Wolff’s quest to move the team to San Jose, dogged by the Giants territorial rights and uncertainty regarding the team’s (and city’s) ability to take all of the necessary steps to make the move. Time and time again, Dolich trots out claims that both projects, just like the 49ers stadium, will be too expensive, too fraught with legal booby traps, too difficult to pull off. He’s probably not intentionally doing this under some unsaid agenda, but what he’s doing right now is spreading FUD. It’s FUD that provides a glimmer of hope to Oakland fans and politicians hoping to keep teams at the Coliseum. Absent any real details for Coliseum City, it’s not difficult to see why some would latch onto negative notions of competing visions as hope.

For years, Dolich has been upfront in his desire to see teams stay in their cities, whether we’re talking about the Bay Area teams or the Sacramento Kings. Strangely, while he willingly presents a case for why a move can’t happen due to various obstacles, he nearly glosses over reasons why a team could stay long-term. Sure, Cisco Field could cost $600 million or more when factoring in all of the prep work. But an Oakland ballpark won’t? Howard Terminal’s costs will be huge and could spiral out of control just like Victory Court. A ballpark at Coliseum City, even if it’s by itself with no other tenants, will have to factor in the $100 million albatross of Mt. Davis debt. That’s not FUD. That’s reality. FUD comes from a vacuum of information related to any particular situation. Dolich even makes the mistaken claim that Cisco Field would require an EIR, even though one has been certified twice by San Jose to cover different capacities and use cases. That heavy lifting is over, with only an addendum required to address the actual stadium in finished form.

Going back to the money issue, that’s where we on this site frequently bang the drum against Oakland. It’s no secret that Oakland itself is an economic weak link compared to the powerhouses in San Francisco and the South Bay. When we talk about the uphill battle Oakland faces, that can be interpreted as FUD. Even so, it’s a consensus view that has been confirmed by city staff as recently as last week. Locals know it, the national media knows it, everyone knows it. It’s incumbent upon Oakland and its supporters to change that perspective – not by talking up the city, but by taking real actions to make people believe in the city. In the end, team owners need to figure out how to pay for their privately funded facilities. To cast doubt on Oakland may seem unfair, but it’s not as if it comes from a position of naïveté. Down in San Jose, we’ve talked about the challenges for some time: redevelopment, lack of city funds for infrastructure, territorial rights, land remaining to be acquired. Daunting as those may seem, they can be overcome via procedural means and nominal investment. That’s different from Oakland, where economic concerns make investors skittish about the market. It all boils down to a simple question: If you’re going to spend $500+ million on a stadium and you can’t depend on a public subsidy, wouldn’t you want to put the stadium in a place where you can ensure you can pay it off? If MLB has concerns about Wolff hitting projections on a San Jose ballpark, what must they think about the prospects of a ballpark in Oakland?

As long as we don’t see ground broken on a ballpark for the A’s, the war of words and FUD will continue. When San Jose Arena was built, the FUD surrounding the project quickly died. Same thing for AT&T Park and now the 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. The only way to kill FUD is to prove that that it’s baseless. By working. By thriving. By building.

44 thoughts on “Playing the FUD game

  1. Right ML the only reason why Oakland city leaders are not being pressured to do anything because off all the FUD and stalling, its on the league’s to say if California too broke for sports then they should not have them. It would be embarrassing to the league’s of the city of Miami had to pay for a baseball park yet Oakland doesn’t..again to SOS and LGO, I’m glad they have bog ideas, BUT THEY ARE NOT GETTING A FREE BALLPARK

  2. Excellent post RM! The truth and only the truth; what more could be said? BTW, I wonder what Dolich’s problem is with San Jose and if he’ll eventually come around to liking Cisco Field…

  3. Dolich’s repeated claim about process in front of San Jose is pretty interesting. He’s right about a vote being necessary (I believe the City has codified that requirement more than once). But, he keeps throwing out “EIR” and I am wondering if I missed something, or he did.
    He is definitely guilty of starting with an answer and trying to pull together a reasonable argument to back it up.
    I just wish this whole thing could be over already.

  4. After four years of this nonsense and MLB still has doubts about the A’s SJ ballpark reaching projections? (Either San Jose or even Oakland are substantially larger fanbases than alternatives such as Portland, San Antonio, Vegas, etc. What is Selig and MLB smoking?)

  5. re: If MLB has concerns about Wolff hitting projections on a San Jose ballpark, what must they think about the prospects of a ballpark in Oakland?

    …the bottom line is if Oakland wants to keep the A’s, it is not going to get the deal Frisco got with the Giants – a free ballpark. Scolding the “rich” owners for not wanting to take on 100$ of the risks themselves is not getting anybody anywhere.

  6. The ball is in MLB’s court to ultimately decide on whether the A’s will be allowed to move to San Jose. Until that decision is finally made, all the other discussions about where the A’s could or should have their new ballpark is just talk and speculation. At this point, we can all agree that we are all tired of the delaying tactics that MLB has put upon both A’s ownership and on A’s fans. MLB, Make A Decision Already!

  7. @ML: honest question: what would you see as “taking real actions to make people believe in the city”, for Oakland?
    Those of us who support the team staying in Oakland who aren’t millionaires, try to rally our elected officials (which, as you correctly point out, only goes so far) along with things like buying season tickets to show fan support, supporting Oakland businesses, supporting local leaders who want the A’s to stay in Oakland, etc. There are other irons in the fire regarding rallying local fans, reaching out to MLB, and talking with local media, but those actions have specific goals in mind and not the general support of Oakland.
    Many on here who see SJ as the only option have said the ship has sailed in Oakland, and thats fine. But your post seems to leave an opening for Oakland still showing some kind of “action” that could make the city viable for the A’s. If so, what realistic actions would that be? We all know Lew Wolff is never going to build a stadium in Oakland, he’s too far down the rabbit hole to ever come back, yet he also repeatedly says the team isn’t for sale. This is where much of the frustration from Oakland supporters lies. So, pushing aside the “FUD”, as you put it, what do you see as key for a recipe for Oakland to stay relevant?

    • @JH510 – Much can be learned from looking 75 miles northeast of Oakland to Sacramento. There, Mayor KJ has partnered with the business community to take numerous important steps towards proving the viability of the Sacramento market. They’ve gotten big $$$ commitments from local business leaders. They’ve engaged the public virtually every step of the way. The only thing that’s been a mystery has been the revealing of the “whales”, which will happen later today.

      If the Oakland-only strategy is to wait out Wolff/Fisher until they sell, it’s paramount that they be prepared to pounce when the moment strikes. MLB is not going to allow a sale of the A’s to anyone that doesn’t have a clear, feasible long-range vision for the club. In Oakland, that means a stadium that could require some public funding. At the very least, it means a stadium plan that will pass a vote and get through the review process. I can’t emphasize enough that there have been few really large projects built in Oakland in the past 20-30 years, with Uptown as the closest in scale to a ballpark. We know that Uptown was eventually delayed and watered down from its original vision. Whatever Oakland can do to streamline the process would be extremely beneficial. San Jose understood this and got its EIR certified and its project negotiating principles baked in years before they were needed. All of that takes political will and a mayor/city council willing to spend money to make it happen. It’s easy to see levels of commitment among the different mayors. Gavin Newsom took a hard line stance in SF which allowed Santa Clara to lure the team away. Ed Lee is devoting a solid amount of time towards the America’s Cup and the W’s arena. KJ is pushing all of the right buttons in Sacramento. Chuck Reed is committed in San Jose, but not willing to fight MLB to Sam Liccardo or Dave Cortese. That leaves Jean Quan, whose efforts so far can only be described as passive-aggressive.

  8. Also, just one person’s take, but my reading of the “rumor” in the LA Times piece that MLB is concerned about the “financial projections offered by the A’s in support of a move” seemed to speak more to the supposed disparity between a stadium in Oakland vs. a stadium in San jose, or lack thereof, and using that as the basis for moving the team (Wolff’s argument all along). The “viability” argument, as mentioned by Shaikin in his article, seemed to reference just the physical site, as opposed to financial issues.
    Again, just my take on a “rumor,” and fully expecting to get shouted down here, but just wanted to offer another take.

  9. I think Oakland would have to make up via taxpayer dollars the dramatic gap in private funding (corporate dollars) available in Oakland vs. what San Jose can produce. For instance, no one has ever come forward pledging to match in Oakland the $130 million Cisco naming rights deal. Can Oakland provide taxpayer $$ for stadiums? I don’t think it can.

  10. @Jeffrey and all,
    As currently planned (Wolff privately financing ballpark, perhaps even buying land at market/below market rate), a vote wouldn’t be necessary under SJ Muni Code. SJ Pols stating one would be necessary to the media does not supersede what’s officially on paper. Yes, San Jose may indeed go through with a referendum ala Santa Clara, but when push comes to shove they really don’t need to…and it would STILL be legal.

  11. Andy Dolich is a well respected executive with a vast knowledge of how things “really” work. He worked with A’s during their glory years so when he makes comments regarding this situation it carries weight. Team officials and city officials both put their “spin” on the news, negative and positive. Ive talked to Mr.Dolich and he is of the opinion that the A’s could thrive in Oakland under a passionate committed ownership but he also acknowledges the challenges Oakland faces to keep A’s in Oakland. Btw he also has talked about the many advantages S.J has over Oakland. The days of “fair and balanced” opinions are over. It seems like people just pick a side and wanna crap the other side so when people like ML, Andy Dolich or whomever comes along trying to be fair to both sides they get demonized and their motives get judged unfairly. I am pro Oakland but that doesnt mean I have to act like everything is rosey and that we are not on the verge of losing all our teams or that there are not legitimate arguements coming from the other side. At the end of the day I just want a decision made for or against the move so we can get the yard built, either way Ima keep supporting my Oakland or San Jose A’s!!!! World Series or bust in 2013!!!!!

  12. @ML: Is your “Gameplan: Oakland” post no longer up? You outlined some great financing strategies Oakland could take in the post that I wanted to review. Really appreciate your work on this site, man.

    • @KC – Unfortunately, there’s a slate of posts from the end of November/early December that weren’t properly backed up when we hit site trouble a few weeks ago. “Gameplan: Oakland” was one of those. I thought I had the text elsewhere. Sadly, no dice.

  13. @ML: thanks for the in-depth response and thoughts on this. I agree with everything you laid out, and see the role of the city being vital, and wonder if JQ is going to be able to put rubber to the road to the same degree as KJ, but those of us in Oakland can only hope. But again, I see these “actions” falling to city officials and other groups, like those who would prospectively buy the team. When looking for actions that we as “everyday” A’s fans can take to suppor the team staying in Oakland, I still see no crystal clear answers outside of what I mentioned above.
    In addition, one of my takeaways from the SOS meeting with Santana and Blackwell was that, political trickery/ineptitude aside, city officials in Oakland can no longer have a meaningful dialog with Lew Wolff, and that hinders progress, for better or worse. Wolff has clearly moved on from Oakland, with San Jose as his only option, and even a discussion about sites or stadiums in Oakland would be a huge step back for him, and a potential “sign of weakness” to MLB and other owners. As a result, when city officials are discussing future planning around sites like Coliseum City, as flawed as it might be, its driven by the one team who is still literally talking with Oakland, the Raiders. Ultimately, I think CC is too big a bite to succeed as planned, but its the only one where a partner exists. If somehow Wolff did see viability in a site like Howard Terminal, and approached Oakland city officials saying as much, I honestly believe there would be a lot more activity from city officials in support of that site. But as has been stated here ad nauseum, Wolff doesn’t see viability in Oakland, and thats his prerogative. In the meantime, Oakland supporters can hope our city takes the steps you outline above, but I personally don’t believe they’re strongly driven to do so based on working with an ownership group who is not interested in working with them. That may spell doom for the A’s in Oakland, but thats my take on the current situation.

  14. JH510, JK had to deal with the Maloofs and when they bowed/sold out, he continued the fight as if they didn’t exist and weren’t necessary. Ultimately that’s what the Oakland officials should have been doing (have been doing poorly) for a good 4+ years now. *IF* they are seriously shrugging their shoulders with a “I can’t do anything because he won’t talk to me” attitude then they’re doing it wrong. No one was talking to SJ when they took action either. Their best course of action is to act like the A’s don’t currently exist and move forward as if they need to lure a team/prove to MLB the viability of Oakland to host a team/build a stadium even if they’re sole goal is for that team to be the A’s.

  15. I don’t really see the rationale in excusing Oakland’s effort (or lack thereof) on Lew and his willingness to go to talk to inept politicians. Did SJ have any negotiations with the A’s when they first devised the Diridon plan? No, yet they still had the initiative to tackle an EIR (and subsequent S-EIR), land acquisitions, etc., and rally their business leaders (SVLG) to SHOW their intent. To date, Oakland’s effort has been nothing but one press conference after another, without any substance to show for it to either the public or MLB. If anything, the W’s move to SF and how they never even received one proposal illustrates Oakland’s strategy: go public with FUD and hope it saves your own political ass while actually doing nothing. I applaud the Oaklanders on here who get it and are buying STHs and such, but unfortunately there are far few of those out there.

  16. @GADR,
    Dolich may well be respected in some circles, but when it comes to the A’s and San Jose what he says doesn’t carry any weight whatsoever. If he were involved with the MLB committee or still a member of A’s ownership, maybe. He’s no longer an insider and provides opinion only on this matter. Dolich wants the A’s to stay in Oakland: good for him! And BTW all, can we cease with the A’s being up for sale soon crap; ain’t happening!

  17. @ dmoas, Anon: just to be clear, my line of reasoning wasn’t an attempt to excuse the actions of Oakland officials or lay the blame entirely at Lew Wolff’s feet. Rather, I was simply trying to give my own take on why things are playing out the way they are currently with officials in Oakland. I would love nothing more for Oakland leaders to have taken initiative towards the A’s years ago and lay the groundwork for a new stadium, but that didn’t happen. We can talk about the past until we’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t do any good for keeping the A’s in 2013 and beyond. Some argue the previous lack of action by Oakland is reason enough for the team to move away; this is something I disagree with, but again we all have our own opinions.
    The other main difference I was trying to highlight is the fact that Oakland officials are currently assessing the future of THREE franchises that currently reside in the city, not just the A’s. If this was only a discussion about MLB and the A’s franchise, obviously the city’s approach would be different. But as it stands presently, the city is working/attempting to work with three teams. As we heard at the SOS meeting, the Raiders are talking to the city, the Warriors legally can’t talk to the city, and the A’s won’t. So as a result, the city’s limited time/money/capacity seems to be focused on the Raiders and Coliseum City, with the A’s and Warriors as secondary priorities. Again, I’m not excusing this approach or blaming it on the A’s owners, but I am trying to understand it. I may not agree with CC as a concept, and wish there was more focus on the A’s, but spending an additional $150k studying it is action, however late it might be, and I’m glad the city is doing something for our teams.

  18. @ML: That’s too bad. Would you consider revisiting the subject matter in your “Gameplan: Oakland” post again since it was lost?

  19. @TonyD… Not carries weight in terms of being an insider but in terms of knowing how this process works. Let’s not forget he was part of the group that wanted to buy the A’s in times past.

    The reality is Oakland needs the A’s more than the A’s need Oakland. We must realize that first and foremost. If Oakland’s plan is ” Hope Lew Wolff sells” or we will wait until he comes back to the table then that is such a loser’s mentality. Oakland must be the initiator in this process and make the prospect of staying in Oakland more appealing than the prospect of leaving. That is how business works. Man, this process is so frustrating and it is obvious that these officials have no business savvy or competitive spirit. Look at Kevin Johnson ,Mayor Quan, now that guy is getting after it and has not allowed the Maloofs crap to stop his efforts.

    Knowing that keeping the A’s is to our benefit go and..
    1. Find a Site
    2. Get the EIR COMPLETED!!
    3. Get a very specific Visual Concept not that lego looking crap they have been putting out, so that fans can get excited about it.
    4. Find an Eastbay Corporation or any Corporation who will pay for Naming rights and announce it publicly.
    5. Start getting commitments from fans and the business community on PSL’s or whatever you are going to name them and make them fully refundable in case we lose them but at least have rock solid evidence.
    6. We keep talking about stadium being linked to development so impose a small tax or surcharge on anything associated with the project. Real Estate, Restaurants, ETC ETC.
    7. Sell Plaques to those who can’t buy PSL’s but want to make small contributions towards the project. Anywhere between $200-$2000 and put them on the walkway or on a wall so as to be a lasting monument to future generations. How cool would that be to take my Grand kids to a game one day and there is my name on this plaque for my kids and grand kids to see that I made a small contribution to keep my A’s in town and better my city.

    All this should be getting done as we speak. A driven team of people with vision could get solid results by the beginning of spring training 2014. Government officials always make things way to difficult. You could hire out a team of 25 bright, driven,informed, communicators, with business savvy to devote themselves to this cause for the next 12-18 months and see tangible results.

    But no we are gonna hold out hope that Wolff will sell team or that a Prideful, successful, millionaire with a huge ego will come back on his hands and knees and humble himself at the cities feet….. Please that will never happen!!!!! Come on Oakland we are the ones who have to “Humble Ourselves” and extend the olive branch. Not by pie in the sky what ifs but with Cold Hard Cash in hand and every question and objection answered.

  20. JH510, the fact that they’re dealing with 3 teams is certainly a fair point. If we’re talking about past mistakes, they’ve had years to deal with all three and basically failed to get rolling on any of them.

    But at this point, throw away the past and start fresh. If you have two teams with their feet out the door, forget about them (and sadly this means the A’s) and focus on the one team currently wanting to stay. This includes *ALL* planning including CC. The A’s/Warriors don’t want in? Then leave them out. (I’d say differently if all 3 wanted out).

    *IF* they’re going to continue after the A’s, they simply need to start working proactively and without the A’s ownership. Otherwise they’re wasting people’s time and money while giving false hope.

  21. GADR, right on. You get it.

  22. I went back and read an old post. It’s crazy how much of this still applies, 2.5 years later.

  23. @JH510 – You may be new to this site, so I won’t go into detail on how many times we’ve heard about Oakland’s bright future turn into a cloudy present then to a shady past on the A’s stadium plight. I’ll just note that we’ve heard these stories over and over and over again about what Oakland is doing only to be left in limbo then abandoned before you even knew what happened (see Victory Court). At some point, you have to stop crying “Wolff” (pun intended), face reality and end this perpetual purgatory for the A’s by letting them go! As I’ve said time and time again, the situation parallels a divorce where if you neglect one party long enough without doing anything, they’ll leave. You can continue to blame them (even though you want them back!), but you can’t change your past unfortunately. What’s done is done.

  24. @Anon: those who read the comments know that I’m not new to the site, even if some think I’m bringing tired points on behalf of Oakland. Second, as much as some of you would rather us pro-Oaklanders would just “face reality” and give up, we’re not going to. When it comes to the Oakland A’s, we’re not just going “to let them go.” Using your logic, we shouldn’t even be trying to keep our baseball team, thus satisfying your self-fulfilling prophecy that Oakland fans don’t care.
    Sure, its likely too little too late, but there still are many of us who support the A’s staying in Oakland for a number of reasons, regardless of the past failings of our elected leaders when it comes to our sports teams. If it makes it easier for those who want the A’s to move to San Jose to think those of us in Oakland will just quietly go away, knock yourself out. But for many of us its not going to happen, no matter how many times you try to point out how futile it might be.

  25. @Anon: PS – what if I posted a comment that said something like: “At some point, you have to stop crying “Bud” (pun intended), face reality and end this perpetual purgatory for the A’s by letting them stay! As I’ve said time and time again, the situation parallels a divorce where if you neglect one party long enough without doing anything, they’ll give up…”
    Do I expect the pro-SJ crowd to “give up” because Bud Selig has kept the A’s in limbo for this long? Obviously not. The least you can do is respect the Oakland side of the argument to realize we have passion for our city and our team, as much as you think its pointless.

  26. @ JH510 – I’ve been on the comment section for around 3-4 years, yet I’ve only seen you recently, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. And no, I don’t expect pro-Oaklanders to go away, however what irks me is the seemingly endless excuses (and blame) without some sort of acknowledgement of responsibility. I’ve outlined before what the government (and citizens) should do, because once you start admitting to your shortcoming then you’ll start finally getting a sense of the vision of what needs to be done. In other words, please spare us the sob stories and excuses. The public would rather hear actual plans and actions instead.

  27. @Jefferey… I read that old post. It was a good read and you hit the nail on the head. Oakland city officials are playing stratego for sure. Great plan huh?? Lets just hope MLB does not let them go to San Jose. I fire people like that who work for me. Lets hope my competitors dont close the sale or aquire the contract. Lets hope that customers will just happen to call us. Lets hope money will magically appear in our registers. You better go out there and make some contacts, make some phone calls and “make it rain” or you are outta here next man up. I don’t want excuses I want results. I think the avg business oriented individual could come up with a better plan than the ones our elected officials are suggesting. Smh!!!!!

  28. @Anon: last comment here for me, we’re going down the path that doesn’t get us anywhere. But since you seem to be pointing your last comment specifically at me as someone who supports Oakland, can you highlight where I’ve made “excuses,” specifically “blamed” someone, as well as the “sob stories” I’m bringing here? I’m seriously asking where you’ve read that from the comments I’ve made.
    If asking a serious question to ML about actions that can be taken (see my first comment above) as A’s fans supportive of the team in Oakland, or trying to analyze why city officials are acting the way they are with a project like Coliseum City, as “making excuses,” “laying blame,” or having “a sob story,” I honestly want to understand how you reach that conclusion, because I’m baffled.
    Thanks again ML for the forum to have these discussions, and look forward to future news on the A’s new stadium.

  29. GADR, (I secretly say “gator” as I type that)
    My email addy is Hit me up, let’s do a game. I can’t wait for the season to start!

  30. JH510, fwiw, until the ground is broken somewhere, there’s no reason to give up. It’s just a matter of maintaining a focus on the future and putting pressure on those within the city to act appropriately and stop making excuses. It’s no longer about who’s responsible for their circumstances, but what they can and need to do now. There’s a lot of hurdles and it’s a steep uphill climb to be relevant (something that you’ve honestly acknowledged), but politician’s whining isn’t the way to get it started. Push to remove the incompetence out of office and move forward.

  31. @ JH510 – I’m not citing you specifically, but the usually “blame Lew” / “Don Knox will save us” crowd. Sorry, if that was not clear.

  32. @ GADR – “Lets hope my competitors dont close the sale or aquire the contract. Lets hope that customers will just happen to call us. Lets hope money will magically appear in our registers. You better go out there and make some contacts, make some phone calls and “make it rain” or you are outta here next man up. I don’t want excuses I want results.”

    Very well said!

  33. @All

    Guys just one more year of this crap… lets start with the Raiders… they have some advantage against city of Oakland, because if Oakland does not present the funding to make a new stadium , then i can see Oakland applying to L.A or movin to S.C

    Next up the A’s… if your Lew Wolff.. unless the A’s win the world series (which is possible) it will be the only way to put pressure on MLB to hurry up the move to S.J..also he should be prepared in case Oakland wants to play hardball with the lease.. if im Lew Wolff he should look for a temporary venue , just to give him leverage that he rather play at Laney COllege then play at the coliseum…

    And the Warriors by the ned of 2013 should see if they can get past the hurdles of gettting that waterfront arena… but i actually feel that playing next to the SF Giants is a better area… anyway that is my take, ML is going to have a lot of new material for 2014, but i expect this year to be ho-hum untill the lease expires…

  34. Note on the Coliseum City design.. wasnt the new Raider stadium going to be a retractable roof??? Yes its going to be a preety penny, but if Oakland actually does spend any type of public funding on coliseum city, i think the roof is better for the city and the Raiders.. sometimes i think the Raiders play better in controlled conditions.. plus the city can use the new football stadium for other events… its kinda the only way it can work.. and i think its probably been talked about.

  35. @JH510/Anon – This is exactly what ticks me off about the blame game that the pro-Oakland and pro-SJ/”Wolff apologists” factions have played for years. I think both JH510’s analysis and Anon’s criticisms are spot on in describing the relationship that exists between Oakland and A’s ownership.

    Just from my own personal standpoint as an Oaklander, do I feel irked and shafted by Wolff when it seems like he’s not willing to work with the city, but is totally fine with essentially giving San Jose a free ballpark? If civic pride is anything to go by, then of course I am, and I can understand why others who are as fiercely proud of our city would be so vehemently mad at Wolff – who can blame them for feeling that way? But at the same time, I can see where Wolff and those who side with him are coming from. By no means are we entitled to the team and a new ballpark, and I realize that history has shown that we as a city haven’t exactly done our fair share of extending that olive branch either.

    If Oakland and fans who want the team to stay are serious about their efforts, we need to move past this grudge match and take the high road. Sure, we all have every right to still feel mad at Wolff, but we are doing nothing but embarrassing ourselves by sounding like crybabies when we just point fingers at everyone. It’s a wonder why we don’t win any sympathy points from the other side.

    Instead, we need to channel those passions into POSITIVE and REAL solutions to our plight. GADR’s “gameplan” above and what KJ is doing in Sacramento with the Kings is EXACTLY what Oakland should be doing: Put in the work (none of this half-assed business), be open with the process, and come up with a realistic plan backed with tangible and legitimate elements that will promise feasible results. Present that to Wolff & MLB. If, even after all that, they still decide to shove it in our face with a huge “screw you”, THEN, and ONLY THEN will we perhaps be justified in decrying our horrible ownership, and can say in all honesty that “Lew lied, he never tried”.

    But for that to happen, WE need to try first.

  36. @JL – “Just from my own personal standpoint as an Oaklander, do I feel irked and shafted by Wolff when it seems like he’s not willing to work with the city, but is totally fine with essentially giving San Jose a free ballpark?”

    The thing about the “free” ballpark in Oakland vs SJ is that ownership and the other financial backers can reasonably expect to make their money back in SJ based on the corporate support in Santa Clara County. Those companies are not willing to travel to Oakland to sit in suites, but can be coerced into buy them in San Jose because it is more convenient for them, their employees and their clients. Could they be convinced to buy sponsorship in Oakland? Probably. But that’s only half the problem because you need to fill suites, too.

    If Quan was serious about keeping the teams, she would be trying to gather corporations and other private groups together to commit to buying suites and sponsorship to help the financing pencil out instead of renders of grand ideas about where and what could be built. Renders are easy–community college grads can do them. If she could come up with commitments from the business community for years worth of suites, season tickets, and sponsorship, etc, Oakland (and the whole East Bay) would be proving that they can indeed support the A’s for the future.

    I know this equals money in the pocket for Wolff, and I bet that chaps her hide, but as long as they publicly implicate him as the enemy, he’s not going to bother with them, right or wrong.

  37. @LS – Yes, I know that and you’re absolutely right. Hence why I say I understand where Wolff is coming from, and why I believe Oakland needs to be working on making itself more appealing to him (without bending over backwards, of course), not spewing venom at him. I’m just saying that from a civic pride mentality, it is easy to see why people would feel so upset with Wolff and think that they’re getting an unfair deal. Its fine to feel that way, but it doesn’t help at all if you’re serious about keeping the team, and you’re certainly not justified to use vilification as a weapon if you haven’t done anything meaningful to further your cause. Its a very simplistic, immature mindset that ignores the realities of the situation, and its inexcusable for those in the pro-Oakland camp for continuing to think this way. Anyone who is still caught up with the pain of feeling shafted needs to grow up, open their eyes to reality, and do something productive about it instead of sitting around whining and throwing a fit.

    I will say, however, that it is frustrating for those of us who still hold out hope that the team will stay to be lumped together with the delusional pro-Oakland groups and politicians that unfortunately are the ones spearheading the “effort” to keep the team. It is disheartening to hear others, some from the pro-SJ camp, suggest over and over, whether explicitly or implicitly, that it is futile and the ship has already sailed for Oakland. That may be the case, which is why I’m personally pulling for San Jose if it can’t be Oakland, but I continue support Oakland too despite the odds, not only because I’m a born-and-raised resident, but (and this is not a knock on San Jose), I’m afraid SJ is not exactly a 100% slam dunk that many people here like to think. San Jose still has its own share of hurdles to go through before it becomes a reality, and we can never know if something will suddenly come along out of left field and threaten to derail it.

    Roll your eyes if you want, but I think Oakland still needs to be part of the conversation in a proactive way. Years of drawn out purgatory may have made us all cynical and divided, but IMHO, if you TRULY care about the A’s and their future in the Bay Area, you should be fully behind, supportive, and critical of both Oakland AND San Jose, regardless of past misdoings or future prospects.

  38. Still amazed that the W’s want to spend 1B in SF and yet no one in Oakland seems to care and none of the Oakland only crowd seem to have a problem that they made no effort to stay in Oakland- help me understand how the owners get a free pass while LW has tried for 8+ years to find a suitable site in Oakland, none exist, and yet is considered the evil empire?

  39. I think it’s the name on the front of the jerseys. Much easier to take insult when the location the team claims to represent and wants to leave is your location.

    I believe it’s been touched on before here on this blog that it very well may be the makeup of the East Bay culture. Always in the shadow of SF and feeling like no one respects you. Probably some economic or racial differences contributing to part of that feeling. “The rich white man is taking something of ours.” Oakland has lived for so long as the second banana in the Bay Area. Maybe Oakland is resigned to San Francisco getting all the attention. Perhaps the root of the ruckus lies in the chance that San Jose takes over Oakland’s “second banana” position.

    The Warriors aren’t the Oakland Warriors so it’s not as much of an affront to the city if they lose them. Makes you wonder where most of the Warriors fans come from.

    (not trying to insult anyone here, just speaking in general terms.)

  40. Maybe so LS but I think of the economic impact of a downtown arena and I would have expected at least an effort to keep them- being in downtown SJ tonight for The Sharks game and seeing how much activity is created at the bars and restaurants further reenforces that Coli City is a bad idea- you need a downtown location-

  41. JL – I feel exactly the way you do. As an A’s fan who just wants a new home somewhere in the Bay Area (not just anywhere, mind you; I want it in a good location, preferably downtown) I feel very strongly that Oakland needs to stay in the game because SJ is not yet a slam dunk. I wish the city of Oakland was actually putting forth the effort to keep the team with a realistic location — none that have been proposed are, IMO — and some actual business support. San Jose has Cisco and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group publicly committed. Sacramento did the same for the Kings. Time and time again someone from Oakland comes up with “top secret plans” to buy and/or support the team, but can never name names. That has happened at least 3 different times. It’s lame, childish and unproductive.

    I can’t characterize the number of A’s fans who feel like we do, but I hope it’s the majority (or at least a plurality). I understand folks in SJ who primarily want to see the team move there, just like I understand Oaklanders who want them to stay. Civic pride is a strong motivator. But as A’s fans, we all have to realize that getting this done — in a way that doesn’t cripple the team financially — is more important than our own personal civic pride. The alternative is forever being the little engine that almost could or seeing the team move out of the area entirely. I certainly don’t want to see either of those conclusions.

  42. Well said Dude, well said.

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