Sacramento 22, Seattle 8. Now Oakland’s turn.

As the MLB owner meetings were held this week in New York, the owners may have spent a lunch or two observing the proceedings in Dallas, where the NBA’s Board of Governors was deciding the fate of the Sacramento Kings and Seattle. If they paid attention, they probably noticed that there was a commissioner in David Stern who encouraged independent thought, debate, and consensus via democratic vote instead of decree (the vote was 22-8, not a bogus “unanimous” decision). By having a transparent, well laid out process for arriving at a decision with the Kings/Sonics, the matter was decided in four months. Compare that to what’s happening to the A’s, who have been in limbo for four years.

As usual, the A’s were not on the agenda at the meetings, with no reports issued or recommendations made. With the A’s continuing to get their annual revenue sharing check and keeping their expenses in check, the A’s are effectively a model franchise for MLB from an operational standpoint. Status quo it is, fans be damned.

I heaped praise on Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson on March 1st for his handling of the Kings’ situation. With no support from the Maloofs, KJ put together a big money ownership group, assembled an arena deal with public funding, and rallied the vast majority of other NBA owners to his side. The feat was positively Herculean, and will serve KJ well in his future political or business endeavors, whatever way he wants to go. More importantly, KJ created a blueprint (one based on the efforts to keep the Giants in SF) for any city to keep a team in danger of moving.

Which brings us to Oakland. At present, the City and Alameda County are at loggerheads with the A’s over the future lease, even as baseball is encouraging the City to loosen up on some negotiating points. As the months progress, chances are that the A’s and baseball will be more desperate to get a deal made since there is no other ballpark solution immediately available. It’s a calculated risk that could pay off big for the revenue-short public agencies. On the flip side, MLB won’t take kindly to the A’s being gouged by the Coliseum JPA.

Long term, Oakland is doing some of the things KJ did – for the Raiders, that is. They’re trying to build business support within the community, with the two sides holding events to determine the economic potential in the East Bay. They have a program level EIR started for Coliseum City and have worked with the Raiders and the NFL on stadium concepts. For the A’s, Oakland has trotted out three stadium sites and little else. Community groups such as Save Oakland Sports and the new Oakland Fan Pledge (which has gotten 1,179 pledges worth $2.87 million so far) have tried to fill the gap for fans. If we’re judging by the level of effort, the City wants to keep the Raiders in town a lot more than they want to retain the A’s.

City officials and others will point to the A’s ownership group’s lack of cooperation as a motivating factor. Given the hell that Sacramento fans and pols had to go through, that’s not a good excuse. Oakland should be presenting its best vision for the A’s – whatever it is – and it should be doing all of the necessary background work so that if a decision comes down in favor of Oakland or Wolff/Fisher actually decide to sell the team, the ballpark effort can use some procedural and political momentum to secure a deal and get the park built. (San Jose got an EIR certified without any promises, why not Oakland?) Without a sincere and honest effort, what are the owners supposed to think? What are fans supposed to think? At least one owner, Jerry Reinsdorf, has both MLB and NBA franchises, and there’s no doubt the others at The Lodge were picking his brain to see how the boys in Dallas arrived at their decision. They can point to a commissioner who properly guided the discussion, a mayor who cared enough to fight, and a fanbase that was small but vocal. There’s still a ways to go before Sacramento has a shiny new arena, but they’ve already crawled through the proverbial river of shit. Congrats Cowtown. Don’t go spending all $258 million in one place! (er…)

73 thoughts on “Sacramento 22, Seattle 8. Now Oakland’s turn.

  1. All well and good, but it should be noted your praise of KJ sidesteps the issue of whether or not a new basketball arena primarily for the Kings is an appropriate use of $250 million+ in public money.

  2. Seems like the Kings deal is also a framework for any potential deal in Oakland for the A’s–by that I mean 50-60% public financing required to make it pencil out in Oakland. Had Sacto just assumed that the owners of the Kings would pay for the arena the Kings would now be in Seattle.

    I still feel that the final MLB solution will be to share TR in the Bay Area like all other 2 team markets do. This keeps MLB from advocating one city over the other. Where the A’s build will be up to them whether it be in San Jose, Fremont or Oakland.

  3. @Tim – I tweeted three weeks ago:

    That said, it’s pretty fucking awful that either city would put up a quarter billion for an arena. #NoProgress #Sacramento #Seattle

  4. Excellent comment by ML. Did the Sacramento mayor and his associates constantly whine about what SOBs the Maloofs are how Sacramento fans were being hosed after the Maloofs agreed to sell the team to Balmer and the Seattle group? – no. Instead, KJ organized a new owners group who will keep the team in Sac., and also laid plans for a new Kings arena (all in two months – Oakland city officials have not been able to accomplish either in 18 years. The constant whining about Wolff (who – judging by his actions – this fan believes is a standup guy) is really getting old.

  5. re: On the flip side, MLB won’t take kindly to the A’s being gouged by the Coliseum JPA.

    …This can be laid at the feet of the cowardly commissioner, who has had several years to resolve the A’s situation but hides under the table, instead.

  6. Agree, pjk, If David Stern were the new MLB commissioner after Selig finally quits – this issue would likely be resolved in six months, not 6 years.

  7. @ pjk: Haha the cowardly commissioner. I totally had to photoshop that.

  8. Great stuff, Chicks, but an insult to Bert Lahr.

  9. Until effective pressure is finally put on the Giants to relinquish their so called “territorial hold” to Santa Clara County, the A’s will continue to be in limbo in getting a new Bay Area ballpark for themselves. I believe this can be accomplished without the threat of a lawsuit by the City of San Jose, or by anyone else. The Giants will be adversely impacted if the South Bay Corporate community significantly withdraws their advertising sponsorship with the Giants, and discontinues their purchase of season tickets and club/skybox seating. Until the Giants give the OK for the A’s to move to San Jose, Selig and MLB will continue to accept the status quo.

  10. @llpec,
    It’s not up to the Giants (fact, not an opinion).

  11. I completely agree with this sentiment: If San Jose business leaders want the A’s in San Jose, turn off the spigot of cash to San Francisco.
    Conversely, if East Bay Businesses want the A’s in Oakland, they should stop spending their money in San Francisco and redirect it to the A’s, who are in Oakland right now.

  12. SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter
    THIS JUST IN: ESPN & media reports – Maloof family has agreed to sell Kings to Sacramento group for $535 million.

  13. One can argue that Sac is spending too much money to keep a sports franchise. However, that is a separate question that certainly isn’t specific to Sac. KJ said he would keep the Kings in Sac and would take all necessary action to make it happen. Wow! A politician who actually backed up his rhetoric. Regardless of the question of money, I am in awe of his giant ‘true to his word’ efforts. The LGA people hate to hear this next item but an Oakland champion/mayor akin to KJ several years ago would, likely, already have resulted in their sports teams — at least some of them — being in new homes and safely within the boundaries of Oakland for years to come. Unfortunately KJ has been no where to be found in Oakland politics.

    MLB’s lack of effective decision making is becoming less and less the problem imho. Sure, the NBA just showed it is a much better functioning executive process versus MLB. Yet MLB has been this way for ages. How can that be the problem when it should have been completely expected? Is SJ part of the problem? No. Several SJ Pols have done quite a lot of their due diligence and spent quite a lot of political capital to make this happen. At this point LW is the problem and it’s the A’s that need someone akin to KJ. LW is putting his Lodge membership/MLB before the team. He’s operating like an old school owner versus the business oriented owner of today (see SF Giants for example). The A’s need someone to go to the mat for the SJ stadium, gather all resources, take the gloves off, ‘politic’ the hell out of the lodge, use the media, throw some elbows to make this thing happen. For MLB to ignore the A’s decision for this long, to thumb their nose at LW and SJ, to allow the A’s to continue to play in such an outdated venue….. and yet LW continues to play nice with his MLB “friends”? As of today that is where the real problem is…

  14. @Jeffrey,
    Problem is, the “spigot of cash to San Francisco” coming out of SJ/SV is a complete myth, as polling by the SVLG has already proven. As for Oakland, they’re better off at this point focusing East Bay business revenues (no matter how minuscule) on the Raiders, as the team wants to stay in Oakland and the A’s are as good as gone (long term).
    I think it’s now 100% safe to say…CONGRATS TO SAC!!

  15. @TW,
    I would agree with you IF San Jose had ALL the land at Diridon acquired and cleared for ballpark construction. I would agree with you IF San Jose wasn’t dangling a public referendum in front of MLB, especially if legally one won’t be necessary. I would agree with you IF the phony lawsuit by SFSF was already settled/ruled on. I would agree with you IF the A’s had a place to play for the next 5 years or so (right now technically they don’t).
    Get all this uncertainty out of the way and I’m confident we’d hear the “decision” from Selig/MLB. Again, as much as I’d like to get finality tomorrow, we have until 2018 to see Cisco Field come to fruition. It’s getting harder, but…patience.

  16. @Tony D., If the Giants are not blocking MLB from authorizing the approval for the A’s to move to San Jose, then why have the Giants continued to publicly claim their so called “territorial exclusivity” to the South Bay. If anything, the Giants should show their goodwill to the baseball fans of the Bay Area in much the same way that Walter Haas did more than twenty years ago.

  17. I hope the city of dublin considers the camp park stadium for the Raiders….hey ml any news behind the scenes on that issue

  18. It’s obvious to me that Sacramento has its act together way more than the Bay Area regarding the A’s. I think KJ should get involved and get some investors to expand Railey Field. I’d bet the A’s could be playing in a near packed house in Sactown well before ’18 season.

  19. standfor: I’ll bet there’s enough people in Dublin and surrounding communities who would spend Big $$ on lawyers to fight any proposal to bring the Raiders there. The last mayor of Dublin wanted nothing to do with a Raiders stadium; the jury is still out on what the current mayor thinks.

  20. Tony, as someone who is regularly invited to Corporate events, I can tell you South Bay businesses spend plenty of money at AT&T Park. Several companies that signed the SVLG letter to bring the A’s to San Jose also host events at AT&T Park. If they stopped, and said “We won’t spend another dime at AT&T Park until the A’s are in San Jose” they would make a noticeable dent in the Giants revenue.
    Mind you, AT&T Park is not entirely dependent on the South Bay as the Giants would like folks to believe, but they definitely make money from corporate interests in the South Bay.

  21. The Giants get away with this nonsense because there has been no penalty paid, no backlash. South Bay people still go to the games, a San Jose City councilman even sported an SF Giants cap in the city’s July 4th parade two years ago.

  22. @Jeffrey,
    Point well taken. You didn’t suggest it, but my argument was more geared to those who believe ALL the Giants corporate is generated between Palo Alto and San Jose. I’d imagine there are many East/North Bay corporations who support the Giants as well. The corporate pie of the Bay Area is big enough for both teams.
    The Giants haven’t puffed out their chests with “territorial exclusivity” commentary in over a year. They since have had “no comment” and stated the ultimate decision rests with the commissioner and MLB.
    Props for not responding to those who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

  23. Thanks for the info pjk..I was drivong down 580 West and was noticing all the construction along livermore to Dublin and I thought , this part of the east bay would be cool for a Raider new stadium. Weather and scenary around tjat stadium in heavy superbowl discussion. O well

  24. BTW RM,
    With Cisco selling off the old ballpark site at Pac Commons and land in NSJ, they should have enough funds to bump up the ballpark naming rights to a cool $200 million.

  25. All KJ did was delay the inevitable. The Kings will move and it is only a a matter of time.

    The Sacramento arena is “pie in the sky”. The Downtown Plaza site was deemed not feasible in 2004 and now it is 100M less and feasible in 2013?

    This on top of the fact no California city in hell is going to give a 250M public subsidy to private business without massive lawsuits (2 already have been filed) and a public vote (signatures are being gathered right now).

    It is unbelievable to me the NBA is giving Sacramento another shot when it has failed so many times at a new arena. Natomas, The Rail Yards, Downtown Plaza (again) and Cal Expo just to name a few sites.

    Sacramento is too small market to build privately. The NBA could of rid themselves of a small market and gained a big market in return.

    Utter stupidity….It will show in 2 years when Ranadive files for relocation or sells to Hansen.

  26. @Tony D., Regardless of the fact that the Giants are now publicly remaining mum on the so called “territorial exclusivity” issue, privately the Giants are still holding firm with their ace card. By demanding public silence from both the Giants and the A’s, Selig will be able to perpetuate the status quo, at least for the remainder of his term as commissioner. It seems to appear that Selig is fearful of the possibility of ending his term with the prospect of MLB facing a hefty lawsuit. Unfortunately, the Giants still hold the cards, and Selig continues to be unwilling to break up the deck. To do so would be in the best interests of baseball, and most particularly in the best interests of MLB throughout the Greater Bay Area market.

  27. @llpec,
    Respecfully disagree with your assessment of the situation, but like myself you are more than entitled to your opinion. FWIW, MLB teams can’t litigate against each other per the MLB Constitution; this is a fact, not an opinion.

  28. @Sid

    Seeing as as how you have been proven to be completely, utterly WRONG ON ABSOLUTELY EVERYING YOU’VE SAID ABOUT SACRAMENTO AND THE KINGS, the rest of us can take your latest post, or any future post about the Kings, as cute, quaint, fictional ramblings. 🙂

  29. But just to address some specific points:

    1. 2004 arena study. It’s now 2013, duh! In 04 downtown plaza was still doing okay, and value of the property was still high. Fast forward 8 years, and tenants have been leaving, and Westfield sold off the the property for pittance to JMA. JMA quickly stated desire to develop an arena there, and funded a new study, which showed it to be very viable, and even ideal. In fact, as of Thursday, while the sale of the Kings was finalized, JMA was acquiring last bits of property (Macy’s men’s store at east end of mall). It’s a great site, and it is happening.

    2. Lawsuits – groups filing are still badly underfunded, and still don’t have enough signatures. Plus, every arena/stadium project everywhere in the country faces such lawsuits, and the lawsuits only cause minor delays in 99% of cases.

    3. “Failed” arena projects. Fact – there was never a proposed project for Natomas, only ramblings from Maloofs (which they wanted 100% public financing, of course). Fact – first rail yards proposal was to by 100% tax payer funded, which Maloofs backed out of while they ran stupid Carls Jr commercials flaunting their weath. Fact – second railyards proposal was approved by city and NBA and AEG, but again the Maloofs backed out. Fact – Cal Expo idea was a land swap that State (Cal Expo is owned and operated by the State) backed out of, because there was nothing in it for them. Fact, there is now a viable plan that is approved by city council and agreed to by Randadive group.

    4. Sacramento “too small” market. Sac is 20th largest media market in the nation, and in fact bigger a number of established NBA cities. Sac also has 19 sellout seasons under it’s belt.

    5. Ranadive group filing for relocation or selling in 2 years. Fact – arena deal includes 35 year lease. Ain’t gonna happen. And they’ll being just fine financially after they sell out season after season, renegotiate TV deals, get new arena, and market to India.

  30. I was at Smile Sushi off 2nd st in SJ yesterday and ran into a St Louis Cardinal fan. We began to talk about baseball, and I told him about the ballpark site and how close it was to one of the best restaruants in Downtown. It makes me happy to know that maybe one day I can grab some great Sushi before a game.

    To stand in front of the Ballpark site and just know that It could happen is one of the best feelings as a Baseball fan.

    The weather has been amazing this spring in SJ, and I hope this gets resolved soon so I can get my tix already.

    Go A’s

  31. @JJ,
    keep the faith. It will happen!

  32. Well, I was going to go point-by-point on Sid, but jeff-athletic beat me to it.

    All I can add is that the signature gathering campaign is being led by a “grassroots organization” based in…wait for it…Orange County.

    Do not be surprised if the financial support for this “grassroots organization” suddenly dries up once the sale to Vivek is finalized.

  33. If Stern became the new MLB commissioner the situation would be resolved in six months but it would end with the A’s playing in Oklahoma City.

  34. SierraSpartan, I don’t doubt that outside interests are behind some or even much of the current anti-kings/arena movement. Anyone on this board is well acquainted with the sham of Stand4TheGiants. I think they are still looking for one of the original Stand4TheGiants people that actually lives in SJ. Yet I think you and others are being pie in the sky if you think the anti arena movement will go away that easy – that includes trying to put this to the voters.Sac is putting up some very serious $$$ for the benefit of a private corporate entity. There is a significant group of citizens in every big city who feel this should never! ever! happen. I assume Sac is no different. And they are going to use every tactic to stop it — whether they are financed by outside interests or not. I’m not saying they will succeed since it seems this never does anything but delay the project. But they aren’t going away just because the names on the doors of the big corner offices change. If city charter/law has language that says this thing can go to the voters, the chances of the anti arena forces making that happen are very possible. Outside interests just make it more possible. And I assume KJ et al have some contingency plan for it going to the Sac voters.

  35. The Kings are going to get their new basketball arena.. after all the work KJ went through, they are not going to scoff at the public contribution when asked… Sac will do it.. in fact, I laugh at anti stadium proponets.. all they do is delay but never stop… I do think that sports owners need to be careful when dealing with California pols… because its going to be tough for the Raiders and Chargers to get new stadiums.. they need outta state cities to step up so the NFL,MLB and NBA can get some leverage.

  36. I don’t think the Arena is a slam dunk. I understand that there has been a tremendous push, but I also lived in Sacramento for about 7 years and I know that despite the rabid support there is a sizable contingent of folks within Sacramento that do not want to pay for an arena. They were sizable enough to derail the only public initiative to make a ballot with the Railyards plan. They were aided by the fact that the ballot initiative was hastily put together, not really well defined AND submarined by the ownership group. That said, the public SHOULD vote on this plan. $300M is the mroe likely number that the City of Sacramento will eb contributing to the construction of this arena. A number like that should require a vote of all citizens, not just Kings fans and the City Council.
    I think it’s funny that a lot of people want to say “Opponents only delay construction” when in reality, opponents have stopped construction in many places when they were able to force it to a ballot initiative. It’s happened in San Jose and Sacramento with the Giants and the Kings arena at the Railyards. It has happened in San Francisco with several potential stadium proposals for the Giants and only succeeded by a slim margin when the public contribution was reduced to TIF.
    Make no mistake, I want the Kings in Sacramento. And, I do believe they have a very, very good shot at being there for the next 35 years thanks to the folks that are involved at this point. If there is a ballot initiative to approve the new arena, it has a much better chance of passing just because it doesn’t include the Maloofs as part of the “support.” But, it isn’t a done deal, and the law suits/petitions have plenty of potential to stop the whole thing and send the City back to the drawing board.

  37. Pretty good article but I think that it’s not necessarily the City wants to keep the Raiders more than the A’s. It’s that Raiders ownership is engaging with the city whereas Wolff’s deal right now is “I tried 3.5 years ago and I will not entertain another stadium idea in Oakland”

    KJ went ahead despite the Maloofs’ open disdain for Sac, so Oakland should do the same. I just think that they are going for the low hanging fruit.

    Also FYI I think the series total on the attendance watch is off.

  38. @Vivek: I agree with you; its a lot easier to “work with a team” thats actually willing to work with you. That doesn’t let Oakland officials off the hook, but it helps explain the recent focus on the Raiders and projects like Coliseum City. That being said, MLB and prospective owners have made it clear where they’d prefer a stadium in Oakland, and I don’t believe that’s being lost on relevant ears.
    And, if we’re really going to liken the A’s situation to that of the Kings, one thing I see in common is that the A’s future path would be resolved one way or another within 12 months if the current owners put up the team for sale. That’s not going to happen, City officials in Oakland still have work to do, etc. etc., but right now the owners have the team sitting at a roadblock that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. New owners may be open to other solutions that MLB would actually support.

  39. “MLB and prospective owners have made it clear they want the stadium in Oakland”…really? Can you cite any evidence that collaborates that statement? If that was the case why are we still waiting for MLB to rule on whether or not to allow the A’s to move to SJ–they could have said no a long time ago.

  40. In 4 months Sacto was able to identify a site, begin acquisition, start the EIR, identify a financing plan that provides for 50-60% public funding of arena as well as to identify and secure a new ownership group and receive authorization from the NBA. This was all done without the support of the Kings owners. So similiar situation in Oakland…what have they been able to accomplish…Oakland in 18 years has yet to pin down a site, hasn’t identified how they would pay for site acquisitions if necessary, no EIR started and no idea how they will contribute public dollars needed to make the ballpark happen. Sacto has proven you dont need a willing owner to make things happen…you need committment to make something happen, capable leadership and qualified politicians—something Oakland has lacked and continues to lack

  41. @ML: totally fair point. What’s ironic is, at least from Oakland officials, they are barely even using words in public on the A’s right now. Recall the SOS meeting that Blackwell and Santana attended a few months back; Blackwell’s ‘words’ on the A’s were: “they won’t talk to us.” Likewise on the W’s and their plans for SF, who legally can’t talk to Oakland. So, for better or worse the following 45min were basically spent talking about the Raiders and Coliseum City. That doesn’t excuse the City, but I can’t be shocked when they don’t spend limited time and resources trying to serve up a stadium on a silver platter to Lew Wolff. My point is, if Wolff said tomorrow he was selling the team, and an ownership group stepped forward saying “we want to work with Oakland officials to build a stadium”, a lot more substantive “action” would commence. But right now, the team isn’t for sale, and supposedly never will be, so here we sit. I’m working to implore the City to continue its push for a clear vision for an A’s stadium, but if they’re going to start with a single team to focus on, obviously its going to be the Raiders at this point.

  42. @JH510
    I would love for wolff to step aside like the maloofs did and sell to a new ownership group…I’m afraid that if that happens, Oakland city leaders still will drag theor feet at their portion, so I don’t even want to tick off a new owner for the A’s…look as a Oakland fan lets work on keeping the Raiders first, Warriors second ans A’s third. I don’t like san jose but reality tells me they are the best suited to “adopt” our A’s. Raiders can play at a A’s less Coliseun AMD o think that will help with future negotiations that the ciry of O will be willing to contribute..

  43. @GoA’s: on your second comment, all valid points. The only point I was trying to make was the key difference between the recent development with the Kings and the A’s situation was the owners putting the team up for sale.

  44. @GoA’s – Go back and reread what JH510 wrote: “MLB and prospective owners have made it clear where they’d prefer a stadium in Oakland,”

    It says that MLB has let it be known where in Oakland they would prefer it, not that the prefer Oakland as a location. And if I remember correctly, they would like a waterfront/downtown location. Not Coliseum City.

    With this long of a delay, I think MLB is just playing the two sides. They want Oakland because it doesn’t rock the boat. They don’t want to give up on San Jose because it might be the only place it could actually happen.

  45. @standupforcoliseumcity Aaron —

    A major league ballpark is a much better investment for a city than a football field; it costs less and it is used way more times…8x a year for the Raiders is just not worth it.

    Also they need to kill the basketball part of the Coliseum city plan yesterday. The Warriors’ move to SF is a mere formality. The owners have been pushing for that and the mayor of SF is giving Curry the key to the city tomorrow (must be a first that a team that doesn’t even play in the city gets honored like that, especially after an early-round playoff loss). The Warriors move is done.

    Cut the cost of the arena and the plan becomes slightly more viable.

  46. @vivek,
    I’ll make this easy for you: private financing, corporate $upport, $ponsorships, luxury $uites, club $eats. Add all those together and most likely MLB has already decided it doesn’t have a future in Oakland (not hating, just acknowledging reality). The Raiders on the other hand present a different financing model and don’t require deep-pocket fans, businesses to live within 20 miles of a venue.

  47. BTW,
    Mr. Wolff giving Angels owner Arte Moreno props in the LA Times (letter to the editor). Looks like a case of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” 😉

  48. @TonyD – Again, are you reading what people are writing? Vivek said a baseball stadium is a better investment for a city than a football stadium, because more events means more people spending money.

    At which point did he say that Oakland was the best place for a baseball stadium?

    While I agree with you that SJ is the best place for the long-term health of the A’s, I find your rah-rah-isms to be rather dull, overused, and of late, misplaced.

  49. @LS,
    Point well taken. Perhaps what I was really trying to get across is the reason Oakland is going for the “low hanging fruit” (Raiders) is because they are aware of everything I posted re a privately financed MLB ballpark for the A’s. BTW, don’t apologize for my rah rah ism of San Jose, but where was it mentioned in my post?

  50. Leave tony d alone. He is right. Raiders really need the coliseum to themselves asap….as in 2014,I rather have the A’s move to at&t or raley field and allow the Raiders to keep the coliseum. I wonder to make Oakland and the raiders happy would be to add a roof or some type of teflon sheet over the coliseum…kinda how the vikings did theirs

  51. @JH510- my bad–so I gotta ask you–everyone is making it clear where they want the ballpark in Oakland–so why is the city pushing CC?

  52. @GoA’s: honestly I think the City tried for Coliseum City because conceivably it would account for new facilities for all three Oakland teams, plus allow for additional growth around the site not associated with sports. Even though this is very much “pie in the sky,” this was the prerogative of Oakland’s leadership when they first proposed it, and are now following through on the studies they promised.
    For A’s fans, it should likely be clear that Coliseum City is more appropriate for the Raiders than either of the other two franchises. Personally, I’m hopeful that there is a continued push for a downtown waterfront stadium for the A’s from fans and local business leaders, and optimistic that push will grow in the coming months. Luckily there is flexibility in the Coliseum City concept to account for 3, 2, 1 or zero sports teams. And recent quotes from Oakland’s city officials have made it clear they still believe Howard Terminal is a viable site for the A’s, even with Coliseum City planning underway. And with both these sites already on publicly-owned land, it makes pursuing them that much easier when the time comes, for any team’s facility.

  53. @S4CCA,
    RM has done some previous posts about it, but all that needs to be done to the current Coli is to raze the entire old, bowl section and build new around the current Mt Davis (which is fairly new from the mid-1990’s). Add roofs over Mt. Davis and the new western structure and it would be awesome for Da Raiders!

  54. @JH510: ” The only point I was trying to make was the key difference between the recent development with the Kings and the A’s situation was the owners putting the team up for sale.”

    You’re completely ignoring all the work done beforehand to force the Maloofs to sale: Financing, buyers, city endorsement, NBA backing, etc. Or are you realistically try to say that with new owners, all of this will be moot and a stadium will just magically appear? If so, you need to reread: . Funny thing is that this was back in 2011, and Sacto has its act together, but Oakland still hasn’t….

  55. @Tony d
    Damn that is a preety good idea. Question is….assume there is public and private support to make this new Raider stadium happen. Would it be cheaper to do ur idea eliminate the other 3 non mount Davis sections and rebuild….or just a new stadium is better…again ur a raider fan like I am…I’m trying to gather support in the concord area, and I’m thinking , New Raider Stadium= Superbowl for the east bay.

    This is what the new raider team president needs to consider, when ppl cry about tax dollars for support. I wish mayor quan will tell those ppl to shut it….

  56. @Anon: obviously not “realistically saying” that magic will factor in to building a stadium in Oakland. But that would be great, I’d have gotten my wand out weeks ago. Anyway, just saying I think the options for a new ownership group that is willing to explore options besides San Jose would be more likely to find a path forward for a new stadium for the A’s than the current ownership group will be able to anytime soon. Feel free to disagree, just one man’s take.

  57. @JH510-If people don’t believe that Lew Wolff tried very hard to find a solution in Oakland, well, they can prove him wrong. So far, after however many years, no one has been able to pencil it out.

    I really, really, really don’t want new ownership starting over from the beginning and ending up with the same conclusion, only to take the team outside the Bay Area. Even if there is no good location for them to go to now, that could change in the next five or ten years.

  58. @Jh510 – Again, you try to dodge the real issues and instead lay blame on ol’ Lew. If new ownership came in then what happens? Oakland gets a free stadium, corporate support, and stellar attendance suddenly? It takes much more than new owners to make a plan viable and you can’t just substitue pep rallies, townhall meetings, press releases, and internet pledge “drives” for the groundwork that KJ and Sac did. Do yourself a favor and read the “Adult conversation” post ML did….

  59. @Anon: so I’ll put you down for “disagree” then? Now that you mention it, if a local ownership group did step forward to work with the City of Oakland to privately finance and build a stadium, then yes I absolutely believe attendance would be on par with the Giants and corporate support would be immense. But we disagree on that point, so we’ll move on.
    On an related note, it never ceases to amaze me is how much energy some people take to try and degrade the activities of other cities and fans, on both sides of this debate. In Oakland, obviously pep rallies and “drives” aren’t a substitute for the real action that needs happen to build a stadium, but we don’t pretend they do. Rather, we’re using the tools we have as citizens to support what we think is a worthy cause and asking those in power to act, while also showing our pride in our team. Likewise, any in Oakland who think simply bashing San Jose is going to achieve anything are completely delusional. So, for those who choose to spend their energy simply trying to belittle anything that happens in either city in some misguided attempt to make their own cause look better, knock yourself out. But its too bad those same people won’t spend the same amount of time showing off the positives of your own city, its leaders and its local fans.
    Ok, rant over, soapbox put away (until the next post at least 😉 ). Meanwhile, anyone see the A’s tonight? They had a nice little win down in Texas.

  60. @Jh510
    dude you ignored Anon STATEMENT….if a new owner tommoorw buys the A’s… do you really expect everything from new stadium advertising and all that for FREE???

    You do need to read ML post the adult conversation.. but i dont think you will..this is the backlash you get from the more delusional Oakland supporter brtethen amongst us…Quan, Dobbins and all the rest really get upset when you ask the adult question… infact jh510..this is why i think u and i know that Oakland teams are going to leave and i feel there just is not enough east bay love and support for the last days of the east bay teams… sad to say it but its a 49ers, Giants and Warriors bay area market now..(even east bay fans are starting to swtich) and those are the only organizations that are getting EVERYTHING….

    THIS can be stopped, if A’s and Raiders can start winning and we get more political, private and public support. The three ps. but if not.. i understand as an adult that this is business… and i love the Raiders and A’s and if they have to leave Oakland to survive then so be it… but it will all be on us , when we tell our kids, that there a no east bay teams because we didnt do our part… cant blame owners forever.

  61. Oakland is going to get reamed. The Warriors will leave, the A’s will leave, and then they’ll bend over so that they don’t lose the Raiders.

  62. @ JH510 – thanks for deflecting the issue again and trying to turn your attention to those who question the facts about the situation. It is quite telling how much in touch with reality you are, grass roots pom poms or not. It’s no wonder no one in Oakland is making parallels to the Sacto situation since they actually did their homework and aced it on all fronts, with a proven leader in KJ, citizen action and support. When you’re ready for the adult conversation, let us know because us realists will be here to question the viability of each side whether it is in Oakland, San Jose, or even Fremont. Then again, maybe I should make a website for that?

  63. You guys should lay off JH510. He’s at least contributing to the broader public discussion by running Oakland Fan Pledge. That’s a real part of the adult conversation I’ve alluded to in the past.

  64. @ML: thanks for the continued plugs of our site, we appreciate it, and appreciate the chance to link to fans.
    @Anon: maybe you’re right, my continued grassroots pom-poming in Oakland will result in nothing and I just have blinders on to the real issues. I’m doing my best to address what I see as the key issues for the A’s, and obviously my attempts at discussing them are not coming across through a message board. But that’s fine, I just appreciate having this forum to have make attempts at a worthwhile debate. If you want to poke fun at my efforts, have at it.
    Overall, the only point I was trying to make through my most recent comments, which was not somehow giving Oakland officials a “free pass” (which some seem to think anyone who want the A’s to remain in Oakland is doing) but rather specific to sites like this and A’s fans who follow it, in simply hoping people here can be proponents for solutions they think will work, rather than simply being opponents to those they think won’t. Clearly this is a “Coliseum City” caliber aspiration (i.e. its not gonna happen), but I just don’t see any progress when people contribute here. You don’t think “pep rallies” and “public comments” to electeds are achieving anything in Oakland? Fine. But until a conclusion to this situation is reached, those “community efforts” are going to continue in Oakland, right along every other effort those of us in Oakland are making to have the right people in power take real action (and yes, we’re actually doing more than just holding hands, believe it or not!).
    Bottom line, personally I don’t think its relevant or productive to see how loud you can yell “stop” in forums like this, its where you bring something that actually shows a way we can go forward after years of absolutely nothing changing.

  65. @Anon: I almost forgot, you should put something up on that phantom website you link to, Seriously, even just a single webpage with a bulleted list of steps you think Oakland officials should take to help find a solution for the A’s, especially from a “realist’s perspective,” would be more productive than anything I’ve seen on this message board.

  66. @ JH510 – I had a better website before called, do you think I should promote that instead? YOu do realize a while back ago, I outlined a 5 step outline of what Oakland should be doing, right (I’ll try to dig it up again). But in general, you still haven’t addressed the big issues: corporate sponsorship, political will, citizen support, land, EIRs, costs, etc. These questions are much more productive then your continued stance: A’s owner sucks and is to blame for everything from bad attendance, losing, the recession, and making kittens cry.

  67. People who conduct themselves like that should not be tasked with any form of problem solving IMFAO.

  68. Here you go JH510 (posted late 2011 or so):

    What the Oakland should do to keep the A’s (and what pro-Oaklanders can do about it) – by an A’s fan (me):
    #1 – Stop with the penis envy: You are not as popular as SF, you do not have the corporate support as SJ. Recognize this first of all as this drives all other decision making.
    #2 – Seek public support: And not to just a small minority of A’s fan, but to the greater population at hand. State history, marketing opportunities, etc. The economic impact report was a good start. Take it and run with it through the entire city, county, and east bay region populace.
    # 3 – Be open and transparent – If you are going to require public funding, state as such. If you haven’t started the EIR because of x,y,z reasons be open about it. It may be not be politically correct to sensationalize an A’s hearing, proclaim an EIR afterwards, only to see it fizzle or in limbo, but it is the right thing to do for your constituents. If your plan revolves around private financing as well, state so. Are you there to serve the public or to serve your own career gains?
    # 4 – Reconciliation with the A’s owner – Sure, you think LW is a carpetbagger or needs to spend his own damn money on the stadium, but threatening with lawsuits and / or coliseum lease holdback isn’t going to make matters better. Perceptions of secret deals with MLB also won’t get you anywhere when the final say in the matter is with the owner himself. It is a business deal, so act professionally and business like, even if you think Haas would turn over in his grave if he knew the situation.
    # 5 – Present the business ramifications for the A’s to stay. Discuss a possible joint venture with the Raiders, however feasible it may or may not be. Keeping in mind #1, entice the owners with attractive lease rates ($1 / year), guaranteed 20k seats for x number of years, or showcase a Santana Row East Bay Entertainment hub with development rights granted. Get signatures out in public supporting Oakland.
    A call to arms for Pro-Oaklanders:
    – Demand more government transparency from financial impact to city funds, EIR process,etc. Write to your district rep / mayor / etc. everyday seeking answers
    – Take the enthusiasm and emotions to the public with fundraisers events, sellout a day exclusively for pro-Oakland folks, organize petitions for referendum on public ballpark funding, etc.
    – Stop with the nonsense namecalling, put downs, comparisons, etc. Emotions are great, but when projected negatively usually has the opposite impact intended. State the case for Oakland and not “why others don’t deserve it”.
    – Drive up the Coliseum attendance. Yes, this goes against the very backbone of your hatred for LW, but if you have already accepted that LW doesn’t want or care about Oakland, then you are in fact not supporting Mr. “Oil slick”, but instead making the case for Oakland itself. Showing business that they made a wrong decision leaving by presenting monetary loss is much more of a statement then continually berating the owners and the team itself. You show 22K average attendance in an antiquated venue like the Coliseum due to the phenomenal support of the Oakland/East Bay community, and I’m sure both LW and the corporations surrounding will listen much more profoundly then libeling and slandering with banners and columns. Go out with a fight. If LW still chooses other cities in the face of the overwhelming support then it only reinforces your notion that he had made up his mind a while ago and you tried his best. Feel free to go “carpetbagger” loco on him…

  69. @Anon: I like the site name better, its more to the point. I hadn’t realized you put together that 5-point list, please pass it along (you can also just email it to us: We’re always interested in different takes on what Oakland officials should be focusing on.
    To your second point about the big picture issues, I totally agree with you those are the key aspects of what it will take for Oakland to keep the A’s. City leader’s past efforts have been obviously lackluster, and I and others are working to urge they take action on all of them in meaningful ways. To try and address all of them in their necessary depth here isn’t appropriate, but again feel free to email if you’d like to discuss. I think you and I disagree on the East Bay’s potential regarding things like corporate sponsorship and citizen support, among others, but that’s to be expected in debates like this.
    Overall, I hope my “stance” is more than simply that the “A’s owner sucks” which I don’t think I’ve actually ever said. I will concede I absolutely lay blame at the feet of the A’s current owners for the low attendance at the O.Co Coliseum: its an outdated facility that needs to be replaced to secure higher attendance, and it hasn’t happened. I’ve never blamed the ownership for losing, but rather have been pleased to see that, in fact, the A’s can win in Oakland. And finally, I blame the recession and kitten tears on the Giants and the Angels, respectively.

  70. @Anon: fantastic, just saw your list, great stuff. Its amazing to see how when it boils down to it, we agree on a lot of the key issues Oakland is dealing with, once we get beyond puffing out our chests. I’m also excited because we’re actively addressing pretty much every issue you mention (although #4 may be a stretch right now, since its a two-way street). If you’d like to talk more about how we’re working on these issues with a number of groups and leaders in Oakland and the larger Bay Area, email us and we’ll be happy to talk about how you can contribute.

  71. @Anon – While you have your right to disagree with JH510’s stance, I respectfully think you’re over exaggerating his bias. Where has JH510 explicitly said that “ownership sucks” and been extreme in his rhetoric? I think JH510 has been fairly moderate and analytic given his pro-Oakland leanings compared to the usual trollish comments we see here on the boards from both sides.

    I also think it’s somewhat unfair to fault fans like him who’ve given an honest contribution towards getting a solution in either Oakland or SJ for not having all the answers to “corporate sponsorship, political will, citizen support, land, EIRs, costs, etc.” As fans, at least they’ve put in work to pressure the powers that be who are SUPPOSED to be the ones responsible for providing those answers.

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