After Tuesday’s Game 2 of the Bay Bridge Series, CBS Sports national baseball writer Jon Heyman jostled the hornets nest that is the Oakland faithful with this tweet:
A shame the a’s and giants have to play these games at the coliseum while ATandT sits empty. #shame
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 29, 2013
That brought a furious wave of replies, including some by current A’s players such as reliever Sean Doolittle.
“@jonheymancbs: shame [they] have to play at the coliseum” I can see why you don’t like it. We have a strict No High Horse policy at O.Co…
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 29, 2013
@whatwoulddoodo i thought your team has been begging to get out for years. am i wrong?
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 29, 2013
@jonheymancbs All I know is (when full) the O.co is one of the best atmospheres in MLB. Outdated? Yes. But fans make up for it & we love
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 29, 2013
Of course, numerous fans came to the defense of the Coliseum, citing certain sightlines that are better than at AT&T Park (only a few) and the more raucous crowd. I tried to sum up the general sentiment with this tweet:
The Oakland Coliseum: It may be a dump, but it’s our dump and we will defend every last crumbling inch of it. @jonheymancbs #Athletics
— newballpark (@newballpark) May 29, 2013
Now let’s set the table for the discussion to follow. This is Newballpark.org, after all.
- The Coliseum is, in fact, outdated and a replacement is needed for the long-term viability and competitiveness of the franchise.
- The long-time, hardcore fanbase has stayed loyal thanks to not being priced out of attending games, despite ownership’s general indifference towards them.
- Attracting casual fans to games is difficult unless the team is playing extremely well (sometimes) or the opponent is a good draw (Yankees, Giants, Red Sox).
- The experience of attending a game is not luxurious in the slightest, but it can be very energetic and entertaining.
- Fans debating about the future of the Athletics mostly squabble over the site of the next A’s home, whether it’s in Oakland, San Jose, or elsewhere in the Bay Area.
Heyman’s uninformed opinion is sadly reflective of much of the East Coast (Northeast) media, which still holds onto the notion that in the Bay Area, San Francisco is “The City” and everything else is a satellite orbiting around it.
Nevermind that Oakland has undergone significant upheaval over the last several decades, or that San Jose has grown to become larger than SF. San Jose remains sleepy and banal, Oakland dangerous and difficult. It takes more than a generation or two to shake a reputation, especially when there are forces at work to maintain certain aspects of that rep (crime, politics, growth policies).
A look back at Frank Deford’s 1968 Sports Illustrated article shows that things haven’t changed that much in terms of perception from the outside. It was during that era that the other Bay Area cities started to puff out their own chests and brandish their own civic pride. That pride led to Bob Nahas getting the Coliseum complex built. It also fomented a backlash against SF, according to late Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli:
“Now, everybody’s thinking is reversed. People feel they must swallow local pride to come to San Francisco. Or they’re indignant. You know, ‘Why the hell should I have to go to San Francisco?’ People come from halfway around the world, breathless, to get to San Francisco, and the people around here are annoyed if they have to go 15 minutes.”
After 45 years, much of the country and the world doesn’t know about this, and more importantly, they don’t care. New York and Chicago have had more than a century to build rivalries among boroughs or along north-south divides, and there’s plenty of documented historical support to back them. Allowing the Warriors and Seals to carry the generic “California” or “Golden State” monikers only steeled Oakland’s collective resolve. Defenders of cities can scream to the high heavens about their town being disrespected. Most casual observers have little empathy when other issues take greater import. Outsiders don’t know that these days, the only true satellites of SF are the Peninsula and Marin County.
Yet the lion’s share of tourist attractions and cultural resources remain in SF. Since the 60’s Silicon Valley become America’s (and the world’s) tech capital, and Napa Valley became the American focal point of the wine industry. Tract homes replaced farms and fields. Ever-growing freeway systems and disorganized public transit systems were built to meet citizens’ needs.
During the decade from 1972 to 1981, Oakland teams won six championships: 3 by the A’s, 2 by the Raiders, and 1 by the Warriors. None really changed much for Oakland as a city, though it did solidify the teams’ fanbases to various degrees. Even when Al Davis took the Raiders to LA, Oakland officials plotted for years to lure him back – and they eventually did.
Oakland has garnered exactly one title since Al left and none since he returned. If the point of having teams winning championships is to build civic pride, the luck hasn’t been on Oakland’s side. Is there anything that can be done to correct long-held misconceptions? Probably not – at least not immediately. Civic leaders can try to build a ballpark or arena downtown, and most have used forms of redevelopment to remake rundown parts of their cities, often with mixed results. Sure, there’s a nice ballpark in Cleveland, but it’s still in Cleveland. The new ballpark in Miami has done little to change the prevailing notion that it isn’t a baseball town. Phoenix has both a ballpark and arena, but outside of events at those venues people would rather go to Scottsdale.
Al Davis, in the 60’s light years ahead of his peers and others in terms of strategizing football, proved sagelike when it came to thinking about cities in the Deford article.
“Haven’t we passed the point of who is Oakland and what is Oakland?” he asks. “Too many people are still living on local color. They can’t see past the Golden Gate. They keep telling me: ‘Hey, we showed those 49ers.’ I have to say, ‘Look, can we show Green Bay? They’re the epitome of football. Green Bay, not San Francisco.’ “
Then again, what happens when the champion IS San Francisco?
P.S. As for the Coliseum, I figure I’ve written about it ceaselessly for 8 years. The issue is really up to MLB at this point. Does the Lodge want to force “progress” via a new ballpark that will inevitably price out many of the fans who currently are a big part of the A’s image? Is the status quo fine for now until whatever form progress takes is fully formed? And who will foot the bill for the Coliseum’s replacement? The bitter truth is that MLB doesn’t care much for the $12 fan, preferring to kick them to the upper deck corners where The Lodge thinks they belong. If someone protests, The Lodge can simply point out that the A’s pull in $30+ million a year in welfare and that Oakland fans should be grateful they still have a team within city limits. Progress, however it comes, will satisfy some and alienate just as many. Unreserved bleachers will become $20 reserved seats. Tailgating opportunities will be reduced. Section 317 will be much higher. At the same time there will be myriad improvements. A beautiful field throughout the whole season. Less foul territory (the most spun thing among A’s fans ever). Facilities that will make marquee players want to stay or sign as free agents. Functional scoreboards. Better food on the concourses. I have seen these things, I have experienced them, and they are good. In the end, it’s as much a choice for fans as it is for MLB. If we’re priced out of the seats that we currently have, how do we react? Do we swallow the higher prices? Go to fewer games? Pick worse sections? There is a price for all cities to be major league. In one way or another, everyone pays for it.
Good point, Even though the current ballpark is outdated I still love going to games in Oakland.
The fanbase is unlike anywhere else but we as fans do deserve to see our team in a new place no matter where it is.
Its going to change everything in the Bay when it happens
I wish the Bay Area media was more critical of the substandard condition of the Coliseum as the sports media seems to be recognizing in other parts of the country. Everyone knows that the Coliseum is badly outdated, but the vast majority of the Bay Area media is applying their coverage in a counterproductive way. The Bay Area media has done this by backing the local forces that are blocking the effort to getting the most logical solution for a new and successfully built Bay Area ballpark for the A’s.
llpec hit the point pretty well dead on. The Bay Area media has been an enabler of the Lodge’s stance on the A’s. Repeated reporting on the issue in a honest and direct way would help create a semi-critical mass (at least to some degree) that would heavily lean on the Lodge to make/take an actual position/decision. It could mean SJ, it could mean something must be done in Oakland, it could mean the A’s leave the Bay Area, it could mean the A’s change ownership. Unfortunately, as many should plainly see, the reporting has been sparse (ML the exception) and mostly full of inaccurate, self serving, biased crap. A cynic would say that owners of the Giants and owners of the media outlets seem to be too cozy.
Most of the people in the Bay Area are clueless on the A’s stadium quandary. The average bay area citizen probably thinks “The A’s? Hey if they want to move to San Jose, go ahead. Nothing is stopping them”. They are uninformed and the media has done little to change that/report this extremely newsworthy issue. An issue intimately involving the Giants, the A’s. MLB, Anti Trust business/history, phony public groups backed by the Giants, City of Oakland’s lack of tangible effort and complete lack of desire to use any of public funds, City of Oakland’s tangible efforts to aid other franchises, bad blood between LW and Oakland, City of San Jose efforts over some years and desire to use public money in a state/area that frowns on that, baseball history, irony of the Giants trying to move to SCC and how that affects the A’/Giants today, how Oakland is adversely affected and unaffected by a move plus how it affects their other sports teams, how a sports team does and does not benefit a city, extremely rich guys sitting around a $100,000 conference room table playing the wobbly god over Oakland and San Jose……this intricate and interesting story gets what coverage from the Bay Area media?? Compare and contrast the Sac media with the Kings. Sure as Sh!+ if the media put this front and center it would help motivate this round table of silver spoon automatons to make a decision. It may not be one that some of us want but it would be a decision. IMHO it is a combination of what happens when media and money become too closely neighbored, an uninformed public, the media’s general decay into positional advocacy instead of reporting.
Lastly, on a another point, I completely understand the view about what happens to ‘almost free’ Wednesday’s and the evaporation of very affordable and available seats when the new stadium goes up. No doubt a new stadium will mean the death of the ultra affordable MLB game in the bay area. Yet it reminds me of the old guy telling stories of his childhood …. where he would walk a mile in the snow in his bare feet to go see a movie for a nickel….and that included a 55 gallon drum of popcorn! “And we liked it that way!”. Yet the reality of pro sports and the huge $$$ surrounding it, and that it still exists cheaply in one of the richest and most expensive areas on earth is a wonder. And it is a wonder that is going to cease to exist sooner rather than later. No amount of reminiscing, how unfair or unseemly it is, how good it was for the fans who enjoyed it will alter that inevitable conclusion.
worst case scenario has always been wolff and or his son just getting fed up with the process and selling the team to an outside ownership group that would move them out of the bay area.
i wonder THEN what the bay area media who lets face it is in the figurative back pockets and mouth piece of the midgets org in this area and for the most part is dead set on the a’s staying in oakland would say/write if the a’s were to move. i’d guess they would continue to blame wolff saying he himself should’ve spent his own money on a 500 million dollar venue somewhere in oakland even though financially it wouldn’t make sense.
like they NEVER mention that the bay area is the only two team market that has these stupid territorial rights issue and really any other team in one of the 3 two team markets could basically move right next door to each other while the a’s are trying to move 35-40 miles south away and are blocked.
what a crock of shit this whole situation is.
in the end i do think and have always thought even during the darkest days that the a’s will move to sj eventually but this whole process has been a complete joke.
It’s not the job of bay area sports media to drum up support for a new stadium for the A’s
@Tim – It’s isn’t their job, but they sure did it for the Giants when the time came.
The Bay Area media’s primary objective is to keep San Francisco as the main city in the region, even if it means throwing Oakland AND San Jose under the bus. Hence the outrage over the A’s wanting to move to SJ and the lack of outrage over the Warriors move to SF. Heck, they would have been crying to if the Niners weren’t staying “SF” with their move to the South Bay. Pretty pathetic the traditional Bay Area media.
I wish some of you could read the latest SV Biz Journal with Wolff. It would really put your minds at ease over the A’s future here in the Bay.
The job of the media is to give a fair and honest accounting of events. There are many sides to the A’s stadium hunt that have not been fairly represented in the media. As a not so impartial observer, I can say that it is clear the media presents the Giants side of any disagreement without fail. While the opinion columnist are 100% willing to question the honesty and integrity of Lew Wolff (which is fine, they should be skeptical. It is their job to be skeptical), they do no such thing when it comes to the Giants. “Oh, Larry Baer just said he knows the A’s will always be int eh Bay Area, that must be the case.”
Once I see someone like Monte Poole come out and and question the Giants motivation for wanting to block San Jose, to actually admit that the Giants reasons and Monte’s reason are not the same, I’d change my tune about this.
And it isn’t just Monte Poole. He just an example.
The Giants actions show what they want: the Bay Area all to themselves. It’d be nice to see one of the local fish wrap writers point this out, rather than be sycophantic asshats. That’s Baseball Oakland’s (and Baseball San Jose’s) job.
Ultimately the representation of the A’s situation comes down to the fans. It’s important to keep in mind that the fan that visit this site are just a small fragment of the millions of A’s fans. I’m still shocked to hear that fans are either unaware or ambivalent about the A’s ballpark situation. If there was a demanding audience, Bay Area would be approaching this situation from more angles. The simple tragic fact is, there simply aren’t enough hardcore A’s fans to make enough noise. If a million fans met up in DT Oakland demanding an answer, there would be more MLB transparency.
To my mind, people aren’t outraged about the A’s situation because the Bay Area media has done a crap job of informing the public about it.
Here we are, eight years in and I can’t remember the last time I read something new or interesting on the topic that didn’t come from this site.
The clueless Bay Area media thinks a privately built stadium in Oakland is as feasible in Oakland as it is in San Jose. All that’s needed is another warmhearted owner like Wally Haas, who is willing to lose millions and doesn’t care about return on investment. (So far, no takers.) The East Bay-Frisco media does not want the A’s going to San Jose under any circumstances and is looking the other way the 49ers move because the Frisco name will still be attached to the franchise. It will be no problem pretending the stadium is in Frisco, just like how the mainstream media still pretends the Giants and Jets play in New York, not New Jersey.
sorry about the extra “in Oakland” typo. we need a call-back, re-edit function like espn.com has.
@Briggs–my assessment is that the A’s fans want a new ballpark and want it in a location that can sustain the financial requirements of MLB today. I don’t feel that they are indifferent–just baffled and tired of MLB’s lack of interest in resolving the stalemate. The media in the bay area loves to report on the vocal minority of A’s fans who are diehard Oakland only as if they represent the entire fanbase. This is the same media that chooses to ignore that a W’s move to SF will most likley price out of the market most of the fans who contribute to sell out after sell out at Oracle–an arena that is still in damn good shape having been redone 15 years ago. Why isn’t the media discussing the logic of this move from a fans perspective who will have to payoff the $1B in construction costs in their PSL’s and STH costs? Bottom line is that the media would be silenced here and we could move on if MLB resolved the TR issue with SJ–until that happens we will be in this continuing swirl of media misinformation.
The real story is hidden from the media hacks, and from us. Confidentially, mlb is brokering a deal between the A’s and the Giants–how much will the A’s pay, and over what time period. The A’s probably want a revenue-sharing break, too. If so, they’re in no hurry to open a new stadium in San Jose until the current CBA runs out. (As I’ve noted before, the moment a new A’s stadium opens–anywhere–under the current CBA the A’s immediately switch from being a rev-sharing receiver to being a revenue-sharing payor. The price of being in a “major market.”)
The A’s negotiations to extend the Oakland lease are consistent with this long view. So the move to San Jose probably will happen, but not for another 4-5 years. Wolff/Fisher are now as complicit in the delay as anyone else, imo.
There has been plenty of coverage about the A’s situation in print/online news. The only reason why there’s any information at all is because of these services. The issue is people aren’t responding to the articles about the A’s situation in any meaningful way besides the hardcore fans, which as I said early, there aren’t enough of.
It’s a waste of time to blame the media. First off, “the media” is a really vague term that quickly fragments the more you try to define it. The buck doesn’t stop with their supposed bias/lack of coverage. The buck stops with us, the fans. We supply the money that runs their machine. We are the bottom line.
This paranoia about the media bias towards the A’s, Oakland, San Jose, Warriors-to-SF, Niners-to-SantaClara, etc. is just that. Paranoia… and it’s standing in the way of seeing the big picture.
I wish SJ would have it’s own media market.. I believe Balt/ wash are different media markets and they’re closer to each other than SJ/ SF bay.. Maybe team with with the Monterey/ salinas to Create a SJ/Monterey/Santa Cruz market… I know just dreaming…
It’s not paranoia to point out that the media (I specifically called out an individual, and I could list several more and have over the time here. It is the sports columnists, really, which I suppose lines up with your “fragments” thought… Not the entire “media”) has been significantly more demanding of Lew Wolff than other franchise owners in their skepticism of motivations.
These people are not above reproach and pointing out their ridiculous lack of objectivity on the subject is not paranoia. Take this from someone who has had long detailed discussions with a few of them from different outlets. They are horribly unobjective about the A’s situation specifically. They will admit as much directly to you, and if you don’t think that has an impact on where and how the buck stops, I’d say you are naive more than anyone who is questioning them is paranoid.
@ Jeffrey: Really? The response to Jon Heyman has gotten much more coverage the his initial tweet. He threw out flame bait and people bit. The buck stops with fans and whether they care enough to voice up or not. The issues stunting overall fan response is diffusion of responsibility that stems from a lack of cohesion.
Selig letting Loria pimp Miami is going to make things difficult for every other team going forward.
@Jeffrey – columnists get to weave opinion into their articles. You can’t expect any of them to be objective, like a reporter of “hard news”. Purdy is Pro-SJ and Poole is Pro-Oakland.
Reading some of the tweets on the sidebar, I think an analogy is in store on how A’s players really feel about the Coliseum: When I was in high school I drove a jalopy of a 4-door, late 70’s Oldsmobile cutlass. I “loved” that car and would defend it strongly when friends and family would “cap” on it (it always made for a good laugh and took roughly 5 minutes to get to 55 mph on 101). But did I want a new car? Hell yeah I did! And did backflips the day I got a brand new 88 Accord hatchback. Morale of the story: I don’t think there’s one A’s player who doesn’t want to play in a new ballpark, but dont like others talking shit about the current yard.
David – Corrected for you: “Purdy is Pro-Facts and Poole is Pro-Emotions.”
Good story about the E.Coli-seum and A’s fans:
My feeling is that most of the sportswriters are liberal politically, especially the Cal grads — even more liberal than political writers, if you’ve seen some of their tweets — and believe blue-collar Oakland deserves a team and some rich guy should subsidize it without regard to economics the way Haas did. There may be worlds where that happens– European soccer, to some extent — but MLB isn’t one of them.
The giants organization has done an excellent b.s. job, with the help of the media, in creating a false image that the Giants have always been the favorite bay area team. In ’92, the giants were an obscure, average team – the A’s were (except for SF) the bay area favorite – likely in San Jose also.
Sometimes, you hear stats that the A’s outdrew the giants 7 out of 10 years in the 80’s and 90’s – it was actually more dominant than that. At the time when the giants were sold to the Tampa Bay owners group, the A’s had outdrawn the giants in several consecutive years, by significant margins also, in some years by 1,000,000 fans or more. Even the SF police chief cracked a joke about the giants at that time. When a reporter asked the SF Police chief about the safety of attending night games at the ‘stick, he said “go to A’s games, it’s safer”. When the giants were sold to the Tampa Bay group, no one cared locally if the team left for Tampa, it wasn’t even a big news item then.
The giants have created much of this problem with their b.s. spin stories, claiming that the giants have always been the bay area favorite and the A’s the ugly ducking franchise, and many local media side with them – unlike when the giants were sold to the Tampa Bay owners, when no one really cared about the giants, even the media.
Heyman is an idiot, these comments are not surprising. Nice of him to spout off and comment without any relevant knowledge of the situation.
I do not believe it is liberal media that is responsible for the A’s situation ( even further Left-Wing than Oakland is Berkeley and the Bears got a refurbished Stadium). Why did they succeed? Because the University President had the guts to take on the various pressure groups and got it done, it was so successful, that the biggest Stadium critics are not saying word 1. The disgrace is places without the History and Tradition of the A’s are getting ( or will get) before the A’s. examples include: Baylor, Minnesota Vikings, University of Houston, Tulane, Atlanta Falcons ( no titles and not needed like the Coliseum), Nebraska and DePaul Hoops and last but not least, Sacramento for the Kings. The Cubs and Red Wings are apparently next (along with a $175m skating facility and a USTA Tennis Facility upgrade in New York, and plans are underway for soccer Stadiums in New York & Washington DC and even a new Football Stadium at Colorado State University. But in the meanwhile, the A’s and to a lesser extent the Raiders must continue to wait things out. The nightmare scenario for Oakland sports fans is coming closer to fruition: The Chargers stay in San Diego, this frees LA for the Raiders, the Warriors fo SF, Selig retires ( thus dealing with a new Comissioner, starting the process all over again), and Quan and Brown are re-elected, laving the A’s in purgatory at the Coliseum or out of the Bay Area. If the A’s want better they need to fight for it, keep in mind, the Giants will fight to either conquer the entire Bay Area ( or at worst, marginalized the A’s further) tooth and nail, they need to do the same.
And they will fight for it.
We can all speculate whats goin on behind the scenes, but just take a look at how things are beginning to shift in bay-area baseball. The Giants may be the trendier team, but the Athletics have more passion and drive, the proof is on the field. The A’s are the underdog right now that only the true fans like us care about. That’s the best part about being a fan of the A’s! NOBODY CARES!
But when our yard is built we will all witness how sweet it is to see our team play in a place they deserve.
I think SJ is coming, and the best part is: NOBODY CARES!
I wonder what kind of city Oakland.will.be like without sports. Would the city still have to pay off the moubt Davis debt even tho all the teams left??? How much would the warriors and A’s have to pay Oakland for leaving???
Losing three sports teams would have such a negative intrinsic value on the image of Oakland it cannot be properly calculated. Two things to keep in mind going forward. 1: The current low Interest Rate environment making the financing of such projects much cheaper. 2: Organizations such as the NFL are tax exempt so when they loan money to help build facilities the rate teams pay is much cheaper ( Atlanta just got $200m towards construction of their new Stadium.). Any change in either the Interest Rates or Tax Codes will have a negative impact on Stadium construction ( liberals and conservatives alike want to change the code in the “name of fairness” so one day I can see it happening). People who are proactive like Kevin Johnson in Sacramento know the importance of keeping the Kings and getting a new building.. The opposite is true of Jean Quan who may go down as the worst Mayor in US History if all three teams leave ( and Mount Davis Bonds are still being paid off).Of course, she is such a left-wing elitist whose head is so far up her you know what, she cannot see the possibliity of no Raiders, Warriors or A’s, and the practical and psychological impact it will have on the City.
ml what do u think will happen to Quan legacy if all 3 teams leave???
@stand – It would add to her legacy as a terrible mayor. It would also pale in comparison to other missteps she has made.
The Selig legacy won’t be great either. Using other pro sports for example – (the NBA Kings, not considered a valuable NBA franchise, worth $600 mil.?) the NHL is discussing expansion, the NFL is successful. Meanwhile the MLB expansion to Florida appears to be a bad error (the Marlins, with their new publicly funded ballmark are a disaster) Several MLB clubs have copied the Giants style, big dimension, pitcher friendly, low offense ballparks, San Diego, NY Mets, Seattle, Minnesota, KC, Miami – all have built the pitcher friendly ballparks and all are playing poorly and struggling with attendance.
Meanwhile, the A’s clearly need a new stadium, Selig has mentioned that fact for several years, and Selig has done nothing yet. Also, the A’s new ballpark needs to follow the example of the high scoring, HR friendly bandbox ballparks of the Yankees, Bosox, Phillies, Texas, etc. these teams are all successful, fill up their stadiums on a regular basis, and enjoy lucrative television deals. The A’s should not copy the giants big-dimension ballpark – it clearly is, generally speaking, not a successful model.
Selig has been better than Quan. Long term labor peace and strong drug testing, are certainly positives, so are getting the Montreal Expos out and replaced by the Washington Nationals. His legacy with the Florida teams and the A’s are not. You can give him a “B” Minus overall grade. Quan would get an “F” Minus if there was such a grade ( she makes Ronald Dellumns look like Ronald Reagan). She is the knd of person who who if she had her way, she would sell
naming rights to the Bay Bridge to the City of San Francisco and take the money and give it to the Teacher’s Union, maybe when all three teams leave, she will wake up, but that would require a miracle.
well when cisco field is built it looks like it should be a offensive friendly park. we won’t know for sure, remember early on at&t opening series with the dodgers in 2000 people were “fearing” that it was a bandbox and it was completely the opposite. but cisco field with the small dimensions especially to rf and the much warmer weather than what frisco and oakland has, the ball should carry a lot more compared to those two parks and maybe even the other west coast parks that have to deal with that cold heavy air at night.
Somewhere Don Perata is laughing his ass off. “Ranked choice voting! LOL!!”
Thank u ml. The only hope I givd Oakland is the Raiders ml.
I do have a lil insoder info on saveoaklandsports…..Quan had to lose some of her friends in order to get enough pro stadium pols in her corner to get something ready for the raiders at the end of the year…that’s all I can say..
still don’t know if it makes sense to build two billion dollar nfl venues in the same area but agreed the raiders are the best hope the city of oakland has in keeping a pro sports franchise.
@ Larry – Up until about the late 1990’s, San Jose was part of the Monterey-Salinas DMA for television purposes. Some of you SanJo old skoolers may remember GillCable blocking out ABC network transmissions on KGO and requiring people to watch ABC on KNTV because of local market must-carry rules. For some reason, GillCable did not do this with KSBW in favor of KRON. When KNTV was sold to NBC, San Jose was moved to the SFO-OAK media market. When KNTV’s transmitter was moved from Loma Prieta to Mount San Bruno, that sealed SJ’s fate inside the SFO-OAK TV market.
Anybody trying to draw comparisons between the Giants attendance at Candlestick and the Athletics attendance at that time are forgetting one key point – “Candlestick.” When you want to talk about the media bashing a place, take a moment and go back and see what the media was saying about Candlestick back in the day – especially for baseball – and how that facility’s location, lack of amenities, and generally crappy baseball climate was holding down a certain team’s attendance. Now, those same issues are being brought to the fore with the Coliseum – bad location, lack of “modern” amenities, bad climate with the heavy air, which may be keeping free agents from signing on.
And yet, this season the fans have been coming out in numbers slightly improved from that of last year, but still only averaging a hair over 20K per game. And in the Attendance Watch it still won’t matter a hill of beans because the Phone Booth is still going to get its customary 40K per game this season.
I want the situation to work out. Being a San Jose guy, I’d like the A’s to end up in San Jose. And yes, I am a Giants fan (don’t shoot the messenger!) and I think the territorial rights issue is 100% unadulterated bullcrap. All they have to do is to add San Benito, Solano, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa counties to the “territory” of the Giants (those five counties more than make up for the loss of exclusive population of Santa Clara County), mirror-image that for the Athletics, and the issue is done.
But there are certain parties that profit in the status quo, and it’s not just one certain baseball team at 3rd and King that does so.
By the way – that Deford article makes Al Davis look like the Oracle of Delphi.