Knauss on 95.7 The Game: We think the world’s changed here

Clorox CEO was on with Chris Townsend earlier today. As usual, Townsend had a pretty thorough, wide-ranging interview that touched on a number of A’s and stadium-related topics. I’m going to highlight a couple of items.

Townsend: When it comes to buying the A’s, are you personally interested? Is Clorox interested?

Knauss: No I wouldn’t say we’re interested (Clorox) in buying the A’s. We clearly would love to work with the current ownership, Lew Wolff and John Fisher, on keeping the A’s here. I think there’s a lot of old data that Lew Wolff has about working in Oakland… We think the world’s changed here.

Later in the interview…

Knauss: I think we have this tremendous site down Howard Terminal, which is just adjacent to Jack London Square. We have what I believe can be the premier site in baseball… When I last talked to Lew about that last year, he said ‘we looked at that a long time ago, it’s not viable’. I think the last time the A’s actually sat down with the City in any serious way was over five years ago with Mayor Dellums. At the time I heard some of the old excuses why Howard Terminal wouldn’t work and they’re all void now, it’s a completely different place.

Townsend: Why do you believe Howard Terminal is viable?

Knauss: In 2005 the last time they looked, the Port was close to full capacity. Now it’s under 50% utilization. The Port can easily use Howard Terminal for a ballpark without adversely affecting the shipping business… The second thing I’ve heard over the years is that there is this environmental contamination on the site and people throwing some crazy numbers around about remediating that site. We’ve done the diligence there as well and have been assured by experts that the ballpark can be built on that site without a substantial cost associated with cleanup. Basically we can build a ballpark right on top of that site without scraping the site clean, the same way AT&T Park was built on that pier.

Knauss went on to talk about the revitalization of Jack London Square and the recent Brooklyn Basin deal. Then Townsend moved onto Knauss’s potential interest in owning the A’s.

Townsend: In the past you’ve talked about having a group to buy the A’s. Why have you never made an offer?

Knauss: We’re trying to respect baseball’s protocol. Our attitude is to negotiate this and not litigate this… We’d love to have Lew sit down with us and go over the new world that’s down there, not the old world that he’s familiar with. The other thing is that we’re close to getting this lease renewed so I think we’re demonstrating that you can get things down in Oakland and Alameda County… The second thing is getting site control of Howard Terminal. So I think that’s the reason we haven’t said, ‘Let’s find another ownership group.’ We think that could be viable, but I think clearly we’d rather say, ‘Look Lew, we’ve got a viable site, we believe that the team deserves a new world class ballpark, but there’s a way to get that done here in Oakland.’

Townsend: Clorox moved a number of jobs to Pleasanton. Why do you do that but yet you still say, ‘Ah we’re still about Oakland.’

Knauss: It’s a fair question. There are two things we wanted to try to achieve with that. One is, it’s a bus- it’s really a focus on innovation. The reason we’ve been around for 100 years is because it constantly innovates new products. We wanted to get all of our innovation people in one location. Now obviously innovation is driven by R&D, and we’ve always had R&D people folks out in Pleasanton. We had about 400 scientists out there and we’ve had ’em out there for decades. What we’ve learned over the years is that when you put all of the functions out there that drive innovation – marketing, sales, finance, human resources, legal, etc. – put all those people out there with the R&D people, then you get much quicker innovation, you get bigger ideas developed. So we wanted to create a new campus out in Pleasanton where we had our nucleus and add those people. We moved a lot of those folks out of downtown Oakland out to Pleasanton – but we kept them in Alameda County.

The second reason we did it was a business continuity issue. The headquarters building – obviously we’re all in the Bay Area sitting on various faults. We wanted to get some dispersion of our IT resources out in Pleasanton too where we thought we could spread out some of our risk from a business continuity standpoint. Those were the two central reasons: better innovation, better business continuity, minimizing risk. We’ve kept people in Alameda County, and we’ve kept our general office in Oakland, and certainly I’m sitting here in Oakland and I live in Oakland. So we’re committed to Oakland.

Let’s try to put this in perspective. Don Knauss was brought in as Clorox CEO in October 2006, shortly before Ron Dellums was elected mayor. Knauss is clearly referring to the anti-sports Brown administration and the general absence of leadership during the Dellums era. Are we – and Wolff & MLB – supposed to believe that a new sheriff is in town, that Oakland has suddenly gotten its act together? Moreover, Knauss recited Quan’s stance on the ballpark issue: As long as we provide the site, the A’s and MLB can’t turn us down. I think it’s pretty simple. If Oakland provides all site prep costs, streamlines the process, and throws in $200 million, then you can get MLB to pay attention. Without that it’s not really an even playing field with San Jose, where the greater number and size of upfront revenue commitments can help pay down ballpark debt early, just as is being done in Santa Clara.

Knauss also talked at length about the issues associated with developing Howard Terminal, which he minimized as much as possible. Muppet151 has a little insight into this:

HT is in a state of constant and PERMANENT review. I talked to the guy in charge of overseeing the site who said it’s somewhat similar to what contained contamination at the San Jose Arena. You can read the SJ documents here:

The HT project manager explained things a little further in an email to me when he said “While the Land Use Covenant restricts activities that would interfere with the cap from being conducted without DTSC approval, it is common in development plans to engineer acceptable solutions that modify cleanup remedies including caps under DTSC oversight.” If the footprint of the stadium extends outward to the point it’s over the capped area, and it’s my understanding it would, the stated scenario would take place.

From a technical standpoint, HT is definitely possible, and can be done. The problem is that this is not a 1 time fix. This is a permanent issue, and worst of all this is infrastructure work that the public will be on the hook for. There was cleanup work done in the area in 2004 making the ballpark possibility a little stronger. But the 200,000 cubic yards of capped material remains, as done the 2002 CA DTSC estimate of a $100 million cleanup should something go wrong. And again, that’s public money. Things might go smoothly….but over time, caps need maintenance, and putting a stadium over the underwater caps makes the situation remarkably unique.

Currently, nothing can be built at the San Jose Arena parking lot, including a garage for the arena or a future high speed rail terminal, without a comprehensive and costly remediation plan. Right now there’s only a sealed asphalt cap there.

Knauss also brought out the “respecting the process” stance used by many on the outside, including the mayors of both San Jose and Oakland. They’re all willing to “respect the process” until they hear something that doesn’t work with their agenda. That’s how the game is played. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen recently, the only way to get Bud Selig’s attention these days is to sue baseball.

When asked about Clorox’s move of hundreds of jobs to Pleasanton, Knauss’s previously well-focused responses devolved into some incredibly inane, weaselly CEO-speak. Read that response carefully. Earthquake faults? When Loma Prieta hit on the San Andreas fault, the Coliseum had enough structural damage to force Games 3 & 4 to be played at the ‘Stick, despite the Coli being on the Hayward fault (and supposedly less prone to damage). Knauss didn’t touch the issue that really caused the move: many of the scientists and their families lived along the 680 corridor and preferred to work there instead of commuting to Oakland. Knauss had to make the tough decision to keep Clorox competitive. That’s the reality of the move, not some BS reasoning about earthquake faults or risk management. And that’s the irony of it. Clorox is perfectly able to move 500 jobs to Pleasanton or 300 jobs to Arizona if it has business or competitive reasons. In terms of pure economic impact (tax revenue, job creation), the A’s are a much smaller company than Clorox, yet they can’t move 35 miles for competitive reasons. Makes me wonder if Knauss just did this to provide cover for the company’s previous and future moves under his leadership. It didn’t cost him anything, that’s for sure.


Further reading:

152 thoughts on “Knauss on 95.7 The Game: We think the world’s changed here

  1. Townsend: In the past you’ve talked about having a group to buy the A’s. Why have you never made an offer?

    …the %500 million question.

  2. 2 very telling statements
    #1 ” The 2 things that we have been tasked with by baseball is get the lease renewed and get site control and we are very close to those 2 things” not we hope that if we can……. baseball has tasked Oakland with those 2 things
    #2. Oakland and Alameda county told him that there would be funds available for infastructure and would not require a vote.

    Its amazing how anytime Oakland has any ray of hope everybody just wants to dismiss it without a second thought. In response to if clorox would be interested in a naming rights deal he said they would be Very intetested indeed. Everybody wants to dismiss HT but if the city is able to make it happen that site would be spectacular.

  3. How disappointing, he really has nothing to say. Wolff won’t sell and he now has no interest in purchasing team but just “working with” Wolff, who can take it or leave it. Seems like the whole interview was simply to stoke hopes in the hearts of Oakland fans and that doesn’t seem right to tease anyone that way.

  4. Nice analysis, ML. One thing, though – in ’89, games 3 and 4 were going to be played at Candlestick no matter what.

    When Loma Prieta hit on the San Andreas fault, the Coliseum had enough structural damage to force Games 3 & 4 to be played at the ‘Stick

  5. Seems odd to me that on one hand Knauss talked today about how much things have changed for the better in Oakland, yet he took business away from Oakland by moving all of his operations to Pleasanton while giving flimsy excuses for doing so. It’s the right of any business to move where they think it’s best for them, but Clorox couldn’t have done Oakland instead? The earthquake excuse is a pretty poor one, I can tell you that much.

  6. Yeah, he swapped the Hayward for the Calaveras, both capable of generating 7s

  7. @GoA’sDubs etc–its not amazing that no one believes Knauss or Oakland–this has been going on for nearly 20 years–the oakland only crowd was celebrating VC until the bill came in–no one mentions it now–HT–why doesn’t anyone identify the infrastructure costs and liability issue they need to deal with and more importantly-tell us how oakland will pay for it. If corporate support is so strong in Oakland/East Bay for the A’s then why doesn’t the city step out and say it will take on $200M of debt to build the ballpark and pay it off with PSL’s so that a private business doesn’t have to take that risk. Oakland needs to step up and produce actual results and not sound bites–trust is earned and not just granted and there is nothing over the past 20 years to extend even an ounce of trust to Oakland or its advocates-

  8. At baynative guy
    . He said he is willing to work with wolff and go through the process but that if not he has a group in place willing to buy the team. He also did not balk at the 1 billion cost of team and stadium. He also is very willing indeed to work on naming rights. If San Jose were such a homerun there woukd be a shovel in tbe ground. Who knows whats really going on behind the scenes for all we know mlb has been in talks with Oakland waiting for them to secure the things they have been tasked with.

  9. As for Howard Terminal, I’m going to need to see a lot more than Knauss saying it’s not as bad as everyone thought before I believe it. It going from close to full to 50% now is NOT a plus for Oakland.

  10. At goa’s.
    Different politicians, circumstances. Its like the Warriors have lost 30 straight in san antonio mumbo jumbo and all other such stats. Knauss wasnt ceo 20 yrs ago and quan isnt dellums or brown. Also port of oakland is at 50% capacity now as opposed to 10 yrs ago. Like I said before if its such a slam dunk for San Jose MLB woulda granted them rights long time ago. Imho both cities face huge challenges. Saying they would be interested in a naming rights deal is putting your money where your mouth is but if lew isnt even negotiating then you gotta wait it out.

  11. I’ll add: IF Howard Terminal can actually be proven viable and a realistic plan to build in Oakland follows, I’ll support it.

  12. @gdubs- sorry- Quan is not your savior- she trotted out the VC site and then when onto CC once VC and HT were termed unfeasible. I find it ironic that Knauss was so worried about earthquakes that he moved 500 people out of Oakland but it’s ok to advocate 40,000 people sitting together in a ballpark in earthquake country- really? Statements like that make the man look foolish…premier site in baseball- Ahh- believe that is across the bay. Relative to SJ take away the TR restrictions and then tell me which city is a slam dunk because of economics? And just to confirm- the gints are fighting so hard to keep the A’s from moving further way because Oakland is such an economic engine compared to SJ- ok- your world man

  13. Townie should have asked Knauss if he is willing to overpay for the A’s
    Will he pay extra 100-200mils ? sure LW said he won’t sell but if someone make an incredible offer, LW and Fisher might. I am sure LW and Fisher are tired of this process by now.

  14. Funny, I was at Howard Terminal on Sunday; took out of town relatives on a ferry ride from Oakland to SF. As a former Navy man, just love the Port of Oakland and all the container ships (was actually stationed at NAS Alameda for two weeks in the early 90’s). Out of town relatives also liked JLS and thought it was pretty cool, especially Yoshi’s.
    A ballpark at Howard Terminal? I guess anythings possible, but it would most likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure/clean up costs to get that place up and running for a yard. Not just where they park the Matson containers, but the entire area would need to be improved, including access from 880 and near the railroad tracks (having Amtrak CC trains rumbling down the road like giant streetcars is kind of cool, but dangerous). The area near the terminal had a post-apocalyptic feel to it as well; very run down, dirty and industrial. A ballpark at Howard Terminal? Not happening!
    Look, if the Oakland-only crowd wants to champion The O as the long term solution for the A’s, that’s fine (what about my Raiders?), but can you at least stick to one site?!!

  15. Another point: you could see AT&T Park very clearly from the Oakland ferry terminal. Would MLB really want two of its yards so close together? I know at one time old Yankees Stadium and the Polo Grounds were across the river from each other, but don’t think we’ll ever see that arrangement again..

  16. @Tony D – Unless there is something in the MLB territorial rights that I don’t know about or understand, I don’t think anybody could stop the A’s from building anywhere in their territory, regardless of where the neighboring team might be. For example, I doubt MLB could stop the A’s from building at NAS Alameda (assuming they wanted to), which is less than 4 miles line-of-sight from Warrantless-Wiretap park. In fact, if someone else would pay for it, MLB would likely be on-board with it.

  17. At goa’s
    Quan is not our savior never said that just different situation now than 20 yrs ago and you cant put all the past mistakes on this leadership. At least mayor quan is flexible in terms of coliseum city or ht and not stuck on one site. Knauss said he has talked to experts and ht cleanup is not as bad as people wanna make it out to be.

    On S.J of course there is more money there than in Oakland but there is also more money in New york but what does that mean?? You think yankees would let us move there? Its no different with giants. If it were so easy it would be done by now.Wolff knew the territorial rights issue when he bought team and Giants group bought the team with the understanding that S.J was thier territory. Like I said if it were such a minor thing they would be there already.

    On knauss moving jobs to pleasanton what does that mean?? Lots of corporations outsource jobs to other countries or states no biggie, but fact of the matter headquarters is right here in Oakland and the man with the money wants to fight for Oakland and is willing to get a naming rights deal in place.

    Everybody has a bunch of opinions but the reality is that S.J is so desperate that they are suing the very people they want to go to bed with. To say anyone knows what MLB is thinking is just inaccurate. Knauss hinted that site control could be done within weeks not months so if Oakland can renew lease on friendly terms and aquire H.T MLB can make Wolff revisit Oakland. That is the best option for everyone involved.

    I hate the Giants but to just say screw your rights etc etc and deal with it is not reality. 4 yrs going on 5 years and still nothing. All owners have to do is take it to a vote and screw Giants with the its in the “best interest of baseball” talk and it would of been done already but obviously its not that simple.

  18. @GoAsdubraiders: SJ appears ready, the only thing holding the A’s back is not Oakland but SF

  19. Anyways, Knauss can talk but unless he controls the team, he can’t do. Doing is important, talking is less so. Control the team and do what you want with them, don’t control them and go on talk radio and talk.

  20. Cisco and Google have offices all over the country and world.

  21. @Baynativeguy
    “the only thing keeping the A’s back is not Oakland but S.F”

    The Only thing keeping me from buying that sweet 68 camaro across the street from my house is that my neighbor loves it and he does not want to sell it. LOL!! Everyone acts like that is a minor thing. If it were such a minor obstacle it would have been conquered already.

    If MLB says no you cant have S.J its a wrap. Simple as that. And NOBODY knows what is really going on behind the scenes and I mean nobody. So at this point Oakland has as much of a chance as S.J because last time I looked they are still playing there and working on a 5 yr extension.

    I will keep harping on a very telling statement by Don ” the 2 things that we have been TASKED with by baseball is get the lease renewed and get site control and we are very close to those 2 things. The blue ribbon panel has not only met with San Jose but with Oakland as well and both have had to present their cases. Who is to say MLB is not delaying a decision to give Oakland one last chance to bring a viable plan to the table???? Everybody just assumes its S.J period.

  22. @David- and your point….

  23. @godubs- your celebrating a little early- a no to SJ is not a green light to Oakland- Oakland will remain one of the 2 franchises that any thing could happen to- bottom line Oakland needs $200M for infrastructure and 200M in public financing for stadium construction- did it make you wonder why Knauss didn’t express interest in buying the team himself?

  24. Talk is cheap. The cap is only one part of the cost needed to make HT work. You have horrible ingress/egress in that location as it is. Throw in nightly 20-30k crowds or more? Not going to happen as-is. And that’s going to cost a lot of money and the city will have to front that cost on their own. And then you’re asking for someone (the A’s? the city?) to handle never-ending, on-going maintenance of that cap? That’s not cheap. And what happens if the worse happens and it opens? You’re asking the team to take on $500 million investment of their own money in a traditionally sub-par section of the market to build this stadium with a city that struggles to maintain their current stadium providing site maintenance? Knauss comes across as someone looking for a future in politics and willing to play that political “only listen to what I say and don’t look over there while I say it” game.

  25. @Goasdubraiders: your analogy makes my point, you’re Knauss and Wolff is your neighbor with the Camaro. Looks like you’re not buying his car. Anyway, let’s not assume Oakland is Plan B. Selig has said before he doesn’t care if the A’s move to somewhere where territorial rights are not an issue, ie out of the Bay Area. If they say no to SJ, Wolff may try to leave and if territory isn’t an issue i don’t know that they’d care. To many of us, that’d be the real tragedy.

    Would I go see the A’s in Oakland? Sure, I already do. Would I see them in San Jose? Sure. Heck, I’d have gone to see them in Fremont. As long as they’re in the Bay Area. I don’t care about Oakland or SJ as much as I care about having the A’s local.

  26. Hello all! The last time I posted here (under slo_town) was last summer during the last Howard Terminal discussion.

    Regarding port capacity, yes the utilization rate is down at the Port of Oakland, but keep in mind that over the last decade-plus, the Port has spent a tremendous amount of money on increasing capacity. It is unfortunate that their investments haven’t paid off spectacularly, however it has kept them in the game in a challenging environment. There are macroeconomic factors that have contributed such as the 2007/2008 economy crash. I have to believe that the Port also sees the writing on the wall, that the Panama Canal project will not exactly help their utilization rate.

    The actual amount of TEUs traveling through the port has increased. Using 2005 as a baseline, imports are down about 45,000 TEUs, but exports are up over 140,000. So yes, utilization is down, but not overall numbers.

    That said, it makes perfect sense for the Port to want to consolidate operations. Howard Terminal is not just the best Oakland site for a ballpark, but the best consolidation option. Howard Terminal is relatively small, and perhaps more important, it is isolated from the rest of the Port and has no rail access. Schnitzer Steel creates the “landlocked” situation as trucks have to travel through city streets just to get back to the main port if the cargo is being transferred to rail.

    On Howard Terminal infrastructure, as I mentioned last year, the analysis that led to determining Victory Court would cost $240 million, concluded Howard Terminal would be $49 million. As Don Knauss alluded to during the interview, work is being down behind the scenes.

    On the ongoing SSA Terminals lawsuit against the Port of Oakland, there may be some movement on a settlement, which would fall in line with Knauss’ claim about there being a deal reached over site control in the near future. For the first time, the most recent Board agenda sets the table for authorizing the Executive Director to amend lease agreements at Berths 55-56 (Hanjin), Berths 57-59 (SSA, MSC, etc.), and Berths 60-63 (APL). It also refers to assignment and/or termination agreements at Berths 55-56 and Berths 60-63. There is no mention of Howard Terminal however.

    And finally, another interesting point from the interview was Knauss’ mention of reaching a 5-year lease agreement at the Coliseum and gaining site control at Howard Terminal, both at the request of Major League Baseball. I wonder if this is similar to what some media reported last year: that MLB will give Oakland a last chance to secure a deal, complete with a timeframe to complete tasks.

  27. @ Go A’s
    I am not celebrating anything I am just tired of Oakland being given a zero chance of retaining A’s. First of all its commendable that he is respecting Wolff and MLB by saying first and foremost he is willing to work with Lew and Fisher and that he would do a naming rights deal which he has to know the Cisco number and is willing to match or beat. Second he said that if an unwillingness to work with Oakland continues that there is a group in place to buy the team. He said he has had experts look into the cleanup on HT and that he has been told that its not as big of a problem as many make it out to be. He also said that he has met with Alameda county and Oakland officials and that there is money available to fund infrastructure.

    Easy to just dismiss all these matter of fact statements by the man but the reality is that people like him don’t just have casual conversations with people or read a PDF report and make such statements. The man has been in talks with MLB, Oakland, Alameda County, Environmental Experts, Port Officials, and he has also met with Lew Wolff. The man has also worked very closely with MLB on Minute Maid Field design and naming rights.

    All the things I have mentioned carry weight unlike all of our comments, mine included. The reality is that no one knows what is happening we are all guessing and your guess is as good as mine. If Lew has a change of heart and Knauss is correct then the city and county foot the infrastructure bill, Clorox signs Naming rights deal, and clean up at HT is not as bad as everybody makes it out to be then that price tag to build a sweet waterfront yard in Jack London Square has been greatly reduced. Not as impossible as everybody makes it out to be.

  28. Fremont would happen way before CC, VC or HT. Remember, they can tell Wolff where he can’t build (outside current territory) but can’t tell him where to build (in his current territory). And despite all the hoopla about Fremont NIMBYS, there were just as many supporters for an A’s ballpark (negativity sells papers!). That said, its hard to imagine MLB saying no to Wolff after 4 years; why have study if you weren’t going to open up SJ in the first place? Heck, we could be chearing on the SJ A’s of Fremont against the Reds tonight at Cisco Field Pac Commons or Warm Springs RIGHT NOW..

  29. @goasdubsraiders etc,
    It’s your world; reside in it as you see fit…

  30. 95.7 has terrible ratings, but we learned a lot about the A’s stadium issues, throughout the day.

    1. Wolff is disappointed in Selig (from the mouth of Larry King). That takes a little out of the idea that there’s some sort of ‘friends helping friends’ stuff going on in the back room.
    2. MLB is listening to Knauss, Quan, etc. and has given some sort of guidelines (new 5 year lease and control of HT site).
    3. Clorox will put money toward stadium naming rights.
    4. Buyers exist if Fisher and Wolff want to get out.

  31. So last I heard Knauss offered 60M for naming rights compared to 120M that Cisco offered 4 years ago- did he put 120M on the table and say I a willing to sign now? Does he have a signed letter from Oakland saying they will deliver the site in ready to construct condition by this timeframe? Did he agree that he would be willing to foot 200M in upfront costs (SC did 100M for the ‘9ers) and assume the risk of privately developing the ballpark- NO on all fronts- the man has offered nothing of substance in terms of financial commitments. I would love for MLB to say you have until 12/31/2013 to deliver on all the points above and then watch Knauss try to spin his next tale. I, like others want the A’s to stay in the bay area- that is now at risk- KNauss needs to show the money or shut the f up- a part of me wonders if he is working for Larry Baer behind the scenes- for all of his profuse love for Oakland doesn’t sound like he gives a hoot that the W’s are moving to SF.

  32. @ David
    Funny how everybody wants to dismiss the ” WE HAVE BEEN TASKED ( BY BASEBALL ) TO RENEW LEASE AND GAIN SITE CONTROL” statement. For the record if A’s go to San Jose I will support them and still go to games but its the quick dismissal of any pro-Oakland talk that bothers me.

  33. Knauss can say whatever he wants about being tasked with one thing or another. He has nothing to do with the A’s lease and if he doesn’t own the team then having a site doesn’t mean much unless the owners are willing to work with it or sell.

  34. I remember reading last year how the A’s would not renew lease in Oakland and people speculating on where the A’s would play. Sacramento at new earthquakes stadium, build a temporary balloon stadium, some even had the audacity to suggest AT&T Park. Like I said it ain’t over until its over for Oak-Town.

  35. At James

    Even though Wolff owns the team he also has to submit to MLB and if they say no to S.J and make him revisit Oakland then he has to obey or sell. At least there is a possible plan B in Oakland in the works if Wolffs plan A is poo pooed by MLB

  36. @godubs- you never heard that from LW- always said he wanted to stay in oak for 5 more years so not sure what your reading into that-

  37. @godubs- MLB won’t be allowed to say no to SJ- up to the courts now-

  38. San Jose was not Plan A to begin with, unless you believe the “Wolff lied he never tried” hacks. They only tried to get permission to build there after the earlier looks at the sites in Oakland were deemed a no go and Fremont failed.

  39. Also on lease- if I am LW my negotiation strength just picked up with lawsuit. Let MLB step in and try to negotiate my lease while they are being sued by SJ. And if I can’t come to terms with Oakland on a lease renewal with terms equivalent to or better than I had considering I am playing in a shit hole- then what are the next steps- that would be fun to watch MLB squirm.

    • Come on people. If you don’t think MLB won’t move the goalposts when it sees an opportunity, you aren’t paying attention. This is about a lot more than a site and some new political urgency.

      Why is MLB giving Oakland “two tasks”? Because the A’s have no place to play after 2013. Try to think a few steps ahead.

  40. Geez… A guy goes on the radio and says absolutely nothing of substance and we have this debate?
    I just listened, and here is what I mean by nothing of substance…
    How much would site remediation cost at Howard Terminal?
    How much would infrastructure upgrades around the site cost?
    What is the proposed method of paying for either?
    How much would Clorox pay for naming rights?
    What does Don Knauss have to do with the A’s and the JPA lease negotiations?
    The only concrete thing I know about Howard Terminal is that a 42,000 seat stadium at the site was projected to cost $517M in 2002. If you adjust that (using a calculator found with your search engine of choice) that number, in 2017 dollars, is $730M. One thing I am certain of, it definitely hasn’t gotten cheaper. The $500M everyone talks about is for the building. That was $350M in 2002…
    I get it. I want the A’s in the Bay Area and if Howard Terminal is the best way to do that, I am all for it. The problem I have, regardless of San Jose’s plan, is that nothing was said that answered any of the legitimate questions about Howard Terminal in any substantive way.
    Now, consider the San Jose information we do have. The site acquisition hasn’t been completed, but we do know how much it should cost to prepare the site when it is completed. We do know how much Cisco is willing to pay for naming rights. We do know that there are plenty of businesses that support the plan.
    I agree, it’s not a slam dunk in San Jose. Comparatively, it’s an 18 foo jumper compared to Oakland’s 3/4 court shot, presently.

  41. the City of Oakland needs the A’s. They will do whatever they need, to get a lease done. I don’t see them playing hardball . They want the parking tax money, but i’m sure they would waive that, if they were given some assurances about the future.

  42. Funny How everybody forgets articles like these. steve kettleman of SF Chronicle wrote this in 1998 7 years before aquiring the team that if He were to build a stadium that he would build it in San Jose and ” I WOULDNT SPEND 5 MINUTES ON ANY OTHER CITY BESIDES SAN JOSE” There is a direct quote from the Horse’s mouth so please dont tell me Lew made a strong effort. It was all smoke and Mirrors. His intention has always been to move to San Jose.

  43. Oakland’s police chief quits and its front page news around here. The SJ police quits and then the SJ fire chief quits to take a job for 50 grand less (than his SJ contract) and its not news worthy? My point is some people need to take off their rose-colored (south bay) glasses.

  44. Well whatever Wolff said or wants, the reality is he is in control of the team, MLB is in control (or the Giants are) of the process and SJ is using the courts to try and change that. Knauss’ interview doesn’t really change much one way or the other. 95.7 is just look in’ for ratings, however they get them is fine?

  45. One word continues to be relevant as it pertains to Howard Terminal… COST. HT was estimated 13 years ago to be $517 million dollar site for a ballpark. If ballpark cost inflation is any indication that means the site today would be upwards of $750 million to build on. It’s just not a feasible location for that reason along.

    To say nothing of the risk of running afoul of the longshoremen’s unions due to access issues in area like Seattle encountered with their now stalled arena. Access issues for fans from both highways and public transit. Remediation of the site pollution. Etc…

  46. As for MLB giving Oakland tasks, so what? They’ve apparently given the A’s tasks too to move to SJ. No doubt MLB is playing both cities off against one another to extract the best deal possible for MLB

  47. My favorite part of the interview was when knauss said that more will happen in the next few weeks rather than months. It will be interesting to see if this is true. thank you chuck reed for getting the ball rolling. Now Lets pray for clorox field at HT to become a reality

  48. @David – There was a purpose to that article about Batts, who was 2 OPD chiefs ago. Sorry it was lost on you.

  49. when is the next owners’ meetings, in aug? so around 2 months we may get something of a decision hopefully.

  50. @GoA’sDub, BFD. Seriously. You’re taking a comment he made nearly 10 years prior to owning the club as proof that he never tried ten years later when he bought the team? How many things did you say you’d never do 10 years ago that you’ve found you’ve done anyway? Plenty, I’ll bet. Talking with no skin in the game and acting while having skin the game are two entirely separate beasts. On top of which, prior to ownership, he was being PAID to look into Oakland whether he wanted to or not. And so far, no site has been shown to be feasible, unremarkably just like he claimed.

    @letsgoas, It’s in August, but I wouldn’t hold my breath other anything coming of it. It’ll be a minimum of 5-6 months and more likely another year before anything noteworthy happens (aside from the probable lease extension).

  51. Is there anything fundamentally wrong about a prominent Oakland citizen voicing his desire to keep the team in Oakland and inviting the current owner to sit down and discuss with him and the city? I don’t understand the angle on the coverage here.

  52. yeah i’ve been content on waiting until maybe late 2014 or even early 2015 before the green light to sj is given. as it usually takes 2.5 years to construct a baseball park to be built, be right around the time frame if a new park were to open maybe in time for the 2018 season.

    but then you had the whole lawsuit issue last week and maybe thought news could come sooner.

    can’t believe we could go another year with these arguments between the pro oak and sj sides. just waiting for the time when we’re talking about disagreements about the potential cisco park’s design rather than where the park should be built.

  53. Moving a large company’s IT center away from the SA and Hayward faults doesn’t sound like a good idea? Anyway, the excerpts were interesting. I’ll have to go back through the comments now to count how many invoke the dreaded RR-spanning bridges that HT would require. People seem to forget that the Coliseum has a RR-spanning bridge attached to it.

  54. @xoot- using Knauss logic why would any company like twitter locate in SF? Pretty lame excuse he gave for what was a reasonable decision of his in order to retain and attract talent by being out in Pleasanton. Oakland payed for the study on HT years ago which others have note would now cost more than $700M to build- thats at least $200M in infrastructure improvements- a TIF in the JLS area isn’t going to generate enough revenue to providem $200M in infrastructure not to mention how you privately finance a ballpark there.

  55. xoot:

    Are you suggesting those IT centers can’t be made stronger and safer within fault zones? Might as well move everything vital away from them, but of course that would be unrealistic.

    But if you can’t even keep part of your own operations in Oakland due to earthquake concerns (and the claim you want everyone in one place, which is fair), how can you tout building a new stadium there? Different conversations, you might say? I say they’re not.

  56. @suit,
    You never cease to amaze with your commentary. Downplaying infrastructure issues at HT and defending Knauss and his fault line defense…really?

  57. By the way, the RR-spanning bridge for the Coliseum is a pedestrian bridge, not a vehicle bridge. There IS one over the channel next to 880, but guess what – it’s in the process of being seismically upgraded.

  58. @nitpickers – Clorox’s decision to move part of its workforce to a building they already inhabited is irrelevant.
    SJ partisans always try to treat Oakland like a bubble, but don’t hold south bay to the same standard. There is no law that says all attendance must come from the city of Oakland, or corporate support. That has been the most annoying red herring in this whole debate. If/when a ballpark is built in Oakland, south bay companies will support along with SF and east bay companies. Why? Because they want to make money.

  59. @David – No, they took over additional buildings and built out a campus. I used to work by there in Pleasanton. The street “Washington Mutual Way” was changed to “Clorox Way”. It’s no small affair.

    You can’t have it both ways. If you’re going to argue that much of the Oakland and surrounding area fanbase is going to be lost because a San Jose ballpark is less accessible than before, the same argument can be made about an Oakland ballpark and Silicon Valley companies. And companies don’t “make money” spending six figures every year on suites. It’s a cost of doing business.

  60. @ML – Clorox already had a footprint. The A’s have a footprint in Oakland currently, that’s the difference, from SJ. The rest of what you wrote is opinion.

  61. re: $700 mil cost of a 42k seat ballpark – Any new Howard Terminal stadium will likely have closer to 32k seats than 42k, so you can revise slightly downward that estimate.

  62. @David – And your backtrack begins. From the SF Business Times article:

    “The decision … supports our growth strategy by providing effective R&D facilities, lower operating and capital costs over time and a more productive, collaborative work environment,” said Dan Staublin, a Clorox spokesman. “Our current research and development campus in Pleasanton is obsolete and would require a significant capital investment to meet current and future needs.”

    Nothing about risk management. I can only imagine the PR shitstorm that Knauss would face if the rest of Clorox moved out altogether. Even in yesterday’s interview he tiptoed around the issue.

  63. @ML – Clorox’s business decisions are not relevant to the stadium issue, beyond their desire to put money toward naming rights. CEO’s of corporations as large as Clorox, lie all the time. I think we can agree on that. I don’t hang with the “1%”. But i’m a sports fan and the owners are usually ridiculously rich across the board (except the GB Packers).

  64. Time for a new banner at e.coli- Knauss lied…he never tried- but according to David that is ok-

  65. I don’t know why everybody wants to make a big deal of Clorox moving employees to pleasanton. Like Knauss said its still in Alamdeda County but headquarters is still in Oakland. Either way thats not the point, the point is that there is a fortune 500 company that
    1. Is trying to work with A’s, Oakland, Alameda County to keep A’s in Oakland
    2. A company that is willing to agree to a naming rights deal
    3. A CEO who spearheaded a successful stadium project in Houston and has worked closely with MLB
    4. Someone who is willing to collaborate with current ownership but also has a group in place willing and able to buy A’s if Lew is forced to sell

    Obviously no one wants to look at any Oakland scenerio in a positive light so all these things fall on deaf ears.

  66. @David – Deflect all you want, just like Knauss. I pointed out hypocrisy. His actions as a CEO are fair game.

  67. I’m confused. Did Knauss actually spearhead Astros Park/Enron Field/Minute Maid Park? Spearhead, have a hand in design, negotiate naming rights? What exactly did he do?

  68. Might be this:


    Astros owner Drayton McLane, Minute Maid’s Don Knauss, and Houston Parks and Recreation’s Roksan Okan-Vick broke ground on the refurbishment of Settegast Park Ballfield in Houston’s East End. The ball field, located two miles from Minute Maid Park, is the first baseball and softball facility to be refurbished by the Astros and Minute Maid through the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball program. The field’s major renovation plans include installing new bleachers and bleacher safety measures, covering the dugouts, improving the terrain of both the infield and the outfield, rebuilding the concession stand and adding a flagpole and a scoreboard.

    The City of Houston’s Settegast Park Ballfield was selected for refurbishment based on several considerations: the field’s improvement needs, its community use and involvement and its close proximity to Minute Maid Park. Youth baseball and softball teams, adult leagues, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Baseball Program, and the adjacent Rusk Elementary School all call the field “home.”

  69. According to this article, some company named Enron spearheaded the ballpark.

    There’s also this touching retrospective.

    Minute Maid didn’t buy naming rights until after the Enron mess was over. The best part is that Enron built the park on the backs of Californians. Hooray!

  70. @godubs- more power to Knauss but the points that you highlight have no details behind them- Clorox had offered 60M for naming rights- compared to 120M for Cisco- and that was back in 2008 and most likely will increase. Relative to potential owners who are “qualified” to spend upwards of 600M on team and show another 500M to privately build a ballpark still doesn’t let Oakland off the hook for 200M of infrastructure improvements. My hope is that the A’s are relieved of their TR restrictions and then they can choose to build in either SJ or Oakland depending upon which one makes the most financial sense for the long term health of the franchise.

  71. @ML – if you want to expose hypocrisy, you could pay a little attention to your own Mayor (Reed). There’s no money for (SJ) public employes, but plenty of resources to subsidize Fisher/Wolff (worth billions combined).

  72. David: San Jose public employees get plenty of money from the city. What are you talking about? Once again, San Jose’s ballpark plan has been on the table for years, to be criticized scrutinized litigated. Oakland has no real plan, except pointing to the Coliseum parking lot or the environmentally risky Howard Terminal site and saying “You can build here!” Also, I believe Oakland has had the same problems as San Jose – laying off police officers, etc. While spending millions per year on the now-decommissioned Mount Davis.

  73. If what Knauss says is true about the site being far cheaper then the BRC would have seen that and brought Lew Wolff and Oakland to the table to discuss it.

    The fact the BRC remains in silence about Howard Terminal or any site in Oakland/East Bay tells you distinctly Knauss is speculating.

    Howard Terminal was dismissed years ago and for good reason. The BRC knows this and their job is to find a site and work with the local government in the East Bay and Wolff to bring a stadium to fruition.

    So we can all dismiss Knauss immediately as it is obvious he does not know what he is talking about. Wolff provided the BRC massive documentation on why Howard Terminal is not feasible.

    The BRC would have otherwise acted and tried to broker a public-private partnership between Oakland and Wolff.

    In a perfect world for the BRC and MLB, Oakland would pay for the site cleanup and transportation infrastructure (freeway exits and parking lots), Wolff would pay for most of the stadium with a loan from MLB.


    Oakland: 50M-150M
    Wolff: 300M
    MLB Loan: 150M

    Total: 500M-650M

    The A’s would have to stay on revenue sharing even with this new stadium therefore MLB’s exposure would be doubled up as they would be loaning Wolff 150M.

    San Jose’s cost is 450M-475M total….That includes the land as the infrastructure is already in place because of the Arena across the street.

    You wonder why Oakland cannot get this done. It simply costs to much to make it happen in what is the poorest part of the Bay Area.

    Hence the BRC stays in silence, knowing the truth….San Jose is the only way.

  74. @David – Keep spinning. Reed has the public’s support in his pension reform efforts. What is Quan doing about Oakland’s looming fiscal crisis? Kicking the can down the road.

    I’m trying to be fair in this debate, but if you’re going to spout off stuff like this in another forum:

    @baseballoakland all 16 of the SJ (stadium) partisans on twitter have their collective panties in a bunch. #LetsGoOakland— David Byrd (@davpajaro) June 25, 2013

    … it’s clear I’m debating with a brick wall. Or rather, it’s you getting your panties in a bunch when I dare criticize your messiah Knauss.

  75. FWIW, I’d love to see a new ballpark at HT and would be on the first Warm Springs BART train to get to it when it opens. Do I think it’s feasible? The fact that Oakland has been talking up the place for a years and MLB has not moved on it kind of tells us it’s not feasible. Major environmental and railroad obstruction issues that need to be remedied, no public money available, insufficient private funding. And a continued suggestion of PSLs, which have about as much chance of working in Oakland as Ron Paul did of winning the last presidential election. Big big cost plus no $$ = nonstarter.

  76. Alot of my friends who read this site accuse it as being extremely pro San Jose but I always have defended it as fair but the more and more I read the more it becomes obvious that it is very slanted towards San Jose. Any news relating to San Jose always takes on a optimistic spin and result and any news out of Oakland is dismissed and criticized. Territorial Rights? No problem screw the Giants they will force them to allow A’s to move or they will settle. S.J lawsuit???? No worries it will scare MLB and they will allow A’s to move they don’t wanna go to court and have AE challenged. Etc etc…

    Oakland wants to work with Wolff??? They had their chance that ship has sailed, Quan is a baffoon etc etc. They have no corporate support, no money, no site, etc etc. Knauss is willing to work on a stadium, naming rights???? Cant compete with Cisco, HT and CC are not realistic sites etc etc.

    I want the A’s to stay in Oakland but if they move to San Jose I would still support them but to just bash any positive news out of Oakland is just straight up hater-aid. Come on ML throw us a bone once in a while and take an optimistic point of view from the Oakland Standpoint. I like what Jeffrey said last night when he compared SJ as an 18ft jumper compared to a 3/4 shot for Oakland but at least he gives us a chance no matter how slim. Pro SJ looks at any SJ news in a positive light and any Oakland news in a negative light. For once I would like to read some analysis that takes the optimistic point of view. At this point we are all guessing.

    We are all like the media types who make season predictions based on Rosters and based on the outward sexiness, star power teams like dodgers and Angels they are picked to win 97 games and divisions all the while the no name teams like A’s and Bmore last year are dismissed as having no chance and losing 100 games. No one can predict injuries, trades, no names becoming great etc etc. In the same way no one knows how MLB will respond to lawsuit, or what Giants will do or MLB owners or if Oakland pulls off the H.T hail Mary, or if Lew is forced to sell if this lawsuit blows up and an Oakland group arises, etc etc.

    I am pro Oakland but I am also aware of the advantages that are in SJ but to hear 99% of any Oakland news bashed, dismissed, and overlooked is very troubling to someone who has lived in Oakland all thier lives and who sees a beautiful city with scenic views of hills and waterfronts that has been neglected for generations and is always dismissed. I was a troubled teen raised in east Oakland that even his own mother had funeral arrangements in place because she waited by the phone to hear that the streets had taken me but by the Grace of God my life turned around and now I own a million dollar trucking and logistics company in Oakland and helps troubled teens like myself.

    Nothing is impossible no matter how bleak. Go A’s!! Go Oakland!! Go Bay Area!!!

  77. Is an EIR actually being conducted for HT? I know that one is going on for CC at the expense of new scoreboards but haven’t heard that same thing for HT-

    • @GoA’s – There is no official Howard Terminal ballpark EIR. LGO went into Victory Court thinking they could reuse some of the VC study work (parking/transportation) on Howard Terminal. That’s a big piece, but nowhere near complete. The City would have to prep a brand new EIR for Howard Terminal, full stop.

  78. @ML – I am not a public figure. What I say anywhere else is not relevant here. That is a totally classless post. You will not receive your desired outcome with this move,

  79. “CEO’s of corporations as large as Clorox, lie all the time.”

    Oh the irony of this statement…..

  80. Btw> was DK asked why isn’t Clorox a corporate sponsor now?

  81. Rabid A’s fans at each others’ throats in here over the stadium issue. Think Selig or the Giants care? Uh, no…

  82. @pjk – i never denied the shortcomings of my home town. I just suggested that focus not be ONLY on Oakland’s issues and to “pay a little attention” to Reed and SJ’s money woes. Unfortunately, that request was turned into a personal attack. I try to keep the vitriole aimed at the public figures (they chose to be in the fire), but I respect my fellow A’s fan and would high five anyone of you after a Cespedes bomb… smh ….

  83. The timing of DK speaking up is suspicious. The A’s and Oakland are working on their lease extension and the long-term future of the A’s will downright determine the conditions of this lease. This is probably also the most interaction the A’s and Oakland have had in a while. This might also be their final major negotiation, so it’s time for Oakland to lay all their cards on the table because they might not every have this sort of negotiating advantage over the A’s again.

    People have commented here many times that the BRC have not found any viable locations in AC/CC counties. That’s not true. The BRC hasn’t said anything about anything. There’s also no reason to believe the BRC is a fair/unbiased group. The BRC’s responsibilities are to MLB, not us. Their findings (if they have any) are negotiating leverage MLB has over both SJ and Oakland. SJ/SCCo is a gold mine for MLB, otherwise they would’ve have spent all these years figuring out a way to place the A’s there while keeping everyone happy. None of that means there aren’t viable locations in AC/CC counties. Value is a dynamic thing. As long as SJ is on the table, it’s quite possible investors aren’t interested in and AC/CC county sites. However, if Diridon is eliminated, naturally some investors will be interested in Howard Terminal or Coliseum City. Of course there are practical issues that complicate those sites, but not insurmountable obstacles. I have no allegiance to Oakland or San Jose. I just want the A’s in to stay in the Bay Area. It’s fair to say that Oakland isn’t the best option on the table for the A’s right now, but it’s incorrect to think that Oakland can’t provide a ballpark for the A’s.

  84. @Briggs- I respect your optimism but I sincerely doubt that Oakland can provide for the A’s as well as the Raiders- what you do for one you must do for both in terms of infrastructure improvements and public subsidies- were not talking chump change here- lots and lots or real dollars in play while still paying off the e.coli debt. One is going to be a stretch- 2 is out of the question-

  85. re: it’s incorrect to think that Oakland can’t provide a ballpark for the A’s.

    …But it has not done it, despite having had many years to do so. We look at the Miller Park stuff here and see how in Milwaukee and places like Houston, community “love” for the team translated into state-of-the-art ballpark. All community love in Oakland has gotten the A’s is pep rallies, press conferences and cardboard signs.

  86. “The timing of DK speaking up is suspicious.”

    Yup. Right after San Jose chooses the nuclear option (which could remove the very thing keeping the team where they are) we finally hear that something is moving forward in Oakland. No details, but the promise that something could happen in weeks.

  87. Milwaukee’s love for the team translated to a state-of-the-art ballpark? You need to have a word with my still-pissed-off-to-this-day Wisconsin relatives. State Legislators rammed through a 25 year/5 county sales tax increase to pay for it. Quite a few of them never served another term afterwards, given the backlash outside of Milwaukee county proper.

    They may have a statue of Bud up there, but there’s plenty of people in Cheeseheadland who can’t stand him.

  88. @pjk: It’s not that black & white. I’m not saying the A’s staying in Oakland is dependant on whether the city can provide funding. I’m saying in the event Diridon is off the table, some private investors could motivate Oakland and/or other investors to get behind a site in AC/CC. I agree that the fan-led pep rallies are worthless in terms of providing a solution but they are in no way part of the problem, therefore not even worth mentioning, let alone belittling. In the event that Oakland becomes the only Bay Area option for the A’s, you can bet your bottom dollar that some investors will come sniffing.

  89. @David – You keep using the word “relevant”. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. Keep talking trash in public (Twitter) and it will come back to bite you in the ass.

  90. @GoA’sDubsRaiders – I want details. I’d love to be able to celebrate a well thought-out plan from Oakland. We’ve never gotten one. Even Uptown only got to a certain point, Brown and Schott equally responsible for its demise. We were promised details with Victory Court. We never got them and no one from Oakland criticized LGO or anyone else about it. That’s weak. You’re putting your faith in these public figures, you should hold them accountable. I’m not afraid to criticize Lew Wolff about his terrible PR or the tarp situation. It’s not too much to ask Oakland supporters to hold the people they trust with their hopes to task.

  91. Remember the “Hey Lew – Build it at Victory Court!” signs at the Coliseum, or a Giants lawyer objecting to the A’s-San Jose deal and suggesting at San Jose City Council meeting that the A’s could instead build at Victory Court? Well, Victory Court turned out to be nothing.

  92. thx ML–figured as much–so hypothetically an EIR that hasn’t been started and which there is no money for would take 18 months to complete–correct?

    • @GoA’s – Money is not an issue for the HT EIR. LGO raised money to underwrite VC’s stillborn EIR, they can do the same for HT. City would have to approve the work first.

  93. @ ML, Thanks for the response. You make a good point. All I ask for is for any Oakland news to be given a fair analysis. Not impossible but hard to dump money into an effort, EIR, PSL sells, Corporate support when ownership refuses to revisit Oakland. At the end No excuses I get it.

  94. @Godubs–SJ has done all the things you mention and yet has no guarantee of ever having a team—why can’t Oak do the same to show how much they are committed to retaining the team–makes no sense to me–that’s why I have zero trust in your leaders—all of this should have been done a long time ago–as you said–no excuses

  95. @briggs,
    “I’ve explored everything to my knowledge I could to stay in Alameda County, and baseball has done the same thing.” Lew Wolff’s most recent interview with the Sports Journal. Interpret that as you wish, but it tell me the MLB committee (“baseball”) has ruled out Alameda County/Oakland as a long term home for the A’s (including HT). My interpretation is just my opinion of course..

  96. i was personally on the pro oakland movement a decade ago but seeing as how inept the city of oakland public officials were and continue to be i have no faith in any big a’s park happening within the city’s limits.

    then add the potential gold mine that is sj and the south bay where the a’s financially can compete, made my mind all but set on hoping the a’s move to sj.

  97. If Knauss is so sure he’s found some viability in Howard Terminal when Wolff and MLB itself missed it, he ought to come forward with an ownership group willing to buy the A’s, identifying the principals involved, and a signed, $130 million naming rights deal from Clorox.

  98. wouldn’t matter right now pjk- MLB isn’t about to render any decisions now that they are being sued by SJ- which makes the timing of Knauss’ marketing campaign all the more interesting. I don’t think the courts are going to be impressed.

  99. @Tony D.: Of course they would say that. Alameda County is their spouse of 40+ years, and things were never that great even when things were “great.” Santa Clara County is the hottie that MLB wants to take to pound town.

    Oakland/AC isn’t the desirable location given the options on the table right now. There’s a sentiment with some commenters here that MLB is defending the Giants by not opening up SCCo. The way I see it, it’s the reverse. MLB wants a team in SCCo so bad that they’ll keep that option open as long as it takes. Otherwise, the door would’ve been shut on SJ years ago. There is no way in hell MLB will do anything to potentially devalue a franchise. Amongst other things, it’d sets a precedent that impacts the future sale of any franchise as well as introduce an element of cannibalism amongst the franchises that will be difficult/impossible to reverse. MLB wants the A’s in SJ and will say anything to fabricate the notion that it’s the only option.

    Like I said above. I have no allegiance to either SJ or Oakland. I’m just watching on hoping we keep the A’s in the Bay Area and no city/county is robbed in the process. By this point, we shouldn’t take anything any involved party says at face value. Not SJ, Oakland, A’s, MLB, SF, Giants, or anyone else. They’re all predators.

  100. At one time Knauss was looked as a convenient delaying tactic by those who were hopeful to perpetuate the unrealistic idea that the A’s could still remain viable in Oakland. With a possible lawsuit on the horizon, Knauss is viewed more now for what it always was, just a lot if hot air.

  101. Can’t he be both?

  102. Very Timely that Knauss comes out of shadows days before HT site aquisition and basically said that the thing that mlb has tasked us with is lease extension and site control both things on the brink. I see it as the lead of single in the bottom of 9th in a game we are losing. This are getting very intersesting. From sewage to lawsuit to HT site control.

  103. Interesting- so given the gints want the A’s out of Bay Area I would guess that this reduces gints overall negotiation strength if MLB wants to settle SJ lawsuit out of court- I like it!

  104. Even if the events in this article does pan out who is going to pay for it? The A’s or the City or both? This looks more like a future home for the Raiders and not the A’s. Fisher and Co are not going to foot the bill for that will essentially double the costs of their proposed stadium in SJ. I just don’t see the A’s playing at HT while the City still has plans on building a stadium at another location for the Raiders. How much debt is the city willing take on in order to save it’s sports teams?

    Thanks to the recent sale of the Padres and Dodgers the A’s asking price is going to be over 600 million +. Add on the cost of a new stadium and you could be looking at 1.5 Billion just to purchase the team and build a new stadium in the Oakland area. Good luck I hope it happens but I still have a feeling the team is going to move to SJ.

  105. Oakland promised a financing plan to go along with its Coliseum City draft-EIR due out in October. Does this mean Clorox won’t be a part of that?

    If Knauss wants to cut Oakland a 7 figure check to do a draft and final EIR, have at it! That kind of study could prove valuable for west Oakland regardless of the A’s situation. The fact it involves a possible stadium is just a major bonus. But as fun as yesterday was, and as much info may be released over the next few weeks, don’t fool yourself into think we’re not a good 12 months away from knowing what the word “viable” means with regard to Howard Terminal. Assuming the necessary studies are fully funded and completed.

    Mr. Knauss was pretty quick to suggest infrastructure funding would be available, and without a public vote. But we won’t know anything about actual costs until a full study is done. If Knauss wants to help foot the bill for that, awesome. But to suggest that public infrastructure funding would be available, when that number could be a solid 8 (9?) figure number isn’t exactly fair to those who want to see the project move forward. If the number is in the tens of millions (possible) don’t treat it as a guarantee. I doubt the current council would approve more EIR funding now. Knauss should step in here and help find a way to fund the studies. Without them, this is all moot.

  106. Site control is a huge domino to fall, EIR would be next. If Mr. Knauss is correct and yard can be built on top of pier without cleanup that would be another huge domino to fall. Taking the optimistic point of view is that he is right and if infrastructure is doable on city and county dime then HT becomes very viable. Jack London is a sweet place to go to with its waterfront views and restaurants, Theatre, nightclubs, etc etc. Add in a new Stadium and the Brooklyn Basin Project and that entire waterfront becomes spectacular and other than S.F would have no rival in the Bay Area in terms of the place to be. Plus OPD is only a few blocks away so that takes care of the crime and bad area excuses.

  107. If the A’s can’t pay the bills at Howard Terminal, then what’s the point? Maybe they can. The NJ Devils, who like the A’s have had trouble attracting fans despite excellent on-ice performance, had to finance a huge chunk of their own arena and have been in financial trouble ever since.

  108. Before AT&T park went up that entire area was barren and desolate but men with vision came in and transformed it into one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Assuming that a yard can be built that would revitalize that area add that to the Brooklyn Basin project and future retail, commercial and housing possibilities then Oakland would have more money available to put back into the city. Oakland is a hidden Gem. Not too many places in the country can boast our waterfront views and scenic hills. All it takes is 1 person with Money and power to see the vision and everyone else will follow. The Pioneers are always the ones who get the most bloody.

    Go to AMC theatre/ Bay street in Emeryville and see how lively that area has become. Pixar is right around the corner and that is now a thriving area that just 15 years ago was a run down ghetto full of warehouses and drug addicts, a gambling town that was run down. I don’t see things as they are I see things as they can be.

  109. @muppet- ML said LGO would pay for EIR- let’s get it going- I can’t believe that the gints will want a cookie cutter of their ballpark within sight- makes for better and easier negotiations to free SJ rather than lengthy Court proceedings. The SJ lawsuit was perfectly timed as well as settlement with Matson- now gints really do have to figure out what they want- and quickly!

  110. “Quan said that if the A’s weren’t interested in building at the terminal, Oakland’s business community led by Clorox CEO Don Knauss “is willing to buy the team and build the stadium.” Wolff said again Wednesday that he has no plans to sell the team.”

    Didnt Knauss say he wasn’t interested in buying the team in yesterday’s interview? If so, this contradicts Quan’s statement. I see stalemate, if Wolff doesn’t want to sell then Its moot, unless Oakland can persuade him to change his mind.

  111. @briggs,
    Point well taken
    I find it hilarious we’re even talking about HT as a ballpark option (how it keeps coming up every now and then is beyond me). And the Trib piece is meant just to sell papers and stir up crap. IF SJ is denied by MLB (which seems unlikely even with the current lawsuit), expect to see Fremont come back to life. Heck, a new A’s ballpark at the coliseum is more realistic than HT.
    Again I ask the die hard Oakland-only; what about a stadium for the Raiders (who actually want to stay)?..

  112. @ Tony D.
    Mark Davis said talks on the stadium are going well and he loves the Coliseum Site. An EIR is in the works. IF HT is secured for A’s then a more cost effective option will be possible in renovating Coliseum or building next to it for Da Raiduhs. Just read an article from last year when city met with Blue ribbon committee and they told Oakland officials the same thing that Knauss said yesterday. Get site control and that is on the verge of happening. Both the Coliseum and HT are publicly owned so no need to buy anyone out. All Oakland news is scoffed at and dismissed so it is what it is.

  113. @goasetc.
    HT isnt happening for an A’s ballpark. Read my quote above from Wolffs latest interview to see what MLB really had to say about Alameda County. So Oakland will really have all this cash to throw at the Raiders AND A’s? Really? Don’t know what else to tell you at this point. (Enjoy RM’s thread on the “big” development re HT; I’ll do you a favor and not comment about it..)

  114. I remember the Blue Ribbon Commission coming in, last summer. I also remember the news story from a couple months ago where MLB apparently told the A’s the conditions to move to SJ. Logically MLB is playing both cities, telling both cities what they want to hear and seeing who’ll give the best deal.

  115. @ Tony D
    No worries bro I know where you stand and as a SJ native and Lover I don’t blame you for wanting A’s in SJ, I also don’t blame you for pointing out obvious obstacles and hurdles that Oakland faces but as An Oakland Native I have to keep the faith no matter how bleak things look at times. IMHO Knauss interview yesterday and Site control of HT is good news which is better than bad news or no news. Mayor Reed has pushed all the chips to the front of the table and now its time for MLB to call or fold.

  116. I will bet LW/Fisher will sell if a group bids 1BIL

  117. If SJ isn’t going to happen until 2018, so might as well have a backup plan, right? HT is pie-in-the-sky, but it would be a nice spot. Certainly HT is a better alternative aesthetically than Coliseum City. So many times over the past seven years I thought I had this ballpark situation figured out. Only thing I figured out is I have no clue. At this point it seems like anything is possible.

  118. BTW I used to work at the Port of Oakland and I have been able to see some spectacular views from right under the cranes where very few outside of longshoremen and truckers who go into port are able to see. I have ate lunch feet from the edge of the pier at Howard Terminal, B58, the old Union Pacific Railroad, TTI, Transbay, Maersk, etc etc and those views are absolutely breath taking. From Howard Terminal you can see Alameda Rockcod, the bridges, the estuary, the city and At&t park and the mountains behind the city. If HT happens it will rival AT&t park and will become the top yard in baseball.

  119. if a park were to be built at howard terminal the park would likely be facing southwest. it’d have a view of the water but no way would it compare to at&t where it has a huge expansive view of the bay and the bay bridge along with the oakland hills.

    a “clorox park” would be looking at the estuary and and the island of alameda. it’d be more like the great american ball park in cin rather than what at&t from across the bay would have in terms of a “view”.

  120. still think this is by far the best backdrop for any park.

  121. LGO, Ballparks can’t face the west for sun issues. You might get away with south, but likely it ends up facing east, especially given the actual footprint of terminal itself. You won’t get water views from the superstructure of the stadium on that plot of land. Home plate would end up in that bottom left corner of that image you linked. You’d get a nice view of 980, downtown Oakland, and the hills.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but while near JLS, that’s much more centered in the more industrial part of the area, no? If so, are we going back to the moving businesses out of there in order to build it up for easier access to restaurants et al.? Or are you expecting people to go a mile or so to those things in the heart of JLS?

  122. well could it face directly south then where “homeplate” would be located in the upper left corner? you’d get a some of downtown oakland/hills as you mentioned but still get a view of some of the estuary but not the grand view that some believe that can happen if a park is built at HT. some in the upper grandstand could get some view of lake merritt too i guess. could have firework shows across the waterfront too.

    be pretty wasteful to build a park near the waterfront and not have any views of any of the water nearby.

    don’t think howard terminal has any shot of happening anyways.

  123. Just off the top of my head, the ballpark can only be oriented within a relatively narrow band as others have mentioned, but the surrounding land can be reshaped. Naturally, it’ll drive the construction costs much higher, but it’s within the realm of possibility. Though, I don’t think the effect will be worth the cost.

    I’d be happy with a HT ballpark facing DT Oakland because, frankly, it’s a DT that’s difficult to see otherwise. You barely catch a glimpse of it on BART and the freeway heights/depths conceals it most of the time, compared to the how S-680 dramatically swoops around south of DT SJ or N-101 peaks at Potrero Hill showing off DT SF.

  124. @dmoas – The site is on the periphery of JLS; it’s probably a quarter to half mile to most JLS restaurants, not a mile. Others would go into the closer, more empty blocks now if there were a stadium constructed there.

  125. One thing that really worries me, as an Alameda County tax payer, is Knauss making broad statements about using my money to rebuild infrastructure in a part of Oakland that is going to be expensive and claiming it doesn’t require a vote. If my money is paying infrastructure projects, I want a voice and I want to know specifics, not hear bullshit platitudes.
    Second, the one thing that seems to be clear is that the “32k stadium” plan was kiboshed by MLB. It’s going to be 37k. We are talking about an area of Oakland that is not remotely set up to handle 30k people 81 times a year. The cost to build a stadium here is going to be huge. We (Alameda County tax payers and Oakland residents) are going to be asked to cover that. If you aren’t asking “How much?” before forming an opinion on paying for any part of a stadium here, I have disdain for you.
    The lack of transparency in Oakland’s process is alarming. Demand better.

  126. The irony (or poetic justice, depending on how you look at it) is that had the A’s franchise done more to improve their brand image/value over the decades, there might be more corporate sponsors willing to considering assisting in funding an Oakland ballpark. Right now to non-fans, the A’s brand of baseball is associate with being cheap, broke, constantly losing fan favorites, etc. None of those are positive things. It’s easy to understand why casual fans choose the Giants. I can’t blame them.

  127. A’s are in a playoff spot right now, Giants, with probably twice the payroll of the A’s, are two games under .500 and just got swept by the Dodgers. Let them have the Giants if they want them

  128. @jeffrey- my sense is that most alameda county residents have no idea what is going on. I doubt that if they did they would support any public funds for any of the sports teams given what happened with Mt Davis and the $120M hangover that remains.

  129. Also believe that Oakland is proposing a TIF for JLS area- not sure how much that is projected to generate.

  130. I can’t rag on casual fans. I just replaced my car stereo. I don’t know jack about car stereos. I went in and purchased one with a price I was comfortable paying and possessing features that I wanted. I’m positive there are sites on the web with people who take car stereos very seriously. They would probably have opinions on my purchasing decision. However, I don’t car. I’m just buying a car stereo. There are people who just want to sit in the sun, have a hotdog and watch a ballgame. I could unload my opinions on my I choose the A’s over the Giants, but it’d just be noise to the other person. MLB is product. The Giants and A’s push product. The product isn’t simply a winning percentage. It’s the whole experience of being a “baseball fan.” In that regard, the Giants offer a better product.

  131. @jeffery

    In direct response to ur tax payer rant, I also as a alameda county tax payer woukd approve and be more than willing to accept a deal to get the A’s or Raiders a new home in Oakland. I love being liberal/ socialism self, but after growing up in that bay area thinking and seing how other cities are passong us by, its time to challenge Oakland and change our ways. It does get old with the same old , “my tax dollar” complaints….anyway ill debate you anytime…..but i woild vote YES on New taxes for a new raider or A’s ballpark ( we could only afford one)

    • @aaron – Oakland/Alameda County has publicly financed stadia over the last 50 years, 4 separate times. You’re not arguing for change at all, you’re arguing for more of the same, especially compared to the rest of the country.

  132. @Jefferey
    All Valid points. At this point there is alot of guessing going on. The good thing is that the land is being aquired and that there appears to be some momentum on this project. If we can get the EIR done then we can get some hard numbers. Brooklyn basin has changed alot of things and that entire waterfront from H.T to Estuary is on the verge of being completely transformed.

  133. @letsgoas

    I don’t think it would be wasteful per se for a waterfront park to not face the water. PETCO Park in SD is close enough to their waterfront where they could have oriented it that way, but instead they chose to build it facing north towards downtown, which isn’t too shabby of a view, in my opinion:

    In any case, I would rather see the A’s build something unique instead of a carbon copy of AT&T, be in Oakland or San Jose.

  134. Momentum for what project?! There will be no ballpark at HT! Brooklyn basis doesn’t even exist yet and won’t in its entirety in at least a decade. Alameda Co taxpayers saying yes to increased taxes for BOTH a new ballpark and football stadium in Oakland? Can you say $2 billion? C’mon folks, if you want the A’s to stay in Oakland proper that’s great, but how about a little (or a lot) dose of reality for once..

  135. “Alameda Co taxpayers saying yes to increased taxes for BOTH a new ballpark and football stadium in Oakland? Can you say $2 billion?”

    They don’t come as a package. One can support public funding for the A’s and not the Raiders. Hopefully the city prioritizes them in that order, if/when SJ falls through.

  136. Tim,
    It’s for the $&@ entire amount for both hypothetical stadiums! I know it wouldn’t be for a damn “package.” So Oakland is really going to support a tax hike to provide $200 million in funding for a ballpark? Wait! Make that least $300 million for the massive site clean up and infrastructure improvements at HT. WOW! Just wow..
    If/when SJ falls through (which I highly doubt) the A’s will go back to Fremont, Silicon Valley northeast. And since you Oakland-only are now championing the territorial rights and praying for some tail between legs scenario to come true, I now have no problem throwing the reality of Oakland right back at ya..(as RM stated last week when the lawsuit was filed, IT’S ON!)

  137. Someone is fired up

  138. standfor, I am glad that you content being ignorant.

  139. Here’s the deal, nobody has a good idea what the City of Oakland is expecting either venue to cost and what they are willing to contribute towards either.
    I am not a citizen of Oakland and have no voice in that. I am an Alameda County resident. If there is to be Alameda County tax funds to be used on building either of these two potential venues, I want to vote on the use of those funds.
    That doesn’t mean I would vote “no.” It means that I want to understand what I am paying for, how much it is likely to cost and the benefit of doing so. What is the opportunity cost?
    For instance- perhaps there are transportation funds that can be tapped to help with some of the infrastructure work at Coliseum City. Maybe those funds could be used to extend BART into Livermore, instead. If that pool of money could be used for BART to Livermore vs. Infrastructure work at the Coliseum complex, I would prefer BART being extended into Livermore 8 days a week and I would vote accordingly.
    This is an oversimplification, for sure. But it illustrates why many folks would want to vote on the use of tax money for any massive project like a baseball or football stadium. Ask yourself this “If I could have voted on the Raiders deal, knowing what I know right now, would I have voted for it?” If your answer is “Yes” I fear for your sanity.

  140. @ Tony
    All the no to Oakland crap you spew out is all speculation. You wanna poo poo Oakland and talk up San Jose, #1 Wolff can want to go to SJ all he wants but its not on him its on MLB and suing MLB is not a way to start a relationship. Pro SJ People wanna throw out all the best case scenerios, MLB will buckle and grant us rights junk but the reality is that they can just as well be dismissed and MLB can comeback and force Wolff to build in Oakland if there is indeed a viable site. You talk so assured just like all the “experts” who picked A’s to lose 100 last year . NOBODY KNOWS! All speculation. While I give S.J the advantage to say Oakland has no shot is just speculation. MLB has told Oakland what to do and they are on the verge of doing it. All pro SJ folks make it seem like the Giants territorial rights issue is so easily dismissible but it is not or it would of been done already. As of Today they are The OAKLAND A’s and on the verge of finalizing a 5 year lease extension and acquiring a plot of land that many on this very site said last year would not be doable because of the SSA lawsuit and as it stands today it is on the verge of being acquired today or tomorrow. It’s all good keep spewing the hate and see y’all at the OAKLAND coliseum tomorrow.

  141. @Tony D- Fremont is dead dude, if Wolff could build at Pacific Commons he would do that right now. He already spent 24M on the land and is just sitting on it. In Fremont, people from San Jose could throw a rock and hit the place….He would be in great position if he could build there now since he could avoid the Giants and MLB.

    Problem is, the big box retailers and NIMBY’s created too many obstacles Wolff could not overcome.

    Please stop pretending Fremont is going to happen, you are better of praying for an “Oakland miracle” at HT.

    Oakland needs to put together with Alameda County a tax increase to raise the $$ to help the Raiders and A’s.

    Get creative and let the voters decide if they wish to fund part of the project.

    With a subsidy Wolff would not mind building in Oakland….I am sure he would be more than willing to sit at the table again. But the problem Jean Quan and Oakland want a free ballpark like San Jose is trying to get….that is the big disconnect on why Oakland refuses to pay.

  142. @ml
    Respectively disagree
    Shad up

    Mount Davis deal….too bad. We cant keep using that excuse. Nobody held a gun to our head to vote yes. We shoukd have told Al ” love to have you back in Oakland” here is your 200 mil build a stadium next to the A’s……but no…we had the bright idea to do mout Davis and hurt the coliseum….we could learn from this mistake and contribute to a seperate stadium this time around…. Also what about our Warriors…now there is a threat they could be denied to build at pier 32, would u want ur tax dollars for a new arena over a ballpark??? Oakland can only afford either a new stadium, arena or ballpark…..choose one Oakland

  143. @goeveryoneetc.
    Enjoy having sand in your mouth, eyes, nose and ears; that’s your prerogative. Again, its your world.
    No longer read your posts as what you think is now irrelevant to me.

  144. Does anyone else find it strange that Knauss only shows up when serious discussion on the A’s moving to SJ start happening. When the media blitz between the two teams went on he pops up and makes wild claims about buyers and keeping the team in Oakland.
    Everything dies down and he goes silent. H even meets with Lew and gets to see what the A’s have seen. He is now well aware the A’s are not for sale and there is no readily viable site in Oakland. Knauss remains silent following the meeting.
    Now SJ launches the nuclear option and Knauss pops up again making the same claims as before, and as before, without any specifics. This makes me wonder what his true motives are. He could honestly want the A’s in Oakland but he has brought nothing to the table. He might have a buyer but has brought nobody forward.
    Or, he could be a closet Gnats guy who is just trying to muck up the works to help keep the A’s mired in purgatory. Any motive you attribute to him, everyone should agree, he honestly has done nothing to further the cause of helping the A’s find a solution to this situation.

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