A’s lease situation looms in the shadows

Lost in all the postgame recriminations from Friday night is an article by the Chronicle’s Will Kane. It’s about the lease extension talks between the A’s and the Coliseum Authority, which to date haven’t yielded a new deal. When we last left off, Lew Wolff indicated that the A’s presented the JPA an offer of a 5-year extension at a higher annual payment, which would cover maintenance and some improvements at the Coliseum. The actual amounts and terms weren’t publicly disclosed. Wolff aimed for an escape clause that would be triggered by the Raiders building a new stadium that would presumably adversely impact the A’s. That was followed by Raiders owner Mark Davis pushing to demolish the old Coliseum and build a new one in its place.

Having this game as one of the last in the Coliseum is surely inconceivable. Right?

Having this game as one of the last in the Coliseum is surely inconceivable. Right?

Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who has been touting the potential for Coliseum City since its public unveiling, believes that the two sides are close to a 6-8 year extension. What’s a little disturbing is this message from Kaplan:

And the six- to eight-year window should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A’s to stay, Kaplan said.

Hold a sec. Plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark? You’ve got to be kidding me with that. I’m sure that Kaplan was merely referring to the idea of shoe-horning a ballpark into the A lot, a secondary item within the overall plan. It’s the tone that’s disturbing. It places doubt on the idea that Victory Court was serious, and it certainly raises questions on the seriousness of inclusion for the A’s in Coliseum City. Just as the A’s aren’t winning back burned fans by talking about leaving, Oakland isn’t going to win the A’s over by considering them an add-on or second/third phase. Plus the idea of 6-8 years should give anyone pause. For all the talk by Kaplan and Mayor Jean Quan about how projects could be fast tracked or don’t need extensive environmental review, 6-8 years is an awful long time to effect change. Especially if both Coliseum City and Howard Terminal are under site control, Oakland’s favorite new catch phrase. Mark Davis lightly admonished Oakland about showing urgency last month. A move like this shows more of the same lack of urgency from Oakland. How are any of the teams supposed to take Oakland pols seriously if the general feel is that they’re making moves to make it look like they’re making moves?

While Kaplan was quick to say that a deal was close, A’s President Michael Crowley doesn’t see it that way.

“We’ve had some discussions, but we still remain far apart,” Crowley said of the lease talks. “I really don’t want to negotiate in the press. We certainly hope to be playing here in 2014.”

We certainly hope to be playing here in 2014? That’s also a pretty bad tell. Wolff has been careful to talk about playing at the Coliseum for years to come, even talking to a fan about it in Anaheim during the last regular season road trip. But this is not a certainty. And if your argument for the A’s staying is simply, They have nowhere to go, think again. Of course they have somewhere else to go. It’s really a question of how much money they’re willing to pay to make it happen – short and long-term.

Consider this game of musical chairs.

  • The A’s Coliseum lease ends at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
  • Same goes for the San Jose Giants at San Jose Municipal Stadium. Obviously the A’s aren’t going to play at Muni, it’s much too small and is older and more dilapidated than the Coliseum.
  • Raley Field is not old and dilapidated. It has 11,093 seats, plus berm seating up to 14,000. I did some measurements of the berm in RF and some of the other areas, and have concluded that if bleachers were installed atop those areas, the capacity could reach 20,000. Without standing room admissions. The A’s would sell that capacity out for 2-3 years straight, the transition time needed to build in San Jose. That capacity isn’t necessarily too small for MLB since there would be a clear transition path, and the A’s have been playing to an average of 20,000 per game for the last three years anyway.
  • What about the River Cats? Well, Lew Wolff would have to call in a favor. The team is owned by Susan Savage, widow of Art Savage. Art Savage was an executive with the Sharks almost 20 years ago, and Wolff called him and his family good friends. Wolff would have to work with the family, who runs the stadium, to compensate them properly and plan Raley’s temporary expansion. The River Cats could continue to play select games there, or…
  • Move temporarily to San Jose, where city leaders would be happy to kick the intransigent High-A Giants to the curb in favor of a AAA team while waiting for the MLB A’s to arrive. As of two weeks ago, there is no movement on a lease extension for the SJ Giants. Sound familiar?
  • That leaves the SJ Giants without a lease, without a home. That will not go over well with long-time SJ Giants fans, some of whom are part of the Stand For San Jose lawsuit. Sucks for them, I guess. If the Giants started looking for a home somewhere else in the Bay Area or NorCal, trust me, there will be no shortage of smaller cities ready to roll out the red carpet for them.
  • When the temporary arrangement ends in 2016 or thereabouts, Raley Field can be restored back to its previous glory. While there would be a big grassroots effort in Sacramento to attract the A’s full time, much of the available political capital has already been spent on the downtown Sacramento Kings’ arena. We already know that, when Raley was under construction, changes had to be made that dropped the possibility of easy vertical expansion. That makes it difficult to envision Raley as anything larger that 20,000 seats, unless someone’s willing to pay to gut it and rebuild the suites and a new upper deck. Besides, after 2-3 years it’ll become readily apparent how much better Raley is suited to being a AAA park than a MLB park. It’s akin to what happened when Bud Adams moved the Oilers out of Houston, Absent a modern stadium, Adams had his team play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis for a year, followed one season at Vanderbilt Stadium. Adequate, and definitely not permanent.

Is any of this based on inside information? I assure you, it is not. Rather, it’s an example of a well-conceived Plan B, just in case the A’s can’t work out a Coliseum lease extension. It gives the A’s a decent place to play while they wait out the legal drama, while not infringing on T-rights. The way T-rights are written, Santa Clara County can accept any team it wants provided it’s not a MLB franchise. That’s how Wolff, Davis, and Crowley should be thinking. If they aren’t, then they’re not doing their respective jobs.

65 thoughts on “A’s lease situation looms in the shadows

  1. A couple of observations: 1: Michael Crowley’s comment “We certainly hope to be playing here in 2014.” is not really a threatening phrase, it is very real, nothing is guaranteed. Why? Because it is possible that if the Raiders have an agreement on the Stadium Site, the A’s at some point have to go (it could even be after this year) 2: The Rebecca Kaplan comment: ” And the six- to eight-year window should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A’s to stay.” Is potentially the dangerous one. Why? 1: Does she know something about the negotiations with the Raiders that is not Public Knowledge? Basically, if Mark Davis wants something on the Coliseum Site, you cannot have the A’s remain there for another 6-8 years. She has to know that is unacceptable to the Raiders…. Unless: A: She is an elitist liberal and is simply dreaming of “Happily Ever After.” B: She knows the Raider “negotiations” are pure semantics for attendance purposes, and they are going to LA. 2: Suppose the SJ suit gets thrown out, and the Raiders decide to pack their bags, and go to LA. You could see Oakland try to make the A’s stay on terms that are favorable to the City, while at the same time, do nothing to improve the Coliseum except at the margins. Which they could actually succeed at (based on the reality the A’s have nowhere to play next year). But longer term, if the A’s determine there is no hope for San Jose, and they have no other alternative than the “Pit” called the Coliseum, the A’s might decide they have no option than to move out of the Bay Area.

  2. Wow. Send the Sacto River Cats to San Jose while the A’s play in Sacto. Hadn’t thought of that one.

  3. There is no way that MLB will allow the A’s to remain in Oakland under these conditions. What Rebecca Kaplan had been quoted is so absurd, that all Lew Wolff has to do now is sit back, do nothing, and force MLB to finally come to its senses and approve the A’s move to San Jose.

    While I do agree that at some point the A’s may have to find a temporary home, I do agree that the A’s will have some options for a temporary home, if need be. ML had just stated one possible scenario. Here is my take. First, let’s look at the current situation at the Coliseum. With the very distinct possibility of losing at least eighty-one event dates next season and beyond, the Coliseum Authority has basically no leverage in negotiating a short-term lease renewal with the A’s. In addition, even in the event that the Raiders and Oakland approve a new stadium deal at the Coliseum site, it will likely take a minimum of two or three years for the site to become shovel ready. I do believe that MLB will be wheeling much of the power to make the A’s move to their new permanent ballpark as smooth a transition as possible. I believe that this may likely include working out a deal that will bring the A’s to AT&T Park as temporary tenants of the Giants, at some point. The additional income from rent, parking, and concessions will be part of the compensation package to the Giants for giving up their so called “territorial rights” to the South Bay. This scenario could begin next season, or at some time ahead before the A’s new ballpark is completed. Much of the timing will be determined by the negotiating behavior of the Coliseum Authority, by a compensation package with the Giants, and by the process of getting a possible new Raiders stadium at the Coliseum site.

  4. Hey Rebecca! Why not make it 16-20 years?! That should give Oakland enough time to get serious about the A’s (it’s not as if you haven’t had time up till now..). BTW, excellent crowd last night. If there were any doubts that the Bay Area was a two-team market they were easily put to rest. Build a new yard anywhere in the East Bay or South Bay and crowds like that become a regular occurrence. Hopefully today’s home plate ump has a betting strike zone than last night’s…

  5. @llpec,
    As always, your on point with with that post.
    Last post meant better, not “betting.”

  6. There are plenty of wishful thinkers who believe that the SJ vs MLB lawsuit is dead – this is completely nuts. Despite the all the legalize by certain individuals about this, one doesn’t need to be a genius to determine that the MLB ATE is on wobbly ground. For example, the NFL recently attempted to obtain a territorial rights privilege, for its franchises, similiar to MLB’s – and was rejected by the SCOTUS 9-0. Also, a recently retired member of SCOTUS was of the opinion that the MLB territorial rights privledge has a very good chance of being overturned.

    Even MLB’s argument, using the Curt Flood vs MLB case as their argument is lame. The judge who made the ruling with that case at the time ruled that upholding the MLB ATE should not be interpeted as re-affirming it, and that the MLB ATE’s legal status is questionable (MLB is using this as precedent to win their case?)

    San Jose city officials and the Cotchett law firm are no dummies – one would believe they wouldn’t bother with the lawsuit unless they believed they have a good chance of winning it. The wishful thinkers need to stop fantasizing – San Jose is still very much in play.

  7. I think llpec’s alternate scenario makes a little more sense than newballpark’s if MLB is calling the shots. No way you want a team playing in a minor league stadium with no clear path back to a major-league one. Also, the A’s could do serious damage to their fanbase by moving to Sac for a few years, as the Raiders did to theirs.

    • @baycommuter/llpec – That would be true if the Giants were cooperative. There’s nothing to indicate that they will ever be cooperative. The hypothetical I put forward has all simpatico parties. Besides, normally in these situations MLB likes to play ransom-the-team with the home city. So far it has stayed away from that tactic. Oakland is notorious for doing little to help the A’s. If MLB were to grant this, at least Oakland would know immediately what its neglect wrought. And if they chose not to respond or responded poorly, the path forward is clear.

  8. dangit Marine Layer you told me my 2014 season tickets would be good for the Coliseum!

  9. If I am frustrated, I can’t imagine how Management feels. Meanwhile the Giants sit and laugh. Kaplan didn’t misspeak, she’s just out of touch with reality. The best thing, even more than the SJ lawsuit is the lease expiration. By doing nothing, Lew can force Selig to at least pay attention. All the A’s would have to say is we want to play in Sac, and Bud would have to respond. I also find the san jose giants lease to be funny. “No I swear we aren’t involved in stand for SJ”. Yeah right, you just are doing what Baer told you to do.

  10. @ML
    That’s one hell of a hypothetical, but at this point, anything could happen. I guess whatever the solution, turns out being (whatever it is), it will be something that may seem a little difficult, to pull off before it’s actually pulled off.

  11. I saw a quote where the judge says, it’s up to the Supreme Court to dump the ATE. Maybe Cotchett knows he’s going to lose this round and the next (appeals court), precisely so he can get the ATE to the Supreme Court.

  12. @BC,
    I think key is what you stated; a clear path to a major league facility. If the A’s have to move to Sac for a few years WHILE a new ballpark is being built in San Jose or Fremont, then all will be well with such an arrangement. Imagine watching a televised game of our “Sac” A’s, all while being flashed between innings of a ballpark under construction while Fosse touts reserving season tickets for the new Cisco Field. Also don’t think (under this scenario) the fanbase would be damaged, especially with a positive endgame on the horizon.

  13. Re the Giants being “cooperative”: at least on the surface, it boggles the mind that they are being so obstructive and uncooperative with (as Wolff would say) one of their partners. And up to this point, the fact that MLB is allowing it is also mind boggling. The best interest of baseball anyone? Yet as always Wolff remains calm and collective about the whole saga; didn’t seem to frustrated last night behind home plate (he never does). ?
    Re lawsuit: just let it go! There are far more constructive ways of convincing MLB that San Jose is the way (see previous thread). Go A’s!!

  14. @Tony D: The SJ vs MLB will likely continue even if the federal judge does not give the case standing. San Jose city officials know they stand a good chance of eventually winning.

  15. (I live in Oakland)
    Last night after leaving the game, I felt so blessed on being able to drive a few blocks away back to my house on 94th. I thought of all the people going to the game, but also if/when the A’s are in San Jose, how many of them would be going to san jo? I wouldn’t be going to nearly as many games. I go to roughly 20 games out of the season now, and just bought season tickets for next year. How many people are going to schlep all the way to San Jose, where there’s virtually NO public transit going from the east bay down?

  16. RE: I think there is no way that MLB will allow the A’s to remain in Oakland under these conditions. What Rebecca Kaplan had been quoted is so absurd, that all Lew Wolff has to do now is sit back, do nothing, and force MLB to finally come to its senses and approve the A’s move to San Jose.
    I don’t think MLB cares about some ambiguous Rebecca Kaplan quote that may have been taken out of context.
    All this outrage about the coliseum, about Oakland (believe me I pissed off at Oakland myself), but what makes a better temporary home the coliseum, with all of its problems, or a triple A park in Sacramento? I am pretty sure MLB will step into these negotiations (lease extent on) before they get to out of hand, because regardless of what some of us may fill the colusuiam is a much more suitable (temporary) home for the A’s to MLB, really does not matter what the eventual solution is San Jose, Fremont or Oakland (I know many of you don’t see Oak. as a solution, please no stones), Portland, San Antonio, or Montreal.
    Before some of you chime in with the, what if the raiders build on the coliseum footprint?, well as has been mentioned by some, I don’t think that would take place for another 2-3 years, not to mention if the raiders come to an agreement with Oakland, and the heavy hitters (investors), that are now involved in any agreement with Oakland and the raiders, do you really think those investors are going to sand for a partial redo of the coliseum (they may give on the 70 thousand seats/retractable roof, stupid anyway), but they won’t be putting all that money up for anything less than a new coliseum.

  17. @yee yee (?),
    A lot of them would be going to SJ (with the obvious exception of the rabbid Oakland-only). Also, we’ve been “schlepping” for years: A’s fans from the South Bay, Tri-Valley and greater Fremont. Nothing wrong with schlepping (?) on 880 south vs north (BART south by the early 2020’s).

  18. @Yee Yee
    The sad truth is (IMHO), that it’s about the economics, I think the A’s would love for you to come down to the South Bay (from 94th ave.), but on the other hand they don’t really need you, and they have made that clear. In all fairness to all the wonderful fans in the South Bay, they have treated many a mile up to Oakland and San Francisco to root on the raiders, warriors, 49ers, giants and A’s.

  19. Strange to think tonight could potentially be the A’s final game in Oakland. The odds of it being so are slim, but that it’s even a question is just bizarre to me. But looking at that photo from last night reminds me why. While it’s great to see the old girl full the only thing it makes me think is, WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU PEOPLE LAST WEEK!!!

    Answer is probably quite simple, they were over at AT&T Park or sitting at home. And that’s always been the problem hasn’t it. Even when the team is good enough fans have never shown up, except during the playoffs when suddenly everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

    But to the main thrust of the topic, Raley could potentially work, but it’ll take more than just a temporary expansion of the stadium seating. It also lacks MLB level off field amenities that would need to be added for both the players and media. It also would need a parking expansion which I’m not entirely sure how they’d accommodate unless they cut a deal with the office parks to the north. Access would also be a bitch, but that might be overlooked due to the temporary nature of any move there. Lastly the one issue I’m not sure how they’d deal with, or if they’d even consider it an issue, is the field itself. Just take a look at Raley’s field from above on Googlemaps or a photo of it. Raley is the antithesis of Oakland when it comes to foul territory in that it barely has any. I don’t know if MLB has a minimum amount they’d accept but Raley appears to have less than even Fenway.

    But if those issues could be dealt with it could definitely stand in for a couple of seasons as a stop gap for the A’s. And similarly work would need to be done to allow San Jose Muni to temporarily hold the Rivercats and AAA ball for largely the same reasons that the facilities are currently not up to AAA snuff (though they’re admittedly much easier to deal with and could conceivably be fixed by bringing in a few portables to serve as the clubhouse).

    As for the SJ Giants, I’m sure they’d be able to find something temporary in one of the many small towns around given how limited Single A’s requirements are for stadiums and facilities. Hell if they wanted to be really obstinate and stay in the Bay Area they could probably work something out with Stanford or Santa Clara University for the use of Sunken Diamond or Schott Stadium temporarily since both are equal to if not nicer than SJ Muni. And any similar venue in cities would also work temporarily if not semi-permanently. Plus it’s not like the Giants weren’t going to need/want a new stadium in the next few years being one of the last CAL league teams playing in a vintage stadium.

  20. @Yee Yee
    I often wonder, when people in SF/Oak mention going (all the Way), to San Jose, or the South Bay (not criticizing it), just how many people from the middle and upper Bay Area go to Sharks gams?

  21. Sorry ment to say:
    In all fairness to all the wonderful fans in the South Bay, they have “tracked” many a mile up to Oakland and San Francisco to root on the raiders, warriors, 49ers, giants and A’s.
    I have got to be the worst speller on here.

  22. I admire the people who make the long trek to the Coliseum from around the Bay Area and beyond. I have a coworker who lives in Tracy that has season tickets! the 880S drive is a nightmare, I used to have to commute on that, and I don’t know how it would be compounded with a few thousand in the East Bay going down. As to the much-bandied about BART extension, is a 45 minute BART ride (consider: stopping at every city on the way down) going to be worth it, especially if the A’s are terrible? I just feel blessed by living so close to the Coliseum, but know that if/when the A’s are far away I’m not going to be able to make it to as many games.

  23. I don’t think those are “tells,” ML. I think they’re PR bluffs.

    It was terrific to see the Oakland Coliseum full to the top last night. The sweet young thing in front of me wearing a Barton jersey didn’t seem to understand that her rally rag interfered with some sight lines. Nor did she seem much interested in Darc’s woes. But hell, she’s young. And the unwavering support for the team, the explosion of sound when Cespedes hit his bomb in the 7th, and the fact that the majority of the people in the park were regular folk–not season ticket holders or business associates of season ticket holders, but fans who went on line and bought their tickets just to be there–those things made it a great night. (The ride afterward to my Oakland home on BART was just fine, too. Nice people.) Bounce back, A’s!

    On the other topic: Again, the Supreme Court hears only the cases it wants to hear. You have to file a petition for certiorari to beg them to take your case. Such a petition for cert would follow a 9th Circuit review, years from now. Joe Cotchett is not known for understatement.

  24. @Yee Yee
    You certainly have been blessed to live so close, to all the excitement that has gone on at the Coliseum all these years. Hope you make it down to the South Bay (If the A’s end up there)
    Re: I don’t think those are “tells,” ML. I think they’re PR bluffs.
    I agree with you 100%, and I also think we are making way too much out of this, but I guess we have to make too much out of something.

    • @Lakeshore/Neil & xoot – You may be right. I’ve witnessed a good amount of contract negotiation. The sides are still in their posturing stage. We’ll know eventually who gets the better end of the deal – or who has a deal at all. There are far more variables at work than in your standard stadium lease negotiation and that shouldn’t be underestimated.

  25. OT: at Valley Fair with in-laws from out of country. Good to see A LOT of folks sporting A’s gear. Definitely brings a smile to my face. However, I’ve been critical of Giants “bandwagons” during their most recent runs. Should I be critical towards all these A’s “fans?” I guess that’s the nature of the Bay Area sports scene (love it or leave it)..

  26. Tony, I say enjoy it. From experience I’d say the bandwagoners are only half the story. For example, I saw hundreds of little kids in the East Bay develop into Giants fans the past three years. Now it’s the A’s turn again. There’s a there there — if you know what I mean. The tykes get imprinted about the time they start to play.

  27. thanks for the info on the the S4SF lil’ Gnats lease expiring…I think I’ll send some emails to my council rep inquiring about negotiations… 😉

  28. @ML–agree–lots of moving peices and I like the idea of not providing a lease to SJ Gints–there’s no economic value to SJ- if your assessment of a temporary Raley’s Field is correct attendance over the regular season would be about the same as 2013 at the Coli. LW has shown his creativity before with the Earthquakes–when negotiations fell apart to share a stadium with SJSU he quickly moved to temporarily increase capacity at Buck Shaw stadium while the new Earthquakes stadium is being built–I personally feel he has alot more leverage in the Coli negotiations than some feel–especially with Mark Davis wanting to build on the existing footprint.

  29. mark davis was exploring options in Dublin a few years ago from what I remember

  30. what does davis possibly eying concord’s naval yards tell you about the coliseum city project? course it could just be the raiders looking for multiple workable sites in the east bay though you gotta think building at the current location would be a much better place than out in concord?

  31. Lakeshore/Neil, I anticipated what you were going to say, and made sure that I covered your Raiders and time frame argument by using the phrase “The A’s at some point have to go.” Do I know what that time frame would be (assuming the A’s stay at the Coliseum site)? NO! But, what I do know, is it will not be Rebecca Kaplan’s 6-8 years (unless there is some kind of an out clause for Wolff coupled with an agreement for a NEW Major League Stadium for the A’s (that means MAJOR LEAGUE not a 10-15k seat facility in Sacramento.)It could be in Oakland, it could be in San Jose, it could be somewhere out of the Bay Area, but it will not be under the same current conditions as the Coliseum. I still say we will know something one way or another before Christmas. Time is the reason. Obviously the lease issue with the A’s and Raiders (along with the 2014 NFL Schedule), but next year’s Elections with Brown, the Legislature (good luck getting a deal like we saw to help the Kings and Warriors through the Legislature next year), and especially Quan (the idea of her looking like a indecisive moron who falls somewhere on the leadership scale between “Hamlet” and “Nero” (while Oakland’s three sports teams left on HER WATCH, should encourage ANYONE with a pulse, to run and defeat her as Mayor (that kind of worst case scenario is the last thing she wants she wants as her “Legacy”)). Once again, the timing factor, will force something to happen before Christmas, that will allow most people who actually pay attention and care, to know the fate of the A’s & Raiders in the short, intermediate (and especially) in the long-term.

  32. LetsgoA’s, What Davis did with Concord is what the Edmonton Oilers did by looking at sites in Seattle, it is just a negotiating ploy, by increasing his alternatives. Guess what? Although people in Edmonton were not happy with the tactics, in the end they worked, because the Oilers are getting their New Arena in Edmonton. I still think long-term, it will be the Coliseum Site or LA

  33. @David Brown Yes- I agee with you, and as you said we should know more by X-mass. It could be much more, but even if its not a lot, It should be enough for us to start drawing a reasonable idea, of which direction a lot of this is going, reading tealeavs is not cool, and I am sure we are all tired of that.

  34. What about leasing Petco Park for three years?

  35. Leasing Petco from the Padres would provide the Padres some additional revenue, would keep the A’s in a beautiful, modern Major League facility, would allow the players and management to live in a very desirable area during the season (Beane and Wolfe have SoCal roots), and it wouldn’t require any cooperation from the Giants whatsoever. The Padres also might like the tertiary benefit of weakening the Giants market share in the long term, which the Padres would be facilitating, if they provided the A’s a home for three years while Cisco Field is being built.

  36. The fact that Mark Davis is also looking at a North Concord site as a possible location for a new stadium is very telling, along with his quotes about the merits of this site as a future home for his Raiders. Mark Davis had stated that the North Concord site is located near BART, a very important fact given that approximately 30 percent of Raider game attending fans take BART to the Coliseum. Whether this fact is true or not, it does indicate that Mark Davis has no interest in moving the Raiders to Santa Clara, other than on a temporary basis if a new stadium is being constructed at the Coliseum location.

  37. Some guy over at Twitter said that A’s fans would miss those long, congested BART lines at the Coliseum once the A’s were in San Jose. Well, not really. After a game at Cisco Field you could leave downtown San Jose at your leisure, relaxing for a postgame meal or drink at the many bars and restaurants available in the urban core. Can’t do that now at the Coli; game over, everyone get out! Caltrain, Capitol Corridor would also be available from the get go, BART in downtown SJ in early 2020’s. All will be well.
    BTW, excellent game last night; in-laws from out of country looked at me all crazy as I WAS GOING CRAZY! Concord? That’s ALL about leverage for a Coli stadium. Go A’s!!

  38. The A’s 6-8 year extension quote, just shows how Oakland is just playing games. As D.Brown points out above everybody knows this will not be acceptable to the Raiders at all. Davis should tell the JPA that the Raiders will be moving to Santa Clara for a short term lease, maybe 2-3 years and give Oakland an ultimatum that if they can get a stadium agreement in place within’ a year then they will come back upon completion. If not they will continue the process of a move to LA or another location. Somebody has got to break this logjam!

    One reason, I see that Santa Cara would be fine in the short term is that both the Raiders and 49ers will be going into the new stadium at the same time. Even if the stadium décor is slanted towards the 49ers, they will start out even. If the Raiders are more successful on the field and the 49ers falter, people locally and across the country may even identify the stadium with the Raiders, more than the 49ers.

  39. Jacob, I love the Padres and Petco, but the Padres wouldn’t want the competition for baseball fan’s dollars. They already only draw in the mid-20’s without having a second team to deal with. Not to mention with the Pads you have the same logistic issues you’d have with the A’s sharing Pac Bell. Petco only has two clubhouses which means it doesn’t have the facilities to support a second home team.

    No if the A’s are going to find a non-Coliseum option it’ll have to be one they’re alone in. The possibility of MLB teams sharing stadiums for more than a few game emergencies is something that went out of style with multipurpose venues. That said, there are a few of those floating around along with near MLB venues or temporarily modifiable MiLB venues in various cities that the A’s could undoubtedly explore should it come to that. Montreal, San Antonio, Omaha, etc… Though I suspect if the A’s ever left to one of those they’d not be coming back.

  40. OT – Interesting chat with Mike Crowley on MLB: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/oak/barry-m-bloom-conversation-with-as-president-mike-crowley?ymd=20131005&content_id=62544828&vkey=news_oak

    Most telling is this portion:

    “I don’t think most people understand that in the last Basic Agreement, the top 10 markets are exempt from getting revenue sharing and the Bay Area is among those top 10 markets. The A’s, for now, are not included in that exemption because of the stadium situation. This is finite, though, it won’t go on forever.”

    We A’s fan tend to think of this at a micro level as it pertains to our team, but it is a macro situation that affects all of MLB. As we have discussed ad naseum over the years, the A’s/Gnats situation is unique in that its a non shared top 10 revenue market area. We were perplexed how that exemption on the A’s existed in the CBA, but now it’s clear: it was driven by the A’s because they were not prepared to pay revenue sharing in their present venue, regardless of market. The more and more I stand back to understand the CBA, the more it makes sense in the bigger scheme of thing:. BS/MLB is working the system now so that by the time the next CBA comes up, there will be a definitive plan for the A’s, since there will probably not be a clause in it for them again. With BS retiring in next year, there should be a plan devised that will get the A’s to be part of the ones contributing to, instead of receiving MLB welfare. So we’re looking possibly in 3 years time that the A’s will have a *gasp* plan for the future!

  41. Most telling is its MLB.com, not Crowley, making that comment. So MLB does not want the A’s on revenue-sharing forever, which is likely the situation if they stay in Oakland.

  42. Before signing off on a new ballpark in Oakland, MLB will take a look at the costs ($500 million at the Coliseum parking lot, which MLB doesn’t want to build on anyway; or $650-$700 million for Howard Terminal), public contribution (presumably $0.00) + the amount of luxury suites and corporate sponsorships expected to be sold (not enough). MLB will quickly conclude that a ballpark in Oakland is not going to be viable without that substantial public contribution. MLB is not going to sign off on a huge debtmonster ballpark that doesn’t generate enough revenues to pay the mortgage and the player payroll. Simply to maintain the sentimental value of the Swingin’ Oakland A’s.

  43. @David Brown BTW I ment to also say regarding Kaplan’s coment 6-8 years, that I also agree with you on this. I think (if they stay at the Coli), they will have 1,2, or 3 hard years anything after that will be year to year.

  44. You know, after reading that Crowley/MLB interview, I’m more convinced than ever that San Jose is going to happen. That said, I’m also more convinced than ever that its probably not happening anytime soon. 2018 might be THE EARLIEST a move to SJ could happen; most likely by 2020. Why such a delay is beyond me. Perhaps that’s why 1) SJ filed a lawsuit because they don’t want to wait that long and 2) why Wolff appears so calm about the situation because he knows the ultimate endgame (perhaps it will be all about his son Keith for SJ). Interesting that Crowley talked about completing EIR’s for a ballpark, especially since the Diridon EIR has been complete for awhile. A potential alternate site in San Jose?…GO RAIDERS!!

  45. Nice weekend for the Bay Area, sans Cal….A’s, Stanford, Niners, and looks like the Raiders may join in the fun!

    btw> Nice time lapse of E.Coli-seum being converted from baseball to football configuration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hn_6rcaPIE#t=35

  46. @Tony D. That would explain why SJ would file, you may have somthing, good point.

  47. “We’re here at the Coliseum for the special press conference called by Lew Wolff. Oh look, they’re approaching the podium….”

    Wolff, Billy Beane and Michael Crowley walk in and carry what appears to be an easel with a cloth over it. They set it down and Wolff stands on one side, Beane and Crowley on the other. Without saying a word, they each take a corner and pull the cloth off. It’s a map of the Bay Area, stretching into the Central Valley, with magnet A’s logo, River Cats logo and SJ Giants logos over their respective cities. Crowley leans over, puts his finger on the A’s magnet, and looks to the media. He slowly pushes the magnet to Sacramento. “For the next couple years, the A’s are going to play in a renovated and upgraded Raley Field.” Beane puts his hand on the River Cats magnet and slowly inches it to San Jose. “The River Cats have entered into an agreement with the City of San Jose to play at an upgraded Municipal Stadium.” Wolff walks up to the easel, pulls off the SJ Giants magnet, looks at it and says, “Where are the Little Giants gonna play?” After a few seconds, he flings the magnet to the ground, and continues, “WHO THE FUCK CARES!?!?”

  48. The removal of SJ Giants from SJ would be a nice, clean way to remove their interests in that lawsuit.

  49. @LS That was funny man.

  50. Have to wonder if ML’s “A’s to Sacto, River Cats to San Jose, SJ Giants to oblivion” scenario has Oakland pols a little nervous. Their “A’s have nowhere to go” strategy may not be looking so sound anymore.

  51. Have to wonder if ML really does have inside info..

  52. In Sacto, the A’s only need to seat 24,000 or so, the stadium is very new, there’s no plumbing problems (presumably), the place is right near the downtown and Oldtown Sacto and there’s no NFL team playing in it. The A’s played a handful of games in an undersized Vegas minor league stadium. Why not a few years in Sacto until San Jose is ready?

  53. ML: We already saw Wolff walk away from Spartan Stadium after he couldn’t come to an agreement with the university. Now, SJ State gets nothing from the Earthquakes; Santa Clara U gets the money. Who’s to say he wouldn’t implement a similar “Think I have no options? Think again” plan with the A’s and Oakland?

    • @pjk – I’m saying that either they don’t have the foresight to see that as a threat or they’re overconfident in their own position.

  54. As I’ve stated in previously comments, the Coliseum Authority does not have the leverage it thinks it has in negotiating a lease renewal with the A’s. The time duration that the A’s can remain at the Coliseum on a temporary basis would likely also depend on the outcome of a new stadium deal for the Raiders. The most pressing time constraint on the A’s for needing a temporary home would be if the Raiders make an immanent deal with Oakland on a new Coliseum site stadium. I don’t see that happening soon, and even if it does, it would likely take two years for the Coliseum site to be shovel ready. All other Raider new stadium scenarios will allow the current Coliseum to be untouched for a minimum of five years. That’s why the A’s would accept a five year lease renewal at the coliseum, with an escape clause after two years in the event that the Raiders get a quick new stadium deal at the Coliseum. The A’s are hopeful that it will take about five years to get a new ballpark completed in San Jose, and there will be no need to find a temporary home before the new ballpark is completed.

  55. @ LS – Thanks for that post. Had a good chuckle out of it! 🙂 Go A’s!

  56. Great suggestion by ML – booting the SJ gnats out of town!

  57. Can SJ boot SJ Giants during the current lawsuit? Is there not retaliatory laws limiting such a move?

  58. @Steven – SJ Giants officially backed out of the lawsuit a few weeks ago. Mostly because they felt the heat from the City about their involvement in the lawsuit. AFAIK SJ doesn’t have to do anything with the team at this point.

  59. San Jose leases Muni Stadium to the gnats, if SJ city officials wish to boot the gnats out of there – they can do so.

  60. Your article fails to mention (as part of the “Plan B” scenarios) that there is a stadium very close by with NO TENANT and MLB CAPACITY. It’s a little long in the tooth, but it would be well suited as a temporary home for 2-3 years.

    Candlestick Park.

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