Port of Oakland points out numerous Howard Terminal issues in RFP proposal

Two competing narratives define Howard Terminal at the moment. The first, proffered by Oakland ballpark boosters, insists that because of the summer move to attain “site control” over the Port locale, getting a ballpark built should be a mostly a matter of procedure that can quickly result in HT being shovel-ready. The other narrative, promoted by this site and other skeptics, argues that because of the land’s heavy industrial and maritime uses over the last several decades, it could be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to even attempt it.

Adding to the information fog surrounding Howard Terminal are suggestions that the permitting and CEQA processes for the site could somehow be streamlined. One Twitter follower even explained to me a few months ago that the site wouldn’t need rigorous environmental review because HT was somehow zoned for a convention center. That’s not true, and even if it was that’s a wholly different use and set of impacts compared to a ballpark. No, HT is zoned as heavy industrial, Port land. No commercial uses are allowed there. I’ve also heard that there’s a way to build at HT without breaching the thick contamination cap already there. That’s patently ridiculous. Now if someone wants to offer up some great technology that allows for building a code-compliant, earthquake-safe, 10-story tall permanent ballpark whose foundation doesn’t require digging out some dirt, I’m all ears. Pardon me for being cynical.

Or if you don’t want to pardon my cynicism, take it from the Port. In the aftermath of the SSA consolidation deal inked between the Port and one of its bigger operators, Port staff prepared a report for a forthcoming RFP to find bidders who could use HT in the short-term. The concern is that the Port is losing $10 million a year while Howard Terminal remains vacant post-consolidation. I’ve bolded some of the more noteworthy language, and summarized the issue below each quoted graf.

Urgency of Revenue

With the loss of about $10 million/year of revenue at Howard Terminal starting October 1, 2013, finding a new tenant that can quickly establish operations and pay rent to the Port is critical. Because the property is already generally permitted and entitled for maritime and maritime-related uses, maintaining land use consistency will help expedite occupancy. However, it should be noted that even some maritime uses may require additional entitlement work; for example, construction of extensive break bulk facilities may require some California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) analysis and permitting work. This work, however, is expected to be relatively limited as compared to non-maritime uses of the property.

Issue #1: The Port is trying to maintain maritime use so that they can get a tenant in there tout de suite. That doesn’t mean that the Port is against a ballpark, but it’s clear that a non-maritime use like a ballpark is bound to be tied up in red tape for some time to come.

BCDC Seaport Plan

Howard Terminal is included in the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (“BCDC”) Seaport Plan as a “Port Priority Use” area. This designation is based on a Bay-wide study performed by BCDC periodically to determine whether enough capacity exists across all Bay Area ports to accommodate anticipated cargo growth in the long-term future. Using Howard Terminal for non-maritime uses conflicts with this designation, and de-designation of lands from Port Priority Use requires a Seaport Plan amendment, which is a fairly lengthy and involved process. To pursue an amendment, the Port would be required to provide evidence that sufficient capacity exists within the remaining Port seaport properties, or elsewhere within the Bay Area Port priority lands, to support the long term maritime growth demands for the region. BCDC would then independently analyze that information before proceeding with an amendment.

Issue #2: In order to accept non-maritime reuse of Howard Terminal, that red tape would include a Seaport Plan amendment, proof that the consolidation properly makes up for HT’s lost cargo handling capacity. If the consolidation doesn’t prove enough, more capacity would have to be found elsewhere, even somewhere outside Oakland city limits.

Tidelands Trust Compliance

Howard Terminal is currently encumbered by the Tidelands Trust. Uses of the property are therefore generally limited to water oriented commerce, navigation, fisheries, and regional or state-wide recreational uses. Approval from the State Lands Commission would be required for any uses of the property that are not Tidelands Trust compliant. Many non-maritime activities are not considered Trust compliant uses and thus may require lengthy negotiations with the State Lands Commission, and potential legislation, before the Port could proceed with such non-Trust uses for the property.

Issue #3: This is a very similar situation to what the Warriors face with their planned arena at San Francisco’s Piers 30/32. Howard Terminal is on the water, on the bay, thus any plans there mandate special consideration of the effects of such a project. Since that process could take years to shake out, project proponents have pushed local legislators to write “streamlining” bills that can cut down review time normally associated with EIR-challenging lawsuits.

Other Entitlement, Environmental & Regulatory Issues

Howard Terminal is subject to a complex set of regulatory permits and deed restrictions related to the hazardous materials in the soil and groundwater underlying the property. Development of new structures that penetrate the ground surface or changes in land use will require notices to regulatory agencies, and compliance with existing health, safety and soil management plans. Non-maritime uses will likely require extensive and expensive clean-up or other protective environmental measures, precluding expeditious turn-over of the property to a new rent-paying tenant. Further, non-maritime uses will likely require numerous land use entitlements including local land use permits, an amendment to the Oakland General Plan, and CEQA review. These activities could take several years to complete. 

Issue #4: The cap problem.

Remarkably, there was no mention of a ballpark anywhere in the proposal for the RFP. There was also no mention of an EIR for a ballpark or any other Howard Terminal-related project. That makes sense when the goal is simply to get a tenant in there in the next year. No chance that can be anything but a shipping concern. Staff’s recommendation is to carry forward an RFP focusing only on maritime uses. That could change if City Hall leans hard on the Port to formally open up HT for non-maritime uses. Then again, as staff pointed out, Broadening the RFP scope further would complicate the evaluation process. SSA’s transition was originally supposed to complete at the beginning of this month. Now it may slip until January, which seems more realistic considering the work involved.

When it comes to Howard Terminal, you can read this site or listen to some story that some people are selling. Or you could disregard both and read Port staff’s own words. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you do. Mayor Jean Quan has been claiming for some months that some good news would be coming by the end of the year regarding HT. Hopefully the news isn’t limited to announcing that the Port has identified a new operator at the site for negotiations. That’s what happened with the Coliseum City RFP. In February 2012. The Port of Oakland has is semi-autonomous. It has to be fiscally responsible and self-sufficient. A $10 million hit per year is a big hit no matter how long it lasts. The Port also has another project, the Oakland Army Base reuse plan, which may now be counted upon to replace the jobs lost if Howard Terminal can’t find a new tenant. All of these issues and others are why I suggested caution when Howard Terminal came into play again. Now let’s see what site proponents can do about all the obstacles in their path.


P.S. – Don’t forget, the issues identified by Port staff don’t include issues that could arise specific to the construction of a ballpark: pedestrian and vehicular bridges needed over the Embarcadero railroad tracks, and potential resistance from Oakland residents over the prospects of a tall stadium on the waterfront.

135 thoughts on “Port of Oakland points out numerous Howard Terminal issues in RFP proposal

  1. Thanks ML, not the best news if your a Pro-Oakland fan like me, but as I have said in the past, I am more Pro-A’s then Oakland at this point, so lets go San Jose, or Fremont A’s lets go.

  2. I honestly don’t care where they build a ballpark, and I am assuming the existing site is a non starter, but the only oakland crowd assumes just because a site is found all the problems are solved. I could understand, if the city was footing the bill, but Lew is being asked to pay all costs. There is a reason MLB and Lew have not come out in support of this. Just the red tape alone with this site would make me not interested, and you want me to spend 100-200 million to just be able to spend $600mil on the park. This is the most frustrating part. No-one ever talks money. Every opinion article never mentions money, just “that we found Lew a site, now build on it, do it now, why does Lew hate oakland, it’s his only spot left”
    lets face facts, the A’s will be in the coliseum for many years to come, collecting revenue sharing, while the same articles are written over and over again. There will be more sites like Victory Court and HT, but it won’t matter because the only thing that does is money, and no one really wants to talk about that. Especially when it’s not theirs.

  3. Contrasting with BaseballOakland, there’s no comparison between the information presented here and there. Their position is little more than “Wolff sucks! Oakland rules!”

    It may be that you believe San Jose is where the A’s should build, not Oakland, but that’s primarily because San Jose has the better case to get the team while Oakland continues to fail to put forth a realistic, workable plan.

    Howard Terminal – as this shows – still has too many hurdles to jump over before the site can work for a ballpark or general non-maritime use.

    Coliseum City might be nice overall, but it’s also nowhere close to happening at this point.

    It’s true San Jose’s not at the point of being able to proceed either but they have fewer hurdles to jump over if and when t-rights are resolved.

  4. @jordan- I agree your looking at 8-10 years of red tape, like you said that alone would blow it. I guess the only place left in Oakland, that would be cost friendly and with vary little red tape, would be the Coli. but MLB has said they dont like, and even though Lew looked at it in the past, I just dont think he or MLB would look at it again. If the A’s dont get San Jose (hope they do), I guess it would be back to Fremont, I know most of you had already felt like H.T. was no go, and for many others Fremont as well, but I was holding out hope.

  5. Lakeshore, problem is there’s no place in Fremont that is currently workable either (at least that’s been identified). The Pacific Common’s site has been sold and would still be blocked by the big box retailers anyway. The NUMMI North site is currently being developed and still has the same NIMBY issues. They’d have to find a completely new site but I’ll be damned if I know where…

    (Though does anyone know who owns the old Fremont Airport/Raceway land just north of Dixon Landing Rd?

  6. Wow ML, I am constantly amazed at how comprehensive and indepth your writings are. If not already, somebody should be hiring you as a consultant at a few 100k a year. Thanks for your efforts!
    Quan says there will be good news about HT, but I guess it may have nothing to do with a ballpark. They are all in with C.C. and even at that barely mention the A’s. Would love to see an Oakland waterfront ballpark, but too may hurdles and Oakland just seems to be stalling all the way around.
    Right now I am concerned with where the A’s will be playing in a little over 6 months time. I still don’t see how the JPA can work out an agreement w/the A’s while the Raiders situation is up in the air. The Raiders can wait a bit longer for a lease resolution. Hopefully we will hear something soon.

  7. Or Maybe the Raiders lease ends December 31st, don’t know?? Would the teams be required to remove all their property if the lease has expired?

  8. Re HT: the info presented doesn’t even speak about the traffic issue, getting thousands of folks in and out of that area. BART no where near and poor vehicular acces from 880; talk about a traffic nightmare. Yes, there’s ferry service and Capitol Corridor Amtrak, but would that be enough? Rectifying those problems would add hundreds of millions more $ to the HT concept IMHO.
    @Dan, NUMMI north (Tesla) isn’t currently being developed. UPRR was recently looking for a buyer for that plot, with no news (?) on if it were sold or to whom. I’m sure the A’s/Fremont would work with local residents re traffic, noise and light concerns if it ever came down to it/were resurrected. Again, you don’t make decisions re city development based on the ridiculousness of rabid NIMBYS who flood town hall meetings. Old Fremont Airport/Raceway land: interesting. Mike Crowley in his most recent MLB interview did mention the need for the A’s to complete “EIR’s” for a new ballpark, so perhaps they have other ideas for San Jose/”southern Alameda County” other than Diridon…

    • Anyone talking about Fremont is just as guilty as some Oakland boosters are of simply pointing to a site and wishing it into a ballpark. Do the background work first.

  9. @ML I know vary little about any Fremont sites, I only bring it up because it is a place I think Lew would like to build (if he cant get SJ), perhaps it will be SJ, or nothing, and its starting to fill like nothing.

  10. MLB may be getting tired of protecting the giants – especially now that MLB will be forced to explain their behavior about the A’s situation in a courtroom. The giants evidently are not a popular MLB team (the 2013 NLCS ratings were way up over 2012) Players appear to avoid playing for the giants for whatever reason (they have a difficult time signing FAs and evidently need to badly overpay to keep players -$90 mil./five year contract for Hunter Pence?)The giants franchise may be losing its luster in MLB circles. The A’s to SJ is far from over.

  11. At least now I understand what Rebecca Kaplan was talking about regarding a five to eight year time duration. I think that this time duration may even be a bit optimistic in getting all the required red tape resolved, site environmental cleanup completed, and area infrastructural/accessibility issues resolved. This all must be completed or resoled before the very first ballpark construction shovel can hit the ground. Nobody has even addressed all the preliminary total costs involved that are separate from the actual ballpark construction costs, as well as the question of where the funding will be coming from.

  12. @duffer- I sure hope your right. @llpec- You are so correct.

  13. Great post ML—once again–another site proposed by Oakland and advocated by oakland only folks looks to be unrealistic….and they claim LW lies…really?

    The Chron and Merc should ask ML to use this post verbatim and publish it in a prominent location in their papers. They should then allow the gossip writers RR, TK, MP, Don Knauss and Oakland leaders to dispute the “facts” as presented by ML’s blog. Now that would be journalism–but of course I’m sure that none of those individuals would take up the offer.

  14. Can’t wait for Rich Lieberman to go on acting like this is all nothing, as usual.

  15. @Lakeshore/Neil – only the Giants fans/giants mgt. spin doctors or anti-San Jose A’s fans are the ones suggesting that the SCOTUS may not take up the SJ vs MLB case. San Jose is the 10th largest city in the US – the SCOTUS – blowing a case involving the 10th largest city? (one would believe that would be unlikely) Besides that – according to the internet info. the SCOTUS appears to have an interest in the MLB ATE anyways. MLB would avoid that type of end result and settle with the A’s before the case reaches the SCOTUS.

  16. Howard Terminal sounds like Rebecca Kaplan’s version of Economics and Time Management 101. You know, in 6 to 8 years, hopefully there will be a New Ballpark for the A’s? That is of course after Wolff spends hundreds of millions of dollars cleaning up the Terminal, with no guarantee that the environmental, legal, & logistical issues will ever allow a Ballpark to be built there. I would hope that Kaplan and Quan do not actually believe they can “Wave a magic wand”, and somehow Wolff will accept this, and 10 years from now, they will have a nice shiny new facility, while the Raiders remain at the Coliseum? They would be better off “Waving the white flag” to the A’s remaining, and seeing if Davis would accept ownership of the Coliseum and the land, while the City does needed infrastructure work for improved access to the Coliseum, in exchange for building a New Stadium and paying off the Bonds on ” Mount Davis” and calling it a day. I guarantee you that if those clowns actually push “Fairy Tales and fantasies” like this on the Raiders and the NFL, that the Raiders will be in LA soon enough ( just pausing long enough to perhaps make a ” Pit Stop” in Santa Clara, while they get the Stadium ready.

  17. I want 980 Park to happen. I know it is a site that is far from controversy free but as a location it works.

  18. Wolff already said years ago that HT has no ability to be developed for a ballpark. But we’re not supposed to believe him, of course, since he’s just the rich meanie owner who wants to move Oakland’s team. HT might end up requiring many many million dollars worth and many years of site work (to be paid for by A’s owners, of course) just to re-conclude what Wolff already said – it has no ability to be developed for a ballpark.

  19. @tony, the distance from the Embarcadero BART station to the Giants ballpark (the preferred route) is 1.7 miles; from the Montgomery St. station, 1.5 miles. Many fans take BART to the games; many of us walk both ways.

    the distance from the Lake Merritt BART station in Oakland to HT is 1.6 miles; from the 12th St. station, 1.2 miles.

    I was at JLSq last week, at dusk. The neighborhood was bustling; the weather was perfect, warm and still. Great place for October baseball.

    Luckily the RR tracks are nearby so long trains of gondola cars can haul away the vast quantities of contaminated earth. Wonder how long that would take, and how much it would cost? Gotta think it’d be a long time and quite a few millions of dollars.

  20. @Xoot,
    HT isn’t viable, no matter how much you try to spin the BART “distance” to the ballpark. Read RM’s thread again and get back to me. BTW, I would think most Giants fans take the Muni Metro, light-rail from the Market Street BART stations to AT&T Park. You are obviously in shape like I, so walking 1.5 miles + is nothing for you…but most baseball fans? Besides, who in their right mind wants to walk 1.5 miles near the Acorn Projects or under 880 to an A’s game, all while playing Frogger with Amtrak/freight trains for the last leg? Ain’t happening…

  21. We’ve been through this many times. I usually get to the ballpark early, yet I walk along the Embarcadero with a crowd of Giants fans. After the game, the Embarcadero is full of fans walking all the way back. I hate riding the muni trains. I did once, in the rain. Never again.

    There’s no spin to it. You guys are just allegic to facts. 1.2 miles from the 12th St. BART station is perfect; 1.6 from Lake Merritt is fine. But as I suggested, there appear to be some huge obstacles to a HT project.

    Please read what you’re responding to and then get back to me.

    • @xoot – Didn’t you spew out an anecdote where you laughed at all the people stuck on the Muni platform while simultaneously claiming that not that many people ride Muni to transfer to BART?

  22. @Xoot,
    OK: transform Oakland from downtown to JLS under 880 INTO THE EMBARCADERO and you win…

  23. xoot, one thing you need to consider is that currently BART is only a bridge away from the Coli. Now look at the amount of people using BART vs. driving. Do you really think that moving BART significantly further away (though, yes, walkable) is going to entice a higher percent of people to take BART over driving? At the very least it needs to be viewed as a concern.

  24. The foot traffic between BART and the Giants park completed the transformation of South Beach and Mission Bay. The BART bridge at the E Coli does nothing but annoy for a while (a long while after a PS game).

  25. @ML–I laugh at the people bunched up on the muni platform while I join the vast and amiable throng that fills the Embarcadero after games. I have no idea how many of those people on the muni platform waiting to squeeze into the little muni cars are headed for BART, but most of us enjoying the Embarcadero stroll are headed for BART. As I said, I tried muni after a game once. Once. Give me the open air, the view, and the vast and amiable throng. Try it. Beats the hell out of the funnel to the BART bridge by the E Coli. Ergo, it’s worth imitating at HT — if HT could ever be built.

    • My house near San Jose City Hall was 1.2 miles from the arena. The plentiful parking close to the arena made it so that no one parked for an arena event in my neighborhood. Most people never ventured past 2nd or 3rd St, roughly 2/3 mile away. It took me 30 minutes to make the walk, which was more like the Broadway walk down to JLS than the Embarcadero walk. You can’t manufacture that kind of view by sticking some palm trees in a median. It’s a tough sell. There will have to be some expansion of the Broadway Shuttle. I figure downtown/uptown businesses would go for it if they think the business potential is there. For years it worked for the Sharks and nearby businesses.

  26. Look Xoot, I’ve learned to despise most things SF because of the Giants and their utter arrogance. That said, the Embarcadero from AT&T Park to the Bay Bridge (and beyond) is World Class! Folks around the world pay thousands to experience this magnificent waterfront. Probably (or most likely) would have been developed even without AT&T Parks “BART foot traffic.” Do you really want to compare the Embarcadero/SF to Oakland from downtown to JLS? Really?…(done debating this because HT isn’t happening anyway; as always, nice chatting with ya Xoot)

  27. xoot: To assume tons of people will be content with a 1.5 mile walk from an Oakland BART station to a HT ballpark just because you don’t mind walking from AT&T Park to BART is, to be kind, ignorant.

    AT&T Park works for many people because there are three primary options: parking relatively close by even if it’s expensive, MUNI from in front of the stadium to BART and other parts of the city, or a straight walk to BART.

    IF a ballpark is built at HT, all three options must also be present. Parking plus a 1+ mile walk to BART alone doesn’t cut it without a convenient, relatively fast transit option right outside.

  28. 1.2 miles from 12th st. BART, through the part of downtown that has been revived. (ML loves the beer bar down there.)

    You guys are just anti-Oakland. That’s all there is to it.

    Look, I would happily walk from my office uptown, on 20th and Harrison, to a HT ballpark.

    You guys in San Jose apparently don’t walk anywhere.

  29. Xoot, it’s not Anti-Oakland. It’s FKING LAZY. And the average person is. So what if there are things to do on the way, not everyone wants to do something after a game. Not everyone wants to be required to take a mile+ walk before and after the game either. That’s just reality. The very fact that the Coli has easily the most convenient transportation options available and yet the parking lot is so frequently is full is very telling. Those that you lose from the distance won’t necessarily be gained from the pre/post game options for things to do. It’s foolish to look at SF and say something works there and automatically assume it’ll work elsewhere. It’s just an entirely unique beast.

  30. xoot: Sorry, but you don’t get it.

    Like dmoas said, it’s got nothing to do with pro or anti anything. The typical person wants the quickest, most direct way in and out of the place without a “long” walk.

    I’ll bet you could even find people who don’t like the walk from the BART ramp to the Coliseum, even though it’s roughly the same if they parked near an exit in the lot. When I lived in Hayward I took BART and did the ramp walk countless times. Now I live outside Sacramento so if I was to go to a game I’d most likely be driving there only.

    You’re trying to take one situation and apply it to a different setting.

    And enough with the “You’re just anti-Oakland” crap.

    • Basics: Walking Distance To Transit

      “Although the common standard is 400m or 1/4 mi, we all know that this cannot possibly be a hard boundary. It makes no sense to assume that if you live 395m from a bus stop you’ll be totally happy to walk that distance while your neighbor, who lives 405m from the same stop, will be totally unwilling to. Obviously, the relationship between distance and willingness to walk is a continuous curve without sharp breaks. This has to be said because our language often forces us to create the illusion of sharp breaks, e.g. when we say something like “people are generally willing to walk up to 400m to transit.”

      The article has more to do with walking from home to a station, but the experience is similar. The Embarcadero works because it meets these standards: it’s continuous, curved, has few breaks on the bayfront, and most importantly, is scenic. Broadway fails on all those counts and is more akin to a typical urban experience.

      @xoot – The Trappist is in Old Oakland, Beer Revolution on the other side of 880 near JLS. Both would benefit and potentially ease the walk. It’s still a long walk. After all, I can’t exactly drink a beer while walking down the Embarcadero.

  31. I think ML was talking about the idea of a BART staion (fill-in), at JLS that could be extended from 12th down Broadway to JLS at one time, dont know if it can even be done, not that it makes any sence talking about it, because H.T. had long odds, befor this news so lets move on, if H.T. ever come back up (chances are not good), I am sure we will pick it up again. )-:

  32. I’m trying to explain a new experience to you A’s fans. By comparison with the Giants ballpark, the E Coli sucks. By comparison with access to the Giants ballpark, the BART approach to the E Coli sucks. The driving experience to the E Coli, despite the low attendance at the E Coli, sucks, too. I know. I’ve attended many games at the E Coli since 1980, by BART and by car.

    I also attended many games at Candlestick. Now that was a different story. The basics here don’t require an education in rocket science, you dipsticks.

  33. sorry. if this blog had an edit function I’d fix that last comment of mine just a big.

  34. xoot has officially reached “Boring” mode.

  35. @ML–many people walk from Montgomery St. to the SF ballpark, both to and fro. I just happen to prefer and know the Embar. walk. Fact is, downtown Oakland would BURGEON if HT were built, and people would love the journey there. But it’s unlikely to happen.

  36. Andy Dolich was on Dale Tefoya’s podcast a few weeks ago talking about how the current coliseum site is still the best, most central, and easily accessible site for a new A’s park. With the new investors involved in developing Coliseum City and a timeline for progress, good or bad, in the next 6-12mos, I wonder if MLB would still choose HT over Coli City.

  37. @ML–you’re citing stats that don’t apply and resorting ad hominem attacks. Maybe you’re drunk. Anyway, adios, until you want to revisit that study you made of people leaving the Embarcadero BART station wearing Giants hats. That was some of your funniest work.

    • @xoot – You started out by being condescending towards commenters. I had to put you in your place. If you want to stick with your anecdotes and hopes and dreams that’s fine. It’s not scientific or well thought-out. Again, sleep it off.

      Or keep it up and don’t worry about commenting here for a while because you’re being a dick.

  38. @KC I was wondering, or perhaps just hoping the same thing. )-:

  39. Who’s Andy Dolich?…

  40. I started out by stating the google-map distance between BART stations ant HT and the Giants ballpark. That’s it. Nothing condescending about about it. You just don’t like the obvious benefits of HT. On the other hand, the obstacles to HT are plain, and it’s probably not happening. But no reason to get so bent.

    The only way you can put anyone in his or her place, it seems, is by threatening censorship. Based on how you handle this site generally, I suspect you really don’t want to go that way. Sorry I upset you. Hope your headache’s not too bad tomorrow.

    • @xoot – Consider reading some of your own comments from the past couple hours. Hell, take a couple weeks. You’re suspended. I don’t have a headache, but if I did it’d be you. Enjoy Fangraphs, Twitter, and the other places where you comment occasionally.

  41. @kc,
    MLB will choose neither. Not being anti-Oakland, just being real. BTW, welcome to the blog.

  42. @Tony D. Your right man, I am down to nothing but hope when it comes to Oakland, but I am down to hope (MLBGiants TR), when it comes to San Jose as well, and after what ML said about Fremont (location site), it seems as if that wont be as easy, as I may have thought. I am bummed.

  43. Aesthetically, Howard Terminal is an awesome idea. Beyond that, it really isn’t.
    I don’t think that walking from BART is that big of a deal, but I also don’t think it will matter that much. Even if there was a slight uptick in people riding BART (when realistic forecasts should include a slight drop off in BART ridership as a percentage of people attending games because of the distance), there would still need to be a lot better traffic flow in and out of the Howard Terminal area to make it work. We are talking about 35,000 people, hopefully, attending with regularity. if 20% ride BART that’s 28,000 coming by car. Put it another way, thats double the number of folks that even show up to most games at the Coliseum coming by car.
    There are solutions, but the question is “are those solutions worth what they costs?” Ferry riders and Amtrak riders are a rounding error in these equations. Parking garages at the site and improved infrastructure at the site are the answer, but expensive. If Howard Terminal’s “50 acres” are considered to be an asset beyond the stadium as many site boosters point out, than parking garages/infrastructure for cars should be considered a liability (from a balance sheet perspective).
    None of this really matters in light of this Port report. Sheesh, I got a headache.

  44. Tony D., If all goes to plan, and I’m confident that in due time it all will, the final phase of the BART extension to San Jose will have a station within one block of Cisco Field. Let those who argue that a sports facility’s proximity to public transit is irrelevant do so at their own stupidity.

  45. @Jeffrey
    Yeah I am with you, H.T. is a great location, and perhaps the best from the perspective of beauty of location, and it’s just the cost associated with site cleanup, bridges, parking garages, pedestrian walkways, railroad improvements, all of which may cost between 200-300 hundred million, before you even have a shovel ready site. Even if this was Lew Wolff/MLB, preferred site they would have 8-10 years of hard work ahead, just to see if they could do it. The Warriors want piers 30/32 about as much as they want a NBA championship, and as much work as they have put into it, there still a chance it may not work. It’s probably fair to say H.T. has more obstacles then piers 30/32.
    Uptown out (thanks Governor Brown), Victory Court out (costly and complicated), H.T. out (costly complicated, don’t know if it can even be built on) Coliseum City probable not happening for the A’s.
    Dirdon looks like a really nice site, I have a question (anyone with the answers please), is it a chicken before the egg situation, with regard to the remaining parcels, is it true that San Jose can’t use eminent domain, before they have a defined plan, in place for the site?, and if that’s the case could it be that MLB will not give the go ahead to move to SJ, without (total) site control, while at the same time, they can’t pursue ED, through the courts, without the plan being signed sealed and delivered?
    BTW I agree, can’t wait for BART to SJ, should have happened in the first place (40 years ago), but it would be real nice for it to be that close to an A’s new ballpark.

    • @Lakeshore/Neil – San Jose doesn’t expect to use eminent domain to get any of the remaining land. If it did the referendum that wasn’t taken in 2010 would have to occur first. The language therein emphasizes that no ED powers could be used before passage.

      “Site control” is an Oakland booster buzzword. MLB brought the Expos to DC before the Nats ballpark location had “site control.”

  46. LA stadium progress could mean it will soon be “put up or shut up” time for Oakland re: the Raiders. No more stalling for 2 more years of studies…

  47. @ML
    Thanks, that’s good news, (if the A’s can get SJ), I am sure you have covered it before, and I know nothing is a slam dunk, when talking about projects of this magnitude, but if everything lines up right, it sounds like it should not be too difficult to get the remaining parcels.

  48. OT,
    @llpec, I’ve suggested to the powers that be to END the 2nd phase of the San Jose BART extension at Diridon; a terminal station at Diridon if you will. This would save a ton of money by not having to tunnel bore north past 880 and completing the line to the proposed Santa Clara terminus. Makes a lot of sense IMHO because 1) a BART maintenance yard is no longer planned at Airport West/FMC and 2) Caltrain will be electrified/modernized between Santa Clara and SJ/Diridon; kind of redundant in a sense to have two rail lines on that stretch. Powers that be probably wont listen, but I through the idea out anyway.

  49. Last comment meant “threw,” not “through.”

  50. Nah, eventually you’d want to connect the SC line up north to Milbrea. If the money is there and able to get approved now, do it now.

  51. Milbrae to SC won’t happen in our lifetime. Tonys right, an electrified Caltrain and BART on the same corridor is redundant. I wish there was a way to push BART up North First instead and then back to Milpitas. My drive to North First sux and light rail is useless.. But I guess I’m getting off topic here…..

  52. Its crazy BART should have gone down to SJ, from AC and back north to south SF in the first place, but its moving foward now and thats good, it sure would be nice if we could get an A’s new ballpark located one foot, two blocks, fourty yeards, or anywhere close to any BART station in the Bay Area

  53. @dmoas,
    I’m not suggesting a hypothetical Diridon terminus be the end all; just the end of the current phase 2 BART to SJ. Just to get it done sooner rather than later. If BART Millbrae to SC ever became a possibility, Diridon/SJ to SC would then become part of that phase. That said, not holding my breath for BART around the Bay…

  54. Tony D., Your idea makes practical sense. That’s why it likely won’t happen. Especially with the future electrification of Caltrain, BART and Caltrain should be planned out to complement one another, not duplicate each other.

  55. @llpec,
    “Your idea makes practical sense. That’s why it likely won’t happen.” LOL! Was in the military and have worked for SCCo for 14 years, so I know all about that..

  56. Tony, but big is whether you have the money to do it now or not. If you do, you do it now. The longer you wait, the more expensive it’ll be. Especially if you’re dealing with digging equipment and the work involved with that. A less expensive and shorter expansion in the future will be a lot easier to pay for than a more expensive/longer one. While I get you wanting it open earlier, with proper planning, you could conceivably get both. You won’t, but you could.

  57. Could these ballpark studies move forward even if maritime operations at HT are resumed? If the answer is yes, what are the thoughts of the other Port tenants about reopening HT? If they oppose it maybe they’d have enough leverage to keep HT closed??

    Even if the short term loss to the Port is somehow worked out, what is the long term plan to offset the $10 million loss to the Port if a ballpark is built? Surely any ballpark lease wouldn’t cover that gap.

    • @gojohn10 – I don’t think the Port is looking for a long-term operator. It acknowledges the limitations of HT that motivated SSA to consolidate in the first place. Still they can’t turn that kind of deal away if a ballpark at the site is a consensus long-shot. Tough spot to be in.

      The $10 million revenue shortfall is supposed to be addressed by increased revenues at the consolidated SSA terminal once it’s going full steam. There’s no guarantee that will happen, plus there’s the chance that the other operators may force a reduction in their own rates in response, which would negate revenue gains. Remember that this move is not prompted by the ballpark. It’s caused by the need to get SSA to settle. As you can tell from the report, a ballpark is an afterthought.

  58. Larry E,

    The VTA has a plan in place to increase LR speeds along the N. First Corridor up to 45mph. This is part of the upcoming system-wide increased efficiency project: http://www.vta.org/lightrail/

  59. OT: so the asshole Tim Kawakami now refers to his beloved Giants as “TooMuchMoneyBall,” due to their recent big signings, including Lincecums extension. Also mentions the Giants as being a top 10 team payroll wise. Yet somehow if SCCo is reverted back to shared territory status and the A’s allowed to move to SJ…all of that will go away for the Giants? Utter nonsense!! You know, with TK’s newfound term, he’s almost throwing the Giants success in the face of us A’s fans. As always, F**k you and your Giants Timmy!!

  60. @Tony D.
    “with TK’s newfound term, he’s almost throwing the Giants success in the face of us A’s fans. As always, F**k you and your Giants Timmy!!”
    Yeah I don’t see how anyone could look at it as anything (with real knowledge of the situation), but a slap in the face, I am not from San Jose (South Bay), but as a person that was born and grew up in Oakland (East Bay), I would expect there to be many proud San Jose, and South Bay residence that beam with pride at the idea of San Jose hosing the A’s, what I don’t get is the San Jose (South Bay), SF Giants fan, that is full of civic pride, and yet has no problem with their team (SF/Giants), holding the South Bay hostage, I guess for some people fan loyalty trumps civic pride.

    • There’s little to get worked up about regarding Kawakami’s article. He calls out the Giants for being a marketing/PR machine and calls on them to admit that they signed Lincecum with marketing in mind. That has nothing to do with the A’s. Virtually no one else in the Bay Area media has criticized the Giants in this manner even though everyone who isn’t a complete Giants homer knows what happens.

  61. Didn’t some TV show already do a skit about the Yankee$ called “Too Much Moneyball?” Hmmm

  62. @LSN–not sure your last sentence is true–I have many die-hard gint fans down here in the south bay who are big supporters of the A’s moving to downtown SJ–I have yet to meet one that agrees with the gints bs of trying to force the A’s out of the Bay Area by holding SCCo as only gints territory.

  63. A lot of people would be surprised how many giants fans in the 408 support an A’s move south. Didn’t start off like that, but recently I’ve noticed a lot of them warming up to the idea.

  64. @GoA’s/Larry E
    My last statement is true, I personally know two people, that have South Bay roots, but support the Giants blocking the A’s potential move to San Jose, I realize they may be a minority, but there are people in the South Bay that fill that way. It’s good to hear what both of you are saying, and I hope it continues to grow.

  65. @LSN-random data points are good for all of us to throw around but I guess the measure of how the A’s would be received is evidenced in the polls that have been conducted on the proposed referendum relative to the A’s moving to SJ–that was supported by more than 60% of SJ residents last I saw–if SJ has so many gint fans I guess they are ok with the A’s building the ballpark in downtown–otherwise the poll would reflect something different

  66. @GoA’s: The A’s building in SJ and the Giants blocking them are seperate issues. A voter could approve of their city/county spending public resources towards building a ballpark, but also respect the Giants’ claim.

  67. What’s amazing is the overall ignorance of Oakland’s neglect of the team. The low-knowledge person and columnist just sees mean ‘ol bullies San Jose and Lew Wolff trying to take away poor Oakland’s team. There’s no acknowledgement of how Oakland ruined the stadium for the A’s, how Jerry Brown fired the city manager for trying to get a new ballpark done, Oakland only pointing at two or three unfeasible sites and expecting a ballpark for free, private funding not being feasible in the East Bay. None of that fits in with the villains (San Jose, Wolff) vs. victims (Oakland) narrative that is so easy to believe.

  68. Remember when Oakland was pitching Victory Court, and a banner emerged at the ballpark urging Wolff to “Build it at Victory Court” and a Giants I mean a Stand for San Jose attorney told the San Jose City Council that Wolff could build the ballpark at Victory Court? Turned out VC was a big nothing as far a ballpark – it was never going to happen. But proponents latched onto it regardless of what proved to be insurmountable obstacles. HT looks like a repeat of that; the Coliseum parking lot, meanwhile, remains as undesirable as ever.

  69. @Lakeshore,
    The only SF Giants fans in the South Bay I’ve met who are against an A’s move to SJ are also die-hard SJ Giants fans. They feel (right or wrong) that the A’s moving south would displace the Lil Giants and force them out of SJ. Trading Single A ball for MLB downtown is a no brainier IMHO, but don’t see how both can’t coexist together (two totally different products and fan bases to “hurt” one another). I’ve honestly only met one SJ-based SF Giants fan who didn’t want the A’s in SJ because it “would hurt them financially.” No need to try and convince that straw man! But yes, overwhelming majority of Giants fans in South Bay/SJ support SJ becoming a Major League city and getting the A’s. (all based on hundreds of conversations I’ve had with baseball fans down here since 2004)

  70. @GoA’s
    I said: “What I don’t get is the San Jose (South Bay), SF Giants fan that has no problem with their team SF Giants holding the South Bay hostage”.
    You said: (in what I believe was a reply to that), “not sure your last statement was true”
    I said: “My last statement was true”
    You said: “random data points are all good for all of us to throw around”
    My last statement was true, and I was not trying to through around data points. If one person, being a SF Giants fan, with roots to the South Bay, supports the SF Giants territorial calm, then that makes my statement true. I never said it was a ground swell of people, or that most people in the South Bay felt that way, all I said was , I did not get those that do, and as (Larry E) pointed out, “didn’t start off like that , but recently I’ve noticed a lot of them warming to the idea” I am glad that the majority of people in San Jose (South Bay) support the idea of the A’s coming to San Jose, it may be the only choice we have left for them in the Bay Area. Perhaps I took you the wrong way, and if so I apologize, but if not please remember , that not ever statement ( I) make is a referendum on the A’s to SJ, I may be a Pro-Oakland fan, but as I often say I am more Pro A’s, then Oakland at this point, as (pjk) contently reminds me of my city’s political and otherwise flaws (concerning the A’s), SJ, may be the only thing standing between us and Portland, so I am all for it, again if I am off on your meaning, I apologize .
    @Tony D.
    I never thought of the little Giants, in that regard, thanks I am all in.

  71. The not to be overlooked benefit to the ongoing San Jose lawsuits against MLB is that they are exposing MLB for being a complicit partner with the Giants to effectively restrain the competitive potential from the only other franchise(A’s) located within the common Bay Area market.
    As a result of the ongoing news coverage coming out of these lawsuits, the mainstream Bay Area media has had no choice but to finally cover the role of the Giants in their complicity to effectively constrain the revenue generating potential of the A’s franchise. In effect, the Giants are blocking the A’s from building for themselves a desperately needed new ballpark at the Bay Area site for which the A’s deem as offering the best potential for operational success. It is one thing to rightfully give credit to the Giants for their marketing prowess, but it’s even more important to correctly expose the Giants when they are actively restricting their competition for their own financial benefit. As a result , Giants fans from all over the Bay Area market, including the South Bay, are finally reading and hearing about the role that their team is playing to maintain and guarantee both a financial and a competitive advantage over their Bay Area rivals, the A’s.

  72. @IIpec
    Vary good points.

  73. re: The mainstream Bay Area media has had no choice but to finally cover the role of the Giants in their complicity to effectively constrain the revenue generating potential of the A’s franchise. I

    …But the battle “Lew lied, he never tried,” still rules the day. There are some folks who are simply not going to believe Oakland is done as a ballpark site despite the inability of Wolff, Schott and MLB itself to get anything done during a multi-decade period of time.

  74. @LSN–all good–I took your comment to reflect that the majority of south bay folks are gints fans and therefore don’t support the A’s into SJ–

    @llpec–I haven’t seen anything on lawsuit since the announcement a few weeks ago–anyone have any insight what next steps are?

  75. @GoA’s, Unfortunately, the appeals process, as well as the state tort case all do take time to get on calendar. The good news is that in an indirect way, the publicity outgrowth from the dismissed lawsuit brought on by San Jose against MLB is now more openly being covered by the mainstream Bay Area media. As an example, the Kawakami column is openly criticizing the Giants for spending an absurd $17.5 million per year on what at best is now a bottom of the rotation starter, and can also be interpreted to have highlighted the disparity in revenue generating capacity between the vast revenue resources of the Giants and the financially limited resources of the A’s. One can say that the publicity coming out of the San Jose lawsuits, now and likely in the future, may in fact give the Bay Area mainstream media the cover to bring forth the truth about the stumbling blocks to getting a suitable new Bay Area ballpark for the A’s.

  76. PJK,

    What’s also left out of the narrative is that when Robert Bobb was working hard to get an Uptown ballpark, Schott & Hoffman were about to sale to an owner who had the means and willingness to build a ballpark IN Oakland (I believe he owned Raley’s grocery stores chain) and MLB BLOCKED that sale. NO ONE has screwed the A’s over more than Major League Baseball itself. And as we see, they continue to screw them over.

    “I watched 32 years ago the Kansas City A’s move to Oakland. They hurt the Giants badly. They never really did very well themselves. It was a horrible mistake.” – Bud Selig

  77. Wasn’t the so-called Dolich group you’re referring to underfinanced and putting deadlines on MLB? Hasn’t ML told us this stuff before? If Selig wanted the A’s out of Oakland so badly why did the team end up being sold to Lew Wolff, who made an attempt in Oakland and then in Fremont? Why not just sell to an out-of-town group who would have moved the team 10 years ago?

  78. re: NO ONE has screwed the A’s over more than Major League Baseball itself.

    …Was it MLB that, upon requests for baseball-only modifications to the Coliseum, turned down those requests and turned the ballpark into a football monstrosity, or did Oakland do that? MLB, by stalling on with the so-called Blue Ribbon Committee, has given Oakland nearly 5 years to its act together with financing and a site so it could keep the team. Instead, Oakland points to three unfeasible sites and offers no money. Oakland’s victim narrative/conspiracy theory still doesn’t hold water.

  79. OT–values from Bloomberg put A’s at $570M but Bob Rose, A’s PR says they would command $700M+ if hypothetically they were put up for sale. Baer says gints value of $1.2M is low also; want to see those investors that oakland only folks promote putting up $1.2B+ to acquire the franchise and build their private ballpark–

  80. So $700 million to hypothetically buy the A’s, $400-500 million to build a 36k-seat ballpark, and $200-300 million to prep HT/make necessary infrastructure improvements to JLS. Just $1.5 BILLION to build a new A’s ballpark in Oakland! With poor corporate support making it a risky proposition to boot…NO PROBLEM!
    BTW RM, who’s more accurate re franchise values: Forbes or Bloomberg?

  81. @BayMetro – Give me a break – blaming MLB instead of the giants (another gnats fan avoiding the fact that the giants organization is a bunch of greedy pigs, and is attempting to drive the A’s out of town. There is no other situation similiar to this in professional sports. No other two-team fanbases (Dodgers/Angels, Yankees/Mets, Chisox, Cubs) – has one team meddling with the other team and attempting to force the other team out of state as the giants organization is attempting to do with the A’s.

    Selig would approve the A’s move to SJ – if the giants weren’t objecting so much. The giants, and their phony “Stand for San Jose” front group – are attempting multiple lawsuits against San Jose, not Selig. In 2012, in fact, Selig was stumping MLB owners for a yes vote on the A’s to San Jose move. Selig also has recently stated that the bay area is a two team MLB fanbase. Please make your comments at giants sites, this is an A’s blog.

  82. Duffer: “blaming MLB instead of the giants (another gnats fan avoiding the fact that the giants organization is a bunch of greedy pigs, and is attempting to drive the A’s out of town.”

    Ummmm….are you serious? Your first mistake is assuming that I’m a Giants fan because of whatever conclusions you’re over there drawing for yourself. I am ABSOLUTELY an A’s fan, and my disdain for the Giants could not be anymore apparent to the people who know me. And if you read my comment, you would have seen that I said “…as we see, they (MLB) continue to screw them over”. By “continue” I meant that in addition to blocking the sale in 2001, they CONTINUE to block the A’s from making any progress by not allowing them to move to San Jose over this ridiculous territorial rights situation. Unlike all of the other commenters here who you put into little categories, you CANNOT put me into a category. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your point-of-view doesn’t mean they’re a Giants fan or anti-San Jose.

    No, I am NOT a Giants fan, I am NOT pro or anti-Oakland, and I am NOT pro or anti-San Jose. My username is ‘BayMetro’ for the simple fact that I want the A’s to have a new stadium SOMEWHERE in the Bay, whether that be Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, Dublin, Santa Clara or wherever.

    Duffer: “Please make your comments at giants sites, this is an A’s blog.”

    I’m aware it’s an A’s blog, and as an A’s fan, I will continue to make my comments here.

    Duffer, have a seat.

  83. PJK,

    It’s amazing the conclusions you draw. Me stating my opinion that MLB has been unfair to the A’s in the past AS WELL as the present (with not overriding the Giants “territorial rights” shenanigans) does NOT mean I am promoting the City of Oakland as the victim. I am from Oakland and will say first hand that that city’s leaders are some of the most incompetent bunch of folks I’ve ever had the displeasure of encountering. I’ve always said, “who in their right mind turns a baseball stadium into a multi-purpose stadium in 1996?”. Oakland pols are backwards, sloppy, inept, and have dug this city into a hole that may never be filled. As much as I love all three teams at the Coliseum, I actually sort of laugh at the prospect that Oakland, a city that for various reasons was unlikely to host professional sports in the first place, was blessed with FOUR at one point and after losing one, will probably now lose the remaining three because of their incompetence.

    However, I do believe that MLB under Selig’s dominion has always wanted the A’s OUT of the Bay Area altogether. Selig has been much more vocal about his distaste for the A’s being so close to the Giants in the past than he’s been recently. I personally believe MLB doesn’t want the A’s in Oakland or San Jose, and that the blue ribbon committee was a farce. Even I wouldn’t dedicate a whole committee to a city as cash strapped, unviable, and corporate base-less as Oakland. I think the only reason the A’s are even still at The Coliseum is because there’s literally nowhere for them to go.

    But I’m sure you’ll just put me in the “Giants fan” category just because I have an opinion different then yours. As awesome as this site is, that seems to be the ‘either/or” category commenters here like to put people in.

    Again, Oakland

  84. Implying that “no one has screwed the A’s more than MLB” definitely seems like a red herring argument. (Some gnats fans always use that flawed logic when defending the giants owners’ greedy ways) If not for the giants organization – Cisco Field in San Jose would have been the A’s home three years ago. Much of the local media looks the other way also, and does not call out the giants managment about its greedy business practices.

  85. Duffer,

    There’s no need for me to construct a red herring. Your continuous assertion that I’m a “Giants fan” seems like paranoia. I was actually pulling for Cisco Field to get built (whether in SJ or Fremont). Again, you seem to put commenters in the “Giants fan” category JUST because they have an OPINION different than yours. There are clearly many forces that have worked against the A’s (the City of Oakland / the SF Giants / MLB). I just happen to think that MLB is the biggest force. I ALSO think MLB (as I’ve said time and time again) are screwing the A’s over EVEN NOW, by not allowing them into the lucrative Silicon Valley.

    But still, you’ll call me a “Giants fan”, right?

  86. Many fans – even a few A’s fans – are reluctant to call out the giants organization as the sleezeballs that they are. I also believe that an A’s ballpark in Oakland would be pretty cool too. I, along with many other A’s fans, are blaming the giants organization for this mess though – not MLB.

  87. while the gints are no doubt a big part of this mess there is one individual who could have taken care of business and provided leadership and he happens to lead mlb–Not that anyone was asking but I agree with BayMetro–bs/mlb lack of leadership to improve the financial health of one of their franchises is inexcusable.

  88. BayMetro – no doubt, judging by your comments – you are a 100% A’s fan. However, the blaming MLB instead of the giants is a very similiar tactic that some giants fans use (the red herring strategy)when defending the giants owners’ appalling behavior. Some giants fans come up with some amazing ridickulous (and false) arguments when defending the giants owners’ actions. I originally believed you were another giants fan puting their own pro-giants b.s. spin about the situation – judging by your comments – this is not the case though.

  89. Duffer,

    I see your point, and the Giants are definitely a HUGE reason for this mess. It is my opinion however that MLB is the common denominator in all of this. When there was at least SOME buzz coming from Oakland back in ’01 about the Uptown site, MLB did not show any interest at all. I even remember then-Mayor Jerry Brown commenting that the owners weren’t showing any interest, so why should they? (which was a PART of the reason why he fired Bobb for spearheading a project that was not met with interest by the owners/league. The other part was his own desire to bring “10,000 residents to downtown” in what we now know as the failed ‘Uptown Apartments’.)

    And now, we have the Giants, a greedy bunch with some serious control issues, crying over this whole TR situation. I could be flawed in my understanding of this aspect of the league, but as the LEAGUE that the Giants play in, shouldn’t MLB be able to override this whole TR situation that THEY created in the first place? Why is the City of San Jose having to go through litigation for something that MLB should be able to handle internally themselves? Why does MLB seem SCARED of the Giants?

    Whether anyone agrees or not, these are MY reasons for thinking that MLB is screwing over the A’s most! The Giants have a sparkling stadium on the waterfront, with a fan base that will remain regardless of whether the A’s play in Oakland, San jose or Fremont. Why can’t the LEAGUE see this? And more importantly, why is the LEAGUE paralyzing the A’s?

  90. @BayMetro – agree, This is especially ridickulous because the A’s (during the La Russa, Bash Brothers era) were clearly dominant over the giants. When Hass (being the good sport) allowed the giants to claim San Jose as the giants territory (even though SJ voters wisely rejected the giants move to SJ, and even after SJ rejected the giants – the giants still consider San Jose as “their territory” LOL) The A’s ranked third in MLB attendance at that time, and the giants were an average, low profile team ready to bolt for Tampa, FL. Now the giants spin doctors and some giants fans claim that the giants have “always been the bay area favorite” LOL

  91. @duffer- The League, or team owners are not seeing it because they are not looking to what effects a move to San Jose would have on the fans here in the Bay Area, instead they are looking at how such a move would impact their own situations. Would this move set a precedent, which a team like the Rays could use in the future to relocate into another team’s territory? I get it that a move to San Jose is a move within the Bay Area market, but to these other team owners, it’s still a situation where one team is entering another team’s territory. They want to make sure their interests are protected, and Wolff confirmed this in his interview with Kuip and Fosse.

    If it were just a case of appeasing the Giants, I’m sure this all would have been resolved a long time ago. But the problem goes way beyond that.

  92. @ML

    In the end, does Selig have the power to make a decision on his own which would resolved the problem?

    Do you think anything significant will come out of the Owner’s meeting next month?

    • @fc – Yes. He hasn’t not shown the willingness to make unilateral decisions. I don’t expect him to start now even in his “lame duck” period.

      Owner’s meeting? Probably not. If the lease situation is unresolved in January, then we may see some activity.

  93. @BayMetro
    I defiantly here what you’re saying in regard to commenters having the tendency to put other commenters/people in a box, I myself have felt that way, as a Pro-Oakland fan that is open to San Jose and Fremont, or anywhere in the Bay Area, it seems that no matter how much I state, or restate that position, I somehow cant brake free (for some people), of the bad name the Pro/Only Oakland people have attached to someone, that would really would like to see something get done in Oakland.
    This can be such an emotionally charged issue, and it’s really complex, I have described it several times here through my comments as a three city (San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland), two team (Giants, Athletics ), one league ( MLB), high wire soap-opera.
    I think one of the biggest issues, is simply, that there are so many moving parts, history, and players, that no matter what a person’s stand is they can make a pretty good case for it, I also think there is a tendency for people to think, that because they have taken a position, on this that others must have as entrenched position as themselves.
    It’s probably past time that we all realize, the way each of us fill about this issue, is as varied and complex as the issue itself, and that’s ok.

  94. From KSBS
    “As Quan was hosting her Warriors event, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce was announcing a much bigger one, featuring actual members of the team, the owners and coaches, all noticeably absent from the Oakland tipoff.
    The group is holding a “Welcome the Warriors Back to San Francisco” gala luncheon, scheduled for Monday.”
    Couldn’t the Warriors be a little more sensitive, about these things? This is where (pjk ), make the good point about so many(Oakland only), people being outraged toward Lew Wolff, but no outrage toward Warriors ownership for this blatant slap in the face.

  95. One thing about Selig is he has shown himself unwilling or unable to make a decision. I really wonder if the reason is that whenever he does, it turns out to be a bad one (anyone care to bet that because they were so eager to get Alex Rodriguez (justifiably so in my opinion), that by buying illegal documents, that Rodriguez wins his arbitration case, and gets zero games?). Taking this to the A’s situation, since we all agree (even the Giants) that because the Raiders Lease ends at the Coliseum, something must happen (one way or another), Selig can simply wait until that happens. Once again these are the Scenarios for the Raiders: 1: Mark Davis comes to an Agreement with Oakland for Coliseum City and he moves either in 2014 or 2015 to Santa Rosa until the Stadium is ready. 2: He moves to LA. 3: He decides to move to Santa Rosa permanently. 4: He decides to wait and either stays at the Coliseum or goes to Santa Rosa until there a deal at the Coliseum, or another Bay Area Facility, or even an LA Stadium is ready. Note: If he and the NFL believe the Chargers are remaining in San Diego, this is the most likely outcome, because it offers multiple options. Which means that unless Scenario 1 occurs, Selig can punt away the A’s Situation to the next Commissioner, and the A’s remain at the Coliseum. That sounds like what he would love to happen.

  96. …I think you mean Santa Clara, not Santa Rosa…FWIW, anybody who thinks the lawsuit by San Jose means MLB loves Oakland and San Jose should think again. In San Jose, we have a city that’s effectively banned from ever hosting MLB still fighting tooth and nail to get a team. In Oakland, we have city that has had MLB for 45 years doing less than nothing to meet the team’s needs, instead demonizing the owner, who is a lifelong friend of the commissioner, and playing the poor victim card.

  97. Oh man, if the Raiders moved to Santa Rosa, traffic would be so horrible along 101 and the main alternatives. Though I think it would be a sight to see all those RVs taking the backroads in Marin!

  98. LS, imagine the hissy fit Marin would have over that with traffic backed up to both bridges while cars try to get through the narrows.

  99. The overwhelming commentary here on this blog has been Great! They have, for the most part, been well thought out and hitting directly head on to the issues at hand. Let’s not spoil our primary objective in getting a new and successfully operated Bay Area ballpark for the A’s, and try to put aside this petty bickering over some nuanced differences we may have.

  100. @llpec
    I could not agree more.

  101. @dmoas – They would have just finished construction on the third lane, and it still wouldn’t be enough.

  102. @fc
    Wolff’s comment about owners protecting their interests is the first made about the subject. Selig has always maintained that the A’s are looking to move to San Jose, and the giants owners are opposing it. Selig has never mentioned anything about other MLB owners protecting their own interests as a factor. It’s not that complicated. The MLB Constitution is not actual legislation (actual legislation is much more difficult to change or ammend than the MLB constitution) If Selig wanted to ammend or change the MLB constitution he could quickly do so, all that would be required is a 3/4 vote among the 30 MLB owners to change the MLB constitution or approve the A’s move.

  103. @duffer, MLB in hindsight made a big mistake by incorporating into their constitution the division of the Bay Area market into two distinct territories. The bogus rationale for this concept was to give the Giants a competitive advantage over the A’s within the shared Bay Area market. This was done, I believe, to make up for what Selig and some other powerful members of the MLB lodge believed was their mistake to even allow the A’s to move into the Bay Area market, in the first place. What the heck was MLB thinking? Maybe MLB thought that by weakening the A’s, they would eventually be forced to move out of the Bay Area, and the area would correctly return itself to a one team market for the Giants. The truth to this matter is that in the forty five years since the Bay Area has had two MLB teams, the area has grown significantly in both population and wealth. As a result, there is no doubt that the Bay Area market can successfully support two MLB teams, provided that both teams are playing in the right stadium venues. However, first MLB has to correct their big mistake in their constitution by changing it and returning the Bay Area to a shared two team market and territory. Everything will fall into place after that action, and the A’s will finally get their new Bay Area ballpark.

  104. Bay Metro, in what metric is the Uptown development considered a failure?

    Also, while the 10K program fell short -it still added 6K middle and upper income residents to Downtown. In the last five years a net of over sixty shops, bars, or restaurants have opened in the Downtown/Uptown area. Sales tax for the area is way up. Commercial rents are up, and residential rents have skyrocketed. At times in the last two years 94612 property had the shortest days-on-market, and the highest percentage value increase in the entire country. I don’t know, that seems like success to me?

  105. Some points of clarification- The owner “with the means to build in Oakland” was Bob Piccininni. He owns Save Mart in the central valley, not Raley’s. He is a billionaire, but wasn’t then. He later admitted that he was blocked/stalemated due to lobbying by the Giants. His quote, upon purchasing a piece of the Padres, was referencing a member of the Giants ownership groups as saying something like “We are happy to have you in the league, just not over there.” Over there was in reference to Oakland.
    Another thing I remember him saying was that he would give it a go to get a new stadium in Oakland, but he had already thought of a place like Vacaville as a fallback, because he could get parts of the Bay and Sacramento (which would have been a freaking disaster).
    Either way, I am actually glad he never gained control of the team. He wanted to replace Billy Beane with Steve Stone (the broadcaster) and part of his ownership group was Joe Morgan.
    I prefer the current brain trust to any group that included Joe Morgan.

  106. “I can tell you there’s an executive with the Giants, who shall go unnamed,” Piccinini said. “I ran into him at a Warriors game. He said, ‘I hear you’re getting involved with the Padres. We want you in San Diego; we just didn’t want you here.’ ”

    Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2010/01/23/1019702/piccinini-reflects-on-as-deal.html#storylink=cpy
    Also, BP is one of the 6 principal owners of the Warriors, now. Seems his Oakland bonafides could be questioned, as he is a “voting board member” for the current ownership group and presumably supports the cold shoulder the Warriors are giving to Oakland.

  107. @Jeffrey-Thanks good info on BP for the A’s and Warriors

  108. Jeffrey,

    Thanks for the clarification. That’s the guy I was talking about (I knew he owned a grocery chain, I just wasn’t sure which one).

  109. @Jeffery, llpec

    These theories that MLB and the giants are in cahoots to drive the A’s out of the bay area, may be exagerated nonsense. There is one particularly amusing story that some giants fans beleive is true. That the giants attempt at moving to San Jose was a false plan, and the giants’ real motives were to gain control of the south bay MLB market through the territorial rights MLB gave them to build a San Jose ballpark, then reneg the San Jose ballpark deal, and build a ballpark in SF instead (and in the process drive the A’s out the bay area by blocking the A’s from building a ballpark in SJ) – that theory is complete lunacy, and is actually humorous becuase it is so far-fetched.

    The giants forcing legislation on San Jose voters to approve (with the intent of secret plan to reneg the San Jose ballpark deal and build in SF instead?)give me a break.

    At that time, the A’s were drawing nearly 3,000,000 per year in attendance, ranking third in MLB attendance. The A’s were a consistant, playoff bound team, a world series threat each year, loaded with superstars. Meanwhile, the giants were a strange, average team with not much success in the bay area, and bad attendance. Another motive for Haas to allow the giants territorial rights in San Jose was because the A’s were so dominant over the giants – Haas likely didn’t view the giants as a competition because the giants were so insignificant – the giants were no more a threat to the A’s fanbase than the San Jose giants are now currently to the A’s.

    The likely reason for the current mess is that before the SJ vs MLB lawsuit, MLB had no reason to change the status quo, the giants continued to enjoy their monopoly with the bay area MLB fanbase, and the A’s have been receiving MLB revenue sharing, and are a profitable team (why would Wolff change that?)

    The giants owners are the A-holes, Selig likely is not in a conspiracy with the giants to drive the A’s out of town. Selig has done too much to support the A’s. Selig wouldn’t have even bothered to form the “blue ribbon commitee” to study the A’s move to SJ, and could have simply said that San Jose is off limits to the A’s because of the territorial rights issue if he really was siding with the giants. Also, Selig wouldn’t be stumping MLB owners to ok the A’s move. Furthermore, that incident in the late 90’s, during an MLB owners meeting when McGowan got right into Selig’s face and screamed that “the giants were not going to allow the A’s move to San Jose” wouldn’t have occurred. The giants owners being A-holes is likely the main motive for the standoff – not a Selig/giants conspiracy to stop the A’s move to San Jose.

  110. An uptown ballpark might have been a better idea than the apartments, but given all the development there since then, and what was there before (nothing), the housing has been a roaring success.

  111. Sort of off topic but in line with The general downtown oakland vibe: I am not asking facetiously, seriously, wasn’t the objective of the FC development in Uptown to bring 10,000 new residents to downtown Oakland? With that in mind, does anyone know how that has turned out? It’s foolish to say that the area hasn’t seen an uptick in activity as a result of the Fox remodel (which I think was done in conjunction with the FC development, right?), but what about new residents?

  112. @duffer,
    I remember reading a Time Magazine article early last year about the Florida Marlins; then focused on the hiring of Ozzie Guillen, signing of Jose Reyes and the imminent opening of then spanking new Marlins Park. When discussing the disaster (for Miami residents) that was the public financing of the new yard, there was a quote by someone in the Marlins hierarchy that basically stated “they (ownership) had the money to build the stadium themselves, but you just don’t do that.” In other words, you don’t privately finance a stadium when you can get the public to foot the bill. I firmly believe that the delay in revealing a decision for SJ has to due with the debt Wolff might accumulate by footing the entire bill himself; ballpark financing, remaining land purchases in SJ, indemnification towards the Giants. Pushing out an Opening Day for Cisco Field (2018?) is perhaps taking care of the indemnification part, but maybe MLB is hesitant to give SJ a completely FREE stadium due to the precedence it may set for future venues (new and/or upgraded). MLB didn’t like it when Giants ownership in the 90’s privately financed then Pac Bell Park; perhaps they’re even more hesitant to let it happen again. The Giants have been pretty succesful and lucky since 2000, so the private financing has worked out. But what if they had been like the Astros or Royals in terms of winning since 2000? Bud Selig doesn’t want to screw his old friend and will most likely in the end grant Wolff SJ, but at the same time he probably doesn’t want to see his Brah drown in debt either. I agree that the Giants owners are ass holes, but the delay is NOT because of them and their greed; no team is that powerful.
    As an SJ resident who was in the military at the time, the effort by the Giants to relocate to SJ in 1992 was real. Renderings exist of the proposed Giants 42k seat ballpark in North SJ, and if Cathy Chavez-Napoli hadn’t convinced 52% of SJ voters that $35 a year in utility taxes was a waste of money, this blog and SJ’s current effort doesn’t exist…

  113. @Tony D. I was thinking along that line as well (MLB not happy with Wolff paying for all of it), but why would MLB wait so long?, they have got to know Oakland is not going to pay for anything, I dont think SJ or Fremont would eather, public money is not going to be easy to come by anywhere in California. I guess, I could see MLB plying the SJ vs Oakland game to get more mony out of SJ, or even Oakland, but the money is just not there especially in the case of 0akland, and SJ is not being asked to give any (not yet), I just dont get it.

  114. @lakeshore,
    Just guessing, but the long wait could be for a number of reasons: a Giants indemnification sliding scale (if one exists), uncertainty over an A’s lease at the Coli, Wolffs ability to finance the entire project, the end of RDA/concerns over the publics contribution to the project (ie land/infrastructure costs), future CBA language..who knows. Could be anything. But again, don’t think it’s because the Giants owners don’t want it to happen.

  115. re: 10K – I don’t know if he officially surpassed that or not. Some quick googling provides contradictory conclusions.

    Whatever the total increase in population since before Brown, it’s clearly resulted in huge changes and breathed life into an area that was all but dead. Downtown’s population density is still a fraction of what it could and should be though

  116. @Tim
    “Whatever the total increase in population since before Brown, it’s clearly resulted in huge changes and breathed life into an area that was all but dead. Downtown’s population density is still a fraction of what it could and should be though”
    It did help (10K housing); I agree with you. I worked in one of the older buildings in the uptown area (the old Bruners building), near West Grand and Broadway, between 98-2004, the area has pick up dramatically since then, at the time I had visions of coming to my office, and leaving early to catch an A’s game at either of the proposed uptown sites (Sears parking garage/area, or the old Biffs restaurant/parking lot), of course neither site worked out, and I don’t work in that area any longer. I always hoped Oakland could do a better job of capitalizing, on its close proximity to San Francisco, try as they might it really has not happed, in the size and scope that is should.

  117. MLB trying to pit SJ vs. Oakland in terms of which is willing to offer more taxpayer $$ for ballpark construction is an exercise in futility. Neither city can spend $$ on it and voters in both cities would vote thumbs-down on it.

  118. @pjk-Yeah that’s what I was thinking, I just bring it up because, as we know it’s a common practice for sports leagues to pit one metro area in the country against another 9for the best deal), or in this case one city against another. No voters in San Jose or Oakland are going to be in the mood for tax increases for something like this. My only thought was if MLB is thinking along these lines, they are dead wrong.

  119. Just another outside the box thought: what if MLB is looking at the Santa Clara/Niners situation and saying “See! Why can’t you come up with a deal like that for Wolff?” As in $100 million + in “public financing” (although through a loan and hotel tax) for Levi’s Stadium. If San Jose really wanted to show MLB that they were serious about getting the A’s, I would propose tapping into the SJ Convention Center Facilities District (Mello-Roos) that was used to finance the convention center expansion/upgrades for further ballpark financing. The expansion itself cost $150 million but the bonding capacity of the CCFD is over $600 million (apparently for future maintenance/upgrades of the convention center). If the major hotels downtown voted in favor of expanding bonding capacity to include the ballpark, I could theoretically see $100-150 million going towards Cisco Field. And since it would not be a tax hike on SJ citizens or use general fund monies, I’d see no reason for SJ voters to not approve such a scheme. Heck, would such a scheme even need voter approval since it’s the hotel owners ONLY who would be paying a higher tax assessment for the bonds? Just a thought..

  120. BTW, my above hotel Mello-Roos scenario is how San Jose should be approaching this MLB endeavor…NOT FILING F**KIN LAWSUITS!!

  121. @Tony D.
    I agree with you, I think San Jose should be thinking about something like Mello-Roos, because although I am sure Wolff/Fisher would be glad to build it on their own dime(Wolff for sure), I am not sure MLB would be too happy about it. SJ would not have to put in much, just so they put in something.

  122. Correction to last comment re SJ CC Mello Roos: bonding capacity for lifetime of district is actually $750 million and currently can only be used for Convention Center upgrades/maintenance. But if hotel owners (including Wolff) in the district chose to…

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