Lawsuit update: MLB says Selig rejected A’s-to-San Jose move a day before lawsuit was filed

Michael McCann’s Sports Law Blog, which has been keeping track of the legal maneuverings in the MLB-vs.-San Jose case, has uncovered a bit of a bombshell (hat tip Nathaniel Grow). From the most recent filing (defendant’s section):

In fact, MLB denied the Athletics’ relocation request on June 17, 2013, one day before this lawsuit was filed. On that date, Commissioner Selig formally notified the Athletics’ ownership that he was not satisfied with the club’s relocation proposal. The sole basis of Plaintiffs’ only claims that remain after the MTD Order—the purported failure of MLB to render a decision within the initial two-year term of the Option Agreement—is therefore meritless.

MLB is arguing that the land option agreement the A’s and San Jose entered into in late 2011 is invalid, making the case moot. To back up its claim, MLB cites this heretofore (and still) unseen letter, the ongoing Stand for San Jose-vs.-City of San Jose lawsuit, and the lack of a public vote. To be clear, that last part is because Commissioner Bud Selig discouraged a vote way back in 2010 (which to this day I consider a strategic error on San Jose’s part). MLB wants to keep the letter confidential and doesn’t want to show it unless the plaintiffs agree to confidentiality.

Of course, that’s the opposite of what San Jose wants, because they’re pushing for complete discovery. From their filing:

In fact, Defendants’ sections of this CMC Statement are filled with Assertions of fact. This Court should order immediate commencement of discovery so that these “facts” (and others) surrounding the Athletics proposed move to San Jose and their reasons for entering into (and then not exercising) the Option Agreement may be explored.

MLB is fighting hard to avoid any degree of discovery.

Timing is the issue here. MLB argues that Selig sent the letter 19 months after the option agreement was signed, and that 19 months was reasonable timing for a decision, even though MLB started formally addressing the ballpark issue and San Jose two years earlier. Did San Jose file the lawsuit upon receiving the letter, or did MLB send the letter preemptively, knowing that the lawsuit was coming? I knew the lawsuit was coming the week it was filed, and I figure MLB did too. Addtionally, what other communications could be brought up that could contradict the letter?

Grow notes:

It is of course possible, and perhaps even likely, that MLB would reconsider the move [to San Jose] in the future.

While we’re left to wildly speculate on everything, let’s consider the idea that MLB doesn’t like San Jose’s proposed contribution of land-and-infrastructure, and wants more than that to seal the deal. And understand that all the activity we’re seeing is happening because of the lawsuit. Everything should be understood within the context of the lawsuit. For better or worse, that’s where we are. I won’t be in town next Friday for the hearing, but I’m sure it’ll be juicy.

173 thoughts on “Lawsuit update: MLB says Selig rejected A’s-to-San Jose move a day before lawsuit was filed

  1. I thought the judge in the ATE said something about they do deserve an answer or something like that. Did he not know about this?

  2. This is easy: it all boils down to Wolff paying for EVERYTHING! Land and ballpark. And Selig, The Lodge don’t like that one bit. Especially with the clubs readying themselves to go back to the public funding trough again within the next 10 years.

    My town wants the best stadium deal ever in the history of sports, and Wolff is willing to accommodate. Selig/MLB aren’t satisfied with the current proposal and our denying it; SJ takes legal action to try and get its way.

    If somehow the A’s don’t wind up in SJ, I’m starting to question who’s fault it will really be…

  3. BTW RM, the title of this thread scared the hell out of me. Thank God for my ability to continue reading past the title.

  4. San Jose: stop this legal bull shit and make an honest effort to get the A’s to town! Get ALL the Diridon land or make another FULLY ACQUIRED plot available for Wolff to build (8+ acres of VTA owned land at Sunol/W. San Carlos St. could be available in near future); at either no cost, discounted, or below market lease. Provide Mello-Roos funding for ballpark, even if it means (gulp!) having a public referendum. Stop acting like we’re entitled to the A’s just because Wolff is willing to pay for EVERYTHING!

  5. frankly at this time i won’t believe anything until an official statement and it may take another year or two is final in terms of where the a’s future home is, be it sj or oakland, and i still think in the end it will be sj.

    i remember two years ago during christmas that mlb scribe nightengale tweeted this…

    “All signs and top MLB# sources say that the #Athletics will be granted permission by Feb to move to San Jose.”

    …yeah that’s feb of 2012 and obviously NOTHING legit has happened since that tweet was posted a couple of years ago at around this time.

    in the meantime commish butthead and mlb can go screw themselves. the midgets can go to hell. their ratface, i mean that both figuratively and literraly, president aka baer well it’s the holiday season so i won’t post what i hope happens to him.

    as for us a’s fan we just have to continue to sit thru all this bullshit as imo nothing will be announced anytime soon. i’m not going to get too emotionally high or low anymore with every “announcement” made regarding the a’s and their future home.

  6. Looks like its over for the A’s in the Bay Area. MLB wants a publicly funded ballpark and won’t get one in either Oakland or San Jose

  7. The Giants are NEVER going to cede their territorial rights to the South Bay. Time for minority owner Wolf to get ou
    t and Fisher to sell to a
    the group ready to build in Oakland. This charade has gone on long enough.

  8. So MLB rejected the move to SJ? Yet they never went public which makes me believe that even this rejection was not the final word but a suggestion to try again. Ultimately, what the A’s, Oakland and San Jose really need is a new commissioner.

  9. Given what we recently saw in Atlanta and the fact that other teams will be coming back to the public teats soon for upgrades or renovations to their existing parks (I still think ATL is alone in outright replacing their Camden park), particularly in Anaheim and Tampa… Wolff’s plan to do most of it privately is very inconvenient. It’s bad enough for Selig he’s already got the Giants doing everything privately as they have since AT&T Park opened and the Dodgers doing the same in LA, but at least they’re both the “first teams” in their regions. A secondary team like the A’s doing the same would be intolerable apparently.

    It will be nice to get official confirmation of the SJ denial to at least close the book on the long drawn out process… but it’s not hard to believe Selig would deny it even absent confirmation. He’s never been big on a fight like the Giants have been giving him, and the public money thing is undoubtedly an overriding concern for him. But if true, given the bumbling way Oakland deals with the team and never gets anything done I have to wonder how much longer the team will be in Oakland. I mean we just watched Billy sell off a large chunk of the A’s farm system for guys who can help them win now. Can’t help but wonder if it is related. Win now to up the value for selling and likely moving. Because they were always banking players a bit for SJ before…

  10. The A’s will be gone and we can’t even blame it on the Giants. It’ll be open bidding for cities such as Portland, Vegas, San Antonio. No way either San Jose or Oakland pays for the ballpark.

  11. re: to get ou
    t and Fisher to sell to a
    the group ready to build in Oakland.

    …Could you please identify such a group? No one has come forward publicly willing to spend probably about $1.2 billion of their own money to buy the team and build in Oakland. I’m sure Selig would love to hear from such a group and so would the rest of us. But pardon me if I don’t think such a group is ever going to exist.

  12. BruinRon: Remember – Wolff was coaxed into buying the A’s because his lifelong friend Selig believed if anybody could get a ballpark built in the East Bay, it was Wolff. Well, Wolff tried for several years and concluded it can’t be done. MLB has spent 5 years looking at the situation and has not refuted Wolff’s findings.

  13. in order to build in Oakland, there has to be an actual place to build it. Pointing at a parking lot and saying “you can build here” does not qualify.

  14. Time to do a quick review.

    No ballpark in San Jose because there wasn’t enough public support in MLB’s collective mind. No ballpark in Oakland because of bumbling politicians and even less money to provide the kind of public assistance MLB wants. No ballpark in Fremont due to NIMBY’s and the housing downturn. No ballpark in Dublin/Pleasanton because PARKS has already been sold off…

    Basically no new ballpark is going to happen in the Bay Area for the A’s. And they only have 2 years left on their lease. Can we say final days of the Oakland A’s?

  15. how many times have we’ve asked the oakland only crowd where is this supposed ownership group be it knauss or some other businessmen the city of oakland supposedly has in their back pockets that are willing to shell out their own money and to spend over a billion dollars to buy the a’s and build a park within the city? and how many times have they oakland only crowd gone quiet and not come up with an answer. because they don’t have one.

  16. if there was a group that was committed to oakland and willing to spend the billion plus to make oakland a home for mlb for the next 20-30 years, then i’ll be all for it. hey if they’re willing keep the a’s in the east bay and to put in that kind of money into such a massie project even though it may not pay off finanically in the end, more power to them.

    unfortunately i don’t think that group exists.

  17. Let’s be real Wolff wasn’t coaxed into buying the A’s because he would try and get a stadium built in the east bay, Reggie Jackson, Andy Dolich and there group offered 25 million more and had plan’s to build a baseball only stadium in Oakland, repeated by Dolich to this day. Then mysteriously behind close doors MLB pushed Jackson and his group out and brought in Wolff. Why? that’s up for debate but it wasn’t cause Lew loved the east bay so much he wanted to keep the A’s in Oakland and build a stadium there.

  18. Yet Wolff doesn’t have to sell. That’s the problem. Once, Bud Selig said the A’s were welcome to move anywhere in the world so long as it didn’t infringe on anyone’s territorial rights. The MLB doesn’t give a damn about Oakland. Or SJ. Or the A’s. This isn’t the Cubs or Red Sox or Yankees we’re talking about, where MLB might get concerned about tradition and sentiment. This is a team that was, a few years ago, openly named for contraction. There’s no love here and we’re likely to end up with squat. Especially if we learn the rejection had something to do with a lack of public funding. And if that’s true then I say “Forget” them. As much as I love baseball, I don’t want to see taxpayers funding a pro team in either county. We have busses to run, roads to maintain, schools to teach our young and all the other expenses that are associated with a modern technological society. Why should we continue to subsidize the rich and mega rich? Let them fund themselves in the markets they desire to be in, not the other way around. Besides, this is the Bay Area, we don’t need a sports team to put us on the map, we were already there to begin with.

  19. LW and Fisher better releases the so called “relocation proposal”

    I and am sure others want to see that proposal.

  20. One possibility: San Jose retained Cotchett, who got busy preparing complaint, and meanwhile they threatened mlb, demanded a decision or negotiation, and mlb surprisingly responded with the formal rejection of the A’s current proposal to move. San Jose obviously responded to that pretty clever move by suing, yet part of the complaint, as drafted, still pivoted on the alleged lack of mlb decision. Strange poker game. Maybe San Jose figured it could amend the complaint later, but wanted to throw down the glove immediately.

    Remember–the complaint contained some embarrassing errors (for example, alleging that the current mlb constitution contains a provision that actually appeared in the old NFL constitution at issue in the 1980s era Raiders A/T lawsuit). That suggests haste.

    Litigation prediction: Judge Whyte will enter judgment on his A/T order under Rule 54 and allow San Jose to start the appellate process; he’ll retain jurisdiction over the small, remaining state-law claim(s); and he’ll entere a stay of proceedings, thwarting discovery for the time being.

    Long-term prediction: the A’s will resubmit a proposal to move that’s financially more reasonable vis a vis compensation to the Giants and relief from loss of revenue sharing and mlb (and the Giants) will approve it. The lawsuit will be moot; the parties will settle before the 9th Circuit considers the appeal.
    But we’ll see.

  21. @letsgoas lots of things go on backdoor and it doesn’t become public. your prove it and show me the investors approach is irrelevant. just like they say don’t believe everything you see on tv cause most of the time its what they want you to only see. Alot of investors never like to be reviled especially if something isn’t for sale, why put there name and or business out there and fail at buying a team or blackballed for not following the request of MLB. If a buying process is created for the team you will see the investors. Just because yours and other pro SJ people on the this form aren’t satisfied because they haven’t come out to the public and said we want to buy the team is a moot point. We are all irrelevant when it comes to this. And looking at most teams sold, putting up a team for sale happens backdoor then investors are brought in behind the scenes and a lot of them are eliminated and the public never hears about who they were. We usually only hear the final 3 or 4 as it get’s leaked to the public. no one knows anything that is going on in regards to investors and the A’s

  22. I actually see this potentially being another step closer to San Jose. Basically, MLB is fine with the A’s moving to San Jose but is very unhappy about the precedent being set that cities can expect to get new ballparks without paying for them. So they’ll ask San Jose to ante up something a little more significant, in tax concessions or cash or infrastructure improvements beyond what the city has already promised. And it’ll probably work out in a few years. San Jose still seems very much on track.

  23. @Daniel: I’m sure the A’s proposal is confidential–mlb eyes only; Selig and mlb would come down hard on Wolff/Fisher if they leaked it.

  24. Some of you need to read the side tweets and this post all over again. This wasn’t a rejection of San Jose nor an upholding of the Giants territorial rights: this was MLB not being satisfied with the A’s relocation proposal in June (13). In other words, come back to us when you have a relocation proposal to our liking and we’ll deal!

    You know, in a funny way, this “bombshell!” was actually good news: the Giants T-Rights are no longer a concern AND would know for a fact the “BRC” has recommended San Jose as the long term home of the A’s/MLB.

    If the City of San Jose wants MLB in their future, they know what to do, and it’s not taking legal action against MLB…

  25. Lev,
    You nailed it!

  26. btw, if the A’s won’t be allowed to move to SJ, it is all LW’ fault. Playing nice has not helped and will never help. From the beginning, LW and SJ should have sued BS, MLB and the G’s. Challenge the agreement that Mr Haas signed. In short, be like Mr Davis. BS and MLB are scared of lawsuits but LW wanted to play nice.

  27. @xoot: so what? what does LW have to lose now? release everything. Seriously, If LW does not play hardball now, when will he?

  28. Fresh cup of coffee, pancakes, A’s stayin’ in Oakland. Gotta love it.

  29. Look at pp. 12-13 of the supp. joint case mgmt conf. statement. In the Stand for San Jose lawsuit San Jose itself obtained a stay pending Dept. of Finance ruling on the underlying land transfer issues, which may determine the validity of the option agreement. Very clever mlb move to hook its request for a stay to that existing stay, which San Jose itself argued for and won. I think mlb has good reason for obtaining a stay in the federal court case, however, even without the Stand for San Jose kicker.

    In any event, Jerry Brown’d dissolution of the redevelopment agencies and the Giants little state-court lawsuit whipsawed San Jose. I knew this story was going to get complex. It’s far from over, though.

  30. sorry. the supp joint case mgmt conf statement is the one filed yesterday in the federal court case. Sorry for the confusion. (It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do this morning. And the UCLA/Mizzou bball game’s pretty entertaining. 😉 )

  31. Karim,

    Reggie Jackson has admitted in interviews that his group wanted to relocate the A’s to Las Vegas.

  32. @Daniel–why would Wolff/Fisher want to enrage Selig and mlb generally? They have an investment to protect. Violating their agreements with mlb (re confidentiality, etc.) wouldn’t be playing hardball, it’d be playing chicken with a D11 Cat.

  33. yeah the dolich group was led by piccinini and it’s been noted many times before he believes that the midgets had something to do with him not getting the a’s.

    “More likely, Piccinini suspects the San Francisco Giants ownership had a hand in convincing Selig to make sure the deal never materialized, especially since Selig has called the A’s move from Kansas City to Oakland “a terrible mistake.”

    “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.’ ”

    even more reason to hate the midgets if you’re an a’s fan.

  34. Fresh cup of coffee, eggs/spam, MLB not shooting down San Jose or reaffirming Giants territorial rights to SC/SJ. GOTTA LOVE IT!

  35. Wolff and the A’s are defendants in the SJ lawsuit. When you sue MLB you’re suing all of them and they’re all legally obligated to have a united public front. I can imagine if Wolff broke that, the repercussions would be bad for him, and likely unhelpful to either city.

  36. Lew never intended to keep the A’s in Oakland. He has NOT ONCE EVER shown any proof he even attempted this – he only said that he did a lot of work and it would take “hours” to explain all of what he did. Meanwhile, in several years, he has been unable to explain it. It’s a farce. The A’s had a group led by Piccinini who wanted to keep the A’s in Oakland and they were BLOCKED by MLB. As stated above, Selig has felt the A’s moving was a mistake and hurt the Giants – meanwhile, the a’s have been the far superior franchise historically – despite having absolutely TERRIBLE ownership since Haas sold the team – ownership groups that have spent more time and money denigrating their own fan base (read: customers) than embracing them. It’s a travesty and it’s disgusting and it’s almost entirely SELIG / MLB’s fault that this happened. The group was ready to purchase the team and embrace their host city and Selig blocked and pushed them out to ensure it wouldn’t happen. Totally disgusting.

  37. If the Blue Ribbon Committee is still in operation no decision has been made, making Selig’s letter and his terminology in the letter, questionable.

  38. Looks like we’re headed to the scenario I mentioned the other day: MLB will send a message to all cities and states hosting MLB teams that if they don’t pay for stadiums with public funds, their teams will be gone. A’s won’t get public funds in San Jose or Oakland so it’s going to be bye bye for them. San Jose losing has never meant Oakland winning – they’ll both lose.

  39. @Tony

    Don’t get bent out of shape. All the MLB commissioner said, in regards to the move to SJ, was . . . . . .


    @ Tony reply: We do have a shot! And you Pro-Oakland folks fail to realize that this decision was made because MLB doesn’t want Lew paying for it all by himself, MLB wants SJ to add more money to the pot. Once the Lawsuit is over, MLB will rule to have the A’s move TO SJ and Oak-Politicians will still be trying to put together a power point slide about Howard Terminal.

    @ pjk reply: So Ivan, you want to explain how the A’s will get done in Oakland? Oakland has no money, no fans, no corporate sponsorship, no . . (I ran out of stuff) oh yeah, and the only place with a smidgen of traction is in a bad part of the city. Who would want to hang out in East Oakland after a ball game. Not me, I had my smurf socks stole there!

    (just kidding guys, you can blast me in return)

  40. asch: Do you think Selig coaxed his friend Wolff into buying the team so Wolff could challenge the Giants territorial rights or to get a stadium built in the East Bay? He tried in Oakland and Fremont – couldn’t get it done. It’s looking like it won’t be the territorial rights that keeps the A’s out of San Jose but the city’s unwillingness to pay for the stadium – the same unwillingness shared in Oakland. Remember the Oakland councilman the other day saying “gifting of public funds” to franchises was not part of his political framework? Both San Jose and Oakland look to be done. And once again, wasn’t the Piccinini group underfinanced and placing deadlines on MLB? So MLB dismissed this group?

  41. Thank you Thurm and Slusser; you both rock! Hope some of you are enjoying your pancakes 😉

  42. This may have meant something as part of a press release back when it supposedly was sent. In reality it’s a rejection of a proposal. One that we more or less knew about. There’s still no official word on the A’s future nor any real word on SJ in general. This is barely news.

  43. Again, reality: MLB rejected the A’s June proposal for relocation to San Jose because they weren’t “satisfied” with it. They have not said “no” to San Jose nor are they talking up the “sanctity” of T-Rights. That’s reality; don’t like it, well, it’s your world…

  44. One thing: If MLB’s rejection of San Jose prompted San Jose’s filing of a lawsuit the next day, why did Chuck Reed say during the public announcement that it was clear the city was not going to get an answer on its ballpark proposal? Wasn’t the rejection that very answer?…Giants are coasting in for a major major victory here – the Bay Area all to themselves.

  45. @plrraz The article suggest it based on no facts, not Reggie or anyone in the group that suggests the move to Vegas, it was based on the Expos “if they were going to be moved” implying he had plans to move the A’s is false its stated by Reggie and others in the group that they had plans working with the city to build a stadium in Oakland. Before there was Reggie there was Oakland’s Joe Morgan and yes those were the plans, and agreements from Schott when purchasing the A’s to keep them in Oakland (why he got below market value) and if selling to sell to local group who would keep them in Oakland. But good ol Bud screws it up again for the city and A’s. Have to wonder what his beef is with the A’s and Oakland to continue to butt in and sabotage deals all the way back to 1998. This issue would be moot if he allowed Morgan and co to buy them which MLB committee recommended in the first place to the owners and Selig.

  46. @pjk,
    I wouldn’t start running for the hills just because Chuck Reed likes to stick his chest out in public. Relax…

  47. So following the history:

    1) Wolff makes land option deal with SJ
    2) SJ waits for MLB to make decision
    3) MLB doesn’t make a decision
    4) SJ prepares to sue
    5) MLB preemptively makes a decision on *current proposal*
    6) SJ sues

    That “decision” was an effort to fight the lawsuit since the basis was that Wolff couldn’t take the option or drop the option without MLB deciding on that proposal. Now they can argue “we made the decision, now Wolff can turn the option down and your business with the A’s is now done along with this ‘frivolous’ lawsuit.”

    This is nothing more than legal gamesmanship. What xoot said is likely to happen. The AT stuff will be pushed through so it’s appeal process can move forward and he likely keeps, but holds off on the state stuff providing another win-win/lose-lose for both parties and making it so that the decisiveness of this suit won’t have to fall on him if it can be helped.

  48. ho hum i guess another day for overreaction from both sides of the sj/oak issue.

  49. Time for San Jose to find a new ballpark site other than Diridon (it’s proving to problematic on all fronts IMHO).

  50. @pjk

    Do you have any evidence whatsoever that the problem with the A’s moving to SJ is in large part due to lack of public funding?

    I suspect that that really is the case, but I haven’t actually seen any real evidence.

  51. @dmoas–one thing to keep in mind: The lack of San Jose’s A/T standing is still an issue in the case. The 9th Circuit (either after 2 years of full briefing on the merits and argument, or on an expedited schedule) could kick San Jose’s appeal on that basis. (The US SCt employed an analogous dodge when it considered the Prop. 8 appeal recently.) Lack of standing becomes all the more likely if the DoF’s decision renders the tenuous option agreement actually invalid.

  52. I actually think the Bay Area could be a 3 team market, which is why I’ve commented before that SJ deserves a baseball team , just not Oakland’s or SF’s.

    MLB should give SJ an expansion team and call it a day. For being such a big city, SJ should have it’s own team with it’s own history of SJ, not other markets history.

  53. Giving San Jose an expansion team still leaves the A’s with no site and no money to build in Oakland. Problem not solved. You people who simply believe the A’s will get it done in Oakland, well, deliberations have been going on since the 1990s and nothing is getting done. At what point do we decide it’s never going to get done in Oakland?

  54. Ivan, the Bay Area is already MLB’s smallest 2 team market and historically can barely support both teams at the same time. What makes you think it could possibly work as a 3 team market?

  55. “Tenuous option agreement actually invalid.” Time for a new SJ site. They’re out there…

  56. This tweet:

    Nathaniel Grow @NathanielGrow

    Uncertainty regarding the rejection certainly makes discovery more likely…

  57. I think the only thing that should matter to all fans, whether it is SJ, Oakland, or Bay Area, is that discovery proceeds. There, they’ll be able to expose all the dirty laundry and answer all the questions:

    – What has the BRC been doing for the past 3+ years?
    – What is Oakland’s proposal to the BRC?
    – What more does MLB want from SJ?
    – How much “revenue” will the Giants lose (how much of their STHs is from the Santa Clara)?

    This would unravel the mystery of all the behind the scenes machinations happening and (finally!) expose how greedy both the Gnats and MLB truly are (and by extension how pitiful the Oakland polis have become).

  58. Tony, there’s no other San Jose site that I’ve seen that comes close to the value of Diridon. If it’s not downtown, it’s not really worthwhile. The Bay Area isn’t Atlanta where the Braves are moving to where their fans are from. The A’s were already moving away from the bulk of their fanbase.

  59. Tony, the it’s not the issue of the site itself that’s being rejected, but Wolff’s proposal. That likely includes SJ portion of the funding and their compensation to the Giants (both of which is zero).

    Xoot, serious question, wouldn’t MLB’s rejection help SJ’s standing? They’re making a concerted decision that prevents them from doing business with the A’s. Before it was only a hypothetical standing in the way, now it’s an actual action. I’m not suggesting that it’s a strong case either way, but I can’t see how this really helps MLB’s case except to combat the lawsuit in it’s current form.

  60. At this point, it’s plain silly to come to any conclusions. A lot has happened behind the scenes since last June, and there a lot of inconsistencies and unanswered questions about what actually had taken place regarding any decision by MLB.

  61. @dmoas–the standing issue was briefed by mlb. The option agreement on the property is weak.

    Contrast this: The LA Coliseum’s case vs. NFL in the 80s got dismissed for lack of standing, even though they owned a NFL-ready stadium and really were competing for the Raiders, because they had no agreement with the Raiders. The Coliseum Authority (or whatever it’s called) and the Raiders entered into a contract, and the Coliseum refiled its lawsuit. It went forward along with the Raiders own case.

    Antitrust standing and the requirement of antitrust injury are technical barriers that are not easy to get over. imo, the little option agreement with the A’s isn’t even close to enough. (Also, San Jose has no mlb-ready stadium, so they can’t compete in any market yet). If the option agreement gets invalidated under Calif’s redevelopment dissolution scheme, things are even worse for San Jose. imo.

  62. Karim nails it. And to add, because of the clause in the schott/hoffman ownership, wehre they had to first try and sell the team to a “local” buyer, they later admitted the initial time they put the team up for sale, with the Dolich group ready, that it was just a way to “trigger” that clause saying they tried to sell locally. In cahoots with Selig/MLB, they were able to say they attempted it, but then blocked it, leaving the team available for outside owners. Total BS. One must remember the history of this situation more clearly than what is being represented here: Since the mid 90’s, the A’s have gone EVERY SINGLE YEAR with an owner 1. threatening to move and 2. telling their fans just how crappy their own stadium is. They have always been in the bottom of roster budget and have really only had their good years based on Billy Beane’s ability to put strong teams together with low budgets, along with frankly, quite a bit of luck. Attendance is almost always a couple years behind, and as soon as the early 2000’s team was sold off, they fell into crap years again. Their attendance has increased the last few years DESPITE ownership’s attendance to push the fans away, allowing them to continue to cry about their stadium and revenue. We haven’t had an ownership embrace the city and fans since Haas / the early 90’s.

    In addition: people can blame Oakland politicians for “bumbling” situations all they want, but for anything to work, they need an ownership who GENUINELY wants to stay in Oakland and make something work. They do not have that and haven’t since Haas. There is no way in hell anything can get done with ownership spending more time looking elsewhere than looking where they are.

  63. One detail I haven’t seen discussed is what info the A’s or mlb gave San Jose in June that prompted them to file their lawsuit the very day after the A’s received the rejection slip. If San Jose had seen the rejection language, indeed, if San Jose had known that it could be construed as a refusal to move, surely San Jose would have recast the claims in its complaint accordingly.

    There was and there still is a lot going on beneath the surface.

  64. @ asch / karim – since you are so positive on the outcome of a new Oakland stadium venue, would you support subsidizing the A’s a la the Radiers Mt. Davis development with guaranteed revenues? Doing something similar to this would bring MLB and JF/LW on board.

  65. Could this all be one big push to make it seem like MLB won the case outright to preserve anti-trust/immunity in exchange for a potential announcement in January to move the A’s to San Jose?


  66. SJ has not seen or received the rejection letter yet !

  67. We need an update on the Stand for San Jose vs. City of San Jose case since the two court cases are intertwined now.

  68. @daniel–I think that’s right. That’s my point. They acted immediately after it was delivered, however, and they apparently dove in somewhat blind.

  69. @xoot,
    It’s probably because, in SJ’s opinion, there’s nothing wrong with Wolff paying for EVERYTHING. And (again) Wolff has no problem accommodating. But Selig/MLB don’t want a precedent set and (thus) rejected the A’s proposal in June. And SJ files suit because they want the free ballpark and don’t want to resort (at the time) to public financing of any sort. Hopefully SJ behind the scenes is getting it’s act together and putting together a package that is suitable for MLB.
    BTW, where did all this stuff about Dolich, Haas and Oakland come from? Didn’t you guys read anything re Coli City and Oaklands financial hardships (ie the next Detroit)?

  70. @Dan,
    But close to downtown is worthwhile, and there are sites. FWIW, AT&T Park is not in downtown SF, ie the financial district, Union Square or City Hall. San Jose does have its version of then gritty SOMA/South Beach, but that’s another topic for another thread..

  71. I reject the idea that BS/MLB don’t want a precedent set because the G’s could not win a stadium ballot in SC/SJ before. Frisco had to privately finance their park in frisco because it is the only way they could get anything done in frisco. Same for SJ and BS/MLB know that.

    BS is backing down because he favors Frisco over the A’s. End of discussion. LW and Fisher have to stir the pot here. or maybe LW already decided that he and Fisher will sell the team soon.

    hey maybe we will hear the breaking news that someone has stolen LW’s laptop with all the secrets in it….

  72. here’s hoping reinsdorf becomes the next mlb commish.

  73. @Daniel,
    Frisco didn’t have to pay anyone compensation to build privately in Frisco. Frisco was also frowned upon BIG TIME by MLB for privately building in Frisco. MLB is concerned about Wolff’s possible debt load and IS worried about setting a precedent; end of discussion!

  74. Xoot, the comparison is a little poor. Having a stadium wasn’t the answer for standing in LA’s case. Having an agreement with the team was. Once they had an agreement with the Raiders, they had standing. SJ has an agreement with the A’s. Whether they have a stadium doesn’t matter, having non-hypothetical business being blocked by the league does. That’s how SJ compares favorably to LA. The question is and always has been how strong of an agreement that option agreement actually is. It’s more than a hypothetical deal LA originally had. It’s less than an outright, signed, confirmed agreement LA eventually had. That’s the whole point of MLB’s action with this “letter” denying SJ. It’s meant to say “that option agreement now has a resolution, one that *team* won’t pick up.”

  75. Today’s news is fascinating but I don’t think it provides any definitive insight into how MLB views the A’s situation. Given the way MLB handled the McCourt ownership, why in the world would anyone think MLB would approve of any ownership group taking on such a debt burden for a new stadium? A debt burden that appears to be a given if an ownership group wanted to build in Oakland. Especially on or near the waterfront. MLB isn’t going to go down the McCourt road of borrowing again. I don’t think the rejection letter is necessarily sending Wolff and Fischer back to Oakland. If at all. In addition to preempting the SJ lawsuit, the rejection letter may be in part (or mostly) due to the A’s unwillingness to pay off the Giants. My question is how does Oakland respond to this? And if they move the A’s to the back-burner – again.

  76. @dmoa–sorry, but I believe you’re not taking into account the requirment of market competition in antitrust law. The best San Jose coulda argue was that it competes in the market of large cities who dream of hosting a mlb team. That’s not economic reality. They don’t have a stadium; they can’t compete. They merely want to compete. As I say, the technical requirements of A/T law are designed to keep plaintiffs out of court. That’s the way it is. And I’ve been over this all before. It’s starting to bore me as much as most of the others here. The A/T issues are on ice. The litigation game is on.

  77. @domoas–one final note. From mlb’s reply brief in support of its motion to dismiss: “Plaintiffs also lack antitrust standing because their purported injury is too attenuated from any alleged conduct by Defendants. ‘Antitrust injury requires the plaintiff to have suffered its injury in the market where comeptition is being restrained. Parties whose injuries . . . are experienced in another market do not suffer antitrust injury.'” [citation] (see mlb’s reply brief, p. 14)

    That’s a correct, succinct statement of the law. mlb’s briefs showed how San Jose failed to connect its real-estate option to any actually existing market for “the provision of major league men’s professional baseball contests.” (That odd allegation really does appear in the defective complaint.)

  78. Xoot – it appears that dmoas is beating you with the SJ vs MLB case (the same scenario will also likely repeat when San Jose defeats MLB in the actual case)

  79. no duffer, but thanks for your concern. The antitrust injury requirement means that you have to suffer competitive injury in the relevant market. San Jose can’t–both because the A’s agreements with mlb prevent a binding contract to move and because San Jose has no ballpark to tie a contract to.

    But you guys continue to reassure yourselves. The only really good thing I see here today is ML’s attention to the litigation issues and his respect (finally) for Professor Nathaniel Grow, who really is the leading expert on all of this. (Although he also pays attention to civil procedure experts and actual litigators for certain details.)


  80. Nathaniel Grow: “Uncertainty regarding the rejection certainly makes discovery more likely…”

  81. Sacramento is the best place to have the A’s… After the kings get a new arena built for the 2016 Season we should look to bring over the A’s.

  82. A few items;

    1) remember the (potential) parties here and who may have given the nod to A’s errrrrrr City to set the house on fire (clue it wasn’t done one day before this purported “letter” was sent);

    2) query – if a non-cooperating member threatens the rules of the house what opportunity would present itself to clip that member’s wings?;

    3) how does this “letter” reconcile with the new A’s lease terms, and Joe Cochette’s recent comments to SJ Chamber of Commerce? – and Cochette can puff with the best of ’em, but….;

    and I do agree with one comment Xoot uttered

    4) in litigation parlance “…the proverbial door is now open…” which a lot of members are not happy with….if you get that drift.

  83. My favorite two lines in the court doc:

    “Defendants assert that this Court should take action based on a June 17, 2013 letter from Defendant Bud Selig. Defendants have failed to provide this letter to Plaintiffs or to this Court. Therefore, this Court should refuse to take any steps based on the letter.

    “In fact, Defendants’ sections of this CMC Statement are filled with Assertions of fact. This Court should order immediate commencement of discovery so that these ‘facts’ (and others) surrounding the Athletics proposed move to San Jose and their reasons for entering into (and then not exercising) the Option Agreement may be explored.”

  84. When Rayburn talks, people listen 😉
    Xoot, respectfully; in your lifetime have you ever admitted when you might be wrong and others might be right?
    Been reading some of the national headlines on this; “MLB has rejected the A’s move to San Jose, “…Un @$!# believable!!
    Why on Earth are some media outlets getting Quans take on this? She knew all along the A’s wouldn’t get San Jose and is optimistic about a new Oakland ballpark? Are you @$!# kidding me JQ!? Please media, do us all a favor and don’t interview Quan anymore as it relates to the A’s future. Thank you in advance..

  85. @ML, PJk and Tony D

    Hey fellas should the A’s surrender to Oakland and just build at Coliseum City?? How much would the least expensive 30, 000 seat ballpark cost at the Coliseum land??? Can the numbers support lew wolff to get his investment back?

  86. Xoot, I wasn’t claiming that the option agreement alone was enough. Just that it was enough to differentiate it from the first LA case. It’s still not anywhere near as strong as the second LA case given that yes, it lacks a stadium (though technically they do actually have one, just not “major league” enough) and MUCH more importantly an actual binding agreement to move. SCOTUS is notorious for avoiding issues on any technicality they can find so if it ever reached them for this, it’d likely be tossed out for standing, that we agree on. I’m simply disagree with LA Part 1 being relevant. It’s middle ground status makes the situation unique, unique enough at least to possibility persuade a lower court to give them a “win.” And even a weak win could be enough for MLB to budge.

  87. Rayburn, you’re obviously a person in the know. Tell the city/Wolff to consider the VTA lot at W. San Carlos and Sunol Streets; across the Light-Rail tracks from the once considered Del Monte cannery site. 8+ acres owned by the VTA and pretty much ready for immediate build (pending EIR of course). Single owner in VTA could make things easier in terms of working out a land deal AND STILL within close proximity to downtown SJ/Diridon Station.

  88. FYI duffer, I’m hardly beating xoot on anything, he has far more legal experience and knowledge than I do (which is none) and if you read above, I agree with the likely outcome for the next phase that he predicted. I think the only difference I see in his view and mine is that he sees SJ’s standing as non-existence and I see it as extremely weak. Legally speaking, the results aren’t likely to change by that difference in views.

  89. @OM86,
    The Raiders are even a testament to the poor corporate market of the Oakland area (they said it themselves). Oakland would only work for a ballpark if massive public funding becomes available for the A’s to make up for lack of corporate support (at least $200-300 million). If MLB frowns on private financing for SJ, what does that tell you re private financing in Oakland? Respectfully, my answer is no.

  90. Looks like we’re headed to the theoretical discussion ML mentioned a few months ago: San Jose is out of the picture, MLB tells Oakland a ballpark is not viable there without public money. Then what?

  91. Maybe the time has come for Wolff to sit down with Oakland tell them what he needs: About $300 million to build a ballpark work there, plus the city picking up the tab for all infrastructure. “Working with the City of Oakland” cannot continue to mean A’s owners take 100% of the risks and Oakland none.

  92. ok. @dmoas–I appreciate your courtesy and your comments. I’m not talking through my, well, hat, as they say. The reason I didn’t notice the filing in the San Jose v. mlb case yesterday? I was busy polishing a long document analyzing a particularly interesting internet antitrust issue. Does that make my opinions right? No. But my opinions aren’t dashed off. Overall, my interest in the A’s attempt to move to San Jose is a mix of my passion for baseball and my everyday work. I’m not rooting for the A’s to lose the fight to move to San Jose. If a move is what it takes to keep them in the Bay Area, so be it. I am just trying to add what I know to discussions about this stuff.


  93. @pjk,
    If you want to run for the hills, go ahead, it’s your world. I’m staying put and remaining optimistic (as nothing today news wise has altered my hopes of SJ landing the A’s). I still say…IT WILL HAPPEN.

  94. People, especially the Oakland-only crowd, forget that on top of the investing $500M into a stadium and incurring a huge debt service every year, the A’s also stand to lose their annual MLB welfare check that is purportedly $35M+. That’s a huge gamble for anyone to take, especially one that historically hasn’t done so well for the A’s in Oakland. I say at a minimum, Oakland needs to chip in $250M + $35M yearly just to make MLB think that they’re serious.

  95. MLB and the Giants are conspiring to drive the A’s out of town or out of business. They have been for years and MLB hiring a Giants season ticket holder as their lawyer in the recent suit against them by the City of San Jose should put to rest any slight doubts anyone should have about the partiality of MLB to one party in this matter. If it weren’t for the anti-trust exemption MLB no longer deserves, I would have said “criminally conspiring”… I have no doubt that there are more smoking guns than those being discussed in this article, such as discussions behind the scenes between the Giants and their media partners.

  96. The best city of Oakland can do is split the entire coliseum land in thirds. 1/3 for the Raiders who can keep the coliseum and get all revenue streams. The A’s can have their northeast section of the coliseum land and make money off that. Last the Malik/Colony can have the rest of the coliseum land to build whatever they want. Coliseum city may not have the giant hotels amd such…but it should provide the A’s a new ballpark (where plenty of ppl will comea and fill seats), the Raiders could get help from nfl g4 fund to improve coliseum…and I recommend malik/colony use the land and offer cheap office space for upcoming computer companies..”.Oakland needs to grow their own corporate wealth”

  97. Pjk and tony d….o
    San jose fought hard…but mlb knocked out this lawsuit like cassius clay did sonny liston…

  98. @Anon I’m not stating anything but the facts and giving fair and accurate facts for the pro Oakland side. All i’m saying is things can work if everyone was on board. No matter what tax money will be used, and it was just said this week behind the scenes Oakland Pols have been figuring out ways of using taxes. Also there was already a tax increase measure for infrastructure that was on a previous ballot, that most likely will be on again. Between the 3 teams, tax payers money, and investors money, there is no way anyone can say it wont work. Everyone says Oakland cant do it financially, there’s a reason why Selig is/ has been delaying and turning down the current proposal. from my view of the delay as I have said from day one was to delay enough to give the city of Oakland one last chance and bring a plan and money to the table. everyone seems to discredit the Mayor and City of Oakland but look at the billion plus dollar projects in Oakland that are under way from investor money. Weather the city gives up land to build, along with tax money i’m for it, as this time with 3 new stadiums the city can play there cards right and not screw themselves with like last and get a premium from parking, concessions, etc along with new taxes from the surrounding development that Oakland does not have anywhere in the city, (retail, high end hotels, etc.)The same ting that everyone speaks for against Oakland can be said for SJ, who cant fill there police force have rising crime etc. And for Selig to reject the proposal it has to be something in the terms to satisfy MLB Lew and Fisher will never want to do, or MLB wants tax money which SJ wont do. Oakland at least has that option on the table, yes one county supervisor said no public funds but one person doesn’t equal the majority needed to make the decision.

  99. Tony, instead of standing pat, perhaps you should consider pushing SJ into providing a $100 million. Even a nominal amount like that would likely be enough for Selig to call it a win. Even if that amount ultimately ends up in the Giants hands through the A’s. Oakland’s unwillingness to put up money is enough for Wolff to walk away, the same is true of MLB and SJ even if Wolff is willing to take that risk himself. What we’re talking about is MLB’s greed and precedence.

  100. San Jose has been in the habit of dumping responsibilities such as tree and sidewalk maintenance on the property owners, since it doesn’t have the money itself (the city owns the trees and sidewalks but can’t pay for their maintenance). Chances of San Jose agreeing to fund construction of a ballpark is about = to the chances of San Jose launching a manned space flight to the moon. Of course, Oakland’s situation is at least that bad, probably worse. If MLB wants public funding for a ballpark, it means the team won’t be staying in Northern California.

  101. @pjk what risk has Lew ever taken with Oakland….. None at all you cant change the history of this and he hasn’t done one thing to sit down with the city. Oakland has never said taxes were off, Oakland has never told Lew to 100% finance his own stadium. This all would be a moot point if he in fact sat down to negotiate with the city. That”s one of his down falls he never did anything to show MLB that he tried when he didn’t, Out of his own mouth he said he would like to build on the current site and that’s a fact, what changed Lew the site is still there. Fremont etc were all smokescreens and looking back and checking the fact prove it. He said he would respect the Giants territory and he knows MLB’s stance on this when he bought the team, and then he gets the team and it’s SJ or no where. How does that sit with Selig? we all know San Jose suit is part of Lew Wolff working with SJ Pols, just look at today, San Jose city councilman Sam Liccardo dwas “unaware” of MLB’s letter to Lew and then he “Investigates” the letter real quick and confirms with Susan Slusser the A’s received it. Who would he call to confirm the letter? Pretty blatant if you ask me and do we think these backdoor happenings are sitting well with Selig? SJ Lawsuit is Lew’s doing but he respects MLB rules and process. Yea right. Below is a article for one of his smokescreens, what happened Lew he said he would build it privately in Oakland too.

  102. Karim: It has been pretty clear Oakland expects the A’s to pay for their own ballpark, which is not going to happen in the corporate-poor East Bay. Re: Wolff building on Oakland. Are you referring to the North-of-the-Coliseum proposal, which went nowhere years ago?

  103. @pjk you have been saying its been pretty clear but can you provide articles quotes, something because all I find is the opposite, between the last two owners and the majors since Brown they have requested to sit down and talk about building a stadium, and like I said before in a previous post the only reason why where here today and the BRC was formed was because Dellums requested it after Fremont fell through. The city of Oakland has been in consistent contact with the MLB/BRC trying to work with them and satisfy MLB’s concerns/needs (such as MLB’s request for a downtown park, i.e Howard Terminal, reason why Oakland is in the process of getting site control over it), while SJ and backdoor Lew have tried to sue. Also what did Quan do when she got in office? Wrote Bud Selig stating Oakland commitment to the A’s. What is clear in the letter below was financial commitment of about 250 million dollars and other perks/commitments from the city etc. Thats fact and we could be having Opening day this season in a new ball park if good ol Lew sat down with the city. And the reason why the North site went no where because Lew stopped it by saying he didn’t want to do eminent domain but he knew that’s what would have to happen, exactly why it was a smokescreen/ sabotaging” his “attempts to stay in Oakland.

  104. @pjk this is also after the demise of the RDA, as she states the “Mix of funding sources have been modified” since the initial letter she sent to MLB, and Quan is still showing commitment to the A’s with Public/private money. Now with private investors and tax measures most likely on the ballot this gives the city more than enough ammo to satisfy MLB, and Selig.

  105. @Karim Thank you for posting Mayor Quan’s December 2011 letter to Bud Selig. I had forgotten all about that. In doing so and probably without realizing it, you’ve perfectly highlighted the ineptitude of Mayor Quan on this issue; despite your attempts to convince otherwise. As you can see in the letter Mayor Quan is promoting the Victory Court site as a viable option (emphasis added) for the A’s to build a ballpark. As we’ve discussed on this blog several times, the facts now show that it was City Hall, led by a directive from the mayor’s office to funnel money away from the Victory Court EIR, that would have shown the site’s true cost and viability towards the purchase of the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. The Victory Court study that was voted on and approved by the city council in December of 2010 was de-funded and dead by July of 2011 – without any fanfare. That letter in December of 2011 was a public CYA moment from Quan as it was quietly announced on January of 2012 that the Victory Court EIR, which is 100% necessary to actually build a stadium was now dead.

    Given today’s news a completed and certified Victory Court EIR could have us talking about the possibility of a shovel ready project. Expensive yes, but the discussion and possibility would be MUCH further along than it is right now because we still must go through the Environmental Impact process. And we can’t do that. Why? Because City Hall didn’t think the project was worth pursuing – despite voting to approve the funds for the study. Well played.

    I’d like to see what real financial costs are to keep the A’s in Oakland. If you want a private company to invest in your city you should show the company why it’s worth it. And with the way Victory Court played out, it’s hard to take this mayor and current government seriously.

  106. @pjk and tony d

    Maybe u san jose guys should just surrender…plz…u fought hard but politics got in way…just join coliseum city plz fellas …ut take now fellas

  107. @dmoas,
    I have! I’ve proposed tapping into the Convention Center Facilities District (Mello-Roos) for $100 million. Only the major hotels in the downtown area pay the extra assessment and the bonding capacity is over $600 million. With the CC expansion costing $150 million, there’s still more in the tank. While that funding can currently only be used for CC expansion and maintenance, the major hotels could probably vote to include funding for the ballpark.

  108. Karim: Your posts are very LONG.

  109. Next step: Wolff sells the A’s back to MLB, which then is told again by Oakland that the city won’t pay for a ballpark. Then, it’s time to move the A’s to another market.

  110. Wow, it’s been a while since I last commented on something, but I’m reading the site everyday!

    @pjk and everyone really, check out the link below…

    Could this be a market test to see if A’s are a viable team in San Antonio? Or, if the A’s get the green light for SJ and the Coli lease expires, could this be the A’s temporary home?

    Either way, this concerns me! Don’t get me wrong, I want the A’s to stay in Oakland but if SJ is the only place that can keep the A’s in the Bay Area I’m all for it!!!

    Athletics Baseball = MLB’s Nomads

  111. To be honest: Everyone is jumping to conclusions regarding the “letter” without reading the actual wordage. All the journalists covering the “letter” have not read the actual letter. San Jose and the attorneys have not read the actual letter. We have no idea what it could possibly mean in terms of a “no”. Second, the “letter” part was leaked from journalists favoring Wolff’s position of San Jose. Why? Could this letter, like Nathaniel Grow suggests, bring about discovery because it highlights so much we do not know and need to know? You can’t just whip out random “evidence” midway through a trial and say, “see, we’re right” without the other side questioning the evidence.

  112. Looks like San Antonio could become the 3rd player in the race to land the A’s. The winner will be whichever city offers the most public funds for stadium construction. We already know how much San Jose and Oakland will offer: $0.00.

  113. ..if Oakland wants to keep the A’s, it’s going to need a better plan than “Here’s a slab of land and a sewer line. Now go build your stadium.”

  114. I wouldn’t worry too much about the Alamodome. It won’t work even as a temp venue. It is strictly a place to hold exhibitions.

  115. @Pjk

    I wonder if Oakland could offer 10 mil in public funding plus offering the north east part of the coliseum land for a small 30, 000 seat ballpark. It would be more then what San Jose is offering…good to see San Jose k.o in this lawsuit

  116. @Oakmetro86:

    30k won’t fly. Minimum 36K. BullShit asked for it. minimum 36K
    the original design in SJ was for 32k but Bullshit rejected that

  117. Steven: nice try but you’re only going to confuse people when you try to apply reason and logic to the situation.

  118. Karim, really? You are not stating facts you are posting spin. As muppet151 points out. When you add the modifier “from the pro Oakland side” to the word “facts,” that should be the first clue that they aren’t really facts but perspectives.
    I am in favor of the A’s staying in Oakland. I don’t think Lew Wolff is the biggest obstacle to that happening and other folks who prefer Oakland should realize that. A business man will make a deal when that deal makes sense. Oakland has done nothing to put together the semblance of a deal that makes sense.

  119. @Jeffrey- Aman, I fill like Lew has not been the best partner for Oakland, but a lot of ProOnly Oakland people dont look at the other side of the coin, Oakland has been a more difficult partner to Wolf, then Wolf has been to Oakland, I say this as a Pro-Oakland fan, if San Jose is not going to happen ( this news does not mean it wont), and Oakland puts togather a real plan, I think Lew will liston.

  120. While I’m not privy to what is going on behind the scenes regarding the future permanent home for the A’s, I’m still very much optimistic that all the roads for the A’s still lead to San Jose. Despite what Selig had at one time publicly stated about the A’s original 1968 move to Oakland, MLB would want as of now for the A’s to remain within the two team Bay Area market. This change in attitude has come about from the realization that the Bay Area market’s population and wealth has grown in leaps and bounds since the A’s had first came to the region from Kansas City. With Oakland just about rejecting itself as a future permanent home for the A’s, MLB will now be ready to accept San Jose as the new home for the A’s. However, MLB would likely want for San Jose to provide the A’s some public funding assistance to avoid possible serious ballpark debt issues down the road. Also, with the added public funding, the A’s would be better able to build their new ballpark according to MLB specifications, including meeting minimum ballpark seating capacity requirements. IMO, I interpret Selig’s letter to the A’s not as a rejection of San Jose as a future home, but as an opening of an opportunity for a possible conditional acceptance.

  121. @llpec
    I beileve with enough support Oaklane could get 10-30mil of public funding througj creative taxes to appease MLB to tell Wolff to build in Oakland. Coliseum Field is on the way and I think th ose snobs in San Jose will cry about public funding..their lose.

    @pjk would u prefer Coliseum Field or Didron???….ooooppss too soon?

  122. re: However, MLB would likely want for San Jose to provide the A’s some public funding assistance to avoid possible serious ballpark debt issues down the road.

    …Not going to happen. Not with all the vital city services that have been eliminated, cops laid off, etc. There is no appetite for public funds for building a ballpark in San Jose. If it’s an ultimatum from MLB (public $$ for construction or no A’s), then I can already tell you how this will work out: No A’s. Know what happens when city-owned sidewalks and city-owned curbs and gutters are destroyed by city-owned trees in San Jose? The abutting property owner gets stuck with the bill to fix it. Don’t believe me? Come over my house and I’ll present you the proof. Please tell me how San Jose can pay for a ballpark under these circumstances.

  123. Oakmetro: Please tell me how much of a dent $10-#30 million in public funds would make in a minimum $500 million ballpark in a place where everyone knows the corporate support is not there. That’s like going out for a $100 steak dinner and offering to just pay the tip. Oakland will have to come up with several hundred million dollars in public funds, which is highly unlikely to happen. ..And creative taxes through what? Hotel and rental car taxes wouldn’t amount to much in Oakland. I go to technology conferences in the Bay Area all the time – for 20+ years now. Want to know how many I’ve attended in Oakland in that time? One.

  124. OakMetro, add an extra zero in there. Show up with $100-300 million and then people will start to listen. If you were to start a conversation with Wolff saying “We’re willing to put up $300 million” your response would be the sound of his ears perking up followed by a “Go on…” as his response. They piss away $10-30 million for breakfast, that doesn’t get you anywhere.

  125. If San Jose really wants the A’s, and I’m sure they do, they will come up with some creative way to come up with some public funding assistance to help the A’s build their ballpark. If there is the will to get something done, there will be a way to get it done. Cisco Field will be built with overwhelmingly private funds. San Jose will find a way to satisfy MLB’s insistence on some degree of public funding assistance, while not putting an additional short or long-term burden on the San Jose/Santa Clara County taxpayer, nor taking funds away from essential city/county services.

  126. $10-30 million is couch change to these folks, that’s a meaningless offering. If that’s the issue then good luck

  127. The fact that San Jose already has gone the lawsuit route probably indicates its no-tax-dollars-for-ballpark-construction stance is non-negotiable. It sure looks like the dream is dying in San Jose, which wouldn’t be so bad if Oakland could step in and get the job done. But there’s no reason to have any faith that will happen. Oakland is just drawing lines on a map and saying “Go build here! Have your checkbook ready because we’re not paying for a ballpark.”

  128. pjk, I wouldn’t go that far. SJ wants a seat at the table. If they were told to come up with $100 million and the seat is yours, I don’t think they’d balk. That’s not to say that they would/could come up with it, but that’s not what the lawsuit is about. As of right now, they can’t even really talk deal with any team and they want that to change.

  129. San Jose’s mayor, etc, already have promised that the A’s would have to pay for their own ballpark. And of course, any $$ for construction would go to a public vote. Think it would pass, given the police layoffs and service cutbacks San Joseans already deal with? Not to mention growing school class sizes? (30 kids per class now) Public funds for ballpark construction is a non-starter in San Jose. Even the discounted land deal was ruffling some feathers.

  130. Dmoas, given that the theoretical $100 million you mention would have to come up to a public vote by law in San Jose… they’d definitely balk.

  131. pjk/dan, I never said they WOULD/COULD get that money, but that they wouldn’t immediately balk at it. They’d do their due diligence to see what it would take to make that work and probably let the people decide. It would likely take a creative tax of some sort (laughanly possibly donations), who knows. You can say that the likelihood of it being successful would be slim/nil and I’d buy that. What I don’t buy is that they’d slam the door on it as a non-starter.

  132. @pjk
    Oakland giving 10-30mil then 0 is a huge difference. ..and yes I beileve with the help of Malik/Coliny, Don Knauss/Colony, Fisher/Wolff and 30mil of public fundimg from Oakland = 30, 000 seat “Coliseum City Field” ballpark for the 2016 A’s. The Raiders will have the Coliseum all to themselves and parking revenue. Warriors stay or go woild be missing out. Do the math fellas…

  133. dmoas, there’s no “probably” about it. San Jose’s city law requires it. Any city funds going to a stadium over 5000 seats has to come before a city wide vote. Which means it would fail.

  134. Metro, 30 million isn’t much more than 0 when it comes to Oakland. Add a 0 to that number and you might have a possible plan.

  135. This news of Selig rejecting San Jose is finally some real progress on this fiasco.

    It’s been painfully obvious he sides with the Giants, finally the proof is here.

    San Jose needs to press to a higher court on their A/T claims.

    Piazza won in the 9th circuit after losing where SJ just did.

    How is it 6 months after the fact mlb says they already said no?

    They just gave SJ the grounds to appeal to a higher court because mlb withheld evidence.

    This makes zero sense, mlb screwed up big.

    This just gets more unbelievable….

  136. @Sid,
    Uh, Selig DID NOT reject San Jose! Please read the thread again (you’re better than that! I hope…)
    Please just stop, will yah!
    Re possible “public financing” from San Jose: Mello Roos. Technically public funding that (yes) would require a referendum, but would only effect those businesses (i.e. Hotel owners) that choose a higher property tax assessment. San Jose residents wouldn’t pay a “tax” for a ballpark, unless of course they decide themselves to patronize affected businesses…

  137. There’s a big difference between rejecting San Jose and rejecting a proposal. Why is that so hard to understand?
    After all these years, there is still no definite site. That would help immensely, and that is what is so disheartening from Oakland.

  138. As long as Bud Selig is in charge and his main goal is to squeeze as much $$ out of the cities (and fans) as he can, then it’s looking like the A’s are gone from the Bay Area because neither Oakland nor San Jose has anything to give other than tracts of land, sewer lines and maybe a couple of sidewalks. Hundreds of millions of dollars for ballpark construction? Not going to happen here. I suppose this hotel tax idea is a possibility but I don’t know how much San Jose could raise from that. A hotel tax in Frisco? Yes – that would probably work because that place sells out its expensive hotels. San Jose? I have my doubts.

  139. @pjk,
    Re Mello-Roos, hypothetical hotel tax for ballpark: go back and read some of my previous comments…ONE ALREADY EXISTS IN DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE! It’s a Mello-Roos facilities district to finance the Convention Center expansion and uprgrades. While CC expansion cost $150 million, bonding capacity of district is north of $600 million. Could hypothetically get $100 million for a downtown ballpark from CC Mello-Roos, but would require a new vote from affected hotel owners and public referendum. If San Jose taxpayers aren’t paying for ballpark directly from their wallets, why would they vote “no” for such a scheme?

  140. Correction to above: SJCC Mello-Roos bonding capacity is $750 million over the life of facilities district.

  141. Tony, doesn’t matter who is paying for the tax directly, overtaxed voters in California don’t tend to vote themselves new taxes for sporting venues, even when its businesses being taxed. Particularly in cities already cutting some basic services.

    PJK, a hotel tax in SJ would do very well financially as there are tons of visitors to the city every day to visit the large Silicon Valley corporations (tourists aren’t the only ones who stay in hotels).

  142. If Oakland and San Jose are saying no to public funding that = A’s and Raiders and to a bigger degree Chargers outta California. .. that can’t happen

  143. Oakmetro, how would San Jose and Oakland rejecting public funding mean the Chargers leave California? Last I checked the Chargers are in San Diego 😉 And even if they left San Diego the more likely destination than out of state would be up the 5 in Los Angeles somewhere.

  144. l.A has been stuck up in public funding too…but San Antonio and or a Virginia might have some tax paying support. Again California is the issue why its takiing long to build these stadiums, areans and ballparks. Its not fair and I’m for one agree in fabor of public funding for sports….and thats my choice

  145. Dan,
    Respectfully, your first paragraph makes no sense whatsoever. Why in the hell would San Jose taxpayers (like myself) care if the major downtown hotels vote to tax themselves (through higher property assessments) for new/improved venues? Yes, it does matter who is paying the tax for convention center expansions and perhaps ballparks (most voters aren’t that stupid), and these funds can’t be used for other city services.

  146. @muppet151 yes you are right, we all would like to see the true cost but what I was explaining was that the city was still offering up funds to help build a stadium which many pro SJ folks continue to say they never offered or wont spend any tax payers money. Victory court disappeared very quickly but we will never know the real reason. Maybe the city was trying to prove to MLB that they have a site and MLB rejected them and relayed to them that there preferred site was Howard Terminal? (i.e reason why all of the city’s focus suddenly shifted to CC and more importantly Howard Terminal and trying to gain site control.) No body knows all we can do is guess, and based off what Pro SJ people have been saying I am just showing that the city has/ is putting forth effort to keep them, how much they are putting forth we don’t know, but sooner or later its all going to hit the fan, and I believe and what I know regarding this issue is the city is in the fight to keep the A’s and running all of these study’s and reports and spending money for it and bringing in these investors is more than a smokescreen that the SJ folks keep preaching. Remember if Quan wasn’t in office the A’s most likely would be gone by now or in the process of leaving as the runner up to Quan took Lew’s money to not fight keeping the A’s in Oakland if he won.

  147. @Karim,
    Straight up: Quan is completely irrelevant to the discussion concerning the A’s future. If anything, she’s only reinforced the negativity/reality of Oaklands situation: broke, in debt, poor corporate market, rudderless when it comes to leadership, etc. Yes, this thing has taken a lot longer than all of us would have liked, but it has nothing to do with JQ.

  148. @Karim Yes, I agree that most of this is a guessing game. But there is enough public information that we can have spirited intelligent debates on this subject without relying on talking points. In the end, that’s my problem with City Hall. It does appear Quan talks a good enough game (believe it or not) that she can buy time. But time goes by and results need to be delivered.

    Take Howard Terminal for example; while Quan and stAy-crowd boosters continue to talk up the site as a location for the A’s, along with the importance of site control, the Port of Oakland has spent the last 2 months working to find new maritime-use tenants to operate Howard Terminal. All proposals were due on Dec. 6th and might be discussed at Thursdays Port Board meeting. The Port is largely autonomous and needs to be self sufficient. A vacant Howard terminal will cost the Port $10 million per year. They’re seeking new operators to take over HT, and in all likely hood would negotiate a lease of at least 5 years in length. How does that fit into the talking point of “site control”? It doesn’t. But what depresses me as someone who wants to see what Oakland’s best viable (should there be one) option is, is that these things are public knowledge. It’s no secret the Port is trying to re-rent Howard Terminal for maritime-use and yet A’s blogs, twitter, sports talk radio is flooded with talking points such as “site control” that don’t match with the reality that’s taking place right in front of you.

    I live in Alameda, work out of San Ramon and hardly go anywhere further south than the Coliseum. A move to San Jose would be a major inconvenience – but I’d get over it. If you don’t want to deal with this inconvenience then I highly recommend avoiding anything that can be used as a pro-Oakland talking point and spend more time examining what moves are being made by city officials that could prevent making Oakland the permanent home of the A’s. There are MANY examples. And this is before we even talk about the actual cost of such a project.

  149. @muppet151 oh yea she does have good game to stall this whole time, just like her game that got her into office (if not first vote for me second lol) and yes I have heard and read up on Howard terminal use for maritime use first and hopefully that will get settled soon but just my take from Quan lol and Fred Blackwell who seems to be leading the way and in the know for CC. They seem pretty confident that the maritime use will not be a issue, ( looking at Blackwell’s response to the question asked at the meeting with alco) this makes me believe it’s a technicality and backdoor/ behind the scenes Oakland is taking site control. Yea 10 mil annually is a lot but just my thinking. I want the A’s in the bay no matter what, but my personal preference is Oakland do to the history I have with them. And I truly feel that a new park in Oakland can and will work but time is ticking fast.

  150. @Tony D she is irrelevant, she’s really just the face of the issue as this as been going on for many mayors. But she has helped bring lots of money/investors so far to Oakland, hate it or love it. The only person worthy of credit is Larry Reid everyone else is fighting, lying etc for there own political moves of money/elections. That’s why I see there might be something that comes out of this as Reid was the lead person negotiating with the developers to bring them on board and sway them to get involved. Reid is a no B.S person and is straight to the point plays no politics like others, as we can see by already calling them out by letting them know “show me the money” lol. He also negotiated the firm dates to resolve this by next year one way or another. We will know soon. Hopefully it’s positive for A’s fans

  151. @Karim–i respect your hopefulness for Oakland but keep in mind these “investors” didnt get rich by giving things away. If Oakland needs to pony up $300M each for the Raiders and A’s stadiums and you expect the “investors” to pay this tab then there better be some revenue streams from their development in Oakland. Assuming this can happen then the city is giving away more than 1/2 of a billion dollars…doubt that will be an easy sell. And btw the Raiders and A’s will still be expected to be paid back for anything they contribute…

  152. @Go’A’s Thanks I am hopeful and do see the both sides of the issue just see a lot of Pro SJ love on here, and i am throwing out Oakland’s side from what I’ve read heard etc. I know the Pol’s over there suck but and money needs to be invested from the city no matter what not just land and from what I’ve read and heard I believe Oakland has greater chance than what most on here want to believe or give credit to Oakland as a city. The facts I point out to of everyone discrediting the city with the investors as more smokescreens are the fact that Jean Quan helped secure 1.5 billion for Brooklyn Basin. There is no denying that when it was proposed so long ago that Gov Brown was in office and she got “Hard Cash” for it and the development is getting started soon. All Brooklyn Basin is, is retail and high rise condo’s but the developers liked it to invest. Hey they can always build a casino buy the airport lol. We should definitely have a clearer picture within the next few months about these developers and we will really know about the future of the A’s.

  153. muppet, I’d almost forgot about that meeting. Hopefully the port does find an operator for the HT site taking it out of the discussion. As much as it would be the “best” site for the A’s in Oakland, it’s also as it stands now a self defeating location vis-a-vis Coliseum City.

    The Coliseum City plan needs the ballpark to pencil out, yet with HT still on the table the city is simultaneously still pursuing the more expensive (but better) ballpark option at Howard Terminal. In essence they’re undermining their own plans at Coliseum City because of HT. It would make far more sense to get behind the Coliseum fully if they’re going to do it. If HT goes to a new maritime user and dies as a ballpark site it might just save the city from themselves. Otherwise they’d need to tweak the CC plan so that it can survive with just the Raiders. Because right now “Phase I” isn’t going to cut it for a long term solution without their planned “Phase II and III.”

    That said ideally they’d tweak CC anyway and find the A’s a workable site in downtown Oakland that wouldn’t cost $700+ million to make happen, require major site remediation, and require a whole new transit build up.

  154. “In essence they’re undermining their own plans at Coliseum City because of HT.”

    It’s almost as if this is really just smoke and mirrors and the city is doing whatever it can to make it look like it’s doing something . . .

  155. Tim, I agree. That debacle of a meeting last week between the city and county for the Coliseum Commission shed more than enough light on the lack of substance to Coliseum City at present. But Howard Terminal suddenly being off the table would help give the Coliseum City plan a little more substance since it would be the only viable ballpark plan Oakland still had active (which is what CC needs to have any chance of being a workable plan). I mean it would still have it’s massive funding shortfalls, the fact it’s not a site MLB is particularly fond of, and the lack of support of two of the franchises… But at the very least it wouldn’t have competition from another of its own city planner’s other plans.

  156. “Why in the hell would San Jose taxpayers (like myself) care if the major downtown hotels vote to tax themselves (through higher property assessments) for new/improved venues? Yes, it does matter who is paying the tax for convention center expansions and perhaps ballparks (most voters aren’t that stupid), and these funds can’t be used for other city services.”

    Higher hotel tax is going to result in a reduction of demand for hotel nights in SJ and that is going to put a drag on the economy of the city. It doesn’t just affect visitors (although the bulk of the burden would fall on them). And I don’t think it is a rule from God that those funds can’t be used for other things; if city council thinks that money would be better spent on schools or cops, they are free to change the law. That kind of thinking is what gets Detroit spending $261 million on a new arena while going through bankruptcy – “We have no choice! This money has to be spent on downtown development!”

  157. Dan, more to the point, it would help raise major red flags and (wishfully?) allow people to realize just how unlikely it is for it to happen. All the attention will be on it and nothing else which would force them to finally be serious about it for good or bad. No more misdirection, smoke and mirrors game playing. Face reality head on.

  158. Speaking of new ballparks… I just read that HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa, AZ just closed a week or so ago to begin the city/A’s year long renovations to the venue for the A’s moving in come spring 2015. Visible changes to HoHoKam and neighboring Fitch Park are relatively minor but definitely aimed toward making it the new spring home of the A’s. The behind the scenes changes are apparently going to be pretty extensive.

    From what I see though it really looks like Mesa is going to make HoHoKam into the A’s home first and foremost which contrasts with Phoenix Muni which while having some small A’s touches like banners, was pretty nondescript (not unlike the Coliseum). What is really funny, or sad depending on your view, is that the A’s will now have an unquestionably nicer spring complex than they do regular season complex for both fans and players.

  159. @ Dan how can you say it was a debacle? the County was raising legit questions that they want answered this time around that they were to dumb to ask the last time with Mt. Davis. This was the first meeting between the two regarding building the Stadiums and how would light be shed on the situation when the New group was just brought on a month or so ago, of course there not going to have some elaborate full fledged complete project to present to the city, with funding etc. All the questions raised were legit ones that have to be answered by the city and investment group in there study/reports. All but one council member pretty much supported the project but want the due diligence done so there is no repeat of Mt. Davis.

  160. Karim, it was a debacle because we’re 15 years into this process and the city and county are sitting there actually contemplating how to be bought out by the other side. There’s no unity of purpose on the project. The plan itself is staged in such a way that it makes no economic sense unless they do all 3 phases, yet the city’s own plans elsewhere undermine that phasing. The county is saying point blank that no public funds will be provided from them. Hell they had to press hard to even get the remaining debt numbers on the existing Coliseum on the record from the city (and then stated no new project will be done until that $200 million is addressed adding to an already half a billion shortfall on just the football stadium). Not sure where you say that as supportive of the plan, to me it looked like the sides don’t know which way is up yet… and STILL have no idea how to pay for any of it despite MLB giving them 4 years under the BRC and the city and county having had 15+ years to make something work.

  161. Tim,
    Respectfully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Higher hotel tax is going to reduce demand for hotel nights and become a drag on the SJ economy? Where the hell did you get that?! Better yet, please offer proof (I.e. facts) to back up such a statement. Facts: the major hotels within 2.5 miles of the SJ Convention Center chose (voted) to have their properties assessed higher in order to fund the facilities district (Mello-Roos). Key words being CHOSE and VOTED. The hotels feel (rightly) that an expanded, enhanced convention center will bring in more guests, patrons to their business. Yes, the higher tax assessment is paid for by increased room rates, but that’s paid for overwhelmingly by out of town visitors; that’s what we want. And again, NO; the funds generated by the facilities district can’t be used for anything else other than the convention center expansion/modernization, unless of course the owners have another vote and decide to fund other things (like a ballpark). Any questions?

  162. @Dan,
    Your last sentence re HoHoKam vs the Coli is spot on! I personally think our situation is pathetic and sad at the same time.

  163. “Respectfully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Higher hotel tax is going to reduce demand for hotel nights and become a drag on the SJ economy? Where the hell did you get that?! Better yet, please offer proof (I.e. facts) to back up such a statement.”

    How about the laws of supply and demand? You don’t believe in that? Sellers can just raise the price of anything as much as they want and it won’t impact how much they sell?

  164. “Yes, the higher tax assessment is paid for by increased room rates, but that’s paid for overwhelmingly by out of town visitors; that’s what we want. And again, NO; the funds generated by the facilities district can’t be used for anything else other than the convention center expansion/modernization, unless of course the owners have another vote and decide to fund other things (like a ballpark).”

    It’s paid overwhelmingly by out of town visitors, which is what I said (“although the bulk of the burden would fall on them”). Tax dollars are fungible. Those tax dollars paid by visitors are tax dollars that could otherwise have gone to cops or schools if that’s what city council (or the hotel owners) wanted. If they want to spend it on the convention center, that’s great, but you can’t insist that is the only possible outcome with those tax dollars.

  165. It’s all good Tim, you obviously don’t understand the ideals behind the facilities district/Mello-Roos. Recommend you read up on it to get a better understanding of what exactly it entails. FWIW, I live in a Mello-Roos and pay a slightly higher property tax for our local schools. I have NO PROBLEM paying said tax AND the funds generated can ONLY be used for local schools. BTW, thanks for the “facts.” Supply and demand?…

  166. Tim, ultimately if these Hotels are the ones who need to approve these added taxes, they’re only going to do so if they see a benefit to themselves. A convention center brings in out of town guests, therefore more people stay at their hotel. There’s zero economic benefit for them to approve general fund related tax increases for schools, police, etc. Tony, I’m not sure where the benefit to them comes into play for a baseball stadium. It may be a general economic driver, but it doesn’t mean much to them unless it involves a lot of out of town visitors. It’s debatable that that would work.

  167. dmoas, there probably isn’t a benefit to them from a ballpark. You’ve seen it in San Diego where a faction within the city tried to derail that city’s convention center upgrades (which are being funded by a similar hotel tax imposed on the hotels by themselves) to use the funding to build a new football stadium east of PETCO Park. The faction was ultimately overridden as the hoteliers are ok funding an expansion of the convention center but saw no value in a sports stadium. This despite the fact a football stadium actually does bring in a fair number of out of town visitors to events like the Super Bowl and two college bowl games San Diego hosts annually at Qualcomm Stadium today and it was going to be designed to be utilized as convention space too.

    A ballpark in San Jose would have neither benefit as there is no bowl game for a downtown ballpark in SJ (and any south bay bowl games would take the obvious location at Levis Stadium) and it wouldn’t be capable of being a convention space. So even those failed benefits from San Diego wouldn’t be there for a San Jose ballpark.

  168. Yes, they’ll only approve it if they see a benefit and they have to weigh any potential benefit against the fact that their customers will be the ones paying for it. It’s not free money, as people often seem to think when discussing hotel and rental car taxes.

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