The false horse race narrative

Mark Purdy has a new column. It’s designed to get San Jose supporters to buck up, keep a stiff upper lip, hang in there, what have you. It has a bunch of quotes from the likes of San Jose Councilman Sam Liccardo and A’s managing partner Lew Wolff that trash Oakland. It’s a counterpoint to Marcus Thompson’s column from over the weekend that was meant to breathe life into the Keep-the-A’s-In-Oakland movement. Purdy laid odds, a generally weak tool to use for complicated situations like this:

Odds of the 2020 Athletics playing in a new Oakland ballpark: 25-1.

Odds of the 2020 Athletics playing in a new San Jose ballpark: 10-1.

Odds of the 2020 Athletics playing at AT&T Park: 50-1.

Odds of the 2020 Athletics playing in another part of the country: 80-1.

Odds of the 2020 Athletics still playing at decaying Coliseum, with everybody still arguing about where they should move: 2-1.

Perhaps Steven Tavares from the East Bay Citizen spent too much time at Oakland’s City Council session tonight (the A’s lease extension was approved, BTW), but something in Purdy’s column flipped Tavares’s wig, leading to a litany of entertaining, rant-filled tweets. Among them:



You see, here is the problem. You have one guy laying odds, and another characterizing one party as in the lead. The brutal truth is that this type of narrative is completely useless. It’s bullshit. If you scratch the surface even a little bit, any oversimplified telling like this crumbles to dust. And there’s a simple reason for this.

There is no race.

We know what a horse race looks like. The showcasing of the Expos when MLB bought the team out from Jeff Loria is proof of that. Las Vegas and Portland were used in the process, and DC was taken. We’re not seeing that here. That’s not to say that MLB and either Commissioner Selig or his replacement will end up choosing between Oakland and San Jose at some point. They well could. The problem is that MLB doesn’t like either city’s plan, so it’s not going to choose either city. You can’t have a race when the judge thinks the two competitors don’t qualify. MLB would rather intervene only when it has to, say, when the A’s lease extension talks hit a snag. Then it can breath a sigh of relief, stretch it out a couple more years, and hope that a solution materializes.

Guess what? Oakland and San Jose pols are hoping for the same thing! Oakland is hoping that Wolff gives up and MLB kills off San Jose, so that they’re the only horse left. San Jose hopes that Oakland exposes itself as incapable of getting a deal done, forcing MLB to deal with San Jose. (At least San Jose is trying to force the issue with the lawsuit, but that’s a long shot at best.) None of these rather similar hope-based strategies are predicated on getting a site and pulling together financing.

Unless San Jose and Oakland provide something MLB wants ($$$ or an equivalent), MLB doesn’t have to listen to either one. When MLB negotiated the Coliseum extension, it didn’t set a deadline for Oakland to get a deal done. Selig didn’t tell Oakland to get Howard Terminal ready ASAP – hell, he didn’t do that for Victory Court either. If any substantive talks for a new ballpark are going to take place, MLB will have to be at the table brokering everything because of the intense mutual distrust between Oakland and A’s ownership. That’s exactly what happened in Miami (hello again, Loria!), and we know how badly that turned out. Yet do you hear about something like that happening in Oakland? Nope.

Now maybe MLB’s hand will be forced if Oakland decides to go with the Raiders’ preference of demolishing the Coliseum and leaving the A’s with no obvious place to play. Then it could support Wolff and say to Oakland, you made your choice. It could explore Howard Terminal further, though I suspect it has plenty of information on which to base a decision by now. It could go to San Jose, which would mean it would have to untangle the mess made by the Giants – who I hear have spent eight figures on legal work trying to derail the A’s and San Jose so far. As far as the A’s are concerned, MLB probably views them as an unstable Third World country on another continent. It would rather not get involved.

So until MLB actually decides to give a damn, let’s dispense with this horse race narrative. It’s not helpful and it only provides false hope to fans on either side of the divide, or even those who don’t particular care for a city and just want to keep the team in the Bay Area. It’s not fair to fans, and it’s a total distraction.

158 thoughts on “The false horse race narrative

  1. Excellently written, ML!

  2. RM,
    Always appreciate your fair and balanced approach when you approach matters involving SJ and OAK (no confusing you with Faux News). That said, Oakland has exposed itself incapable of getting a deal done! We’re now going on year 16 of this crap from The O; Uptown, Coli North, VC and now Coli City…let me count the ways. Listening to Wolff quotes from over the past year (and even his Purdy quote re HT), it’s plainly obvious that Oakland is no longer relevant in the A’s ballpark discussion. San Jose (and the A’s) merely have to tweak the financials of the ballpark proposal (perhaps get all the Diridon land and offer “public” assistance) and this thing is done.

    If San Jose drops the ball and is REALLY denied in the future, then it’s all about Southern AlCo for the A’s, not Oakland. Boy, this thread is going to be a doozy..

  3. BTW, Tavares is a funny guy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. With all this finally coming out in the open, it seems to be indicating that MLB has had enough, and wants some jurisdiction within the Bay Area to actively work with the A’s to get a new ballpark deal done. I believe that the horse race has now officially begun between Oakland, San Jose, and Fremont. While Oakland may be the sentimental choice, it has the most difficult task to accommodate the A’s on getting a new ballpark. Complicated by Oakland’s well known financial difficulties, the city also has to try to find a way to get a new stadium for the Raiders, as well. In addition, neither MLB nor A’s ownership view any of Oakland’s remaining proposed ballpark sites as being viable, for one reason or another. As for San Jose, the city offers the best and most potential attributes for both getting a new ballpark built, and for having a most successfully operated facility. While it appears that MLB has some concerns about the current San Jose proposed ballpark plan, including funding allocation resources and ballpark specifications, it very much wants for San Jose to resolve these matters to both their Satisfaction and to those of the A’s. As for Fremont, I view it as the dark horse, only if the situation arises that both Oakland and San Jose are taken out of the race. IMO, At this point MLB knows full well that San Jose is in the lead. MLB is just trying to light a fire under the San Jose horse, so that it can get to the finish line.

  5. I have to say this is the most concise and cogent assessment of this stadium situation written yet. At this point I don’t trust that MLB would rule on San Jose even with a big change to the proposal for Diridon or elsewhere because they haven’t shown a willingness to act decisively yet. ML gets to the heart of the matter by saying as such. We just won’t know what MLB’s thinking is until they are forced into making a decision which is an indictment of Selig’s leadership. Likewise, this go-it-along position by Wolff meant to not rock the boat in the Lodge may preserve goodwill but it has done nothing to move things. Right now, I’m just hopeful that a decision is made on this within the decade and hopefully that keeps the A’s in the state.

  6. @ML
    Thanks, as you usually do, hard hitting and strait commentary, it’s really appreciated. I do have a question, and anyone, fill free to give me your thoughts. One line of thinking seems to be that San Jose needs to come off of some tax money, for MLB, and some owners to be happy, as they do not want to see a privately funded ballpark in San Jose, but when the A’s were looking hard at Fremont Bud came out firmly behind the idea, and praised the A’s organization,, for creatively finding a ways to solve their situation. Well Lew and the boys where going to privately fund Fremont, as well as they have expressed the same idea in San Jose, so why would MLB not be behind one idea Fremont, and not the other San Jose, am I missing something.

  7. @Nicosan
    I am right with you; on that point. I just hope the A’s can stay in the Bay Area, or just outside of it in Sacramento. Everyone has an opinion, and that’s cool, but it really does look as though, any of us can (should), speak in matter of fact terms; I hope the A’s don’t end up out of state.

  8. Sorry: “none of us (should), can speak in matter of fact terms”

  9. @lakeshore,
    I believe it has to do with the following: Fremont entailed a massive residential, mixed-use development that was going to finance the ballpark AND building in Fremont required no compensation pay out to the Giants.

  10. @lakeshore: Feemont is in Oaklands “territory”, SJ isn’t. If they were, or if the Giants didn’t care I suspect there wouldn’t be any debate.

  11. “San Jose (and the A’s) merely have to tweak the financials of the ballpark proposal (perhaps get all the Diridon land and offer “public” assistance) and this thing is done.”

    Tony you say that like either are going to be easy. At Diridon you still have AT&T in possession of one of the parcels if I’m not mistaken… and they’re being obstructionist. Plus as Bill Shakin(sp?) pointed out in Feb, MLB may have issues with the site layout itself which could put an end to Diridon altogether since there really is no way to rearrange the site beyond what they’ve done).

    But the bigger thing is “public assistance.” Any help the city provides beyond what they’ve done requires a city wide ballot measure. Sports teams, leagues and owners hate ballot measures. They’re costly, they’re time consuming, and you very often don’t win, particularly in California (think about how many ballpark or stadium ballot measures Bay Area voters have killed over the last 2 decades or so alone).

    So neither is a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination. ML is right, as it stands both cities are stalled out. Question is which will fail first. San Jose who really can’t do anything more to sweeten the pot at present, or Oakland whose only real plan left at Coliseum City (particularly if HT evaporates after the port finds a new maritime use for the land) is about a billion dollars in short of funds. Neither gives me any reason to be hopeful at the moment.

  12. @Tony D. / Baynativeguy
    Thanks, both good points, I now the biggie is the territory, and I know a lot of people fill that Fremont is not in play, and I (admittedly), have not done the homework, but what’s so unrealistic about Lew taking a second look?, I know he has either sold, or sealing the land, but that does not mean he can’t build on it, and with the rebound of the housing market, nationwide, but most notably in the SF Bay Area, the housing component of a possible project could work again.

  13. Mr. Muncada :I am an Assistant to Mr. Wolff. While I follow your informative blog, this is the first occasion I have convinced Mr. Wolff to allow me to respond. You seem dedicated to point out that Mr. Wolff as disparaging the city of Oakland.
    That is simply not true. The Purdy article contains a response of Mr. Wolff solely to the Howard Terminal location for a Major League Ballpark. Our staff has perhaps looked into Howard Terminal in more detail that any source we have encountered.
    The results of our research clearly indicate to us that the numerous issues that a ballpark would face at all or part of Howard Terminal that render the location as close to impossible for ballpark development as a site could be. That is all Mr. Wolff responded to. The constant invoking of Howard Terminal without any factual study data as to that areas feasibility or even availability as a reason for you to demean Mr. Wolff is simply unfair. There has been no public party or office or the Major league Baseball Committee that has offered even a cursory path to how Howard Terminal, and at what amount of time and cost, would be a possible ballpark site. Your blog often benefits from your apparent knowledge of development or engineering, thus it is especially discouraging for you to present our position on Howard Terminal without the slightest amount of even cursory research on your part, and to conclude that an honest answer pertaining to Howard Terminal is your characterization of Mr. Wolff demeaning the city of Oakland. Not at all fair. Shana Kaplan

    • @Shana Kaplan – Thanks for the response. I agree that there are numerous issues to getting Howard Terminal ready and have written about them at length in the past. Feasibility has to be determined by a process, not some random quotes from A’s ownership or pro-Oakland groups. Just yesterday on Twitter I called HT “cost prohibitive.” As long as the various players make broad statements without presented data to back them up, I will call them out on it. That includes Mr. Wolff. That is not bashing either Wolff or, as I’m accused of doing frequently, bashing the City of Oakland.

  14. Lakeshore, regarding Fremont I have to agree with Tony. Fremont was essentially a self financing plan when Bud came out in support of it. The housing was going to pay for the ballpark and ancillaries in their own development like the new train station and school. Without the housing, the San Jose ballpark has become a finance through the bank type of affair where the team would be saddled with the debt for decades. They think they can make that work in San Jose like the Giants did in San Francisco. Apparently MLB isn’t so sure.

    The other issue in Fremont was of course the territorial one… The Giants were a non-factor as was any payment to them by the A’s as well.

  15. It’s a cruel twist of fate that many of us ballpark junkies just happen to follow the only team that missed out on the post-Camden ballpark renaissance.

  16. re: The results of our research clearly indicate to us that the numerous issues that a ballpark would face at all or part of Howard Terminal that render the location as close to impossible for ballpark development as a site could be…There has been no public party or office or the Major league Baseball Committee that has offered even a cursory path to how Howard Terminal, and at what amount of time and cost, would be a possible ballpark site.

    …But the Oakland-only advocates already have crowned Howard Terminal as viable. All we need is what’s been needed all along – ownership willing to take a huge bath developing a ballpark there with no hope of investment recovery.

  17. Briggs, technically 3 teams missed out on any part of the post-Camden ballpark renissance. The A’s obviously, Tampa, and Toronto. That said, Toronto’s park was the retractable roof trend setter and is still a very servicable park even if not Camdenesque or remodeled (like the two LA stadiums). Tampa missed the boat completely, but again their stadium isn’t terrible, nor is it much older than Camden, and frankly isn’t a bad fit for their miserable humid climate in Florida (I’ve always found it ridiculous Rays fans, and owners, want to go outside so bad. They’ll regret it after one June game outdoors).

  18. San Jose loves you, Lew Wolff.

  19. Briggs/Dan
    Yes as Dan pointed out (and I know you guys know this), but A’s really stand alone, every team has a new ballpark in the Camden renaissance (last 20years), or not so old Rays, Rockies or Braves, whom all have perfectly fine ballparks compared to the A’s, or total remodels and renovations Angeles, or Royals, and then there is the older parks like Cubs or Redox have and even those baseball treasures get upgrades. It’s a shame the A’s stand alone, the Rays are considered by most to be in a similar situation as the A’s, but even they are working toward getting their second park in what the last 25-30 years. I believe a read the other day, that the Rockies had the third oldest ballpark in the national league, wow can you believe that, they will be talking soon about, they need a new park, and they may even get one before the A’s, as we all know teams are working on their second, and in some cases (Blue Jays), perhaps a third venue before the A’s can get on..

  20. And Lewie loves the SJ. Soulmates not allowed to love, much like Romeo and Juliet…..

  21. True, the Rays and Jays didn’t get new ballparks, but they did receive expensive renovations and numerous updates for both fans and team personnel. Meanwhile, the Coliseum can’t even offer functioning wi-fi. What I wouldn’t give for a decent taco stand at the Coliseum.

  22. Lakeshore, I doubt the Rockies will be looking for a new park. They are spending millions on a major upgrade to Coors Field this off season. The Braves so far seem alone in dumping a perfectly fine stadium. The Orioles, Rockies, etc… have thus far been much more reasonable in just looking for some nice upgrades. Hopefully that trend holds since none of the Camden parks really need replacement. They’re all amazing revenue generating palaces that any team would be lucky to have.

    That said, I can see Tampa beating the A’s to a new park even though they’re obviously committed to an extended stay at Tropicana Field with their latest upgrades to the place. Which is what really pisses me off. The Rays park is not only nicer than the Coliseum, but at least the Rays have the fortune to be on a long lease so that they can put lipstick on their pig. The A’s situation is so volatile at this point that we really can’t blame Wolff for not doing anything to spruce up the Coliseum. They’re only on a two year lease and the city is actively trying to get their park demolished by 2016 so they can begin construction on the Raiders new venue. Which leaves A’s fans exactly where we’ve been for nearly 20 years. Playing in a dreary (and now dumpy) football stadium with antiquated scoreboards, distant seats, ruined fall grass, bad sight lines, small dark concourses, shitty and potentially dangerous food options based on the league wide health report a few years ago, actual shit in the clubhouses and kitchens, and no hope of it changing anytime soon.

    Of all Purdy’s odds, the last one is the most likely true… at least until MLB changes it’s stance of “do nothing” or Wolff sells (likely to out of state interests).

  23. @Dan way back,
    Yes, it won’t be easy re San Jose’s effort to get the A’s. IMHO SJ and the A’s should abandon Diridon South and focus on a new site that won’t require further land acquisitions, isn’t hemmed in re footprint and is still in proximity to downtown SJ. My candidates are the North San Pedro site and perhaps soon to be available VTA parcel at W. San Carlos and Sunol Streets (across the Light-Rail tracks from once considered Del Monte cannery site). I’d also recommend Mello-Roos funding from SJCC facilities district. Again all, just my opinion.

    • @Tony D. – North San Pedro is moving forward as housing. City approved a $1.6 million loan to the developer in October for affordable housing. The VTA parcel you like so much is less than 400 feet wide. It’s not wide enough for a ballpark. You might want to do some research before offering these sites up.

  24. I can see San Pedro North working. It has easy access to CA 87 and it’s not too far from the heart of downtown (not unlike the Shark Tank). It’s also not far off the lightrail line on 1st St. Your other suggested site at Sunol and San Carlos is open and does have direct lightrail access, but it’s also fairly distant from the downtown core (double Diridon’s distance) and it’s in an largely industrial area bordering housing so you’re surrounded by the same type of crappy area that the Coliseum sits in) and it’s not exactly close to any major freeway access (Bird Avenue’s ramp system would have to be completely rebuilt). To say nothing of the NIMBY’s north of the park. It reminds me too much of Miami’s failed little Havana experiment.

  25. @Dan it’s funny how you and others spin the facts and bash the City of Oakland regarding the situation, such as the Coliseum being torn down for the raiders, but then you, and others say Oakland wont work with the A’s and wont give any money towards development, or Coliseum City will never happen its a smoke screen. If there is no money for the A’s why is there money to tear down the stadium and build for the Raiders? Truth is all party’s are to blame Oak, SJ, A’s, MLB, and Raiders. We should have had a stadium many years ago in Uptown but cant cry over spilled milk. But what are the Raiders doing? working with the city to get a stadium deal done, the A’s can join in at anytime because the more teams the more the money gets spread across and becomes cheaper for all party’s. Mark Davis took a loss on the lease deal reached on concessions because he see’s progress towards the bigger picture. Remember he said nothing would be extended unless there is a deal for a new stadium. He could have easily threw a fit and sabotaged the whole deal for both teams but he didn’t. And to all that blame the city about Lew trying, why did the city have to put a provision into the new agreement that states Lew has to in good faith sit down and talk to the city at least annually, and to stop spreading false information to the public/media in regards to the Coliseum?

  26. Karim, it’s not “bashing” Oakland to point out that aspects of their current stadium plans at the Coliseum are downright nonsensical. You plan to demolish the current stadium with no solid idea of where either of its current tenants would them move to? That’s not a plan, that’s asinine. So too is basing the financial success of one plan on a ballpark you then turn around and plan on placing at another location.

    Regarding who to blame, yes there’s plenty of blame to go around to all parties (Selig, BRC, Wolff, Oakland, Quan, San Jose). Wolff hasn’t exactly been a PR angel when it comes to his relations with the city. Nor were the previous Schott/Hoffman regime. Their badmouthing Oakland while trying to live there wasn’t the best move (though at this point with the whole sewage episode it’s probably justified at this point). That said, Wolff was open to working with the city a half dozen years ago. He found them and the Raiders unreceptive to either idea he pitched to them at Coliseum North or the Coliseum parking lot. So he moved on as anyone would. Why should he work with people who wouldn’t give him the time of day? Since then Oakland has done nothing that would warrant him giving them a second thought. Until they find a realistic way to fund Coliseum City why should he sit down with them? They can’t even get the Raiders stadium funding locked down.

    And as the supposed assistant pointed out earlier, and has been said here many times, the city’s other desired site is unworkable. Howard Terminal is not happening. Even if the port doesn’t kill it (which they probably will when they find a new maritime use for the site), the site itself will kill any hope of it happening. It’s a $700+ million site that needs massive remediation, massive transit improvements, major infrastructure work, and on top of that as ML pointed out on Twitter it’s a pier… which means you have to go through the rigamarole with the Coastal Commission as well. The city couldn’t have found a more expensive or challenging site if they’d tried.

    In short, Oakland has yet to put anything on the table to lure Wolff back. And while they currently hold the team, they’re not first on his mind. Until they give him something realistic and appealing to work with why would he come back? Coliseum city isn’t appealing, and Howard Terminal isn’t realistic.

  27. If Wolff et al are so touchy about the perception of being “Anti-Oakland,” make a cogent case that they are not bashing the city. The point is to win the argument on the grounds that matter in the development of a modern MLB stadium.

    “I would like to build a stadium in a place that is transit-accessible, that can ensure that our stadium will be a destination and can raise the money in tickets, licenses and sponsorships to help us pay off our debt and thrive financially. We need a city with the financial means to help with the ancillary development around that stadium. The city of Oakland carries $200 million in complex debt and doesn’t have the wherewithal to be that partner. Coliseum City is distant from the community hub. Diridon is the hub, San Jose can be that partner.”

    I love Oakland, I would love for the team to be there, but the city is in no financial position to make Coliseum City work financially AND be able to deal with the outstanding debt of Oracle and the Coliseum. I don’t want the city to go bankrupt when it needs to be concentrating on better delivering basic services and getting itself out of debt.

  28. “The Giants . . . who I hear have spent eight figures on legal work trying to derail the A’s and San Jose so far”

    More than $10M in legal fees? In that small time land-use case in superior court. There were a couple of discovery dust ups (including the A’s attempt to take many unnecessary depositions and the privileged-document dispute that embarassed the plaintiffs/Giants lawyers). And some experts have probably been employed. But that’s no 8-figure lawsuit.

    Are you including all the money spent on working with the BRC, submitting analyses and making presentations at mlb meetings on the San Jose issue, etc.? If so, how much have the A’s spent on the same work?

    Of course, I’d also love to know who gave you the 8-figure estimate, but I’ll be happy with responses to my other concerns.

    • @xoot – The scope of legal work goes back to the Stand for San Jose lawsuit as well. The number comes from someone once intimate with but no longer associated with this mess. I don’t have a number for what the A’s have done, though to be clear they’re not exactly spending money on legal fees since they aren’t being sued.

      @Oakmetro/Aaron – Banned again. For good.

  29. @ Dan agree with you 100% on the plan, the whole meeting seemed kinda rushed and unprepared form the detail standpoint and most of it attributes to the new developers just coming on maybe a month or so before the meeting with ALCO. No way in hell the A’s should be put on the back burner until 2018 phase 3 or whatever the date was. This was pretty much a touch basis meeting that people are blowing up to make it like the last and final meeting with everything final. for one the developers are tweaking and changing a lot of the details, than what was presented in that meeting. from what I have heard a lot of the details in regards to the project were just mimic and copied and paste from other such projects, such as Personal seat licencing study was pretty much taken from L.A and there development. SO a majority of the study’s and blueprints of the project will be heavily tweaked and or replaced by this new team.

    In regards to the Coliseum North project, it was scrapped most impart because of Lew, he didn’t want to do eminent domain on the surrounding businesses, that’s why I find it funny because in his presentation when presenting the Coliseum North project he acknowledged that eminent domain would be necessary for the project to work. And even if he didn’t want to use eminent domain why would he pick such as site that he knew would need it. My opinion, to please MLB and say he tried. And that’s pretty much the last time he tried. Whats the harm in sitting down with Oakland and the new developers and hearing there pitch for the project and see if this is really a legit way to get a stadium built. The Developers must have done enough to satisfy Mark Davis and convince him to at least make a effort toward the project. I believe within the next few months as the developers are in the Oakland putting together the details,etc on the project Lew will give in a little and meet with them. Just my opinion and we will see things coming together in the next few months

  30. The only difference between Coliseum City and Diridon is Site Control and buying out AT&T, so I don’t see where you get the $100-200 million more expensive because those numbers have never been discussed, anywhere.

  31. @nicisan just a random thought, do you think there will be trouble with At&T. Maybe Giants strong arm them with marketing rights/extension on there Park if they give it up to the A’s, or Pay At&T to keep the property.

    • @Karim – I’ve talked to people at AT&T. They’re motivated by the best return they can get on land. Marketing or sponsorship relationships are well down the list of priorities for the real estate guys.

  32. @DanKarim Dan as a Pro-Oakland fan, thats at the point of simply being a Pro-A’s fan, I could not have agreed more with your last comment. There is blame to be had all around, no one’s hands are clean. Karim I here you and I would love somthing to work out in the O, but no matter how clean or not everyone hands are, this does not mean Oakland has a GOOD plan, that can make LewMLB, look at Oakland in a way, that I dont think they look at Oakland at this time.

  33. @ML Ok, good to know thanks for the info

  34. @ML–this is from the Stand for San Jose e-docket you have linked on the left margin:

    Real Party In Interest
    Athletics Investment Group Llc
    Stephen L. Kostka
    Perkins Coie LLP , Four Embarcadero Center, Suite 2400, San Francisco, Ca 94111

  35. @RM,
    I’ll stop talking about alternate, “favorite” sites once it appears (or is) definitive that Diridon is happening 100%. Couple of questions hopefully you can answer:

    1) are there really issues with the “site footprint” of Dirison?
    2) sounds like the AT&T parcel can be acquired for the right price; correct?

    • @Tony D. – It would benefit your cause if you didn’t just rattle something off from an article you just read. Don’t make me do the background work, it’s a waste of my time. To answer your questions:

      1) MLB would’ve preferred the initial arrangement in which the PG&E substation was either relocated or reconfigured. San Jose backed away from that due to cost.
      2) That’s the way it works. AT&T tends to work in secret when it comes to real estate until it’s time for a deal to be announced.

  36. @ML–I thought you published a post about the big news, back when Wolff and Co. hired their big firms. I’ll try to dig it out. It’s my understanding that the A’s are paying. Their ownership LLC is the real party in interest–the Giants used the San Jose Giants et al. to bypass the mlb constitution provision that prohibits them from suing another franchise. (I haven’t looked at the Stand for San Jose case in a long time; the judge entered a stay, I believe, pending DoF action on the property. Time to dust off the docket.)

  37. Well, the Santa Clara County Superior Court website is still the same old piece of crap it always has been. It’s impossible to figure out the exact status of the two Stand for San Jose cases, but Judge Huber is clearly kicking the can down the calendar on a regular basis–hoping that certain unexplained circumstances make the dispute “moot.” Terrible website. Alameda C. Superior and S.F. Superior and Sacramento Superior (along with many others in the state) all make many (or all) filed documents and orders in general civil cases fully available, for free.

  38. Here’s the thing that is laughable to me right now, and it is FACT. At the recent Coliseum City clusterfuck of a meeting it was noted that the Raiders stadium financing is lacking about $500M. That’s more than half of the stadium’s projected cost (which are lowball numbers if they really expect to have a dome on it at some point).
    Lew Wolff said in the Mark Purdy piece, in a direct quote, that MLB has rejected Howard Terminal.
    So you have one insanely complex “vision” that requires a lot more actual planning and one site that only Let’s Go Oakland thinks is worth investing in (and that’s because the folks behind Let’s Go Oakland own a bunch of Real Estate in the adjoining area and stand to benefit immensely if someone spent $700M, someone who is not them, on building a stadium there). This is all verifiable, if anyone doubts it. Anyone can look at the backers on LGO’s web site, look on Oakland Explorer for the parcels in the area, etc.
    Before I, or RM, gets heat for me pointing this out… If I owned those parcels I would be pushing for the EXACT same thing: a ballpark somewhere near the Port/JLS. There is nothing underhanded or nefarious about it.
    How either of those things equates to “momentum” is lost on me. Maybe Steven Tavares should pull himself away from gossip about the Hayward City Council for a minute and examine the meaning of “wishful thinking.”

  39. It’s becoming clear that while there are ANY even remotely possible alternatives to the A’s moving to SJ, no one with any power in this situation is going to move the needle in that direction.

    ML – What would be the “perfect storm” of “option elimination” that would spur this? O.Co continuing to experience progressively worse “infrastructure” issues over the next few years to become borderline unusable by the time the current A’s lease extension expires in 2015? Coliseum City collapsing if the Raiders pull out? A’s and SJ ironing out all ballpark-related items, including a successful public vote on city subsidy?

    Any thoughts on events that might actually cross that threshold?

  40. Jeffery, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right. The headlines this weeks shouldn’t read “A’s ballpark plans in San Jose rejected by MLB” they should read “All A’s ballpark plans in Bay Area rejected by MLB.” There isn’t a site being talked about for the A’s, Diridon, Coliseum City, or Howard Terminal, that MLB hasn’t rejected. So far the only site they seem ok with for the moment is the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (and even that site appears to be slowly wearing their patience thin).

  41. @Dan/Jeffrey

    Yes sir, innless something changes, and it would have to be dramatic in Oakland’s case, but in less something changes, for San Jose or Oakland, its stating to look like are team could be out of here. I don’t think that will happen, but I must admit, I once thought, well if they don’t get San Jose then it will be somewhere in the Bay Area, I am not so sure, it’s a distinct possibility we could lose them, not right away of course,(nowhere is D.C. ready), but over time, I could really see .

  42. Taj, my best guess would be either SJ dropping the suit and ponying up money or a SCOTUS ruling in their favor. I’m sure there are actually others that would be more likely, but everyone is digging in on this one. I don’t even think Oakland going all-in with the Raiders and kicking the A’s out would do it at this point.

  43. @RM,
    Rattling something off from an article? Damn RM, I’m simple asking questions to hopefully get some answers. Either you know the answers or you don’t; no need for background work/wasting time and no big deal. Why the hostility to my questioning?

  44. Xoot, ML – Could he Stand for San Jose lawsuit be easily dropped once Wolff makes deal with Giants? Or are their other parties in the case not controlled by Giants?

  45. Lakeshore/Neil, there are two scenarios where the A’s would leave the Bay Area. 1: The Raiders get a deal where the Coliseum torn down to be replaced by a Football Only Facility and something new is not available/ Giants say no to AT&T. 2: Where Wolff throws in the towel and either gives up on San Jose or sells to out of area investors. One thing I do not believe is the A’s will be at the Coliseum in it’s present form no way no how.

  46. @Taj Adib – MLB’s worst case scenario is if the current Coliseum ceases to exist. Without that the only fallback option is AT&T Park. That’s not so bad, though, because it would create a sort of crisis for MLB to deal with – and like many bloated, bureaucratic organizations, MLB can only deal with issues once they reach crisis stage. Of course, there’s a huge potential downside in that the A’s could leave the area completely once other cities get into bidding mode.

  47. It is a horse race. First municipality to agree to pay for everything (and let the A’s keep all the revenue) wins, be it Oakland, San Jose, Fremont or some other town looking to raise their profile. That’s the goal and expectation for the A’s and MLB.

    The horses are standing still in the gate, each hoping the other horses will starve to death so they don’t have to run.

  48. @Steven–it’s my understanding that the Giants, and their long-time SF law firm, are in charge of the plaintiffs in the SfSJ lawsuits. I don’t really see how anyone with any sense could pretend otherwise. The Giants can stop that litigation at will. imo

  49. To me this entire hold up does not mean MLB is considering Oakland’s plans of plans – they have several. What it looks like to me is that Mr. Wolff – we love you in SJ, Mr. Wolff – maybe did not like the terms or was not offering $100 million to move to San Jose right away to get the Giants to drop the Stand for San Jose lawsuit and to give-up T-rights. Why offer $100 million when you could move for free if a lawsuit was filed by SJ and things magically worked out, challenging MLB anti-trust exception, causing MLB to enter into an agreement to move the A’s to SJ without paying $100 million? Might as well try to get something for free – no rush, you’re already pocketing money through revenue sharing for a few more years. So even if SJ loses the case, it doesn’t mean Oakland is the better option. It just means Wolff might actually have to spend more money on gaining territorial rights to San Jose. What will he be willing to spend to get the A’s to San Jose? Now, that’s the important question. Because at the end of the day, there will most likely be a deal between Wolff and the Giants – how much blood do they want? ORRRRRR We wait. We wait till Oakland makes way for the Raiders, making the A’s homeless and forcing MLB’s hand or MLB’s hand is forced through the current case with discovery, etc. Either way, I still feel the A’s are coming to San Jose. When Lew Wolff says something like, “I don’t want to spend all that money just for T-rights.” Then I’ll give up hope. But for now, might as well try to get the team in SJ for free with some nifty legal work. Will it work? We’ll know more on Friday…

  50. In one sentence: The lawsuit SJ filed was an attempt to get the A’s into a better position to negotiate t-rights and other issues regarding the move because right now with the Stand for San Jose trial, the Giants (etc), are in a better position to demand so much from the team.

  51. @Steven @710,
    Agree with you 100%. Hence my first comment on this thread re Oakland..

  52. Wow!
    Reading the side tweets confirms the ugly truth that some are completely residing in an alternate reality. FWIW, I’m not angry one bit and San Jose is alive and well!

  53. @Dan FYI: concerning the Diridon land/ATT issue: There is the basic legal law: eminent domain – specifically used for situations such acquiring land for the A’s ballpark. (SJ mayor Reed has mentioned that it will be used if necesssary)

  54. In this era of transparency, I think it is time for ML and Lew Wolff to publish “the notebook” on all the potential/vetted sites in Oakland. At this point, why not?

  55. Ethan: He has a gag order placed on him by Selig. We have to ask ourselves: Are Wolff and MLB not building in Oakland because they are evil ogres who hate Oakland or because they haven’t had a realistic plan devised or presented to them? Which is it? If MLB had a workable, profitable plan, they’d build there. (Yes, it is expected that MLB make, rather than lose, money, which is what the A’s would do without revenue-sharing in their current circumstance)

  56. I don’t think the A’s are going anywhere. I also still believe they will end up in SJ at some point, because that’s where the revenues make sense.
    As much as everyone in Oakland likes to rip on Lew for not being willing to work with the City, it’s pretty obvious that parts of the City aren’t really on the same page with other parts the City (or the County) as far as Coliseum City goes. I have watched this process unfold over 20 years and there has been one constant, ineffective City Government. I maintain that this is still the biggest obstacle to anything happening in Oakland. Take Wolff out of the picture and there still isn’t a realistic solution for the A’s in Oakland.
    Sam Liccardo’s quotes are the hash quotes in Purdy’s piece. That said, they do reflect reality.

  57. Duffer, I’m well aware of eminent domain. I’m also aware any attempt to do so by the city will be tied up in the courts for several years by AT&T if they choose to resist such a move by the city.

  58. The Purdy column contains some interesting information, but the betting-odds gimmick isn’t the only error. Just to be clear, Purdy writes:

    “The city’s lawsuit against MLB based on antitrust allegations was tossed out of federal court but is under appeal, while another portion of the suit proceeds at the state level. There’s another hearing Friday.”

    The only accurate statement in those sentences concerns tomorrow’s hearing (which technically is a case management conference–not oral agument on any motion). Judge Whyte didn’t toss the A/T lawsuit and there is no appeal under way. After the cmc tomorrow, Judge Whyte MAY sever his A/T order from the rest of the lawsuit by entering judgment on those claims. THEN San Jose can appeal. Meanwhile, the small remaining state-law claim(s) may or may not remain in Judge Whyte’s federal court. He’ll decide that issue after tomorrow’s cmc, too. (btw, issues such as a stay of the remaining claims pending appeal, scope of discovery, and whether a blanket protective will keep discovery confidential, and hidden from us, are also issues that will get hashed out after the cmc.)

    I nitpick this to make a simple point: most reporters report on legal proceedings inaccurately. I see it every day. It’s not their fault. Jury verdicts are easy enough to cover. Just ask juror number 10 why she voted to execute the defendant. Otherwise, the stuff can be impenetrably technical. Even an otherwise punctilious reporter (and I’m not sure Purdy is that, but that’s a different matter) often will get the legal side of a story flat wrong. And the status of a case is always subject to change depending on tactical moves and judges’ whims. It’s not easy to keep up, unless you’re as obssessed as a lawyer. (And I don’t recommend that for anyone who can avoid it.) So we should learn a few things about Judge Whyte’s view of the case at tomorrow’s cmc. All sorts of possibilities will remain, however.

  59. sorry: “blanket protective ORDER” is what I intended to write in the middle of that tome

  60. Given that MLB has turned down San Jose AND Oakland’s proposal, while (at the time) agreeing on Fremont’s, it looks like the big stumbling block seems to be be stadium debt as it pertains to the franchise (see SJ does seem to be reasonably well (see until you factor in any Gnats payoff (no wonder LW is so vocal about paying zilch). Oakland would be sky high and seems even more risky (given its past history of futile attendance and corporate support). It looks like MLB is trying to ensure that any proposal for the A’s has plenty of buffer so that MLB doesn’t have to step in and help bail out the team if all the forecasts don’t pan out.

  61. @Anon
    Re: Given that MLB has turned down San Jose AND Oakland’s proposal, while (at the time) agreeing on Fremont’s, it looks like the big stumbling block seems to be stadium debt as it pertains to the franchise
    I think you are right on the mark, with that one. I could not agree more.

  62. @anon,
    At least the A’s will have an opportunity to resubmit the San Jose proposal that’s more to their liking. Oakland’s “proposal? “…

  63. @Anon spot on and the 300 million dollar question is what city will cave. We all want a new stadium and know we need one, but hopefully ownership wont pull a Jeffrey Loria on us if and when one gets built. No matter how much you bring in as a team 30-50 million a year in loan payments is a lot, put hey interest rates are low.

  64. @TonyD – Oakland CAN offer redevelopment rights to Wolf in lieu of actual public subsidy. However, that would piss of the Raiders and/or the Colony/Dubai groups that is required for CC phase I.

  65. Btw> i just barely touched on this in the original post, but it looks like MLB IS stipulating a TR payoff amount to the Giants. This amount seems significant enough that it negates the additional projected revenues in SJ, thereby violating MLBs self imposed debt limits. If I were Wolff, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, however he will win regardless. Why? If MLB continues to follow MLB “guidelines”, he’ll eventually either a) “free” himself of the Giants or b) will get to play in a new subsidized Oakland venue or maybe even ATT park. If SJ wins its ATE, he gets to flip off Larry Baer and gets SJ. Either way, it’s to his advantage to wait out the process. No wonder he does’t seem to have any sense of urgency!

  66. We may see MLB reach the conclusion that the A’s situation, like Purdy suggested, is “unsolvable.” Then it’s time to move the team. While MLB probably wants two teams in the Bay Area, it expects San Jose or Oakland to do what almost all other cities have done: Pony up Big Time $$. Maybe a hotel or car rental tax could do the trick in San Jose. That probably wouldn’t work in Oakland, though. MLB views its franchises as valuable commodities to be fought over; offering just a slab of land and a sewer line while not paying at all for the stadium is insufficient as far as MLB is concerned. Look at Cobb County in Georgia offering all that money, or MLB firmly getting DC to pay for Nationals ballpark. In San Jose we have the city saying, “We’re prepared to pay $0.00 for construction.” Oakland counters with “Oh yea? Well, we’re prepared to offer $0.00 for construction. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.” Like two boxers in a rink and neither is willing to throw a punch. MLB can’t play the two cities against each other because neither wants to follow MLB’s rules and write big checks on the taxpayers’ account.

  67. @pjk and still you claim that Oakland has said they aren’t paying a dime but still haven’t provided proof, can we cut the typical Oakland wont pay/offering anything and focus on what we know and is fact and not bias opinion. The last two Mayors can you show that….. And that’s what investors are for to invest in projects,(Brooklyn Basin for example) exactly how most big projects get built. They were brought on to help financing it along with tax payer money and along with each individual team. Spreads the debit out evenly and isn’t a hard hit on tax payers picking up the whole tab. I would be right on your side and 100% agreeing with you if these investors weren’t involved, but when the head of the group is making such quotes such as “We have been searching for an opportunity like this in the United States for several years,” said Rashid Al Malik, Chairman and CEO of Hayah. “We share the City of Oakland’s and Mayor Quan’s long stated vision to transform the Coliseum site and create a larger district surrounding it with a new economic base and a catalyst for sustained job growth. The Bay Area is ready for this project to happen.” and “This is a challenging and complex project, representing an exciting opportunity to create a vital urban residential and entertainment center, and we are embracing the prospect of making it a reality,” added Al Malik. Its easy to discredit Quan but is it that easy to discredit the money man?

  68. and we all know they have lots of money and love to throw it around on big extravagant projects just Google there new airport…. no one even goes there but they built it for almost 33 billion dollars lol.

  69. Karim: Oakland/Alameda County spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the Raiders and Warriors in the 1990s. How much has it offered to spend on the A’s? Well, nothing. We keep hearing the A’s “need to work with the City of Oakland.” Well, Mark Davis has been doing that for probably at least 2 years now. So where’s the Raiders stadium deal? Well, there isn’t one probably because the elephant in the room is public $$ is still needed and Oakland doesn’t have it. (San Jose doesn’t, either) We’ve seen enough statements that make it clear Oakland is willing to offer a site and little else for an A’s stadium; owners have to pay for the ballpark. And if they’re not willing to do that in Oakland? Well, then we get the stalemate that we’re at right now and have been for many years.

  70. “and still you claim that Oakland has said they aren’t paying a dime but still haven’t provided proof”

    The following is a direct quote from Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell while speaking before the Landmarks Preservation and Advisory Board during the Coliseum City EIR scope meeting that took place on May,13 of this year:

    “The era of public financing for stadiums is over.”

    The seems pretty clear to me.

  71. And the result of that policy will be: The era of big-league sports in Oakland will soon be over.

  72. @pjk it also takes more than two years to agree on big projects. Mark Davis also said he wasn’t signing a lease unless a new stadium deal was attached to it. And he is also meeting within the next few weeks with the city and the developers. Looks like he believes in the project.

    @muppet151 yes a quote regarding the whole stadium not it being evenly divided by all parties and that was also before the developers came on board. How about a article a little more recent in sfgate from last week where its said. “What’s clear is that behind closed doors both city and county officials are talking public financing – the possibility of using taxpayer dollars to finance the project.” Things change over time when situations change and that is what is happening now in Oakland from real estate (fastest growing real estate market) to business etc. Pro SJ and Lew wont recognize this for whatever reason but its reality.

  73. Karim, one thing missing in all those quotes from the developer is an inclusion of a stadium (or stadiums). That developer is there to build the residential/commercial side of all of this. They build the business park, apartments, hotels, etc. and then sell them off/lease them for a big chunk of change. They aren’t there to pay for the stadiums. They’re there to pay for and build the rest of it. Now it’s debatable what Oakland/Alameda does with their end of that return (which in part depends on what the actual split of costs and who’s taking the bigger risks in the process, etc.. But there’s been no actual talk (yet?) of subsidizing the stadium side of things, particularly for the A’s. And given that there’s a major shortfall for building the Raiders’ stadium, somehow I question whether the money will be there for the A’s. That’s not to say that they won’t pay up, they just haven’t given us any reason to believe they will or they could afford to.

  74. Also anyone listening to 95.7 the game, real interesting/ scary topic on no money/ players on the books after 2 years lease up? could be sign of selling

  75. Karim, I wouldn’t fall for the sky is falling stuff. The A’s just can’t afford to play with long term contracts, particularly those tied to a lot of money. The fact that the A’s have a short lease is the only thing worrying. But not any more so than this off season’s contract being up. All the money thing does is give Beane a lot more payroll flexibility for the next few years.

  76. Karim: Mark Davis is clearly frustrated at the lack of progress in Oakland. That’s why he only signed a one-year extension. If LA gets it act together, any upcoming season could be the Raiders’ last in Oakland.

  77. @dmoas you are right agree 100% and I believe that’s how the city/county will spin it to get tax payers money, everyone invest evenly, they already included in a transportation tax to raise money for the infrastructure last year and it most likely will happen again when they get new figures for it. But also based on Forest group’s withdraw from the development was due because the stadium was first phase and not apartments, condos, retail etc, that points to the New developers being more heavily involved with the the stadium projects in addition to the Hotel, retail, condo side now. There is a major shortfall I agree even with the 200 mil from the NFL and 300 Mil from Raiders, its all risk and reward hopefully it works for all us Oakland Raiders/ A’s/ Warrior fans regardless of the outcome.

  78. re: could be sign of selling

    …And who buys? Some mysterious long-sought ownership group ready to spend $1.2 billion to build in Oakland? Some ownership group that will make a lame attempt in Oakland then say “We tried. Now we’re moving to San Antonio”? Some group that openly plans to move the team? Or MLB itself, becoming “owners” of the team like how the NHL owned the Phoenix Coyotes for years?

  79. @pjk yea hes been frustrated have u listened to his interviews lately he has spoken positively and being encourage with the latest development working with the city and developers, he wants to stay in Oakland and the NFL wants them to as well. that is why they are priority for the city. Like I said before it was a show me deal for both teams the city has until April to show the teams the plans/ money etc and offer the teams to sign on to the project. That’s why it was a one year deal, and the Raiders are not preferred on the NFL’s list to go to L.A (why NFL sent memo to teams letting them know no negotiating with L.A because the NFL will make the decision)

  80. @pjk you must really hate Oakland huh, I did not mention any city it was just brought up, as its a tendency that makes teams attractive to buyers.

    @ML agreed and i’m pretty sure no one on the current team deserves a long term contract anyway, just was a interesting perspective.

  81. Yeah Larry Reed, I think was the one who said “Oakland is going to have to do something, in the way of revenue” (taxes), Oakland has messed up, on some level I don’t think they even deserve, the A’s (political leaders), or one last chance to save them, if that’s what this even is, but I am not so sure Lew Wolff deserves Oakland (best effort) either, attest an Oakland that will (finally), put together a real plan, if that’s what Oakland is even doing, but can we lighten up on Oakland , they will probably trip over their own shoes in due time, I don’t think we have to be reminded every thread just how inept they are.
    I am one of the loudest critics of Oakland and what I see, as their of lake of effort up to this point, and I am certainly not saying they don’t deserve it, and no offence to anyone, but it just gets tired when every thread, is reduced to San Jose vs. Oakland, or Oakland is crap.

  82. @Lakeshore/Neil Thank you, and yes he said something to that effect, and yes this is a great place to debate the issue as fans but the straight bashing is uncalled for from all, we all love our teams and city but a debate is not saying Oakland suck they you provide facts/articles of history to that person to backup claims for a debate and there response is Oakland still sucks…. Great debate…. kinda looses all credibility. Were all for the same cause first and for most the A’s just different views on what city and how to keep them.

  83. @Karim,
    Lew Wolff isn’t selling (that was easy).

  84. Karim, you hit on the biggest problem to getting Coliseum City built right here:
    “@muppet151 yes a quote regarding the whole stadium not it being evenly divided by all parties and that was also before the developers came on board.”
    You are talking about a development being able to sustain three stadiums and revenues from that development paying for each of the stadiums construction. But it isn’t a zero sum game. In order for the A’s to build a baseball stadium at the site, they have to have return, not merely enough to build the stadium. Ditto Raiders and Warriors. AND they all three have to share that revenue pot with the developer… That is a LOOOOONNNGGGG shot to put it politely.
    You are obviously an intelligent dude. I love reading your comments because they challenge conventional thought of most of the commenters here. But you can’t say “Show me a quote from an Oakland person” and then refute an actual direct quote with conjecture published in an article like this:
    “What’s clear is that behind closed doors both city and county officials are talking public financing – the possibility of using taxpayer dollars to finance the project.”
    Says who? Here are direct quotes from last week:
    ““We don’t have all the inside information as to why Forrest City (the original developers) dropped out,” [Supervisor Nate Miley] said. The city’s investment partners, Colony Capital, “have all this money but to date have put no money on the table.”…
    “This project is bigger than all of us and the I-880 corridor has great potential benefits,” [Supervisor Richard] Valle said. “I’m not going to be in favor of any public financing or gift of public funds – across the board. If it’s the economic development opportunity that people perceive, then it’s got to stand on its own legs.”…
    There is an Alameda County Supervisor saying “Nope” and another Supervisor saying “Colony Capital really hasn’t done anything yet.” In the same meeting, which I assume you probably followed, there was an Oakland CM (Desley Brooks) advocating for one shared purpose stadium (cause that’s gonna happen). There was the admission that the Raiders “plan” was about $500M short… That’s just one of the proposed venues that is half a billion dollars away from happening.
    Rose color it up all you want with how fast Oakland is growing. Reality is that there are no tail winds behind Oakland right now. There is a lot of work in front of them, and in February we might see an economic analysis that scales back the vision.

  85. the thing about the contracts is a little misleading. They control the rights to plenty of players in that period of time, they just haven’t signed them to extensions beyond their arbitration years. So technically, they aren’t obliged to pay them yet, but it’s easy to project multimillons of dollars that are on the books. Right now reminds me a lot of the late 90’s/early 2000’s in that the A’s have many players that are prearb and they need to decide who they are going to keep and when they are going to trade the guys they aren’t going to keep.
    In other words, they have flexibility going forward and they will keep it that way for the next season at least. Then the tough choices are going to have to be made.

  86. Standing up and applauding Jeffrey loudly! Again, Oakland pols just need to honestly come out and state “we’re focused on the Raiders and Raiders only.” That’s it, full stop! The A’s are as good as gone once the two-year lease is up and the Raiders want to stay long term in Oakland/at the Coli. Go with what you know, not what you can’t have…

  87. I apologize if an of this is taken as “Oakland bashing.” That’s really not my intent. If you feel governmental leaders in Oakland have done a bang up job and are on the right path, I simply disagree. If you feel pointing that out is somehow Oakland bashing, I disagree.
    I’d also say, the San Jose government is probably barking up the wrong tree with a law suit.
    The best path for either is to put together an offer that MLB can’t refuse. Whatever that is.

  88. @Jeffery- Thanks, agree 100%, no prob with someone stateing facts, as much as I wish some folks, would lighten up on Oakland, perhaps I need to lighten up a little myself.

  89. @jeffery thank you I appreciate it, and no apology needed no bashing at all everyone prob agrees on how bad Oakland pols are and have been, like I said before the only one who isn’t political much so and cares about the city from personal knowledge is Reid, everyone else pretty much is just looking for a payday and what can benefit them for the most part. And yes the public funds was from the article not straight quote but it’s widely know and I’ve heard that’s on the table and has to be for anything to work, like the transportation tax. And in regards to forest city here was a quote to clarify the specific reason for there dropping out, Gregory Hunter, the deputy director of Oakland’s Office of Neighborhood Investment, said the group’s decision was not based on the profitability of the entire project. “We just need to be clear why Forest City withdrew,” said Hunter. “Most of their interest was on the retail, housing side.”
    In regards to the 2 council people I wouldn’t worry much bout them, desley Brooks is as crooked as they come and have been trying to get rid of her for a while and have pretty much ex’d her out of all proceedings so those are only 2 votes out of the group. And as Valle states “across the board” so infrastructure etc are on the table and not fully taking on the whole burden of the project. I’m defiantly not saying the city is gonna pull this off but it’s a way better shot than what most people on here are thinking.
    As for the country calling out the group all fair questions to be answered and that goes again as saying it is Oakland’s fault not keeping the county informed on this like they preached in the meeting, the group just came on about a month or so ago so and just got approved. I definitely fault Oakland on that but as well like Fred Blackwell said was it was a informative meeting to get alco up to date and involve ( they never met about it until then) and more meetings will come when details and financial contracts etc are agreed on. And you are right no matter what some big time money is gonna have to be put up wherever they go as we see that’s what MLB wants

  90. @Jeffrey,
    Yes, agree with you re SJ barking up the wrong tree with lawsuit. Would have been better IMHO to present a completely acquired/cleared for construction Diridon site and perhaps some form of “public funding” for infrastructure. Hopefully behind the scenes SJ (with Wolff’s guidance) is putting together that can’t refuse offer. Per’s take on this weeks news, June’s “refusal” letter suggests the A’s and SJ will get another shot.

  91. @Tony D. Is there any area around SJ, that is big enough to suppot, somthing like Wolff was trying to do in Fremont?, I realize we may not know all the facts, but since we know MLB wold like the A’s to have space to buld housing or retal to go with a new ballpark

  92. @lakeshore,
    Not sure. Wolff does own land in South SJ/Edenvale, but that will be future housing; don’t see a ballpark going there. Worst case scenario perhaps he could build a yard at the northern end of the Airport West property, working with current developers to redesign/reconfigure planned mixed-use proposal north of Quakes SSS. Other than that don’t see anything close in SJ being built like Fremont/Pacific Commons was supposed to be.

  93. I don’t expect anything like Fremont to happen in San Jose. The Diridon site is large enough for a “Fenway” style ballpark and some retail development/BART Station between Left Field and the SAP Center. At one point, the Earthquakes stadium was to be funded by residential development in South San Jose, but that went away in 2008ish just like Cisco Field in Fremont. Both were to be funded by taking industrial zones land, entitlement changes to make them residential, parcels broke off and sold to res developers, BOOM! Stadium monies!!!!!

  94. @Tony D. Thanks, would be nice if we had more open space, for the mixed use thing, since it seems MLB would be fine with a site like that in SJ

  95. Just to out it out there, I am a fan of both Oakland and San Jose as cities. I spend time in both. I travel a lot for work and, as a result, I know a lot people all around the country. Whenever these folks are coming to the bay and ask me for advice on fun things to do with their famalias, I have a list for fun things to do in Oakland/Alameda (USS hornet followed by lunch in JLS, Oakland Zoo over to Piedmont Ave and Fenton’s followed College Ave walkabout with dinner at the Crepevine) and a list of fun stuff to do in SJ (it’s all about the museums down that way, Original Joe’s, Willow Glen and the Poor House Bistro). I really just want the A’s to thrive in a park like the one Robert Bobb championed in Uptown. In either city.

  96. @ Jeffrey So I was thinking about house prices rebounding, since that time, I know a lot of people dont think so, but I just dont see why FremontSO Alameda CO., cant be looked at a second time.

  97. I have not spent a lot of time in SJ, but I have spent enough time in down there, to know it would make a fine place for a new ballpark

  98. @ Jeffrey,
    With real estate booming once again, do you think that Wolff’s Edenvale property could once again be considered for stadium financing?
    Interesting interview over at Biz Journal of Sharks boss John Tortora. Talked about possible outdoor hockey match at Levi’s Stadium, Stanford or AT&T Park ( 😦 ). Also touched on upgrading SAP Center and used the $130 million upgrade of SJ Convention Center, AND THE USE OF HOTEL TAXES, as an example of what the Sharks could do re financing. Again, interesting…

  99. @Dan (much to your dismay) the attorney representing San Jose (Joe Cotchett) is likely accurate when he predicted that San Jose will obtain an MLB team, or a possess a contract for one in two years. The reason being, all the SJ city officials involved appear to be bulldogs, building an A’s ballpark in SJ is likely not just a whim for these people. Because of the players involved (San Jose city officials, such as Reed, Liccardo, former mayors McHenry, and Susan Hammer,and the attorney representing SJ, etc.)- the A’s will be moving to SJ.

  100. Duffer why do you think that would dismay me? I want the A’s in San Jose…

    In fact I was accused of being an Oakland basher earlier in this very thread. You guys really need to stop with the labeling BS of other posters.

  101. it’s always easier to believe other people fit into a box of our own creation.

  102. Duff, regarding your point you made. It definitely helps SJ’s position that it has “pit bulls” as you term them like Hammer and Liccardo pulling for the ballpark, but keep a few things in mind.

    One, the pit bulls don’t determine if MLB allows the A’s to move, MLB does. And Wolff has shown no indication he wants them to move without MLB’s full blessing (and he’s even publicly come out against the lawsuit regardless of what his feelings in private may be). And he’s not getting MLB’s blessing until the issues with the Diridon plan are sorted and the territorial issues are sorted (despite the BS position that the A’s should pay for something they gave away that’s the reality of how MLB apparently sees the situation now).

    Two, if MLB has an issue with the finances in SJ, which according to everything going back to the Shakin tweets in Feb says they do, then San Jose has to rework the Diridon plan or come up with a new plan. Neither of which is going to be easy with redevelopment now dead and all SJ’s eggs currently in the Diridon basket. Is it possible to build a ballpark elsewhere in San Jose, maybe, but Diridon is by far the best site and the one that really makes the move worthwhile. So it really comes down to what changes were requested, how much will they cost, and most importantly who is paying for them.

    Which dovetails into three, if it’s public money MLB ultimately wants to offset some of the debt load Wolff currently plans to take on… then San Jose is DOA. Public money in SJ is a non-starter because of the voting requirement. MLB hates voting requirements and fact is almost any vote wouldn’t go the ballpark’s way.

    So pretending SJ is a slam dunk just because SJ has good leadership is living in fantasy land. It’s going to take a lot of hard work to make SJ happen yet… and it may not even then. That said, it’s still a better position than Oakland is currently in with equally issue prone sites circled on the map, even worse financial issues, and worst, no leadership at all. Not a real rosy picture in either city, but that’s the current reality.

  103. #trustorybro. If ti is public money that MLB wants to offset debt, which really makes a lot of sense that this could be the fly in the ointment, than the chances of SJ happening are really low. To put it another way, if the Giants had requested a move to San Jose on the premise that they were going to pay for a stadium with 95% private funds… MLB would have blocked it. The ONLY reason AT&T Park is what it is and where it is… Is because there was no territorial restriction that MLB could use to block the move. Thinking otherwise is wishful thinking.

  104. It does appear as though the A’s may have to consider some type of SBL in order to help with the financing of the ballpark. I know Wolff in the past has said it’s not part of the equation, but I don’t think San Jose happens without it.

  105. Not a bad idea to change the acronym. Around the Bay Area PSL immediately evokes thoughts of the disastrous Raiders attempt to sell PSLs.

  106. Out of curiosity, would anyone here drop $7k for a pair of A’s SBLs?

  107. @Briggs- who do I write the check to?

  108. btw guys–I dont recall how many seats- but AT&T was built with PSL’s also–to me this would most likely be part of the formula for the A’s but it doesn’t replace public funding–which I agree is one of the sticking points.

  109. @Briggs, I would, but of course it would also depend on the seat location.

  110. @Briggs Ill drop 10k for some great seats, well worth the investment

  111. @Dan: please comparing SJ vs Oakland? laughable

    Once SJ gets the ok to go forward, the A’s can almost surely get their spanking new park. The money is there and the will is there.

    Oakland? forgetaboutit. No money. No will. No nothing. Oh, lots of hush hush talk about Dubai and Qatar though

  112. @Briggs
    I can’t say I would drop that much, but I guess I would do half of that amount.

  113. @Briggs- I was quite surprise at how well Levi’s Stadium has done with its SBLs. I’ve been told that 90% of the stadium has been sold out. Obviously the A’s don’t have nearly the same fanbse as the Niners, but I’m pretty certain a reasonably priced SBL/PSL program would net the A’s a nice bundle of cash to help pay for the ballpark.

  114. daniel, reading comprehension is key. I didn’t compare San Jose to Oakland. Simply pointed out the currently existing faults with San Jose’s plan, which it does have whether you choose to acknowledge them or not is irrelevant. And doing so is not laughable… What seems to be laughable of late is posters jumping on other posters who dare to not have a black or white view of the situation. Oakland has a crap load of problems to overcome, and San Jose has its own set of issues that must be dealt with too, money included based on what we’re hearing, again your acceptance of that not withstanding. Pointing out issues with one city does not mean the person doing so suddenly ignores that the other city’s problems also exist or that the poster is Pro This or Pro That. Some of you guys have become as bad as Fox News lately.

  115. Briggs, not a chance in hell. I don’t have 7 grand to waste on a luxury item like that. Regular seaosns maybe, but not PSL on top of the ticket price. That said I know several folks who’ve been waiting with checkbook in hand waiting for the word on where to send the check for Cisco Field season tickets (PSL or no). Whether they’d pay 7 g’s for the privilege I’m unsure.

  116. @Dan Well said, Both city’s have there problems but we all have one common goal and the A’s to stay in the Bay.

  117. I’d drop $7k for a SBL without a second thought. I would consider dropping more.

  118. I believe that MLB has finally come to the conclusion that the San Jose Diridon site is the best and only doable location for a successfully operated new Bay Area A’s ballpark. At this point, MLB is primarily concerned that the A’s must not be overburdened with financial debt in order to get their new ballpark built. MLB will likely want for San Jose to find creative ways to assist the A’s in such areas as land acquisition, tax write-offs for private funding contributions, etc. By doing so, the A’s will be better able to meet MLB’s ballpark specifications demands, and in effect giving the new facility more revenue generating potential. Once an acceptable San Jose ballpark plan comes to Selig’s desk, I have no doubt that MLB will approve the move of the A’s to San Jose. As for the Giants, they will have no choice but to be a team player, if and when MLB approves the A’s move to San Jose. Since the A’s in San Jose will most certainly no longer be recipients of revenue sharing handouts, any territorial compensation given to the Giants would be done in such a way as to not overburden the A’s. For this reason, I very much believe that a big part of the compensation plan is to have the A’s becoming tenants of the Giants at AT&T Park. It will be done for two or three seasons, until Cisco Field is completed. As for the alleged so called “rejection letter” from MLB to Lew Wolff, it was the actual beginning towards finally resolving the A’s long-term problem in getting a new Bay Area ballpark for their team.

  119. I think the critical weakness in the “San Jose or Bust” viewpoint is not recognizing that MLB is a monopoly that doesn’t act like an opportunistic Silicon Valley company would. They strive to keep things the way they are in order to grow. Breaking a TR claim is not what’s really breaking a sacrosanct principle… After all, Territories have changed before. The challenge is in the financing model. Most of MLB’s clubs want their stadiums paid for by the City/region they inhabit. As much as possible. In fact, I can think of only 1 that is pitching an entirely privately financed baseball stadium.
    Do I think MLB wants public coin? Absolutely. Do I think MLB would move the team to Portland if it could get a large chunk of stadium debt hoisted upon the local government rather than upon the team? Absolutely. Even at the expense of trading half the Bay Area for an inferior market? Yep.
    Listen to people like Curt Schilling talk about the value of placing the Red Sox and Yankees ahead of all the other teams (he isn’t speaking about these things in a vacuum). If MLB thinks the Giants could become the equivalent of the Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, etc. with the A’s in San Antonio, and that the A’s wouldn’t just become another TB Rays… They’d do it in a heartbeat.
    The challenge is not SJ v. Oakland, it’s a much richer SF team paying into revenue sharing vs. the A’s becoming a larger rev share participant. In other words, if the A’s were gone and they were in a new stadium and were able to reach a level in which they didn’t get $35M a year in rev sharing and the Giants revenue increased, wouldn’t the net result be that less money was paid out in revenue sharing overall?
    In summary, MLB’s strategy has been a conservative one. Keep things as they are and grow, even if changing means potentially growing more.

  120. it is laugshble to even mention Oakland and SJ in same sentence.
    2 completely different situations

    Oakland pols basically have been giving lip service for years and years. They had no concrete plans for a park for years.

    Show me the money. SJ can but Oakland can’t.

  121. SJ can show the private, corporate money, Oakland can’t. Neither city can show the taxpayer money, and that’s what MLB wants first and foremost – publicly funded stadiums. I agree with Jeffrey that MLB will ship the A’s to a less-lucrative market if another city ponies up the public $$.

  122. @Jeffrey
    Damn you’re good; there are so many factors in play that go beyond Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco. (SF Giants)

  123. daniel, sj can’t show the money without a vote. companies in and around sj can. That’s not a subtle difference.

  124. Jeffrey nailed it—hate to say it but I feel the SJ lawsuit is pivotal for the A’s staying in the bay area–I dont see any scenarios where Oakland will offer up $300M+ like they will need to do for the Raiders–and as pjk said–numbers dont add up in Oakland for a privately funded ballpark. TR will be the excuse to keep them out of SJ–even though a privately financed ballpark could make sense provided there isn’t a TR payment of $100M+

  125. Very well said llpec.

    I’ve been thinking the exact same thing over the last year or so.
    Remember when Selig pronounced his “framework” (requirements to approve the move to SJ) earlier in the year?
    I’m guessing that framework involves some more assistance from SJ (land acquisition, subsidy, loan, more private investors, something of that sort), as well as increased capacity (32,000, the original design, is not enough for MLB’s requirement, and last year Selig had asked for more seating capacity, I think at least 36,000).
    And I’m guessing that the proposal rejected in June was probably close, but not good enough. And I’m guessing that it’s all part of the negotiating process. I’m sure Wolff, who is taking a huge risk in taking in 1/2 billion in debt, wants to keep low-balling (at least slightly) in his proposals, so he can make sure he isn’t forking out any more than necessary. Same with SJ.

    Thus, I’m certain SJ will get approved, once Wolff/SJ meet Selig’s/MLB’s minimum requirements.

    As for Giants compensation, I’m certain it’s not going to be a up front sum (like $100 million or something). It will come in the form of A’s being tenants at AT&T for two or there years, or compensating for any lost revenue or franchise value (which won’t happen – the Giants are sitting on a gold mine).

    I also believe the purpose of the lawsuit was to help expedite the process, to make “the Lodge” care more, and pay attention.

  126. Selig has never announced a framework for the A’s to move. Bill Shalkin reported that there was one (which Selig denied).

  127. also another issue that needs to be thought about with MLB is the amount of land for development use. We have all seen MLB preferred Ballpark Villages popping up for all new ballparks developments, and also teams wanting that so they can increase there revenue and pay off there loans faster. Look at the Giants, the Braves, even the Warriors site is in trouble because they wouldn’t be able to finance the stadium with out their condos, hotels, etc. MLB supported Fremont because of one, it was in the A’s territory and two, because of 240 acres the A’s bought. SJ site is only about 12 to 14 acres just enough for a ballpark only. The Warriors preferred site is 13 acres and they want to spend over a billion dollars on it but cant with out the surrounding development for them to own and operate.

  128. @Karim–development rights can be negotiated anywhere within a city–LW received some of that in South SJ for the Earthquakes stadium under construction near downtown—I wouldn’t read anything into Diridon being too small for other development–for all we know the several blocks between the propsed site and arena may have been acquired by private investors for development purposes.

  129. the “several blocks” is about 3. And those are not really completely developable until BART/HSR shake out. It’s not nearly enough to help pay for a ballpark.
    I forget about Edenvale (I think that’s what it’s called) in South San Jose. I am not sure how large it is, but part of things like the Braves development that make it appealing is the synergy between the stadium and the surrounding area. That doesn’t exist in San Jose. It does exist at the Coliseum site, but the it isn’t really available for the A’s in the sort of volume that it’d have to be in order to pay for the Stadium (or, rather I am skeptical that it does). Absent the Warriors, there is still the Raiders and BAIG that want as much developable acres as possible. The A’s would have to fight with those guys for the right to develop anything.

  130. @Jeffrey :

    well, what does it matter? SJ or high tech companies can support the A’s in SJ. Oakland ? nothing. I don’t mean to trash Oakland but it has offered nothing so far. Put some real money on the table. Talk is so cheap.

    SJ can if it has to pump up the support for a new park easily like they did for the Sharkies or the 49ers. People thought SJ could not build a new ice rink in SJ, they were wrong.

    If the 49ers can build a 1B+ stadium in SC, so can the A’s. The “no you can’t” crowd have nothing to offer except for some hush hush talk of some guys from Dubai, Qatar or Kuwaii

  131. @Jeffrey, I still believe that MLB would much prefer that the A’s remain in the Bay Area, in the right ballpark venue, than moving to a publicly funded ballpark in a much smaller and less lucrative new market. The Bay Area region is too big in terms of both population and wealth, even as a two team market, to have one team abandon the area for i.e. Portland, or San Antonio. This philosophy by MLB will not change, unless MLB decides to fully share and consolidate local broadcasting revenues as they do in the NFL. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. As for the Giants, if they ever did use their influence to force the A’s to move from the Bay Area, this would leave a permanent negative stain on their image within the overall Bay Area sports fan base. This is something that MLB is well aware of, and is not in the best interests of baseball in general, or that of the Bay Area MLB market more specifically. It should be noted that for the first few seasons after the Giants and Dodgers had abandoned NY for the West Coast, Yankee season attendance had declined. This, despite the Yankees having been a World Series caliber team.

  132. @Daniel it matters to MLB you can talk about all the tech company’s etc but if you have development and land to build, finish and sell condos for 5 million plus as the warriors were in SF that goes a long way to having secured money to pay off your loan. Oakland cant offer nothing if Lew wont talk about nothing. A ballpark village like he first wanted in Oakland than in Fremont can be done for them, the raiders and warriors and still be enough land for the developers. Sf site is 13 acres SJ site is 12-14, have you looked at all to Oakland site…. it’s 800+ acres to build, more than enough to go around. and for people to say Oakland hasn’t been doing anything for this project, they have been buying up all surrounding land for years now for this project.

  133. @Jeffrey- the 3 blocks is pretty dense–cant remember the figures of Class A space and condo’s that were going in but it wasn’t a drop in the bucket. My point being the Diridon site, if it happens will have plenty of development around it–and there is other land in the city that can help generate dollars via development rights to support ballpark construction.

    Relative to Bart/HS Rail—Sharks management told me about 3 years ago that they were ready to lose their parking lot across the street from the Tank (on Santa Clara)- so that the site could be excavated for future bart tunneling–as I understood it they would need what they needed to do underground–cover it back up and allow above ground construction to go on even though Bart thru downtown may be further out-

  134. So, if MLB didn’t care about public v. private and SJ is a no brainer… How come it’s taken 5 years to figure out?
    Tunneling through downtown won’t start until 2020 at the earliest. Nothing can be developed on those parking lots until that happens.
    You can see how little room there is for development in the pictures here

  135. Karim, 800 acres is a little misleading. That includes land across the freeway and down Hegenberger. For all of that to happen and to be utilized you are talking about decades.

  136. A thought experiment for all of us… When was the last time you read an article by anyone other than Mark Purdy that was critical of the Giants trying to push the A’s out of the Bay Area?

  137. @Jeffrey- I never said it would be easy- as i recall the changing the zoning of edenvale from industrial to residential took quite awhile, just aaying there is enough potential around the Diridon site for development. At max build out the Diridon Station area will have 5M of commercial square feet (enough for 20k employees), 400,000 for retail, 2600 residential units and 900 hotel rooms- this in addition to the proposed 32k ballpark.

    Relative to when they might begin tunneling- all I can tell you is what Sharks management told me as a season ticket holder. They were concerned it would impact fan experience. I told them I was fine with it and wanted to see it happen sooner than later.

  138. @Jeffery you are right just showing the difference between the sites, Oakland/ Alameda county owns a lot of it, former RV area next to the stadium was bought, the land across the freeway is ready for development that is used for overflow at raider games is also city owned. They city has already pretty much completed construction on the inlet for the water flow into San Leandro Bay (part of the construction plan). Even if its a quarter of the 800 acres its still a lot of land ready for the development, compared to other such sites. And with that much land it can be divided between the teams and developer as Lew can Build is Baseball Village, Mark Davis can have his Raider Hall of Fame and other such projects he wants, Lacob if and when Sf fails can have his condos, hotels, and parking, he desires/needs to pay off his stadium (also will be much cheaper then his billion dollar + project in SF)and it still leaves plenty of land to be disbursed to the developers who are fronting money for the city in addition to the taxes created as well. And it all lowers the cost for all parties involved making it more than “feasible”

  139. Karim, I’d argue that anything across 880 is irrelevant for the purposes of a ballpark village unless the baseball stadium is on that side, which isn’t the plan (as much as I cringe calling what has been published a “plan”).

  140. @Jeffery “Plan” lol agreed, is there a specific reason, such as the land over there by the water, or worries about traffic, or other such things? I still question the version of the plan the city put out that tossed the warriors over there which I thought should have been the A’s with there development due to it being outdoor venue along the waterfront.

  141. 880 serves a “natural” barrier. think of it as an asphalt river. Consider it something like how JLS and Downtown Oakland are separated by 880. Those two districts are really close in proximity, but JLS has struggled as a development opportunity for years (my grandpa used to always tell me “JLS has been the next big thing since I moved here in 1958”) because it is cut off from the rest of downtown by a freeway cutting in between them. And in that specific case, you can actually walk from downtown to JLS with relative ease because of the elevated freeway… In this case, not so much.
    I know, I know… The popular meme in Oakland is that JLS is a bustling place. But it really isn’t. How long has that public market been in development?

  142. @ Jeffrey I definitely understand and get your point, JLS and downtown seem like 2 totally different areas, and is finally getting some love as they trying to connect them buy tearing down those ugly gov buildings on the corner. Also thought they should have had trolleys up and down Broadway to JLS, never came to fruition. But in regards to the CC using that side and along with “hengenberger” for the A’s the current side of 880 would not need to be of use/ linked for the A’s because that would be the Warriors/ Raiders side. Wouldn’t have to deal with overlapping events and traffics the events would be divided. Also in there plan that is hurting JLS is transportation of a trolley/rail system to interlink the whole development, as well as a specifically linked overpass for visitors. I have Tix to both raiders and warriors and have had to walk over the regular over pass many times, it wouldn’t be much of a obstacle especially with dedicated resources to link it all together, only 5 min walk

  143. k, i hear you, but that “not much of an obstacle” for whatever reason is really an obstacle for most. When the BART to OAK connector thing was going down I sent an email to CM Reid asking if that opened up the other side of Hegenberger for development, including a potential baseball only stadium. I never got a response but I did some research on my own and read several articles which pointed out how switching modes of transportation and crossing major freeways reduced ridership and pedestrian traffic in other similar developments. There is more than a casual link.

  144. At max build out the Diridon Station area will have 5M of commercial square feet (enough for 20k employees), 400,000 for retail, 2600 residential units and 900 hotel rooms- this in addition to the proposed 32k ballpark. Absent the football stadium this is bigger in term of commercial, residential, retail and hotel rooms than what is proposed in all 3 Phases of CC.

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