Reaction time

It would be silly to devote a post to every single new tidbit that comes out, so I’ll do one of those rare newswraps here.

  • The East Bay Express’s Robert Gammon reported that the previous group showing interest in buying the A’s (Don Knauss, Doug Boxer, Mike Ghielmetti) is back again talking up buying the franchise. This time, they’re not alone. There could be up to three groups, including one fronted by Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. Lacob and Guber were previously associated with the Dolich-Piccinini group in 2001. Lew Wolff continues to maintain that the team is not for sale.
  • Bill Shaikin of the LA Times partly shot down the Warriors connection when he contacted Guber, who said unequivocally that he’s not interested in the A’s. Lacob and others may be interested, though Lacob is not commenting at the moment.
  • BANG’s Marcus Thompson wrote a quite stirring column asking Oakland to act now to save the A’s in Oakland. Thompson also asked many of the important questions about both Howard Terminal and Coliseum City that currently have no answers.
  • SFGate has a new editorial imploring MLB to make a decision, once and for all. In the column is a quote from Wolff claiming that Howard Terminal’s cost would be more than $1 billion.

Pretty heavy news day, huh? Well, not according to KCBS’s Doug Sovern.

Is there actual news to report? Why yes there is!

  • The FCC is moving forward with its proposal to eliminate TV blackouts of sports broadcasts. The proposal mainly targets NFL games, so naturally the NFL opposes it.
  • The 49ers struck a partnership with fellow Santa Clara resident Intel for a major sponsorship & technology deal. Intel will provide a great deal of tech infrastructure while taking control of the big northwest gate.

Finally, Bizjournal’s Nate Donato-Weinstein has been tracking the iStar development and has an update. If you’re not aware, iStar is a developer and land owner tied to the Earthquakes stadium project. While the stadium is going up west of San Jose Airport, the iStar land is in South San Jose’s Edenvale neighborhood. The plan was to take some of the proceeds of various development activities at iStar and funnel them towards the stadium. The numbers:

  • 260,000 square feet of office space
  • 150,000 square feet of retail
  • 720 housing units
  • $10 million would be funneled to the stadium

Those numbers are important because they can provide a comparison to what is being proposed at Coliseum City.

  • 837,000 square feet of office space
  • 265,000 square feet of retail
  • 837 housing units
  • 2 hotels comprising 478 units

iStar went through numerous struggles and iterations as the recession ravaged the real estate market. Now that things are on the rebound, projects like iStar are picking up again. It’s surprising that despite the fairly large scope of the project, only $10 million is being made available. That’s one-sixth one-seventh the $60 $70 million budget for the Earthquakes stadium. Now consider that Coliseum City, whose Area A phases cover comparable development plans (other than the much greater office space) over a very long timeline. How much could the development activity realistically provide? $50 million? $100 million? While revenue sharing formulas will probably be different, there is a practical limit before eating into profitability. The Raiders stadium will cost more than 15 times as much as the Earthquakes’ new digs. Bridging the gap is the foremost issue for these stadium initiatives. Without that puzzle solved, there really isn’t much else to talk about.

116 thoughts on “Reaction time

  1. Have to give props to MT2 on this one. An East Bay writer calling out Oakland and asking the questions that needs to be asked, instead of glorifying emotional arguments like his predecessor (hello Monte P.!). Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come from Bay Area media!

  2. This is also a pretty telling quote on the state of the A’s to SJ plight:

    Wolff said Tuesday that all he is asking for is an up-or-down vote of baseball owners on the move to San Jose.

    It looks like MLB still hasn’t indicated it’s preference, ATE lawsuit or not. I’m also surprised LW vented to the media, given his usual stance that he is following MLB’s “process”. I think he’s tiring of Oakland’s continual vaporware war on him or something. Hopefully, this means the end is coming soon!

  3. Whoo hoo, last week we renewed our season tickets for 2014 Oakland Athletics Vaporware! Life is good.

  4. Key phrase being “actual news.” Wow! Just $10 million for the Quakes from the iStar development? Why doesn’t the deep pocketed developer (Hunter Storm?) pay the entire $70 million price for the Quakes SSS? You know, like those in Oakland are expecting Malik/Colony to do for the Raiders and A’s? Moral to this story: these aren’t charities and it doesn’t work that way..

  5. Seems we’ve just seen what premature quoting of “sources” can lead to, where Peter Guber is concerned.

    And good to see Thompson asking some of the needed questions.

  6. @Anon Yea Selig should just get it over with from the looks of that quote and what was said looks like thumbs up good, thumbs down he will sell. And considering that he was persuade to buying the team and moving them to SJ its pretty F’D up on MLB part to string him along no matter if your a Lew hater or not.

  7. @ James V that’s how the game goes of course its gonna be denied when things get leaked, doesn’t mean hes not doing something behind the scenes. Like advising Lacob since he is on the in now with the owners of MLB and knows what is happening.

  8. Then the question is: do you think Guber is involved even though he flat out said he’s not?

  9. More than $1 billion for HT. Do we let Knauss and the other “investors” have the team so they can re-conclude what Wolff just said and drop their efforts in 5 years?

  10. Karim, it’s just a PR campaign orchestrated by the Oakland crowd. Take the flat out denial as it is. It’s not much different than the SJ counsel and legal team throwing out quotes about the A’s being in SJ within 2 years, etc. Grassroots PR campaigns are all about creating your own embers and fanning the flames, hoping it catches fire. Now could there really be groups out there willing to do it all? Sure, but take everything (from both sides) with a giant grain of salt until someone actually provides details.

  11. @James V That is the question, when things get leaked to the media when has anyone said yep there right that’s true…. Pretty much never. Like i said in a previous post a while ago when people were screaming who are the investor they need to revile themselves so on and so on. I said for one the investors wont be reviled until need be, there’s no need so I for one have to think this was leaked on purpose, just from my experience with the media, remember the night before Rich Liberman was going crazy about reveling sources, then mad and the next day ebcitizen dropped it, guess the source decided to let citizen drop it and not him. A lot of these news outlets know what is happening but a lot of them leak the info from the actual source itself when given the green light. So for Guber being involved maybe, maybe not. He only invested about 25 million into the dodgers so I bet he can get a lot more by selling his share and investing it into the A’s. But believing his denial considering he already tried to buy the A’s before is like believing everything we see on the news. We onl know what they want us to know.

  12. Usually if something gets leaked and a person involved doesn’t want it clearly known, he’ll give a vague answer or a no comment.


    Guber could not have been any clearer in his quote:
    “Absolutely not true,” Guber told The Times. “100% not true.”

    Guber declined comment about whether Lacob might be interested but called it “categorically incorrect” to say he might be.

    “I have not had any conversations with the league or any of the owners about buying the team,” Guber said. “I love the Dodgers. I love the Warriors.”


    There, you see he did not comment about the possibility of Lacob being involved, but he spoke as openly as you could ask someone to about his side of it.

    To sit here and say, “Well, there’s still a good chance he really is involved and just doesn’t want us to know yet” requires more creativity in reading comprehension than I’m willing to accept.

  13. Mixed up the location of the top separator, but you get the point.

  14. @dmoas Totally agree, I grew up in media stuff tahts why I always say don’t beleive everything you hear or see on the news to form a conclusion, we all have to put the peices together. But this was not orchestrated by the Oakland crowd strictly as a P.R move, there are some legit sources involved here and when Lacob was contacted there was no denial of the report only no comment so is that fanning the flames too or some truth to his no comment when he could have came out so “forceful” like Guber.

  15. @ James V agreed but I believe one of the articles alluded to Guber feeding info to Lacob about the inter workings of MLB, So if Guber isn’t involved there’s a lot more to the story than what we know. As when Lacob’s people were reached last night as well they said no comment.

  16. Guber potentially helping Lacob with some information is considerably different than him being interested in actually being part of the whole thing from a financial/ownership perspective, though.

  17. @James V yes you are right but we do not know, he owns a current MLB team why would he disclose hes looking at another. We have no facts and a statement that might or might not be true, this is how the media and negotiation works they are all playing one another we don’t know. But what does it matter, if he is or not, If its Lacob, hes well connected to many more business men with lots of money if its Guber or not.

  18. At this point it’s more reasonable to take what Guber said at face value instead of trying to find an explanation that differs from it.

    If, down the line it’s revealed Guber really is involved more than he claims, you have every right to come back with an “I told you so.”

  19. @James V and just like Kawakami and other reports have said to been hearing the same rumblings and if you read is article back I believe in July when he interviewed Lacob, for whatever reason he started talking about HT and the A’s, and how hes studied it so much and knows about the site very well. So a little more evidence of history to back up yesterdays article.

  20. Karim, you’re reading way too much into a “no comment” than it’s worth. It’s “possible” that he’s interested, has shared interest with others, etc. Possible. But I wouldn’t take that “no comment” as any indication one way or the other. You’re saying there are legit sources, but I see no sources. Nor do I see independent confirmation (yet?). The only thing I see is a flat out denial and a no comment for primary people indicated in the article. The EBE, particularly the two writers of the article, are kind of known for writing opinion pieces in disguise as “articles.” Again, doesn’t mean it isn’t true, it’s just not something to get too excited about.

  21. @James V just wondering is there a certain reason from your side about guber not being involved. As I would be more worried about Lacob as he has most connections and seems like he might be trying his had at this.

  22. @dmoas agreed I am not taking much out of it but when he randomly speaks on the A’s as well and HT and his research of it does raise questions. May or may not be of any relevance. All this is getting crazier by the day but I do believe all of this is coming to a head on very soon.

  23. My reason is Guber himself saying he’s not involved. I give that more credence than anonymous sources and “rumblings,” especially because Kawakami has a history of saying whatever it takes to draw attention to himself as well. Plain and simple.

    I believe Lacob may very well be interested at this point.

    Steven Tavares said last night via his Twitter account, “If it’s not from a Bay Area reporter, the Warriors/A’s denials is pure subterfuge.”

    That’s rather…sketchy at best to claim.

  24. @James V got ya, have to come from the horses mouth and that’s understandable. and yes for him to say that kinda hurts credibility

  25. Yeah, for me I’ll take a direct quote over anything else first. I do know things can change and people might sometimes be lying just to keep attention off them, though.

  26. LW just announced he is willing to buy the W’s and keep them in Oakland. Oh..Lacob says team isn’t for sale- imagine that

  27. per MT2: JQ is not answering any questions when contacted. That’s all you need to know. Vaportalk and hush hush PR stuff.

  28. @James V: a BA reporter? which one ? he meant himself?

  29. I’m sure he meant himself above anyone else, yeah.

  30. @daniel yea like they are gonna throw out all the details and says who they have talked to and how much they wanna pay and so on and so on. It undermines everything, thinking that they are just gonna please us and let us know everything there doing. when have you heard someone pore out details about a major development or sale in sports or any development. It doesn’t work that way.

  31. The Giants must be thrilled at the SFGate editorial for singling them out for their role as being the main culprit in blocking the A’a from building their new Bay Area ballpark at the site of their choosing. It’s about time.

    Oakland’s elected officials must also be thrilled that the East Bay media has finally come out and said enough already with this ongoing ballpark in Oakland PR campaign, and to come out with specifics necessary to get it done. It’s about time.

    With the local Bay Area mainstream media finally exposing those responsible for the status quo, I believe it’s a good sign that the A’s new ballpark issue will be resolved soon. I just hope that it leads to the A’s remaining in the Bay Area.

  32. Apparently Steven Tavares thinks paying credence to a direct quote by Guber as told to an LA reporter is getting “sidetracked.”

  33. @Karim: it is way past time now for JQ or the city to come forward with a concrete plan. Hiding behing some bs pr campaign aint gonna work.

    KJ up in Sac did it in 6 months. He got 250mil for the Kings. Certainly, JQ and her people can do the same.

  34. Clarification. I believe that the sooner the new A’s ballpark issue is resolved, the more likely that the A’s will remain in the Bay Area.

  35. @Daniel Yea Sac also got like a billion dollar owner who was the money many for the warriors and they are potentially facing lawsuits so yea there will be delays. 6 months is a understatement yes technically 6 months but the kings were needed a new stadium for years and guess what there were negotiation behind the scenes and various people coming in and out of the picture and rumors hear and there and when the team actually went up for sale it was the 6 month period. Trust me all of this is coming to a end soon. And there’s more to your “bs pr campaign”.

  36. Stephen’s counter to someone else having a direct quote from Guber is, “among the two of us and Bill Shaikin, which one covers Oakland government?”

    Because that matters when someone else spoke with Guber, I guess.

  37. this is absolutely an orchestrated PR campaign. One that the East bay Express and East bay Citizen are willing to push along with muck rakers like Matier and Ross. This is the media spin cycle at work and it’s LGO, who know the politics at work here, pushing it.
    Let’s not kid ourselves.

  38. I see zero signs that this thing will be ending in any way, shape, or form any time soon. ML, sorry, but I think you’re going to be at this through 2020 at the very least. I hope I’m wrong.

  39. It would be one thing if the EBE/EBC followed and reported on the news without their own commentary – unless they specifically wrote a piece designated as such. To insert their own bias into their stories (and act holier-than-thou when it comes to other news sources) means they cannot be taken at face value as far as accurate reporting is concerned.

  40. if Lacob thinks HT is such an awesome site why isn’t the eb media and leaders challenging him to build his arena there–amazing the double standard that exists in how they report on the two ownership groups–zero accountability for unbiased reporting–Nat’l Enquirer does a better job than ST–

  41. @dmoas I agree, its to bad, but I think your right.

  42. None of us know what the end of this looks like. Pretending otherwise is lame. When all is said and done, if the A’s are still in the Bay Area, I’ll be glad.

  43. @GoA’s,

    I get what you’re saying, but I think one big reason why the East Bay and their media aren’t questioning Lacob on the HT Arena vs. Stadium situation is because the Warriors have never identified themselves as an Oakland team, ever. Ever. The closest thing they’ve ever even had to Oakland on anything they’re associated with is in the 80s and 90s when “Oakland Coliseum” was painted on both ends of their basketball court. Growing up in Oakland, I can tell you firsthand that there was always this lurking feeling that the Warriors would eventually move to San Francisco. We always understood they was never JUST our team

    The A’s are really the only team that has consistently been identified as an OAKLAND team, which may be the reason why those few who actually care about the A’s in Oakland are so quick to jump on any bandwagon that is in favor of keeping the team there.

  44. PJK,

    I agree with your last comment about the potential new owners and HT.

    When will people realize that the nail in the coffin was hammered in by Jerry Brown when he decided to put those apartments at the Uptown site. IMO, there was no better site for a stadium in Oakland than that one. If I remember correctly, in the 1990s the Uptown site was one huge parking lot with a hotdog stand across the street from a drug and prostitute infested hotel. Imagine how a ballpark would’ve turned that area around.

  45. @ML – My apologies if the answers to these questions are obvious, but I’m just not understanding the basics of this entire situation.

    Does Selig and MLB view Oakland as a viable location for a ballpark? If not,why then are we even having this discussion? It would be like debating whether the team should relocate to Charlotte or Portland. If Oakland is a viable option, why even allow the A’s to consider San Jose? It just muddies the water. Given the choice, of course the A’s put all of their energy and resources in getting to San Jose.

    With regard to Howard Terminal, there seems to be disagreement as to whether that site is financially viable. Do you think Wolff is dismissing HT just to turn the focus to San Jose? If a ballpark at HT will be costly to build, why would Lacob, Knauss & Co even consider putting their names out there, when they know they will be blown out of the water with a billion dollar price tag? Surely these poeple must have some understanding of the site.

    • @fc – To my knowledge MLB has made no determination. We don’t even know their criteria! I maintain that MLB can’t choose between the two cities because their plans are fraught with complications. If MLB makes a decision anytime soon, that would indicate that they’re willing to overlook the “winning” city’s myriad issues.

  46. @BayMetro–understand your perspective but the W’s have been in Oakland as long as the A’s. Second, the city re-did their arena for them 15 years ago–while doing nothing for the A’s–pretty sweet treatment for a “transient team” where folks felt that they could be headed back to SF at anytime.

    If anything- what you point out is the mis-treatment of the A’s by the city of Oakland as being the only franchise that hasn’t taken anything from them and yet is the one being vilified for trying to leave. Makes no sense–I want an EB writer to ask Lacob 2 things–why he doesn’t build an arena at HT if its such an awesome site and 2) what would he say if LW publically stated he wanted to buy the W’s and keep them at their arena in Oakland. Simple, direct—but none of the EB/Oakland cheerleaders (known as media)would do it

  47. @GoA’s: Lacob is not talking, on or off the record. LOL. something fishy is going on.

  48. @GoA’s Lets connect some dots right quick, something a lot of people don’t like to do on here. One In a July Interview he spoke openly about HT and doing study’s/research etc on the site and knows it very well and said it would be a great site for the A’s…Why is he even talking about it. To try and buy them or not we don’t know, but the more import thing is all of the study’s he has done on HT, To move the Warriors? In a recent article with Monte Poole he talks about possibility of staying in Oakland at the current site for more years and also mentioned he had a plan B that would be much cheaper than SF. Now these Reports/Rumors how every you want to spin them mentions his name. He can own all of HT build 2 new stadiums and own 2 major league teams all while building his condos, hotels etc on the site, and it will only be a little more than building 1 stadium in S.F. His no comments, statements as Daniel said both speak volumes that there is more to this story than a rumor. and its coming down soon. Sorry SJ

  49. karim, you are making leaps here usually reserved only for the sj crowd…. interesting.

  50. @Jeffrey,
    When have I ever made a leap? 😉

  51. @Karim–we can all connect whatever dots we want to tell whatever story we want. Based upon your dot connecting I would guess your setting yourself up for a big disappointment. One thing LW has made loud and clear—and just re-enforced it the other day is the team is not up for sale (no differnt than the W’s being up for sale with someone keeping them in Oakland) and second it is up to him and the A’s to determine where they want to build. MLB and the gints can’t tell him where in his territory to build especially if he is bringing the money to the table. And of course all of this assumes that mlb chooses to let the courts decide the TR issue insteading of addressing it itself–

  52. @ Karim – I am declaring publicly today that I and a bunch of rich investors are going to buy your house. The investors don’t want to be named at this point, because that’s not how to do things. We’ll release a drawing of how your house may or may not look when we’re done with it. Also, we expect to have a hometown discount since we’re not going to move it from it’s site, so don’t expect market value. The city should also pitch in and exclude us from property taxes and any regulatory / environment process/hurdles, because again, we’re local. When are you available to meet on this to sign away your house?

  53. @GoA’s Yea not for sale guess what that is said everyday up until the business is sold. Just ask Chris Cohen repeated year after year after year up until March 2010 when they were put up for sale and 4 short months later they were sold. Fact is this is how it works. If it was up to Lew he would have moved them already but hes not, just like he can be forced out, unlikely but can happen. SO if you wanna believe Lew and other owners who repeat time and time again nothing is happening and then something happens go for it but sales of teams are almost always a shock because it just gets dropped on us out of no where.

  54. Well the A’s situation may be muddier than ever, but Wolff’s other team (and their fans) finally got what they’ve been waiting a decade and a half to see today…

    The steel is rising at Airport West!

  55. @Karim- yup–when McCourt was forced out of MLB no one knew about it–total suprise–so your suggesting mlb would force LW/JF out of mlb by making them make an unwise investment in HT and putting the financial health of the organization at risk—just like McCourt did with LA—where do you come up with this shit?

  56. @ Karim – When Mayor Quan’s phone is not ringing you will know it is not LW or BS or MLB calling….#LoveHurtsWhenOnlyOneIsInLove

  57. @Anon and that is where you have it wrong this is a business with millions on the line and reputations, how many people do you think lined up to buy the warriors…. Lacob and co, Elision, and 24 hour fitness. But guess what there were about 10 total groups that got weeded out but you never heard of them and like i just said in the previous post you and me and the public don’t matter these people negotiate behind the scenes and if it doesn’t work they disappear. The Warriors were old in 4 months after years of saying they were not being sold, and that’s a long time in some eyes. Everything happens behind the scenes than the public is last to know. I don’t know whats hard for most people to see, yea we would all love know know the juicy details and be reports and know whats happening but were at the hand of the buyers and sellers. They give info fast or slow and we run with it, it all starts from them.

  58. @GoA’s that was a total blow up from his divorce so got a better example. as in a team being sold to a new buyer stright up. come on all the stuff was leaked from court docs etc, wife and other crazy stuff. And I said unlikely but know one knows and no one has the numbers or facts on HT< I know you want them in SJ bad but was isn't SJ a bad investment cause SJ aint doing the best. its surround citys that are really thriving. might wanna fix that homeless and cop problem first right. MLB must see a problem with SJ for it to stand in a way from a so called Gold mine

  59. @Goa’s I research and provide and raise questions. All I’ve really seen from others is SJ only so yea whats holding SJ together….. A lawsuit. Like I said this will be all over soon and you will be able to check my history of post and see how it all fell in please. and not post by me saying SJ sucks, Sj can’t work like you and others do to Oakland. Great starting point for a debate.

  60. Thanks ML. It IS a complex issue, but I think MLB is making it harder on itself. You’d think after 4 years of the BRC they’d have a pretty good idea of what’s financially feasible in Oakland. If no site is doable, or if they truly believe that an MLB team could not thrive in the area, then open the search up to SCC. Work with the A’s, Giants, San Jose, and local businesses to get it done in the south bay.

  61. @Karim–show me one of my posts that says Oakland sucks–you won’t find one because I dont feel that way–I think their leadership sucks but not the city. The fact that you now reference SJ crime and cop problem as a reason mlb isn’t interested says volumes about your “research”- especially as it compares to Oakland. SJ not doing so well—hummm–highest per capita income at more than $90k compared to $70k for Oakland. US patent office opening in downtown SJ—not SF—not Oakland—these are “facts” that you can find through research. SJ slated to lead in terms of economic growth and activity compared to rest of bay area–all reasons why ’49ers are building here now–

  62. Guys, there is a reason for the PR push. It is to make it untenable for LW/JF and convince them to sell. It’s not because a sell is in the offing.
    There is a reason Rich Lieberman called Doug Boxer names on twitter two nights ago (I believe the pejorative was “dipshit”). What that reason is, no one knows 🙂

  63. GoA’s: “…understand your perspective but the W’s have been in Oakland as long as the A’s. Second, the city re-did their arena for them 15 years ago–while doing nothing for the A’s–pretty sweet treatment for a “transient team” where folks felt that they could be headed back to SF at anytime.”

    That’s precisely WHY The City of Oakland “re-did” the Oakland Arena; they knew the Warriors had other options (at this point San Jose was coming on strong to the Warriors to play at a then 3-year-old SJ Arena, and talk of relocation to SF was always in the air). Not to mention, in 1995 The Coliseum (pre-Mt. Davis) was still miles ahead of other stadiums then (most MLB teams still played in enclosed multi-purpose stadiums), which unfortunately caused City Hall to turn a blind eye to how the construction of Mount Davis would totally make the Coliseum baseball unfriendly.

    By the way, the A’s moved to Oakland three years before the Warriors did – but who’s counting?…

  64. Rich Lieberman ? he is something I can’t mention here.

  65. from the Mercury News article: One of the prime drawbacks to the Howard Terminal site is the ground itself. It’s laced with toxic chemicals and those would have to be dealt with before anything is done.

    …Laced with toxic chemicals and the place is being pitched for a ballpark where 35,000 people a night would go. OK.

  66. @Karim – the point went over your head entirely: how can you say a team is for sale, when it isn’t by the owner themselves? Concerning SJ support, you’re new here so we’ll forgive you this time around. Many of us are from SJ, yes, but we’ve been going to the Coliseum for decades now, and will continue to go if a new stadium is built there. However, many of us have been on this board for years, having seen / heard / read about proposals/rallies/meetings/press releases/etc. to only see nothing from Oakland. We’re not bad mouthing the Town per se, but asking them to put up or shut up and let the A’s free already. Enough with the status quo….

  67. It’s very unfortunate that most of the recent leaks coming out of the Bay Area media regarding the future home of the A’s are either factually incorrect, or at best misleading. While we are uncertain of the source of these leaks, the one thing they all seem to have in common is that they tend to make the current A’s ownership look bad, or to at least put them on the defensive. At this point, A’s fans should sit back, take a deep breath, and wait until something definitive does happen. We’ve waited this long, so what’s the difference if we have to wait some more time. The CC project doesn’t seem to be even close to getting to phase I, so I think the Coliseum structure will still be intact for awhile longer. In the meantime, the A’s will still go on and be making a nice profit, with the Coliseum as their home. It may very well take some time, but the decision on the future home of the A’s could very likely be finally decided by what transpires in the courts.

  68. “which unfortunately caused City Hall to turn a blind eye to how the construction of Mount Davis would totally make the Coliseum baseball unfriendly.”
    It’s amazing how every other MLB team has gotten a better situation in the past 20 years. They have moved out of multipurpose stadiums and yet, the A’s stadium has gotten worse and became half a good football stadium, half a multipurpose stadium… Such a weird thing to watch unfold.

  69. What’s amazing to me is how bs leaves one of MLB partners hung out to dry on a regular basis. He could step up right now and say we have looked at HT and it does not make financial sense- he’s a total db

  70. @IIpec I dont think you, could have been more correct, right on, my man.

  71. mlb interevened in the McCourt divorce disaster to salvage the dodgers, who are as popular, generally, as are the yankees. Saturday afternoon nat’l tv baseball requires one or the other, right? The stimulus shot mlb gave the bums propelled them into a neck and neck 2013 season payroll race with the yanks: essentially, $248M each (although the yanks were just a bit above the bums). The Astros’ payroll was about 1/10 that, wasn’t it?

    Anyway, comparing mlb’s solicitude for the dodgers to mlb’s approach to the A’s is absurd. The AL WD is not where mlb makes its money, and Oakland damn sure ain’t. Wolff/Fisher have made a huge profit on their investment, and they owe mlb, big time. mlb’s bill is probably in the mail.

  72. @xoot–gints owe mlb big time also—giving them most of a shared territory for free not to mention the rise in overall values—hopefully their bill will be in the mail at some point in the form of TR settlement

  73. @ML (and everyone in general). What I can’t understand is how addressing the territory issue years ago wasn’t a slam dunk. It makes zero sense to me that the 3 other 2 market teams in the MLB (Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York) have their total territory completely shared between the teams in each market. But for whatever reason, the Bay Area is still divided into distinct territories. And in the case of New York and Los Angeles, new teams came in an ‘encroached’ on existing teams’ media markets in the form of the Mets and Angels respectively. Of course the 2 Chicago teams predate serious mass media in baseball. On top of all that, MLB allowed the Expos to move into Orioles territory and become the Nationals. To me, MLB has 2 strong precedents to lean on in terms of resolving the dispute and they seem to refuse to look at either.

  74. I meant to say the three other 2-team markets. I wrote it backwards.

    • @SMG – While many owners apparently have sympathy for Wolff’s plight, they also know that Santa Clara County is worth money and requires some sort of transaction, recent history notwithstanding. It’s up to Wolff to come up with a proposal that the Lodge will accept.

  75. For whatever reason,(perhaps when Wolff mentioning that the A’s possibly building a new stadium at the CC led some groups to believe that Wolff was giving up on SJ, and also perhaps might be inclined to sell the team? – a big jump in logic). Wolff has always repeated that the A’s are not for sale, also that the A’s priority is to stay in the bay area (so the idea that the A’s might build at the CC is not surprising)

    For the sake of argument, if Wolff were going to sell, all these groups claiming to be interested in buying the A’s would only jackup up the price of the team by competing with each other – very counterproductive.
    The A’s PR guy stated that the team is worth at least $700 mil. – even if Wolff were to sell the team to one of these groups, the team’s mininmal selling price would be $800 mil.- add a total $1 bil. cost for the HT site (because of the extra toxic cleaning and infrastructure costs) then the total cost of a theoretical purchase of the A’s would be $1.8 bil. The A’s are a valuable franchise, however no prospective owner would buy the team and build at the HT site at that cost.

    The giants organization may be involved with this latest nonsense – either they believe they can somehow pressure Wolff to sell with these bizzare tactics, or they believe Selig would intervene and force the A’s sale if enough of this b.s. pressure is applied.

  76. ML, there’s got to be more to it than that. Wolff is willing to risk an up/down vote over it. And has been for a while.

  77. @dmoas – Selig won’t bring Wolff’s proposal to a vote. That’s why the denied proposal. Selig will bring to a vote something that will pass – preferably unanimously.

  78. That goes without saying, but Wolff wouldn’t ask for a vote himself if he weren’t confident that, while not unanimous, it would go in his favor. He’s got to be believe (possibly falsely) that he has between 75%-99% of the vote, otherwise he’d have sat idly by as he has, except without asking for the vote.

  79. Wolff is a pathetic fool – here’s what he’s done to date:

    1) announce that he’d build near the Oakland Coliseum — oops, didn’t realize that all those other folks owned the land and he’d have to get the city to kick them out.

    2) announce that he’d build on the Coliseum parking lot — oops, didn’t realize that there were all those power cables under the ground.

    3) announce that he’d build in Fremont — oops, didn’t realize there were all those people in the little bedroom community that didn’t want our fans peeing on their lawns.

    4) announce that he’d build in San Jose — oops, didn’t realize that the Giants had territorial rights there and he’d already announced that he had no interest in the South Bay when he bought the team.

    5) announce that maybe the Coliseum parking lot might work after all while also announcing that anyone who thought Howard Term was viable was a fool.

    Anyone else see a trend here?

  80. @Glenn D Preach…. I pity the fool

  81. @ Glenn D.,
    Respectfully: you’re a pathetic fool for having a complete strawman view of this entire drama! Can’t blame Wolff for Oaklands eternal incompetence and MLB ‘ S unwillingness (to date) to free San Jose. BTW, welcome to the blog and Merry Christmas..

  82. @Tony D.: Come on, man. It’s not always Wolff’s fault for his ballpark plans falling through, but it is his fault for announcing plans that aren’t 100% locks like Fremont and Diridon. Wolff may be the best A’s owner since Haas, but he’s shot himself/the organization in the foot several times because of PR-related statements.

  83. @Briggs,
    I personally don’t ever recall Wolff stating Fremont or Diridon were “100% locks,” but I’ll gladly stand corrected if you provide proof of such statements. Regarding your last sentence, I guess that makes all of us on the planet a pathetic fool because no one, I mean NO ONE is perfect…

  84. @briggs- seriously- you find fault with LW for identifying a site and working to bring it home- let’s see- how about Oakland- VC, HT and CC just to name a few- all without any merit

  85. @Briggs,
    Actually, disregard my request for proof: I read you sentence wrong re Fremont, Diridon and 100% locks. Hence the last sentence in my last comment.

  86. @ Glenn D – slow news day? you peeled your nose away from SF owner’s asses long enough just so you could add that? that’s professional journalism at it’s finest…you should be proud…

  87. @ Glenn D – when my $12 subscription doesn’t come through on your website for your garbage articles you will know it’s not me…

  88. Wait, is Glenn D actually Glenn Danzig? My day just got injected with awesome.

  89. re: announce that he’d build in San Jose — oops, didn’t realize that the Giants had territorial rights there and he’d already announced that he had no interest in the South Bay when he bought the team.

    …So you think it’s perfectly OK for the Giants to be able to stifle the will of the people of San Jose and make sure that the nation’s 10th-largest city never gets Major League Baseball? Your credibility, if you had any to begin with, has been reduced to 0.00…FWIW, we know there are East Bay and Frisco writers who will never be OK with San Jose getting Major League Baseball. Silicon Valley envy, I guess. Hopefully, San Jose’s case will make its way to the Supreme Court and it can decide if MLB deserves to be exempt from anti-trust laws.

  90. Old-time, muckraking journalism: Perform an investigation of how the Giants can get away with blocking MLB from San Jose and question why this situation is allowed to continue.
    Modern-time, advocacy, cheerleading journalism: Cheer on the Giants as they keep MLB out of San Jose.

  91. @Karim,
    “I pity the fool.” Staring into a mirror while commenting are we…?

  92. I don’t know many pathetic fools that accumulate the resources that a man like Lew Wolff has. I don’t know any… I do know several that post idiotic rants on the Internet.
    See a pattern there?

  93. I believe the assumption is that the “D” stands for “Dickey” rather than “Danzig.”

  94. So here’s the thing that just makes me laugh about all of this stuff in the “news” lately… If, as all of the Oakland folks would have you believe, it is true that there is about to be some huge announcement that the A’s are being sold to (insert whatever group you want to know here)… Why then the need for local media members to go on a full on assault mode on twitter, in blog comments and with opinion pieces? Why the wink and the nod?
    There’s a pattern here… and it goes back to before Lew Wolff was owner. It’s the Oakland government officials telling everyone “Don’t worry about details, just yet… Trust us.” I would say that listening to this advice has really made a lot of people look like morons.
    Case in point, Victory Court. “MLB loves the site and they are going to make Lew build here.” That was the message… Until it came time for Oakland to do something about it.
    I’m happy to be wrong. It’d be great if this was the offseason in which SOMETHING actually happened… The problem is, the cheerleading folks are happy to cheer without asking important questions. They’ll cheer for anything that anyone tells them as long as “Oakland” is in front of it. It’s not too often that a phenomena like that works out all that well for the cheerleaders.

  95. agree with Jeffrey’s point–makes me wonder why folks like Karim spend so much time on here if he already knows the answer and its gonna happen in a few weeks–whats the point of trying to convince others of your inside knowledge. Kick back, have a beer and bask in the glory that you knew before everyone else and its going to shock everyone.

    Which once again–I fault bs/mlb for allowing this circus to continue without stepping forward and stopping some of the ridiculousness. HT is a non-starter would be a step. Also fault Lacob for not dispelling the rumor that he is buying the A’s and willing to build at HT. Whatever his reason–to piss of the gints–to cozy up with JQ and get her to back down on the SF arena issues–or to take away the perception that he doesn’t like Oakland—it still is bs…Wish that LW would publically challenge him to build his arena at HT–

  96. @ Tondy D naw it’s the SJ folks and you who think that a little lawsuit is gonna solve SJ and get them a team that’s pretty foolish, and pretty lame because why, the 10th largest city oh wow such a compelling argument lets give you a football and basketball team while your at it cause its your right. Sorry MLB doesn’t feel like its your right just yet, and may never. Just because you have almost a million people doesn’t mean 40k people will support a team, hence 32k seat stadium, oh but SJ is a gold mind MLB is stupid for not giving us a team. Get over it the last hope and prayer y’all had was this lawsuit. and when this News came out that Oakland might have a chance at anything u all freaked out. Saying you just want a new stadium no matter where is just lame. I know this is a Pro SJ board and 99% of y’all want the A’s. But there’s a reason y’all don’t. All of your complaining and talk of its our right cause were SJ has you looking and sounding more like San Francisco that a Oakland Fan.

  97. GoA’s never said a few weeks but I can actually connect some dots unlike some people on here and yes there’s no guarantee from Oak or SJ in regards to the issue but like I said its coming to a head on. This is all parties fault but mostly selig’s fault, that I agree with you and others on. Don’t know anyone getting paid 25 million a year that has this much drama along with A-Rod etc and not fired.

    • @Karim – You don’t have enough dots to connect. You don’t have: a feasibility study, an EIR, a financing plan, or a willing partner in Wolff. Without any of those things, all you’re drawing is half a circle.

  98. re: Just because you have almost a million people doesn’t mean 40k people will support a team, hence 32k seat stadium,

    …We’ve seen San Jose sell out for the Sharks for years and Oakland have disappointing attendance for the A’s for many more years, despite excellence on the field. Your argument is pretty weak, given the evidence we’ve seen.

  99. @pjk Yes the Sharks 1 team in that area that holds like 17k, in a nice stadium, there are many factors on both sides that add and take away from sides of the debate.

    @ML I said it is coming to a head on soon one way or another, and to think that the lawsuit was gonna speed it up that most on here think will get it done is false, that’s all i’m saying. Yes we have all been waiting for ever from all sides but there’s more to MLB holding back a decision than them being scared of the Giants, MLB must not be too concerned as that seemed to make Tampa Bay a more priority that the A’s. Also I know everyone likes to bash asking the tough questions of the people involved with the situation, city etc. Just wondering if you ever had a chance too, and if so what was the outcome. And like I have said from the get go the longer it takes the better it is for Oakland because those things are falling in place, just not on the schedule everyone wants on here.

    • @Karim – The lawsuit forced MLB to act. After first saying that they could go at their own pace, MLB’s lawyers admitted that the they were aware of the city’s 2-year option and sent the San Jose denial letter before the 2 years was up, calling it a reasonable amount of time.

      Furthermore, you’re all over the place. MLB has to make a decision in its best financial interest. Whether it is Oakland or San Jose comes down to numbers. Washington was picked over Las Vegas and Portland because MLB got the biggest price for the Expos there, plus they got the mayor and city council to give away the ballpark. Selig makes noises every so often about Tampa Bay the same way he does about Oakland, and guess where it gets him? Nowhere, because the Rays are locked into their lease and have no cheap way to buy it out. That’s the opposite of Oakland. MLB forced Oakland into a 2-year, temporary lease which give away the farm in terms of revenues compared to the Raiders. That is a bad negotiating position for Oakland to be in. Maybe MLB will look upon Oakland more kindly because of this, but I doubt it. In the end everyone will be back at the table, and MLB will be ready to squeeze Oakland for everything – even if it comes at the Raiders’ expense.

      Can you tell me what is “falling into place” besides the Howard Terminal “site control” matter, which is being overblown?

      Here’s what will impress MLB. If Knauss/Boxer/Ghielmetti or Lacob & co. pledge that they’ll build a ballpark without the A’s help or private contribution, that’ll make MLB pay attention really quickly. $500-700 million right there, with little promise of payback. That’s how MLB will take notice, and if Oakland’s willing to give it up (good luck with that in an election year), oh sure, everything will fall into place.

  100. re: Yes the Sharks 1 team in that area that holds like 17k, in a nice stadium, there are many factors on both sides that add and take away from sides of the debate.

    …and we’ve seen the A’s draw around 10,000 a night so many times, despite much more economical prices than the Sharks and playing a game that has much greater familiarity than hockey. If the Sharks are the test case for whether the South Bay can support major pro sports, then the South Bay has aced the test. Can’t say the same for the A’s in Oakland. If MLB had no teams in the Bay Area now and was about to decide where to put two teams here, do you think Oakland would beat out San Jose for one of the teams? Not a chance.

  101. @pjk like I said that’s a lot of facts everyone can say to benefit either side, and like I said there is a reason that the A’s aren’t there. We all know this BRC should and probably does know where the team should play after all these years but, there is no decision made, I find it hard to blame all of this on the giants because if Lew wanted it bad enough he would meet the demands. If in fact if that’s whats holding them back. Also that is your opinion of where the teams would be. Aced the test that’s all you guys have that’s like saying a town in the south aced the test because they pack a football game…. That’s all they have of course there gonna go and support that team. We will all have a resolution sooner or later and one city will have the team and one wont.

  102. Karim, I love this quote: ” I find it hard to blame all of this on the giants because if Lew wanted it bad enough he would meet the demands.” What exactly are the Giants “Demands” (besides San Jose is their territory to keep)? Maybe their real demand is the A’s in Montreal, Portland, or anywhere but in the Bay Area? Would you like Wolff to meet this “Demand”, the 2016 Montreal A’s? Maybe another Giants “Demand” (via their surrogate Art Agnos), is keeping the Warriors out of San Francisco? The “Doomsday Scenario” of no A’s, Raiders or Warriors in Oakland, or even in The Bay Area (watch the NHL and the possibility of Seattle Expansion and of course, a new building), could help this happen. But if it occurs, I guess the Giants would still deserve “Minimal Blame”?

  103. There is one party that could say “Uncle” and this would be (mostly) over. But no one, in any capacity that I am aware of, is applying the pressure to get them there. It’s not the A’s. It’s not San Jose. It’s not Oakland. It’s not Bud Selig.

  104. @Karim
    Oakland has had 45 years to show that they can support a team, and the attendance has been bad over that time.

  105. @Jeff – Generally agreed. I personally think the entire situation points to the ineptitude of Quan and Oakland/Alameda County more than anything else. People are quick to jump on Wolff and demonize him (without ever making mention of Jeff Fisher) despite the fact that the city/county really haven’t given them any concretely viable plans. The local government powers that be are very noncommittal and just like to tacitly support and flash pretty renderings of any idea that comes along. It comes off as desperate and unfocused.

  106. @pjk – To add to your point, the South Bay has also shown the ability to get a new 49ers stadium built (a much bigger endeavor than an arena or ballpark) and has evolving plans for tons of development around Levi’s Stadium. Then there’s also the New Earthquakes Stadium going up (in San Jose itself) as well as associated development next door. So yes, the capital and political will is certainly present for development of pro sports venues in the South Bay.

  107. The one thing that makes me wonder is why O went on a media barage–in the past they have done this when they thought there might be a decision–interesting timing–

  108. Coming back to this a few days later, I see Karim still thinks he has all the answers when he doesn’t even seem to know what he’s talking about.

    There’s a reason I stopped bothering with him after the first page of comments.

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