Santana out, Blackwell in as Oakland City Administrator

After unsuccessfully trying to get similar positions in both Phoenix and Dallas, Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana resigned on Monday. Santana served three years at the job. Previously she served several years as Deputy City Manager in San Jose. It’s not clear where Santana will go next, though it is known who will replace her: Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell.

You may remember that Santana goofed a year ago when she said that Lew Wolff asked for a lease extension only through the media, not via a letter to the City. The letter was found in a pile of furlough mail, which forced some rather embarrassing backpedaling on her part. Nevertheless, Santana never seemed interested in the various stadium plans that hatched during her tenure, preferring instead to focus on budgetary impacts. From the outside, Santana was definitely the biggest budget hawk Oakland has seen in a while. She ran into friction with protestors over her handling of Occupy Oakland and her decision to close off the balcony at City Council meetings, while also encountering tension with some Council members over their inability to follow rules.

Blackwell, on the other hand, is more of a redevelopment guy than a budget guy. He was tasked with overseeing the development of some of the big ticket City projects, such as the Oakland Army Base, Brooklyn Basin (O29), and Coliseum City. Blackwell has been instrumental in getting the various interests (developers, financial backers, the Raiders, the JPA) on the same page regarding Coliseum City, though that has been with a struggle. Blackwell has been more directly associated with Coliseum City than Howard Terminal, but he considers both sites viable, a position supported by Mayor Jean Quan.

What Blackwell apparently lacks is serious fiscal experience. Prior to his ACM stint in Oakland, he was the redevelopment head of the small agency in San Francisco (compared to Oakland CEDA and San Jose’s RDA it’s tiny), and director of SF’s Community Development office. Blackwell’s fiscal expertise, such as it is, isn’t an imperative at the moment because Santana paved the way by crafting budgets during her tenure. It’ll be more interesting to see if Blackwell keeps his job after the election.

That may depend on his ability to complete Coliseum City. With most cities’ redevelopment powers curbed, Blackwell was left to focus on these high profile projects, which have their own current and potential funding sources. Spring’s big deliverable is a market research report, and the Raiders (and perhaps the A’s and Warriors) are supposed to be signed onto the plan by the summer. If the report looks bad or Mark Davis is hesitant, it’s largely on Blackwell, not that he can control much of it. Most of the circumstances that will dictate Coliseum City’s feasibility are largely beyond his reach. He can continue to sell the concept to investors and teams, but in the end, they’re the ones who’ll be doing the heavy lifting financially, not Blackwell. Then again, Blackwell’s new job will give him to latitude to craft a deal, similar to the plan Robert Bobb had to bring the A’s uptown in 2001. Blackwell could succeed where Bobb failed in getting the Mayor to sign on, a good possibility since Quan already endorses Coliseum City. Will the numbers add up? That’s the real challenge for Blackwell, one that, unlike his predecessor, is not his strong suit.

117 thoughts on “Santana out, Blackwell in as Oakland City Administrator

  1. This could be good news.

  2. Im rooting for F.Blackwell…can he do what Robert Bobb couldn’t?? Now he is focused on Coliseum City. ..if he can get the Raiders (stay and keep the Coliseum, temp) and A’s (build by the Coliseum) and get Colony Capital (build around the Coliseum) then he can be the guy to bridge this all together

  3. I love my city Oakland. ..but fuck debt…still got to do what u got to do…

  4. Hopefully Fred has a printing business in his basement- otherwise it’s hard to see this as anything but the status quo for oakland

  5. There’s that damn word “viable” again…

  6. @Muppet151 don’t believe everything you read, So Santana has this as a excuse to save face because she got fired, of course you need a good excuse to save face and get another job in the public sector. Weather it’s true or not this is another step in the process, and this shows that Quan is banking on the stadium deals and selling everything she has left for her reelection, all of her cards are pretty much played from appointing people to the port to replacing people and phasing others out on the council. Time is up and this year we will finally have a ansewer

    • @K – Quan is banking on projects that few outside of Oakland or the East Bay feel are more than pipe dreams. Either she is really onto something or she’s bluffing hard during an election year.

  7. She’s really bluffing hard in an election year.

  8. Oakland gets slammed, because they do nothing (rightfully so), and when they could actually be trying it’s there bluffing, it’s all smoke and mirrors, Quan is a loser; nothing can never get done there.
    I have been just as critical of Oakland (lake of effort, and politicians), as the next guy, but some of you have turned it into an art form.

  9. @k- most of us are already conditioned not to believe anything coming out of the main stream media- especially as it relates to the ballpark- ironic that you don’t question the media on how accurate their reporting is as it relates to the feasibility of HT-

  10. @ML agreed 100% from talking with people and checking out meetings you are spot on, and its rightfully deserved for the city as games are still being played behind the scenes with certain people using this for political gain. Only so many people can be replaced but when it counts majority vote wins. We shall see.

  11. @lsn- VC was smoke and mirrors- how can anyone trust Oakland with their track record…especially when the key stakeholders (team owners) say you can’t trust Oakland- note all 3 have said this based upon Oakland’s performance or lack thereof

  12. @GoA’s no one has stated that HT will work so who do bash the “EB Media” its been looked at as a “potential site” everyone has said that test and work needs to be done to see if its feasible. So whats the inaccurate reporting as they are just reporting about another option for a park, its not the medias job to be detective and research how much soil samples will coast, how much infrastructure will cost, how much Bart will cost, they report the news as it comes in. that’s the media. A lot of people on here try to read to much in to stories instead of taking it as it is, as a potential site, key word potential/ possible.

  13. @K- hasn’t JQ herself stated public ally that Oakland has 2 viable sites including HT? Show me one east bay media member that has indicated there are significant obstacles to HT ever being a realistic site and has outlined those obstacles- (other than ML)

  14. Oakland $28 million shortfall for 2015 and Forbes (or was it Bloomberg?) reporting that The O had a major civic debt issue bubbling on the surface. BUT billions of dollars for stadiums and infrastructure will be no problem whatsoever…right? Not talking crap, just saying…

  15. @GoA’s Viable – “capable of being done or used” “capable of succeeding” your acting like she said its 100% done deal getting built, and a quote from her said “It’s one of the two sites we promised Major League Baseball we would offer, and it will be available early next year,” Quan told The Chronicle. Again reporters are not detectives they report news, and significant obstacles, no one knows the full price of clean up, you don’t know, I don’t know, Lew doesn’t know its all estimates thrown out there until soil etc can be approved and tested its all talk. so if the port agrees (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) to let that group get into contract and pay for the test and study’s its all hearsay.

  16. @K,

    HT is technically “viable” if you go by the definitions you provided. But hundreds of millions (perhaps billions) of dollars would be needed to make it “reality.”

  17. Hay guys our team is basically in limbo, don’t you think?
    Option 1# San Jose
    Dirdon grate location especially for future transportation needs, the site most of us think would be the best place in the Bay Area for the A’s to be. MLB turned Lew Wolff down last June, this action set in motion San Jose’s lawsuit, and with the San Francisco Giants iron clad grip on their territorial rights it does not seem likely to change anytime soon. It’s no wonder San Jose filed the lawsuit, they had no choice. I have maintained that I think the suite is weak, but the good news is it does not have to be a strong suite, it just has to be effective and effective is getting MLB to the table, so there is hope.
    Option 2# Fremont
    Grate place in a general sense to build close enough to the Silicon Valley to gain the wealth the A’s need, but not so close that they interfere with the Giants TR’s, but we lack an ideal site at the moment and the NIMBY groups are very vocal here.
    Option 3# Coliseum City
    Grate location (for football) the transportation access is second to none and its location puts it in the center of the Bay Area. The amount of land that could be developed at this site is its main sales point, but as ML has shown us through his work, it may not be reasonable to expect the Raiders and the A’s to be able to pull this off together, perhaps one or the other, but probable not both, because they both would need the development rights that come with the site, and at the moment it’s looking like that would be the Raider, if they and Oakland can get it together, which is no slam dunk.
    Option 4# Howard Terminal
    Beautiful location would be great, but the cost associated with infrastructure and possible clean up make this site easily the most cost prohibitive in the Bay Area.
    Option 5# Dublin/Pleasanton Camp Parks.
    Would be gate location between Silicon Valley and the East Bay, but Lew Wolff or no one ells has even talked about this area for the A’s, and the way the local residents have talk about the Raiders locating there (not supportive), I am not sure how much more they would receive the A’s.
    Option 6# out of the Bay Area
    We talk a lot about emerging MLB markets Portland and San Antonio, but it does not appear either will be ready to receive an MLB team anytime soon (10 years or more), on top of that there will be rumblings on the Seattle Mariners part with Portland, and on the two Texas teams part concerning San Antonio.

    The big wild card in all of this is tax revenue (or lack thereof), While it’s not a problem for Lew in San Jose, or Fremont (if a site can be found), it still maybe with the other owners, who may prefer wait for another community (10 more years), come up with those revenues that won’t be found in any of the Bay Area cities.

  18. this is why the whole process of getting / building a new stadium for the A’s in Oakland is so F.U . There is not transparency or accountability from anyone , any org or any fvking mayor.

    it is all rumors, guesstimate , bluff , BS, PR ……We have not seen any real legal docs or plan. OMG, we saw fantastic drawings of some fantasy baseball stadium that don’t exist

    Oh, wait they just fired some city admin, that counts for something right?

    LOL !

  19. @Lakeshore/Neil
    1) MLB only turned down Lew’s specific SJ plan after it had already been leaked that SJ was filing a lawsuit at the end of that week. MLB did it do slightly strengthen it’s case.

    2) What makes you think that the lawsuit is weak? Specifically, what part is most likely to cause SJ to lose?

  20. @lsn- don’t be so quick to dismiss SJ- LW was denied based upon what he proposed- doesn’t mean he can’t go back and modify his proposal (larger TR payout) to get SJ approved. Question is what makes most financial sense for the A’s. I doubt he is overly concerned about making a deal anywhere at this point- as long as he is getting $30M of welfare and franchise value continues to escalate- hence the request for a 10 year lease. He is a very patient man- imagine the embarrassment for MLB if the A’s do sign a 10 year lease to play in a crumbling shithole- especially considering they are expected to be a contending franchise for the next 2-3 years until they can’t afford their current roster of players-

  21. @k- there are hundreds of sites that are possible in the east bay- but doesn’t mean they are “viable” which implies it makes economic sense to move forward- once again east bay splitting hairs on definition to try and create an aura of actually doing something. Are piers 30/32 possible for the W’s- yes- but not viable based upon current cost estimates- and it didn’t take an EIR to figure that out-

  22. Regarding Dublin/Pleasanton Camp Parks, having to get over the Sunol Grade makes this a distinctly not-great site for people from the Silicon Valley.

  23. @Lakeshore

    Nice breakdown on the whole A’s and Raiders stadium issues….if Oracle was not in the way I would tear it down and split the Coliseum land in half….one side for the A’s and the other for the Raiders. …

  24. @Lakeshore/Neil, The ultimate objective of the San Jose lawsuits is to get MLB to ultimately accede to allow the A’s to move to San Jose. This favorable eventuality can occur with an out of court settlement, even before the courts get to a ruling. Hopefully, the lawsuit court process will create the opportunity for MLB to have to explain the rationale and justification for splitting one market(Bay Area) into two distinct separate, and unequal territories between its two teams. The more that the court process forces MLB to explain themselves, the more likely that there will be an out of court settlement. In no way would MLB risk jeopardizing their sacred ATE for the selfish benefit of any one particular franchise, favored or not.

  25. @Jeopardydd
    I am no one’s legal expert, but San Jose had an agreement on a land option? That’s not even a contract, so that by itself is pretty weak (IMHO), even if San Jose was successful, that does not mean it will result in San Jose getting the A’s.
    An agreement on potential land use, can be negotiated, let’s see how much would San Jose potently have lost. Hum, ok 50 thousand, MLB agrees to pay the 50 thousand, no problem for them, it does not necessarily get them the A’s even if they win.
    As I understand it San Jose’s, and like I said I am no legal expert (and don’t play one on TV), real chance at landing the A’s comes from challenging the ATE, well I hope they are successful but I don’t think this is the case that could overturn the ATE.
    Many people point to the Seattle case, there team had just been taken from them, does not campier to San Jose, many point to Tampa Bay, they had an agreement in place for a team and no other team was disputing the Tampa Area as their own the way the San Francisco Giants are in the San Jose situation.
    I am not picking a fight there is a lot I don’t know about this, one thing I do know is its not uncommon for commenters here to point to ML’s work or his statements (especially when Oakland is involved), to validate their clam, one way or another, I do believe he even stated he thought the case was weak, not sure but I think so, any way everyone may proceed in ripping apart what I said as invalid (on your marks get set..)
    Not dismissing the SJ lewisite (funny you and IIpec told me that); just think it’s a little weak. As I told him the only thing I think get dismissed here are any efforts that Oakland makes (understandable to a point), but damn
    I hope San Jose wins, because it’s starting to look, as if it’s the only way we keep our team.

  26. @IIpec
    I here you and I think I have stated that possibility several times, as a good strategy I hope it works.

  27. Not up for a fight today guys, I guess my point is that are team is in limbo, we all can have are opinions about the San Jose lawsuit, Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, San Francisco, the Giants, the Raiders, Sacramento, Portland, San Antonio, tax revenue, MLB, the BRC, Mayor Quan, Mayor Reed, Governor Brown, Robert Bobb, the Golden State (I mean SF), Warriors, H.T., Dirdon, Mark Davis, Lew Wolf, MLB player union, and a partridge in a pair tree, but our team is in LIMBO

  28. When is the next day in court re:San Jose Alva MLB…because it will be easier on Oakland to deal with the Raiders once the A’s can move to San Jose…I do wonder if Oakland would pull a jerk move and tell the A’s to find their temp home since they “betrayed”Oakland. ..

  29. Lakeshore,

    What you are basically suggesting is that SJ doesn’t have standing.
    This is not what the court found.

    Re: the antitrust part, the judge hinted that SJ could have standing under Section 16 of the Sherman Act.
    Re: the state claims, the judge found that they did, in fact have standing, due to the options contract (and yes, that is a contract).

  30. Jeopardy, actually the court hasn’t found anything in regard to standing.

  31. That should tell you something when the only Oakland-based franchise that sells out all the time and has no competition nearby is plain uninterested in staying. Much more $$$ to be made in Frisco, obviously…

  32. @PJK

    U are so right. To me its amazing the Oakland/East Bay media side have not told the Warriors to GTFO Oakland….Quan, Kaplan hell even Too Short have not been critical on the “Oakland Warriors”…but guess what apparently Stephen Curry and the Klay Thompson’s live in S.F and commute to Oakland for practice so that should tell u

  33. @ Jeopardydd
    I am suggesting that, I think San Jose’s claims are weak, ok they have a contract and is that contract worth a baseball team?, probable not, before this is over many Judges, will say many things, this may get to the Supreme Court as many hope it will (or thrown out), is that court going to do the right thing? Can that court be purchased?
    In my original comment I made a statement, and asked a question:
    “Hay guys out team is basically in limbo, don’t you think?” then I listed #6 options, five of them being in the Bay Area, and a wild card (tax revenue)
    So fare and not surprisingly, given some of the comments here, the only option I selected that has been challenged is (wait for it, wait for it.) Option 1# San Jose, through San Jose’s lewisite and how strong, or how weak it is, it may be strong (I hope so), it may be weak, but the question portion of my statement was whether or not you thought the A’s were in limbo? Does anyone here really think San Jose’s lewisite takes the A’s out of the position of being in limbo? The fact that San Jose had to file a lewisite suggests the team is in limbo.
    So let me try one more time “Hay guys our team is basically in limbo, don’t you think?”

  34. @lsn–its not the value of the land option contract—its the economic impact to SJ of MLB not making a decision. Also, SJ has more than just the land option contract–they have an EIR, design of a ballpark, have begun some work in dealing with infrastructure improvements (Autumn Parkway), council guidelines on negotiation with the A’s etc. While many of the legal pundits have questioned the strength of the case it has suprised these same pundits to be where its at today…on an expedited track in the 9th District. It was also interesting to have a lower court Judge Whyte indicate that the AT made no sense what so-ever but he was bound by current law and could not change that–that’s the role of the SC–to fix laws that are no longer applicable–

  35. @ GoA’s well as I said, I hope it is strong because it may the only thing that keeps the A’s in the Bay Area.

  36. dmoas,

    MLB argued lack of standing/failure to state a claim.

    The court re: the state contractual issues

    Judge Whyte was sufficiently swayed that the city had stated a claim under California law. Here’s the key language from the order:

    “The court finds that the complaint sufficiently alleges a “disruption” of the contract because, here, the A’s are unable to exercise the option due to MLB’s delay in conducting the vote pursuant to the MLB Constitution to approve or deny relocation. By asking the City to delay on a public vote on the stadium, the City was justified in assuming that MLB would make a decision within a reasonable time which it has not. Regardless of whether MLB ultimately approves or denies the relocation request—and the court has concluded that it is within MLB’s authority to decide either way—the A’s were recently forced by MLB’s delay to extend the Option Agreement for another year, or lose the option. As a result of MLB’s delay, the A’s incurred an additional $25,000 expense to renew the option, and the City is left waiting another year to sell the land set aside for the stadium in question. Fact questions remain regarding the City’s damages resulting from the alleged interference. The court cannot say at this stage that the City has incurred no damages owing to MLB’s frustration of the contract. Although MLB’s frustration of the Option Agreement is not an antitrust violation, MLB is nonetheless aware of the Option Contract and has engaged in acts (or rather, has failed to engage a vote pursuant to the MLB Constitution) indicating an intent to frustrate the contract. The court concludes that the allegations in the complaint are sufficient to state a claim for tortious interference with contract.”

  37. it may “be” the only thing that keeps the A’s in the Bay Area

  38. @Lakeshore,

    I asked you to expand on one part of your post. I am not obligated to discuss other, unrelated parts of your post.

    Re: the damages – SJ is not only claiming the cost to renew the option, but also consequential damages. The court stated that that is a question of fact, not law, and therefore survives the motion to dismiss (and will also require Discovery, which is something that can put a lot of pressure on MLB).

  39. @Jeopardydd Yes you are correct, you are not obligated, I hope San Jose’s suite is as strong as you and others think it is, as we will wait in LIMBO, for the outcome.

  40. One way to look at LW’s request for a 10 year lease- nets him minimum of $300M of welfare which could go a long way towards paying off the gints TR ransom. In essence you have baseball take care of the wrong they put in place by giving the gints SCCo rather than placing that burden on the A’s-

  41. …Good point, GoA’s. Selig talks Wolff into buying the team so Wolff can get a new stadium built. Wolff then finds the conditions so onerous (no site, no $$ in the A’s designated East Bay territory; Giants able to block A’s from going to San Jose) that he can’t get anything done. MLB, and not the A’s, should make the situation whole.

  42. Did I miss some agreement with MLB to give the A’s revenue sharing in perpetuity?

    I thought that it is only guaranteed until the expiration of the current CBA.

  43. @jdd- the cba which expires in 2016 affords wfare to the a’s until a new ballpark is built- hard to claim they are part of a large market when the are restricted to a small peice of that market. Since the ballpark issue won’t be resolved by 2016 they should have a good argument for staying on welfare.

  44. @ Pjk Selig brings Wolff in MLB to build a stadium, then throws him under the bus, even if Selig thought it could not (or did not want it to), work in ACCC, he know it was a good chance that his old friend may need San Jose when he asked him to come abord. Selig should have said “Hay look if you can’t get it built in Oakland or ACCC, would you be ok dowing it outside the Bay Area”

  45. Not to mention, Wolff gets to the be big bad villain, the pet whipping boy, of folks who don’t want to believe that that are major obstacles, perhaps insurmountable, to getting a new ballpark done in the current territory. “Lew lied, he never tried” and the other nonsense. With friends like Selig…

  46. Wow just 3 more years to go before all this stadium stuff is settled…here is my prediction…

    2016: MLB cba expires which will force mlb to finally address the A’s/Giants issue… something will happen guaranteed.

    By 2016/2017: We Should know about the Golden State Warriors have cleared all legal and financial hurdles to move to S.F…..or stay in Oakland if between that time S.F doesn’t do enough to get them…either way Oakland needs to plan what to do with a vacant Oracle Arena…

    By 2016/2017..Mark Davis…now I cant predict what he will do next year…whether he calls the bluff by moving to LA or Santa Clara. ..but if he is in Oakland in 2016-17..there is a good chance that a delayed new Raiders stadium could happen …especially when A’s and Warriors issues will be resolved by then…

  47. @Pjk That’s the part of this crap, that makes me fell Wolff was done wrong. @harry You are correct my friend, the good news is this can’t go on forever.

  48. @lake
    yeah man…I over summarized..but its just a couple more years of news and debate but by more running around mlb will decide on the A’s..Warriors will find out if S.F is viable…Raiders will find out if LA or waiting it out in Oakland is hang on fellas and enjoy the ride.

  49. @GoA’s

    There’s no guarantee that the Magic Astrix will be in the next CBA. All we know right now is that the A’s get revenue sharing so long as two things are true:
    a) The A’s stadium issues are not resolved; and
    b) the current CBA is in effect.

  50. @jdd–true–but we know that welfare is directed towards small market teams and that is expected to continue in the future as its MLB way of trying to drive parity (prefer what NHL and NFL do myself with hard salary cap). If I was a betting man I would say that this a premise of LW’s argument–make the Bay Area a true shared territory like all other 2 team large markets and welfare goes away once our stadium is built (whereveer in bay area it is built) or if you want to continue to limit my market via TR than the Bay Area can not be considered a “large market” for the A’s (since SF has 7 counties and I have 2) and therefore welfare continues. Recall that Boras has been a proponent of the A’s moving to SJ since it would increase revenues and theoretically drive up payroll which the union likes.

    I can’t, under any circumstances, seeing the A’s remaining trapped in a 2 county area and then being declared a large market team and not eligble for MLB welfare….I believe LW knows this and hence a 10 year lease in the same shithole with $30+M of annual welfare is better than being forced into a bad ballpark deal in Oakland…

  51. @GoA’s

    Maybe, but you are essentially arguing from a position of what’s far. But we’ve seen that that is not always the determining factor in baseball.

  52. *fair*, not far. typo

  53. what’s best, in the long term, for Oakland is to focus on retaining the A’s (and Warriors). That’s most likely to happen at the Coliseum Complex with the Raiders gone. I think Fred Blackwell gets this.
    It’s really simple. 81 x 25,000 versus 10 x 60,000. 2M v 600k. More tax revenue on concessions and tickets, greater potential for ancillary development.
    It’s pretty simple, show Lew a deal he can’t refuse and end the stalemate.

  54. @ Jeffrey,

    You know I love you man! 😉 IMHO in the eyes of Wolff and perhaps baseball itself, probably doesn’t matter what The O does for the A’s at this point (short of handing them over $1+ billion in public funding of course). Hell, if they can’t even work it out for the team that wants to stay in town!….
    (“It’s all about the payoff…”)

  55. Damn, how much longer do we have to be in the wilderness?

  56. “you are essentially arguing from a position of what’s far. But we’ve seen that that is not always the determining factor in baseball.”

    That’s one reason why we have a judicial system.

  57. @jeffrey–agree with you on what would be best (HT is a pipedream) but hasn’t Oakland publically said that Raiders are top priority? Guess we will have an idea when feasibility study of CC is released and if Raiders don’t sign on then it does open the door for LW to step in and serve as master developer of this project (wasn’t that his original proposal way back in like 2006). I personally don’t see the W’s in Oakland at all–still pisses me off that none of the East Bay media is asking Lacob why he doesn’t build at HT rather than SF–especially with his orginal plan for peers 30/32 DOA.

  58. @GoA’s
    Its ok for the Warriors to piss all over Oakland, and as you know I have been critical of some things Lew Wolff has done, but the Warriors (Raiders too), continually get a pass, for the way they treat Oakland and the East Bay.
    I would like to see what would happen if Lew Wolff decided to put the San Jose skyline in official A’s merchandise, I would like to see what would happen if he changed the name to San Jose (Golden State), today, I would like to see him open the season with a gala lunch (initialed welcome back), with San Jose politicians in downtown San Jose, while Jean Quan holds a pep rally the same day with no A’s representation on hand.
    I don’t even think the San Francisco/ East Bay media, would have a problem with the Raiders being in Sana Cara as some of them have mentioned this as an ideal solution for the Raiders (share with 49ers), but oh no the A’s can’t go to San Jose, never mind the fact, that had the SF Giants not lost two votes, this would be a moot point, because San Jose would already have a team.

  59. Sorry:
    The lunch inn was titled “Welcome Back”

  60. End the stalemate? Then go back to Fremont. Much easier to deal with 500 or so irrational NIMBYS than the financial, political realities of Oakland. Besides, you don’t want to reward Oakland pols for their continued ineptitude and the Giants for “cock blocking” San Jose. Fremont gets you $an Jose/$ilicon Valley AND is still in your designated territory. Become a “master developer” of land at Warm $prings/$ilicon Valley or in East Oakland? End the stalemate Mr. Wolff!

  61. @Tony D.
    I am with you on that one.

  62. re: Much easier to deal with 500 or so irrational NIMBYS

    …You mean 500 NIMBYs who could tie the whole ballpark process in court for 10 years because they have the means to do so? What’s the point of even pursuing it? Think: CEQA lawsuits.

  63. I think LW gave up on Fremont quickly because bs opened the door to SJ for him. Given that bs failed to perform I do believe, that if the SJ lawsuit is unsuccessful in driving a solution, then Fremont goes back on the table- remember he asked for a 10 yr lease at the Coli- plenty of time to resurrect it while still getting welfare-

  64. @GoA’s/ Tony D. / Pjk

    GoA’s I agree with your theory, as to why Lew gave up on Fremont, Bud probable gave him the green light (San Jose), that and a very vocal minority of NIMBY groups in Fremont.
    I would agree that giving Fremont a second look is a good idea, but as pjk points out, and I think ML has even backed him up on this, that there are no sites in Fremont that can be considered at this time, ML even suggested that we do our homework before throwing out sites in Fremont, which I have admittedly not done.

  65. @lsn- agree and the last thing LW wants to do is identifying potential new sites in Fremont as SJ negotiations progress- if a stake is ever driven in SJ effort then I would guess this might change-

  66. @Tony D and pjk

    Would u guys take BART or 880 north to go Coliseum Field for a A’s game? I can picture the Raiders happy with the Coliseum to themselves and the Warriors at Oracle Arena. ..I just feel with a extra venue at the Coliseum it would do wonders for the area.

  67. @GoA’s Good point about possible Fremont sites.

  68. @pjk,
    Do your homework re CEQA: it’s been “watered down” slightly to make it easier to approve projects located within a mile of primary transit lines (I.e. traffic studies). See Sac Kings proposed arena for details. If mitigation are put in place for game day traffic/parking concerns (I.e enforcement in nearby neighborhood), than NIMBYS have no case. See Levi’s Stadium for details. Can’t just file lawsuits just because you personally don’t like something; you got to come with cold hard facts.
    You’re spot on about Fremont
    Been driving 880/taking BART to A’s and Raiders games for years. And no, there will never be a “Coliseum Field” for the A’s in Oakland. Hope I answered your questions…

  69. Tony D: Do the A’s want to put their ballpark next to people who DO NOT WANT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES to have a ballpark near them? What’s the point of a “You’re going to get this ballpark and like it.” approach? I think Wolff even sent his son around to try to talk to these people and they were simply adamantly opposed to a ballpark and were not willing to consider any mitigations. I agree a ballpark near the Warm Springs BART makes enormous sense. But it won’t happen. Levi’ is not right across the highway from high-priced single-family homes like the Warm Springs site. There’s a few hotels there, Great America, some office buildings.

  70. @pjk,

    For the record, a Warm Springs (or Pac Commons) ballpark would be nearly a mile (or more) away from potential NIMBYS, not right next to them as you imply. Second, you continue to give to much power to a small group of completely irrational folks. Again, my former tax preparer lives in Mission San Jose right on the other side of 680, and at the time he could not understand all the fuss over ballpark opposition (he supported an A’s ballpark on economic grounds). And who cares if these idiots are “rich” and wealthy; the law is the law! Can’t provide facts to back up your case, THEN YOU HAVE NO CASE! It’s that simple. In closing, I feel you are still totally wrong on the this one; always will. Respectfully…

  71. From what I recall, these people were gathering 700 people a night to protest, set up “the Fremont Citizens Network,” claiming a ballpark brings “crime and chaos,” and Wolff told the president of MLB (Bob Depuy) not to come to a Fremont city meeting because Wolff didn’t want people yelling and screaming at him. Do the A’s want to go where they are not wanted? No, they don’t.

  72. @Tony D.
    Man you and GoA’s, have some really good points, and I think we all would agree that Fremont would be a stroke of genius by Wolff, to get as close to San Jose as he could without interfering with the the Giants precious TR’s, but Pjk makes some really good points too..
    If Wolff gets the 10 years at the Coliseum, as GoA’s suggest an opportunity could open up in Fremont within that time frame.

  73. I also would like to know what role the gints played in PAC Commons issues in Fremont- recall the picture of the gints execs taking their own guided tour of the proposed Fremont site- why did they care at the time and knowing how sneaky they are it wouldn’t surprise me one bit that they were pulling the puppet strings behind the curtain-

  74. GoAs: Yes I remember that, too. Why would the Giants be touring the A’s Fremont site? I think we all know the answer to that one.

  75. @GoA’s, pjk, Tony D.
    I am no one’s conspiracy theorist, but I don’t think there is any level the SF Giants would not stoop to, in der to sabotage any effort the A’s had toward building, hell and that was in the A’s so called territory.
    I don’t recall any A’s top brass over at China Basin, checking it out before the Giants built their ballpark.

  76. @Tony D…Lew Wolff should build Coliseum Field it would be a lot easy for a new ballpark

  77. Sorry: “SF Giants would not stoop, in order to sabotage any effort”

  78. @ pjk,
    Sucker! (Respectfully) meaning you’re falling for the oldest of NIMBY tricks: believing that the small vocal minority, who can organize and crowd town hall meetings, IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ENTIRE POPULACE. Should 700 obstructionists dictate for 200,000? Case in point: high speed rail enjoyed over 60% approval on the peninsula in 2008, yet (according to the media) the peninsula was “up in arms” over HSR because of bunch of geriatric NIMBYS against HSR crowded town hall meetings in PAMPA. Thankfully for all of us: majority rules and the law. I rest my case..

  79. Tony D…Coliseum field…even pjk would agree with me…

  80. Tony: I know you don’t like your ideas knocked down with cold, hard facts but what I’ve said is the truth: Fremont is dead and has been for five years now. Game over for Fremont in March 2009. Wolff has never talked about revisiting it. Especially when he’d probably have to put the ballpark within earshot of people who have shown the will to organize quickly against it and have taken a no-negotiations approach.

  81. @pjk- never say never- just like Amy Trask said about Raiders and SC- it’s business- doors are never shut completely

  82. @GoA’s Pjk Pjk you would agree that it could happen right? I mean if Wolff did get the 10 years at the Coli a lot of things could change in that time, dont you think?

  83. Possible but unlikely. (I like the idea of Wolff forcing MLB to sit in the decaying Coliseum for another decade while MLB refuses to make a decision. Enjoy more sewage spill news, MLB.)

  84. @Lake and Raiders fans on here

    Im a spiritual guy. I go on vibes. I have a feeling that if or when the Raiders test out playing games in Santa Clara…and the Raiders win games there…. can u imagine the karma Oakland-Raiders-Santa Clara would be going thru…I can see Mayor Quan begging the Raiders back that they will “work hard on getting a stadium”…I always felt that a winning Raiders team steals thr thunder from the 49ers (ex.1999-2002 john gruden era) I can see a winning Raiders team win over south bay private and public support. ..its similar how the SF Giants steals away the thunder from the A’s (2010-2012) what u think..

  85. @ harry I could see the Raiders doing well in SC on a short or long turm bases, but I really hope it works at CC it would be jacked if Oakland could not get it done with the one team that wants to get somthing done.

  86. Anybody brushed up on the old HOK study? after uptown… What was next? Anybody remember Coliseum North plan? The one Lew Wolff laid out for the Bay Area? With a pool on top of a high rise in Right Field? Anybody remember how he planned to pay for it? Anybody noticed the trend in Bay Area real estate?
    I am not saying it will happen. I am saying, without the Raiders… Oakland has some assets that they can use to pull a deal together at the Coliseum Complex (like the complex itself and real estate development). Without the Raiders, it’s more likely. The City benefits more by having the A’s in town than they do having the Raiders in town. A baseball stadium costs less than a football stadium so that development doesn’t have to generate as much as it would have to to help finance two stadiums (and really, we are talking about taking close to $1B in expense out of the equation).
    As Mark Davis said, not many developers are going to look at the Coliseum area as having a huge upside. So the typ of development, the pace of development, etc. That’s all going to have to work. There are plenty of unknowns and it is not a slam dunk. It’s a stretch, in fact.
    If the Ninth Circuit crushes all hope of that San Jose gambit… It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities. Lew’s not young, he probably wants to see something built in his lifetime (he’s got his San Jose soccer stadium under way and soon to be finished).
    Lew Wolff is a businessman. If there is a deal that works. If his risk is minimized. It’s not impossible.

  87. @Pjk I here you, on one hand I dont think Oakland should do it without a timeline (both sides), for a commitment by the A’s to build, but on the other hand if Lew needs the time to work somthing out in San Jose or Fremont, well as you know I would rather that, then them out of the Bay Area, and like you said it would be nice to see Lew stick it to MLB, after all they can’t make him build it.

  88. @jeffrey- sure I can see it- but it’s based on the city of Oakland blowing off the Raiders for the A’s. Would the city leaders be able to stomache the outcry from the raider nation?

  89. Oakland would be or will be in trouble if
    /when Raiders try out Santa Clara, A’s can move to San Jose and GS Warriors move to S.F…that would be another mayor that would have to deal with those issues…while still paying off the Coliseum and arena. It would be Oakland/East Bay fault for not pulling their private and public funding support together

  90. Also- even though Coli parking lot was number 2 – Haggerty said at the time “But Haggerty said the Fremont site might be most attractive to the A’s because the team could tap into Silicon Valley corporate and fan support without running afoul of the territorial rights the San Francisco Giants claim in Santa Clara County.”

  91. If Oakland had a choice, it should be the A’s (big if), it would be not only the smart thing to do, it would almost make up for doing nothing (45 years), for the only team they have that has not left (Raiders), or will not take their name (Warriors)

  92. @GoA’s and Jeffery

    Raider Nation is a lot more stronger then A’s nation…that ia a fact…I do feel that A’s fans need to generate a identity like Raiders fans (Gorilla-illa, Darth Raider, the make-up, the costumes etc etc…. ) it will help the A’s product today and in the future with a new ballpark…and again the A’s need to get more or if any black players on their team…I would love to see CC Sabithia and A.McCutchen as Oakland A’s. …I do challenge the black community of Oakland to support the A’s especially with the threat of them leaving for San Jose soon…

  93. “Its not impossible,” Jeffrey, 2014.

    Well…perhaps such a statement makes much more sense for Fremont, but East Oakland? Now? How much commercial/office/residential construction is going on in Oakland vs San Francisco/Silicon Valley/San Jose? Hint: not much (if at all). Again, the Raiders troubles at the Coli/Oakland are very telling re the development promise of Coliseum City. Wolff is a smart real estate developer who DOESN’T want to be in Oakland (much like the Warriors brass). Remember, MLB can tell him where he can’t build BUT they can’t tell him where to build. Oakland would be much better off catering to the team that wants to stay; very easy. Make it happen for the Raiders Oakland!

    Re Coliseum north WAY back in the day; IMHO it was a complete ruse to prove to MLB that Oakland couldn’t do squat for the A’s. They were proven right…

  94. There is plenty of wishful thinking going here concerning the MLB ATE – even if the Ninth Circuit Court rejects SJ’s appeal. The attorney representing San Jose has already stated that they will take the case all to way to the SCOTUS if needed.

    The MLB ATE is equilevant to an old municipal law (still in the books) requiring that horse troughs be placed within city limits. It is very outdated. The idea that MLB conducts business within state lines only is comical. The Yankees and Dodgers, for example, each earn $300 mil. annually from their cable tv rights deals – those teams don’t even need to charge admission and they could still be profitable. The site earns $600 mil. annually. There is no way (these days) that MLB can still be considered a intra-state business only. The courts are bound to overturn the MLB ATE – sooner rather than later.

  95. Interesting thought Duffer. You know, I’ve been very critical of the SJ lawsuit, even myself referring to it as “weak.” But I’ve been thinking: is strength of a case necessary to get a favorable judgment from the courts? Does a law or right simply have to be violated in the eyes of the court to get a favorable judgment, regardless if the claim is viewed as weak or strong? Just food for thought..

  96. @Tony D

    Omg here is food for thought. ..San Jose is not happening…either Coliseum Field or out the bay area …your choice dude…now go roll one up and cAll it a night…good grief

  97. @harry- food for thought- could come down to Oakland having to make a choice between the raiders and A’s at CC in order for it to pencil out. I understand JQ trashed LW for now saying he might be interested in CC- as Jeffrey pointed out earlier, from a development perspective, the A’s are a much more attractive tenant than the Raiders- should find out in spring when feasibility study is released-

  98. The Raiders, the team that actually wants to work it out in Oakland, is having the hardest of times trying to get a deal done at the Coli. Even giving The O an ultimatum that they could (again) leave for greener pastures if the city doesn’t get its act straight.

    YET if the Raiders do leave we have some here championing the A’s to make it work at the Coli, as if a hypothetical stadium deal and development would be smooth as silk, a slam dunk! Really people? Never mind dealing with Oakland pols who continue to trash Wolff in the media, never mind the economic realities of Oakland and never mind that the A’s (like Warriors) don’t want to be in The O.

    Harry commenting to me “good grief.” Anyone else other than myself find that to be hilarious? Talking about “good grief:” Coliseum Field. Now that’s a good one, LOL!!

  99. guys… chill the hell out.
    Of course it’s still Lew’s plan to be in San Jose. I am not saying it isn’t.
    The whole “Raiders can’t figure it out and they want to stay. Raider Nation is stronger than A’s Nation. Oakland Pols talking trash. Supreme Court will change the ATE” line of bullshit is just that: bullshit.
    What I mean by that is “talk is cheap.” Cash (and other financial instruments) is king. The Raiders can’t figure it out because their stadium is going to coast a shit ton of money and the development opportunities around the Coliseum + available East Bay corporate presence isn’t enough to make up the gap for a $1B project. Raiders Nation doesn’t include many fans that have the kind of scratch it takes to privately finance a stadium (also part of the problem). That’s the strength that matters… Not willingness to wear face paint and spiked shoulder pads (though the spirit of Raiders fans is truly remarkable and awe inspiring).
    I have read several opinions on what will happen with the ATE. Here’s the truth… None of us know. The appeal could confirm the lower court ruling and the Supreme Court could refuse to take the case and it’s over. That could happen in the next year.
    If that does happen, as some lawyers have theorized, who do you think MLB is going to want to work with on a stadium project? The new Mayor of Oakland, who presumably won’t be Quan and won’t be someone who has trashed Wolf in the media… Or the City that tried to sue the Hell out of them? One of those things cost money, the other is cheap.
    I agree that the easiest path to financing a stadium is at Diridon. That’s why it always perplexes me that Bud Selig has acted like such a pansy. But, fact is… He has acted like a pansy and hasn’t made San Jose happen in 5 years. Why would he now?

  100. @jeffrey- agree with everything you said other than the line of who would MLB want to work with… Other than the TR issue it’s not their call as LW as pointed out in the past. I personally feel, like you, this is all dollars and cents- cost of TR to SJ make Diridon unfeasible- a successful outcome to the lawsuit could change that but if it isn’t successful I could see LW going back to the drawing board unless CC is a win for him and that means no Raiders. He recognizes at this point he won’t see the stadium built in his lifetime but if he is able to get the process in motion with a site and financing then he can leave it to his family and grandson to finish.

  101. Yeah, I hear you, but it has happened before, MLB negotiating around an owner. Though the only MLB negotiating around an owner situation I can recall is Miami. That didn’t work out so well for anyone, admittedly.

  102. @Jeffrey
    I am sort of with GoA’s on this one, I agree with you on just about everything, but I don’t think San Jose’s lawsuit against MLB makes it any less likely that MLB will allow the A’s to build there, provided San Jose loses the lawsuit of cores.
    The way I see the lawsuit from the MLB’s standpoint, San Jose is trying to force them into making a decision on San Jose’s terms, with San Jose as the only option, as appose to MLB making the decision on MLB’s terms, with San Jose being on of a two or three options.
    San Jose going after MLB legally makes it no more or, less likely that MLB will chose San Jose, again provided that the lawsuit is not successful…

  103. ‘But, fact is… He has acted like a pansy and hasn’t made San Jose happen in 5 years. Why would he now?”

    If even the prospect of a favorable court ruling for San Jose becomes an apparent possibility, then MLB would be more than willing to throw the favored Giants under the bus. At that point, MLB would have no choice other than to give approval of the A’s move to San Jose. It’s very sad that MLB could not make, what would be, the correct decision on its own; but would ultimately have to be coerced to do it via the legal process.

  104. Well…Tampa Bay business interests sued the hell out of MLB…AND WE’RE AWARDED AN EXPANSION FRANCHISE. Don’t think SJ’S lawsuit (whether a win or loss) means SJ will forever look bad in the eyes of MLB. It’s still a serious money maker for MLB to have the A’s in SJ. In essence, MLB is really fighting against its best interest (making $) by not allowing Wolff SJ. And for what…to keep one ultra – wealthy team happy?

    Still feel strongly at the end of this saga the A’s will find a way to SJ. Will sure be nice to be talking about Cisco Fields construction and WHY THE HELL IT TOOK SO LONG. Keep the faith all, it will happen.

  105. Last thought on this drawn out thread: despite our in house NIMBY champion and Fremont naysayer, I still feel southern Alameda County is “Plan B” if San Jose falls through, not the Coliseum parking lot. That is all.

  106. @ Tony

    You’re a rambling lunatic. Obviously.

  107. Noting the article in the SV biz Journal where LW is exploring a temporary stadium. Could be a great opportunity to try out Fremont- permitting approvals and regulatory red tape are much less because it’s temporary. I also respect how he chose to ignore baer’s useless “neighborly thing to do ” in offering ATT as a temporary home for the A’s- bottom line this whole thing is about maintaining options to manage risk-

  108. @Tony D. If it ever comes to a “Plan B”, much of that decision will hinge on where the Raiders will ultimately wind up. If the Raiders are not able to work out a CC stadium deal and wind up either in Santa Clara or LA, the A’s could wind up becoming the sports venue anchor in the CC project. I do not envision two new outdoor sports facilities being built on the CC property. Lew Wolff is still very much hopeful that his A’s will be playing in a new ballpark in San Jose sometime in the not too distant future. If need be, he would be willing to stay at the Coliseum for an extended period of time, if that would help accomplish his goal. At this point, the impacting circumstances are out of his hands.

  109. In the San Jose Business Journal article, Mayor Chuck Reed says that the city will help in finding a temporary site if the A’s want it in San Jose.

    It does seem that this temporary stadium thing is Lew Wolff’s way of getting this issue resolved. I think he wants a lease in Oakland that doesn’t tie him long term to Oakland. Obviously Oakland wants the opposite. If Oakland says to agree to their lease terms or else, Wolff will do the or else part and build a temporary stadium.

  110. Reed also says the city will not pay for any of it. MLB is wasting its time if it thinks San Jose taxpayers will help pay for any ballpark…A temporary stadium. It’s come to this. Thanks, Selig. In any other industry, where there is no monopoly, Selig’s failure to decide on this issue would have had him canned years ago…

    • This thread has gone on way too long. I’ll cover the temporary ballpark possibility in my next post.

  111. I can’t see it happening in SCCo for the same reasons a permanent stadium can’t happen there–or at least not yet. That’s why Fremont may be a good choice for a test run–

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