Oakland’s reckoning: Raiders or A’s?

More info about the pending lease extension came out via Lowell Cohn over the weekend and from Mark Purdy today. If you’ve been following the story since November, you’ll know that there aren’t many new items here. Yes, the A’s will pay slightly more in rent than they are now or were in the last lease. Yes, they want to put in new scoreboards. And yes, the lease term will be 10 years, with an escape clause if the Raiders build a new stadium that forces the A’s to be displaced. There is one new wrinkle, in that the “eviction” process for the A’s will include a 2 year advance notice by the JPA. That should allow the A’s enough time to properly scope out temporary venues, whether they are existing ballparks in the region or something else like a temporary new stadium. It should also put MLB at ease since they won’t have to go into scramble mode trying to make accommodations for the A’s or visiting clubs.

Cohn’s long blog post is probably the most evenhanded take he’s ever had on Lew Wolff. That alone is notable. More importantly, the post gets comments from both Wolff and Raiders owner Mark Davis on their desires for the Coliseum. Davis confirmed that he would prefer the Raiders to have Coliseum City to themselves. In Purdy’s piece, Wolff confirmed that he has no interest in Coliseum City as currently (or formerly) conceived, citing the complexity of acquiring land for the whole project, three-quarters of which (600 acres) is privately held. Wolff has experience with this, having explored and failed with that option, the Coliseum North/66th-High plan.

Wolff is a developer, and unlike the Coliseum City-Raiders concept, doesn’t need to bridge a $500-600 million funding gap. There could still be a gap, but that could be filled in by the usual private commitments (premium seat lock-in, charter seats, season ticket subscriptions). In turn, Wolff could develop the Coliseum in a more phased manner, with fewer pie-in-the-sky projections. Like Davis, Wolff wants control of a single venue and all of the revenue streams that come with it.

“But under no condition will we become a tenant of anyone in a new facility,” Wolff said. “We have to control our own destiny . . . We would be interested in the land that’s under city control. Once we’ve extended our lease, we can examine that.”

Moreover, Wolff continued to dismiss Howard Terminal, even go so far as to make the elimination of that site as a condition of negotiating on a new Coliseum ballpark, should that opportunity arise.

Naturally, there will be grousing by many in the stAy crowd about Wolff’s supposed fear of Howard Terminal. That’s ridiculous. It really comes down to two things: focus and resources. Right now Oakland is focusing most of its pro sports effort on Coliseum City through the JPA. It has spent money on an EIR, a draft of which is due in weeks. Howard Terminal, on the other hand, has no EIR even started yet. OWB, the group supporting the site, is providing $50-100k on limited work. The rest of the EIR will take at least 18 months from the start and would probably cost $2-3 million to complete. Wolff, having seen prior reports on Howard Terminal, sees this as a waste of money, time, and effort. Why spend $2-3 million to prove a negative? If OWB wants to spend that money, let them. They have the most to gain from an HT park. Something tells me that they won’t.

Then I started to think about the stadium boom of the last 25 years. I tried to figure out if there were any cities or municipalities that worked on two completely new stadium projects within the same city or market simultaneously. There aren’t many examples.

  • New York City – Citi Field & Yankee Stadium built at the same time, opened in 2009 thanks to Rudy Giuliani muscling it through.
  • Philadelphia – With Veterans Stadium and The Spectrum getting old, three venues replaced those two: Wells Fargo Center (1996), the Linc (2003), and CBP (2004).
  • Cleveland – The Jake (Progressive Field) and Gund Arena (The Q) both opened in 1994 thanks to the implementation of a city-wide sin tax.
  • Glendale, AZ – Jobing.com Arena and University of Phoenix overlapped by mere months, and have nearly bankrupted Glendale in the process.
  • Pittsburgh – Heinz Field and PNC Park opened flanking the now-departed Three Rivers Stadium.
  • Houston – Toyota Center and Reliant Stadium (NRG) also overlapped by a year and are in different parts of the city.
  • Seattle – Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field were timed to replace the Kingdome in short order.

Five of those cities had two venues built next to each other. The dual ballparks in NYC, an outlier due to circumstances, happened thanks to shady politics and shadier financing arrangements. The rest were your typical boom-era projects with huge amount of public funding. Most other venues are single-issue, pushed by the teams, and have their own unique financing structure. Oakland and Alameda County aren’t in the position those other cities are, not if various elected officials want to keep their jobs. The Raiders stadium will cost around $1 billion, while the A’s ballpark could cost $500-700 million depending on site. Oakland’s not going to be able to foot even 25% of each venue, so why would Davis and Wolff entertain the JPA’s grand schedule if they’re the ones footing the bill. The last thing Wolff and Davis want is Oakland to have divided focus on two projects that could ultimately compete against each other for scarce resources, whether money or personnel. They’re looking out for their franchises first and foremost. If Oakland gets a civic boost, great, but that’s not paramount for the owners.

And that’s why Oakland will inevitably have to choose between these two teams. Just building a single stadium, getting it approved, getting it vetted by civic groups and voters, will be its own set of difficult tasks. That demands full, undivided attention. If Oakland can’t provide that, it’s worth asking how truly serious Oakland is about all of this. That’s what Wolff and Davis are asking.

96 thoughts on “Oakland’s reckoning: Raiders or A’s?

  1. “That demands full, undivided attention. If Oakland can’t provide that, it’s worth asking how truly serious Oakland is about all of this. That’s what Wolff and Davis are asking.”

    When was the last time Oakland demonstrably provided its “full, undivided attention” on anything?

    My guess would be the rebuild after the Berkeley Hills fire. Anybody got anything else?

  2. I just don’t see Oakland conceding on any of the teams. The city will continue to try to shoehorn in new stadium proposals that don’t involve any city or county money (when there is none to have for stadiums). The teams and leagues, or one of each, at least, will have to be the ones deciding its over in Oakland.

  3. It’s good to see that the obvious question (one or the other) that needed to be asked for 10 years is finally coming to a head. Kind of amazing that after all this time Oakland might keep the A’s after all, and if it takes a commitment that drives the Raiders out again, I’d say so be it. It can be argued the extent to which stadiums truly act as the economic engines they’re cracked up to be, but if you’re picking one over the other,30,000+ 81 times a year vs. 10 football games seems like a no brainer, especially given that the football stadium will always be the second choice for any big event to Levi’s.

    Minor correction on New York – Guiliani made deals for two new stadiums (with retractable roofs!) in his last few days and tried to get some steam behind them, but Bloomberg quickly exercised escape clauses before eventually reaching different terms.

  4. I was at Safeco Field last weekend, and almost made a Sounders game. That pairing is beautiful with train station clock tower on the adjacent block. I also walked the perimeter of the Rogers Arena and BC Place a few days later. BC Place is another gorgeous structure when lit up. So, each Vancouver and Seattle have a pair of sports venues in their downtown areas.

    As for the list of dual stadia/arena projects above, you can’t forget about the Mount Davis/Coliseum Arena II construction in ’95-’97.

  5. re: The A’s ownership is definitely not embracing the “Coliseum City” project championed by many East Bay leaders, at least partially because just 200 of the 800 acres in the plan are now owned or controlled by the city.

    …Wow, that’s an eye-opener. Who’s going to pay for the other 600 acres? I thought the city ownership of the land was the key enticement and it turns out they only have 25% of it. (Does Purdy actually means controlled by the city and county, not just the city?)

    • @pjk – The 600 acres is Part B, the area on the other side of 880. It’s been ignored because it wouldn’t be developed years, even decades after the venues are built. Yet that’s the area that’s needed to help pay for everything.

  6. re: a $500-600 million funding gap.

    …In other places, this gap gets bridged by the city, county and state. Notso in California.

  7. ML is right; Oakland has to pick one team and Wolff has made it clear without directly saying it.

    He knows he cannot build on the Coliseum site as long as the Raiders are there.

    Raiders games pack the parking lot to the point of needing to use the overflow lots across 880. If a new stadium is constructed in the main lot or even the old Homebase site it would be a nightmare for Raiders fans….Even Warriors fans until the team leaves for SF.

    By saying he is “interested” in building at the Coliseum site he is extending an “olive branch” to Oakland.

    A baseball stadium will be far easier to build than a football stadium. Oakland can pitch in 100M and Wolff can do the rest or 300M-400M. Versus Oakland pitches in 100M and the Raiders 200M there is still a 500M gap.

    Wolff is trying to make Oakland see the “light” and let go of the Raiders who can move to Santa Clara and play in a state of the art stadium with zero capital investment.

    But we all know Oakland, they will linger and let both teams rot since neither has no where to go. Raiders by choice the A’s by force (Giants/MLB).

    Oakland deserves to lose all 3 teams…

  8. Regarding the Raiders funding gap: Are they expecting Colony or whomever mystery developer to fund the $500M through the Part B development? And if that is years down the road, they are expecting a loan on this with the development company? The city to pick up the loan? I’m still having a hard time understanding how any of the CC plans make any sort of financial sense if you are counting on development on the West Side of 880.

    I have always gotten the impression that the majority of the Davis family wealth is tied directly to the franchise value, so it would make little to no sense for them to take on a loan. The more I read about CC for a football stadium, it seems more and more outlandish.

  9. Doesn’t Colony want a huge chunk of ownership of the team, which would theoretically at least give them access to a big chunk of the Raiders’ TV revenues? While the team does not do well at the Box Office (tarping seats, many luxury suites sitting empty), the big TV cash is a guaranteed source of revenue. But what would forking that over to Colony mean for making the Raiders’ payroll? Of course, this is all theoretical since I don’t really know what Colony wants or if the TV revenue would be part of any deal.

  10. Looking at the HOK study in 2001 they have a Coliseum ballpark next door to Oracle Arena on the backside on the parking lot or on the 66th Ave side.

    The cost in 2001 was 400M flat. With inflation it should be around 450M-500M in this day and age since nothing has been to the site in general since.

    Building at the Coliseum makes sense for this reason and I see why Wolff is looking at it.

    He just needs Oakland to give up on the Raiders and CC and just do a baseball stadium only and give Wolff rights to develop adjacent city owned land so he can re-coup his private investment.

    But this all is contingent on MLB allowing the A’s to stay on revenue sharing…..That is such a big moving part and I think that is why MLB rejected the Coliseum years ago.

  11. Apologies, I meant to say I think that was “part” of the reason MLB rejected the Coliseum years ago that and it not being in a urban downtown setting.

  12. Well, it looks like MLB wants the A’s to stay in Oakland but wanted a downtown site (no can do) or a waterfront site (no can do) and wanted the A’s off revenue sharing when the stadium is built (no can do). If MLB wants to confine the A’s to their current territory, then, as I and others have said, show the A’s the money to enable that to happen (as in permanent revenue-sharing). Have the A’s rebuild in the same old parking lot, throw in some stores and condos and give the A’s a big MLB check every year. Problem solved. MLB continues to let vast amounts of corporate dollars sit on the table by turning down San Jose so maybe money is not as important to MLB as we thought.

  13. @pjk/Sid
    I believe we (most of us here), have held the view that MLB would have to be flexible concerning the revenue sharing program, if they wanted the A’s to say in Oakland/ACC., the only way I think they may have gotten around that would have been Fremont.
    @pjk
    Re: “I just don’t see Oakland conceding on any of the teams.”
    I agree with you here, I don’t think Oakland will make a decision, or choice, I think it will be made for them. It all comes down to Mark Davis and just how much he really wants to build at the coliseum (if at all), if he wants it bad enough he will have to sacrifice more then he wanted, and perhaps a little more than he is comfortable with, because Oakland/Alameda county will not come up with the money, that other municipalities will come up with.
    Davis has a motive that goes beyond money, or community pride, his father is rests in Oakland, his mother will probably be put to rest there as well, his father’s legacy of a true trail blazer and idea of a Raiders hall of fame, must be built in the Mecca of Raider history OAKLAND. It’s not just about money with Mark, because if it were he would have sold to L.A. interest a long time ago.
    If Mark can’t pull it off (choice one), then the door opens for Wolff (choice two), Wolff is only listed as the second choice, because he won’t make a choice in till the Raiders have to make one, and of course since it does not look although he will get his prefer choice San Jose. He may consider his third or forth choice land at the coliseum.
    ML said “it’s worth asking how truly serious Oakland is about all of this. That’s what Wolff and Davis are asking. “
    Well it’s also worth asking how truly serious Wolff and Davis are about all this. That’s what Oakland is asking.
    The idea that Oakland has to make a “CHOICE”, is a bit misleading, we are not even sure Oakland is in the position to make a choice (if and when, they ever are); we can only hope they will actually make one.
    BTW: The fact that Oakland, and (or) Alameda county only own or control 200 of the 800, would seem to be a bit of a problem, sense that was supposed to be the selling point in the first place..

  14. Lakeshore: Tough for Oakland pols to maintain an air of victimhood if they come out and say, “Bye bye Raiders – it’s been fun.” Much easier for them to let the Raiders or the NFL, the A’s or MLB, declare the Raiders and/or the A’s gone, then the pols can field questions about how poor victim Oakland is being pushed around again…

  15. Who here thinks if and when the A’s sign the 10-year lease, regardless of the terms, that it will finally nudge the Raiders to make a decision this Winter regarding their status in Oakland?

    The lease may be the final straw for the Raiders that sends them to Santa Clara or Los Angeles.

  16. @pjk

    I can’t see any situation whatsoever in which MLB continues to give the A’s revenue sharing after getting a new ballpark.

    I think it’s possible it could even go the other way – remove it even without a new ballpark.

  17. ML,

    What do you think an A’s World Series run would mean in terms of press coverage and focus on the stadium situation? Would Selig feel pressure to broker a deal between the A’s and Giants for San Jose? Not doing so would seem to expose a black eye to the world that only the Bay Area knows best. What better stage than to discuss sewage issues and a crumbling stadium than MLB’s world showcase event?

  18. there is no freaking way MLB would stop the RS for the A’s w/o a new park. Maybe when the earth crashes and burns to hell.

  19. @ Alex
    I could totally see that happening, Davis really should have worked with the 49ers in the first place. It’s not my preference, but at this point something has got to happen, love it, like it, hate it, does not matter, all the bull s#it is finally coming to a head.

    @ jeopardydd
    I sure hope you are wrong, with all the evidence we have the A’s would have to be eligible for revenue sharing in Oakland for it to work, nothing suggest they would be a top 10 revenue team in Oakland, perhaps not even top 15, it’s not even a slam dunk that they would be a top 10 revenue team in San Jose.
    Help me out here you have both the N.Y. teams, both the L.A. teams, Boston, the Cubs, Philadelphia, the Rangers, Toronto, and the SF Giants, I could be little off, perhaps I am missing a team, or don’t have them slotted correctly, but the fact is even the A’s in San Jose would have a hard time cracking the top 10, but the unfortunate truth is we could lose our team. Oakland, San Jose, and the rest of the Bay Area, along with all of baseball, to a much smaller degree but we could all lose.

    @ daniel
    I agree. I don’t see how they could.

  20. It’s scheduled to stop when the current labor agreement is over. They’ll have to put it in again. I think they will, but they made a big deal about it being a temporary thing, and listed the A’s as a team that won’t be getting it in the future.

    They will probably keep it going until the A’s get a new stadium, but it’s not close to a guarantee. And there’s almost zero chance of it after the A’s get a ballpark.

  21. Honestly I think the decision has already been made for Oakland by Kaplan. If the A’s sign a long term lease with the city it’s a pretty clear sign, even with the 2 yr notice clause, to the Raiders and Colony that their pipe dream is going to remain that. Kaplan may be just what Oakland needed, someone decisive enough to bite the bullet and tell one of the teams they’re SOL when it comes to building in Oakland.

  22. If the A’s are forced to stay where there is poor corporate support and no public support, how does MLB expect the A’s pay the bills (which will be pretty big in a privately funded ballpark) without revenue-sharing? MLB wants the A’s in Oakland, so it should, well, step up to the plate and do what needs to be done. MLB should look at the A’s based on actual conditions (a small market team confined to a struggling city that has no money for a ballpark, and plays a distant second fiddle to a team 8 miles away) and not on fantasy conditions (a Big $$ Big Market Team).

  23. @ pjk
    Could not have said it better myself, MLB can’t have it both ways, or should not be able to have it both ways, if they are going to require the A’s be off of the revenue sharing program then they need to open up San Jose, if not they need to be prepared to do their part, after all they are the people requiring Wolff to build in Oakland/Alameda Contra Costa counties.

  24. Or there’s a third option. Perhaps MLB sees more potential in Oakland’s future prospects for growth than many on here, myself included, do. I mean the entire region has begun to see a big shift in gentrification that will eventually subsume even parts of Oakland. Perhaps MLB sees more market potential in the A’s limited east bay territory than we can fathom.

    While I’m still dubious on the idea, seeing the changes wrought on the Bay Area in just the last 5 years I’d not be surprised if the area around even the Coliseum didn’t organically become a nicer more affluent area eventually in the next 15-20 years independent of any of the city’s machinations regarding Coliseum City.

  25. Oakland has been stagnant in population and it has $2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. It also trails in tech businesses, things like that. There aren’t too many numbers that people can look at and project that Oakland will be a boom town soon. Oakland has less than half the population of San Jose and nothing close to the number of corporate HQs that the South Bay has. By keeping the team in Oakland, MLB is artificially constraining the franchise’s revenue-generation possibilities, particularly when there’s another far more popular team 8 miles away. So MLB should be prepared to make up the difference in revenue potential of the South Bay vs. revenue potential of the East Bay.

  26. @ pjk

    ah, I see where you are getting confused. You are hung up on what’s fair.

    Let me ask you this: Has MLB ever concerned itself with what is fair to the A’s?

    Anyway, the MLB Constitution specifically says that the A’s will not get revenue sharing after they get a new park.

  27. Jeopardy: Does MLB want another NJ Devils situation where the team’s finances were so bad it couldn’t pay its bills? If the A’s are in a situation where the team does not make enough money to pay its creditors – a situation specifically heaped upon it by the MLB’s stance on where the team has to play its games – then it is up to MLB to make the franchise whole. What good will it be if the A’s need, say, $200 million to operate every year but they can only generate $150 million? What does that do to franchise values to have a franchise in bankruptcy court? We already know corporate support in the East Bay is weak and public support nonexistent. The money has to come from somewhere.

  28. @pjk

    MLB is fine with huge disparities in revenue/profit.

    The A’s are not going to go bankrupt if they get a new stadium because they won’t build a stadium unless there’s a ton of profit in it. I think we’ve seen that much over the many years.

  29. So if there won’t be huge profits, then the A’s stay in the sewage-spewing football stadium for years to come. Revenue-sharing could very well be the difference between the team breaking even/making a few dollars or losing money.

  30. Perhaps. The A’s could also just cut payroll by a fair amount and make a profit without revenue sharing.

  31. @ jeopardydd
    Come on man, you know you can’t lower the payroll to much, because then the players union would be all over you. I always in joy your input,and there are times you bring up great point’s I may not have thought of, but I think pjk has got you on this one.

  32. Keep both and stop the suggestive foolishness.

  33. MLB cannot have it both ways, force the A’s to remain within their less lucrative designated East Bay territory, and at the same time end their eligibility to receive revenue sharing. If MLB truly wants for the A’s to give up their revenue recipient status, MLB must allow the A’s to build their new ballpark at the Bay Area site of their own choosing. In other words, return the Bay Area market into one truly shared territory, as are the other shared markets in MLB.

  34. If the MLB’s damn ATE was tossed out, like basically every legal analysis thinks it should be, this wouldn’t be an issue. That is one dinosaur that just needs to die already.

  35. I really do think what’s going to end up happening is that the Raiders will have to share Levi’s with the Niners. People will tout Los Angeles as a possibility for the Raiders but I don’t believe the business community there will get behind the Raiders in providing corporate support (the most lasting legacy of the ‘Los Angeles’ Raiders is the gangster association; LA has worked very hard the last 15 years to get rid itself of that association and image).

    If Oakland is smart – and perhaps if Kaplan is elected mayor – I believe more of the focus will shift towards the A’s. Now you may ask: “what about Coliseum City?” I quite frankly don’t believe that will happen. The Coliseum is located in one of the most economically depressed communities in all of the Bay Area; who supports all these proposed businesses at CC? And more importantly, who invests? Oakland is one of the largest cities in the country to not have an actual shopping mall within its city limits. Eastmont Mall ceased to be a real mall more than 20 years ago and most Oaklanders unfortunately do all their retail shopping in other cities.

    So as I see it, if any work is actually done to get a new stadium built in Oakland, the focus will shift to the A’s. The Raiders will probably be forced to move to Levi’s with the Niners, and similar to the Jets/Giants in New Jersey, neither team will be playing in the cities they’re named for.

  36. @BayMetro, Ever since the 49ers did the difficult task of getting a new stadium built in Santa Clara, I always believed that the Raiders would ultimately wind up there, too. The 49ers have the financial, corporate backing, and political wherewithal to get a new stadium deal done, while the Raiders do not. If there is any chance of Oakland retaining any of its teams, the Oakland A’s have the best and only realistic chance of staying. However, to induce the A’s to build their own ballpark at the Coliseum site, both Oakland and MLB will have to provide enough incentives to the A’s to make that site financially viable enough for the A’s to go ahead and build their ballpark at what they believe to be a less desirable site.

  37. @Lakeshore

    There are currently teams with $35 million lower payroll than ours. I don’t know why you think that the players union would be able to do something to the A’s for doing what other teams are currently doing.

  38. Again, I said that it’s possible they could remove it in the future without a new ballpark.
    I also specifically said, MULTIPLE TIMES that I don’t think they would. How is that “pjk getting me” on anything? I was agreeing that it’s unlikely.

    The strongest statement I said was that, while I don’t think it would happen, it’s even more likely than what pjk was saying about us continuing to get it even with a new stadium.

    The CBA lists the A’s as not receiving revenue sharing, but says that the A’s can get it until a new stadium. It doesn’t say that they can get it until MLB makes territory changes.

  39. I still question what incentive the ‘9ers have at this point to share their new stadium with the Raiders given that it is sold out and they have by-and large managed the construction costs with the SBL prgoram. I know everyone mentions the “3rd locker room”- reality is that had to be included if they expected to host anything but football which they obviously will—note the recent partnership with the Earthquakes. From a Raiders perspective what is better—paying rent to play in a new stadium that doesn’t reflect your team at all or continue to play at the Coli as is where they pay minimal rent and are able to keep parking fees etc. I wouldn’t be suprised to see Davis come back and ask for a 5-10 year lease while they try to figure it out in Oakland–I really think his options are limited–

  40. @ jeopardydd
    I am sorry I guess I should have read a little more closely, I hear your point on the payroll, I am not saying I disagree with you Iam only saying that it could only get so low before the players union would start to complain, and while they may not be able to do a lot directly, there may not be a true salary cap in MLB, but the players could apply a lot of pressure to have a hard line bottom to the pay scale. This is where the A’s situation comes in to play, as we know they need a new modern baseball only venue to support the revenue streams that paying players demands, so it’s in the players best interest that the A’s get a new stadium, it’s also in their best interest that it be in San Jose, but if it has to be in Oakland it still needs to be new.
    As far as what pjk had to say , I agreed with him on the general idea that MLB would have to keep the A’s on the revenue sharing program, if they were going to confine the A’s to build in Oakland/ Alameda Contra Costa counties, or as llpec would say a Bay Area location of their choosing.
    I was under the impression that he (pjk), was referring to this portion of what you said:
    “I can’t see any situation whatsoever in which MLB continues to give the A’s revenue sharing after getting a new ballpark. I think it’s possible it could even go the other way – remove it even without a new ballpark.”
    I simply don’t agree with you on this one, but concerning the last part of your statement, I could see a scenario where the other owners get mad enough at Wolff to threaten to take the A’s off of the revenue starring program, if he does not get his ass in gear and start to build somewhere in his designated territory, not that it would be fair toward Wolff, but I could see them doing that.
    Lastly the CBA can say whatever it wants, it’s not written in stone, it changes every time it expires, it can, and most likely will be changed, hell for that matter its written, in (I think), the MLB constitution, that the SF Giants own San Jose, and many here fill that will change, or is thinking in absolute terms only for the Oakland-Only folks.

  41. Sorry I meant to say:
    , or as llpec would say a Bay Area location of “NOT” their choosing.

  42. @GoA’s: The 49ers are the ones who requested that an option for a 2nd NFL team be included with their agreement with Santa Clara. Their incentive would vary depending on the situation, but I believe the Raiders would be negotiating with the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, not the 49ers.

  43. @Briggs- A 2nd NFL team would pay rent to the 49ers directly. The reason why is they already are paying 30M a year in rent plus any short fall on the debt service year to year.

    So it does not make sense for Santa Clara to negotiate a 2nd team if the 49ers are the ones on the hook for the yearly payments to pay down the overall debt.

    The Stadium Authority is simply a tax sheltered mechanism to manage the debt.

  44. @Sid: Ah. Thanks for the info.

  45. @LSN- I agree with you on your takes on revenue sharing and there is no way MLB would ever remove the A’s from revenue sharing at the Coliseum.

    According to Bloomberg the A’s had 175M in revenue in 2013 or good for 29th in the league. The got 36M in revenue sharing as well and even with a good playoff run made (according to forbes) 27.4M in profit….of course these are “estimates”.

    Without the 36M the A’s would have lost nearly 10M, that is unacceptable.

    To put in perspective on how “greedy” the Giants are:

    Giants were 6th in revenue at 300M in 2013 (Bloomberg)

    They had a 142M payroll and paid 21M (Bloomberg) into revenue sharing plus their mortgage at the ballpark is 20M (high estimate) or so per year.

    300M-21M-142M-20M= 117M (Gross Profit)

    After paying out all the people who work for the Giants (15M-20M), and that is generous)they are looking at approximately 100M in profit per year! These are the same guys who complain if the A’s move to San Jose it will “cripple their franchise”?

    This is of course after two WS titles in 3 years but they went 76-86.

    Forget the fact they own a big chunk of Comcast Bay Area….another revenue animal not being factored here.

    The A’s in San Jose with premium seating, corporate sponsors, and a new stadium would be around the 250M a la the LA Angels (253M in 2013), this assumes a winning team of course and a new ballpark.

    250M-35M (ballpark debt service)- 120M (Payroll)- 30M (Revenue sharing Angels put in 2014= 65M in gross profit.

    Subtract the employees (15M-20M, once again generous #s) the A’s are making 40M-45M in profit and be 10th in payroll for 2013.

    I am befuddled on how MLB does not see this? They could have two profitable teams in this market with ease instead of paying the A’s 36M and the Giants only paying in 21M?

    This borderlines insanity for MLB to fight SJ in court….

  46. @ Sid

    Forbes is notorious for underestimating franchise revenue and value.

  47. Ok, lets see if I have this straight:

    You all think that the A’s will continue to get revenue sharing even after getting a new ballpark, despite MLB agreeing and stating in writing that that’s not the case, because;

    1) It would only be fair
    2) it would help the A’s;
    and
    3) MLB has shown that it tends to be fair and wants to help the A’s

    err….wait….

  48. MetroBay: Detroit has 650,000 people, no mall, and the Tigers draw over 3.0 million, and the Lions and Red Wings sell out most of their games. I hear the Warriors draw pretty well in Oakland. Besides a poor stadium, the problem with the A’s is that there are not that many A’s fans in the Bay area. A new stadium in San Jose (or Oakland, for that matter) will solve the first problem (stadium); what will solve the second (not many fans)?

  49. @ 4Libertee :

    The Sharks did not have many hockey fans either !
    It is what Frisco wants BullShit and MLB to believe. No bb fans in SJ, right

  50. @Jeopardydd, MLB will have to give in and allow the A’s to continue on as revenue sharing recipients, if they truly want for the A’s to build their own new ballpark in Oakland. Plain and Simple!

  51. 4Libtee – There are plenty of A’s fans locally. The A’s will likely average over 24K per game for 2014. There is likely no MLB fanbase in MLB that would draw over 30K a game if they played in a dump similiar to the Coliseum. Furthermore, before the giants moved to their phonebooth park, the A’s outdrew the giants – in some seasons the A’s drew 3 mil. The idea that that A’s dont’ have much local fan support is a myth spun by the giants management.

  52. Not necessarily. For example, if the A’s get control of enough land form the City of Oakland for development. No stadium will be built in Oakland unless there’s likely to be enough profit that the A’s won’t get revenue sharing.

    Personally, I think the A’s rot in the coliseum until some other place offers a bunch of public money (subject to the outcome of the SJ case, that is).

  53. The A’s have never drawn 3 million fans in Oakland. The best they did was 1990 (2.9 million fans) when they were defending champs, the Giants still played at Candlestick and the Raiders were in LA. The Giants have outdrawn the A’s since Barry Bonds came to town in the 1993-94 time frame – many years before the new stadium opened. The A’s long history of poor support – only 7 times over the average MLB attendance in 44(?) years despite 16(?) playoff seasons – speaks for itself. Poor attendance is the rule for the A’s; great attendance is a statistical anomaly for them.

  54. re: The A’s will likely average over 24K per game for 2014.

    ..The A’s draw well when the Giants, Red Sox or Yankees are in town, when there’s a bobblehead or jersey giveaway or fireworks. The rest of the time? Notsomuch.

  55. @ jeopardydd

    Re: “Personally, I think the A’s rot in the coliseum until some other place offers a bunch of public money (subject to the outcome of the SJ case, that is).”

    I think you have a good point there, it’s a real possibility that if the A’s don’t get San Jose, they could over time move out of the Bay Area. I think that is less likely, with the way Wolff has been talking of late, but it’s a possibility.

    From time to time I say to my Oakland–Only friends, be careful what you wish for concerning the A’s to San Jose, because you just might get it. San Jose eventually may be the one thing that keeps the team in the Bay Area.

  56. Duff, it’s not a fantasy spun by the Giants and hasn’t been for over 20 years now. Yes the A’s outdrew the Giants some years back when the A’s had the far better venue. But that’s old news. In the modern Bay Area there’s no comparison. Starting with the Bonds era before they even left Candlestick the Bay Area has been squarely Giants. And it gets worse every year. It’s not just the Giants spinning that, it’s the reality of the situation. Fact is the A’s have about 18% of the local fan base according to those most recent NY Times polls to the Giants roughly 65%. And walking any street in any city in the Bay Area bears that out just looking at the caps, shirts, etc… people are wearing. And this isn’t just a new development since the World Series win by the Gnats. This has been the case since McGowan’s group picked the Giants up out of the hole that Lurie had dug them into.

  57. How funny would it be if the Raiders come out and sign their own 5-10 year lease on the Coliseum? It’s not like Davis has any good options right now.

    Sure, project planning might still move forward, but we would have no more “crisis” situation forcing any kind of resolution. Just status quo for the foreseeable future.

    Thank god for the San Jose lawsuit. That may be the only thing moving us forward.

  58. @jeopardydd, Unlike all the other shared two team markets, MLB has knowingly and unfairly divided the Bay Area market into two separate and unequal territories. As a result, the Giants were granted the most populous and affluent areas for their territory while the A’s were designated an area with less population and with a significantly much less affluent and corporate based community. The least thing MLB should do is to allow the A’s to continue receiving revenue sharing to help compensate the A’s for MLB’s dividing up of the Bay Area market in such an unfair and unequal manner.

  59. @llpec

    you said “The least thing MLB should do is…”

    I agree. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about what the SHOULD do, but what they WILL do.

    MLB and the players’ union have made it very clear that they consider the entire Bay Area as the A’s market when it comes to revenue sharing. That market is one of the biggest in MLB, and the top-15 markets will have to pay into it, not take out of it. They explicitly include the A’s in that, but have an astrix exempting them UNTIL they get a new stadium. I don’t see how much more clear they can be on this matter.

  60. IIpec, or MLB might expect the A’s to finally cultivate the affluent fans they have living in places like Tri-Valley and up through the Lamorinda corridor. Areas the A’s have long since seemed willing to cede to the Giants in fact if not by rule. Sure the A’s designated territory in the Bay Area isn’t as big as the Giants. But the fact remains the A’s have an “exclusive” area that has it’s own share of affluence that they could tap into particularly with a new ballpark, even one at the Coliseum site. Remember even if you only include their current counties when talking about the A’s they’re still in the upper half of MLB regions by population.

    And on top of that there has never been anything stopping the A’s from trying to tap into the greater Bay Area’s affluence in places like Santa Clara County and on the peninsula even if their stadium isn’t directly in either of those areas. Remember the A’s may be more constrained than they or many of us would like by being forced to build their ballpark in their existing territories, but it’s also not like the A’s are entirely the victim here either. There’s a lot more they could be doing now and that they’d be able to do with a new ballpark ANYWHERE in the Bay Area.

  61. @pjk – Are you referring to the timeframe leading up to AT&T park opening, when:

    Giants: Bob Lurie’s threatens to move the team and suddenly reversed 180 degrees when new ownership commits to SF and, oh yeah, signs Barry Bonds.

    A’s: Haas sells team to Schottmann. Before the sale was even finalized, Schott denigrates McGwire and several others in a newspaper interview, including Rickey Henderson. He also made it very clear that he wanted out of Oakland and charged his newly-hired president to get that done asap. Maybe he forgot about that $30 million he received from Oakland and Alameda County for stadium-related improvements and reimbursements. Nonetheless, ownership continued courting SJ as the new home for the A’s while the G’s and their growing fan base were getting amped up for their new park.

    Giants had a .521 WP versus the A’s .459 during this time. G’s 23,500 versus A’s 17,900 attendance. Oh, and there were the years 1994-95 when teams played about 130 games over 2 seasons with no WS in 1994.

    At one point during the Schottmann era, ownership actually suggested that the A’s combine with the Angels and move to Anaheim. In a newspaper interview. Selig also commented that moving to Oakland was a mistake. In a newspaper interview. These statements were made right around the time MLB rejected an ownership group willing to keep the A’s in Oakland and build a new stadium privately. I almost forgot, during all of this drama, the Giants were enjoying their sparkling brand new park.

    I could continue but I’d be wasting my time, and I know that. You know, at one point shortly after Schottmann took over, there was a survey done to find out why season tickets were not being renewed. The runner-up was that they weren’t convinced the A’s would even stay in Oakland.

    If I owned a business, let’s say a restaurant, and my business began losing money; lack of guests for dinner and such, whatever. I just might want to find out what’s causing this. If I did a survey and looked at, say, the top 3 reasons people stopped coming to dine, I may want to address those. It doesn’t appear that is what occurred with Schottmann. Dare I say, it seems like they purposely put more fuel to the fire. It seems to have continued with Wolff.

    Unlike some Oakland-only types who post here, I’m not going to just go along to get along and agree with everything. The bottom line is that the dynamic from the early 90’s leading up to AT&T Park was complex and simple at the same time: One team got rid of the owner who was going to take them away and installed a new owner totally committed and, as a plus, signed a huge player. Versus, a team whose formerly beloved owner sold the team to what appeared to be a negative, condescending fool with too much money to spend but unwilling to spend it. Lest we forget that the original contract stated that a discount would apply to a buyer who keeps the team in Oakland. Schott was already talking up San Jose before the transition even occurred. And…. an ownership group willing to keep the team in Oakland and fund a new stadium was denied by MLB.

    I know, tin-foil hat, right?

    Ok, so from day one you have focused on attendance, the horribly low income of the “east bay,” and that there are zero corporate dollars in the area.

    From a rational standpoint, if you were to look at the comparison between the two teams, ownership, on-field play, publicity, etc. Would you not make a guess that the A’s would lose fans to the Giants gains? Maybe I’m wrong, although I don’t think I am. AT&T has since then dominated the baseball scene. Maybe it’s just me but it kind of makes sense. A common topic is “there’s a Giants store in Walnut Creek.” I wonder why.

    Lastly, spare me the analysis of the 1970’s attendance. I’ve heard it enough and it proves nothing about today’s world. Both teams had crappy attendance along with most of the rest of MLB during that time. The Bay Area didn’t have the population to support 2 MLB teams at that time. Not to mention, the Giants were here for 10 years before the A’s and were considered the Bay Area team. The A’s were the red-headed stepchild with schadenfreude looming everywhere.

    I’m not exactly sure why you denigrate Oakland while pumping up SJ. I know you live there so that’s obvious. Perhaps you want them to move there for civic pride; get SJ on the map, etc. I understand that. Just remember, though, that while you are rooting for your hometown, despite the spin on attendance and corporate dollars, etc., a team has been threatening to leave for 2 decades. Do you not understand that one leads to the other? AT&T Park was a clear sign to their loyal fans that they were staying. Bandwagoners soon joined in droves and, add in a couple of WS championships, the rest is history. A dump with a team constantly threatening to move is dramatically different. Playoffs or no playoffs. The East Bay is not the problem.

  62. Steve, I think it’s far more likely that this is the Raiders final year in the Coliseum than it would be likely they’ll sign a long term lease of their own at the Coliseum. Particularly if the A’s sign a 10 year deal. There’s really no reason for the Raiders to stay if they don’t think Coliseum City is going to happen. Not when they have a very apparent, easy and desirable option not 40 miles south. One that’s far better than staying at the Mausoleum for half decade or more.

  63. re: The East Bay is not the problem.

    …We know the Raiders were given 120something state-of-the-art, brand new luxury suites in the mid-90s and have not much success leasing them. If there is corporate dollars in the East Bay to be tapped for suite sales, then apparently it hasn’t been enough. And the Warriors, despite yearly sellouts and no nearby NBA competition, still want to go to Frisco and leave Oakland behind. As far as any improvements to the Coliseum done on behalf of Schott, these certainly were dwarfed by the $200 million ruination of the Coliseum in 1995, leaving the A’s playing in a hulking football stadium with their wonderful view of the Oakland hills just a memory. If the A’s can get it done in Oakland, great. But if they can’t make it work financially, then MLB either needs to keep the A’s on revenue-sharing or let them go to San Jose. I don’t think you would like the um, other option: A’s leaving the Bay Area.

  64. @djhi228
    Boy you said a mouth full, many of your points I have been trying to make for some time, much of that time without success. The complexity of this situation is much deeper then “Oakland sucks”, which is the conclusion some come to, or because it can work well in San Jose, it “can’t work in Oakland”. I have said several times this is a three city (San Francisco, Oakland,San Jose), two teams (Athletics, Giants), one league (MLB), high wire soap-opera. It has not worked as well in Oakland, as it could have over the years for a variety of reasons and fault can be found in every direction, but that doesn’t mean Oakland and the East Bay can’t be a much better market.

  65. @4libertee,

    I said Oakland was “one of” the largest cities in the country without a shopping mall, so your referencing Detroit would be an example of another. And yes, Detroit teams do draw well, but you must remember the Lions/Tigers/Red Wings/Pistons are Michigan’s ONLY professional teams and collectively are a source of pride for that state. The A’s (as much as I love them) are probably the least popular team in California despite being the state’s second most successful (at least in terms of World Series won).

    But back to the point….

    My referencing Oakland’s lack of a shopping mall was simply to highlight the fact that a Coliseum City type concept would not work in Oakland (or at least not in East Oakland). The most commercial investment we’d probably see at CC is a sports memorabilia store and maybe a Sizzler.

    As I’ve said before, If Oakland decides to do the right thing, they will start figuring out how to make something happen for the A’s (other than a new lease at the Coliseum). Levi’s field has two home locker rooms, and Mark Davis is probably just holding out to see what Oakland will do. He knows the NFL is not going to let him move the team and he knows that Oakland doesn’t have anything to give him. He also knows that the NFL ultimately wants the West Coast version of the Giants/Jets with the Raiders and Niners sharing a stadium. It all just makes too much sense; let’s hope Oakland realizes this sooner than later.

  66. Davis should have gotten in on the ground floor of Levi’s before it became decked out in 68,000 49er red sets and we know there will be a 49ers museum, probably statues of Joe Montana, etc. How much could they really neutralize the setting for the Raiders?

  67. @pjk
    Defiantly agree with you on that one. Davis should have been working with the 49ers in the first place, or new beyond a shadow of a doubt he could make it happen in Oakland without a lot of help, as it stands he may have over played his hand, if the NFL won’t let him back in LA.
    If it was a better deal he was hoping to get from Oakland/Alameda county, that is surly to back fire, because there just is not any money or the will to spend what is there (in California).

  68. Sorry: or “knew” beyond a shadow of a doubt he could make it happen in Oakland

  69. I believe Levi’s Stadium was designed so that Stadium signage and colors can be changed to reflect the colors of either the 49ers or Raiders. As for the red seats, it won’t really matter when the fans are sitting in their seats. Also, Levi’s stadium capacity will likely be reduced if and when the Raiders do play there. I’m certain these seats will be tarp covered in the black and silver of the Raiders, thus giving even more a Raiders home stadium feel.

  70. Regarding revenue sharing, back in 1999, MLB said they needed to address “chronic competitive imbalance.” I don’t think that was the whole truth. I believe it was enacted to satisfy the MLBPA. The more teams have to spend, the more they can participate in free agent bidding. Additionally, this accelerates player salary inflation year over year. If the A’s get booted from revenue sharing, the MLBPA could very well put their foot down.

  71. @ Briggs,

    The Player’s Union agreed to the A’s not being eligible for revenue sharing whenever they get a new stadium.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf

    They want half of the teams to be disqualified from revenue sharing and half the teams to get it. Whether the A’s get it or not probably won’t change the overall picture and shouldn’t matter to the Player’s Union.

  72. The big reason why the A’s do not get attendance is their location. On the weekends you will notice they get fans.

    All Sat/Sun home games for the A’s in 2014:

    Sat April 5th vs. Seattle 30,290
    Sun April 6th vs. Seattle 32,852
    Sat, Apr 19 vs. Houston 33,166
    Sun April 20 vs. Houston 16,382
    Sat, May 10 vs. Washington 36,067
    Sun May 11 vs. Washington 28,205
    Sat, May 31 vs. LA Angels 35,067
    Sun, June 1st vs. LA Angels 32,231

    Only the Sun Apr 20th game vs. Houston was low at 16,382

    On Sat/Sun the A’s are averaging 30,532 on Sat/Sun games. If that is what they averaged throughout the season they would be 11th in the league….not bad at all.

    That means for weekday games they are averaging 18,015…only ahead of Tampa and Cleveland. That is sad considering how good the A’s are.

    What could be the reason for this? As someone who went the Wednesday night game vs. Detroit a couple weeks back (Donaldson walk off) it is murder getting to the Coliseum during the week, that game had 15k in fans.

    There is so much traffic (both ways) near the Coli on 880 it is simply not worth it. Even on 580, 92, 80, they are all jam packed north of the Coli and south into Hayward.

    BART does bring some fans to the games but a majority of people drive as this Cali car culture.

    This is why I believe the Coliseum is a bad site for a new stadium. It does not fix the traffic issues in the general area.

    Would a new stadium help attendance at the Coli? Of course, but instead of averaging 21k overall per game it would be 25k or so and that is with a good team, first few years would be sellouts with a good team.

    But on the weekends you can get the Coli no problem and people pay significantly higher prices as well.

    The A’s for this reason need to get to San Jose where traffic only flows in one direction on every freeway. They would do a lot better during the week in Downtown SJ because of this.

  73. If the A’s were in SJ people from East/South SJ would have no traffic. That is where a majority of Sharks fans live for example.

    People south in Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and the East Bay (Tri Valley and up to Union City) would be driving against traffic.

    Unlike the Coli where everywhere you come from there is traffic.

  74. “There is so much traffic (both ways) near the Coli on 880 it is simply not worth it. Even on 580, 92, 80, they are all jam packed north of the Coli and south into Hayward.”

    Sid, that’s the case going to ANY venue in the Bay Area. Every freeway in the region is packed to the gills. The Bay Area has become LA north in the last few years. Coliseum though does have a very viable public transit option that I wish more people would take the time to use. Coliseum BART might not be the prettiest station, but it definitely makes the Coliseum the easiest stadium in the Bay Area to get to of the current venues. Even from the south bay if you drive to Fremont and soon Warm Springs it takes a nice chunk off your drive.

    Also I’d love to see the stats that make you think Sharks fans mainly come from south and east of SJ.

  75. @ Sid

    All of those, except for the one that drew 16K fans, were promotional nights as well as weekends.

    So I really don’t think you can draw any conclusions about it being due to less traffic on the weekends.

  76. @Dan- ATT Park is way easier to get to than the Coli from San Jose for example via 280 and it is 15 miles further away for example.

    Your right on BART but its Cali Car Culture, a lot of people frown upon the BART and most do not take it.

    The Coli site is smack in the middle of traffic hell, you go north or south your stuck on a weekday. This is my theory on why the A’s do not get great attendance during the week but the weekends get excellent attendance.

    As for the Sharks, I have lived in San Jose a long time, it has been well known most of the season ticket holders are in South SJ (Blossom and Almaden Valley) and East SJ (Evergreen). These are nice areas of the city and the fans have $$ to spend.

  77. @Jeopardydd- My point is because of the weekday traffic being so awful in the general area (north and south) it hurts the A’s from getting fans to show up.

    While on the weekends they are getting great attendance and regardless of giveaways the tickets are significantly more expensive.

    The A’s are very good so you cannot point to on field performance.

    Traffic is a big part of it, of course the stadium being a dump does not help.

    But if attendance is great on the weekends in a dump……it gives my theory some weight

  78. the other thing that hurt the A’s is they are not on a AM radio station. Unless the A’s find themselves on a 50000W AM station, they will continue to suffer. FM95.7 signal sucks hard. When you are in SJ, the signal barely audible in some downtown spots.

  79. Sid, before any of that is relevant, you need to pull out Friday and look at evening games only from Monday through Thursday. The reason games are less attended during the week is because people work the next day and getting home after midnight isn’t always feasible. And day games are their own issue with people actually working. Friday sees an uptick as well, not because traffic is somehow better (it’s actually worse) but because they don’t have somewhere they need to be in the morning.

  80. I’m glad the Raiders aren’t in Levi. It would have ruined it the same way MetLife was ruined by the Jets/Giants sharing it. That place is a $1.6 billion compromise, and is completely soulless.

  81. A question for ML (or others):

    What are the Giants/A’s mandated “territorial limits” beyond geographic location of stadiums?

    Really, I’d like to know. Obviously, there’s nothing preventing
    * someone who lives in SF from going to a game in Oakland,
    * or an A’s broadcast from reaching a fan in any part of the bay area,
    * or a bay area business or corporation from “sponsoring” (signage, advertising, luxury suites) a team in Oakland
    * money moving from any pocket in the bar area into the A’s coffers.
    Am I missing something?

  82. Traffic is rough to practically all Bay Area venues for evening events. The thing is, people don’t mind putting up with it for a nice evening at AT&T Park. It’s worth the effort. There’s nothing to do before or after A’s games except stand around in the parking lot. Personally, I didn’t mind that as much when I was younger because I’d pound a six pack. In recent years I’ve dialed way back on brown baggin’ it and I’d rather have some food options or other activities, which the Coliseum doesn’t provide. Even with dirt cheap tickets, the Coliseum just isn’t work the effort for many people.

  83. @ely: The territorial rights only pertain to where teams can build their stadiums. The A’s and Giants can market themselves in Boston if they want. Personally, if I were to rank the A’s true enemies, the Giants wouldn’t crack the top 3.

  84. @ Briggs
    That’s an interesting take “Personally, if I were to rank the A’s true enemies, the Giants wouldn’t crack the top 3”.
    I would rank the SF Giants as one of the top 3 enemies of the A’s economic success in the Bay Area, but I am intrigued, as to what your top 3 would be?, because I almost always agree with you and even when I don’t, I can’t recall a time when I did not at least see where you were coming from.

  85. Daniel, that’s one thing I’ll agree with. Recently I was driving from the Pleasenton area down to San Diego. I was listening to the A’s on 95.7 and before I’d even left Alameda County going over Altamont Pass I’d lost the A’s on the radio. But over 270 miles north of San Diego somewhere between Avenal and Lost Hills on I-5 I tuned in to 1090 AM and I was already picking up the Padres game. And the Padres traditional fanbase doesn’t generally extend that far north. But their radio station sure does (and mind you it broadcasts from another 35 miles south of San Diego in Rosarito, BC). But that’s what 50,000 watts 24/7 will do (which even KNBR doesn’t do I’d add).

    95.7 may have an interesting and clear sound when you can get it by virtue of being FM (though I honestly prefer the AM sound for baseball), but it sure doesn’t have the range the A’s need. But at 6,900 watts “The Game” isn’t even as well powered as KNBR is at night or the Padres back up station are at 10,000 watts.

  86. @ Sid

    How are you declaring the difference in attendance to be due to traffic rather than people having more time (because it’s the weekend)and/or the giveaways?

    Moreover, there’s actual evidence that it is the giveaways to a large extent: There is one date you gave that had low attendance, and that’s the one without a giveaway.

    You can’t just say “nah, it’s the traffic”. You have to give evidence for why it’s not the other aspects of weekend games.

  87. “Even from the south bay if you drive to Fremont and soon Warm Springs it takes a nice chunk off your drive”

    Maybe when Warm Springs opens. Fremont is so far north and so far off the freeway that it barely saves any time driving there (in traffic) and adds 30-45 minutes coming home (after traffic, adding in the BART ramp crunch leaving the game).

  88. Nathan, that may be true. But it’s no worse that the similar transit options when leaving AT&T Park. And it has the added advantage of not requiring a transfer like both long range options (Caltrain or BART) do out of AT&T Park. To say nothing of every other major venue in the Bay Area which don’t even come close to the accessibility of the Coliseum site as it stands today.

  89. @Briggs – the Giants are the enemy. If the Giants could prevent the A’s from building a new ballpark in Oakland – they would attempt to prevent that too. It would be interesting what actions they might attempt if Wolff decides to build at the CC site – you can’t put anything past the giants organization.

  90. With the BART extension to Santa Clara County coming within a few years, it seems obvious that public transit access between San Jose and the Coliseum will be greatly improved. Could this improved accessibility lead to better attendance at A’s games, especially from fans coming from San Jose, Milpitas, and other near surrounding areas? Also, could the BART extension help to alleviate some of the huge traffic congestion between San Jose and the Coliseum during peak late afternoon early evening travel times?

  91. @ Dan
    I agree with you, The Bay Area traffic is going to be difficult no matter which way you slice it, and as you mentioned the coliseum site (no matter how hard to get to at times), is accessible, hell accessibility is perhaps the one thing the site has going for it.
    @ Sid
    Not saying mid-week traffic is not part of many of the problems, I just find it difficult to believe, it’s one of the major reasons we (the A’s), have not done better in attendance then we have.

  92. @ briggs

    re: Traffic is rough to practically all Bay Area venues for evening events. The thing is, people don’t mind putting up with it for a nice evening at AT&T Park. It’s worth the effort. There’s nothing to do before or after A’s games except stand around in the parking lot.

    Dude you nailed it. The Coliseum is the one of the worst venue in all of sports for this very reason. People would not complain so much about the Coliseum if there were entertainment, bars and restaurants close by.

  93. @llpec: Yes. There is no good public transit between the South Bay and Oakland/Easat Bay right now. The BART extension is going to be huge and it’ll get even more important if/when they extend it to Diridon.

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