When the JPA is as effective as Congress

This shouldn’t be this hard.

Both Lew Wolff and JPA characterize the lease extension talks as close. Wolff or Bud Selig may have jumped the gun yesterday. Then again, maybe Wolff made so few changes with his counteroffer that he felt he could consider the deal done. Some staunchly opposed claim that elements of the lease such as the way the parking tax matter is being addressed are showstoppers. Maybe those items really are showstoppers. If they are showstoppers, it should be easy to kill the deal. Conversely, if the sides really are close as they purportedly have been for the last few weeks, it should be fairly easy to close the gap.

These two ways of characterizing the talks shouldn’t both be true. Last week I said that if the JPA, City, and County are truly concerned about the parking taxes (or the opt-outs, or other language), put the whole thing off until after the fall arbitration hearing. That’s effectively the same thing as saying NO to the lease. There are really three options for the JPA here:

  1. Vote Yes and deal with the fallout (coming from the Raiders/NFL)
  2. Vote No and deal with the fallout (coming from the A’s/MLB)
  3. Postpone the vote and hope to delay the fallout indefinitely from either side.

We have no visibility into the talks or the offers and counteroffers, yet I get the feeling that there is very little movement that should properly bridge the gap. There are numerous ways of dealing with the $5 million:

  • Leave the $5 million out of the deal
  • Raise rent to compensate for including the $5 million (from $1.75 million to $2.5 million/year)
  • Have the A’s surrender control of some revenue streams such as concessions or advertising

Now maybe the JPA has provided such options, and Wolff has called those showstoppers, I don’t know. Whatever the case, there seems to be very little creativity that would bring about a solution. Strangely, they’ve been fine with allowing the Raiders to pay very little rent while getting the Harbor Bay headquarters for free (as long as they’re engaged in Coliseum City talks).

Worse, I’ve been hearing a lot of outrage from some about how the A’s are ripping the City and County off for the $5 million. Yet I’m not hearing anything about properly addressing the ongoing $20 million subsidy (debt and operating expenses) that the City and County have to pay for. Are we so numb to that debacle that we can’t consider ways to deal with it? Sure, grandstanding on a one-time $5 million payment is easy if you’re an Oakland or Alameda County pol. Better that than to remind everyone about the even worse deal that they themselves negotiated nearly 20 years ago. If you’re going to really get outraged, get mad about that and ask the pols to make a better deal. Last time I checked, one-time $5 million payments aren’t worth much compared to $20 million annual payments.

I figure the outrage or faux rage is borne more from two separate motivations: the fear of Mark Davis, and the desire to never compromise with Lew Wolff. I imagine that there are some on the JPA who are more realpolitik and don’t want to favor one owner over the other or understand that the best way to go may be with one team instead of two, but there will always be some who can’t give in, can’t make it look like Lew Wolff won. For them, I think the answer is quite simple and can be ratified by a simple No vote. Bud Selig’s comments may have complicated things a bit, but if these stridently principled Nays are that opposed, this should be a no-brainer.

Really, a vote either way would be the best thing for all parties. It would allow both teams to know where they stand and would allow them to plan next steps. If they can’t decide on this on account of $5 million, it makes me wonder how they’re going to make a decision on a project that could cost 500 times as much. If they can’t decide and keep trying to entertain lease discussions they’ll continue to be caught up in the media battle, which they are not winning. It won’t win over the Bud Selig or Roger Goodell. Fans will continue to be frustrated and the whole affair will continue to be a distraction. I doubt that’s what anyone wants.

So please, JPA, if it’s close to a reasonable deal, make the necessary changes and vote YES. If the deal sucks, vote NO. Then we can move on and focus not on short-term fixes, but rather a long-term home. And you’ll look decisive for once, instead of looking like Congress.

74 thoughts on “When the JPA is as effective as Congress

  1. re: Worse, I’ve been hearing a lot of outrage from some about how the A’s are ripping the City and County off for the $5 million. Yet I’m not hearing anything about properly addressing the ongoing $20 million subsidy (debt and operating expenses) that the City and County have to pay for.

    …Yep. $20 million a year for facilities that are mostly being covered with tarps over or otherwise not in use. But let’s go after those meanie A’s, who have gotten a grand total of $0.00’s worth of new facilities in the past 40 years, unlike the Raiders and Warriors, who’v gotten hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of improvements.

  2. This is the strategy being employed by the disingenuous Lew Wolff and Bud Selig.

    1) Offer a fake 10 year lease with easy out clauses knowing the Raiders want to build on the present Coliseum site.

    2) Make Oakland look like they’re being unreasonable when Oakland refuses to jeopardize Coliseum City and the Raiders.

    3) Have Selig and Wolff claim that it’s a done deal to put pressure on Oakland and make Oakland look bad for not taking the rotten lease agreement.

    4) Take Howard Terminal off the table in order to facilitate exit out of Oakland when crummy lease agreement is rejected by the city.

    5) Hope that Oakland refuses the rotten deal so that they can claim that they have no other choice other than to leave Oakland.

    • @Mr Oakland –
      1. If it’s fake, the JPA sure is taking it seriously.
      2. If they can’t make the deal, all they have to do is say no. Not that hard.
      3. If it’s close, what’s to argue about? If it’s not, shut it down.
      4. Now that Howard Terminal has lost MLB support, Oakland can focus its limited energy and resources on the Coliseum. That’s a good thing.
      5. Eventually Oakland has to make a choice. They can’t spin these two plates forever. Do you not understand that?

  3. 1. How is this lease agreement “fake”? Wolff would be a moron to sign a ten year lease with the city that DIDN’T have an out clause if the city decided to tear the stadium down with his team still in it. And he’s doing this while giving more rent and more concessions back to the city reportedly. Just not what they want which is an unreasonable guarantee that he build only in Oakland.

    2. Oakland is being unreasonable. They’re stonewalling on doing anything with either team for fear of offending the other. They have to pick one. If they’re so concerned about losing the Raiders then man up and tell the A’s to take a hike and get building for the Raiders (if they can find enough money in the couch cushions).

    3. Good, someone has to put pressure on the leaders in Oakland. They’re sure not going to make any decisions without someone forcing them into it.

    4. Howard Terminal was never ON the table. It’s always been a cost prohibitive site, even for cheerleaders like Knauss who won’t even put his money where his mouth is when it comes to the site. It’s never been more than a place on a map with a circle around it. When it comes down to it it’s an environmental and access nightmare. One that will cost roughly a billion dollars to fix and the city has no money to front toward that. MLB is just making that plain so Oakland and people like Knauss stop claiming it’s a viable site.

    5. Again, not a rotten deal. And if it’s the best they’re going to get you either accept it, or accept that the A’s are leaving.

  4. If Wolff is serious about this lease then we will get a commitment to build in Oakland. If Wolff is playing games as he’s been doing for the last decade, then Oakland should refuse the lease.

    Taking Howard Terminal off the table when a waterfront ballpark in a beautiful downtown location is what MLB has always been after in other cities, clearly shows Oakland and Oakland A’s fans that Selig and Wolff are in cohoots to squeeze Oakland for a temporary lease while getting rid of the other more logical option.

    Of course San Jose supporters would just say “then refuse the lease” which of course would leave Wolff without “any options” in Oakland.

    • @Mr Oakland – What is Oakland offering up? 2nd billing in a complex with limited financing options, and a waterfront site it loves but is afraid to find out how much it costs. If Oakland wants the A’s so badly, pony up. Otherwise they’re not offering anything of substance and are in a terrible negotiating position.

  5. A lease is a lease, you are either serious about it or not. One does not go with a commitment to build along with a lease if the Coliseum Authority, Oakland and ALCo can’t even come to a decision on a short term freaking lease.

    ML is right, get this done, rule out Howard Terminal and maybe Oakland and Alameda County electeds will get serious about making the tough choice to pick one team, the one team that is feasible for them to keep. The one that didn’t lead to any debt on the part of the Authority to rebuild the Arena or the Coliseum (Mt. Davis). The one that has the money to pay for its own stadium.

  6. Would you buy a house from a used car salesman with a real estate license that is haggling with you on a Ford Taurus with 300,000 miles on the engine, in need of new transmission and struts? Nope.

  7. Elmano, why should Wolff commit to build in Oakland as part of a lease? They’re two completely separate issues. Or did you sign an agreement to build a new house last time you signed the lease on your existing apartment?

  8. Yes, a beautiful waterfront location that features sealed contamination, giant railroad obstructions and is completely surrounded by industrial uses incompatible with a ballpark. Like ML said, why won’t Oakland figure out how much it will cost to make Howard Terminal work, or is this another case of “the A’s owners are rich and can accord to pay whatever it takes”?

  9. There’s an easy way for all this to be resolved. Coliseum City has plenty of room for all three teams, housing, retail, a hotel and office space. Coliseum City is huge and is comprised of parcels west of 880. There’s no reason why Mark Davis won’t eventually agree to locate his new football stadium away from the current Coliseum footprint.

    Both teams can easily exist and thrive in Coliseum City. You keep the current stadium and build the football stadium in the north parking lot. The baseball park can go on the south parking lot while a temporary garage is built on the former Homebase Malibu Grand Prix site.

    Davis is insisting on the current footprint as a bargaining chip. Once Capital City sits down with Davis, I’m sure his tune will change. When Davis comes to his sen$es then Lew Wolff’s little deceptive lease comes tumbling down as the Coliseum remains in place .

  10. and I’d love to be Prince… but we can’t all have what we want.

  11. @pjk
    lew wolff is a bully there is plenty if the 200acre land to build a ballpark that wont get in the way of the Raiders/Colony Capital

    • Anyone who says there’s enough land with the 200 acres hasn’t read the reports. Why do you think Coliseum City covers an extra 600 acres of privately held land? Because there isn’t enough publicly held land. The developers even need the land used by the arena to offer up, even though the arena is nowhere close to being paid off. Hell, I don’t think the JPA actually owns all 200 acres.

  12. Exactly. Two hundred acres is huge and Lew Wolff is once again just playing games with Oakland.

    Marine Layer asked “what does Oakland offer?”

    Oakland offers a growing city which is now fourth of all the MLB cities in venture capital investment. Oakland offers a proven central location with great weather, a loyal and rabid fanbase which has been suppressed by tarps and 15 years of relocation talk from Wolff and from Schott before that.

    Oakland offers two great sites close to public transportation, close to Oakland and SF growing tech industries, a growing dinning, arts and entertainment destination, along with some of the best weather in the United States.

    Oakland should be dealing from a position of strength. Why in the World would MLB give up Oakland as their American League franchise in the Bay Area?

    Attenedance in Oakland is also being suppressed by Lew Wolff’s tarps which were suppose to create scarcity but instead turn 48,000 crowds vs the Yankees, Giants and fireworks, into 36,000 crowds, thereby reducing the total attendance for the year.

  13. Suppressing attendance with tarps? What about the tens of on thousands of untapped empty seats on most nights? If Oakland is the ideal location you say, Don Knauss should have no trouble raising the $2 billion it cost to buy the A’s and build at Howard Terminal. What’s he waiting for?

  14. @Elmano Gonsalves: It appears that Wolff has been correct all along – that Oakland city officials are impossible to work with and have been playing the A’s for 19 years. Funding a $220 mil. redo of the Coliseum to please the Raiders? ( making it unfit for MLB in the process) – thereby shafting the A’s. Overhauling the Oracle Arena for the Dubs – another multi-million $ effort. Have the A’s received any such generosity from Oakland? no.

    In fact, it appears that Wolff is now talking about building at the CC site because the Quan administration has been playing ball with the A’s (not the case with the Brown and Dellums administrations) Even so, Oakland city officials have been touting the HT site – which has plenty of infrastructure and toxic cleanup problems and which would be very expensive ($400 mil.) to implement. Wolff’s complaints appear to be spot on.

  15. Aren’t the Raiders also tarping seats? That’s OK, though, right?

  16. He’s waiting for Lew Wolff and John Fisher to sell the team to people who believe in Oakland and are willing to make an investment in the city.

  17. Who does Knauss have in mind? Obviously, he’s not interested in taking on the debt himself. Wonder why? If Wolff sells, it will be another Seattle Sonics situation, to a new owner who concludes it cant be done in Oakland and then moves the team 1,000 miles away

  18. The Raiders have problems because they have been very poor on the field for a very long time. That’s the reason for the tarps. It’s the constant losing.

  19. Oh, I see. The Raiders tarp over the $200 million Mount Davis that the city paid for, ruining the place for the A’s in the process, but that’s OK because the Raiders s***k. I think I understand now

  20. “There’s an easy way for all this to be resolved. Coliseum City has plenty of room for all three teams, housing, retail, a hotel and office space.”

    “He’s waiting for Lew Wolff and John Fisher to sell the team to people who believe in Oakland and are willing to make an investment in the city.”

    Are we assuming BayIG lead by Colony Capitol believes in Oakland sports as much as they say? Why are we assuming they are willing to invest in Oakland sports? Because they’re rich? It’s nearly July and they haven’t even signed an ENA yet. We’re counting on them signing check for hundreds of millions, just because? Okay…

    If Colony Capitol is going to be the main financier of the project, why should they spends hundreds upon hundreds of millions on sports venues when it’s in their best financial interest to focus on housing instead? Added foot traffic is meaningless given the cost of the venues. Coliseum City proponents should spend less time worrying about Wolff an more time questioning the true commitment of the projects financiers. Colony Capitol has a ruthless resume – but Oakland giving up on sports altogether and focusing on housing as the anchor tenant for development could/would bring in the highest revenue (tax) return for the city. Not that I want that to happen. I don’t. But I don’t trust Colony either.

    With regards to the lease, it’s amazing to think the parking tax revenue might be the holdup. I wish the JPA would release a year by year breakdown of what they claim the A’s owe. The financial records that appear on the Coliseum Authority’s website don’t show a financial discrepancy anywhere near $5 million. Plus, until 2012 it was widely reported in numerous media outlets (including one by a certain cheerleader) that the A’s were well within their right to deduct the now disputed parking revenue. Given the JPA’s negotiating history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s did nothing wrong here. But I agree with the above – if they don’t like this deal, just vote no.

  21. PJK,

    Why are you always so negative about Oakland? Why is it in your opinion nothing can ever “be done in Oakland.” Why do you find Oakland such an undesirable place? Oakland has less crime than Detroit, Saint Louis, Baltimore, Chicago, etc. and is bigger population wise than Anaheim, Pittsburgh, Cinci, Saint Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Tampa, and very close in population to Miami, Atlanta, and Kansas City.

    Oakland is a great and deserving location for MLB.

  22. Colony Capital is waiting on both Lew Wolff and Mark Davis to sign on to the project. Both the A’s and Raiders would rather play chess instead of getting this project started. These games by Wolff, Fisher, Selig and Davis need to come to an end so that this project can move forward.

  23. Elmsno: Because Oakland ruined the stadium for the A’s. This, combined with Oakland’s inability to help pay for a new ballpark, could lead the A’s to leave the Bay Area. Just about every other MLB city has gotten a new ballpark done for their team but Oakland. Because Oakland expects a free ballpark even though it it not feasible… Bottom-tier attendance for the A’s through most of their stay in Oakland does not support your contention that Oakland is a great place for an MLB team. 16 playoff appearances, just 7 times above the median attendance… Who’s talking about crime in Oakland? You, not me.

  24. re: Colony Capital is waiting on both Lew Wolff and Mark Davis to sign on to the project

    …if this project is so viable for the A’s and Raiders, why won’t they sign on? Well, because it’s NOT financially viable for them. And we’ve all heard about the $500 million funding gap for the Raiders alone. Throw in the A’s and it’s a $1 billion funding gap. Should the A’s and Raiders just be willing to take Big $$ losses just so Oakland can have free stadiums? The city should give up the notion of a $1 bllion stadium for the Raiders to be used 10 days a year and turn over the property to Lew Wolff to see if he can make a go of it for the A’s.

  25. Wolff has insisted that the A’s own the land at the CC site if they build the ballpark there – and that under no circumstances will the A’s be a tenant for Colony Capital (that is Wolff’s right as an owner – the A’s have no obligation to agree to a deal which they believe is unfavorable to them)

    Furthermore, Wolff maintains that the A’s are committed to staying in the bay area – even if that means building a temporary stadium if Oakland doesn’t ok the 10 year lease. Also, Wolff has absolutely no plans on selling the team in the foreseeable future, and in fact plans on keeping the team’s ownership in the family. So Knauss and co. will be very disappointed if they expect Wolff to sell the A’s – it appears that ain’t going to happen.

  26. duffer: Knauss hasn’t offered to buy the A’s anyway. He hasn’t even offered to have Clorox match the Cisco naming rights deal. Lots and lots of talk, zero action.

  27. PJK,

    The worst thing that could happen to Oakland is for Coliseum City to be handed over to Lew Wolff. When Jerry Brown was Mayor thousands of housing units were built by various developers all over Oakland. Lew Wolff is a developer who has never built as much as a dog house in Oakland. The man had one of his “Oakland resident” minority owners write a letter marginalizing Oakland and claiming that the poor A’s were being forced to play and held hostage in such a poor and horrible city. Wolff even stated that Oakland had declined economically and lost population much like his former hometown of Saint Louis.

    These lies and misrepresentations depict exactly the lengths that Lew Wolff will go through to marginalize Oakland so that he can give San Jose a free ballpark.

  28. Wolff is building the Quakes new stadium about 3 minutes from my house. Looks great. He’s a guy who gets things done. But you’d rather play the Wolff-is-a-meanie, Oakland-the-poor-victim game.

  29. re: free ballpark

    These days, for the 10,000 time, a privately funded ballpark needs lots and lots of corporate support. Both the A’s and Raiders acknowledge that this corporate support is not there in the East Bay but it is there in San Jose (for reference, see “49ers suites sell like hot cakes in Santa Clara, Raiders suites gather cobwebs at the Coliseum”). Are you saying the A’s should be willing to pay for a ballpark even if they lose hundreds of millions of dollars doing so? Is that what you’re proposing? Good luck with that…FWIW, I’m supporting a plan whereby the A’s stay in Oakland and MAY be able to make some money. Just give Wolff the Coliseum property and tell the Raiders there’s a brand new stadium where they can play in Santa Clara. Just drape over the Joe Montana statue on Raiders game days. They can probably even set up a portable Raiders Hall of Fame. Everybody wins – Raiders and A’s both play in new facilities in the Bay Area.

  30. Wolff only builds in San Jose. And yes, Wolf is a ” meanie” when it comes to Oakland. The man despises the city and for the good of the fans and the region, should sell the team to an ownership group who respects and believes in Oakland. Don Knauss and his group seem to fit that bill.

  31. The poor-victim-Oakland thing again. Sigh. Who ruined the stadium for the A’s? Did Oakland do that or Wolff? Who fired the city manager for – gasp! – proposing an A’s ballpark? Was that Wolff, too? Your comment that Wolff “despises” Oakland is solid nonsense. He’s tried to build there before and got no help from the city (north of the Coliseum project). Now, he’s trying again and is again getting pushback, with the city ready to do more stalling, stalling, stalling on the 10-year-lease extension. Once again, Don Knauss is free to organize a group of investors and put in a bid for the A’s. He hasn’t done so. He hasn’t, as I said an hour ago, even had Clorox offer to match the naming rights deal Cisco agreed upon in Fremont. Knauss: Lots of talk, zero action.

  32. I get it. You want the Raiders in Santa Clara. I suppose you’d like to see them change their name to San Jose Raiders.

    The Raiders would be making a killing in Oakland if they were winning. The Forty Niners have vacated the center of the Bay Area and if the Raiders start winning you’ll see all those suites fill up with people in SF who resent the move to Santa Clara.

    Davis knows he controls the vast majority of the Bay Area because of the central location and easy access. All the Oakland Raiders have to do is start winning and they’ll outdraw the Forty Niners the way they did in the 70’s, 80,s when the Niners would draw 35,000 to Candlestick.

  33. Knauss has experience getting a ballpark built in Houston, with the ballpark getting 68% public financing. In Oakland, the ballpark gets 0% public financing. A bit of a difference there. Knauss has not shown any creative solutions for getting the A’s a new ballpark other than talking about the dead-on-arrival Howard Terminal site.

  34. The Raiders have been pretty much a disappointment at the Box Office since they returned from LA in 1995 – lots and lots of games blacked out. They have the lowest revenues in the league. And we know Mark Davis does not have $1 billion to pay for a stadium, Oakland can’t pay for one and years have gone by with no agreement reached between Colony Capital, Oakland and Davis. The Santa Clara stadium is there for the Raiders to use. I don’t really care where the Raiders play. You think Frisco corporations are going to “resent” the 49ers moving 40 miles and switch to the Raiders? Good luck with that.

  35. re: Frisco people resenting the 49ers moving.

    …um, a whole 5% of the 49ers season ticket base lives in Frisco. The city itself doesn’t really care much about the 49ers – which is why the city made just a feeble attempt to keep them. The 49ers know this and its why they were willing to move south, where most of their fans are. Don’t count on people in Frisco taking BART over to the Coliseum to see the Raiders because they weren’t going to see the 49ers.

  36. Look at any data and the same thing pans out – Winning does not equal great attendance in baseball. With the A’s, you are talking about back-to-back AL West Champions, and this year, we are talking about the best team in all of baseball. And where are the A’s today? 24th out of 30. Saying it is because of Wolff is a myth of the highest order. Because the talking point used to be “If they win, people will come.” Well, they are winning. What gives?
    Let’s not kid ourselves – the most popular team in the Bay Area is the 49ers. They just built the most expensive stadium in history and guess what? They are sold out for days and days. The Raiders cannot and will not touch that anytime soon, if ever.
    If this lease goes through, it’s because the JPA wants this particular lease to happen. A lease full of “outs” is better for the JPA because they can do what they’ve always done – pretend that they can keep both teams for a little while longer. The county gave an awful lot to bring the Raiders back. Hard to imagine they are going to give them up that easily.

  37. JPA has all the leverage, there is literally no where the A’s can go. Can’t go to SF, prolly not Sac after this year and I dare you to build bleachers some where and play there. Oakland JPA has Wolff’s nuts over a fire, hold em there. Demand a lease that commits the A;s to Oakland/Alameda County for 10 years with no out clause other than to a facility in the east bay. If he can’t do that, see ya. Force little Lewie to make a decision RIGHT NOW.

  38. Marine Layer,

    You mentioned that “Oakland has to make a choice and Oakland can’t spin two plates at the same time.”

    I think Lew Wolff needs to “make a choice.” Oakland has presented Wolff with two sites. It’s time that Wolff make a choice. Oakland is tired of being used by Wolff as a temporary location with convenient leases so that Wolff can get his ulterior plans set up in a different town.

  39. Elmano: How much is Oakland offering to contribute toward construction of the ballpark? $0,00, correct? Well, if the numbers don’t pencil out on privately funding a ballpark in Oakland, are you saying Wolff should build anyway and lose hundreds of millions of dollars because he’s rich and can afford it? Is that what you are saying? I know – let’s have him sell the team to folks who can re-investigate all the sites that MLB looked at and found unfeasible so we can be in the same spot in 7 years that we’re in now, right? (As you know, MLB and Oakland already have rejected the DOA Howard Terminal site. Why do you still maintain that it’s a viable site when it isn’t?)

  40. Jesse,

    I agree. There is no place better to go than what Wolff has going in Oakland. There is no better market for the A’s than the absolute center of the Bay Area and an Oakland metro area of 2.6 million residents with access to all 7.5 million Bay Area residents.

    Portland is not a better market. San Antonio is not a better market. Montreal is not a better market. There is no place better to go for Lew Wolff.

    Oakland should not cave in to Lew Wolff and Bud Selig as they continue to play games with Oakland.

    Oakland needs to tell Selig and Wolff. “We have two great sites in Howard Terminal and Coliseum City. Pick one! ” You don’t want Oakland for the long-term? Then take a hike. We will no longer be used by MLB. We’re a proud city and frankly we could do without your attitude and humiliation while making more on truck pulls and motor cross at the Coliseum. Mr. Wolff we have locked the gates of the Coliseum and your bags are out on 66th Avenue. Good Luck at San Jose Muni or at your impromptu ballpark somewhere in the Bay Area.

  41. @Jesse, it’s a good thing you aren’t negotiating on the JPA’s behalf. The JPA/Oakland’s BATNA <<<<< The A's BATNA.
    .
    @Elmano, seriously, how bad is your reading comprehension/attention to detail/memory. Regardless of anything else, Wolf has already "picked" the Coliseum location. As in not HT (it's cost-prohibitive).
    .
    I fear that these attitudes permeate the JPA/Oakland leadership and that's what will lead to the A's leaving the area.

  42. Why wouldn’t the numbers “pencil out?” Is Oakland not in the Bay Area? Is Oakland Siberia?

    I get tired of this attitude that somehow Oakland is “less than.” I guess this is the feeling perpetuated by the bankers and money movers who are of Lew Wolff’s generation and mind-set. It’s about red-lining certain towns because of biases and demographics which they don’t find very appealing.

    Wolff and Selig have no respect for Oakland because of their ignorant mind-set. Oakland needs to stand tall. Oakland is a great town in a great location with nothing to apologize for.

  43. re: There is no better market for the A’s than the absolute center of the Bay Area and an Oakland metro area of 2.6 million residents with access to all 7.5 million Bay Area residents.

    Such a “great” market, yet the team’s attendance has been mostly abysmal since moving to the Bay Area in 1968. Three of the team’s four owners have wanted to move the team. How could that be if Oakland is such a Heaven-sent site for Major League Baseball? I know – they’re all just meanies. (The fourth owners – the Haas’s bailed to cut their losses.) In 1974, the A’s playing in a state of the art stadium as defending champs, with a team full of Hall of Famers who would win their third consecutive World Series, finished 22nd out of 24 teams in attendance.

  44. re: Wolff and Selig have no respect for Oakland because of their ignorant mind-set

    It’s “Poor victim Oakland” again.

  45. Dirty,

    It’s great to hear that Wolff ” has already picked Coliseum City.” I guess he’ll agree to a lease agreement which will allow him to vacate the Coliseum only for a new ballpark at Coliseum City. I guess things are settled and the A’s long-term future in Oakland is secured.

  46. re: JPA has all the leverage, there is literally no where the A’s can go.

    …lots of cities have played this game of thumb their noses at their local major sports franchises. The list is long: Houston Oilers, Brooklyn Dodgers, Seattle SuperSonics, the original Cleveland Browns, Saint Louis Cardinals NFL team and on and on How are the Dodgers doing in Brooklyn these days? And what’s up with the Sonics?

  47. PJK,

    You do remember that the Giants had horrible attendance in the 70’s and 80’s and nearly found themselves in Tropicana Field in St Petersburg Florida?

    MLB stepped in and allowed a group of investors to save the team for San Francisco. Those investors committed to SF and built a beautiful waterfront ballpark in a formerly blighted area. The SF Giants now draw 3 million fans per year.

    Jack London Square where Howard Terminal is located is light years ahead of where China Basin was when the Giants made the decision to invest in San Francisco.

    The only reason that Bud Selig has come out against Howard Terminal is to give Lew Wolff what he wants which is leverage against Oakland. Are you telling me that it took this long for the MLB to find out that Howard Terminal was “not a viable location?” Howard Terminal is a far better location than China Basin was at time the Giants built there.

    JLS is already a great dinning destination filled with plazas, and marinas with more development on the way at the 1.5 billion dollar Brooklyn Basin just south of Jack London Square. The Howard Terminal site is more than 50 acres and offers room for additional development. Condos in JLS sell for between 500,000 and a 1,000,000 dollars. MLB is playing games with Wolff and showing their ignorance and lack of respect for Oakland when they dismiss Howard Terminal and JLS

  48. re: Why wouldn’t the numbers “pencil out?” Is Oakland not in the Bay Area? Is Oakland Siberia?

    …I’ve already gone over this. A privately funded ballpark needs lots and lots of corporate support nearby, the kind of corporate support the East Bay can’t offer. (Ask Mark Davis if you don’t want to listen to Wolff – the Raiders own map illustrated the poor corporate support in the East Bay.) Oh I know – Wolff won’t build in Oakland because he’s a big meanie, right? Has nothing to do with not being able to make the numbers work. He just has it in for Oakland. Yes, that must be it.

  49. reL MLB stepped in and allowed a group of investors to save the team for San Francisco. Those investors committed to SF and built a beautiful waterfront ballpark in a formerly blighted area. T

    San Francisco is one of the world’s most glamorous, prosperous cities.Just because it worked in Frisco does not mean is it is going to work in Oakland. Or in most other cities for that matter. Almost all Major League teams get publicly funded ballparks. Oakland expects a free ballpark

  50. Why do people try to conflate a great town with the ability to build a ballpark? Those two things are completely separate issues. Yes, Oakland has great restaurants and great weather and great topography. That doesn’t mean they know how to get things done in regards to building a baseball stadium. All the JPA has to say is “Sorry Raiders, with your 10 games a year, we are taking the A’s with their 81+ games a year.” Hello Oakland A’s forever!

  51. Oakland is lucky MLB is having so much patience with the town, telling Wolff to keep looking at the place despite Oakland’s long history of neglect of the A’s. Kind of surprising given Selig’s statement that moving to Oakland was a “horrible mistake.” Here he is still trying to shoehorn in a new ballpark in a city that is offering no money, no great site and fawns all over its football team while relegating the A’s to second-class citizens.

  52. @Elmano/troll: Negotiating a lease and negotiating a new stadium are two different things and therefore should be negotiated separately. Each requires the competence of Oakland’s leadership. That competence requires not sharing your sentiments.
    .
    @daveybaby: Exactly. Oakland’s a great city, but this is business.

  53. All MLB attendance sucked in the 70’s – the 1979 Phillies led all MLB teams with 2.75 mil. – drawing 2 mil. then was a real achievement. Averaging 23,462 per game is respectable considering the Coli is an obsolete old football stadium – easily the worst ballpark in MLB. The A’s dominated the giants at attendance when the Giants played at Candlestick – 17 out of the 32 years the Giants played there (that advantage should actually be more like 21 out of the 32 years or more also – the giants received a big attendance boost after they decided to build phone booth park, without that – the Giants wouldn’t have outdrawn the A’s the remaining 6 years the giants played at the ‘Stick) – so phone book park is the only reason the giants have been outdrawing the A’s these days.

  54. The Giants began leaving the A’s in the dust around 1993 when Bonds was signed, about 7 years before ATT Park opened.

  55. The Giants began leaving the A’s in the dust in attendance around 1993 when Bonds was signed, about 7 years before ATT Park opened.

  56. MLB has finally clamped down on Oakland to stop with their unrealistic delaying tactics, and with playing the Raiders against the A’s card. Everyone knows that the best chance for Oakland to retain any of its two remaining teams is to put for now all its efforts on retaining just one team. The ten year lease extension offer to the A’s is Oakland’s answer to that question. However, this lease extension does not guarantee that the A’s will get a new ballpark within Oakland. What it does is to allow more time for the A’s Bay Area new ballpark issue to be resolved, San Jose or Oakland. Without this extension, the A’s may very likely be forced to leave Oakland before the club has a new ballpark plan. This scenario would likely occur if the Raiders did get their Coliseum City stadium deal done. Also, the fact that Oakland seems to be gearing up for the A’s ten year lease extension is an indication that the Raiders’ Coliseum City deal is not anywhere close to getting done. As for the Raiders, a move to Santa Clara could still leave open an opportunity for the Raiders at some future time to take a second look at the Coliseum site for their own new stadium. That scenario also will depend on where the A’s ultimately build their new ballpark.

  57. @pjk – true, Bonds did give them a boost also, however, the knowledge that they were going to built a new giants stadium evidently boosted their fans support for the team – leaving for Tampa Bay or some other city was no longer a problem. With that new ballpark (and Bonds) the A’s would have likely continued to outdraw the Giants – and the A’s beating the giants at attendance would have likely been 21 – or more years – out of the 32.

  58. If I’m following the twitter stream correctly, Oakland again decided not to vote on the lease extension. Stall, stall, stall.

  59. It appears that ML’s next stories will focus on where the A’s will build the temporary ballpark.

  60. Have to wonder if Selig is on the phone with the Giants: “Enough is enough. Nothing can get done in Oakland and San Jose is suing us in federal and state courts and we risk our ATE. Time to “compromise” on San Jose.” Probably not. By boxing in the A’s to Oakland as per the Giants wishes, Selig gives Oakland and the JPA the freedom to continue stalling, stalling, stalling.

  61. @elmano- The reason why Wolff will not sign on with CC is because of the fact the land (only 200 acres are under JPA control) and the fact he is a developer himself.

    Why would he need Colony Capital or anyone of the nature? He can do it himself, he is not useless like Mark Davis is. He is a smart businessman and self made.

    The Raiders/Warriors shot down Steve Schott building in the Coli parking lot years ago because of the parking issues and infrastructure issues it was going to cause.

    Throw Howard Terminal out the window because it is simply to $$ to build there. China Basin had far fewer issues than HT and did not have a railroad going right through it…..Coli at least has infrastructure and a BART station.

    Therefore the only way Wolff builds at the Coli is with the Raiders gone so he has leverage on Oakland.

    This coupled with the fact Wolff may need revenue sharing even after building new at the Coli….but that is another issue.

    Your right Oakland has leverage because the A’s are artificially constrained by MLB/Giants while the Raiders can leave anytime.

    How much more of this will Wolff take before he goes to MLB and says “screw it, I will share with the Giants”??

  62. Wolff has plans to build a temporary ball park if Oakland doesn’t ok the lease – Oakland doesn’t have much leverage. Besides, Selig appears to seek avoiding a temporary ballpark scenario at all costs – that’s why Selig suggested that the A’s would move into phone company park if Oakland won’t agree to a long term lease for the A’s. Now Selig’s latest comments are placing Oakland behind the 8 ball to approve the lease. Selig will likely force the A’s to share phone booth park if Oakland won’t accommodate the A’s. Selig has the cajones to deal with the A’s lease situation – however is sorely lacking that when dealing with the Giants owners and their attempt to drive the A’s out of the bay area.

  63. Seattle has a train running next to Safeco Field. Howard Terminal can be accesses via foot bridges from the garages which are already on the other side of the tracks. The garage above Yoshis’s has a foot bridge over the tracks. The new 1100 stall parking garage next to the Amtrak station in Jack London Square is built on the city side of the tracks and not on the estuary side. This garage also has a wide foot bridge over the tracks much like the Coliseum Bart station has a foot bridge over the tracks. No one is suggesting that we pack 10,000 cars on the estuary side of Jack London Square. This is just another distraction for those who want to make the issues at Howard Terminal more than what they really are.

  64. So Elamno- what’s keeping Oakland from doing the EIR? For that matter if it’s such a great site- Oakland should build the damn thing and take the risk of recouping their investment by selling naming rights, PSL’s etc- just like the ‘9ers did in Santa Clara or like Oakland did to get the raiders to move back from LA- quit the freaking whining and do something- Oakland’s time is running out

  65. Elmano: What is it about “MLB and the A’s have ruled out the Howard Terminal site’ that you don’t understand? Your Oakland officials might have just set off a chain of events that has the A’s leaving the Bay Area. Nice move…

  66. re: Oakland should build the damn thing and take the risk of recouping their investment by selling naming rights, PSL’s etc

    …Yes, if Howard Terminal and the City of Oakland are the Baseball Heavens that Elmano says, Oakland and the JPA should have no trouble issuing $1 billion in bonds and getting started on a new ballpark project right away. Instead, Oakland’s contribution remains fixed at $0.00.

  67. Santa Clara had an owner who committed to build a stadium on that site. Oakland has an unwilling owner who has slapped Oakland around for years. Where in Oakland has Lew Wolff ever committed building a ballpark? The crazy head fake of 66th to High Street where Wolff never followed up doesn’t count.

    All Wolff has ever said is that he wants to leave Oakland and that no site in Oakland is viable. And you blame Oakland for not building a ballpark for an owner who has shown zero interest?

    If Oakland should listen to anyone it should to Mark Davis who has said publicly that Oakland is a great location and that he wants to remain in Oakland. Wolff, on the other hand, has shown nothing but contempt for Oakland for the last ten years. Oakland is suppose to trust this man and risk losing the Raiders as well as Coliseum City? I don’t think so.

  68. Safeco has the stadium set between the trains/industrial area and the main flow of car/foot traffic. You don’t actually have to go near the trains to access the stadium. HT is boxed in. There’s no way to avoid it so you have to pay a ton of money to BUILD in access to the site. That means a lot more money. And general ingress/egress from that site is awful to begin with.

  69. re: All Wolff has ever said is that he wants to leave Oakland and that no site in Oakland is viable.

    …Lew invited MLB to come in and take a look for itself, which it did with the Blue Ribbon Committee, formed to explore ballpark opportunities in the A’s current territory. 5+ years later, the committee’s findings have never been made public and Wolff has said MLB has not found anything he missed. As far as the Raiders, Mark Davis has been negotiating with Oakland for years and years. Still no deal. What’s that about? Something to do with a $500 million funding gap, I suppose.

  70. The A’s won’t likely be going out of town if Oakland/Alameda co. doesn’t agree to the lease. Wolff has already planned for a temporary stadium if the lease with Oakland is not achieved. Also – for the sake of argument – if the A’s were to move to San Antonio, etc. – then the federal court system ruled in favor of San Jose. Moving the team back to San Jose would open a huge can of worms for MLB. The A’s goal is to stay in the bay area anyways. They aren’t going anywhere – except perhaps to a new temporary stadium or phone booth park for the time being.

  71. re: Oakland is suppose to trust this man and risk losing the Raiders as well as Coliseum City? I don’t think so.

    Trust is a two way street. In terms of investment, Oakland has put the A’s third behind the Raiders and Warriors. The Raiders have already left Oakland once and the Warriors never even put Oakland in their name.

    The A’s have been the most consistent of the three in terms of the support for the city and yet the city still puts them on the bottom of the list. Even look at the way the city has been reacting to the lease negotiations.

    The better question is why should the A’s trust Oakland?

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