BayIG’s attorney argues against A’s lease extension, asks JPA to stay with ENA

BANG’s Matthew Artz has a story late tonight about Bay IG (the group working on Coliseum City) asking the JPA not to approve the lease and to allow the remaining study work to be completed through the end of the ENA period, which is this October. For whatever reason the letter doesn’t come from BayIG or its members, Colony Capital or JRDV, but rather from the law firm of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean. Strangely, the lone signatory is a lawyer at the firm, R. Zachary Wasserman, not one of the regular BayIG representatives. Regardless, the letter sends a strong message to not cave in to Lew Wolff’s and MLB’s demands, citing the ongoing Coliseum City work and the money already spent on the project, which has been all public money so far. The letter:

Re:A’s Lease Extension Negotiations and Coliseum City ENA

Dear Mayor Quan,  Council Members and Mr. Gardner:

We have had a chance to briefly review the proposed new lease with the A’s released by the JPA this week. The “out clause” as it is written in Section 7.2.2 will make it impossible to complete the obligations of the development under the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (“ENA”) with the City.  The ENA requires our team to produce a deal with at least one of the teams.  As you know, the only team that has been willing to engage in active negotiations with us is the Raiders.

The City has spent three years and $4 Million to adopt a plan and an EIR that would allow a major new development at the Coliseum site creating a new environment that can keep both the A’s and the Raiders in Oakland.  The City entered into the amended ENA with our client Bay Investment Group and JRDV and HKS.  Our clients relied on the City’s good faith for almost six months in continuing to fulfill their obligations before the ENA was executed.  We do now have a fully executed ENA and the proposed A’s lease will make it impossible to fulfill the ENA development team’s responsibilities under that agreement.

The A’s have until the last few weeks expressed no interest in talking about the Coliseum Project.  The Raiders who have clearly said they want to stay in Oakland in a new facility have been meeting regularly with representatives of the ENA team.  We believe that we will have an agreed upon term sheet with the Raiders making the Raiders the anchor of a new multi-use football stadium on the Coliseum Site by the end of the summer.  This will allow the ENA team to meet its obligations to have an agreement with the City in October.

As you know, it is the Raiders desire and plan to play in a new facility in Oakland for the 2018 football season.  They are making arrangements to play elsewhere for the intervening time. It will be critical to demolish the existing stadium in 2015 not only to construct the new multi-use Raider’s facility but also to simultaneously construct the associated developments including a hotel, retail and office buildings.  These ancillary developments are critical to support both the developer’s ability to fill the gap on the cost of the multi-use Raider’s facility and to create the necessary tax benefits for the City and the County and create a new major economic engine for Oakland.

The approval of the new lease as proposed, allowing the A’s to remain on the site would frustrate these negotiations with the Raiders, frustrate the  purpose and language of the ENA and prevent the effective development of the Coliseum City Project.  It is not necessary to choose between the teams.  The goal of the ENA and the goal of our team is to provide the necessary support for both teams – and much more.  The ENA, which is valid through October 2014, provides the City and ENA team a period of time for preliminary study and exclusive negotiations over a proposed project at the Coliseum site (which includes and encompasses the area subject to lease negotiations with the A’s).  Terms requiring a two year “Out” notice in the A’s lease will violate the ENA agreement between our clients and the City of Oakland.  All we are asking is for the time to perform that is provided in the agreement you have approved..

The “out clause” in the proposed A’s lease would be triggered by the presentation of a “Raider’s Construction Plan” – this term is not defined.  If it means a detailed engineering plan, then this would allow the A’s to remain in place for two years beyond when the developer and the Raiders would be ready to start construction – which clearly does not make sense.  In addition, the A’s would not be required to leave until 60 days after the conclusion of the second baseball season following the notice – so if notice were given in September of this year, based on the current design plans, the A’s would not have to vacate until late summer of 2016, which means that the new facility and the ancillary development could not be completed until fall of 2019.  But if there were any serious thought of giving notice this year, the new lease – including the economic terms – makes no sense at all.

The City has spent over $4 million dollars in a far sighted and thoughtful effort to create a new, amazing, and absolutely possible development that will create a major new tax base for the City and County, produce thousands of jobs and make it possible to retain at least two teams in Oakland.Permitting the A’s to remain in the existing facility beyond 2015 under the terms of this proposed lease would make the City’s expenditures and efforts a waste of public funds.  The current proposal also simply allows the A’s to buy more time to find a site outside of Oakland.  frustrate Bay IG’s efforts to develop the site and disrupt the ability to deliver a stadium for the Raiders and the ancillary developments adjacent to that stadium.

We ask you to honor the terms of the ENA and allow the development team the time to meet its obligations in October.  Approving the A’s lease as proposed now will make that impossible.  Any decision on this proposed lease should not take place until the ENA team and the Raiders have been allowed the agreed upon time to perform and to create the opportunity that will benefit the A’s as well as the Raiders, their fans  and the entire City and County.

Along with the City, the ENA team wants the A’s to remain in the City of Oakland and at the Coliseum site.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you and any representatives of the JPA and we are certainly open to discussions with the A’s about how we can work together.


Very truly yours,


R. Zachary Wasserman

The “Raiders Construction Plan” is defined in the lease terms, under section 44.32:

“Raiders Construction Plan” means a bona fide plan for construction of a new football stadium for the Oakland Raiders on current Complex property, adjacent to the current Complex property, or otherwise located sufficiently near to the Stadium such that it will materially impact Licensee’s operations, which bona fide plan must include, as pertains to such stadium project, a fully executed development agreement with a third-party developer and the Licensor for development of a new Raiders stadium, supported by a non-refundable deposit from the developer and received by the Licensor of at least Twenty Million Dollars ($20,000,000.00).

Now, the term “bona fide plan” is subject to some interpretation. Basically it refers to the Disposition and Development Agreement for the land, Master Lease, and any other supporting documents needed to produce the deal. The 49ers and Santa Clara went through the same thing for Levi’s Stadium, so it’s not as if there’s some mystery here. Wasserman is a well-known, respected real estate and land use lawyer. He knows full well what all of this entails.

Matier and Ross have a new item up regarding this letter, including some key quotes. I’ll just present them here.

Nate Miley: “We (the City/County) still owe about $180 million on the stadium. This is either smoke and mirrors, or they are on crack.”

A’s VP Ken Pries: “From our position, we just don’t think that (Raiders project) is going to happen – we are betting it doesn’t.”

After 2014, the amount owed on the Coliseum will be closer to $138 million, much smaller than Miley states but still quite sizable. Miley has been the biggest skeptic on Coliseum City among the JPA board, and has shown no signs of wavering. Larry Reid noted that BayIG has the backing of the City, but not the JPA, so it appears that the two are at loggerheads over more than just a lease agreement. It makes me wonder how the two could come to any kind of consensus. Miley could also step up his rhetoric on having the City buy out the County, though the City doesn’t have the funds (a recent budget surplus isn’t nearly enough).


Speaking of funds, the BayIG letter mentions $4 million in public (JPA) funds spent on Coliseum City studies. To date, I am unaware of any money that has been spent by BayIG other the funds that have been released to them. Colony Capital, the financial muscle behind the plan, hasn’t raised a single red cent. Maybe the biggest objection, not mentioned in the letter, is the A’s lease agreement’s demand of a $10 or 20 million, non-refundable deposit from the eventual developer. Such a deposit would show BayIG had real skin in the game.

As for Pries, it’s the first real statement we’ve heard from the A’s that they don’t think much of Coliseum City’s prospects. It’s really nothing more than to confirm why they had no interest in the project as it’s being conceived. The A’s have laid down their cards – they’re calling out BayIG and seeing if they can deliver. It’s yet another way to shake up the tree. BayIG says it will have all of the lingering questions answered by the end of the ENA period. The A’s are betting they don’t. The Raiders? Well, Mark Davis seems content to go with the flow. For now, at least.

111 thoughts on “BayIG’s attorney argues against A’s lease extension, asks JPA to stay with ENA

  1. Wasserman and WRBD are *very* tight with the politicos and establishment in Oakland. This is interesting.

  2. every time I think this can’t get more absurd… it does.

  3. I’m on the Raiders side. LOVE MY A’s and Warriors but both want to play in SJ and S.F respectively. ..Oakland wants to stay…I’m seeing 3 new venues by 2020. .all bud Selig has to do is allow the A’s to play at a temp facility and tell the SF giants (who are on the verge of another sweep) to “share” the south bay territory. ..the bay area big 3 can all hold their heads up high and still save the teams

  4. I had wondered why Lew Wolff was pushing for a new lease agreement with the JPA, especially when it was known that a decision on a new Raiders’ stadium deal at CC was expected to be made sometime before the end of this year. I now understand that Wolff was forcing Oakland officials to finally take a stand between the interests of the A’s, or those of the Raiders. This scenario is a win-win for Lew Wolff and the A’s. If Oakland votes in favor of the new lease, it allows more time for the A’s to work out a suitable new ballpark deal; whether it’s in San Jose, the Coliseum site, or some other Bay Area location. On the other hand, an Oakland rejection of the new lease will send the message to MLB that San Jose is the only option for the A’s, if they are to remain within the Bay Area. Finally, what could come out of all of this is that Oakland could ultimately wind up losing both the A’s and Raiders.

  5. Click to access RaijPP.pdf

    What really has me chuckling is that this fellow outlines several reasons why Coliseum City can’t work for both the A’s and Raiders (or more, why it won’t work) while saying it still could work.
    The slide deck I linked shows exactly what the A’s and Raiders are fighting over. They want to control the development, because that is how they make a stadium pencil out.

    • @Jeffrey – Do you recognize the presentatjon’s author? It’s Irwin Raij, who’s part of the BRC.

  6. Jeff, seeming that’s the case. Both teams will need full control of the site to make a private stadium pencil out. Which means only 1 in the end. Also would seem to preclude HT from ever happening besides MLBs refusal of the site already. HT just doesn’t have the ancillary space to develop around it that the Coliseum does. Certainly not enough to pay for a ballpark at what amounts to a more expensive site to begin with.

    Time for Quan to make Sophie’s choice. Who will it be Jean, Raiders or A’s?

  7. Dan, I completely agree with you. I shudder to think that this might actually be about to be over. The City of Oakland, if the pieces people like Robert Gammon are writing gives us any indication (and they do), is about call Selig’s “bluff.”
    Hint guys, it’s not a bluff. And calling it will make their decision for them.

  8. Robert Gammon confirms the A’s would play at ATT Park starting in 2016.

    That is no bluff, Gammon doesn’t understand teams have shared before and it would happen again if need be.

    This is a real life game of poker. Does Oakland shoot down the lease with no guarantee of the Raiders ever getting their stadium?

    If they shoot it down the A’s are gone to SF and I bet they rebrand themselves the San Francisco Athletics to spite Oakland.

  9. Wow. Forcing Oakland to make a decision when it’s been so much easier to stall, stall, stall and keep both teams where they are without doing anything. I’ll bet Oakland rejects the lease and then the A’s move on to Plan B. Whatever that is. Thanks to the Giants, it won’t include San Jose.

  10. Do you have a link to the Gammon piece?

  11. re: A’s VP Ken Pries: “From our position, we just don’t think that (Raiders project) is going to happen – we are betting it doesn’t.”

    …The A’s have all the inside information we don’t as far as the A’s and Raiders stadiums. If they say the Raiders project is pie in the sky, we have to put some credence in that. If Oakland votes down the lease and the A’s bolt after next year and the Raiders can’t get funding, then Oakland loses all 3 teams. Meanwhile, the A’s appear willing to work on a much more cost-effective stadium that would fill up far more dates at the Coliseum site. Bye bye, Raiders.

  12. @pjk: This is a media war. No one’s statements should be taken at face value. Think about what’s at stake. It’s the Coliseum site. In the event that San Jose doesn’t pan out for the A’s, the Coliseum site might be the only option the A’s have left. Ken Pries is going to say what’s in the best interest of the A’s. It doesn’t matter if the Raiders can or can’t make a new Coliseum stadium happen, the A’s will oppose it regardless until they have their own future home secured.

  13. Armageddon is quickly approaching (finally)!! 😉

  14. Townsend just said on BTH (I still listened even after my rant on twitter yesterday) that he’s hearing the county might sell their half of the JPA land to Wolff.

  15. He’s not the first columnist whose written that Oakland holds the power and MLB will fold. Of course, if MLB doesn’t fold, it’s bye bye A’s. MLB has been very charitable to keep the team in a spot where it has been unable to get a new stadium for 20 years and where the team requires tens of millions of dollars in annual subsidies every year from the other owners. Once again, what is the incentive for MLB to cave if Oakland decides it wants to fight MLB on the lease? We can be pretty sure MLB is probably only a handful of votes away from that 75% needed to approve San Jose. Oakland picking a fight here might be all that is needed to persuade the few remaining holdoouts to vote for San Jose. That and San Jose’s lawsuit, which is proceeding.

  16. rham, it’s why I posted it. The guy who is really running point for MLB on the A’s situation (and the Angels situation), both of which are about ancillary development funding a new stadium at their existing sites. He spells it out their, and he has written other articles that also spell it out.

  17. Sid, Gammon is just guessing like the rest of us. And even worse, he’s factually incorrect about a few things, specifically on MLB’s history of sharing stadiums.

    gojohn10, I wouldn’t put too much stock into that. Not that it wouldn’t be possible, mind you, but as of right now, everything should be viewed with a major grain of sand. There’s a lot chest puffing, PR bluster, and outright CYA politicking at play right now. We seem to be at a point where we really can’t trust anyone.

  18. So to recap, the city has been quietly negotiating behind the county’s back to level the Coliseum after the 2015 baseball season and the Raiders have been making arrangements to play elsewhere while there is no stadium in Oakland. At the same time the JPA (who supposedly represent both city and county) have been negotiating the 10 year extension with Wolff. An extension the Raiders and their developers don’t want the A’s to have. On top of that MLB has directly told the city that if the lease isn’t signed the A’s are moving to San Francisco short term (and presumably somewhere else long term).

    The city continues to dally on the lease hoping to stall or even more cynically to drive the A’s out while appearing “fiscally responsible” by quibbling about comparatively tiny amounts with a team they’ve stiffed repeatedly over the years. Ostensibly because the city favors the Raiders plan which at minimum is $500 million short of ever happening. Meanwhile several of their own members are understandably dubious about Coliseum City’s chances of ever happening. And their county counterparts appear even more dubious, to the point of thinking the city is on crack if they think Coliseum City will ever happen. And now we get word that the county may just want out of the JPA completely.

    That sound about right?

  19. DMOAS – Don’t worry, I’ve learned my lessons. Haven’t trusted anyone involved in this for years now

  20. if only everyone hasn’t been completely full of shit at one time or another…

  21. Dan, pretty close. Aren’t election year politics grand?

  22. don’t forget JQ is working with Frisco to drive the A’s out of Oakland. She is getting big contributions from Frisco to do just that. Frisco is celebrating right now as the A’s are getting closer and close to being homeless and out of Oakland. The end is near.

  23. Townsend info seems pretty accurate to me- doesn’t the lease require a $10M non-refundable payment from the developers to show they have skin in the game- sure LW would be ok with giving this provided it was secured by land

  24. ML, did Reid violate city law then when he voted for the lease at the JPA meeting?

  25. @GoA’s: The A’s and Oakland can’t even come to a lease agreement after 14 months of negotiations. What kind of partnership do you think the A’s and Oakland would have if the A’s bought out Alameda County’s stake?

  26. @dmoas: I wanted to comment on the Gammon piece to say that the Angels were in Dodger Stadium for 4 seasons and the Yankees were in Shea for 2 seasons, but I couldn’t be bothered to make an account.

  27. @Briggs- completely agree- but it is a requirement within the current lease- all intended to establish leverage for A’s over Raiders

  28. The county cannot sell their share to Wolff because all the parcels are shared between the city/county and controlled by the JPA as an overseeing authority.

    It would take approval from Oakland to do it and we all know how that would end.

    It is not like each entity city and county have their own pieces and they are separate, that is not how it works.

    Oakland is playing chicken with MLB, the A’s have drawn the line in the sand and are willing to play ball at the Coli site now and make an effort to build there privately as long as they are granted development rights fully in the adjacent areas.

    The Raiders are a much larger more expensive project. Even though the Raiders have more revenue and bring more tax dollars. Oakland is catering to the Raiders because of leverage and Levi’s Stadium sitting 35 miles away with a 2nd home team locker room about to open up in 3 weeks.

    500M gap? That is not small and Mark Davis is not willing to raise money to make it up.

    Oakland if they were smart would keep the A’s and let the Raiders walk…..but they are not smart and will call MLB and Wolff’s bluff and shoot down the lease.

    San Francisco Athletics in 2016.

  29. Raiders bring in more tax dollars? I kind of doubt that. 40,000-50,000 a game X 10 vs 20,000 a game X 81? Even with more expensive tickets, I’m not sure how the Raiders bring in more money. Of course, the Coliseum’s big parking lot situation means there’s no money coming into to local hotels and restaurants from any of the games. The opposing teams stay in Frisco, not Oakland, supposedly.

  30. @Dan – Here is the summary of rules:

    (1) representatives shall receive prior authorization from a majority of the City Council before they cast a vote on behalf of the City on any matter of particular controversy or that could have a significant economic or policy impact on the City; except that

    (2) if the delegate is unable to obtain Council authorization because time is of the essence, the delegate shall obtain authorization from the appropriate Council committee and report the delegate’s action to the Council at the next regular Council meeting; and

    (3) if the delegate determines that it is not in the City’s best interest to cast the vote the Council directed because of changed circumstances or new information that was not available when the Council authorized action, the delegate may cast a vote that was not authorized by the Council, however the delegate must attempt to carry out the Council’s general direction and report back to the full Council the action and the basis for changing his/her vote.

    Reid must have used criteria #3.

  31. Sid, I have to agree. I think Oakland will continue to run themselves right into a wall with this. The A’s will be donning SF uniforms for 2016. And in the end the Raiders won’t be able to get anything done vis-a-vis Coliseum city since that funding gap is just going to get bigger with time and they’ll end up in SC or LA in the end too. The A’s appear to be the best way to keep a team and develop the Coliseum area, but the city just doesn’t want to pull the trigger and send the Raiders packing. Which frankly I’ve never understood since it’s hard to find a more ungrateful and undeserving group of losers than the Raiders in pro sports.

  32. Somehow the Raiders are implying that they’ve got the funding to build the stadium. Why would they request that the Coli be demolished after the A’s 2015 season and then move the team to LA? (That’s not the Raiders style)Both Oakland city officials and the Raiders appear to be on the same page, Quan supports the Raiders. The longer the vote is stalled – the worse it is for the A’s.

    Also, the comment by Ken Pries (neither confirming or denying that the A’s might move to Montreal or San Antonio)is bizzare. Wolff has always maintained that the A’s will stay locally – that appears to a major shift by the A’s.

    A year ago, the attorney representing San Jose commented that San Jose would host an MLB franchise, or obtain a contract to get one, in two years. At that time that comment by Cotchett appeared to be odd – how could the bay area support three MLB teams? Evidently Cotchett was aware of a scenario where the A’s could move out of town – then San Jose will find another team (the San Jose Rays?) (even though that does have a good ring it – the A’s in San Jose would be way more preferable)

  33. anyone know if there is an out option for the A’s after this season ?

  34. @GoA’s: I heard that on 95.1 as well. Fun speculation, but reality is different.

    The land is owned by the JPA. Alameda can’t sell any of the land directly to Wolff.

    And it’s highly unlikely that Alameda Cty has the right under the Joint Powers Exercise Agreement (I can’t find a copy online) to sell its JPA interest to a private party. And even if they could, and Wolff were interested, Wolff wouldn’t just be able to develop. He would step into the shoes of Alameda Cty and have to work jointly with Oakland.

  35. All this is showing Wolff is trying, trying, trying to make it work in Oakland. If he is thwarted because Oakland prefers the Raiders, then MLB can either use this knowledge to either open up San Jose or keep twiddling its thumbs out of fear of the Giants.

  36. pjk, that is one thing that is making me happy about this whole debacle. That and this really does seem to have turned public opinion against the Raiders in the A’s favor based on the reactions I’m reading. The overwhelming majority sentiment is “lose the Raiders, keep the A’s.” If only the city listened to its constituents. The A’s are Oakland at its best and always have been, the Raiders, not so much.

  37. SMG, so did I. I would have also included the 10 years that the Yankees & Giants shared the Polo Grounds.

  38. Selig’s going thumbs-down on Howard Terminal has lit this fire under Oakland’s rear ends. The city is now forced to choose either the Raiders or the A’s for the Coliseum site and we know their heart is really with the Raiders. Gotta wonder if Oakland will make another PR pitch extolling the “virtues” of Howard Terminal.

  39. @Dan

    I bet a paycheck that city of Oakland finds a way to bully Lew Wolff to do “Oakland’s vision” of Coliseum City instead of Lew wolff vision. So for the haters that think “public opinion” is against the Raiders…. (chuckle) u do not know the Raider nation and regardless how u damn feel about performance Raiders mount davis and Oakland are married…so get over it. That is why Quan will vote no and the rest will follow.

  40. Don’t know that the Polo Grounds situation is really comparable. But if you really want to make the point utilizing MLB history, how about that the very same A’s and the Phillies shared Shibe Park for 16 years (which is the longest such arrangement in MLB history if I’m not mistaken).

  41. Wow, seems like the fireworks are just getting started.

  42. Harry, I’d take that bet. And as for the vaunted “Raider Nation”. If they’re so influential and powerful, why do they never show up at games? I still see more Raider fans in LA than I do in the Bay Area.

  43. @ Dan-more Raider fans in L.A. than in the Bay Area? I would have to disagree with you 100% on that. I live in Pleasanton, and see FAR more cars sporting Raiders stickers, etc, and FAR more people sporting Raiders gear than I do when visiting L.A. Will not deny Raiders fans existence in L.A., but c’mon.

  44. @Dan: I’d say the Rays “fanbase” is the most disloyal and ungrateful in American pro sports. Also “the A’s are Oakland and always have been”… uh KC and Phillie would like a word with you. Finley did screw KC to get to Oakland; voters had already approved a bond to build a stadium (which would eventually be Kauffman) and Finley left anyway.

    @Duffer: If the Rays were to go anywhere, which they probably won’t because their lease is even more garbage than that of the A’s, it’d be Charlotte.

  45. Maybe I am misreading this, however, shouldn’t this be somewhat expected? The CC project never had support from MLB/the A’s. Hasn’t CC been all about the Raiders with the A’s a final phase afterthought? If that is the case and if the belief is an A’s Extension means the Coliseum can’t be torn down for X amount of years (CC delay), why wouldn’t BayIG be against the A’s extension?

    I love this whole thing because it forces the Pols to be actual grown ups. Will they? Who knows, doubt it. But in fairness to them, they say when there is no clear choice, the best choice is to do nothing. I believe the Pols will find some way not to vote yes or no on the Extension. If that is the case then the ball moves clearly in MLB’s court. Do they accept a delay and remain silent (which will hurt their negotiating position — saying our threat was not real)? Or do they make good on their threat and start a PR campaign about the A’s looking for a new place to play as of 2016?

  46. SMG, since the day the A’s arrived they haven’t left. Sure Finley attempted to move them a few times, but they’ve never left the Coliseum since 1968. Can’t say the same for the Raiders, who coincidentally did start life as an SF based team, not Oakland 😉

  47. Lol I told u Dan that the city of Oakland would try to sell Lew wolff the land as well as tell him to go in a build Oakland a free baseball park.. I bet Lew would spend more on Oakland then he would on San jose. This is why u need the Raiders to check Oakland and use the mt.davis debt to get Oakland to vote for him

  48. @SMG – It would be good fit though – the SJ Sharks and Rays – even both team’s colors are teal (that might be too much of a coincidence, this could be destined) – even though green & gold, and teal would be definitely preferable.

  49. Robert Gammon has no credibility, given that he is ignorant of the facts to base his arguments. There have been numerous instances over many years of MLB history when two teams sharing the same market also shared the same ballpark. In addition to the examples mentioned in previous comments, the Cardinals and Browns had shared Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis for several decades. Gammon is so ignorant of the A’s ballpark history that I’m sure he was not even aware that the A’s shared Shibe Park with the Phillies for some sixteen years, before the A’s moved from Philadelphia to Kansas City. As with Robert Gammon and others like him, one major prerequisite for being a mouthpiece for the Giants is to be truly ignorant to the facts, historic and otherwise.

  50. Bleacher seats to today’s game at AT&T Park are $70. Enjoy the Coliseum ticket prices while you can.

  51. ESPN just came out with an article about this and I laughing hard.

    The day is about to come where Oakland must choose between the Raiders and A’s and if history is any indicator they will choose the Raiders.

    Here is why:

    -They owe 180M on the stadium still cause of the Raiders, so it behooves Oakland to keep the Raiders and factor in that debt into the new stadium somehow. By choosing the A’s that debt has to be paid and the A’s will not help in anyway to pay it down.

    -Raiders have all the leverage with Levi’s down the street opening up. They can leave anytime and that debt will linger over the JPA and Oakland for years to come.

    -Oakland truly believes the A’s will not share with the Giants under any circumstances and that because of that MLB and Wolff are bluffing big time.

    -Even though the A’s play far more games, Oakland still gets more tax revenue from the Raiders because they do more overall revenue, # of games be damned. This piece is missed by a lot of people who think more games is better, not the case.

    -Finally, the A’s are not on board with Coliseum City because why would Wolff go with a 3rd party developer when he is one himself and been a very successful one at that? Wolff wants control because he is an expert in this kind of thing while Mark Davis is not so it gives more power to Oakland. Foolish thinking but that is Oakland for you!

    In the end, the A’s will be in ATT Park in 2016 and the Raiders will need a “hail mary” to build the stadium and if it fails, which is a good possibility, Oakland will be begging the A’s to come back.

    But Wolff will say no because he will see how much $$ he is making at ATT Park as the SF A’s and give them the finger.

    He can then sit on the Giants, make them scream “Uncle” and head to San Jose regardless of how the lawsuit ends.

  52. Dan says, “The A’s will be donning SF uniforms for 2016.”

    Uniforms will most likely just have “Athletics” on them with no location.

    Interesting question though…. Do the A’s actually have to play in Santa Clara to use the San Jose name? The San Jose Athletics of San Francisco. Wouldn’t that be just a big, hilarious middle finger to Oakland?

  53. The A’s can put whatever city they want to on their uniform, or can go city free if they so choose. If they are forced to move to SF you can count on the fact they won’t be keeping Oakland on the jersey.

    As for the idea that the Raiders somehow bring in more tax revenue I’d love the see the numbers that prove that. Because it MAY be the case now, but it sure won’t be when you’re counting on the team to draw in folks to a larger mixed use development. You’re going to get a lot more tax revenues with people using the site 81 times or more a year than you are a best 10.

  54. I’ve said it several times over the years, but the biggest mistake the A’s ever made was not calling themselves the San Francisco Athletics back in 1968. Much of the love the Giants receive is from people projecting their love of the city San Francisco onto the Giants.

  55. Note in that article LW did mention the EQ site as a potential temporary ballpark

  56. Play at the squarely shaped Earthquakes stadium? Not likely. Shoehorn a temporary ballpark onto the rest of the property? Maybe…Hope Bud Selig appreciates ESPN’s article about the Raiders plans to demolish the Coliseum. Selig has gone to bat to keep the A’s in Oakland and Oakland appears set to give the property to the Raiders. At what point does MLB stop this lunacy and give the A’s San Jose over the Giants’ objections? The Giants have shown they only care about their own franchise and not the best interests of baseball. Time to dismiss them.

  57. I’m sure he’d rather avoid it though. Quakes fans have been waiting almost as long as A’s fans for their own stadium, development and location, not to share a parking lot with the A’s.

  58. That site is so close to my house I could be easily dropped off and picked up after games. Works for me. Wouldn’t even need “Free Parking Tuesdays.”

  59. @pjk- the site- not the actual EQ stadium- in all honesty wondered why some of the rest of that development wasn’t occurring- makes sense that they are waiting to see how this plays out

  60. The Quakes stadium is a horsehoe-shaped soccer stadium with a big scoreboard taking up the fourth side. Not seeing how MLB would even consider the place. But there is extra room nearby. Wonder if Lowe’s and Costco (also nearby) will complain about the A’s taking up their parking (like in Fremont)?

  61. Well, baseball was played in the LA Coliseum for a bit. Talk about shoehorning in a baseball stadium. This would probably be worse than that, I’d imagine, but then I doubt that would be anyone’s first or second choice.

  62. LA Coliseum is a giant stadium with a runner’s track around the perimeter, thus making the playing surface bigger than an average football field. And it still wasn’t much of a baseball stadium. I don’t think there will be anywhere near enough room to shoehorn a baseball field into the Earthquakes stadium, especially since the fourth, open-ended side has a big, permanent scoreboard in place.

  63. pjk – They wouldn’t use the soccer arena. MarineLayer discussed this nearly two years ago.

    “I think the A’s could easily build a 20,000-seat temporary stadium at either HomeBase lot next to the Coliseum or on the Hunter Storm part of the Airport West development near Earthquakes Stadium site in San Jose. Either site would work because it would be available for cheap or free and there would be no worries about competing development, at least in the near term. Infrastructure already in place for the nearby stadia could be leveraged (concessions, facilities) with potential additions easy to scale back or value engineer. In both cases, already approved EIRs or uses would already be in place, with supplemental studies possible but easier to anticipate and manage than completely new studies. And if the A’s plan properly, they could re-use parts of the old stadium in the new one, though that has proven trickier to execute than conceived. Once the temporary facilities have completed their work, they could be dismantled and re-used, donated, or recycled, leaving behind a perfectly ready-to-build site.”

  64. Not to mention the Quakes stadium has few seats on the lower level, which is where baseball parks generally need them, and it has no seats at all on the enclosed end line as that is the standing supporters terraces. A novel idea for soccer, a non starter for baseball.

  65. LoneStranger: the SFGate article says the EQ stadium is under consideration, which can’t be right.

  66. Guys- never suggested it would be the EQ stadium but the general site upon which EQ are building- my point as to why Hunter Storm has not started development as of yet- parking would be there for 20k to support the EQ stadium- and they could easily manage overlap of events.

  67. FWIW, the neighbors in that area, who already chose to live a few yards near a noisy airport and the noisy Caltrain line, already tried to stop the EQ stadium. Wonder how they’d feel about an MLB stadium that’s used 80+ days a year.

  68. @duffer: The Rays uniforms contain precisely zero teal. The colors are navy, Columbia blue, white, and gold. White is the only color they have in common with the Sharks, which basically saying they have nothing in common.

  69. Blue, schmue – their colors are close enough. anyways that evidently was a false report about the A’s possible move to Montreal or San Antonio.

  70. what I was told by folks I believe know what they are talking about is that the “bluff” included two points:
    1. Short term temporary move to AT&T.
    2. Longer term temporary move to a stadium adjacent to the Quakes while a long term solution can be worked out.
    I can’t confirm any of it.

  71. That’s fitting with what was in the East Bay Express article, which mentioned that the city council was flat out told the A’s were moving to SF if they turned down the lease, and then what Wolff stated this afternoon that he’s looked at playing at the Quakes location as well.

    MLB seems as serious as a head wound about this. But will Oakland choose to bleed out and lose the A’s or not, that is the question. We should know soon enough.

    I tell ya, I’m excited. Regardless of how this shakes out we may finally be getting somewhere!

  72. Will be fun to see if Oakland tries to flex its “muscles” on this, with its bombastic statements about “protecting the taxpayers” and whatnot.

  73. It appears all these moving parts have really left Cisco Field at San Jose in the dust. I guess Lew Wolf, at one point, has had conversations with San Jose officials and may have been told that the odds are better of getting a new stadium in Oakland that prevailing in the lawsuit. The next hearing is Aug. 12, so will be interesting what transpires on this side of the equation.

    If the lawsuit gets to the Supreme Court, and heard, by that time the Raiders might be in LA and the A’s might have broken ground on a new stadium at the present site. The hearing might have more drama than all this other crap……I would love to see MLB cave and be forced to open up their “books.” If that happens everyone will head for the exit and grant the A’s a move to San Jose.

  74. Jean Quan now favors the lease and the BayIG lawyers aren’t as worked up as they were yesterday? That’s nice. I don’t want to say it puts things back into a state of inertia, but unless we get an ultimatum from Davis it sounds like the pace of news is about to slow down for a while.

  75. @muppet151:

    Hey, you know JQ’s buddy Larry Baer must have told her to do all she can to stop the A’s from moving into ATT. What if the A’s refuse to leave ATT ? LOL

  76. Well I guess that little episode is over. Back to the status quo of waiting for A’s fans. Life may get interesting for the Raiders though.

  77. Can JQ get any more pathetic than having to crawl back to LW and say “where can I sign”- she is absolutely fascinating-

  78. Could someone (briefly) recap the lease agreement situation? I know that the JPA has agreed to it, so who else must sign off on it? The Oakland City Council? If so, when will the Council vote on the issue (assuming the issue hasn’t been tabled or otherwise delayed)? Any other governing body that must approve it? If so, when will they meet to vote on the lease? My apologies for being so ignorant. I just haven’t had time to read up on everything. To all who answer you have my thanks and gratitude for filling me in.

  79. @ Matt
    I don’t know the timetable for the dates,but the Alameda County board of supervisors has to approve the deal along with the Oakland city council. Of the three governmental bodies(JPA), I believe only the city council threatened not to approve it.


    Okay, Ratto usually just annoys me, but he had some good lines in this one:
    “Think of it. The city is negotiating to tear down a stadium and keep it standing at the same time. There isn’t enough medical marijuana in the state to make this make sense. To call this idiocy is to slander idiots. To call it political cowardice is to disgust cowards.”


  81. Some other good ones:
    “The Oakland political structure has pushed the day of A’s-Or-Raiders reckoning down the road month after month, year after year, in a cavalcade of fecklessness that could fell a herd of moose.”

    “But the biggest problem with both the A’s and Raiders leaving Oakland is this: We’ll still be stuck with the people who operate the city, and that is an eventuality that should horrify you down to the cellular level.”

  82. In a way, this saga can be viewed as MLB vs. NFL.

    Suppose that wise people concluded that it is only viable for Oakland to keep just one team. Why should I move *my* team? Without a fight? It’s like I accept defeat and a second class citizen status! Especially when the other team needlessly provoked me by saying they want to tear down my stadium as soon as possible. What the $#%?

    If I am MLB and I am throwing a fit, I will do my best to bump the Raiders off Oakland. (The Raiders arguably had a worse hand than the As, see below.) If, in a year or two afterwards, the A’s also move off Oakland for good reasons, at least all the world now knows there is a precedence that MLB >> NFL.

    The Raider and As are about the same in terms of their non-leverages: they don’t want to share stadium with rivals; they don’t want to go to San Antonio/Portland because even 1/3 of the Bay Area is still a larger market; they will not be allowed to go to where they want because that market is currently reserved for other teams (in the case for football, LA should be used for misplaced clubs such as Jaguar & Saints).

    The A’s factually has an upperhand over the Raiders because it can privately finance a stadium, while the Raiders can’t.

    In this election year, you want votes, no? If I am a non-incumbent running for mayor in Oakland, I call Mark Davis bluff, and I publicly bring a lease proposal to the Raiders with an increased rent demand. I simultaneously appear to keep the Raiders while look out for the best interests for the tax payers?

  83. @SMG- agree- for once RR mostly nailed it- so can we expect next Tuesday for a Quan to speak so eloquently to the Raiders Nation about why she is approving the lease? Is Robert Gammon still advocating telling LW to F off? Will Dr. Death be the only member of raider nation at the meeting? Politicians by nature are ducked up but Quan and her band of Oakland pols take it to a new level each and every week.

  84. Where we stand when it comes to Oakland choosing the A’s, Raiders, or neither, is quite simple: 2014 is the end game, no more kicking the can and delaying until next year. The biggest question is will Jean Quan take the “Decisive Leadership” approach (meaning choosing the A’s and being willing to jettison the Raiders for the good of the City (and yes preventing her legacy from being switched from the first Asian Mayor in Oakland History, to the woman who possibly lost three sports teams)). Or will she choose to play politics, and Punt the Football away until the Fall, and risk everything? I hope she has the guts to pick the A’s, but I have no idea. But at least we know that this is all coming to an end, one way or another.

  85. What are the odds of the Coliseum, after the 2014/2015 football season is randomly torn down? Not because there’s an actual plan in place. Not because the city is prepared to do it. But because the politics here are so fked up that someone approved it without telling anyone else, a date got set without anyone realizing what that date meant, a demo team hired without knowing what they are, the explosives get laid out because that’s what you do when tear a structure down, and the button gets pushed because that’s what you do with buttons.

    I mean, wouldn’t that just be the most epic conclusion to this mess? Imagine all the denials the city would throw out there after it was done. Then the political scrambling to justify it.

  86. Oakland isn’t the only party guilty of stall tactics. The A’s and Raiders are playing the same game. The A’s have not waved the white flag on San Jose. However, they still need the Coliseum. The Raiders want the A’s out of the picture because they have more negotiating leverage if the A’s and W’s gone. The Oakland mayoral election is approaching. The A’s and the Raiders know that they might be dealing with a new mayoral office soon.

    As much as we all want this to be the “end game,” I wouldn’t be shocked if we get another pair of short-term lease extensions and we’re repeating this process again in 18-20 months.

  87. Shocked Briggs? Hell, I fully expect it. It would be far more shocking if something real were to actually happen.

  88. @ Briggs
    Unfortunately, I think you may be correct.

  89. LW is running circles around Mark Davis/CC right now but maybe that’s what Davis wants. He had to prove to the NFL that he tried in Oakland and couldn’t make it work- once they approve the A’s 10 year lease I would think he can claim victory there

  90. Oakland is an easy target, (deservedly so), but the sad truth, weather some want to admit it or not, is neither Oakland, the A’s, or the Raiders have made a commitment (to build a new venue in Oakland.) , and no I don’t believe it’s entirely incumbent on Oakland, as to whether the A’s, or Raiders make a commitment.
    In some ways, all three deserve this mess they are trapped in, Lew Wolff perhaps to a lesser extent, but all three of the clowns have earned it.

  91. GoA’s, I’m inclined to agree with you. I think this is the out the Raiders have been waiting for. They can now make their long desired attempt at moving to LA after this season with far less resistance than they’d have had otherwise. Some in the NFL may still prefer they park it at Santa Clara. But I can see them making a great argument that they really do belong in LA as one of the teams. To this day they still have more fans in the LA area than they do in the Bay Area. And that situation wouldn’t improve for them being a third rate team and a second rate tenant in the Niners stadium when the latter.

  92. @ GoA’s
    Good point, the problem for Oakland is the Raiders may be trying to prove that to the NFL, at the same time the A’s might be trying to prove that to MLB.

  93. @LSN- completely disagree as far as the A’s go- we are nearly 20 years into the stadium search and Oakland still hasn’t aligned on a specific site nor completed the EIR for any of their proposed sites. SJ picked a site and completed the EIR and has acquired a good chunk of the land- all that with no guarantees. Oakland pols have only shown ineptness over these past 20 years-

  94. The Raiders are NOT going to L.A. What is so hard for everyone to understand? Ant team who would petition the NFL for relocation to L.A. better have an owner who can purchase his own land(e.g. Stan Kroenke of the Rams-60 acres in Inglewood), and construct/own/operate his own stadium. Why do you think the NFL has turned a cold shoulder toward the two L.A. stadium proposals (Farmer’s Field in downtown L.A. and Roski’s City of Industry pipedream)? The business models are not set-up to the liking of the other owners.They will not hand over the L.A. market to an owner (e.g. Mark Davis)who needs 3rd party assistance to make all of this happen. They make far less $$$ in that instance. Davis has clearly put all of his eggs in Oakland’s basket, and is praying that it all comes together. This is no ploy to show the NFL that it can’t work in Oakland, as the NFL has absolutely no want of relocating the Raiders there.

  95. @GoA’s
    I made that statement guessing you (and others), probably would “completely disagree as far as the A’s go”, I did say Lew Wolff to a lesser extent, but it’s cool, as I often say to pjk, we agree on 90%-95% of this stuff, so we don’t have to agree on everything.

  96. @ Lakeshore/Neil:

    Why don’t Oakland do an EIR at HT, VC, etc…?

    Do the simple thing first before getting to the stadium money stuff which can be hazardous. Oakland can do the EIR themselves. Talk is cheap.

  97. @Dan- The A’s revenue is 175M and the Raiders is 230M according to bloomberg and forbes, assume 10% delta either way.

    It would take 55M in revenue from ancillary development along with the A’s revenue to match what the Raiders are doing now just from a revenue stand point.

    Would the ancillary development create 55M in new revenues per year? This is one of the reasons Oakland sides with the Raiders.

    Both teams would receive a spike in revenue with stadiums so lets assume that spike is about the same.

    That is a lot of revenue to make up from development.

    • @Sid – What are you talking about? The teams’ relative revenue figures have little to do with this. Why? Because the city doesn’t see any of those revenues. Talk about debt. The $500 million funding gap translates to $40 million/year in debt. That’s the real issue here. Can the Raiders make that up with a combination of regular ticket sales, sponsorships and ancillary revenues? Maybe, but it’s an enormous risk.

  98. 187, this is the NFL you’re talking about though, not MLB. They don’t have the same tight territorial restrictions that MLB has. If Mark wants to move his dad’s team back to LA, he can move his dad’s team back to LA. And he’s reportedly been keeping in contact with Roski and his shovel ready stadium. Roski would obviously like to buy into any NFL team that inhabits his stadium once built, and Mark has been buying up minority portions of the Raiders and would be able to give him a minority share in exchange for the stadium.

    So say it’s not possible if it makes you feel better. But it’s definitely possible. The Raiders could return to the majority of their fan base next season and there’s not much the NFL could do to stop it if Mark has balls anywhere near the size of his old man.

  99. Sid, as usual though Forbes data is highly speculative and ultimately unreliable.

  100. @ Dan-the other 31 owners would have to vote their approval for any team to relocate to L.A., and I guarantee you that Davis won’t win that vote. And he certainly doesn’t have the $$$ to wage a long-winded court battle. Davis has only bought out 1 of the NY-based investors thus far. And that investor wanted out, so it wasn’t as if he was seeking to buy them all out. Roski is a complete joke to the NFL. Davis met with him way back in 2011, and it was Roski who approached Davis, as well as Spanos (Chargers) and one other NFL owner (who escapes my mind at the moment). As I said before, I really do not believe that L.A. is much of an option for Davis at this point. And if he thinks it’s an option, he has a severe rude awakening coming his way.

  101. @ daniel
    I’m not defending Oakland. they bare most of the blame in all this (in my opinion), but Wolff is no more a victim (along with Mark Davis), then Oakland is, and unlike some (who comment here), I’m not going to defend Lew Wolff at every turn.

  102. @ML- I am talking about tax revenue the city receives from the teams. That is based on overall revenue.

    The Raiders do 55M more than the A’s do despite far fewer games so who is making Oakland more money? The Raiders are by a long shot.

    What I am stating is the A’s would have to make up 55M in total revenue from ancillary development per year to match the same tax revenue Oakland currently gets from the Raiders.

    Both teams would get revenue spikes from a new stadium so that is a wash from a comparison basis as it would be about the same.

    The argument people pose is “more games means more revenue from the ancillary development”. That maybe true but you have to look at overall revenues to see a Raiders stadium makes more for the city than an A’s stadium.

    I argue the Raiders if Mark Davis wasn’t such a “silver spooned” idiot could easily make up 500M by raising scratch doing the following:

    SBL Sales- 150M, Lifetime rights like Levi’s Stadium, if the 49ers can do 450M+ the Raiders can easily do 150M.

    Naming rights- 120M, 49ers got 220M, so less than half is reasonable and there are Bay Area corporations who have this kind of scratch.

    Suite Sales- 100M, 49ers did 360M so less than a 1/3 makes sense.

    Now you have 370M raised out of a 500M gap without taking on any debt.

    Davis can now sell a piece of the team for the last part at 130M and there you go….a brand new Raiders stadium at the Coliseum and bye bye A’s.

    But Davis refuses to raise the money and be a businessman and sell to his fan base at a fraction of the prices the 49ers charged in Santa Clara.

    That is what may save the A’s in Oakland is the fact Davis will not help bridge the gap. The risk is not as big as you think if he was willing to show some “testicular fortitude” like Jed York did and go and get it.

    • @Sid – All of that stuff is revenue streams used to back debt, whether from the NFL, Goldman Sachs, BofA, you name it. The Raiders or the JPA have to prove they can back those loans. It’s not just me saying this, it’s AECOM. Now you can ballpark these numbers however you like, but if the Raiders continue on their trajectory they’ll have trouble raising money.

      Plus the G-4 program is no slam dunk. If the Raiders show they can back 35k seat licenses, 100 suites, etc., they’ll be in decent shape. If they can’t they’ll face very high borrowing costs because of the risk. There’s no point in building if your interest rate is 13%. The NFL has to look out for its own league-wide program and the financial burden to be faced by Davis or the next owner. If it doesn’t pencil out, they won’t approve it.

  103. @ML- Keep in mind how off you were on the 49ers stadium. I just looked at your old projections and you estimated a 152M-184M total in SBL sales.

    I argued you weren’t even in the ballpark and in fact you were not even on the same continent when the 49ers blew it out with 450M+.

    You also estimated 7M a year in naming rights and I also said that was way low….ended up being 220M over 20 years….4M more per year. That is a significant amount more.

    As for the Raiders, the #s you had for the 49ers I believe are actually more accurate for the Raiders.

    I am estimating 150M in SBL sales, 6M per year (120/20) in naming rights, and 100M in suite sales.

    • @Sid – We were in a recession and the 49ers sucked. I had valid reasons for those conservative estimates. Do you really believe they would’ve approached the kind of sellout numbers they achieved without the boom and the 49ers’ resurgence? I don’t. I made my admission about Levi’s Stadium.

      On the other hand, you don’t know WTF you’re talking about with this revenue makeup talk. No offense, but when you are called out on bad numbers you don’t reply. Try it again.

  104. “SBL Sales- 150M, Lifetime rights like Levi’s Stadium, if the 49ers can do 450M+ the Raiders can easily do 150M”

    Easily? There’s 30,000 people willing to shell out $5000 each per seat? Or 15K at $10K? Or however you want to pencil it out…for a team that’s both cut capacity and slashed prices?

    Here’s the top 10 naming rights deals as of 2013:

    And a comprehensive list:

    A Raiders-only stadium (under 25 events a year) is going go earn many multiples of what the current shared stadium (~100 events) gets for rights? Enough to put it in the top 10 or 20?

    Color me skeptical…

  105. @ML, If the Raiders can get a CC stadium deal done before the end of this year, then when would be the earliest date that the A’s would be forced to vacate the Coliseum under the proposed new lease agreement? I am curious as to the earliest time frame needed for the A’s to get a temporary facility built, if they chose that option.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.