Oakland City Council approves amended lease 5-2, now goes back to JPA/County/A’s for approval

A lease agreement was passed tonight. Not the lease agreement the JPA sent to Oakland’s City Council. Instead the Council voted 5-2 (with 1 abstention) to approve an amended lease that included fairly minor changes. Among those changes:

  • A clarification on how the A’s use their termination clause. Example: If the A’s provide notice on January 1, 2016, the lease ends on December 31, 2018. If they provide notice after 1/1/16, termination doesn’t occur until 2019. This was not actually a point of dispute, it’s just that the language was somewhat confusing so an example was provided.
  • A typo in the the agenda document indicated that the the developer fee/deposit for continuing redevelopment at the Coliseum (Coliseum City) was both $10 million and $20 million. This was clarified as $10 million, and was agreed upon in the lease approved by the JPA on July 3.
  • A new section 42.7 that codified lease practices defined in the 2013 (current) lease.
  • A section on Licensor (JPA) default was removed for some reason. It has been added back to the agreement.
  • If the A’s are sold, there is a clause (16.1) that explains how the team transfers the lease to the new owner without requiring JPA approval. The requested change is to include the fact that new owner must be MLB-approved.
  • Removal of language that makes the JPA liable for Raiders’ acts/omissions that are approved by the JPA. The language now solely deals with the A’s revenues and benefits going strictly to the A’s, not to any third party.
  • There’s also a need to clean up language, which is customary in contract negotiations. It’s unclear what those cleanups are.

All in all, there’s little reason for the A’s to decline the lease. On the other hand, these changes are so minor it’s a wonder why they had to be debated in public, with the exception of the typo in the second bullet point.

Council President Pat Kernighan put forth a motion early on to consider the lease with these amendments. That caused CM Larry Reid, who is also a JPA board member, to put forth his own substitute motion that would have the Council vote on the lease as is. At the end of the session, Reid’s substitute motion lost 4-3. Kernighan’s won 5-2. After the votes the Council tried to clear up whether or not the JPA or the Alameda County Board of Supervisors would have to vote on the revised agreement. Naturally, the answer is YES. The BoS will meet on July 29 to go over this new lease and perhaps the old lease two, so they may end up voting on both. The JPA will have to take another special session vote shortly thereafter, and A’s ownership will also have to sign off.

A’s President Mike Crowley was on hand to witness the festivities. After JPA counsel Jon Streeter presented the lease in great detail and asked questions, Crowley was asked to provide a comment on the amended lease. Kernighan was concerned about putting Crowley on the spot, while Reid encouraged Crowley’s opinion. Crowley said that he preferred the original lease as is, though he allowed for the typo correction. After the vote he said he was “disappointed” by the Council’s action. Whether he’s disappointed in the terms or in the fact that everyone’s in for 2 more weeks of gestation over a lease wasn’t clear. Crowley reserved further comment until he had a chance to review the terms.  Kernighan mentioned that she talked with Lew Wolff earlier in the morning, and with a caveat that she wasn’t representing him, revealed that the changes didn’t seem like showstoppers.

There was plenty of time for grandstanding, so several Council members took turns doing it. CM Desley Brooks considers the lease a regression from terms outlined last November. Streeter rebutted that, explaining the back-and-forth of the lease talks that dated back to a year ago. Streeter’s main points were that the A’s are paying double the annual rent of the pre-2013 deal, were guaranteeing $20 million even if they stayed less than the full 10 years, and provides flexibility for all interests (A’s, Raiders, BayIG, JPA, City/County). CM Dan Kalb was unusually high-strung,

Kalb went on to chastise the A’s in advance, in case the A’s don’t approve the deal with the changes. Reid and Noel Gallo were the dissenters, instead voting for the original agreement. They both sowed FUD in their comments, Gallo was more restrained while Reid pulled the full “do what you want, it’s not my fault” card.

Libby Schaaf’s comments were noticeably brief, calling an approved lease (without saying which one) a crucial step towards keeping the A’s in Oakland. Both Schaaf and Rebecca Kaplan opened with some campaign speak, which I necessarily tuned out. Schaaf, Kaplan, Kalb, Kernighan, and Lynette Gibson McElhany provided the Yes votes.

A bizarre moment came late when Alameda County Supervisor and JPA President Nate Miley took time to explain to Gallo how the City of Oakland’s Coliseum City discussions with BayIG worked. At least an hour was spent explaining details that the Council not only should’ve known weeks ago. Current former JPA members such as Reid, Kaplan, and Brooks talked up their knowledge of the issues, yet the rest of the Council seemed inexplicably in the dark. Before Kernighan made her motion, Brooks asked for a full presentation, this after Streeter answered numerous questions about the lease and negotiation.  Communication between the JPA, City, and County is so broken that it’s hard not to be skeptical about the group’s ability to work out a deal as large and complex as Coliseum City. The lack of preparation on the Council’s part was on full display and it wasn’t pretty.

Nearly 30 public comments were given. They included Raiders fans like Dr. Death and Bauce, who raged against the Council. Lil Bartholo spoke first about the team’s and MLB’s blackmail and extortion techniques. The anti-lease, generally anti-Wolff crowd was well represented. However, interspersed among them were several A’s employees who mostly spoke about simply keeping the A’s in Oakland. Out of the five employees I observed, only one overtly called for the lease to be approved. They talked about how they were both fans and employees, about how some of them had union jobs, about how they were trying to collectively bargain for benefits, but the lease fiasco puts such negotiations on hold. An SEIU rep even called for the lease to be tied to a 10-year labor agreement, which is probably an overreach. Regardless, the image of employees coming forth to stand for their jobs was powerful.

Also present was a rep from the scoreboard installation company that could be contracted to work on the Coliseum. The man (whose name I didn’t get) emphasized that the lease had to be approved soon to allow for the equipment to be ordered and installed in time for the next baseball season. Emperor Nobody got some good anger at the system in, though he ran out of time (he’s on the KTVU clip so that’s good, right?).

Attorney Streeter acquitted himself well, handling all of the questions that came his way. He had to explain the rent provisions at least twice, and covered all of the major lease aspects well. It took 2 hours and 10 minutes, but the $200 million debt elephant finally came up. There’s no obvious answer as to how it the debt gets retired. Miley mentioned that the A’s are looking to buy the Coliseum land. Those who distrust Wolff don’t believe that. Streeter then boiled down the whole point of the lease. 

Streeter addressed the A’s-Oakland parking fee dispute. Arbitration is pending. Oakland is asking for $5.4 million. If the City wins they could also be reimbursed $600,000 in legal fees. The amount that the A’s are willing to pay was not disclosed. Streeter factored a discounted amount of a potential arbitration award into the lease. Why? There’s the inherent risk that the City could lose the arbitration. That makes the lease a sort of hedge.

Finally, as further questions were asked about the leases of both the A’s and Raiders, especially the ongoing operating subsidy. While I’ve always known about the subsidy, I’ve never heard it explained in such simple terms. Basically it goes like this:

  • The A’s pay for all gameday operations: power, water, groundskeeping, security. This is for a 180-day season.
  • The A’s pay $1.5 million in rent per season.
  • The A’s receive revenue from pouring rights, stadium advertising, and a chunk of concessions.
  • The A’s keep parking revenue with the exception of the tax that has to be paid to the City & County.

Contrast this with the Raiders

  • The Raiders pay $400,000 per year in rent.
  • The Raiders split parking revenues with the JPA, their share being roughly $1.75 million for the 2013 season.
  • The Raiders pay for zero stadium operating costs, and are subsidized to the tune of $7 million per year, including the costs to convert the stadium between baseball and football (and vice-versa).

Late tonight, word came that the Raiders may want a year extension, though it wasn’t clear if that’s on top of the 2015 option year or something else. I hope the Raiders’ lease gets the same kind of scrutiny the A’s lease gets. It’s the painful yet needed part of the ongoing adult conversation.

P.S. – Wolff met with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed yesterday at the SJ Fairmont. The meeting was described as a “check-in.”

188 thoughts on “Oakland City Council approves amended lease 5-2, now goes back to JPA/County/A’s for approval

  1. The ride never ends. But I get the feeling that when it finally does, it’ll all happen very quickly.

  2. “A new section 42.7 that codified lease practices defined in the 2013 (current) lease.”

    This is the one that seems out of place. Not that it wouldn’t be good to add the clarification, but you actually have to come agreement on what those actual practices are and commit to them in writing. I feel like that could open up a can of worms they’re avoiding.

    At the same time, I wonder if that language over all was intended to be vague so as to give MLB & the A’s increased leverage in any potential future litigation/arbitration when they attempt to get out of the lease.

  3. All this means is I get to enjoy my Oakland Athletics and Raiders for another season longer. San Jose Is finished l. Lew should needs to study on how to build the beat ballpark either at the Coliseum site or Howard Terminal.

    R.i.p San Jose ( chuckle )

  4. Should have fought the good fight in Fremont. It would have been done by now or at least very close.

  5. So, the city council didn’t really modify the lease all that significantly. So why’d they do it? Probably to look like they were doing something.

  6. Bet you a shiny quarter that the Raiders lease extension doesn’t get half the scrutiny the A’s lease has received. Despite the fact it isn’t a 10 yr commitment and the city really has given the farm away to the Raiders.

  7. @Jesse- something tells me we are about to see Fremont round 2 coming soon-assuming the SJ lawsuit doesn’t move forward–

  8. If the council asks for too much, they risk losing the team. If they simply roll over they lose pride and are accused of caving to a “bad” deal. So last night was about trying to control the optics. They want to be perceived as standing up to Lew and MLB by drawing a line in the sand yet draw a faint enough line that they don’t actually call the bluff. Time will tell if it works. Remember, it’s an election year. The council doesn’t want to do anything controversial, yet they don’t want to appear weak.

  9. the return of the raiders has been great for fans of the team… and literally no one else.
    Just so I am clear, cause I have a feeling you think I am “pro San Jose,” I am pro anywhere in the bay area. The reason I rip on Oakland Cit Council members is because they deserve it. The reason I bag on Howard Terminal, is because it’s not happening and putting forth crap that won’t happen is not a path to making something actually happen. Put down the pom poms and look at things objectively. People who want the A’s in Oakland should be less “yay anything anyone form Oakland ever says and boo Lew Wolff” and more “what’s a pragmatic solution to keeping the team here?”
    Emotional arguments never get anything done. And you absolutely should be prepared to pick a side between the A’s and Raiders in oakland. Coliseum City and Howard Terminal aren’t happening. But something can happen at the Colsieum site.

  10. This political theater is ridicules; I guess if Wolff ok’s the lease with these minor changes, it really does not matter, but this goes way beyond reasonable concern.
    All of this, so the city politicians can look like there doing something?
    How about actually doing something, then you would not have to concern yourselves with the idea of looking like you were.

  11. Well what can they actually do? If it’s really a bad deal then they should reject it, right? But what if MLB isn’t bluffing? They get the blame. What if they roll over and the fit gets fleeced? They get the blame. They don’t want the blame, particularly with an election out there.

  12. @ harry
    Love you enthusiasm for the O-town, I’m right there with you, but Jeffrey is correct, it’s not about the pompoms, or the victim mentality that so many carrying the Oakland banner seem to have, it’s about real possibility’s, that lead to real solutions.
    That’s why after all the noise, as much as I love Oakland, it’s not about Oakland, or San Jose, and it’s about our team finding a new home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  13. My personal favorite was hearing Kalb (I think) mention that that this lease deal was going down the path of the Raiders… What the French Toast is he even talking about?

  14. The meat of the lease was approved and I sincerely hope that Lew will accept these amendments. What pisses me off is that the Council had to risk it by “doing something.” They have abused the process — the city’s reps on the JPA have spent a lot of time hammering out this deal, and the Council had its chance during the negotiations to incorporate these seemingly minor amendments into the lease so this could have been approved quickly and easily. Instead they must pull a political stunt at the public hearing to show that they are “representing the interests of the city,” i.e., so they can get (re)elected.

    The system needs to be fixed. The Oakland City Council is so tied up in politics that it cannot function. They are an embarrassment. The JPA should be given to authority, under legal guidelines with opportunity for input from the Council and Board of Supes, to make these business deals without opening every decision up to a tortuous and unnecessary process. This is not the way to attract the business to the city that it needs to create jobs and bring the city to the next level.

    The A’s are in the middle of an exciting pennant race, and the Oakland City Council’s political BS is detracting from the great season the A’s are having and preventing us from fully enjoying it.

  15. What sticks out to me is Kalb’s point that people need to stop being pissy and aggressive and argumentative and work together to get things done…then he plays the “everyone’s expecting us to get on their page, so now it’s time for everyone to get on our page” card. Then he doubles down and says if developers, etc. aren’t on board with the A’s and Raiders at the Coliseum City project, they’re against Oakland.

    Beyond that, the amount of time it took for these people to be educated on the very basics of what the existing arrangements are with the A’s and Raiders in terms of rents, operations and so on shows how poorly they all communicate with each other and how out of touch Oakland City Council as a whole is to everything that goes on with the professional sports teams that share the Coliseum.

    Contrary to some of the attitudes put forth at the meeting last night, it seems those involved are still trying to have everything just the way they want it.

  16. Why is MLB pressuring Oakland (and the A’s) to get this lease inked in the first place? Either Selig is looking to avoid the embarrassing scenario that the A’s could be world series champs without a ballpark – or MLB believes that their case (SJ vs MLB) will be stronger if the A’s are committed to a lease at the Coliseum before the case begins. One would believe it would the latter scenario. A 10 year lease full of loopholes, and where MLB appears to have coerced Oakland (and the A’s) into signing it may not help MLB’s case much anyway though.

  17. @ Jerry
    I second that, well put Jerry.

  18. What’s preventing usfrom really enjoying this great season to the fullest are the constant threats of relocation which has been the norm for this ownership over the last ten years.

    Lew Wolff is having pancakes with the Mayor of San Jose as this lase is being discussed and finalized. Let’s think about this for just a moment. Talk about blatant disrespect towards Oakland.

    The bottom line is that Wolff has indicated time and again that he doesn’t want to be in Oakland. Why should Oakland present Wolff with a convenient deal with an easy out clause just so that he can set his San Jose plans in motion?

    Also having the “A’s playing “anywhere” in the Bay Aea and changing their name from “Oakland A’s” to whatever A’s, is not “saving our team.” The Oakland A’s will no longer exist. To me that’s “losing our team.”

  19. @ duffer
    I was thinking the same thing, concerning Selig’s motivation for the lease, could it be that MLB is trying to help their case vs. San Jose? I don’t know if it would do much to help, but I do think it’s one of Selig’s motivations.

  20. Nav, this is why people lose patience with you. It’s already been explained that Wolff has more business interests in San Jose beyond just hoping to move the A’s there, yet you continue to act like the only possible reason he could have sat down with San Jose’s mayor last week is to disrespect Oakland.

    Maybe you missed that, somehow.

    I guess Wolff should just not even set foot in San Jose at all while this lease stuff drags on? Come on. And you wonder why people get annoyed with you here.

    You need to tuck the “Woe is me/Oakland, Wolff hates me/us!” agenda away sooner or later.

  21. Also, this wan never a “done deal” like Selig and Wolff attempted to portrayto the general public when they went to the media.

    Wolff and Selig were trying to put pressure on the Council in attempt to shove this del down Oakland’s throat. The Council had every right to vote on the deal and have every right to amended it in any way they see fit. The Oaklamd City Council represents over 400,000 residents and is not just a rubber stamp for whatever Wolff and Selig want.

    Wolff has a right to have pancakes with the Mayor of San Jose and the Oakland City Council has a right to do what they believe is in the best interests of the citizens and tax payers of Oakland.

  22. How dare Wolff eats at a restaurant in San Jose (which his investment group owns) with the mayor of the town in which said restaurant is located. And it happened last week to boot. Total disrespect to Oakland.

  23. James,

    it’s disrespectful on Wolff’s part. It doesn’t matter what they were talking about. It shows bad judgement on Wolff’s part if not outright contempt and disrespect for the entire lease agreement with Oakland. Wolff views this as a big joke and it shows with his clueless actions and behavior.

  24. Nav, how is Wolff having brunch with the Mayor of San Jose disrespectful to Oakland? You do realize Wolff has substantial interests in San Jose including an MLS franchise and a new privately funded stadium right? Nevermind a prime downtown hotel and other holdings. Not everything Wolff does revolves around the A’s.

  25. Thanks for detailing all of this

  26. @ Elmano
    As a fan, that has made no secret about my desire to see the A’s work out something in Oakland, I must say if you think we have been prevented from enjoying a great season, to its fullest, because of Lew Wolff (only),with all due respect you are missing something.
    I also might point out, that Lew Wolff (whom I have been critical of), is one of the reasons we can enjoy this great season.
    If you’re not going to try to, constructively add to the conversation, then why bother?

  27. Nav: then you agree with my question that Wolff should not set foot in San Jose while the lease stuff is dragging on?

    Do you see the point I’m making? The point that you’re the one who has been and continues to act in an unreasonable way with many of your complaints?

    Look hard enough and you can find disrespect in nearly everything. Though, on the other hand, you don’t need to look far to find it at all because you’ve already decided everything Wolff does that isn’t in line with what you want him to do is a huge middle finger to Oakland.

  28. We had a poster attempting to blame the fact that the Oakland City Council didn’t completely cave to Wolff and Selig, as a reason to not be able to fully enjoy this season. I was responding to that comment.

  29. Oakland City government has been so inept in everything about the coliseum, they should now do the right thing: Put the coli and all the land up for public auction.

    . If Wolff wins the bid, it would be to build a new baseball stadium and other development.

    . If BayIG wins the bid, it would be to build a new football stadium and other development.

    . Who knows, the Warriors may bid, keep the team there, and sell their land in SF.

    . If there are no bids or unacceptable bids, Oakland is in the same mess they are now. But if someone wins the bid and develops the land, Oakland will retain one of the teams and receive a lot of new tax revenue.

  30. This is all about saving face. Oakland Officials thought that they could have gotten a much more favorable lease deal with the A’s, had they not allowed themselves to be bullied by MLB. The changes seem to be minor, so I have no reason to believe that the A’s would reject the amended new lease.

  31. Ain’t it fun when people’s wild and crazy agendas come out on full display for all to see?

  32. 4Libertee:

    Oakland doesn’t want to put the land up for the highest bidder because they still think they can get both the A’s and Raiders (and, apparently, the Warriors as well) to team up with them to go all in on Coliseum City.

  33. Wolff should not be seen having breakfast with a Mayor of a City which is attempting to take the team from the city he’s in the process of signing a lease with.

    My answer is, no, Wolff should not be eating breakfast with the Mayor of San Jose as the Oakland City Council discusses a lease which involve language like ” a good faith effort ” to build a ballpark in Oakland.

  34. Nav, thanks for at least being honest. Your anger at the breakfast is horribly misplaced and shows a gross lack of understanding about things, but you’re entitled to it.

  35. @ Elmano. This isn’t about the City caving into Wolff. The City has had ample opportunity through it’s appointed representatives to the JPA to have their input into the lease. Instead they chose to grandstand at the last minute, risking the whole deal and giving Wolff more reason to want to leave Oakland. The Council’s amendments are not substantive, yet they had to show their voters that they are “tough”” and can’t be pushed around by Wolff. I have written posts here and on other sites giving Wolff plenty of shit for his actions disrespecting Oakland and A’s fans, but at this point he is trying to work with the city to get a 10-year lease to stay in Oakland. Let’s get it done and enjoy our team play winning baseball!

  36. @Jeff

    Naw it’s war. It always had been between Oakland and San Jose….fight or perish….Oakland is the home of the A’s and Lew should do a lebron James and build the damn ballpark next to the Coliseum. ..

    mark Davis doesn’t want a new stadium…I believe he actually likes the Coliseum. …for himself. It’s time Oakland be honest and apologize to the A’s and give them a portion of land on the Coliseum property however as long as Mark Davis agrees to keeping and upgrading the Coliseum. ..right Elmano and lakeshore

  37. Nav, then you’re a fool looking to play the victim plain and simple. Wolff has every right to have lunch with the mayor of the city his soccer team calls home as do several of his major holdings including the Fairmont hotel. It in no way disrespects Oakland to do so as any rational or reasonable person would be able to clearly see.

  38. Let’s leave name-calling out of all this. That’s how comments get shut down.

  39. Jerry, I appreciate your comments and I agree that it would be wonderful to be able to enjoy our great team without these constant worries and threats about relocating to San Jose.

    Unfortunately Mr. Wolff continues to play games with the best fans in MLB. Mr. Wolff continues to disrespect the best and most passionate fans in MLB with his constant fawning and grandstanding towards San Jose.

    We deserve an ownership which respects the great fans in Oakland as well as their namesake city.

    The Council did what they had the right to do. The deal was never a done deal until they vote it on. Whether it was done two weeks ago or two days ago, the facts came out, the details ere discussed and it was voted on as it should have been.

    Lew Wolff and Bud Selig don’t run Oakland, nor do they have a right to extort a decision from the council through media pressure with statements of a “done deal” or with gun to the head threats of “immediate relocation,” if they don’t get their way.

  40. @ Elmano
    Sorry, I did not realize that.

  41. Sorry but saying it like it is, isn’t name calling. No rational human being would find Wolff having lunch with Chuck Reed a disrespectful act when the man has multiple multi million dollar holdings in San Jose and is in the process of erecting a soccer stadium and adjoining development in said city (a stadium that is nearing completion I’d add at a development that is not unlike what he’d like to do at Coliseum city if he gets the rights there). All of this after Wolff made it clear negotiations on the A’s lease extension had been concluded as far as he was concerned. What does Nav expect him to do, put all his business in San Jose on hold while Jean, Rebecca and their merry band try to get their heads out of their asses?

    To expect that is unreasonable and foolish. And if that’s the way he views it than I fully expect him to take Mark Davis to task for having discussions with both LA and Santa Clara while he was negotiating the last lease extension with Oakland. Or take Davis to task for only negotiating 1 year leases with Oakland and not committing long term at all to the city…

  42. Professional courtesy. SJ and Mayor Reed have done many things in prep for a possible move. Some are known but some are not. The end.

  43. Calling people names is calling people names, no matter the reasons behind it. You can disagree with someone while keeping it civil. At this point ML can’t close comments when things get out of hand without all comments disappearing from view, so why let it get to that point because people decide they have to make it personal with each other?

    I have no respect for Nav’s repeated position and near-100% blame of Wolff only, but unless ML kicks him out people are stuck with seeing it. I can handle Nav looking silly because he refuses to acknowledge he might be wrong in any of his accusations – and he’s clearly wrong in some of them.

  44. Thanks James,

    I agree we should be civil.

  45. Wolff is building another stadium in San Jose you massive dipshit Elmano and has a host of other business/development interests in the city that have nothing to do with the A’s.

    But no,m you just have to go around and conjecture that he’s there exclusively talking about an A’s move.

    • @SMG – This is what James V is talking about. Keep it civil or the thread will be shut down. You can choose to ignore Elmano if you want.

  46. Fair enough. My bad boss.

  47. Look at it this way, there is not a single owner of any team in American pro sports that would consider relocating to Oakland if there wasn’t already a team there in the league in which they happen to be involved. That is hugely telling. When a city like Detroit is doing a better job of handling sports franchises than you (you being Oakland), you have to know how incredibly hard you’re failing.

  48. I don’t think Lew Wolff has made a public statement, about the councils decision last night? I’m hoping that is good news, in that he will go with the minor changes, and that the Oakland city council has not just destroyed any chance of the A’s building in Oakland long term, over political gamesmanship.

  49. If I am LW typo’s and the 10M v 20M are fine. Anything else, whether construed minor by council cannot be changed- city council will need to have another meeting and approve the lease as agreed upon by JPA

  50. @ GoA’s
    I hope that doesn’t happen, but I surely wouldn’t blame Wolff for doing it, why should he let the Oakland city council off the hook from actually taking a stand on a vote one way or another.

    It looks as though Wolff is getting pretty much, what he wanted anyway.

  51. @LSN- Oakland claims they are at risk and need these changes to manage this risk- why would anyone assume more risk after the fact- which is what Oakland is asking- if it’s minimal risk for Oakland then they should have approved the lease- it was. PR move without substance. This alone doesn’t deserve to be considered-

  52. @All I had a conversation with councilman before the meeting and he was very candid. Still is in waiting mood for the ENA team wants to see actual money spent. Said they had 4 groups of people/teams with proposals to the city to build CC, Quan wanted her group of people/investors she brought in from China for this, while Larry Reid had his group that were ready and “really excited about the project and ready to get to business asap.” Some within the council expressed fears from the Dubai group of having “dirty money” but went ahead and chose the Dubai group based on their portfolio and depth of money compared to the other 3 groups. If ENA expires in Oct with out a agreement no 6 month extension will be exercised according to him. They have kept in contact with the other groups that were involved in the bidding, and will put out another R something forgot the terminology he used but it is used to gather investors/development teams that are interested in building on the property, would take up to 60 days to finalize it if has to be sent out again. From his reaction/non reaction/smirk from a comment raise it pretty much seemed that the land is first come first served to whatever party is willing to take away the remaining debt on the Coliseum. Lew can negotiate with the JPA about the property owned by JPA but not with the city until the ENA is over. In all its 200 acres that are owned (not sure if city owned or jointly owned) without having to do any eminent domain. The city is still buying up surrounding land.

  53. Also Lew spoke with Kaplan this morning and will have is people look over it, pretty much said he is doing it for her aka they have a good working relationship, seems honest and open between the two.

  54. K, It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he would approve those changes but give full credit to persuading him to Kaplan as a “favor” in hopes of getting Quan out.

  55. @dmoas 100% agreed, which I think this Nov Quan has no chance to retain her title lol. She means good but no savvy in pr and not, you can say man/women enough to stand up to the egos and put everyone in there place in city hall to get on the same page and work together. The blatant disrespect from people like Desley Brooks to the other members in a open public form was embarrassing, can’t imagine how she goes behind the scenes. Also the councilman was called out by a Raider fan outside city hall and he basically said they only have so much power and when it comes down to it it falls on the mayor to gather the troops and get stuff done. Quan is to back and forth and can’t/ wont stand up to some of the stronger voices on the council.

  56. @ GoA’s
    It’s unfortunate, I wish I could defend the city council, but I agree with you, I don’t see anything but political gamesmanship and grandstanding.
    I just hope Wolff looks past this BS. and take the deal, sense he got pretty much what he wanted in the lease anyway.

  57. @lsn- agree- here’s the deal though- if your LW and you allow them to continue playing PR games sets a precedence that will be impossible to break- Oakland city council needs to be put in their place- otherwise they feed upon themselves

  58. Instead of the Oakland City Council just bending over for Wolff and Selig? Now,THAT would’ve set a tremendous precedent.

    “So Mr. Wolf, how much tax money would you like from us?” Wolff: How much you got?

  59. @ GoA’s
    Yeah, this crap is madding.

  60. Elmano: You do realize that without revenue-sharing (MLB welfare), the A’s lose money in Oakland. They require a subsidy from the other owners; tickets sold in LA and New York are used to fund the A’s franchise. Tell me again who is doing who a favor? MLB by subsidizing a team in Oakland or Oakland by hosting the team in the worst facility in MLB?

  61. @ Elmano
    Re: “Instead of the Oakland City Council just bending over for Wolff and Selig?”
    This is not the Raiders deal, and if the city would have handled that correctly, it would not have turned out as bad as it did.
    This is a bare bone’s deal, I would not say it’s a partially wonderful deal for either side, but if Oakland wants any chance at retaining the A’s they have to approve something, and at this point we really don’t know what Mark Davis wants, or can do. Oakland needs to go with the organization, which most likely will build, at the moment that looks like it’s the A’s
    You say the city council should not bend over, but what are the bend over for? a few million in parking fees? You talk as if Oakland is getting taken advantage of? What exactly is Wolff getting? Whatever it is, it’s a lot less then what most MLB owners are or have gotten.
    I’m not usually in the position of defending Lew Wolff, but you have a guy, whom may have to build on a site, that he does not want, working with a city he does not won’t, with minimal help from that city, or the league his team represents?
    I would say of all party’s bending over, no one is bending over more than Lew Wolff.

  62. well now that Goodell let out Raiders have had talks about moving to Levi’s and they’re waiting for an answer. People will stop praising Raiders for being all about Oakland. They aren’t and never have been.

  63. excerpt: Financially, they are reportedly as much as $500 million short of the money needed for a new stadium.

    …That gap keeps getting bigger. No one can probably name an exact amount, but we know it will be several hundred millions of dollars, there will be no public subsidy and the NFL may not be thrilled funding two stadiums in the Bay Area when there are more pressing needs in Buffalo, San Diego, Miami and LA.

  64. Oh and speaking of HT, just want to remind everyone that locals spoke out AGAINST the site last night. So you can add NIMBYs to the list of strikes against that site.

  65. I just drove by Levi’s Stadium an hour ago. It is an absolute gem, from the outside, anyway. It will be hard to make the argument that the NFL is better off with another stadium 30 miles away instead of putting both teams in Levi’s.

  66. PJK,

    Tickets sold in New York and LA are used to subsidize plenty ot teams. it’s called a league.

    Also, the Coliseum is not the “worst facility in MLB.” Tampa Bay is worse, the sterile monstrosity in Toronto is worse, the two “charming historical ” ballparks in Boston and Chicago are cramped outdated facility much worse than Oakland. We can’t talk about those old decrepit, cramped ballparks with old plumbing because they are considered “sacred cathedrals” of MLB.

    Also, the new ballpark in Miami looks very ugly on TV. It looks like something out of “Under the sea” in the ” Little Mermaid.

    I’ve been to Fenway and Wrigley and the Coliseum is way more modern, more comfortable and more spacious.

  67. After what happened last night at the Oakland City Council, I am more convinced than ever that OAKLAND DESERVES NOTHING!!! The Oakland pols don’t know what they are doing, and should immediately resign. They are a joke, and their citizens should vote them down.

    The A’s deserve to play in a brand new stadium, and the Raiders deserve to have a place to play as well as the Warriors.

    Let be known that Oakland “isn’t serious at all” about keeping all three pro teams in Oakland and last night’s city meeting shows it.

    To the Oakland politicians, I say this to you. Your actions can speak louder than words.

  68. PJK,

    Levi’s Stadium looks horrid. It’s a monstrosity without an ounce of charm with exposed beams and stairwells as well as that horrific huge structure “luxury boxes?” which looks like a soviet style apartment building from the 1950’s. Should we call that incredibly ugly apartment building on one side of the stadium “Mount York.”

    I know that the Bay Area media is gushing and trying to promote that stadium but to me it’s a charmless, ugly, lurking monstrosity completely out of scale with anything in the area.

  69. @Elmano- Coliseum more modern and spacious than Wrigely and Fenway? Bahahahahhaah! Sorry, your so funny it hurts.

    Wolff is going to turn down the lease and here is why:

    A clarification on how the A’s use their termination clause. Example: If the A’s provide notice on January 1, 2016, the lease ends on December 31, 2018. If they provide notice after 1/1/16,

    Wolff wants to give 2 years notice not 3 years.

    Oakland wants 3 seasons notice and this is a big piece of the lease. They want to keep the A’s grounded as long as possible.

    This tells me a Raiders stadium is further out than what they are projecting……Oakland at its finest!

  70. Elmano: If Levi’s Stadium were in the Coliseum parking lot, you would be calling it The Finest Stadium Ever Built on the Planet. Unfortunately, the Raiders look to be about a half billion dollars short on getting a stadium done…And once again, leagues or corporations are not OK with franchises that lose money. They are ALL supposed to make money.

  71. Nav, you do realize that the Cubs are in the process of trying to arrange a massive renovation of Wrigley right? And that the Sox just spent several hunderd million dollars completely renovating Fenway? And that both parks are together the pattern that all these post Camden Yards parks have tried to rip off right?

    As for worst facility, yes the Coliseum is the worst facility in MLB. It’s 25 years older than Tampa or Toronto. And unlike Tampa it is not baseball specific. Nor has any money been used to upgrade or maintain it of late unlike those two venues. It’s just going to get worse when Toronto undergoes its next renovation in a year and a half when they install real turf and the Argos move out.

  72. Dan,

    There is no way that the ugly and sterile Tropicana Dome is a better to place to watch a MLB game than the Oakland Coliseum. Toronto IS a sterile monstrosity and unless Fenway and Wrigley knocked down some huge walls and expand outward, thereby eliminating “the character” of those two ballparks, it’s still going to be cramped, uncomfortable and small. Ever try to get out of your seat to go to the bathroom in Fenway?

  73. Nav, O.co is OBJECTIVELY the worst venue in baseball. The Trop is bad, but at least it isn’t compromised by a football team.

  74. Nav, I can only conclude you’ve never been to Wrigley or Fenway…

  75. Dan, he obviously hasn’t. I’ve never been able to peg whether it’s all just trolling or if it is legitimate ignorance.

  76. The Coliseum used to have this nice ambiance, with the yellow flowers beyond the outfield and the nice view of the Oakland hills. But somebody came in and ruined all that. Was that Lew Wolff who did that? It wasn’t? Who was it?

  77. That’s one thing I’d like to see returned to the Coliseum site with a new park. The ice plant and the yellow flowers along with the view of the hills. And this time without the power lines in the background too since almost all plans I’ve seen of the site have those going underground.

  78. It’s either trolling or not playing with a full deck.

    As someone who’s been to every stadium in the majors, and who has no dog in this fight (I live in NY and am not an A’s fan), O.co is by far the worst stadium in the league. This is coming from someone who thinks Wrigley and Fenway are old and outdated and should be replaced. I’d happily take either or the Trop or Rogers Centre over the Coliseum, though. It’s not even close.

  79. @all

    Elmano i disagree Levi stadium looks real good. I’m not a 49er fan but when tickets do become available maybe next year I’ll go and have a great time.

    Now I love Oakland the Coliseum Elmano. …but for the Raiders…and I feel if Oakland awards Davis the Coliseum and tells wolff to build next to the Coliseum. .it’s a win win for everyone

  80. I loved the Coliseum before Mount Davis. The worst part is the ugly part coming in from the Bart station. o you see a huge concrete bunker instead of the beautiful open view of the field as you were coming in on Bart. and yes, the view of the Oakland hills was great.

    Having said that, the Oakland Coliseum is still spacious and comfortable with added amenities like luxury suites and the West and East side clubs.

    Also, the field is beautiful with natural grass and the climate bets anything in Fenway, Chicago, New York, Saint Louis, Arlington, Miami and just about anywhere in the United States.

    And some of you would prefer a sterile dome in humid Florida or two old cramped ballparks in cities with horrible climates?

  81. @pjk/Elmano
    Pjk you know I love you, but you often point out that the A’s don’t make money? If I’m going to call Elmano out, on the city bending over, I have to call you out for rapidly saying the A’s don’t make money.
    It’s just not true, they do make money and plenty of it, just not nearly as much as the New York’s and LA’s of the world, that’s why they are on revenue sharing, which I believe you and others often refer to as welfare.
    Before you start to defend an un-defendable (if that even a word), position, remember that it’s the LA’s, New York’s, of the world that set the bar for how much a MLB player gets paid, sense the top markets are the only ones that can truly afford such high salaries, in a league with no real salary cap, unlike every other major North American sports league, therefor as I have said before unless MLB wants 4-6 teams in each league, they have to have revenue sharing.
    It’s not like the A’s are the only team on it, and more than likely they will remain on it if they move to Portland, San Antonio, or Montreal, not to mention the dramatic increase in franchisee value the A’s have enjoyed, while investing very little in their product, so yes the have and will continue to make money in Oakland, or wherever they go…
    That being said they would defiantly have the potential to pay into the revenue sharing system, if they were awarded San Jose.

  82. Dan,

    You’re concluding wrong.

  83. Nav, go ahead and explain why outside climate matters in an air conditioned dome. I’d love to have a good laugh at whatever “logic” you’re using.

  84. Nav, I’ll give you one thing, the climate in Oakland is better than Florida, Boston or Chicago. That said, climate does not a ballpark make. Tropicana Field is a dome in a region where you’d have to be a moron to want to play outside. The humidity there is disastrously bad. That said, inside their climate controlled crashed UFO it’s actually quite pleasant. And while it is indoors, the place was obviously designed for baseball. Is it one of the new style parks, no. But it’s a nicer overall experience than the Coliseum.

    Why you think the Coliseum is spacious and comfortable I don’t know. Its concourses are small, dark and cramped. The bathrooms look like they belong in a prison. The rows are too narrow with your knees bumping into the seat in front of you. The field may be natural and lush (2/3rd of the season anyway until the Raiders show up and ruin it), but it’s also very distant from most of the seats making the views poor (and that’s when you can see the whole field which you can’t from much of the bleachers. Now it may feel spacious and comfortable on weeknights when you can stretch out and occupy a couple of rows yourself. But fact is, it’s not comfortable, it’s not spacious in a good way, and it hasn’t been properly maintained in 2 decades. Maybe come out of the west side club for a few minutes and experience the rest of the stadium and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  85. Lakeshore: From Forbes via SFGate: The magazine said the A’s “play in one of the most antiquated ballparks in baseball and are profitable only because of the league’s revenue-sharing system.”

  86. Lakeshore,

    Very well said. I agree with everything except the last sentence. The A’s would still be on “welfare” in San Jose.

    The league knows that they’re averaging 24,000 fans in Oakland and 41,000 fans in SF at the moment. The leagues knows that the A’s averaged 26,000 fans per game when Schott owned the team and there were no tarps covering the third deck. The league knows that without the tarps and a decent team with an owner who isn’t threatening and planing to move to another city just about every year, that the A’s would draw 2,000,000 fans easily in Oakland.

    The Giants draw 3 million in SF while the A’s have shown that they’ve drawn over 2.2 million at the Coliseum before Lew and the tarps. The 2.2 million was after Mount Davis.

    MLB cares that they can get 5 million fans out of the Bay Area per year. Why would they care if the A’s drew 30,000 per game in San Jose instead of the current 24,000 in Oakland If that were to cause the Giants to draw 35,000 instead of the current 41,000 per game.

    The “League” doesn’t care where the money comes from as long as the league is benefiting from two teams in the Bay Area. Why would the league weaken the Giants so that San Jose gets to claim a MLB team when they know they haven’t reached their potential in Oakland because of an old ballpark and a hostile ownership.?

  87. if you want to be taken seriously by anybody not in Oakland, you can’t compare the coliseum favorably to the two best parks in all of baseball.
    I’ve been to Fenway. Its a much better experience than the Coliseum. I’ve been to Wrigley, it’s a much better experience than the Coliseum.
    The Coliseum is a once nice, now horrible park that was ruined in order to bend over backwards for the Raiders. That is a pretty objective view.

  88. re: The A’s would still be on “welfare” in San Jose.

    Elmano just says stuff with no supporting evidence. The A’s have had dozens of Silicon Valley companies lining up to support a move to San Jose, which has about the highest per capita income in the country and is the 10th largest city in the country. But Elmano still believes the A’s would need revenue sharing there. OK. Meanwhile, the 49ers, who moved about 50 yards from San Jose, have sold out the season even with premium prices and personal seat licenses. (How did the Raiders do selling PSLs in Oakland?)

    re: The Giants draw 3 million in SF while the A’s have shown that they’ve drawn over 2.2 million at the Coliseum before Lew and the tarps.

    …in 2013, the struggling Giants drew 3.37 million fans. The first place A’s drew slightly more than half that.

  89. @ Elmano/ pjk
    Elmano, you disagree with the last statement? I said they would have the “POTENTIAL” to pay into the revenue sharing system. You don’t think the A’s would not; at least have the potential to pay into the revenue saying system in San Jose?
    Pjk, your last comment to me, did nothing to refute what I said.

  90. Neil, don’t expect Elmano to agree with anything that could be considered a slight at Oakland, even if it objective. It’s because, he isn’t objective about this situation, at all.
    You are absolutely right that SJ has more economic might than Oakland and that would more likely translate into higher revenues. The way I see it, though, is that there are ways to make what can happen in Oakland enough to have the A’s potentially a revenue sharing net payor (all teams pay into it, it’s how the moeny is dolled out that determines who is a payee).

  91. Whether they’d pay into the system is an open question. But we do know in San Jose they wouldn’t be taking out of the revenue sharing system anymore.

  92. by the letter of the mlb’s most recent cba, they won’t in Oakland either.

  93. (with a new stadium)

  94. Jeffrey,

    I have a friend who just returned from visiting five parks on the east coast. He visited NY, Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Miami. I have another friend who lives in NYC who catches the A’s whenever they’re in town to play theYankees and the Mets. They both tell me that the best MLB experience is in Oakland. Oakland has the best atmosphere, the most fun atmosphere anywhere in MLB.

    How much is that worth to you and to Lew Wolff?

  95. Lakeshore,

    You’re right about the potential in San Jose to pay into the revenue sharing. Oakland also has the potential with a new ballpark.

  96. Anyone who says that they would take a sterile domed stadium with artificial turf over the Coliseum and its great outdoor atmosphere and its beautiful grass field, can’t be taken seriously. And “”It’s not even close.” Now that’s funny.

    Bill King new a few things about domes.

  97. Elmano: Can you tell me who ruined the Coliseum by getting rid of the ambiance and replacing it with now-tarped football stands? If it wasn’t Lew Wolff (or Steve Schott), who was it? And as long as we’re on the subject of tarps, I notice you don’t criticize Mark Davis for using these at Raiders games. Are you saying it’s OK for the Raiders to use tarps but not the A’s? OK. I think I understand now.

  98. Never thought I’d see the day where someone argued having a football team play on and ruin a baseball field was a good thing.

  99. Nav, ever figure maybe your friends are just humoring you regarding the atmosphere?

    That said atmosphere isn’t the same as the ballpark. Again you’re conflating two completely separate issues. You know who else has a great atmosphere, the San Jose Giants. Doesn’t mean Muni Stadium is a good ballpark. It’s a dump.

  100. I don’t think it’s OK for the Raiders to use tarps. The problem with the Raiders is that they’ve been losing for so long. If Mark Davis would put a decent team on the field he wouldn’t need to worry about tarps.

    I’ll stand by what I said. Oakland has the best atmosphere in all of MLB.

  101. and you’ll understand why I don’t care to have “intelligent” debate with you…

  102. You’re talking about the park and I’m talking about over all atmosphere. You define atmosphere differently than I do. That’s all. There’s no need for insults.

  103. seeing on twitter some of the remarks made by knass on 95.7 this afternoon. here are a couple so far.

    95.7 The GAME @957thegame
    Don Knauss says that he has a team that has determined that a Howard Terminal stadium would cost no more than any other location in the Bay.

    95.7 The GAME @957thegame
    Don Knauss favors the Howard Terminal site, but would support the current Coliseum site as well. Whatever keeps the A’s in Oakland.

    …guessing ML will have a post about this interview up soon.

  104. Don Knauss is lying. Nobody has made a specific determination of cost for HT.

  105. re: Knauss. More and more of Oakland knowing it can’t accommodate both the Raiders and A’s at the Coliseum and continuing pressure to dispatch the A’s over to Howard Terminal, despite the A’s and MLB’s flat-out rejection of the site.

  106. Ask Knauss if he is willing to pony up the money for EIR @ HT
    the media in the BA is so pathetic.

  107. So what’s holding back the EIR for HT?

    • @GoA’s – The HT ENA is structured so that they can take up to a year to figure out if they WANT to start an EIR. If they want to start an EIR someone has to pay for it, either the Port, City or OWB.

  108. Best atmosphere in baseball…haha. Gotta say…that’s some strong commitment to trolling.

  109. This is from the Dept of Substance Control’s website re: Howard Terminal

    “A manufactured gas plant (MGP) operated on the middle and eastern portions of the site from 1902 until 1961. MGP operations generated lampblack, which was used as fuel for boilers and as fill in site development. Soil contaminants associated with lampblack include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and petroleum hydrocarbons in the diesel and motor oil ranges. The entire 50 acre site is currently paved with asphalt concrete. The Port of Oakland operates a marine container terminal at the site.”

    WTF is Knauss talking about? He mentions an isolated capped area that isn’t anything to worry about, then says the DTSC has confirmed this. But the DTSC’s own documents contradict him. The ENTIRE SITE is a cap. And yet he says other people aren’t entitled to their own facts? But he is? All this does is divide Oakland politics even more. Which makes keeping the A’s in Oakland even more difficult – while claiming that’s his top priority. What a dolt.

  110. Come on, Muppet. They only operated the plant for 59 years. Should be easy to clean it up, right?

  111. Name calling is the norm here when a threat to the San Jose plan is discussed.

    Everything in Oakland is an insurmountable problem while San Jose is perfect and ready to go.

    In San Jose the power plant isn’t a problem, acquiring the AT&T property is a formality, while access, infrastructure and parking are all set to go.

    t must be great living in a fantasy San Jose centric universe.

    Why don’t you give Knauss a chance to research and investigate the true cost of Howard Terminal? Why is this such a threat to the San Jose crowd on this site?

  112. Knauss already said Howard Terminal won’t cost more than any other site. What’s there to research?


  113. Howard Terminal is a threat to Coliseum area development. That’s a threat to keeping the A’s in Oakland. Not a threat to San Jose. Don Knauss didn’t tell the truth. That’s not acceptable. He should be called out for it. He’s only hurting Oakland’s chances to keep the A’s. If I were a San Jose only guy I’d be promoting HT every chance I got. Reducing the chances to build at the Coliseum reduces the chances of the A’s staying.

    Why the Oakland-only crowd wants to get into bed with a guy whose statements are easily dis-proven and another guy in Doug Boxer who worked his butt off to move the Warriors out of Oakland is beyond me. Last night showed how tough the political landscape is, HT only muddies those waters even worse.

  114. I’ll believe Knauss over Lew Wolff’s exaggerations.

  115. Of course you will, Nav.

  116. While everyone is getting excited on here, let’s ask a question; who is Knauss and why should we care? He doesn’t own the team, he doesn’t have any control over the team or the site or anything else related to this. He may want to have some, but he doesn’t. So why does anyone care what he has to say? If he runs the team then sure, we should listen but otherwise he has no real involvement here. I’m not trying to be rude but does any of this really matter? I mean, if the A’s refuse to go to HT and MLB refuses to make them then Knauss would just be wasting his money on studies.

  117. At this point Knauss has absolutely zero control over anything related to the A’s.

  118. The way Lew Wolff and the San Jose crowd react anytime Howard Terminal is mentioned, leads me to believe that this is the best site for a new ballpark in Oakland.

    Wolff wants Howard Terminal ruled out because there are fewer excuses to leave if he ever shows any interest at all in the site. At the Coliseum he can blame the Raiders, Coliseum City, the City of Oakland when he is “forced out” into the arms of his waiting San Jose suitors.

  119. @Baynativeguy – It’s more about his possible, even if highly unlikely ability to use his influence to send public sector attention/resources over in HT’s direction. HT will never happen but he could (potentially) worsen the political situation.

    But yes, point taken.

  120. Seriously Elmano, you believe Knauss on this? What possible team could legitimately have studied the site? This is either a blatant lie or someone is using Knauss as a mouth piece for their own propaganda.

    What team outside of the Bay Area would even bother looking into this?

    Of the team’s in the Bay Area, the 49ers and the Sharks would have no reason to study the site.

    The Giants, Raiders and Warriors might have looked into it, but they all have ulterior motives.

    The Giants and Raiders motives are obvious.

    The Warriors legitimately could have looked into it, but if it’s such a great site, why didn’t they build there? They also have a vested interest in deflecting any criticism about leaving Oakland and stuff like this is a great way to make the A’s into the bad guy.

  121. @ Elmano
    I say this to you as a Pro-Oakland fan, while there may be some who want to build in San Jose (and that’s primarily because economic advantage), most fans here just want a new park, somewhere in the Bay Area.
    Honestly we would see,the site in San Jose debated more if the A’s had access to it.

  122. Lakeshore is correct. There’s definitely an Oakland only crowd but I don’t think there’s really a San Jose only crowd. The San Jose only crowd could better be described as Bay Area only.

    Also while I can see why some people would think Wolff would dismiss HT, why would Selig and MLB? Bud is desperate for a solution in Oakland to avoid relocation issues, the Giants and the ATE lawsuit. I’m sure the fact about Bud and Lew being friends would come up, but if they’re such good friends then why won’t Bud just give Lew San Jose?

  123. Lakeshore: agreed. If they build a new park in Oakland, wonderful. If they build it in San Jose, wonderful. They can build it in Burlingame at this point (ok, I know they can’t). There are a lot of us out there who embrace A’s baseball and also love living in this incredible region, not just city.

    You’re also right, there’d be a lot of debate of any proposed stadium.

    I’m just tired of hearing about the latest savior. If Knauss wants to spin his wheels on a meaningless radio show then marvelous, I guess Clorox doesn’t need him at the helm. But if he really wants to accomplish things he needs to do more than talk. Otherwise, he’s just giving people false hope that he has a solution.

  124. Oakland just needs a competent leader/mayor who give a sh#t.
    SC had one and now they have Levis stadium. Mayor Tom McEnery helped build the tank. Until Oakland gets a competent mayor, no sh#t will ever happen. Sacto will have a new arena soon

  125. @slacker: “The San Jose only crowd could better be described as Bay Area only.”

    You hit the nail on the head.

  126. @daniel: The Sac arena is it’s own boondoggle right now.

  127. It is interesting that Kaplan voted no on the agreement she negotiated- had she bored yes on Reid’s motion and no on Kernigan than it would have been a 4-4 tie and Quan would have had to break it-

  128. The description given on this site of Oakland A’s fans as Oakland “only” is an insult and an attempt to marginalize Oakland A’s fans.

    Those claiming to be “Bay Area” fans are really Lew Wolff fans becuase of the “who cares where they play” and “who cares what they’re called” attitude. Lew Wolff loves fans like these who don’t cre about Oakland. it’s much easier for Lew Wolff to attain his goal of relocating out of Oakland when a percentage of the fanbase cares nothin about the history and traiton of the Oakland A’s.

    Please stop calling us Oakland “only.” ” Oakland A’s fans” will do, thank you. You’re welcome to call yourselves “A’s fans” Bay Area A’s fans, San Jose A’s fans, “Where ever A’s fans” but please stop inserting the “only” in Oakland A’s fans.

  129. Nav, you continue to have no idea what you’re talking about.

  130. This is why nobody takes you seriously or has an ounce of respect for you Nav

  131. Except that’s how a lot of the Oakland Only crowd behaves. Many of us want a solution somewhere, anywhere but a few on here insist if it’s not Oakland it’s not going to work. The definition is fair and accurate, wear it with pride because you’ve earned it.

  132. @Elmano, so I take it we can expect you to be cheering for the A’s if they move to San Jose?

  133. And add to that the fact that yo have repeatedly said that you are leaving for good, only to return almost immediately.

  134. Oakland Only A’s Fans.

  135. No, I’m not a San Jose A’s fan so I wouldn’t be cheering for the “San Jose” A’s.

    As I’ve said many times, I’m an Oakland A’s fan. You know, the MLB team which goes by that name. They’re not called the Oakland only A’s. They’re called the Oakland A’s.

    Why not just admit that you’re not Oakland A’s fans. You’re “A’s fans” and that’s fine.

  136. Why not just admit that you’re not an A’s fan. You’re an Oakland Only fan and that’s fine.

  137. so you’re one of those in the very very small minority who’d rather see the a’s leave the bay area all together rather than watch them move down to sj and prosper both on and off the field?

  138. No, I’m one of the large majority of Oakland A’s fans who want the Oakland A’s to remain the Oakland A’s and are fighting to make it happen. We’ll even welcome the “A’s” fans who undermined Oakland baseball with their ambivalent attitudes regarding where the A’s should play what their name should be when the new ballpark opens in Oakland. You can all clams that you were Oakland A’s fans all along. No one is going to check.

    As I said before, we’re Oakland A’s fans who are determined to keep the Oakland A’s from going extinct.

  139. yeah because there’s nobody who’s undermined the a’s franchise as a whole over the past 20 years than the city of oakland itself.

  140. good grief… elmano, it was you who asked me a few threads back why we can’t have “intelligent” debate. I quoted the word intelligent because that was the word you used. I am not hurling an insult at you. You prefer an “emotional” debate that minimizes facts that are inconvenient for you. I am not interested in an emotional debate and you aren’t really interested in an intelligent one.
    I am a fan of the Oakland A’s. I do not believe that the only acceptable outcome is that the A’s stay in Oakland. That is where “Oakland Only” comes from. You and some other fans believe the “only” acceptable outcome is a stadium in Oakland.
    I am not a “San Jose Only” fan. It is my preference that the A’s stay in Oakland, but if not somewhere in the Bay Area is fine, and it is bad for that potential outcome when people like you and Don Knauss misrepresent the facts.
    Was it not you who first mentioned Victory Court on this site? Did we not look into it? Did it not blow up all over the place, as we believed it would upon investigating it, despite your claims that MLB preferred that site? That it wasn’t the slam dunk you and others made it out to be? Do we not have actual real information that supports our opinion of Howard Terminal as the next thing to blow up? I can tell you not one of these facts mentioned above has come to us from Lew Wolff. Not muppet’s, not marine layers, not mine. I have spoken with the guy once and it was to high five after Jason Kendall hit his first HR in 900 at bats. So, I am sorry if it pisses me off when you don’t even acknowledge objective reality but have the gall to question my integrity and call me an apologist for someone I have never had any substantial discussions with in my life. All the time your claims fly in the face of actual real facts, like the documents referenced by muppet above.
    Has MLB not said that the best site in Oakland is at he Coliseum? Was it not you who used to hoot about how MLB was working with Oakland and around Lew Wolff? Do the answers to those questions not speak for themselves?
    Really man, I respect your passion. But it blinds you to the truth.

  141. ^ smackdown of the month

  142. I’ve never questioned you’re integrity but you say you’re an ” Oakland A’s fan” when in reality you know a move to San Jose mean an end to the Oakland A’s. So why even say that you’re an “Oakland” A’s fan?

    the fact is Lew Wolff has been trying to leave Oakland since he purchased the franchise so it’s been very difficult for any site in Oakland to work out when you have an owner dismissing everything in Oakland as “not viable.”

    It”s nothing personal Jeffrey, you seem like a great guy.

  143. Elmano: It’s too bad you choose to limit yourself the way you do because you’re wrong, you can be a fan of the Oakland A’s but also accept that they might leave and not want to see them leave the region. For those who can’t, they often do merit the label “Oakland Only” and you’ve done your part to convince us of membership of that group. I’d think you’d be proud because it seems to exemplify your position quite well.

    Maybe deep down you’re just an A’s fan after all.

  144. @ Elmano

    It’s vary difficult to build a baseball stadium, even if all parties are on the same page. The San Francisco Giants, prior owner wanted to build in San Francisco, and time after time could not get it done, (unlike the A’s today), back then the Giants were willing to move to San Jose, as a secondary option because they could not get something done in their preferred location (San Francisco), after two votes filled in South Bay, they were on there way to Tampa in till MLB stepped in, all of this happen when everyone involved were on they same page.
    There will be some heavy lifting, if anything ever gets built in Oakland or San Jose, and every site in San Jose or anywhere in the Bay Area will come under scrutiny here, as a matter of fact if the A’s had ever gotten the right to build in San Jose, we may have already discovered what problems the site may have had, unfortunately because the Giants stand in the A’s way, we really can’t scrutinize any San Jose sites.

  145. Elmano, let’s be honest. You’re not a fan of the team. Not at all. You’re a fan of the city. And that’s all. Now a part of that city happens to be a baseball team and, because it’s located within that city and currently associated with that city, you root for that team. You even have a great passion for rooting for that team. But let’s be clear, you ONLY root for that team because of the connection to your city and no more. You don’t really care for the franchise’s history, you care for the franchise’s Oakland history. If the Giants and their black and orange were to swap stadiums even for one day, you’d root for the Giants, not the A’s, for that day. And while doing so, you wouldn’t care about the A’s one bit, merely the team currently playing within your city. It’s not accurate to call you an “Oakland A’s fan.” Hell, it’s not even accurate to call you an “Oakland ONLY A’s fan.” You’re simply an “Oakland fan.”

    I don’t say any of that as an insult or to belittle you, just to point out what you really are, what you really care about. Like an A’s fan can turn a completely irrationally blind eye towards a player sucking ass, you turn a blind eye to your city leaders when they mess up. Like an A’s fan hating the opposing team’s players, you hate any of those you deem the “enemy” of your city. And it’s just as irrational.

    Now, if you ARE insulted. If you ARE belittled by any of this, I sincerely suggest you re-read your comments over the last few days and see just how insulting and belittling you’ve been to the rest of us, who are very much a fan of the TEAM the Athletics. A team that began as the Philadelphia A’s. Then became the Kansas City A’s. Who are currently the Oakland A’s. Who (hopefully) continue to remain the Oakland A’s. Who (may) end up being the San Jose A’s. Who (hopefully) will not be [insert a city outside the bay area] A’s. We bleed with passion for this team just as much as you bleed with passion for your city. So believe me when I say that while we respect your passion for your city, while we understand it, even empathize with you, you’re not adding anything to conversation if you’re unable to separate your personal bias of your opinions with the reality of the facts. And *that* is very insulting and disrespectful to those of us willing to engage in a genuine conversation about the future of this *team*. Those of who *care* quite deeply about the *team’s* future.

    And quite frankly, I’ve had enough of it and won’t continue to engage you in what amounts to trollish behavior. It’s blatantly disrespectful and a huge waste of our time.

  146. Lakeshore,

    There’s really is one site in San Jose which has been talked about and that is the Diridon site. It’s very easy to scrutinize .

    Also, everything about Victory Court is coming to fruition. Brooklyn Basin and the 3200 homes are under way and Lake Merritt Channel is heading towards the Oakland Estuary. Victory Court would have been a tremendous site a mere three blocks from the Lake Merritt Bart station and virtually next to the Jack London Amtrak Station.

    Why didn’t Victory Court work out? Because Wolff dismissed it as if he were Superman and Victory Court was cryptonite.

    Now he’s doing the same thing with Howard Terminal. When you have an owner who dismisses everything in Oakland as “not viable” and then refuses to sell the the team to someone willing to invest in Oakland’s future, nothing gets done..

  147. Victory Court blew up because the land acquisition and site preparation would have cost at least $200M (which was more than Oakland could reasonably spend on that site, it would have been their entire redevelopment agency budget) and Oakland’s Redevelopment agency died with all the rest (and Oakland screwed up by pretending this wouldn’t happen while other cities took appropriate action and protected some redev assets).
    But let’s not let facts get in the way of a tired old narrative.

  148. @Elmano what if the A’s move to Fremont but keep the name Oakland? What if their stadium is physically located in Oakland but they change their name to the Bay Area A’s? Where are the lines here?

    While teams generally carry the name of the major city in the metro area, they represent the metro area. Oakland is about 5% of the Bay Area’s population and a little over 1% of the actual land area. The A’s are not just Oakland’s team. If they were, they would have been dead long ago. The Bay Area and not Oakland makes the A’s a viable franchise.

    The majority of the people on this site want the A’s to continue to represent the region. While there are some exceptions to this, and you might be one of them, these fans were cheering for the team in the region, not the city of Oakland. Oakland is just a small part of the whole region.

    Professional sports is a business. Teams have to make money to survive. It’s not a charity to make a city feel good about itself. To keep the team, the area has to be able to support the team. I’m not suggesting that the Bay Area hand over 100’s of millions of dollars to Wolff and Fischer but they do have to sell the team on the area.

    The approach that you’re taking and the approach being taken by some members of the Oakland city council is to play the victim. If the A’s don’t want to stay in Oakland it’s because they’re just mean so they should be gone.

    Fighting for the A’s, doesn’t mean whining when someone points out Oakland’s flaws. It means putting together a legitimate business case showing why Oakland is the best place for the A’s.

    Since they’ve moved here, the A’s have represented the region. Regardless of the name on the uniform, the region has supported the team. Even if everyone in Oakland agreed with you, the rest of the region doesn’t want 5% of the population making the A’s want to leave, ruining things for the 95%.

  149. Elmano: Who is offering to spend $2 billion to buy the franchise and build at Howard Terminal? That’s what it will cost. What’s that – no one has come forward offering to do this? No surprise there.

  150. “Why didn’t Victory Court work out? Because Wolff dismissed it as if he were Superman and Victory Court was cryptonite.”

    Nope. VC was deemed to expensive to acquire. At which point Oakland began diverting VC EIR funds toward the purchase of the Kaiser Convention Center. I wrote a letter to various officials about this. You can read it here:


    I had it confirmed by 3 different people that funds were diverted away from the project early on in an attempt to soften the blow from the dissolving of the Redevelopment Agency. Even then, the funds used for VC were still available, but because of the site acquisition costs they were directed elsewhere. That’s on Oakland, not Wolff.

  151. Slacker,

    San Francisco represents only 10% of the regions population and even a smaller percent of the Bay Area’s land mass than Oakland. SF is 49 square miles while Oakland is 57 square miles. Don’t see your point. Most MLB cities draw most do their fans from the suburbs while the the team represents the city on the jersey. It’s understood that the team also represents the region.

    Your mistake is not having much respect for Oakland as a city which has every right to represent the Bay Area. You want me to fall into the “Oakland is less than” mentality which is responsible for attitudes like Lew Wolff’s. Attitudes rooted in ignorance and disinvestment.. Sorry, but your “less than” attitude about Oakland doesn’t impress me. I”m sure it drives the ” wherever in the Bay Area” crowd like Lew Wolff, because of the “it’s only Oakland” so it rely isn’t that important.

    This attitude is insulting to say the least. Oakland is in the Bay Area and it’s not only Oakland residents who respect and value the relationship between the team and the city.

  152. @ Elmano
    I’m no Lew Wolff apologist, but the city of Oakland has to get it’s sh*t together if they want to convince Wolff, to build there. More then likely we are talking about the coliseum site, if anything gets done in Oakland.
    Wolff does not have to be in love with Oakland, and at this point it’s obvious he is not, but Oakland needs pragmatic leadership, that understands that you don’t have to be in love, to get Wolff to understand the benefits of building at the coliseum site.

  153. It’s on Wolff, because he dismissed and ignored he site. Take a look at how much money and effort he spent on Fremont. You want Oakland to spend money when the owner is completely opposed to and uninvolved in the possible site?

  154. @E- SJ did just that- even though MLB has them locked out- Oakland has a team and they are not willing to invest- pretty crazy- victim mentality gets real old real quick

  155. Well you can’t get rid of the owner so Oakland has to talk to Wolff if it has a chance.

  156. Israel/Palestine? It’s on Wolff…

    Missile taking out a passenger plane? It’s on Wolff.

    Don’t anybody respond to this garbage anymore, please.

  157. The lesson from VC is not to trust the city council on the stadium issue. The city’s own documents show they ended the project in the summer of 2011 only to talk up the project throughout the fall only to announce its death in January of 2012. They spend over 6 months promoting something that was already dead. That’s my fear with this HT nonsense. They’ll divert their attention its way, telling you want to hear, just like VC, only to have nothing happen. Meanwhile you’re risking a Coliseum deal falling apart. Politicians can’t be agnostic on stadium deals. Stadium deals in this state are far too difficult for that. But if certain parts of the fanbase want to go down that round again, it’s your choice.

  158. A lot of things will happen by november. A temp venue at the Coliseum site while still getting revenue sharing…the A’s could sneaky way get a ballpark built from mlb. Oakland and Lew should team up against mlb Selig instead of fighting each other

  159. @Elmano – He ignored the site because it wasn’t financially feasible. That’s also the reason why he (AND MLB, who’d really want the A’s to stay in Oakland above all, to not have to deal with the headaches of relocations or lawsuits or intruding on TV rights that would happen if Oakland DOESN’T work out) won’t consider Howard Terminal.

    Freemont WAS financially feasible. And it would have happened without the NIMBY’s and all the other crap. THAT’S why Lew Wolff invested in it, not because he “hated Oakland and always wanted to leave”.

    Here’s another little inconvenient fact for your narrative: Lew Wolff is on the record as saying he would look into the Coliseum site, and has an interest in potentially building a ballpark on it. When did he say this, you ask? Try 3 NIGHTS AGO, when our Cuban Missile was defending the HR Derby title.

    Has Lew Wolff been the kindest, cuddliest teddy bear of an owner for A’s fans, especially in Oakland? Hell no. But has he been this demon hell-bent on taking the A’s away from here, no matter what? Hell no.

    Wolff is a businessman who is willing to work with a feasible plan. He thinks the Coliseum is feasible, so he’s interested. The City of Oakland would be well-advised to do everything they can to not alienate him as he is open to this.

  160. Go A’s,

    Lew Wolff’ has been whispering in San Jose’s ear since he purchased the team. What a huge risk San Jose took. Oakland built the Oakland Alameda Complex without a team committed to the city. Wolff is still having pancakes with the San Jose Mayor who’s been after the Oakland A’s for a decade.

  161. Harry, here’s another bottle, please keep entertaining us. No MLB team is going to side with the community against MLB, they don’t work for the community, they’re part of MLB.

  162. literally hurts reading some of the posts here recently. the total lack of knowledge of subjects that you thought were well known by BOTH SIDES and misinformation being posted here is staggering.

    now i know why some have said over the years that the die hard oakland only folks live in their own little world where they want to hear what they want to hear and read what they want to read, facts be damned.

  163. Muppet,

    You sure are hard on Oakland. Tell me, what do you think Lew Wolff wants to do? Does Wolff really want to build in Oakland, or is he still playing games? Remember, he refused to even consider Oakland for a very long time. He refused to look at anything in Oakland, saying he didn’t ” want to revisit the situation” and Oakland was “out of the question.” What happened to all of a sudden change Lew Wolff’s mind about “looking at the Coliseum?” Is he sincere, or is this just nice talk prior to getting a lease?

  164. I’m with Jeffrey- brow muppet- great blog on VC- you nailed it in terms of trust- what us the total number of sites Oakland has claimed to “be the one” only to have them die a slow death in an effort to keep the public believing that something real could happen- amazing that MLB has allowed this to go on

  165. Elmano, why do you care who the owner is? You have no control over who owns the A’s so as an Oakland only guy you should be happy if Wolff eventually builds in Oakland. You’ll get what you want then, a team in Oakland. Love Wolff or hate him, if you want a team you gotta deal with him because no one cares if you like him or not.

  166. @dmoas: Your last comment was heroic. There is no other suitable word for it.

    @slacker: What I just said to dmoas applies to you too, well done.

    @letsgoas: The motto of the Oakland only crowd is “Meanwhile, In Bizzaro…”

    And for the record Oakland is objectively the lesser major city. It’s not the most populous or richest of the 3 major Bay Area cities, it’s not even the 2nd in either case. It is, by a huge margin, dead last among the 3 in both regards.

  167. OT: After posting some counterpoints and facts on TK’s blog, I got blocked lol….. the guy is a self-centered egomaniac bent on stirring up the pot, even if it means being a sounding board for shills like Baer.

    PS: don’t feed the trolls!

  168. TK is a tool and has been for a long time. Maybe he has to be to stand out in a dying industry.

  169. TK must be eating up what Knauss said about HT- of course he won’t spend a second doing any research claiming that is not his role- nat’l enquirer reporters have better credentials

  170. SMG and his ignorant beliefs and attitude defines this site. I’m done, it’s a waste of time.

    Let’s Go Oakland!

  171. I will take great pride in being the figurehead of the group who pushed you out if, infact, you don’t return. But you will because you’re a troll, a liar, and not a fan of the team. You just can’t resist stirring shit up by posting emotional appeals that literally nobody here agrees with and by making things up because reality is too harsh for you to deal with like a damn adult.

  172. @Baynativeguy you’re missing the point. Lew had pancakes with the mayor of San Jose. We’re not talking about splitting a danish here. He had pancakes. The man is a menace and must be stopped.

  173. And please, when you do return, explicitly write out my “ignorant beliefs”. I’d love a good laugh.

  174. And one more thing everyone, notice how he wrote “Let’s go Oakland!” and NOT “Let’s go A’s.”

    Very telling.

  175. Oh right, pancakes. Cause Hitler and Stalin had pancakes in August 1939 right before they attacked Poland.

  176. Elmano, thanks for the laughs buddy! I don’t know if you grasped your role around here or not but you did bring the laughs everyone needed! How did you manage to make up all that nonsense.

  177. SMG, you’re an ignorant bully who relies on silly expletives to make your inane points. You need anger management classes.

    Marine Layer should’ve red carded your dumb ass a long time ago but your part of the San Jose lodge.

  178. That’s it Elmano, keep joking along. Man you are hilarious! I know you’re just making it up but how do you manage? You sound so sincere.

  179. You’re welcome. I also enjoyed you tremendously. Never say I never brought anything to this blog.

  180. Elmano – If you read my postings carefully (while doing your best to ignore the embarrassing amount of typos) it should be obvious I want to see everything done that is possible to get a deal done with the A’s at the Coliseum……which is in Oakland last I checked. That’s not being hard on Oakland, that’s pro-Oakland. I’m not offended by anything Wolff says. He wants to build a stadium in Bay Area and make money. Good for him. I don’t need to be verbally coddled by the head of a big business. San Jose is an inconvenience to me, nothing more. I’ll get over it should it happen. Until then, I’m going to focus on the fine points that would need to happen to make it work in Oakland, not the talking points.

    If Oakland losses all its sports teams it opens up the area to be developed in a way that would create a much bigger tax base for the city and county than developing with sports. I’m not going to cry over that scenario. That doesn’t make me hard on Oakland. At the end of the day I think that’s probably the most pro-Oakland stance a person can take.

  181. Muppet: very well said. Pro-Oakland yet balanced and thoughtful. That’s a good post to check out for the night on.

  182. So basically nothing got done as usual,what a shame ,what an embarrassment of a dump to play in,hey Wolff why don’t you just be honest with the fans and tell them they will never get a new ballpark and quit waiting people’s time!

  183. Not that I think he would read it, but what happened to change Lew Wolff’s mind regarding Oakland?

    Several things could have, actually. Lets see if I can list as many as I can remember off the top of my head (and I know a lot less about this than people like ML and Jeffrey):

    1) The A’s became a contender again, and won back a lot of openly-visible support in the East Bay and the Bay Area in general. Notice the level of support they have now as opposed to what they had in the latter years of the 00’s and 2010-11.

    2) San Jose became a bigger cluster*%#@ than anyone could have anticipated, making it no longer the “slam-dunk sure thing” people thought it would be 5+ years ago; rather, it’s a really sticky issue that MLB would rather deal with as little as possible.

    3) The possibility of granting Wolff and the A’s command over developing the entire Coliseum site and the surrounding area became raised and is now on the table. Before, I believe only part of it was available for development/construction, which wouldn’t have been financially sufficient. And even then there was no willingness to actually develop that land into a center of activity, at least not until the ideas behind Coliseum City were unveiled and commercial development of that area became synonymous to it’s future.

    4) Lew himself may have developed a stable (if not outright good) working relationship with Alameda County and some members of the JPA (like Rebecca Kaplan, for instance, who was the one to urge him and the A’s to look over the revised lease, which he agreed to do ON HER URGING). In other words, he almost certainly has softened his stance on Oakland in the last 8 years, at least in regards to it being a workable place to build.

    I think it’s legit. If it wasn’t, and he was hell-bent on leaving, he wouldn’t be giving Oakland this many chances, or even be amenable to as many agreements as he has been in regards to the lease. He certainly wouldn’t be looking over a modified lease at the behest of a council member after insisting that he was done negotiating.

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