Oakland City Council Meeting 7/16 Open Thread

If, like me, you can’t make it to the meeting tonight, you can watch the stream here. You’ll need Silverlight or Real Player to watch. If anyone knows how I can embed one of these old Granicus streams, I’ll post it here.

The comments are open if you want to have a civil, on-topic discussion. I’ll also be live tweeting and mirroring here.

Reference documents (PDF):
Coliseum Lease

96 thoughts on “Oakland City Council Meeting 7/16 Open Thread

  1. I’m nervous, if they reject the lease. I really feel likes it’s the first step towards the end of the A’s in the Bay Area.

  2. I’m with Mike. If they leave the area, we all lose.

  3. I hope they reject it. Anything is better than the status quo, including the risk of the A’s eventual exit from the Bay Area.

  4. I’m starting to get the feeling that all this delay and confusion by the City Council is just CYA for all the current mayoral candidates even though they all personally expected to vote “yes” on the lease in the end. They probably had an idea all along that they could delay the vote to mid-late July without impacting the new scoreboard construction.

    But since they collectively all put-up various forms of symbolic resistance, they can now go into the campaign championing the “fact” that they stood firm against Big Bad Wolff and got the best possible deal for the city.

  5. I hope they reject this disrespectful lease agreement. This lease is just a stepping stone for Lew Wolff. I don’t wamt to see my city being disrespected and used for Lew Wolff’s ultimate plan. Wolff needs to answer two questions.

    1. Will you commit to staying in Oakland in return for this favorable lease? Yes or No.

    2. Will you committ to a site in Oakland? Yes or No.

    A no to both these two questions should be reason enough to not agree to this lease.

    Oakland and Oakland A’s fans deserve much better than to be used by these unethical men for another few years.

    It’s time to either committ to Oakland and the best fans in MLB, or don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  6. The A’s cannot make any promises to stay in Oakland and build in Oakland unless and until there is something the city is able to work out for them to build on.

    You know this.

    If that ends up being the Coliseum site, it also has to be to the benefit of the A’s to build there, not to end up in some new arrangement where they’re more an afterthought than a prime feature.

    You keep talking about how the A’s need to commit to Oakland, but Oakland has to do the same to the A’s for it to work to the best of everyone in the end.

    You also know this.

  7. Nab, then don’t be shocked when your city is sans baseball team in 2016. Enjoy watching grass grow at the Coliseum…

  8. I hope they pass it, If they don’t I hope it will open up San Jose, but I’m a little nervous, that San Jose may not happen, and if they don’t pass it, it may truly be the beginning bot the end.

  9. James,

    Lew Wolff was having a pancake breakfast with the Mayor of San Jose even as Bud Selig was announcing a “done deal” on the lease to the news media. This lease is a joke for Lew Wolff. The disrespect he showers on Oakland has no bounds.

    The problem is that Oakland has weak leadership like Larry Reid who won’t stand up to the threats made by Wolff and Selig.

    If Wolff were sincere about this lease and working with Oakland, he wouldn’t be having a pancake breakfast with the Mayor of the city which is trying to take the team just as the deal is being finalized.
    If I were Oakland, I’d call their bluff. If Wolff and Fisher decide they would rather go somewhere else and leave the center of the Bay Area with the best fans in MLB, then you tip your cap and say “good luck Mr. Wolff.” If Wolff is going to leave Oakland, it should be on Oakland’s terms, not as Oakland gets slapped around and used as a stepping stone to San Jose.

  10. Elmano,
    Do you not point out regularly hat Lew Wolff has business interests in San Jose? Is he not wrapping up construction a soccer stadium in San Jose? Are there not many things that a businessman like Wolff might have to discuss with the Mayor of San Jose as a result?
    One thing to consider, maybe he was talking about how quickly they can permit a temporary stadium if the lease is voted down. In that case, you should be really satisfied, right?

  11. Nav, what aren’t you getting though. Sure reject the A’s lease. What do you think happens next? You said it yourself, Wolff has been keeping an open line to San Jose. If the A’s don’t get this lease they’ll simply take their ball and bail on Oakland anyway. Oakland HAS NO LEVERAGE. They either take the lease and risk MAYBE losing the A’s to San Jose or some other city down the road, or they reject it and lose the A’s in 2016. It’s really that simple. And if they chose option 2 there is little guarantee the Raiders won’t be following the A’s anyway to Santa Clara or even LA since Coliseum City is still half a billion short of even being minimally feasible.

  12. “Nothing in this deal should affect the Raiders’ construction plan.”

    Wait, did Kaplan just imply that the Raiders plan has the go ahead if they work out the finances?

  13. No matter what happens with San Jose, the A’s are more likely to stay in Oakland with a new lease than without. How much of a risk do you want to take on it?

    Wolff meeting with the San Jose mayor means nothing to me at this point. Did they talk about what’s going on in Oakland? I don’t doubt it. I also don’t doubt they had other things to discuss because, as it’s been noted, Wolff is already doing other business in the area and has been prior to this.

    Nav, you’re the one who’s already made up his mind that it was just Wolff making another move to try to get the A’s in San Jose. If that happens in the long run, it’s going to be in large part because Oakland dropped the ball with the A’s.

  14. Sounded like it’s what they’re still going to work on. Which means even if they approve the A’s lease the Coliseum area ballpark is still DOA for lack of funding. Which wouldn’t shock me. HT has seen a resurgence in their simpleton minds in the last 48 hours. Despite the fact it remains unworkable. More can kicking in that case which wouldn’t shock me.

  15. Dan,

    They take their ball, they take their ball. It’s OK. Oakland keeps its self-respect and pride knowing it did all it could and did not cave in to bullying tactics.

    I doubt Wolff and Selig would take their ball because they have no where to go with their ball.

  16. Oakland’s government has self-respect and pride? Since when?

  17. @ SMG
    That was really funny.

  18. You go on believing that, Nav.

  19. Oakland has tremendous pride as a city.

  20. Try rereading what I said, the operative word being “try”.

  21. I know exactly what you said. I was talking about the pride residents have in the city and you turned it into a joke about city government.

  22. Because they’re in control and they’re a joke. There is no ballot measure to decide this.

  23. “Our ‘page’ is a new A’s ballpark at & a new Raiders stadium at Coliseum City. If a dev isn’t for that they’re against Oakland.”

    Well Kalb clearly has no understanding of business.

  24. He is correct that it would be embarrassing not to be willing to make those small clarification-based changes. None of them sounded like they changed the terms.

  25. Sounds like Brooks rattled Reid.

  26. If they are small changes who cares either way- shouldn’t keep from approving the lease as proposed by Reid-

  27. Reid seems to be the only one who gets it. I retract my previous statement.

  28. Soinds like Reid may have received a little something. He sure is pushing hard for this lease and trying to scare the council

  29. Have to give brooks credit- she seems the most informed on specific details of the lease-

  30. No, Elmano, if you had listened, he’s basing his position on his history. Specifically his history with MLB, not Wolff. And he’s not even pushing anyone vote any specific way.

  31. Brooks gets it. ” Mr Crowley, shows that you just don’t want to leave, show us that you’re not just buying time.”

    Bingo! What’s Mr.Crowley’s response?

  32. He has zero obligation to respond. The A’s are a business, not a charity for the city.

  33. The city isn’t a charity and door mat for the A’s. Crowley should answer out of respect for 400,000 residents. The A’s aren’t above Oakland as a city. Show some respect Mr.Crowley and answer the question.

  34. Brooks made some good points for her position, and Reid made some good points for his. Their positions are simply opposite.

  35. Libby, also gets it. She wants the A’s to commit to a new ballpark in Oakland.

  36. Why is it taking until tonight for the City of Oakland to learn about day-to-day stadium operations, etc?

  37. Why the hell should they? Oakland has made no commitment whatsoever to the team beyond cheap, cheap words.

  38. If Oakland wants the A’s to commit to a ballpark in Oakland, regardless of whether the owners will make their money back, then its bye bye A’s from Oakland. And soon..Elmano is right – the city isn’t a charity for the A’s. The A’s, heavily subsidized by the other MLB, are a bit of charity case themselves. MLB loses money in Oakland.

  39. Crowley and the A’s are a private business, they have zero obligation to even be there let alone answer questions.

  40. This summary of what the Raiders get out of the whole thing and what the A’s have to pay says a whole lot about why they’ve been trying to get out of the Coliseum for so long.

    Per ML:

    The A’s pay all of their day-of-game expenses, including utilities, water. Under Raiders agreement, JPA pays $7 million/yr in exp. Part of the $7 million includes the $250k cost of converting the Coliseum between baseball and football multiple times/yr. So remember: A’s pay 3x higher rent than Raiders, get concessions/ad revenue, also pay all expenses. Raiders get $7 MM/yr operating subsidy.

  41. This is disturbing how little they know about how the Coliseum is run. They have no idea the A’s help maintain the field during football season or that they subsidize the Raiders. I’m stunned.

  42. Dan: All of this should have been discussed, covered and learned about LONG before tonight. Truly embarrassing.

  43. I wish I could say I am surprised, but I’m not. This is the same characteristic ineptitude we’ve seen for years.

  44. Brooks comes across rather abrasive. Not intentionally so I don’t think. But if she had her way she’d nickel and dime the shit out of any tenant there.

  45. So as it stands now, I count 3 in favor as is, 2 in favor ONLY if those wording tweaks are made and 1 flat out against.

  46. Rejected the lease as presented…

  47. From ML:

    Substitute motion by Reid on floor to accept lease w/ 1 amendment. Does not pass 3-4, 1 abstention.

    Original Kernighan motion: 5 aye/2 no/1 abstain. Contract goes back to JPA and Alameda County if JPA approves. AlCo vote on 7/29

  48. Kind of spin to say this was a “Yes.”

  49. From Will Kane:

    Oakland City Council approves motion with changes that A’s don’t want 5-2 with one abstention.

    “The county is not going to approve what we just did.” – larry reid. Raises chance of a battle between two groups.

    So … the drama isn’t over folks.

  50. So I guess we will see if the A’s want this lease- if they say no to any changes then Oakland will have to have another special meeting before 7/31- what a freaking circus- and we are to believe that these folks could manage a project like CC-

  51. wow, this is going to be fun…..

  52. PJK, do you not understand the concept of a league?

    Every team does not make money and the league realizes this and they’re fine with it. As long as the league thrives because the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves, Giants and Cardinals make a ton of money it doesn’t really matter what the Marlyns, Royals, Rays, and Pirates make.

    The league isn’t going to have 30 teams making money. You can’t have 30 Yankee franchises or 30 Dodger franchises. The A’s do just fine considering they play practically for free, are drawing 24,000 fans per game, and are one of the most sucessful franchise in the last 40 years.

    Wolff doesn’t need your tears. He’s doing just fine thank you.

  53. And the drama continues…..

  54. MLB’s goal is for the A’s to be off revenue sharing, which will be the case with a new ballpark whether it’s in Oakland or San Jose. They’re not fine with the A’s being a revenue sharing recipient forever.

  55. I’m very proud of Oakland right now. What’s Wolff going to do? Threaten to leave like he’s been doing for the last ten years?

    Mr. Wolff, you want to go? Go ahead. Oakland is a proud city and you should never point a figurative gun to a proud city’s head.

  56. Omg. Lew wolff just build a temporary ballpark next to Oracle arena. The city of Oakland wants incentives. Lew should work with Oakland. And will by force. This is our team.

    R.i.p San Jose (chuckle)

  57. There’s a fine line between proud and delusional.

  58. Spoiler: the vast majority of people who would describe themselves as A’s fans do not reside in the city of Oakland.

  59. ***raises hand*** (In response to SMG’s comment at 9:03p)

  60. I don’t really understand what you’re saying Matt. Are you saying that you’re one of the majority of A’s fans who doesn’t live in Oakland?

  61. SMG,

    Most Giant fans don’t live in San Francisco either. THe majority of all MLB fans come from the suburbs not the city where the ballpark is located. There’s nothing new or different when it comes to the Oakland A’s. It doesn’t mean that they don’t want a ballpark to be located in Oakland or respect the history and legacy of the Oakland A’s in Oakland.

  62. “It doesn’t mean that they don’t want a ballpark to be located in Oakland or respect the history and legacy of the Oakland A’s in Oakland.”

    It doesn’t mean they do either.

  63. Harry, if the A’s are your team, what are you doing to help them find a good plan to build a ballpark?

  64. re: The league isn’t going to have 30 teams making money.

    …Um, you can be sure MLB has a goal to have 30 moneymaking franchises. Not some on permanent welfare, like the A’s. With this rejection of the lease, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the Oakland A’s. Selig has forced Wolff to keep the team in Oakland, where it’s never drawn well. And now the city has slapped down the A’s yet again.

  65. You’d be flat out wrong if you don’t think MLB doesn’t want all 30 teams to make money. Even more wrong if you think they’re not in a position to do exactly that as all teams in MLB *do* make a profit. And no, the rich teams do NOT want to supplement the poorer teams. They flat out resent it.

  66. If the proposed changes are “minor” and have no economic impact then why request them? Looks like one more attempt to kick the can down the road leading up to a 7/31 required approval-

  67. Let’s see what happens now. We could see a quick announcement about the A’s playing in ATT Park in two seasons while a temporary ballpark is built somewhere. Or maybe the A’s go to San Antonio or something. Then, the Oakland City Council calls an emergency meeting and backs down.

  68. @Elmano – As much as I would love the A’s to remain in Oakland, I would love it even more if the team could move to Sacramento. Despite the fact the area is not as large population-wise as the Bay Area and has few major corporations headquartered here, I will guarantee you that the A’s will sell out every single home game in Sacramento. The city has an inferiority complex and is just itching to show the world that they can support a second major league franchise. I would fully support the idea of the Oakland (for now) A’s moving to the Central Valley.

  69. I think what’s more likely is for the county to side with the A’s and try to get the city to back down by making it 2 against 1.

  70. Matt: Sacramento had enough problems keeping the Kings. Getting and retaining the A’s would be orders of magnitude more difficult.

  71. Who knows? Oakland’s move tonight might serve as a huge shot of adrenalin for San Jose’s moribund ballpark efforts. The other owners, most of whom are probably already on board with San Jose, can show the few holdouts that nothing is going to get done in Oakland and the city government continues to dismiss the A’s. The lawsuit goes to court in a few weeks – what exactly is MLB gaining by fighting San Jose? The right to keep subsidizing the team in a place where it is disrespected by the local officials?

  72. Sacramento is where Giant fans want to see the A’s.

    Sacramento is an inferior market to Oakland and the East Bay.

  73. @Elmano – You don’t know the Sacramento crowd. If the A’s were to move to Sacramento, it will be A’s this and A’s that almost 24 hours per day. Yes, you’ll have a few who will remain Gnat fans, but if the A’s move here, they will claim the team as theirs and they will not let go. Again, it may be factually true that the Sacramento area is not as financially viable as the Bay Area, but Sacramentans desperately want to show that they can support a second major league team. The city will show far more support for the team than what Oakland has shown so far.

  74. PJK,

    The disrespect towards Oakland and its 400,000 residents has come from this ownership for the last ten years. You have that backwards my friend. Wolff, Fisher and Selig have disrespected Oakland and its residents for over ten years and in Seligs case, for decades. Putting a gun to Oakland’s head was the last straw. Way to go Oakland. Way to stand up against the intimidation and bullying.

    Wolff, Fisher and Selig don’t think much of our city. They figured they could push Oakland around and it would fold like a house of cards.

  75. I’m a Giants fan and I want to see the A’s in San Jose or at the Coliseum site with full control on the entire property.

  76. The gints want the A’s out of nor cal- hence their latest move to lock up the river cats and sacto

  77. In a vacuum, Elmano, Sac is a smaller market to Oakland. But we don’t live in that vacuum. That A’s are competing against the Giants, Raiders, 49ers, Warriors, Sharks, Earthquakes, Cal & Stanford football, etc. for sports fan revenue. They’d also wouldn’t have to deal with a volatile relationship with the city counsel of Oakland.

    SMG, long term, Sac is pretty much off the table, but I wouldn’t count it out on a temporary basis. Similar lease terms while using the tax revenue generated from those 80+ event parking to help pay for minor upgrades to increase attendance wouldn’t be terribly difficult to work out. Long term, as I said, would a whole other animal.

  78. GoA’s – I agree with you although to be fair, I understand it is the River Cats organization that wants to become the Gnats AAA affiliate.

  79. Whoever assumes that San Jose’s chances of winning the SJ vs MLB lawsuit are slipping are fooling themselves – (MLB likely doesn’t believe that – and MLB does not want the lawsuit reaching the SCOTUS docket either)

  80. Why is it Elmano that you only give a shit about A’s fans who live in Oakland and not the vast majority of the A’s fanbase, which resides outside Oakland?

  81. Selig got stuffed tonight. We will see how he reacts tomorrow. It is Selig call now, not the A’s, LW or Fisher.

  82. Can someone point me to the “modest changes”? I’m curious as to what they are.

  83. Nav is operating with tunnel vision, that’s all.

  84. The lease negotiations should be easy compared to a land deal, which is the real prize. The land deal would involve the $200 million in outstanding debt, and that was barely touched on tonight. The city council did not stand up to Wolff and MLB, they showed they don’t have the ability to work with each other and get these issues sorted out before a JPA vote. They ALL should be well aware of all the details before then. That’s why they have city rules mandating council reps on the JPA vote how the council tells them too. It was obvious that there were issues that council members had no clue about – the kind of issues we discuss here all the time. What a mess.

  85. This is from Will Kane’s article:

    “Among the changes were a clarification of the notice the team must give the city before it would leave, the correction of a typographical error and the definition of practices relating to parking and other matters.”

    I assume the full list will be available online by tomorrow.

  86. Guys, at this point I don’t really care what Selig or Wolff does. If he wants to move the team away from the center of the Bay Area and the best fans in MLB, then do it. Just stop jerking Oakland around. We’re sick and tired of being jerked around by Wolff, Fisher and Selig, thinking that they’re too good for our city,

    You don’t like Oakland, Mr. Wolff? You obviously have zero respect for Oakland and its citizens. Then LEAVE and take your figurative gun with you and go point it at another municipality. Good riddance.

  87. Am I missing something … What are the minor changes??? Are we bitching over a crossed T or a dotted I in the language…or is it truly a material change??

  88. Poor victim Oakland again, right, Elmano? Do we have to go over for the 10,000th time all the crappy treatment the team has gotten from its host city? I don’t think it’s necessary. You’re going to believe what you want to believe – facts be damned.

  89. The parking issue and city liability in “perceived” lease violations by the Raiders could be a big deal.

  90. Kalb says A’s should be embarrassed if they don’t accept changes- if changes are so insignificant why did city throw a wrench I. Things tonight by requesting them- makes no sense-

  91. Will, it could be viewed as a material change. I mean we are talking about the city disavowing liability if the Raiders screw the A’s by breaching the lease.

  92. So let me get this right… The City Council wants to put in a provision basically saying that w/the ‘tweaks’ to the deal, the A’s could be left homeless if (and granted, this is a big ‘if’) the Raiders come up w/the money to develop a new stadium???
    Wow, that alone feels like a deal breaker right there. Alameda County and the JPA better get this sorted out quick. What a mess…

  93. San Jose Athletics. Santa Clara Raiders. San Francisco Warriors.

  94. To address Matt, while I consider myself an A’s fan, I can’t really envision a scenario where I’d drive from San Jose to Sacramento to see a game. It’s a minimum 2 hours each way for me (2.5 hours if you believe Google Maps) not considering any game time traffic. “I will guarantee you that the A’s will sell out every single home game in Sacramento. The city has an inferiority complex and is just itching to show the world that they can support a second major league franchise.” How realistically sustainable is this? A year? Maybe two? Then what? You said it yourself. “Again, it may be factually true that the Sacramento area is not as financially viable as the Bay Area.”

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