Oakland Sports Forum, Wednesday October 29, 6-8 PM

Oakland has had a slew of mayoral candidate forums and debates, all leading up to the election on November 4. Surprisingly, there has been little coverage of the sports franchises and their impacts, save for the occasional easy-to-dodge question here and there. Thankfully, Zennie Abraham has seen fit to host his own forum. Named the Oakland Sports Forum, the event will be held this Wednesday, October 29, from 6 to 8 PM at Lakeshore Baptist Church in Oakland.

Abraham, who does a lot of video in addition to blogging, will be livestreaming the forum on YouTube as well. If there’s a Game 7, you may have to multitask.

A set of four questions will be posed to mayoral candidates who show up. So far 12 of the 15 have confirmed. Here are the questions:

  1. Wild card question from audience submitted beforehand, asked by that person. (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
  2. The Golden State Warriors are working to build an arena in San Francisco. Some say the deal is done and its too late to stop it. But others say that the Warriors belong here in Oakland, still owe Oakland and Alameda County rent that would pay off the bond that was issued to pay for arena renovation in 1998, and should not be allowed to skip town. What is your take? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
  3. The Oakland Raiders and the Oakland A’s need new stadiums. As I speak, Coliseum City is in the early planning stages, but could progress better – financing has not been completely secured. Is Coliseum City the right approach, and if it’s not, then what would you push for as Mayor? The ballpark waterfront proposal? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)
  4. The Oakland / Alameda County Joint Powers Authority was formed to provide a government issuing body for the Raider Bonds. Lately, the JPA has been the focus of strained City and County relationships, and I’m presenting that in an open-ended fashion. What, if anything, should be done with the JPA, and as Mayor what will you do to make that happen? (1 min per candidate, then 10 minute conversation period with moderators.)

It’s a good set of questions which should keep the candidates from being too vague in their responses. The responses will be scored – how very sports – and a winner will be announced at the end of the proceedings.

It’s been eight years sense the “Choose or Lose” forum prior to the 2006 election. This shapes up to be a more substantive event than the last one. Maybe there will even be an adult conversation.

107 thoughts on “Oakland Sports Forum, Wednesday October 29, 6-8 PM

  1. What would qualify as an adult conversation? Candidates giving specific AND realistic answers? Candidates giving specific answers, even if they aren’t realistic? All this as opposed to giving vague and over-general politician-like responses.

  2. Just a thought to everyone before “somebody” chimes in: Throwing the poop back at the monkey rarely makes him stop flinging it.

    • @ sierraspartan
      Thanks, I can’t think of one good example, for anyone to throw poop.

      • If you’re a monkey, I could see a few good reasons. It’s kind of their way. People, on the other hand, well, I guess if you want to be thought of as weird, that’d be a pretty good way of going about doing it? There’d certainly be cleaner ways of going about it, but if you’re weird, are you really going to quibble over that?

  3. How about a candidate who is realistic that it is highly unlikely that the Warriors are staying and realizes the city needs to get behind one of the two remaining teams, with the A’s being the obvious choice? Also, how about a question of why another $1 billion+ NFL stadium is needed in the Bay Area when one just opened that is convenient for the Raiders’ existing East Bay fan base and why should the NFL spend $200 million on a stadium in Oakland under these circumstances

    • Is there even any evidence that the NFL wants to contribute money to a separate Raiders stadium in the Bay Area? They wouldn’t help fund two in New York (or New Jersey) and they’ve shown no sign of wanting to help fund two separate stadiums in LA. So why would the Bay Area buck that trend when a brand new stadium already exists?

    • And if the NFL doesn’t want to contribute money, doesn’t that put the funding gap at more like $800 million? I am under the impression that the $600 million gap is working on the assumption of $200 million from the Raiders and $200 million in matching from the NFL, out of a total cost of ~$1 billion. Someone correct me if I’m wrong there.

      • I think the Raiders’ “contribution” assumes $200 million from the NFL stadium fund – money that may not come to Oakland.

  4. Did you see the Vic Tatur’s tweet this morning? Davis is sitting on his azz and waiting for Oakland to build a new stadium for the raiders.

    • Link us up! But honestly wouldn’t surprise me if true. Davis hasn’t done squat regarding Coliseum City other than say he’d like to see it happen. I’d like to win the Lotto too, but it’s not a retirement plan.

    • The tweet about deep pockets and short arms? Or something else?

      • @jeffreyausgust : yeah about that. Why can’t Davis get off his azz and go find some rich dudes or sell a big chunk of the raiders ?

      • Because he doesn’t want to sell a chunk and risk losing control of the franchise.

        It’s not that rich dudes haven’t been engaged, it’s that they don’t see the return on investment without owning a chunk of the team.

  5. The Raiders funding gap for the stadium itself is not as bad as people think

    200M- Raiders
    200M- NFL
    100M- JPA (Infrastructure improvements)
    100M- Naming rights

    Gap: 300M

    If Mark Davis was willing to “raise” the money via SBLs and luxury suites this stadium can be a reality in Oakland.

    Then sell a small piece of the team and there is your East Bay NFL stadium.

    The JPA did a study and it showed there are Raiders fans with $$ all over the Bay Area and the Central Valley including Sacramento. In fact, the Raiders fan base in Nor Cal has more $$ than their fan base in LA.

    Now no one can expect Davis to charge what the 49ers did for SBLs and suites. But at a fraction?

    Look at Minnesota’s SBL packages:


    Far cheaper than the 49ers but I think If the Raiders adopt a similar price design with slightly higher pricing the remaining 300M will be easy to attain.

    The JPA failed in 1995 with seat licenses because it was not “lifetime” and did not guarantee rights to other events at the stadium…..big mistake as the JPA thought they could charge again after 10 years.

    Now if the Raiders can start winning it would help big time, but even with a 0-7 record the Raiders are selling out and are on TV consistently.

    They have the fan base they just need an owner with business acumen to push this through like Jed York in Santa Clara.

    Too bad Davis is a spoiled rich kid, while Lew Wolff is sitting there holding his dick in his hand screaming “I have the business acumen to get this done”.

    • But as I mentioned before, is there even any firm (or hell, even weak) commitment by the NFL to contribute to another new stadium in the Bay Area? I have yet to see any evidence of that commitment, especially considering they made the Niners build Levi’s so that it could host 2 home teams. Again, if they weren’t willing to fund two stadiums in the New York area and haven’t made any indication of wanting to fund two stadiums in the LA area, thenI don’t see why they’d fund two in the Bay Area.

    • Sid, where do you come up with these numbers… $100M for Infrastructure doesn’t seem remotely close or are you not talking about Coliseum City and going with some other alternate reality type thing?

    • @Sid – Infrastructure improvements are not usually considered part of the cost. The $900 million estimate cited previously was for construction only.
      As I’ve said several times previously, the NFL portion largely comes from promised club seat revenue. If the Raiders can’t fulfill those promises, they may not even get the loan. The Raiders are probably the worst club seat seller in the league. This is what Nate Miley and others have talked about in the past. The gap is $500-600 million and is always growing. It becomes $800 million if the stadium has a retractable roof.

      • What would the gap be without a G-4 loan?

      • A metric shit tonne. Without G4, it’s a metric shit tonne.

      • I am increasingly of the belief that the NFL’s willingness to even provide a loan is the most important (or at least top 3 most important) factor is a new Raiders stadium (wherever it ends up being).

  6. I’m betting the other owners are not chomping at the bit to spend $200 million on a stadium to built 25 miles from one they just built. Just so a weak-leak franchise can have its own stadium and a statue of the late owner who used to sue the NFL.

  7. I would love to see Wolff, Davis and Lacob at this meeting. Let these guys answer some of the questions along with the politicians.

    The new investment group is promising a new deep pocket investors in the next three months. As I’ve said many times, the biggest obstacle in getting this project off the ground are the team owners who would rather play chess than committ to a development designed to build the sports stadiums they claim they desire.

    There is no way that Davis would ever go for sharing Levi’s Stadium. That stadium is in an inaccessible area with poor highway access and poor public transportation. The Cal Oregon game had many empty seats becuase fans didn’t want to put up with the hassle of getting to Levi’s Stadium.

    Why would Davis want to get involved in the York’s possible albatross when he could get his own stadium in Oakland and secure the north and central Bay market with a winning franchise? The Yorks gave Davis a tremendous opportunity by abandoning the central Bay Area and Davis is not about to throw it away just to help Jed York pay his mortgage.

    • Elmano hopes it’s an albatross. Those of us who have seen it know Levi’s is spectacular. There’s no need to spend another $1 billion on another NFL stadium just to preserve Oakland’s civic pride.

  8. Oh good, now it’s a party…

    *smashes head on desk*

  9. I’m going to the meeting and my “wild card question” to the candidates is going to be ” Have any of you seen Lew Wolff’s alternative plan for Coliseum City?”

  10. Did you hear anything? I didn’t…

  11. Sid made some very good points regarding a stadium for the Raiders. The funding isn’t that far off. I agree with Sid regarding the no lifetime seat licenses being a huge mistake.

    The Bay Area is a very prosperous place and a new state of the art stadium which could host large concerts like the Day on the Green, large conventions, a Superbowl, international soccer matches and even a Bay Area Olympics would be a great addition to the more accessible central part of the region.

    I could see this stadium with a retractable roof hosting the opening ceremonies of a Bay Area Olympics. It would be a short ride from SF hotels and not the 50 mile trek to Santa Clara.

    • @ Elmano

      While I agree with you (Sid), that the funding gap can be made up and is not nearly as insurmountable as some would suggest it is, I just don’t see the retractable roof, the added cost doesn’t justify what would be limited uses.

  12. There will never be an indoor NFL stadium in California. It’s a waste of literally hundreds of millions of dollars.

  13. If the stadium is used for large conventions, it could be worthwhile.

  14. Standalone stadiums not near or physically connected to other major convention centers don’t get used for conventions.

  15. Elmano: Visiting teams playing in Oakland don’t even stay in Oakland. I know – the huge conventions can be held at the Raiders stadium and the attendees can be bused 8 miles or take BART to Oakland, right? We can be sure everyone of those Dreamforce attendees would have preferred a room in Frisco to one across the Bay

  16. Wouldn’t the stadium be a major convention center in itself and wouldn’t we be building hotels nearby to compliment those in Downtown Oakland and San Francisco?

    • Elmano: Stop your dreaming about Oakland taking conventions away from Frisco. Aint gonna happen. As I’ve said before – in 20+ years of attending tech conventions in the Bay Area, the breakdown is like this: 55% – Frisco, 45% South Bay; one single solitary convention – Oakland…FWIW, if Mark Davis really wants to stay in the Bay Area to be loyal to the existing fan base locally, he has an option in Santa Clara. No need for a second gigantic, $1 billion+ stadium 20something miles from the other one that just opened.

    • Re: “Wouldn’t the stadium be a major convention center in itself.”

      No. Stadiums are almost never built with hosting conventions in mind.

  17. re: There is clearly a disconnect when Oakland officials tell Raider fan boosters one thing and Raider officials tell media the exact opposite.
    …What’s this about, ML? Am I overlooking the explanation?

  18. PJK,

    Oakland has a small convention center for a city of its size. That could be the reason you’ve only been to one in Oakland. Also, Oakland is growing its start- up tech sector along with other small businesses. Things are changing and Oakland is thriving in many ways.

    As a matter of fact, Oakland just placed 7 businesses in the fastest growing 100 small inner city businesses in the United States. The entire State of New Jersey had one business on the list and North Carolina had three. Boston had one business on the list.

    Not enough good news about Oakland’s thriving and growing economy gets out to Bay Area residents who constantly under estimate the city.

    • Oakland development is regularly reported in the SF Business Times. There are numerous articles covering the topic on the site right now.

    • re: small inner ciyt businesses. Translation: Exactly the kind of businesses that DO NOT spend money on luxury suites at NFL stadiums. The NFL will not be impressed with Oakland adding small businesses.

      • Just saw this number in Forbes for last year: First in NFL average premium ticket prices: Patriots – $567; Last – Raiders – $140. Absolutely yikes. And I’ll bet the 49ers are #1 now – this report was before Levi’s opened. Building stadiums when there is no public money (and there isn’t any in Oakland) is all about premium ticket sales. And Oakland absolutely doesn’t cut it. Mark Davis is severely understating things when he says he “needs help” to build a stadium in Oakland. Looks like he needs an absolute miracle.

  19. What are some examples of conventions being held at stadiums?

    The conventions I been to CES, E3, Dreamforce, and INTEROP at convention centers that have plenty of space.

    Where in a stadium would the convention take place? on the field? if so for the big conventions that would not be enough space, some convention centers have rooms larger than football fields.

    Or would it take place in adjacent buildings?

    Unless the convention is open to the public, which many are not there is not enough people to fill a lower bowl of stadium.

    • I travel to conventions, speak on packed at conventions, etc. they are generally held in a Convention Center or a hotel. Depending on the size of the convention.

      The draw of mist conventions is A. The host city, B. The industry HQ’s nearby.

      In short, the deck is stacked against an imaginary stadium in Oakland taking anything from one of the top 10
      Global travel destinations a mere 8 miles away. There is no differentiator that makes sense. Outside of certain individuals minds, that is.

      When you start with an answer, and judge evidence based on how it supports your answe, rather than using independent evidence to arrive at an answer… You can convince yourself if anything.
      Debating people who do this is a useless exercise in buffoonery.

      • Stupid auto correct got me. I speak on panels at conventions. That’s what I meant above. Packed=panels

      • Why are we always talk in terms of Oakland “taking anything away” from San Francisco. I was under the impression we were one big happy “Bay Area” region?

        Isn’t Oakland a mere 5 miles from San Francisco? Can’t you get to downtown SF faster from certain parts of Oakland than you can from outer SF neighborhoods?

        This idea that people from outside SF only want to see SF attractions but not places like Lake Merritt, Jack London Square, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Zoo, Chabot Space Science Center, Fox Theater, Paramount Theater, the 100,000 acres of beautiful parkland above Oakland filled with redwood groves, Mormon Temple, Mountain View Cemetery, Christ the Light Cathedral, the beautiful 13 mile scenic drive with world class views from Skyline to Grizzly Peak, Oakland’s restaurants, art galleries, quaint neighborhoods like Rockridge, Montclair, Piedmont Avenue, Lakeshore, Temescal, Uptown, etc,. is based on the fact that these people know nothing about the attractions in Oakland and have been told that “there’s no there, there.”

        Oakland is an incredible town with so much to offer and with many more attractions than some cities twice its size.

        So, why is it so hard to believe that Bay Area conventions would some day want to be in Oakland provided Oakland builds a bigger convention center and adds 4,000 more hotel rooms? Oakland should have at least 8,000 hotel rooms for a city of its size and situated in just a geographically strategic location.

        Where is hotel developer Lew Wolff when you need him? How many hotels does Lew Wolff own in Oakland?

      • Your comment is overly long and ridiculously boring. If you don’t understand that Oakland would compete with SF to host Conferences at a convention center, you are either stupid or lying. I’m not sure which it is. Maybe a little bit of both.

  20. I can’t think of too many conventions being held at football stadiums. Maybe a Democrat or Republican convention or two but that’s it. Convention centers generally need a couple of big rooms for gatherings of all attendees and a bunch of smaller, but not too small, meeting rooms for conference sessions. A football stadium has a big field, 65,000 seats, some locker rooms and I suppose some small conference rooms. They are just not laid out for Oracle OpenWorld-style conventions. And like it or not, people from around the globe generally won’t be enticed by a chance to “spend a few nights and see the sights in Oakland (or San Jose).” Frisco? Different story. And rather than trying to entice them by pointing out Oakland is “near Frisco,” the conference should simply be held in the real thing – Frisco.

  21. I’m curious to see how question #4 gets answered and how the following discussion develops. The county would love to be bought out, several council members have said they’d like to buy the county out but there’s no money for that. Because there’s no money for that the current structure will almost certainly remain in place. So I’d like to hear the candidates talk about the likelihood of the county approving Coliseum area development without a deal to buy out the remaining debt. Or if that’s something they’d be okay with. Even if the Raiders had a deal with the new developers and Oakland was on board too, so what? The county has made it clear the debt will be a top issue when development talks get serious. So I seriously hope the remaining debt is the topic of a lengthy discussion.

  22. Just a heartfelt thanks to ML for posting this blog entry. The “wild card” question is a subject of debate among the planners. Thus, I’m entertaining other ideas.

    The “problem” is that my question is very controversial. It is designed to reflect something that is very real and the Mayor will have to deal with (I’m being deliberately vague.)

    It’s based in part on my own experience working for Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris, and then forming the plan and leading the effort to host the 2005 Super Bowl – a competition we lost to Jacksonville because then-Mayor Jerry Brown was actively working against me, and in a way that was embarrassing to Oakland, upsetting to the NFL, and helpful to me in that I wound up covering the NFL Draft for the last nine years and counting. (I explain here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q1dK_DeEaI)

    The question will be, if asked, a bombshell. It could define the election. Some will say that it has nothing to do with sports, but the question cuts to the heart of how we don’t take sports seriously as an industry in Oakland – as an activity that draws a ton of people, and so calls for a plan to handle and direct those patrons. There are basic plans for the Oakland Coliseum that we lack, and the question is designed to point to that problem.

    My point is, if we can’t THINK about sports in a professional way, then it’s no wonder we’re in the position of possibly losing all of them. See?

    That sad, some of my friends and collegues think the question is too hot to handle.

    I welcome your feedback and look forward to meeting you at the Oakland Sports Forum. My email is zennie@zennie62.com



    • that’s an excellent way to put it- not thinking about sports professionally in Oakland. It’ll sadly lead to no professional sports in Oakland by 2020 =(

    • @Zennie – I’ll endorse just about anything that promotes real discourse about the state of the city and region and their relationship to pro sports.

    • @ zennie62
      Not that I don’t appreciate your efforts, but you sure said a lot, without saying anything.

  23. zennie,

    Let’s not leave the pro sports owners out of this mess. They have a certain responsibility to the great fans in Oakland who show up despite a total disrespect from the ownerships. The Warriors are a prime example of the disloyalty and disrespect that Oakland has had to endure from selfish and disloyal sports owners who are very successful in Oakland, take money out of the community, and then make their capital investments elsewhere.

    What else could Oakland have done to make the “Golden State” Warriors ownership invest in Oakland, (a city which bent over backwards for them by renovating their arena and supporting a bad team with sell out crowds) instead of investing in San Francisco?

    Lew Wolff has also been very disrespectful to Oakland and to Oakland A’s fans. Wolff even enlisted one of his part owners who happened to be an Oakland resident in a campaign to falsely denigrate Oakland’s economy as a way to allow MLB to relocate the team out of Oakland and to San Jose. Wolff even erroneously claimed that Oakland, like his former hometown of Saint Louis, had lost a great deal of its population and had a very weak economy. These types of campaigns are not only untruthful but they also do harm to Oakland on a national level.

    The Oakland Raiders under Al Davis abandoned Oakland after decades of sell-outs. The Oakland Raiders had one of the greatest followings in all of sports and Al Davis believed he was bigger than Oakland before he found a little humility in Los Angeles.

    Oakland has some of the most loyal and passionate fans in sports and yet the team owners have done nothing for the city except demand new or renovated venues and 20 years layer they are back again asking for new venues or investing in new venues in neighboring cities.

    Let’s get the ownerships to answer some questions before we start putting all the blame on the politicians.

    • Poor victim Oakland again. All those meanie owners! It’s just not fair!

    • “…before we start putting all the blame on the politicians.”


    • Are Lacob, Wolff and Davis running for Mayor?

      • No, they are not running for Mayor but if we are going to talk about sports in Oakland why no ask questions of the ownerships? Also, stop throwing out the insults. It’s interesting that the “poop flinging” always comes from over the San Jose fence.

      • So next presidential election debate, let’s bring out some potential cabinet and court nominees from each side to answer a bunch of questions.


      • I am not on the “SJ side of the fence.” You deserve the shit. You reap what you sew.

      • To be clear… You are a narrow minded jerk that spouts ridiculous garbage and then whines when you are called on it.

        Why would ownership of sport’s teams be added to a debate that is for Mayoral candidates? They wouldn’t. Because they aren’t running for Mayor. It’s really not that hard to understand, though you try to obfuscate the actual issue by spouting the same garbage you have been for years.

        In your completely narrow view of the world there is Oakland, and then everything else is the “SJ side of the fence.” I am an Alameda County resident. I work in SF. Not in any way, shape or form am I connected to, or speaking on behalf of anything in SJ. I do, however, believe in the power of using a brain for something other than reactionary hackery.

        It gets really old reading your drivel and I for one am tired of having to correct your elementary school like illogical rants that are both predictable and hilarious in the most unintentional kind of way something can be hilarious.

        Please, go somewhere else.

      • shockingly with a post like the one immediately above you don’t get reply from a certain individual who gets called up on for his b.s.

        but don’t worry whenever a new topic is posted he’ll continue to post the same nonsense that has gotten rebutted and rebuked dozens of time over.

  24. This just in: The Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders, and Oakland A’s are now 501(c)(3) charities. [/sarcasm]

  25. Oakland has a chance to get a brand new ballpark, some great development and get its Raiders debt retired. Will the city take the A’s up on this opportunity or pass on it to pursue the pipe dream of a second, rarely-to-be-used, $1 billion+ football stadium in the Bay Area? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. It seems clear with MLB’s recent overtures toward San Jose that Oakland is not going to be able to dictate terms of surrender to the A’s. After all the neglect heaped upon the A’s by their host city, it’s amazing MLB is still trying to get a new ballpark in Oakland.

  26. I think an important thing for the candidates to address is whether or not Oakland should actively work to keep any of the three teams.

    As Zennie pointed out this has to be thought about in a professional way. The city has limited resources (both money and man power). They have to decide how to spend these resources to get the most bang for their buck.

    It would be interesting to hear what the candidates think about alternative uses for the Coliseum site if their were no stadiums.

    I’m not advocating for this position. Personally I think the best option is for Oakland to let Wolff develop the Coli site to keep the A’s. I do think though it’s a valid option that should be addressed.

    • It’ll never happen, but I’d really like to see each candidate explicitly state which team(s) (if any) they would directly focus on keeping. And by that I mean which team(s) they would enter into direct planning talks with.

      Having the teams is absolutely more about pride and prestige than actual finances. For pretty much any potential city or site, it’s easier and more profitable to use land for other development rather than for a stadium/arena. Like I’ve said previously, if Oakland were to lose all 3 teams, the CC area wouldn’t just go unused. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that in that scenario, it would be developed much faster than in any scenario in which one or more teams occupy the site.

      • Agreed. None of the candidates (outside of the fringe one’s) can say that they are willing to let even one of the teams go. If they do, they will almost for sure lose the election.

        Elmano did actually point out something that I agree with. All three teams have had a history of owners who aren’t necessarily thrilled about being in Oakland. While you can try and blame the owners, the common denominator in all of the situations is Oakland. Whether right or wrong, there’s a history of owners across multiple sports that think they can make more money outside of Oakland than in Oakland.

        Oakland can’t, nor should they, do what Sacramento is doing to try and keep the teams. Unfortunately that approach is the only option to keep all three. That means though the city needs to be realistic in what teams (if any) they can actually keep which is why it’s important for the candidates to have an actual adult conversation on this.

  27. Oakland’s teams may be subsidized by the city, but they do put Oakland on the national stage and give the city entertainment attractions used to lure out of town guests. These visitors then get a chance to enjoy and explore a city they would otherwise know nothing about other then what they here from a San Francisco centric media and their national affiliates.

    It’s very important that Oakland retain all three teams if possible, but especially the two “Oakland” teams. The Warriors are really nothing but an emberassment wrapped in humiliation for Oakland and the Cowpalace would be a perfect place for that “San Francisco” wink, wink, franchise.

    • Not sure how much $$ the teams bring to town. Fans pull into the parking lot or get off of BART before the game, then hop back on BART or get into their cars after the game. No $$ spent at local restaurants, hotels, stores, etc.

      • And didn’t Mayor Jerry Brown call the teams a “cost center,” as in the city loses money hosting them? Having the sports facilities downtown would help but there is no place left to go downtown (and lets not bring up the DOA Howard Terminal site again). The Coliseum is the vintage 1960s-70s parking lot sports paradigm.

    • Are you suggesting bringing the Raiders back to Oakland has benefited Oakland economically?

      • Dude, don’t you know that crippling debt from building stands that are tarped off is a great financial position to be it?


      • The main problem is we don’t have a professional approach to sports in Oakland. We don’t have a sports commission. We don’t estimate economic impact. It’s there. The Raiders use local hotels, and employ local contractors, as does the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex. Patrons don’t all take BART; many park and go to the restaurants along Hegenberger Road And even the part time workers have an economic impact.

  28. Zennie,

    We can also include name recognition for the city and the curiosity from folks who hear about the Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders. There are a lot of intangibles other than just direct fan spending before or after a game. Even though the Coliseum is not downtown, I’ve seen Red Sox fans in Old Oakland visiting the great farmers market and eating at one of the great restaurants. I’ve seen A’s fans at Jack London Square before and after games enjoying the restaurants. Heck, I’ve even seen Giant fans enjoying the restaurants at Jack London Square before taking the ferry over to AT&T Park. The new Plank entertainment venue is filled with Giant fans on game day. Lew Wolff should be ashamed of himself that even Oakland territory is falling to the Giants.

    MLB can have a great affect on Oakland’s economy even with an owner who fights tooth and nail not to be part of Oakland. At this rate the Giants might be a better economic engine for Oakland than Lew Wolff’s SanOAk A’s.

    • Unintentional comedy at its finest.

    • Elmano, why do you bother bashing Lew Wolff? Love him or hate him, he’s not going away. He’s made it clear he won’t sell and while MLB could take the team away from him, it’s clearly unlikely; if they were gonna they would’ve already.

      And by spending most of your time Wolff bashing, you’re short circuiting the rest of your argument with this sort of irrelevancy. It’s not that the rest of us are necessarily Wolff fans but we realize there’s simply no point in complaining or whining about things which we don’t control. You don’t control the team. Quan doesn’t control the team. Clorox doesn’t control the team. There’s nothing the city can do about him. Wolff will go when he’s good and ready and demanding he sell because you feel he disrespects your town doesn’t advance the conversation in any useful way unless you have the power to make him sell (which you don’t).

      You may feel disrespected that Wolff wants to move around in the region but remember, to him it’s a business, he wants top dollar. Welcome to capitalism, welcome to America. And while it may sting that Wolff picked San Jose over Oakland initially, I’m willing to bet Wolff would rather build a new stadium in Oakland rather than not get a new park anywhere at all.

      Just some friendly advice. Maybe you prefer to be mocked and laughed at. If so, you’ve found the perfect way to ensure that continues.

  29. Baynativeguy,

    Thanks for the advice but Wolff needs to be called out on his deceitful ways. Signing a “ten year lease” with Oakland and then three months later signing a seven year option for land in San Jose, is deceitful.

    Wolff promised to work with Oakland in “good faith” on a new ballpark when he extorted 5 million dollars from the city with a gun to the head threat of “immediate relocation” if he didn’t get his convenient lease with the easy out clause and the 5 million dollars belonging to Oakland taxpayers.

    As far as the insults on this San Jose leaning blog, I could care less. We have a guy here with “San Jose A’s” logos on his page who insist that he’s just an impartial fan. Oakland A’s fans do not post here for a reason. Fans who believe the rightful place for the A’s is Oakland, where they have been for 46 years, are attacked and bullied until Marine Layer finally kicks them out for not towing the party line.

    Zennie, be careful, don’t get too comfortable with this San Jose leaning blog.

    • What it like being a broken record when everyone uses digital music?

    • Also, nobody who is Oakland-only is an A’s fan. Not. one. single. person.

      • Wait? What? I’m an Oakland only person and an A’s fan. What does that even mean?

        I’m an Oakland resident and I want the A’s here, sorry, I’m selfish. But more importantly, I don’t want Lew Wolff/John Fisher owning the team any more.

        My main peeve with them is that they obviously don’t care about winning. They own a professional sports team and their main concern should be winning a world championship but that doesn’t seem to be their plan. Yeah, I know, capitalism, blah, blah, blah, they own the team and they can do whatever they want with it, but this isn’t a business, this is a professional sports franchise. Your main goal is to win world championships and if that is not your main goal, then guess what, I don’t care about how much your beneficiaries are gong to inherit. If that’s too much for you take then don’t own the team.

        They didn’t inherit the team, they bought it. They knew the situation they were in and bragged that they were one of the wealthiest ownership groups in all MLB but then wrinkled up and hid once it was time to start writing big checks.

        In all the years that they have own the A’s, I have not seen any of their business acumen pay off for us A’s fans but now I’m supposed to just follow them blindly so that they can milk the team for more money for themselves? Sorry, some of us are not as defeatist as others.

        Fisher has access to the Gap Corporation that is one of most successful companies in America but there is no trace of their marketing, branding, management style. Billy Beane is still there but he was there before they bought the team and the unorthodox management style the A’s are know for, belongs to Billy Beane, not Wolff / Fisher.

        I don’t know, tell me once again, how is the Wolff / Fisher ownership a good thing for the Oakland A’s franchise? Why should I stop being a defeatist and learn to embrace the bomb?

      • e.jimenez… I think you make a good point about the Gap/marketing. The A’s could use a much better approach to managing messaging, both marketing and PR. But… You say some really ridiculous stuff. (not that saying A’s fans who want the team to stay in Oakland aren’t A’s fans isn’t ridiculous, because it is)

        They don’t care about winning? 3 straight seasons in which they were in the post season isn’t winning? How does one win if they don’t care about it? What have they done for us fans? They have won enough games to be in the post season each of the last 3 seasons. We could be the Blue Jays fans, you know. We could be the Astros fans, Hell from what you describe I would think you were talking about the Astros. If you are saying they don’t spend their own personal fortunes to have a payroll similar to the Giants and this shows they don’t want to win, that’s ridiculous, because…

        It is a business. It’s ridiculous to assert otherwise. You know why? Because the Giants, the Royals, etc. They all spend less money than they generate on payroll (usually right around 50%). Because, it is a business and it has to be run in an economically sustainable way. One team has consistently spent more than roughly half of their revenues on Major League payroll in the recent past. The Tigers. How many World Series trophies do they have in this century? They obviously don’t care about winning…

    • @Elmano – You’re so predictable, so sad.

    • Elmano, so no, you didn’t read what I said. Call out Wolff all you want, but just remember it does not change one single thing. Not a thing. Even if you sway people to your point of view, who cares? Every single person in the Bay Area could adopt your opinion and that wouldn’t force an ownership change. There have been owners of far greater notoriety and who’ve angered far more of their fans than Wolff (think Steinbrenner) and they haven’t gone away so clearly this guy is staying put.

      I also realize it’s fun to whine about things you can’t control. But after awhile you have to face reality. And it’s this. In 2021 they may be the Oakland A’s, or the San Jose A’s, but they will likely still be owned by the same group. It’s healthy to deal with that honestly.

      Do you want to be a useful part of the conversation, or just a punch line? You may claim not to care about the insults, but why come at all? You’ve failed to persuade and your arguments are based on a weak position, so why come? Clearly not to engage in rational discussion.

    • I assume you are talking about me and San Jose A’s logos? Or are you passive aggressively calling someone else out? That’s the thing about passive aggressive twits, you can never tell what the hell they mean. I own a t shirt, that was given to me that says “San JosA’s” by a designer. I’ve worn it twice.

      It will either be prescient or a cool piece of nostalgia. Either way, I love it and I won’t apologize for it.

      I have an entire drawer of green and gold things that include the word “Oakland” on them. Go fuck yourself. That’s how you avoid being passive aggressive, Elmano. You call a duck, a duck, to the duck.

      PS- it’s not bullying. It’s calling you out for your bullshit.

      PPS- Please go away. You add nothing here.

      PPPS- Guys like Lakeshore/Neil routinely advocate for the A’s staying in Oakland. Funny that he isn’t called to the carpet over and over. Maybe has something to do with the fact that he doesn’t rely on sad emotional arguments that are ridiculous?

      • Agreed in regards to Lakeshore/Neil. Although I feel he’s probably too nice and fence-rides a bit too much, he at least advocates for Oakland in a sane way.

        Almost every single person who actively comments here is a “Bay Area first” type person. LS/N and others are in the category of “I’d prefer for the A’s to be in Oakland but I’d be happy if they got a new stadium anywhere in the Bay Area.” Myself and others are in the category of “I’d prefer to see them in downtown San Jose, but I’d be happy with a new stadium anywhere in the Bay Area.”

        Then there are the small number of Oakland-only folks here who would rather see the A’s rot in the Coliseum than build even an inch outside Oakland.

        And I’ve literally never heard or seen anything from anyone that is San Jose-only (i.e. would rather see the A’s rot in the Coliseum than build anywhere except San Jose). I think that’s pretty telling.

  30. Back to the original topic. I believe that the Oakland Sports Forum will be nothing more than a vehicle for political grandstanding. Why have it just a few days before election day? I will be pleasantly surprised if anyone will have the guts to speak out honestly about the entire situation, along with its ramifications. This will be especially true, given that it will be very painful for many fans of Oakland based teams to hear.

  31. I’m hoping someone will ask Rebecca Kaplan why she supported the current Lew Wolff lease and how she feels about Lew Wolff signing a deal for a 7 year land option in San Jose just three months after the “10 year lease” with Oakland.

    • Perhaps take some initiative, go to the meeting, and do it yourself? Just a thought.

    • Are you also hoping someone will ask all the candidates how they feel about Davis NOT signing a10 yr lease and openly talking to San Antonio and LA? Or how they feel about tweets saying there is a “99.9% certainty” the Raiders are in LA next year?

      Oh thats right, Mark Davis once said he likes Oakland and you saw a person wearing a Red Sox hat in JLS that one time.

      • Wow!

        Mark Davis at least isn’t using Oakland with a fake “10 year lease” and extorting 5 million from city coffers. Also, we now know for sure that the Raiders will be in LA next year because of some tweets?

        Oakland and Oakland politicians have every right to fight to keep the team in the city despite all the negative naysayers who constantly attack and demean every single effort in Oakland but give Lew Wolff a free pass as “a businessman” and as a “capitalist” to do whatever he wants.

        You know what? This isn’t a hardware store or a Burger King franchise we’re talking about. This is a part of the civic fabric of a major city in the United States. The Oakland A’s have been here since 1968. Oakland A’s fans have invested civic and emotional capital in this franchise for decades We don’t need a cynical carpetbagger coming in with his dishonest machinations, doing whatever he feels like, and then given a free pass by this blog and by the entire Bay Area media.

      • No Nav, Davis is only taking in $10 million a year in operating subsidies from the City and County. And he’s not even considering ANY kind of lease extension unless a stadium deal is worked out – one in which he is not truly an active participant.

        It’s funny, you Oakland-only guys have this new talking point about “$5 million in parking fees” yet completely forget that the A’s are spending $10-11 million in stadium improvements (scoreboard & control room) and have arranged it so that they keep only the revenue from baseball, the Raiders and JPA get to split the rest. Net cost outlay by the JPA: ZERO. All of that was negotiated fairly. That aspect of the lease wasn’t even a point of contention. Plus the raised rent payments and guarantees more than make up for the $5 million. But why should facts get in the way of a good talking point?

  32. Marine Layer,

    Oakland taxpayers are paying for that new scoreboard with the 5 million Lew Wolff took from them, and with a below market rate lease which is only 1.25 million dollars per year in three years.

    Please answer this question: Is it right for an ownership to tell the fans in Oakland that they want a “ten year lease” from the city, and then 3 months later, sign a 7 year land option in San Jose?

    Is this fair to Oakland A’s fans who were excited about the Oakland A’s “staying in Oakland” and went out and attended more games in 2014, and even possibly bought season tickets because Lew Wolff told them that the Oakland A’s wanted to stay in Oakland for the next ten years?

    Why don’t you hold this man to the same standards and criticism you have for Oakland city leaders and for Mark Davis?

    • typos corrected: That Lew Wolff is such a mean meanie! Right, Elmano? Your whining about Lew Wolff is way beyond old. Why don’t you organize an ownership group ready to spend $1.5 billion to buy the franchise and build a new ballpark in Oakland without regard to making any return on their investment? You think Oakland is entitled to that, no? If Oakland is the gold mine you say it is, you should have no problem organizing this group.

    • Nav – How is it a below market lease? Please, show a comparison, especially against venues of similar age and condition. It’s higher than what the Raiders pay, and higher than any lease the A’s had signed previously.

      It’s perfectly reasonable to get the land option extension, because that’s all it is. The A’s need to have a Plan B (San Jose) ready in case Plan A (Oakland Coliseum) doesn’t work out. Even if they exercised the option they’d still have to negotiate the remaining land acquisitions, which will be expensive. They can’t build tomorrow or even in the next couple years. The lease was very clear that the team is at the Coliseum through at least 2018, unless the Coliseum is demolished and the A’s are evicted. Exactly what are the A’s supposed to do if that happens?

      If you look at the negotiations timeline and you see where MLB got involved, it’s clear why they did when they did. Manfred and Selig saw the A’s getting jerked around by the City of Oakland AGAIN, and they decided to bully them. But if you look at the differences in lease terms, you wonder what all the fuss was about. The A’s got caught up in stupid mayoral politics, and MLB was not going to tolerate it further. MLB is going to look out for their own before they worried about which candidate scored points or Oakland’s civic pride. That’s the reality of the situation. Learn to live with it.

      • BTW Nav – You’ve followed your pattern. First you hijack these comments, now you try to hijack the Oakland Sports Forum with your own agenda. Will you even show up? I’ll be live streaming it, I know what you look like.

      • Marine Layer, Wolff and Selig went to the press with a “done deal” on this contract which the City of Oakland had not yet voted on. Selig and Wolff were trying to shove this “ten year lease” down Oakland’s throat by going public and then complaining about Oakland daring to examine the contract and voting on it.

        It was shoved down Oakland’s throat through intimidation, coercion, PR leaks, and threats of “immediate relocation.”

        Of course, I’m not surprised you’re taking Lew Wolff’s side on his complete mockery of the “good faith effort” in the contract.

      • @Elmano – Deflecting again, I see? Not addressing my points? Typical. Thread closed.

    • “Oakland taxpayers are paying for an operating subsidy for Mark Davis and the Raiders.

      Please answer this question: Is it right for an ownership to tell the fans in Oakland that they want a “ten year lease” from the city, and then actively negotiate for relocation to Los Angeles or San Antonio?

      Is this fair to Oakland Raiders fans who were excited about the Oakland Raiders “staying in Oakland” and went out and attended more games in 2014, and even possibly bought season tickets because Mark Davis told them that the Oakland Raiders wanted to stay in Oakland for the next ten years?

      Why don’t you hold this man to the same standards and criticism you have for Lew Wolff and Oakland city officials who have negotiated with him?”


      Moral of the story: When your “argument” can instantly be turned around on you just by changing the team name and owner name, you don’t have an argument

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