Non-recap of the Oakland Sports Forum

Technical difficulties resulted in me (and others) getting only bits and pieces of the Oakland Sports Forum livestream, which at times suffered from dropped audio and the stream cutting out altogether. Streaming an event while trying to run it is extremely difficult, so try as Zennie Abraham did, it didn’t work out well. Thankfully the forum was archived on Ustream so we can all view it after the fact, though the audio quality remains poor.

At this point late at night I don’t think I can give a proper writeup, so I won’t do that. If I can get the full picture after rewatching in the morning I’ll give it a shot. Instead I’ll drop in a few tweets from last night. Hopefully that’ll give you a sense of discussion.

Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan spent a good amount of time pitching themselves as the best possible saviors for the Raiders. Quan plugged the progress on Coliseum City (such as it is), while Kaplan sold herself as a more conciliatory negotiator that wouldn’t damage the relationships between the City and the teams. Joe Tuman had a lecturing moment when he dismissed these mini stump speeches as pure election politics with little to come at the end. Bryan Parker cast himself as an out-of-the-box thinker, though his example of Stanford Stadium seemed a little off the mark. Libby Schaaf, who until recently hasn’t spoken that much about the pro sports teams at all, seemed against the idea of the City buying out Alameda County in order to advance Coliseum City.

Those who attended may have learned a little more about the candidates and their relative stances on pro sports. Ultimately, I don’t know that it will affect the actual vote all the much, as we’re 5 days from the election and whatever messages could be gleaned from this event probably won’t permeate the voting public to any significant degree. That said, it was still a good idea for Zennie Abraham to put on the event (pity it happened opposite Game 7). It may not have been the sequel to The Adult Conversation we were looking for, but there were signs. I suppose that discussion will come in early December.

P.S. – Big thanks to Bryan Cauwels, who tried valiantly to help Zennie fix the stream problems. Bryan is part of Save Oakland Sports and is a good representative for their cause. We may not agree on the future of sports in Oakland, but we always have good, civil discussions about it, probably because Bryan is one of the nicest guys on the planet (I am not).

38 thoughts on “Non-recap of the Oakland Sports Forum

  1. Thanks ML. I’m sorry for the technical issue, but it was due to my setting the webcam and assuming that the audio synched as well. I’ve used USTREAM since 2007, but this year the changes they have made result in some rather illogical UX design.

    But that aside, the fault was mine. Between making sure late-arriving candidates were seated properly, tending to the need for water by others when the primary supply ran out, watching the time of the speakers along with my co-moderator, addressing tests about the sound from the livestream, reworking the schedule to shorten it with respect to elapsed time, checking the poll system to make sure it was working properly (it was glitchy), addressing a and problem born of two candidates seated out of position, I was away from the livestream camera more often than not, and found myself remembering to adjust it on the fly whenever a person moved. Still, half the part of life is showing up, and we did get this off the ground, and started a good dialog which, I think, will lead to some big changes down the road.


  2. I love Bryan. I wish he was running for Mayor of something so I could vote for him.

  3. What’s the fascination with the Super Bowl? Wouldn’t landing a spot in the Super Bowl rotation require a stadium much larger than what has been bandied about? Like 40% larger?

    • 70,000 is the minimum seat requirement for hosting a Super Bowl. Is the proposed stadium, such that it is, really only 50,000 seats? (a 40% increase from 50,000 gives you 70,000)

      • My understanding is the Raiders “plan” and the economic analysis is all based on a 50,000 seat stadium.

        I haven’t really looked back at that stuff in a while, so I may be wrong.

      • I remember reading something similar. Granted, it’s all pre-preliminary, but there’s no way a 50k seat stadium would ever host a Super Bowl. There’s really no practical way to expand seating capacity by 40%. Hell, only 21/32 current stadiums have the built-in or expansion capacity to qualify for hosting a Super Bowl. Of those 21, 7 are outdoor, cold-weather venues (a couple more could be argued to be ‘cold-weather’), which at this point basically precludes them from hosting the big game.

      • The 50K seat stadium idea was laughed at by my friend who is an NFL exec when we talked at the NFL Spring Meeting in Atlanta. It’s not so much that it doesn’t fly with respect to the Super Bowl requirement, but it negates the NFL G3 loan of $200 million, which calls for a Super Bowl to get the money back. So the Raiders have to back away from that 50K just to get the NFL loan money.

      • I think talk of a Super Bowl, is the politicians way of making the voter fill there is something bigger on the line, in tums of civic pride because everything I have seen is based on 50K; that may be without some premium seating and box suites though.
        Is the NFL even going to let a 50K stadium be built? If the Raiders build a stadium it will probably end up being 60-62K, but more than likely no Super Bowls in Oakland.

      • @ zennie62
        Thanks, you answered that question, before I could ask it.

      • zennie, if there was an either/or decision to be made, do you think it is in Oakland’s best interest to go football/super bowl or baseball? Understanding that you’d prefer both.

  4. @ML and jeffreyaugust- From the prior post on the funding gap. The thread was closed cause of Elmano, figured this topic was close to the last one enough where I would not be hijacking it.

    My 100M estimate for the JPA is simply for demolition of the current Coliseum and nothing more. No development, no re-doing of utilities, just simple demolition and cleanup.

    Nate Miley is NOT a business man period, he is a politician with very little understanding of sports business. He just remembers the debacle in 1995 when the JPA failed miserably selling seat licenses and premium seating.

    He offers no solutions to the problem at hand, the issue is the lack of business acumen on the JPA and Raiders side.

    Two reasons why they failed in 1995:
    1. PSLs were for 10 years only, not lifetime with rights to other events
    2. The Raiders lost a whole generation of fans in Nor Cal by being in LA for 13 years and the 49ers won 4 SBs during that time and just came off their last one. It was the worst possible environment to sell in.

    They have been back 20 years now and now have fans in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who have money in the Nor Cal market who were not there in 1995. It took time to develop this new base but now it is there.

    Plus the NFL is so much more popular now it is not even close.

    My math is not some scribble of the back of a napkin, here is my logic on each piece:

    200M- Raiders, They have this sitting around, they have a sweet lease deal and make $$ year over year.
    200M- NFL, this is the standard loan given to everyone. Even small market teams without a ton of premium/suite seating sales get this.
    100M-JPA, demolition of current site and cleanup only
    100M- Naming rights, 49ers got 220M, estimating less than half is reasonable and more than attainable.
    Total: 600M

    Gap: 300M
    150M- SBL sales, the 49ers got 400M+ from this, the Raiders can charge a fraction and get 150M easily in the Nor Cal market.
    150M- Mark Davis sells a piece of the team for the last part, considering the franchise value will get a spike from a new stadium he can easily find buyers for this.
    New total: 900M

    There is your Raiders stadium on the current Coliseum site, open air of course.

    I understand you both are big A’s fans and hate the Raiders (with good reason) but this is the reality of the gap.

    Plus we all know how off ML was on the 49ers stadium……..

    If Mark Davis had any kind of business ability this would be reality now. But he does not and neither is the JPA.

    • @Sid – Again, that cost should not be included in construction cost of a stadium. Other things you get wrong.

      1. Raiders $200MM – We don’t know if they actually have that much cash. Often this portion comes largely from PSLs/SBLs, not from cash.
      2. Not true. The G4 program was also meant for smaller renovations such as those undertaken by the Bills and Jaguars. They didn’t get $200MM. In fact, the program defines the requirements for loans of $50MM/$100MM/$150MM.
      3. Demolition – Should not be counted in $900MM total cost, usually isn’t. CC hasn’t even projected demo cost yet.
      4. Naming rights – You can have that

      5. SBLs – Addressed earlier, expected to be part of Raiders’ contribution
      6. Equity share of team – Based on new calculations, should be much higher

      I don’t expect you to get the math right, Sid. It’s as if you haven’t read the feasibility studies. The gap and uncertainty has scared off billions of $$$ worth of financing. The 49ers went through the normal process and got hooked up with banks and Goldman Sachs, which is the way the NFL wants it. This concept is going a completely different route with no guidance by the NFL. The NFL doesn’t want to get involved in ancillary land development speculation. They want a stadium as simply as possible. The fact that they’re not involved at all says a lot about what they think of the model. If the 49ers model could be so easily duplicated, someone in the East Bay or another market would’ve started doing the same thing. Everyone around the country and the league recognized Levi’s Stadium as a wholly unique situation, only paralleled by AT&T Park. You know why that is.

    • As Zennie noted though, they have the abandon the preliminary idea of a small stadium to even have a shot at getting the $200 million from the NFL. And as I brought up before: Is there even evidence that the NFL wants to give a G-4 loan for a second new Bay Area stadium? They wouldn’t do it in New York and they’ve shown no will to help build 2 in LA.

      • @SMG
        You have a good point, Davis may have over played his hand, he may only have the choice of sharing with the 49er, or sharing with a second LA team. You kind of get the feeling that the NFL may be a little tired of the Davis family, Mark wants his own stadium, but may not be able to pull it off (afford)

      • L/N: I suspect the same as you do. I think the NFL’s ideal scenario is that Davis sells to someone wealthy enough to build their own stadium in LA and pay an astronomical relocation fee, like Larry Ellison.

  5. O/T a bit : btw, have you guys noticed that Mark Davis and Jim Buss kind of look alike? separated at birth ? Both teams are in the dump now. Both are rich spoiled kids

  6. ML, I hope you’re going to do a piece on Kephart’s article in the Biz Journal. The revelation that BayIG basically did nothing to really further it had my jaw on the floor. And Kephart doesn’t paint too rosy a picture for his unit’s involvement either given how much work they were left with for a mere 90 days.

  7. @Dan: no surprise there. Mark Davis did nothing. BayIG did nothing. JQuan did nothing except yapping her mouth. Basically, Oakland and its pols did nothing. and I highly doubt that a new mayor will or can do anything.

  8. What I’m interested to see is if (let’s be real: WHEN) the current CC project structure falls apart and the Raiders leave, will Wolff/Fisher focus intensely on the Coliseum area or still want San Jose? It’s not unreasonable to think that even with the A’s in the driver’s seat on the Coliseum area project, the city/county still won’t be able to get anything done.

    • @ SMG
      That’s an interesting thought, if Wolff ever got the coliseum site to himself, he probably would build there, not that he wouldn’t prefer San Jose, but he certainly would be down one major reasonable excuse for not doing it, and that might be enough for MLB, but then again who in the hell knows.

      • The REAL question is whether Oakland/AlCo can get their shit together and get the hell out of the way.

      • @ SMG
        That, would be a real question?

      • I’m not really sure what you’re implying. That they can’t?

      • @ SMG
        I’m not implying that they can’t (unfortunately they may not be able to), because I hoping (against hope), with the Warriors and Raiders gone, under that scenario they can actually get something done with the remaining franchise they would have left.
        Oddly enough, I think if they just put Wolff (hated by so many Oakland-Only folks), in charge and get the hell out of the way, we may have something.

      • Then we’re mostly in agreement. I won’t they they can’t get anything done. I just think it’s unlikely they (Oak/AlCo) get anything done because of their own incompetence.

      • @ SMG
        Unfortunately, you are probably correct.

    • Actually if the Raiders do leave I do think you’ll see Wolff focus on the Coliseum. His one big argument to take to MLB for San Jose is that there’s no place to build in Oakland. If by some miracle Kephart can put together a plan in the 82 or so days he has left and the Raiders stay then Wolff will have his argument for San Jose. If the Raiders bail however and the city/county turn to Wolff as their Plan B, Wolff has far less justification to bring to MLB for why he should be allowed into San Jose. Which means Oakland becomes his only real option. And he’s said he can make that option work on his terms if need be.

      I’m not going to hold my breath that anything will change, but there is a chance we could have some form of a plan in place for the A’s to build a new Oakland ballpark at the Coliseum by opening day if Kephart and his group come to the same conclusion BayIG and everyone else has come to regarding the Coliseum City project. And God knows Kephart didn’t sound too enthusiastic already…

  9. @SMG: look at the bunch running for mayor now. LOL, seriously.

  10. We will know within the next few months whether the Raiders will be able get a new stadium deal done at Coliseum City. If not, then the burden will be on the City of Oakland to convince Wolff that a new ballpark plan, along with the accompanying Coliseum area development rights, is the way to go. As far as MLB is concerned, if they continue to divide the Bay Area market into two separate and unequal territories, they will have to continue to grant the A’s small market status for revenue sharing purposes. With the Raiders out of the way, I could see Wolff working out a new stadium deal for his A’s. While I truly believe that San Jose is still Wolff’s preferred locale for his A’s new ballpark, he will accept the Coliseum site as his plan “B”. However, for Wolff to accept plan “B” it will almost all have to be on his terms, especially as they relate to revenue sharing and property development rights. If the status quo continues, Wolff has a new ten year lease to wait things out. Time is on his side, even if his son Keith eventually becomes the benefactor.

    • @ llpec
      I totally agree with you (as we both have expressed in the past), I don’t see it being done in Oakland, unless MLB is willing to do their part, they are the ones that are confining the A’s to two Bay Area counties out of nine, so although the A’s play in a top five market, they are confined to a small segment of that market (Alameda CC, counties), thereby being confined to a “small market” , If I were Wolff there would be no deal at the coliseum site, without this stipulated into the MLB by laws, just as the SF Giants rights to San Jose are. (ridiculous as they may be)

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