The Manfred era begins – Did anything change yet?

Over the weekend, the commissioner’s torch was officially passed from Bud Selig to Rob Manfred, starting the Manfred era in earnest. Manfred’s tenure as commissioner will depend largely on how he deals with specific business and big picture issues the sport needs to address. Selig handed Manfred a highly effective business model, surpassing $9 billion in revenue in 2014 along with the lengthiest uninterrupted labor peace of the four major pro sports. Certainly, Manfred could keep the ship pointed in the same direction while keeping the motor running, and there would be few complaints from the owners who elected him. But people don’t get commissioner’s jobs just to be caretakers; they’re expected to have their own agenda to push baseball beyond its current audience. That’s the part we the public don’t know much about yet.

In Manfred’s letter to fans, he mentioned that his top priority is to bring more people into the game, by greater youth outreach to foster the next generation of players and by streamlining the game to make it more palatable to casual fans, especially younger ones. The letter is quite high-minded, masking Manfred’s reputation as a tough yet also conciliatory negotiator. Manfred’s in his mid-50’s, which places him in the baby boomer era, seeing the worst of the 60’s and 70’s as a youth: concrete multipurpose donut stadia. His predecessor helped get rid of nearly all of the cookie cutters, though Manfred played the heavy in many stadium talks. League attendance has largely plateaued with only Oakland and Tampa Bay stuck with bad parks, so if he and the other owners want to see continued growth at the turnstiles, they’ll have to do something about those two teams.

CBA talks will begin before or during the 2016 season, and unless it goes badly there should be a deal struck by the World Series. That’s 20 months away. If talks are contentious, they could take out the 2017 World Baseball Classic or worse. We shouldn’t expect to see contraction on the table, as it won’t help extort new stadia out of those two markets, plus it will only anger the player’s union, who will see 50-80 jobs (not including hundreds of minor league jobs) disappear. And no, adding a player or two to every roster is not a good substitute. There will be some calls for greater revenue sharing, along with greater pushback against it by the big market teams. Players will want earlier free agency, tweaks to arbitration, and other perks. Talk of a soft or hard salary cap has largely died. Umpires signed a new CBA over the weekend, allowing their agreement to run concurrent with Manfred’s term, one less hassle for the new commish.

That doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. There remain numerous legal disputes to work out, internal ones like the Nats-O’s-MASN deal, and external issues like the minor league antitrust and television blackout lawsuits. As a long time insider, Manfred is keenly aware of these battles, and of the future CBA negotiations.

That leaves little room for Manfred to take on the A’s and Rays’ respective plights. Manfred and Selig have remained committed to the Bay Area while rather noncommittal to Oakland. Quoth Selig from John Shea’s sendoff profile:

“I think two teams can exist in the Bay Area. Certainly, (A’s owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff) want to stay in the Bay Area. When I say Bay Area, you understand there are several alternatives.”

Manfred from two weeks ago, asked by Bill Shaikin about the A’s:

Not much difference there. Manfred’s going to leave both Oakland and San Jose dangling, knowing he has a plan A in Oakland if public officials choose wisely, and a plan B in San Jose if not. Plan B is not considered an easy plan because of the Giants, yet if a solution can’t be found at the Coliseum, Manfred will have to come up with a solution that works for both the A’s and Giants.

This site is coming up on 10 years old. I never thought I’d be at it this long. As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I’ll keep following the story where it leads. That’s Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, Mesa (for spring training), wherever it may go. A’s fans deserve nothing less than as complete coverage as this site can provide. Thanks for hanging in there, friends.

P.S. – Manfred aroused discussion yesterday when he said that he’d like to forego defensive shifts. I don’t consider that much of an likelihood, since there really aren’t rules that dictate how to set up defenses right now, so creating new ones would be an inevitable mess that would be difficult to enforce – as if certain rules aren’t already improperly enforced. Instead, I look at Manfred’s statement as something that got baseball in the national discussion at the beginning of Super Bowl week, a difficult thing to do. It is Manfred’s job to help promote the sport, after all.

P.P.S. – More from Manfred in an AP interview:

“I don’t think of the Oakland issue as Oakland-San Francisco. Oakland needs a new stadium. There’s a new mayor in Oakland. We just prevailed in the San Jose litigation, so things are moving around a little bit out there, and I’m hopeful we can make progress on getting a new stadium in Oakland in the relatively short term.”

166 thoughts on “The Manfred era begins – Did anything change yet?

  1. Solid post and a nice closing couple paragraphs.

    I’d also add Toronto to the short list of crappy stadium situations. It’s not that old or in particular disrepair, but it is multipurpose (curse you Canadian “football”!) and has a terrible playing surface,

  2. I don’t believe for a second that Oakland is “plan A.” Doesn’t matter if Wolff gets the entire Coli site to himself or not; still wouldn’t make up for the lack of corporate support or disposable income in the region (see why Warriors are leaving the Coli). Telling Wolff he has to build in Oakland is forever relegating the team to small-market, revenue sharing status. Oakland only “came back to life” just to get more time for the true goal (of Wolff’s AND MLB’s) of $an Jose. IMHO, if $an Jose were truly, 100% off the table Wolff would be focusing back on Fremont, not Oakland.

    • Tony, your level of overdedication to one POV is starting to make you into the SJ version of Nav. How do you know Wolff won’t consider Oakland plan A if he can get the site on his terms? He’s said he can make it work, on his terms, yet you don’t take him at his word?

      • Because it makes no sense for Oakland to be plan A for Wolff/A’s. With no corporate base and minimal disposable income in the immediate region (one that the Giants have successfully cannibalized anyhow), it would be financial suicide to privately finance a yard at the Coli, even with those marvelous development rights in East Oakland. As for what Wolff supposedly has “said,” well…I’ll just say I’ve heard differently and just leave it at that.

      • BTW Dan,
        You’re obviously content/satisfied that Wolff was able to get your Earthquakes SSS built in SJ. Congrats pal! But don’t forget about (or abandon) us down here who are still awaiting our ultimate prize: a MLB ballpark in downtown San Jose!

      • Tony – You are in complete denial. Everything is a cost-benefit analysis. The chance of paying for part of the ballpark with ancillary revenue in Oakland, while not having to pay for South Bay T-rights, has to be considered first. If not Wolff and Manfred aren’t doing due diligence.

    • @Tony D. it will likely be roughly a year before we know what the SC will do about the SJ vs MLB case – if they agree to hear it, that probably will be enough to cause MLB to settle with San Jose, it’s doubtful MLB would risk allowing the SC to make a ruling about the case. It’s also possible Wolff might need to commit to Oakland before the SCOTUS decides whether to hear the case or not though.

  3. Manfred should just start working out a solution between the A’s and Giants starting now; no need to wait for Oakland (20+ years is enough)…the heck with the Coliseum! Get er done Rob!!

  4. Understand why Manfred is concerned for the future of baseball with as many 18-25 identifying soccer as their sport of choice as do baseball. First time in history this has happened. So if Manfred is interested in bringing back youth interest in the game than why would he allow the 10 largest city and the 3rd richest in the world- be an untapped territory? Regardless of what the gints say the south bay is untapped as most folks are unwilling to spend 60+ minutes each way traveling to a game in SF. Watching a game on TV isn’t going to generate any new fan interest. Bay Area does not work north to south by rather east to west- look at the metro areas- SF/Oakland and then SJ metro including Santa Clara county cities- a strong commish would call bs on the gints and do what’s in the best interest of the game-

    • It ain’t the fans driving 60+ minutes that they are afraid of losing. It’s a bunch of corporate logos, which happen to be the same logos the A’s are after, that they are afraid of losing.

      • Don’t disagree but the risk you take by failing to recognize the area is large enough for both, is that a whole lot of people will move onto other sports in the southbay- if Manfred is interested in getting kids interested in the game he has to do more than let them just watch it on tv- that isn’t going to work-

      • One other thing in terms of corporate sponsorship- I would guess that ‘9ers moving to Silicon Valley had a significant impact on available dollars for inestimable in sports by corporations. Warriors are attracting top dollars in terms of sponsorship- why isn’t Baer concerned about the W’s moving to SF?

      • Why isn’t Baer concerned about loosing sponsorships to the Warriors? Heck, to the Niners in Santa Clara? Because their “fears” of the A’s stealing sponsorships are all bull shit! There’s enough sponsorships in Silicon Valley (the Bay Area if you include the Peninsula and SF proper) for both the A’s AND Giants. That’s never been an issue despite some who claim the A’s will take sponsorship from the Giants.

      • I think the Giants were and are worried about the Warriors. The Giants did what they could to block the Warriors move to the city. They raised all of the issues about traffic, parking, etc when the Warriors tried at the first site. They presented an alternative involving some of the land by AT&T so they could make money on the Warriors too. There’s nothing they could do though to block the current proposal.

      • A few things to note, first the Giants absolutely tried to force the Warriors into San Francisco on the Giants terms and got outmaneuvered by the Warriors. The Giants wanted the Warriors on the parking lot across McCovey Cove on Giants controlled land in an arena that the Giants would partially control. The Warriors attempted to get around this by building on Red’s Java House, were blocked and then made a deal with Salesforce to get into the same general area the Giants wanted them with none of the Giants entanglements.

        Second, the Warriors and Sharks have a distinct advantage. They are the only game in the region for their respective sports. I am one of the people that corporations target for sales pitches and customer appreciation events. Those events are currently held, mostly, in four places… Levi’s Stadium, SAP Center, Oracle Arena and AT&T Park. Which one of those four would a new stadium in SJ directly compete with? Which one of those four has games that run on a nearly identical schedule? Which one of the four is in the same sport?
        I’m not saying they can’t coexist, but the Giants have three possible outcomes and they prefer them in this order: 1. No competition, 2. Competition 40 miles from the heart of Silicon Valley (geographic parity, plus an advantage of being in the cultural hub of the Bay Area) 3. Competition in the heart of Silicon Valley. It ain’t rocket science or a false concern.

      • Jeffrey,
        you (like others here) obviously want an A’s ballpark built badly at the Coli; nothing wrong with that. But it appears you are now trying to legitimize the Giants stance on keeping the A’s out of San Jose; there my friend is where you are wrong (respectfully). The Giants corporate support from the valley proper (SCCo) has always been way overblown (see the SVLG survey from a few years back). Most of the Giants sponsorships originate from the Peninsula to SF proper. The big names of the Valley have already stated they’d support both teams (with the A’s in SJ). Long story short: the Giants stance is and always has been bull shit, and nothing written here will change that fact. That is all.

      • Tony, you confuse analysis with desire. As I have said a million times, I don’t care where in the Bay Area a stadium is built, I’ll be at as many games as I can once it is. That’s what makes you and Elmano two birds of a feather. You can’t separate your opinion from reality, or step outside of what you want to see happen when trying to understand what is happening.

        Respectfully, you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to valley companies and “sponsorship.” My job is to buy things from those companies, funny that almost all of them have invited to host me at a Giants games in the very recent past. Beyond the companies selling things to me, guess who else they bring to the ballgame? Hint: employees of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Apple, etc. Where would those guys be going if the A’s had a stadium in their backyard?

        When you dismiss the Giants argument based on a single study conducted by a group with a vested interest in bringing a team to their backyard, you should be prepared to look foolish. Especially when MLB didn’t dismiss it, and won’t.

        My advice to the SVLG is the same as it was then, stop going to Giants games until they agree to let the A’s move to San Jose. Letters, like press conferences, are PR solutions to real problems.

      • They’d be going to both Jeffrey. BTW, you forgot about Cisco, EBay, Brocade, Adobe, Samsung, Netflix, HP…I could go on and on. My point: the Silicon Valley corporate pie is big enough for BOTH teams. Always has been, always will be.

        Regarding that so-called “foolish” study by the SVLG; it’s more than anyone else has produced to date re corporate support from the Valley. So until we have another “study” that disproves my point… (Respectfully)

      • Just stop. I didn’t dorget about those companies (a couple of them have actually hosted events I was talking about).

    • We have three metro areas here. San Francisco is San Mateo County, San Francisco County and Marin County. Oakland consists of Alameda County, Contra Costa County and the 2.6 million residents who live in those counties.

      We are three different areas with three different airports, different cultural institutions, different zoos and different sports teams. Please stop trying to give Oakland over to San Francisco so you can then take our pro teams away.

      • We don’t have three different metro areas. By census definition we have 2 (SF-OAK-Fremont and San Jose). Or we have one CMSA, SF-Oak-SJ.

        Why do you continue to state such obvious bullshit and think anyone cares?

      • And you really believe that all the fans of Oakland Sports teams only come from those 2 counties?

      • Beat me to it Jeffrey. Nav has no interest in basic facts (i.e. how the Bay Area is statistically broken down by the census bureau).

  5. While MLB would most certainly prefer to be in San Jose, it is stuck with this raw deal it made with the Giants 20 years ago – and the Giants don’t much care about the best interests of baseball. And, if MLB pulls out of Oakland, it will be accused of all kinds of favoritism toward the wealthy South Bay over a struggling East Bay city that has MLB for 50 years, (albeit poorly supported through most of that time). That being said, I think Manfred is going to give Oakland a year or two to choose MLB, without requiring the A’s make any sacrifices at all for the Raiders. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll at long last see a move to free up the South Bay for the A’s. Your move, Oakland.

    • A year or two? You’re crazy! Enough is enough! If Manfred is truly interested in the best interest of baseball (ie enhancing already great revenues), he’ll start dealing for $J NOW.

      • I’m sure Wolff is being directed to make a workable development proposal for the Coliseum – and that proposal may include permanent revenue-sharing, since the A’s are being boxed into a territory where there is neither the public or private capital to make a ballpark work. Oakland will have a bit of time to accept or reject the proposal. Further attempts by Oakland to stall, stall, stall, to force the A’s to Howard Terminal or to force the franchise to share the property with a 70,000-seat football stadium should effectively be interpreted by MLB as Oakland rejecting the A’s Then Oakland will have had its 50,000th chance and MLB can leave the city knowing it did everything it could, short of donating a free stadium to Oakland sans ROI.

  6. I’d like to MLB crack the code on offering online streaming of local teams without distrubing local TV/media deals. If MLB is going to thrive, they need to make it easier for fans to consume their product. Streaming is the future but MLB has a lot to figure out before we can start streaming local teams.

    • Indeed. Want kids to watch your sport… make it easy to consume it. Soccer has gone out of its way to appeal to kids. And part of it is an easy to follow online strategy. Baseball could benefit from doing the same by trashing their blackout rules for online. And they need to re-emphasize youth baseball as well. Soccer spent 30 years being the butt of jokes about soccer moms and the like, but the results are starting to speak for themselves, kids grew up playing it and are now watching it. Not that kids aren’t in little league anymore, but it’s still a more expensive option for parents and a harder game for kids to stick with given short attention spans.

      The same reason is why I still think football’s days are eventually numbered. Injury risk to kids is going to slowly kill football at the youth level. And it’s what keeps hockey limited, especially in warm markets… cost. This is where baseball can make big gains like basketball and especially soccer have done, but they have to make it a bit more affordable.

  7. Not sure streaming is the answer- all of my kids that were raised around baseball and played at the hs level prefer watching a premier league match on tv- as one said soccer has flow the entire time and u know it will be over in 2 hours- not so much for baseball on tv- of course they are game for watching baseball and having a few beers at a nice ballpark-

    • Which is why you’re seeing Manfred so hell bent on speeding the game up. My wife prefers soccer for the same reason. She knows we’ll be home from an MLS game in 2 1/2 hours. Baseball can be 4 or more if I insist on staying until the end. Though it has been better since we moved to San Diego. NL ball is faster than AL as we’ve anecdotally noted. Not by a huge margin, but it is quicker. I know MLB will never go for it, but killing the DH should be something they consider if they’re serious about speeding the game along with these new pitching/hitting rules and pitching clocks (both of which seemed to work well in the AFL last fall).

      • @Dan:Manfred wants to increase offense and is against the shifts. Increasing offense is the right approach, the Yankees and Bosox games are typically the slowest paced of all MLB games, yet the two teams draw very well, and enjoy the best national following because those two teams typically produce offense, and their ballparks are designed to produce more offense in the game.

        Also attendance and viewer ratings were up during the PED era. Fans clearly prefer home runs and offense. A fast paced 2-0 game is still boring, and pitcher-friendly ballparks such as ATT may give the Giants a home field advantage – however are not good for promoting MLB. Speeding up the game won’t help – offense and home runs are proven to place more fans in the seats. Manfred may be aware of that fact, that’s why he is focusing on offense.

        If anything, look for the NL to implement the DH soon – it is one of the few remaining holdout leagues without a DH. The NL is becoming a no-name, AAAA league, even Panda chose the Bosox over the Giants (even though the giants offered a larger contract) Most impact MLB players are on AL rosters. .100BA Pitchers and 2-0 games at ATT Park are a snooze fest -more offense means increased revenue for MLB.

  8. BTW RM,
    Selig mentions “several alternatives” for the Bay Area re A’s future. Can never give to much credence to what Selig says, but just for the fun of it: is Fremont still in the equation? I know many here (cough Pjk cough) will argue that Fremont is WAY dead, but so was Oakland up until last Summer. If San Jose wasn’t going to happen at least Fremont would still get you $an Jose and it’s riches (corporate support and disposable income) without crossing into the Giants bull shit territory. IMHO EVERYTHING is on the table for Wolff: SJ, Fremont…even Oakland.

    • What’s left in Fremont? The west-of-880 site isn’t available anymore, is it? There was a nice property south of Nummi that has since been developed. Where are they supposed to go? Re-ignite a firestorm of NIMBY protests if they try Warm Springs again? As I’ve said before – putting the ballpark right near the new BART stop makes perfect sense but it is not going to happen because MLB will be hit with lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit if it tries to put the A’s in Warm Springs. Fremont is so dead it’s too late to even exhume the body for an autopsy.

      • Contract A’s & Rays. That’s makes two fewer slices of tv pie.

      • And deal with the antitrust lawsuits and legislation that contraction would bring? For a measly $3 million per team? No thanks.

      • The Rays are likely the prime candidate for Montreal – with the Tampa GM bolting to LA and Madden gone – that team will likely soon become a celllar-dweller and began averaging 10K per game – once that occurs, the Rays will likely take a one-way ticket to Montreal.

        Contract the A’s? – MLB would be nuts to do that. They average 25K per game at the worst park in MLB, with a new ballpark in Oakland, the A’s will likely be a middle-tier franchise minimum. Oakland is a better site with more potential than even Montreal, or the frequently mentioned San Antonio, Vegas, Portland, etc. sites.

      • Montreal is a pipe dream.

      • Knew EXACTLY how you would answer that one pjk! Like clock work! So just for fun, what do you think the “several alternatives” are for the A’s in the Bay Area?

      • Contraction? The players union is not going to let that happen.

  9. BTW, where’s Bartleby when you need him? 😉

    • I’m here Tony, just not sure I have any special insight relative to this topic thread. Like everyone else I’m eager to see how Manfred will handle this issue, but I don’t think we’ll know until he actually does something.

      The statements by Manfred and Selig that imply San Jose is still an option could mean exactly that. Or they could just be intended to put more pressure on Oakland to give the A’s first shot at and/or control of the Coli site. Words and public statements cost them nothing, and it’s always good to have options. It’s impossible to know for sure where Manfred stands until something more concrete happens.

      I used to believe, as you do, that the Coli site was simply not economically viable, at least for a privately financed ballpark. While it’s still clearly inferior to the Diridon site, I’m no longer certain the Coli site could not be viable under the right circumstances and with a few lucky breaks.

      What’s changed my thinking? Ten years ago when this blog started, MLB team profitability was all about premium seating and corporate sponsorships. Lacking the giant national, shared-revenue TV contract enjoyed by the NFL, it seemed absolutely crucial for the A’s competitiveness to have an optimal location for maximizing these revenue streams.

      Since then however we’ve seen the advent of massive local TV contracts. While optimizing premium seat and corporate revenue streams is still extremely important, it no longer appears to be the only way a team can achieve sizable revenue increases. If the A’s built a gem of a new ballpark at the Coli site and managed to go deep in the playoffs a year or two, perhaps it would increase local interest enough to leverage a big TV contract.

      A gamble? Yes. As good as being in downtown San Jose? Definitely not, either in terms of proximity to corporate dollars or the energy of a downtown location. Good enough, as the path of least resistance (for both the A’s and MLB), and with the benefit of some ancillary development to partially make up the difference? Perhaps. We’ll see.

      You see, unlike certain other individuals (cough-Elmano-cough) I am capable of processing new information that may conflict with my existing views and adjusting those views when warranted.

      My hopes of what will happen are the same as yours: A new Raider stadium at the Coli site and an A’s ballpark in downtown San Jose. In terms of what’s actually likely to happen, I really don’t know at this point. I may have stronger opinions after we learn whether the SCOTUS will grant cert and see whatever proposals come out of the A’s-Raiders competition.

      The only possible outcome that’s been publicly discussed that I couldn’t accept would be Raiders to San Antonio. That would be crushing to me. I could live with pretty much any of the other scenarios.

      • As always Bartleby, thanks for the great comment and reply. If TV revenues are now of greater importance than premium seat/suite sales, doesn’t that kind of take the wind out of the Giants false arguments about keeping SJ in their territory? That the A’s in SJ will eat into their prized corporate support and fan base? But I digress..

        At this point (and I’m more than entitled to my opinion) I can’t see an Oakland (Coliseum) solution for the A’s. I just can’t. Oakland has had more than enough time (20 years or so) to make something happen for the A’s, and in my opinion enough is enough. I’m an extremely proud (some will say too proud) San Jose native/citizen who doesn’t want to see our city get screwed on this one. I’ve wanted MLB in our city since 1992, latest iteration of our quest to land MLB for the past 10 years. If this were to all end with NO A’s/MLB in San Jose, after all of this, I’d be personally devastated to say the least. Of course, life would go on, but it would probably be the end of Bay Area sports for me (save for my Raiders, wherever they go). San Jose is much, much more than just the Sharks and minor league baseball, soccer, and hockey. WE ARE A MAJOR LEAGUE CITY and deserve to be on the big stage with other great American city’s…including (gulp), San Francisco. It’s bad enough “their” NFL teams plays less than a mile from our northern city limit and still goes by the “SF” moniker. Now we stand the chance of forever being a subject of the MLB SF Giants?

        Anyhow, not giving up the fight or hope until the very end. A’s to SJ!

      • “If TV revenues are now of greater importance than premium seat/suite sales, doesn’t that kind of take the wind out of the Giants false arguments about keeping SJ in their territory? That the A’s in SJ will eat into their prized corporate support and fan base?

        I don’t know if TV revenues are necessarily of greater importance than premium seat/suite sales for all teams. That probably varies from market to market, and I’m not familiar with the actual numbers. Not all MLB teams have struck local megadeals, at least not yet. My point was just that that potentially massive additional revenue stream that’s not so dependent on where within your TV market you build a venue could be the difference between the Coli site being economically viable or not, if things fell right.

        As far as the Giants, it’s never been about whether they “need” additional revenue to pay their mortgage or could make up any lost revenue from the South Bay via the East Bay or enhanced TV revenue or anything else. The two could both easily be true: The A’s in the South Bay could eat into the Giants corporate support AND the Giants could make that money up via TV revenue. They don’t care. The Giants believe, rightly or wrongly, they’ll make more money keeping the A’s out of the South Bay, full stop. So, that’s what they’re going to continue to try to do.

  10. I will add, I don’t think Fremont is impossible if that’s what a committed owner really wanted. NIMBYs are everywhere and lose litigation all the time. The ones in Fremont have no magic power to win lawsuits and my guess is they’re not nearly as well funded as the A’s.

    However, I don’t think Wolff is likely to be that committed owner. He backed down pretty quickly when the NIMBYs rose up before. I don’t think it was because he thought he would lose, I think it was because confrontation is not his style and he didn’t want to commit the necessary time and energy to the fight. I imagine that would be even more true today.

    Of course, if both Oakland and San Jose got ruled out for whatever reason, that would be a different story.

    • I’ve always felt Bartleby that Wolff bailed on Fremont not so much because of the NIMBY element (and possible confrontation) but because at that time (2009-10) San Jose proper for the A’s became a real possibility; the creation of the BRC and renderings coming out of a beautiful “Cisco Field” at Diridon. Downtown SJ has always been the real prize for Wolff/A’s. Why continue to go down the Fremont path if the real prize awaits further south? Also at the time Wolff gave numerous reasons for abandoning Fremont that weren’t always consistent and changing: need for entitlements, need to be in a downtown location, etc. I just didn’t feel the NIMBY element was the real reason for Wolff abandoning the town. To the now..

      Of course the A’s in Fremont (as always) would STILL attract the corporate support/disposable incomes of Silicon Valley without violating the Giants bull shit territory. And to boot, San Jose would still get its MLB team, albeit not playing in downtown but 12 miles to the north. Again, Alameda/CoCo County’s constitute the A’s current territory and there’s no reason for Wolff to feel boxed in at the current Coli site. And it wouldn’t require a “fight,” especially with the “Kings Bill” making it easier (EIR-wise) to build large projects near transit lines (Warm Springs BART).

      If the “payoff” for T-Rights is too steep and San Jose is forever banned from acquiring MLB, Lew (and Keith) Wolff should seriously reconsider Fremont as an option for the A’s.

      • In general I think Fremont is the best option for the A’s. Not only does it help for the reasons already called out, but it still leaves open the possibility of revenue sharing. The A’s would still be confined to a small two county market with no option for public support.

        Unfortunately I think Bartleby is right though about Wolff. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy.

        While I was never a big fan of Al Davis, something tells me if the non-senile version of Al owned the A’s they would have a new stadium by now as he would have pressed the issue whether it be in San Jose, Fremont or Oakland.

      • @Slacker Of course, Al Davis quested for a new stadium for over thirty years in two different cities and never got one. He was only able to achieve a mediocre renovation of the venue he was in to begin with in Oakland (and arguably wore out his welcome in Los Angeles in a way that could make it more difficult to move back there).

        Al Davis could be considered an exhibit in an argument that a confrontative, litigious strategy is not the most effective approach. I believe his lawsuit against Oakland and Alameda County for the PSL fiasco was also a counterproductive failure.

        My own take: Al was a great football man for about thirty years (then, not so much). I’m not convinced he was ever a great businessman or maximized the value of the Raider brand.

      • Slacker,
        Wolff doesn’t have to be a “bad guy” if Fremont was ever revisited. Cross all the T’s, dot all the i’s of an EIR and work with sane community leaders on a plan that works best for the town: encourage BART usage and make surrounding neighborhoods (nearly a mile away) no game day parking zones. Remember, you had 300 lying folks foaming at the mouth against a Fremont ballpark…not 200,000! (Hopefully the reality of an SJ ballpark makes this all a moot point one day)

      • “I’ve always felt Bartleby that Wolff bailed on Fremont not so much because of the NIMBY element (and possible confrontation) but because at that time (2009-10) San Jose proper for the A’s became a real possibility;”

        You could be right, or it could have been a combination of the two factors. My impression remains though that confrontation isn’t really Wolff’s style.

    • The real estate collapse of 2008 had a lot to do with it – Fremont was going to be financed by Wolff’s real estate development around the site, which the collapse killed that idea, and thus making a fight with NIMBYs both not worth the trouble, and frankly, irrelevant.

      • Well JA…real estate is back!! Besides, with Fremont Wolff could utilize whatever private financing mechanisms he has in place for a San Jose yard (since its in close proximity to massive corporate support and disposable incomes). No need to have developments rights to 200 acres in a less desirable locale…

  11. During Selig’s tenure as MLB’s honcho, we are well aware that he was unwilling to do what appeared to be the most logical solution to resolving the A’s problem in getting a new ballpark. Also, we do know that Selig, in his capacity, had to be involved with keeping the Giants in San Francisco during the time that the franchise had come oh so very close to loading the moving vans for Tampa/St. Petersburg. Now, we have a new person in charge(Rob Manfred), but without Selig’s personal long-term history regarding the problematic issues of Bay Area MLB. I am hopeful that Manfred will take the necessary decisions and actions to finally help land the A’s their badly needed new Bay Area ballpark, whether in Oakland or San Jose.

    • The logical solution of course being making the entire Bay Area a single shared territory, like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

      • SMG, I think you know as well as anyone else that logic was thrown out the window a long time ago.

      • I know 😦

        I’d love to hear and see what’s gone on behind the scenes over the years regarding the idea of making the Bay Area a shared territory though. Doing so could and would help MLB avoid all sorts of other issues related to most territories. I just want to know why it hasn’t been considered, at least as far as the public knows.

      • If the Bay Area were redefined as a shared territory, the A’s would rename themselves The San Francisco Athletics of (fill in the blank). I’d bet money on that. The biggest mistake in franchise history was not incorporating San Francisco into their name after moving in 1968. That “SF” is marketing gold.

      • Or they could go old school Angels and just co-opt the whole state and be the California A’s. Something about green and gold combined with California in the name just feels right.

      • “If the Bay Area were redefined as a shared territory, the A’s would rename themselves The San Francisco Athletics of (fill in the blank). I’d bet money on that. The biggest mistake in franchise history was not incorporating San Francisco into their name after moving in 1968. That “SF” is marketing gold.”

        I’d bet big time the other way. It might be different if they were starting from scratch, but I believe a significant portion of the existing Athletics fan base gravitated toward the A’s because they represent something different than San Francisco and the Giants.

        Anyway, there’s nothing whatsoever that prevents the A’s from renaming themselves the San Francisco Athletics right now if they had a mind to do so. The territorial rights only prevents them from building a venue in SF, not naming themselves after the city.

      • “Or they could go old school Angels and just co-opt the whole state and be the California A’s. Something about green and gold combined with California in the name just feels right.”

        Ugh, that would be even worse. California’s just too big a state for that, it would leave the team with no sense of place at all. I hated it when the Angels did it (they certainly don’t represent me), I’d hate it even worse if the A’s did it.

      • And yet it seems to work fine for the Warriors. Although, my money is on them readopting the’San Francisco’ name come 2018.

  12. Manfred, or at the least way the media is reporting on him with regards to the A’s situation, is already inconsistent. Just a little while ago, there was the interview where he alluded to there being options in the Bay Area outside of Oakland for the A’s, and it was reported as such. Now just a few days later, we have media elements implying that he is only looking at Oakland. This is why journalism is dying, because most of them are terrible at what they do.

    • @ SMG
      Yeah, I agree with you. One day you could read Manfred’s comments and they seem to be leading one way, then the next day they seem to leading another way.
      I would guess MLB will keep both Oakland and San Jose on the table (real or imagined), until the day they have an iron clad agreement with either, that’s going to work for the best interest of MLB, bearing in mind that may also include the best interest of the San Francisco Giants.

      • @Lakeshore/Neil, One thing that Selig was always consistent about was the belief that what was in the best interest of the SF Giants was also in the best interest of MLB.

    • With no inside information, I guess this is what Manfred is doing: “Libby, it’s up to you.”

      • Yup. As far as Manfred is concerned, the A’s and Oakland are finally on the same page. Both sides want a new ballpark at the Coliseum site. In that regard, this is the most synchronized they’ve been with each other in at least a decade.

  13. Whether some A’s fans want to accept it or not, the A’s ballpark saga is still small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t matter who the MLB Commissioner is. MLB will intervene only when they aboslutely have to and for the time being, this situation is between the A’s and Oakland. From the cards on the table right now, I only see MLB intervening if Oakland kicks the A’s out of their Coliseum development plans.

  14. Manfred is a Selig crony period, he will do nothing and let the A’s rot as has been status quo for years.

    The A’s have a chance to win out at the Coli and get it all to themselves now that competing proposals are being entertained. MLB has screwed the A’s leverage by not allowing SJ to compete. It puts them at a bad spot at the negotiating table.

    In reality, I believe the best bet is if the Raiders win out and get the Coli to themselves forcing the A’s to share ATT Park “indefinitely” and make the Giants scream “uncle”.

    I hate to say it but I think MLB knows this is the only way to get the Giants to budge and they think Oakland is dead in the water but need it to get that far to open their eyes.

    Imagine if the A’s won the WS as the SF A’s? They have a WS parade on Market? They would gladly open up San Jose.

    This is the nuclear option and after SJ lost its last round of litigation it is the only way for the A’s to get a new stadium. Even if SCOTUS grants cert the case wouldn’t be heard until 2017 at least.

    As for Fremont, the NIMBY’s Wolff is afraid of have big time pockets. They are all super rich East Indian/Asian/Middle Eastern people who make stupid money and did not move to Fremont, pay a boat load of money for their homes to have a baseball stadium in their neighborhood.

    If these NIMBY’s were poor, Wolff would take them head on. These people would be a MLB owner’s nightmare. This is why Wolff backed off, the last thing you want these kind of people suing you as combined can fight off Wolff/Fisher, all of these people are big time executives, surgeons, lawyers, business owners, and if they were not could not afford to live there.

    In the end, Manfred is just big of coward as Selig. He is a buck tooth younger version of his predecessor.

    A’s are stuck in mud as usual, but the worse part is so are the Raiders now with the Rams going to LA, the NFL will protect the Chargers to be the 2nd team for obvious reasons.

    This sucks….

    • Fremont really isn’t that rich. The median household income is just over $100,000, which in the retarded real estate market that is the Bay Area, doesn’t go very far.

    • And where is your evidence that the Chargers are somehow in a better position than the Raiders to move to LA. They are in incredibly similar situations.

    • “Even if SCOTUS grants cert the case wouldn’t be heard until 2017 at least.”

      That doesn’t matter; if the SCOTUS granted cert that would be a strong signal they are seriously considering overturning the ATE (in fact, at that point I’d put the odds comfortably over 50%, there’d be no reason to grant cert otherwise). If this happened, I think you’d see a negotiated resolution putting the A’s in San Jose well before 2017.

      “As for Fremont, the NIMBY’s Wolff is afraid of have big time pockets. They are all super rich East Indian/Asian/Middle Eastern people who make stupid money and did not move to Fremont, pay a boat load of money for their homes to have a baseball stadium in their neighborhood.”

      Those people can’t possibly have more money to spend than an MLB team, but there are diminishing returns to throwing more money at a lawsuit even if they did. Being rich might enable them to slow the process down, but it would not necessarily mean they would win at the end of the day.

      To provide an example: The Mountain Winery was able to double the size of its concert venue right in the middle of a residential neighborhood made up of $5-10 million homes inhabited by the Valley’s biggest power brokers. Granted that venue is not as big as an MLB ballpark, but if you’re familiar with the neighborhood you know the impact on those homeowners is MASSIVELY greater than a ballpark on an industrial site on the other side of the railroad tracks in Warm Springs.

      The Mountain Winery neighbors for several miles around can hear every note of every show and must put up with significant traffic on narrow mountain roads almost every night from May til October. I’m still astonished the venue owners were able to get that project approved (though I love the venue itself).

      If the Saratoga neighbors weren’t able to stop that, I seriously doubt the NIMBYs in Fremont would win a scorched earth fight over Warm Springs. But again, it would take time and I don’t think that’s how Wolff wants to spend his sunset years.

      • The are around the Mountain Winery is very low density though and there are only neighbors to the east. There’s nothing to the west or south of it. Pretty different than building in a normal density neighborhood that completely surrounds a venue.

      • Do we want Wolff to embark on, as I’ve said, a “You’re going to take this ballpark and like it” strategy, with the A’s as neighbors to people who absolutely hate the idea of a ballpark there? Not really. It must be very disappointing to the BART people to have had a ballpark proposed that would have maximized the use of the new Warm Springs station, but it’s for naught: There will not be many thousands of people using it to get to a new A’s stadium on game days. The NIMBYs will not stand for it.

      • Don’t we have time Bartleby? I thought nothing could happen at the Coli site until 2019? (Per Kephart)

      • I’m pretty sure there are already plans to develop the area around the Warm Springs station.

      • SMG,
        There are “plans” for what’s proposed around Warm Springs BART, but at this point it’s more visionary than anything; nothing concrete.

      • “Do we want Wolff to embark on, as I’ve said, a “You’re going to take this ballpark and like it” strategy, with the A’s as neighbors to people who absolutely hate the idea of a ballpark there?”

        Its ok with me; that’s usually the case for almost any giant project. It certainly was the case for Levis Stadium.

    • MLB doesn’t need the Giants to cry uncle. If MLB decides that it’s in the best interests of baseball for the A’s to be in San Jose the Giants have no say in the matter.

      As long as there’s still a possibility of a new stadium in Oakland, MLB is likely to continue to sit on their hands. If this possibility goes away and the A’s are kicked out of the Coli, MLB will likely have to step in.

      The worst thing that could happen for the Giants would be the Raiders getting their act together and building a stadium in Oakland.

    • A Fremont ballpark wouldn’t be in their “neighborhoods,” just like Tesla isn’t in their “neighborhoods.” That is all.

  15. The area around the Mountain Winery is low density, but there are still a decent number of houses and they are inhabited by very rich, very powerful people. If the theory is, any NIMBYS can stop a project if they have enough money to throw at it, that would have been the perfect group to do so.

    Also, with respect to Warm Springs my understanding is we’re not taking about a normal density neighborhood that completely surrounds a venue. We’re talking about an industrial site that had a major manufacturing plant on it, is bordered by a BART station and a freeway, and is separated from the residential neigborhood by a freight line. A venue in Warm Springs is far more compatible with existing uses than is the case in Saratoga and I don’t think the impact on the Warm Springs neighbors and the Saratoga neighbors is remotely comparable.

    • Meh, I can’t really support the position of those Saratoga residents. The venue existed when they bought there (although it is obviously bigger now). It’s like buying a house next to a highway and then complaining several year later that there’s more traffic. Or like these dicks on the peninsula who bought houses that back up to Caltrain and then complain about the electrification of it

      • The Mountain Winery is 50% bigger and has something like four times as many shows as it used to. It’s not really fair to say those neighbors “came to the nuisance.”

        The freeway analogy is not apt because one knows if one buys next to a freeway that traffic may increase without any particular government action. A better analogy would be someone who buys a house next to an airport with a midnight curfew only to have authorities move the curfew to 3 am. That’s not what those people signed up for.

    • Right on Bartleby! An A’s ballpark at Warm Springs would greatly compliment the planned Innovation District around the future BART station; mixed-use commercial, residential, retail.

    • A dedicated NIMBY group may not be able to stop a project, but they can sure as hell delay one. Example #1 is the Shasta-Hanchett Neighborhood Association, who reigned supreme as San Jose’s main PITA during the planning and construction of the Shark Tank. Believe you-me, they’ll be back in spades if the SJ version of Cisco Field gets approved.

      They may, or may not, have been also behind the delay of Avaya Stadium into the upcoming season for the rationale of noise – even though the stadium in question is located smack-dab between SJC and the SP tracks.

      NIMBY’s usually don’t succeed in canceling projects; their usual path to success is to litigate things and delay-delay-delay until the project developers give up and go elsewhere.

      • Which is pretty much exactly what I said. You’ll note both SAP Center and Avaya ultimately got built, as did Levi’s Stadium. It mainly takes will. But as I also said, I don’t think Wolff has the will to do this, at least not for Fremont unless it becomes his only option.

  16. I agree that the quickest and easiest way for MLB to act on approving the move of the A’s to San Jose is for the Raiders to get a stadium deal done at the Coliseum site.

    • If Oakland committed the Coliseum site exclusively to the Raiders, MLB would make us endure the Howard Terminal hoopla again until Oakland cries uncle and publically refuses to pay for the infrastructure. But by then, the Apes would’ve taken over the planet enslaving the human race, so we don’t have to worry about any of this.

  17. No, nothing has changed in the Manfred’s era. MLB understands that Wolff has a great location in Oakland, in the very center of the Bay Area, and there is no reason to cut into the Giants revenue in the South Bay just to give pouting San Jose a MLB team.

    San Jose in not entitled to Oakland’s team. The A’s have been supported with an average of 25,000 fans per game in an older tapped stadium with an owner who keeps disrespecting the city and the region. San Jose should go after the Rays, Marlins, Indians, etc. Didn’t the A’s draw as well as the American League Champion KC Royals?

    Jeffrey, you do know that in the Bay Area we have three very different and separate regions with their own airports, zoo, theaters, museums, religious architecture, and pro sports teams. Is the Port of Oakland or the Oakland Zoo and Oakland Museum part of San Francisco? No it’s not. The separation of the area is East and West not North and South.

    Also, I love the assumption that the Coliseum is the only area in Oakland where both teams have to build their stadiumns.

    • Dude, it’s a FACT that the Bay Area is divided into 2 primary metropolitan statistical areas and that it is all considered a single combined statistical area. If you don’t like it, complain to the US Census Bureau. Oh and btw, the entire Bay Area is also considered a single media market.

      • The reality on the ground is that we are three separate regions in the Bay Area. Three different major cities. You know that. Oakland and the East Bay are not San Francisco.

        San Jose seems to be OK with attaching itself to San Francisco by the fondness displayed and support shown in the San Jose area for San Francisco teams. San Jose has less of an independent identity than does Oakland as far as sports and culture. There is a team calling itself “San Francisco” at San Jose’s doorstep. At least the Warriors dropped San Francisco from their name when they came to Oakland. That’s not much, but it’s better to what the “San Francisco” Forty Niners do to San Jose and the South Bay. But I guess you’re all fine with that?

      • San Jose:
        – San Jose Earthquakes
        – San Jose Sharks

        Oakland:
        – Oakland A’s
        – Oakland Raiders

        So much for that little theory…

        And your little rant does noting to chance the facts of the statistical breakdown or union of the Bay Area. Nobody is arguing that cities don’t have their own identities. You, in your typical fashion, are creating arguments that don’t exist.

      • And it’s called the San Francisco Bay Area. That is what the region is actually called. People who are still complaining about the Niners name are just looking for something to complain about. The naming scheme is not the first or only time such conventions have been used in American pro sports.

    • Nav, do I need a passport or a visa to come into your region? I have a flight out of Oakland in a couple of weeks

      • No you don’t. It’s just like Europe. You can do it all with one passport. BTW, you picked the best airport in the Oakland Bay Area. You’re welcomed in the Oakland region any time. I hope you get a chance to enjoy our new BART connector.

      • I think Mark is making fun of you Nav. Notice how he said OUT of Oakland.

      • I know, Mark is just having fun.

    • You are a bad character in a predictably bad novel that has found a way out of the novel via Internet posts, aren’t you?

  18. The Raiders could build elsewhere in Oakland and free up the Coliseum for Lew Wolff. I suspect if that happened Lew Wolff would all of a sudden lose interest in his now “viable” Coliseum site. Lew Wolff is playing this out to the very end.

    I agree with Tony, Wolff has always had San Jose on his mind and continues to do so at this time. The reason he gave up on Fremont so quickly was that he was just “exhausting all his options” in Alameda County. It was a check list. Oakland? Check. Alameda County? Check. “Now, can we have San Jose, pretty please.”

    PJK, Oakland is a “struggling city?” Wow, the San Jose advocates never cease to falsely denigrate Oakland for their own entitled reasons.

    • You go ahead and point out where else in Oakland the Raiders would or even could build a stadium (in plausible reality, not god damn fantasy world Candy Land). We could all use a good laugh.

      • The site of the original home of the Oakland Raiders in 1962. The are near where Frank Youell Field once stood.

      • So your idea is to knock down a community college and build a stadium that has no source of funding. I said plausible reality, not fantasy. You obviously missed that.

        And fun fact, the Raiders played their first 2 seasons in San Francisco before moving to another temporary stadium (which is what Frank Youell Field was) in Oakland.

      • No need to knock anything down at Laney. Have you heard of the Laney College parking lot? Have you ever thought about the Laney Eagles being able to share the Raiders new stadium? There is plenty of government own land in that area where it could easily work. It’s in the Lake Merritt Bart station development area. The stadium was able to seat 22,000 with no Bart station in the area.

        That would have also been a fantastic site for an A’s ballpark, but you know how Lew Wolff felt about anything in Oakland until he recently discovered how wonderful the Coliseum Complex really is?

      • Nav – You keep coming up with these harebrained schemes. Laney has not shown interest in giving up that parking lot. It wants to reserve it for its own future development, so Peralta isn’t going to simply give away the land. Even if it did, it’s too narrow (400 feet at widest) for a proper NFL stadium. It’s wedged in between 880 and 7th St, neither of which are getting modified in the next forever.

        Can you do at least cursory research on these issues? I’m getting sick of having to educate you on this stuff.

    • “struggling city”: You can pretend all you want that Oakland has the financial and corporate wherewithal that San Jose has. But it’s all just pretending. And if Oakland’s central location is such as deal-clincher, why have the Warriors already bought property in Frisco for a new arena rather than staying in their current “central” location?

      re: “Oakland’s” team. And Oakland has spent about $200 million on the Raiders, $100 million on the Warriors and $0.00 on the A’s in the past 20 years. Nice treatment for “Oakland’s” team, which used to be Kansas City’s and Philadelphia’s team.

      And it is highly unlikely MLB or the NFL will want to share the Coliseum property with the other. Oakland is going to have choose: One or the other. Since there is already a new stadium the Raiders can use nearby, the choice seems obvious to me. Another $1 billion NFL stadium in the Bay Area? Makes no sense.

      • Good for San Jose. I’m glad it’s doing so well financially. Perhaps now it can hire a few more police officers to fill the depleted ranks.

        The Warriors reasoning for not building in dowtown Oakland or JLS are greed+disloyality+disrespect+economic divestment in certain areas for certain reasons = San Francisco investment by Warriors instead of investing in Oakland where they have been extremely successful.

      • You are god awful at business, Nav. There’s a reason you’re not in charge of anything.

  19. So, you consider divesting in Oakland when a company has been very successful “good business?”

    • Investing, divesting, same difference. Oh wait.

      • They’re divesting from Oakland and investing in San Francisco. Do you see the difference?

      • Nav: They divested from San Francisco/Daly City before that and divested from Philadelphia before that. The A’s divested from Philadelphia, then Kansas City.

        Your thinking seems to be that no team should ever be allowed to move, which would mean Oakland would only ever have had the Raiders in the first place.

      • Except the Raiders played in Black and Gold uniforms at Kezar before Oakland. So is it that they can’t move or can’t change their city name? Cause I’d be fine with the New Orleans Jazz of Utah playing the Charlotte Hornets of New Orelans. That’s be fun.

    • The Warriors, with the least amount of reason to leave (sellouts, no other NBA competition nearby) are already gone from Oakland and will not be staying. That should tell us all we need to know about how tough it is to be viable in Oakland. An article ML linked to noted new A’s and Raiders stadiums in Oakland would compete not just with each other for corporate dollars, but with the Warriors new building in Frisco, too. Why not just settle on the most cost-effective facility – a ballpark – and give up on the “We can keep both the Raiders and A’s” pipe dream? At some point, MLB and NFL will say enough is enough and OK the relocation of both teams, if Oakland can’t decide on just one.

      • Mark Davis knows he’s in a great position in Oakland with a new stadium and a winning team. The corporate support for the Raiders from SF, OAK and tri-valley corporations, would be fantastic. Do you really believe that San Francisco corporations would rather support a losing team in Santa Clara then the Oakland Raiders with a winning record and new stadium in Oakland?

        Also, the Warriors are not hurting for corporate sponsors in Oakland. Clorox and Kaiser are huge Warriors sponsors even though that franchise is a disgrace to their home city. I hope they pull their sponsorships when and if the Warriors relocate from Oakland.

      • You’re delusional, Nav. The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2002. Until they actual (not hypothetically) change that, your “point” is totally moot.

      • PJK, you got that wrong. The Warriors are not viable in Oakland? Why have they been in Oakland for 44 years and are now going stronger than ever? How many NBA franchises would love to have the “non-viable” Oakland NBA market that the Warriors have enjoyed for the last 44 years?

        This makes the Warriors much more “viable” than the San Jose Sharks by all measures.

      • And spoiler: Clorox and Kaiser don’t base their business decisions on emotional horseshit like you do.

      • Wow, Kaiser and Clorox as sponsors.

        Just to give you an idea on company size, you just named arguably the two most powerful companies in Oakland.

        Kaiser is technically a non-profit.

        Clorox (who has more employees in Pleasanton than Oakland) brings in about $5B a year in revenue and about $400M a year in profits. That’s about 10 times less the revenue and about 50 times less the profit of Cisco.

        The biggest companies in Oakland are small to average size in the South Bay and SF.

      • “The corporate support for the Raiders from SF, OAK and tri-valley corporations, would be fantastic.”

        Wow, that would be awesome! It would be just like it was in 2000-2002, when the Raiders had championship-caliber teams, the only club seats of any NFL team in the Bay Area, and a waiting list for all their fully-NFL priced suites.l..

        Oh wait a minute, I’m remembering a little better now. The result of that scenario was actually discount priced club seats thousands of which nevertheless sat empty every game, along with dozens of suites.

        “Do you really believe that San Francisco corporations would rather support a losing team in Santa Clara then the Oakland Raiders with a winning record and new stadium in Oakland?”

        In a word, yes. As has already been proven as discussed above.

    • I hope you see the hypocrisy there, Nav, but I know for a fact that you don’t.

    • If you have a successful business that you can make more successful, you do it. Exhibit A: Axing Jackson for Kerr. So yes it’s good business, and yes the Warriors owners are good businessmen. Brilliant actually; out of all the Oakland based teams they’re the only ones controlling their own destiny, and they did it lightning fast.

      • They haven’t done squat yet. Do you know how difficult it is to build an arena in San Francisco along with the surrounding development required to finance that arena? Also, the Warrior still owe Oakland 62 million dollars from the bonds used on the 1997 renovation of the Oakland arena.

        You think this is a slam dunk? These things are much more complicated than you seem to think considering how difficult it is to get these type of projects built in San Francisco.

      • Nav, you’re ignoring facts again. There are no legal challenges being brought against the Warriors’ Mission Bay plan. The groups that opposed the Pier 30/32 arena are now supporting the Mission Bay plan. The team no longer has to deal with state and federal agencies like the Coastal Commission because the plan is no longer on the water. They own the land and have the money to build. There is currently nothing standing in their way.

        Is your life just one long ‘shrooms trip?

  20. re: The Warriors reasoning for not building in dowtown Oakland or JLS are greed+disloyality+disrespect+economic divestment in certain areas for certain reasons Everyone say it with me “Poor victim Oakland!”

  21. There is an easy solution to all this. Oakland can hand all of the acreage at the Coliseum to Lew Wolff, keep a very functional Oracle Arena on site, while steering the Raiders to the area of their former original 1962 home at Frank Youell Field near Lake Merritt. It’s a win, win for everyone.

    The A’s win, and are able to develop all the Coliseum acreage, the Raiders get a new stadium all to themselves in the heart of the city, in a beautiful setting within a two block walk from the Lake Merritt Bart station.

    • A stadium CANNOT fit on site where Frank Youell Field once stood. Laney College and 7th street are in the way. Even without any roads or schools in the way, the area bounded by Fallon St, 10th St, 880, and the slough is not big enough to fit the footprint of a modern NFL stadium. Your idea is a physical impossibility.

      • It’s only an impossibility because the San Jose supporters limit themselves to a only a portion of the land that could be used for a new Raider stadium in the Laney College area.

        Marine Layer always comes back with how everything can’t be done in Oakland. The Laney College parking lot is only 400 feet wide so therefore nothing can be done.

        Well, we do have the entire area consiting of the Laney athletic facilities which include a full size baseball field, a full size football filed as well as additional open space at the corner of 5th Avenue and 7th Street.

        The Laney parking lot could be used as a multi story parking garage or as a replacement for the Laney baseball field while the Raiders could build on the current Laney football field and baseball field footprint. The Laney Eagles would share the field with the Raiders.

        In Oakland, everything is impossible according to the many San Jose supporters on this site. In Oakland, there are no bulldozers, no public private partnerships, no thinking outside the box.

        Of course, this would only come into play if things can’t be worked out at the Coliseum Complex and on adjacent available land. I’m very confident Mayor Schaaf will find a way to keep both franchises in Oakland where they belong.

      • Nav – You’re the guy that keeps coming up with the ill-researched schemes. Now you’re getting mad because we’re factchecking you, as if that’s out of bounds? Please.

        Now you’re expanding scope to include all the Laney facilities. An NFL stadium would be shared with a community college team? What happens to the baseball field and track? What benefit does that provide to Laney/Peralta, since they’d be giving up the land while the Raiders receive pretty much all of the benefits? Who owns the stadium, Laney/Peralta? And where the hell do you put 10-12,000 cars on Sundays? Jesus man, it wouldn’t hurt to consider some of the potential obstacles.

      • You’re still willfully ignoring all property rights. Your delusion is so deep that you should be considered a danger to yourself and others. Your idea will NEVER happen. There is ZERO support for it among the Raiders, city, county, property owners in the area, Laney College, etc.

        Until you’re ready to deal in motherfucking facts, and not complete fantasy, it’s time that you stop.

    • Not to mention the fact that you can’t hand all of the acreage at the Coli site to Lew Wolff and keep the Oracle Arena.

      I’m not sure if this has been brought up yet, but I wonder if the Warriors moving to SF actually makes the Coli site more attractive to the A’s as it’s one less obstacle that has to be dealt with in terms of figuring out additional development around a baseball stadium.

      • Absolutely it does. The lunatic fringe may not appreciate it, but the Warriors are actually doing Oakland a favor by leaving and thereby freeing up some land at the Coli site and making the two landlord/three tenant clusterfuck slightly less complicated. This makes the likelihood of at least one new venue at the Coli site and retention of at least one team in Oakland far more likely, and may be a big part of why the A’s and MLB are apparently seriously considering Oakland again.

  22. Final thought from me on this thread: DAMN THE TRADITIONAL BAY AREA MEDIA SUCKS! Yeah, I’m talking to you Matthew Artz! Until the next thread all…

    • Matt Art reported the truth. Don’t understand how that is evidence of a reporter sucking… It’s actually the opposite.

      • Jeffrey,
        Manfred NEVER stated that “he wants the A’s to stay in Oakland!” Nor has he made it “clear that he wants to keep the team in Oakland!” That’s Artz simply spinning the story, straight up! Manfred has stated “no comment” when asked specifically about Oakland to Selig (as well as Wolff) stating there are “several alternatives” for the A’s in the Bay Area. Yes, he did say that he’s “hopeful” of making progress on getting a new stadium in The O in the relative short term (that won’t happen), but that’s a lot different than what was falsely presented by Artz.

        OK, NOW I’m done with this thread…

    • Tony D., Lew Wolff is publically working with Oakland towards a ballpark at the Coliseum site. Why on Earth would Manfred undermine that publically? Wolff also said the A’s are continuing to look at other sites, which is also the truth. Artz’s article is spinning anything. It’s reporting the events going on at the moment.

      Also, Schaaf said she’s expecting the A’s proposal within a few months… months. For your own health, relax because there’s going to be a lot more artlcles like this in the near future.

  23. re: PJK, you got that wrong. The Warriors are not viable in Oakland? Why have they been in Oakland for 44 years and are now going stronger than ever? How many NBA franchises would love to have the “non-viable” Oakland NBA market that the Warriors have enjoyed for the last 44 years?

    ….You say the best place for the Warriors is in Oakland. The Warriors owners say otherwise. When they leave, let’s see if another team is quick to relocate to the fabulous, fantastic Oakland market. The Celtics or Lakers maybe? Of course, we know when the Warriors leave, Oakland will have hosted its last-ever NBA game

  24. I’m surprised there isn’t more of a push to get a salary floor in MLB. There are benefits to no salary cap. It allows for better villains in a baseball drama. However, there’s practically no benefit to the fan if their local owners decide to have a $25m payroll.

  25. @bartleby- Did not know if the cert is granted it means anything. In that case we all need to pray for SCOTUS to grant it.

    You cannot compare Mountain Winery to a baseball stadium. It is a fraction of the size and 40k of people don’t go there at one time. In Fremont, there would be 40k of people in and out of the general area.

    Your right the median income is over 100k, I am talking about the top 5-10% of people there who combined are just as rich as Wolff/Fisher. They live on top of the hill and would fund massive campaigns to stop any ballpark from coming to fruition. Forget the 95% who would join in as well.

    It would be so ugly and Wolff saw it big time so he backed away knowing he did not want to fight these people who would NEVER see it his way.

    On another note, you wrote about how suites and club seats were empty in 2002 at the Coli for Raiders games.

    I went to the KC-Oakland game and every suite and club seat was full. I was sitting 40 yard line across from Mt. Davis so I had a perfect view.

    The reason why they did not sell at the time was because the PSL’s were not lifetime they were on a 10 year term. Also, the Raiders had zero control of their own ticket sales.

    If today they offered a lifetime SBL for a fraction of the cost of what the 49ers charged they would sell. In fact speaking with the rich Raiders fans sitting next to me at the KC game, I asked them if they would pay 25k for a license to sit 50 yard line at a new stadium financed over 10 years…..All of them said “Yes”.

    If Mark Davis was like Jed York and was willing to raise the money with the same mechanisms the Raiders can easily build it. The NFL is that popular and the Bay Area is that rich.

    Your statements on the Raiders having trouble selling corporate/club seats is old and today I bet they would sell.

    The KC game was rainy, cold, and on a Thursday night. Plus the Raiders were winless and yet all suites were full.

    Imagine a new stadium and if they actually weren’t so bad?

    • @Sid

      “Did not know if the cert is granted it means anything. In that case we all need to pray for SCOTUS to grant it.”

      Absolutely it does. If the SCOTUS is content with the status quo there’s no reason to hear the case, it would be a waste of time. They would just deny cert and allow the lower court rulings and the last hundred years of precedent stand (which is what I actually expect will happen). They have a lot on their plate; they’re not in the business of rehashing settled law just for the hell of it. Especially in a situation like this where the precedent is so longstanding and so consistent, if they grant cert it signals they are open to revisiting the ATE and likely to overturn it. If the SCOTUS grants cert, Larry Baer will shit his pants.

      “You cannot compare Mountain Winery to a baseball stadium. It is a fraction of the size and 40k of people don’t go there at one time. In Fremont, there would be 40k of people in and out of the general area.”

      I can absolutely compare the two, and unequivocally state that notwithstanding the greater size of a ballpark the Mountain Winery has a greater impact on its neighbors than a new ballpark at the proposed site in Warm Springs would have on theirs.

      Mountain Winery is right in the middle of a residential neighborhood whose main selling point otherwise would be “bucolic setting and quiet.” The concert season runs May through October, during which there are shows more nights than not. Sound carries in those canyons, so you can hear every note of every concert (and every F-bomb a comic like George Carlin used to deliver) for something like three miles away. Then you have to deal with significant traffic on narrow, tertiary streets before and after the shows and drunks barreling down the hills after the show. Not across a set of railroad tracks a distance away, right in front of your house.

      In contrast, a ballpark in Warm Springs is arguably less of a hassle than the Nummi plant was. There’s no reasonable way to argue that Mountain Winery is more compatible with its surrounding neighborhood and existing uses than a ballpark would be with the massive commercial and industrial zone at Warm Springs.

      “I went to the KC-Oakland game and every suite and club seat was full. I was sitting 40 yard line across from Mt. Davis so I had a perfect view.”

      I went to the KC-Oakland game as well and was sitting in the East Side Club seats and they were nowhere close to full. Granted, the West Side Club seats were full, but I’d estimate the East Side Club at no more than 20% (and that’s being generous). When the rain started, we had no trouble moving back under cover and still had several rows to ourselves.

      I was a Raider season ticket holder for fifteen years and have gone to more than half of the games since they came back in 1995. With the exception of the occasional big game against a team with a large national following like the Cowboys or Steelers, the East Side Club section rarely is more than half full.

      “The reason why they did not sell at the time was because the PSL’s were not lifetime they were on a 10 year term.”

      This is irrelevant because the club seats were being sold on a single game basis, and at prices that are 1/2 to 1/3 what they go for in other NFL stadia.

      “Also, the Raiders had zero control of their own ticket sales”

      I believe the Raiders always had control of suite sales.

      “If today they offered a lifetime SBL for a fraction of the cost of what the 49ers charged they would sell.”

      That’s pretty speculative, but in any event the key words you used are “at a fraction of the cost.” If you have to seriously discount your premium product in order to sell it, that suggests its not a good market for that product.

      If the Raiders build a new venue that will certainly help the cause, but remember again that there is now competition from the 49ers that didn’t exist before. Also, frankly, the Raiders are hindered in selling to the corporate market by an image problem that the Niners don’t have. Those factors plus consistently weak historical premium seat sales is certainly cause for concern for a business considering a billion dollar commitment.

      In the end I think the Raiders would be ok, but it’s far from a slam dunk.

      • This is the last I’ll say about it, but again, the Mountain Winery is not in the middle of a neighborhood or in the middle of any kind of developed area. Any map will confirm that. The edge of the venue’s seating is 0.3 miles (as the crow flies) from the nearest house on what can be considered a normal residential street.

      • And the amphitheater is only 2,500. Okay, now I’m done.

      • @SMG You’re just wrong. Granted, it’s not a densely populated neighborhood, as most of the houses sit on plots of at least an acre. But the sound travels for at least three miles and there are hundreds of residences that are directly affected, almost every night, all summer long. I know, because I used to live two miles from there.

      • “And the amphitheater is only 2,500.”

        The number of attendees is irrelevant to the noise issue, and those 2500 people make a substantial impact on what are twisty mountain roads with absolutely zero public transit options.

      • @SMG You see all those houses directly in front of the venue? That’s a neighborhood. They’re clearly visible from the winery deck too (you can see some definite power broker residences). The fact that the Winery property itself is large and there’s not a lot behind it does not mean it’s not impacting a significant number of people.

        Sound carries up there. I lived two miles away and I could go into my backyard and hear every note of the concert at about the same volume as if I was actually at the show. If it was a comedian playing, I could hear the actual jokes.

        See Pierce Road? That’s the main access point to the 85 freeway for those heading north. The Winery concert sends a long line of cars down that road after every show past dozens of peoples houses.

        I lived in a different neighborhood where the neighbors were all up in arms about a restaurant that wanted to have live music two nights a week, unamplified, indoors, ending at midnight. That’s nothing compared to what the Mountain Winery neighbors live with.

      • Guys, this is severely OT.

      • ML, yeah I realize. My bad from my end. My geographical pet peeves made it too hard to resist.

      • Sid, thanks for educating Bartleby on the Raiders luxury suite and PSL marketing problem.

        Bartleby, what exactly is this “image problem” that the Raiders have but the Forty Niners don’t?

      • “Sid, thanks for educating Bartleby on the Raiders luxury suite and PSL marketing problem.”

        If you had a 3rd grade reading comprehension level, you would see I completely refuted that argument. Club seats were both heavily discounted (relative to other NFL teams) and sold on a single game basis in those years, so the PSL issue had nothing to do with lackluster sales. Nor has the problem greatly improved since the Raiders took over their own marketing: the East Side Club is at least half empty for almost every game. You don’t even have to actually go to the games to see this, as that’s the direction the TV cameras point.

        “Bartleby, what exactly is this “image problem” that the Raiders have but the Forty Niners don’t?”

        Are you really that clueless? The Raiders have a thug life image. It’s not fair, it’s not justified, but it exists – and its certainly part of the Raiders challenge in selling premium seating in Silicon Valley.

        It’s something I encounter frequently as one of the few Raider fans living on the Peninsula. I know dozens of people who won’t go to a Raider game because they are afraid to.

        And it’s not mainly about Oakland, either – the same is not true for A’s games to nearly the same degree. I know that the scary dress up people at Raider games are some of the nicest people in the world and would be the last ones to cause trouble. The world does not know this.

        It’s a big part of the reason why, in your fantasy world where the Raiders have a SOTA stadium in Oakland and a winning record and the Niners have a losing record, the local tech companies will still buy their suites at Levis Stadium.

  26. @SMG- The Chargers would get hurt big time if the Rams move to LA. They get a big chunk of revenue from LA/OC and have TV rights over the entire area.

    If the Raiders are the 2nd team in LA then the Chargers just lost a ton of money and leverage for a new stadium. It could cripple their franchise, the NFL knows this full well.

    Imagine being the Chargers, losing all the LA/OC revenue and TV rights? All of this with no leverage? They would be stuck at Qualcomm for years to come.

    I have been right thus far on Kroenke being the only one to make this happen. The NFL wont’ cripple the Chargers to help the Raiders who can stay in their market with a stadium that is new.

    The NFL is smart, they will let Kroenke build it and it will get done around 2019-2020.

    Well before then the Chargers would have figured out if SD is feasible or not. If not, they will jump in.

    • We don’t know the financial particulars of a potential Rams to LA deal. There could very well be kick backs to the Chargers included in the deal, which would assist them in getting a new stadium in SD. Then there is the whole issue of stadium funding mechanisms coming up on the SD ballot. There are too many moving parts to really know what’s going on, especially behind closed doors. And I will point out that the Chargers managed just fine when both the Rams and Raiders were in LA, and even when the Rams moved to Anaheim. So I’m not convinced that they couldn’t handle it now as well.

    • @Sid “[The Chargers] get a big chunk of revenue from LA/OC and have TV rights over the entire area.”

      What are you talking about? The NFL TV and merchandise contracts are national and the revenue shared equally. Gate receipts for regular seats (not premium) are also shared something like 60/40 with the visiting team. This is a big reason why we have teams in places like St. Louis and Jacksonville rather than in LA; the location of the venue just isn’t that important in the NFL relative to other sports. Any market that can come close to filling a 60K stadium and sell a reasonable number of suites for 10 dates a year (of which there are many) can do ok.

      The issue of whether or not there are teams in LA is a much bigger issue for the NFL as a whole than it is for the Chargers.

      • Bartleby, you do know that the Forty Niners lead the NFL in criminal arrests as well as thug behavior in bathrooms as well as causing mayhem on the road. The Forty Niners and their fans are the biggest thugs in the NFL. Talk about not dealing with reality.

        Trying to turn the attention to the Raiders, their fans, and the city of Oakland, when the actual criminal behavior resides in Silicon Valley, is pretty low.

      • “Bartleby, you do know that the Forty Niners lead the NFL in criminal arrests as well as thug behavior in bathrooms as well as causing mayhem on the road. The Forty Niners and their fans are the biggest thugs in the NFL. Talk about not dealing with reality.

        Trying to turn the attention to the Raiders, their fans, and the city of Oakland, when the actual criminal behavior resides in Silicon Valley, is pretty low.”

        Once again you demonstrate your COMPLETE lack of reading comprehension. Making an observation that a perception exists does not imply endorsement of it. In fact I specifically said “it’s not fair” and “it’s not justified.”

        I’ve pointed out to Niner fans many times that there have been more violent incidents at Niner games than Raider games in recent years. Not just the one bathroom incident at Levis, but several incidents at Candlestick in the last years there. But after two decades to trying to persuade friends from the South Bay to come to a Raider game with me, I can tell you that the “thug life” image is real.

  27. Sid is kinda right in one respect: if you look at the NFL broadcast maps on 506sports, LA usually gets the Chargers games, even when there may be a more attractive matchup. But not always…week 13 2013 had blackouts in SD that also affected LA and Palm Springs, and week 14 2013 LA got the SF/SEA game instead of NYG/SD. (I only went back two years though.)

    But does anyone in LA give a crap about the Chargers right now? I’m down there for work all the time, sure doesn’t seem like it.

  28. re: Trying to turn the attention to the Raiders, their fans, and the city of Oakland, when the actual criminal behavior resides in Silicon Valley, is pretty low.

    …Elmano points to a single isolated case of a man being assaulted in a Levi’s stadium bathroom. Bottom line is, 49ers suites are sold at premium prices and the Raiders have to offer theirs at heavily discounted, bottom dollar.

    • Also, unfortunately perception is more important than reality in these cases. Right or wrong Raiders fans are perceived as thugs.

      This really started when the Raiders moved to LA. A lot of the fans that folks are “scared” of, fly up to the games from LA. It’s not Oakland’s fault, but Oakland should have thought about this perception of the team before bending over backwards to take them back.

      The Raiders are also not innocent in this, as they don’t do anything to stop this perception and in some cases promote the perception.

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