We’re All Screwed

Great sentiment to take into a new season, isn’t it? Things may not seem that dire, but consider that I’ve been writing this blog for ten years and we’re no closer to a stadium than we were in 2005. As Howard Bryant explains in his latest ESPN The Magazine article, we may actually be further from a solution than before. There remains a single site in the Bay Area that baseball is willing to consider, and it is encumbered by a competing development process (Coliseum City). Everyone involved has acted and looked bad and has generally failed abysmally:

  • A’s don’t want Oakland, still covet San Jose
  • Giants remain greedy and recalcitrant
  • MLB provides no leadership
  • Oakland interests trashed A’s ownership, tried to force sale of A’s to no avail
  • San Jose sued MLB, making them a non-entity in terms of negotiation while lawsuit was ongoing

Bryant goes on to explain that MLB is banking on the Coliseum City falling through and the Raiders leaving, which would leave the A’s at the Coliseum to work out a deal, a solution presenting itself with no intervention required on Commissioner Rob Manfred’s part. Convenient, right?

Of course, progress made recently on the EIR process won’t necessarily translate into actual deal success. City archives all over the state are full of dead EIRs from projects that were never built.

An under construction Coliseum in more hopeful times

An under construction Coliseum in more hopeful times

Nevertheless, that’s the outcome MLB sees. It’s one that A’s management is willing to play along with, for now at least. It doesn’t mandate getting a ballpark built right away or even soon, thanks to a lease that can take the A’s through the 2024 season.

Like Lew Wolff assuming that The Lodge would work out a deal for San Jose, MLB assumes that the Raiders are in LA after 2015. But even that’s difficult to forecast at this point. Stan Kroenke’s Inglewood stadium plan has the most momentum at this point, and the Carson concept is being spearheaded by the Chargers. Both teams have plans to accommodate a second team, though they have both declared that a second team is not a necessity. The NFL wants no more than two teams in Southern California (including the San Diego market). Those two teams could be the ones spearheading separate stadium projects. Or they could partner together on a single stadium. The Raiders, not having their own stadium plan to push, have to hope that Kroenke’s plan falls through and Carson succeeds, allowing the Raiders and Chargers to be the LA teams. If Kroenke gets his stadium, it doesn’t matter whether the Chargers stay in San Diego, move to Carson in their own stadium, or partner at Inglewood, the Raiders are the odd man out. There’s the odd chance that either the Chargers or Raiders could move to St. Louis, but few outside of St. Louis are considering the idea seriously.

Therefore, MLB’s hopes rest with a very silent man who has little interest (and zero actual financial interest) in baseball. Kroenke owns or has owned franchises in every other major sport, including top tier English soccer (Arsenal).

Whither the A’s in all of this? As usual, that depends. If the Raiders are shut out of LA because of the Rams’ and Chargers’ activity, the Raiders would effectively be forced to work on a stadium in Oakland, ostensibly at the Coliseum. Naturally, that would conflict with the A’s and MLB’s plans. Don’t believe for a moment that either team or league is going to actively work with the other on a joint development plan. With no public subsidy in sight, the Raiders and A’s will look to horde whatever revenue-generating opportunities they can, whether we’re talking entitlements or parking. Either way, that will run into conflict with Oakland’s designs on the Coliseum land, which are to create a new neighborhood with up to 10,000 new residents. Strangely enough, a “same as existing” use plan for the Coliseum lands would work best for entrenched interests in the area, including East Oakland residents concerned about gentrification and businesses west of 880 fighting against losing industrial land.

Should the Raiders look elsewhere in the East Bay, the A’s would be in the driver’s seat for the Coliseum. Yet as previously investigated sites are eliminated – Camp Parks and Concord NWS have their own plans underway – the Raiders will be even more boxed in at the Coliseum. Worst case they stumble to Santa Clara, where they would play tenant to the 49ers instead of the JPA. Chances are that they’d partner with a developer (SunCal?) for the Coliseum. Finally, that choice that I’ve been talking about for years, the one nobody in the East Bay has wanted to talk about publicly, would have to be made.

That doesn’t mean any choice would be made immediately, let alone a stadium built. Look at what happened for the San Jose Earthquakes. The team was reborn in 2008, had a stadium promised in 2010, didn’t start construction until 2012, and didn’t open until 2015. Seven years, and for a city that Lew Wolff actually loves. It’s easier to start construction when you’re absolutely sure the checks will come in.

Having to privately finance an entire stadium is hard enough, now the A’s would have to do so in small market Oakland. It’s not even so much about whether Wolff and John Fisher want to do it, does MLB want to subsidize it for 30-40 years via revenue sharing? If the A’s are going to carry a big mortgage in Oakland with iffy corporate support, revenue sharing seems an absolute necessity to keep the A’s in good financial health. That’s the alternative to negotiating with the Giants.

And if the Raiders build at the Coliseum instead? Well, the A’s would be able to leave the Coliseum, but for where? San Jose is not a player in this scheme, but you’d be surprised at what avenues can open up once MLB runs out of options and leverage. That might mean Diridon, it might mean Howard Terminal. It would be fitting for MLB to actually do something after years of actively sitting on its hands. As long as the A’s remain in the Bay Area, even severely delayed progress would be well worth it.

112 thoughts on “We’re All Screwed

  1. All I really want at this point is a short statement issued by MLB explaining why LA, NY, and Chicago are shared markets but the Bay Area is not.

    • @SMG
      Yeah, me too unfortunately it will a cold day in hell (as they say), before we get that.

    • Im with you SMG- also want Corey Busch to explain why he said SJ made a mistake when it sued MLB. What is the mistake if MLB never intended to take on the greedy gints and allow the A’s to move to SJ? My biggest fear is that the Raiders stay and the gints ultimate objective will be realized with the A’s leaving the Bay Area.

      • That would require new ownership and a finalized stadium deal elsewhere, which isn’t even remotely close to happening. I’m of the opinion that all of these Montreal boosters (for expansion or relocation) coming out of the woodwork are totally delusional.

      • Oh that’s right- forgot the A’s gave the gints SCCo free of charge back in 1992- but yes- of course your right- SMG for King

      • That has nothing to do with my comment or the topic being discussed.

    • @SMG- based upon what MLB has allowed to date and what the gints ultimate end game is it is much more than a remote possibility. Fisher actually has the peice he has more interest in- the Earthquakes new stadium- in the next several years there will be a billion to be made by selling the A’s, maybe more to an investor who wants to move them. For all we know MLB may well be working hand in hand with the gints on this possibility- based upon their actions to date it would seem that they could give a shit about the A’s and their viability-

    • …borders on conspiracy theory- your right- it’s not a theory anymore it’s blatant by both the gints and MLB- and let me be a bit more clear on change in ownership- LW is 80 and while he talks of his son carrying the torch after he checks out we have no idea if his son is so inclined and whether the primary owner is so inclined-that being Mr. Fisher who is more interested in soccer and played a big part in the development of the EQ stadium. Leading this battle to build a new ballpark takes a huge effort and at some point why not take your billion and enjoy life- of course I know SMG- from your perspective it’s not even a remote possibility- since you have it all figured out tell us what the outcome will be-

    • That really didn’t address anything I said and bordered on conspiracy theory.- your words not mine-

      • You’re a god damn joke. You are literally claiming that the rest of MLB is actively conspiring again the A’s, which is grade A bullshit. Fact if the matter is that there is no incentive for the other owners to act because they don’t stand to benefit or lose at this point. They aren’t the ones backed into a corner… yet. You could take any 2 teams in baseball and put them in the A’s/Giants situation (or even just reverse the current situation to put the A’s in the position of power) and the Bay Area dynamic would play out the same way it does now. The thinking in this situation is not unique to the Giants ownership and the A’s ownership. It would apply to any teams finding themselves in this situation. There is no business incentive for the Giants to give anything up if they don’t have to. There would be no incentive for the A’s to give anything up if they were the more powerful team in the Bay Area.

        You are willfully ignorant if you fail to recognize this fact.

      • @SMG – How do you explain the fact that the Giants organization is making history in professional sports – the first franchise in history, in a two team fanbase situation, which opposes the other team’s plans to move 40 miles further away from the shared fanbase, also forming and funding “Stand for San Jose” their false propaganda group? The giants behavior is so bad, it’s actually comical.

        The A’s, conversely, approved the Giants move to San Jose because they didn’t want the Giants moving to Tampa and preferred that the Giants stayed in SF (what a contrast between the franchises) – the giants organization is truly unique (in a bad way) Even Selig has always maintained that the Giants are the problem – blocking the A’s. If you call the MLB Commissioners office, they will agree that the Giants position is foolish.

      • @duffer:

        re: “Even Selig has always maintained that the Giants are the problem – blocking the A’s. If you call the MLB Commissioners office, they will agree that the Giants position is foolish.”

        I’ll wait for you to cite your sources on that one.

        re: “How do you explain the fact that the Giants organization is making history in professional sports – the first franchise in history, in a two team fanbase situation, which opposes the other team’s plans to move 40 miles further away from the shared fanbase”

        That’s irrelevant. Baseball is the only pro sports league in the US with an ATE allowing such a situation to even exist in the first place. So it’s really just in baseball, not all pro sports.

        There’s no business incentive for the Giants to agree to give the A’s anything if they aren’t forced to. That is the cold, sad, hard reality of the situation. The decision has to come from the Lodge or the courts. I don’t get why so many people have difficulty understanding that. Emotion simply doesn’t change these facts on a practical level.

      • @SMG – Selig has commented several times: “one team wants to move, the other team doesn’t want them to” (that’s clearly implicating the Giants are at fault – Selig doesn’t imply any other teams, or the MLB ATE, just the giants)

        Also, the fact remains that Giants have be the first franchise in professional sports history to oppose another local team from moving further away from their fanbase – the giants are indeed setting a precedent.

        Furthermore, the A’s (the Haas ownership) had no problem approving the giants scheme of moving to Santa Clara (very unlike the current Giants owners group and the A’s plan of moving to SJ) Did the Raiders threaten legal action when the Niners moved to Santa Clara? – no. The giants bizarre, paranoid behavior concerning the A’s and San Jose is taking bad sportsmanship to a whole new level.

      • Haas was a complete fool to give SCC away for nothing and everyone knows it.

        And the Raiders had ZERO legal right to prevent the 49ers move to Santa Clara. Whether or not the favored or opposed it is 100% irrelevant.

        And we’re still waiting on that proof from you that Selig or Manfred ever publicly said the Giants are wrong and should cease their opposition. Even if some in the Lodge feel that way, league officials have never said that. The Selig statement that you paraphrased is a statement of pure fact, not one of judgement (at least not overtly) as you have claimed. If the commissioner(s) and the league clearly felt that the Giants were in the wrong, we would not be in the situation we are today.

        Just because you want something to be true doesn’t actually make it so. There is a difference between personal preferences and opinions and the facts on the ground.

        And with that, I’m done with this conversation. It is circular, pointless, and is predicated on multiple people denying objective facts because they don’t like said facts. Newsflash: nobody on this site likes the current situation. But it’s what we’re stuck with and the only way to responsibly approach it is with realism and unemotional analysis.

      • @SMG: The fact is the Selig has consistently commented that the Giants are to blame, Selig has never commented that other teams, besides the giants, or the MLB lodge, are opposing the A’s. What part of “one team wants to move, and the other team doesn’t want them to” is difficult to understand?

        If the Raiders wanted to, they could have hypothetically attempted legal action against the Niners (it would have been a goofy move – and un-Raider like, however it would be no more absurd that the Giants opposition to the A’s move) The NFL, and other sports leagues, offer more room for legal maneuvering than MLB and its ATE does.

        As far as Haas “foolishly give away San Jose to the Giants” at that time, the giants were becoming pitiful, almost a joke of a franchise – ready to bolt for Tampa, FL. The A’s were dominating the Giants in attendance (having beaten the giants in attendance 16 out of the previous 25 years) Besides being a good sport, Haas likely overlooked the giants as insignificant, and not a threat to the A’s. The A’s “foolishly giving away San Jose to the Giants” is the greedy giants (and some of their fans) take on the situation. Most team owners, and fans demonstrate better sportsmanship than the greedy giants have demonstrated with their behavior.

    • “Willfully ignorant and a goddam fool- WOW I can hear you shouting all the way over in my hood. You must be having a bad Easter SMG- take a look at how much the owners made when the ” Expo’s” moved to Washington and extrapolate that out I to today’s dollars and see how much the owners have to make if the A’s becomes he next generation of the Expo’s in Montreal. And then take it a step further and compare that to paying the A’s $30M a year to stay in Oakland- if you were an owner what would you prefer SMG? Once again you have it all figured out- please share the grand plan of these owners and Mr. Manfred as it relates to baseball in Oakland.

      • You’re the one making the claims and clinging to your childish and blind hatred and totally ignoring realistic, practical, and plausible outcomes as a result. I never claimed to have the answers. You are the only one making that assertion. Grow up and address the issues without your emotions being the only thing guiding you. This is a business and the A’s would act the exact same way the Giants are if they were in the Giants’ position.

      • Interesting how Waterfront proposals for A’s in Victory Court or JLS were never seriously considered and never wanted by Wolff…the excuses were ridiculous. Heck…he could have even looked into building at the Brooklyn Basin area…but noooooo….Wolff doesn’t want to be Oakland! He doesn’t want to be in Oakland unless he has control of surrounding land….period. Greedy!

    • Oh that’s right- I almost forgot that the A’s gave the gints SCCo free of charge in 1992- but hey- sure- they would do the same thing today because one thing I know is SMG knows all

      • So you repeated your comment from above even though it has absolutely nothing to do with any of my comments. And you’re refusing to actually address the points being made, instead falling back on your strategy of “hurr durr SMG for king”. If you are enjoying making a fool of yourself, good for you, but don’t shit up the thread and make everyone else suffer through your non sequitur ramblings.

      • Not to mention you objectively and intentionally misinterpreted what I said. I said if you took any two teams and put them in the Giants’ and A’s current situation, the team analagous to the Giants would not want to let the team analogous to the A’s move into their territory. That’s just a fact of business.

        I’ve never seen a single person on this site argue that the territorial split is okay or morally right or fair, but the legal fact is that the Giants do own the rights to SCC. Whining about it or pretending it doesn’t matter changes nothing about the actual reality of the situation.

      • The issue with all that is as soon as the Giants broke ground at ATT….MLB should have immediately rescinded the South Territorial rights that should have been granted on a Temporary basis since Giants wanted to build in SJ for short time.

        A’s ownership at the time should asked baseball to give back those “temporary rights” they have to Giants to build in SJ and not in SF where they did.. A compeplete and utter failure by MLB adn A;s ownership at teh time.

    • Yeah- sure- got it

    • Exactly! What is MLB afraid of? The big bad mighty Giants?? Give me a break! Best Interest of Baseball doesn’t mean much when it is not convenient for them huh? SMH

  2. Sad to think that this problem could have been resolved ten years ago, and it could still be easily resolved at this very moment. Yet, MLB and the Commissioner’s Office continue to choose to heed to the selfish greedy ways of the Giants against the best interests of MLB. What makes the situation even worse, is the fact that MLB’s inaction has been terribly unfair to one of its franchises(A’s). How could MLB allow this unfairness to perpetuate itself? Maybe the answer is a result of being a by-product of MLB’s ATE.

  3. There may be 1000 more posts to come, but it may be as simple as the rams getting to LA first. Which, would mean A’s and Raiders at the coliseum for many years to come. Davis can say it is untenable to play in the coliseum, but he has no wherewithal to do anything about it.

  4. The Raiders are nuts if they bolt out of Oakland – rebuilding the Coliseum into a football only stadium (cost effective) or even building a new 55K capacity football stadium in Oakland would be smarter than sharing an LA stadium with Kroenke. The LA NFL fanbase couldn’t even support two teams playing at different locations previously – two NFL teams there playing at the same location would likely have difficulty selling out NFL games (market over-saturation)

    Moving to St Louis would not be wise also – that city does not support the NFL well. The Cardinals bolted out of there for Phoenix, the Rams are preparing to make the same move to Los Angeles.

    • The NFL of 1994 is vastly inferior as a business and in terms of drawing power than the NFL of 2015.

      • Possibly, although the NFL and the Raiders could be also be naive about Los Angeles as a hot NFL market. The Trojans and UCLA get outstanding attendance. USC averages over 90,000 per game (so the LA Coliseum isn’t a problem for them) When the Raiders played there – they were drawing 35-40K per game. It appears the the LA fanbase supports college football teams solidly, however cannot support two NFL teams. Playing at a new NFL stadium in Inglewood or Carson may not make a difference for the Raiders – they could possibly draw 35-40K at those sites (similarly to what they averaged at the LA Coliseum)

    • Yup! LA fairweather fanbase will not support two NFL and average 70k a home game fo each of those two teams let alone for 3 teams?? Insanity to think that.

    • Raiders aren’t going to St Louis or SA…enough with that non sense!

  5. fu** the midgets!

    go a’s!

    that is all.

  6. Just friggin leave already. You will never, ever, ever build in Oakland even with no Raiders around.

    “They want SJ; Oakland has zero corporate base; abominable disposable income in the entire east bay; horrible city and area all around; worse than 3rd world; not viable; Oakland sucks; Crime!; More Crime!; revenue sharing in perpetuity; attendance blows; city gov’t worst in the universe by leaps and bounds; zero fans, even in playoff years, zero; extremely and ridiculously small and embarrassingly tiny teeny market.”

    Then leave. Ask MLB to pay the Giants to rescind the T-rights. If it’s such a sure thing in SJ then do it. If SJ is the absolute answer, MLB should be more than willing to front the $ to get the A’s down there. Makes logical sense. Giants get their money and the Wolffisherfseligfredorfstein get their wet dream. Get the trucks packed.

    If the east bay is that bad, then why is MLB not vouching and, more importantly, not paying the Giants for T-rights? Don’t tell me they don’t have a price because everyone has one. And don’t tell me MLB doesn’t have enough $ in their “slushy fund.” Is the Silicon Valley worth a billion dollars? Hey, MLB should pay that because the upper crust areas and the vast and obviously unlimited money in all of SV will make that up in just a few seasons. I doubt even Larry Baer would refuse this. The “Lodge” (note the capital L; they are way more special) should easily get this. C’mon guys. It’s all ball bearings nowadays.

    Here’s an equation: SJ = slam dunk > OAK status quo > t-rights cost = MLB should pay the Giants. SJ will pay it back in no time.

    Let this parasitic ownership out of their prison hell already. Free them. MLB, it’s a small advance for a massive reward!

  7. That is Wolff, Fisher, Selig, Manfred, Reinsdorf, Saperstein with an accidental extra F after Fisher.

  8. Djhip. We’re you talking about the warriors or the A’s?

  9. I don’t buy this notion that if the Raiders leave the Bay Area or build somewhere else in the Bay Area that the A’s would automatically stay in Oakland and build at Coliseum City. It is a possibility but it is not guaranteed. Oakland/Alameda County should just keep negotiating with the Raiders. The Raiders are the only team out of the three that have shown any kind of interest in CC.

    The city/county at this point must know that there is a strong possibility that they will only be able to keep one team to keep CC alive. CC could happen without any teams but CC would much more of a desirable destination with a least one new stadium to anchor the rest of the project. Also I don’t think the city/county want to be remembered for losing all three teams on their watch. One team is better than no teams. Plus a new stadium deal by Oakland with the Raiders could lead to a possible quicker resolution for an A’s new ballpark, whether that be somewhere in the East or South Bay.

    The month of August will be interesting, it is the deadline for a new stadium deal for the Raiders by the city/county and the investors. Plus it is the month where the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear San Jose’s territory case. There is a possibility that new football stadium deal could happen before August which could set things in motion even sooner. Wolf may not be waiting for Davis but instead waiting for what the Supreme Court decides.

  10. @ jordan – A’s

    @ Stark – totally agree. Oakland should try to retain the Raiders and let this SJ ownership leave.

  11. @ Stark

    You could be on to something, Wolff could be waiting on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case of San Jose vs MLB, before he submits a proposal for a ballpark at the CC. site.
    Wolff could also be waiting for Davis to try and fail, thereby forcing him to leave the Bay Area, or rent from the 49ers if he were to stay. In either case that would open up the CC. site for Wolff only. Wolff could also be waiting for Davis to succeed in Oakland at the CC. site, with no true intentions of ever building there, but simply hoping it will gain leverage with MLB to get San Jose. Wolff is probably waiting on variations of all three and perhaps even more
    What should be obvious is that Wolff is waiting. Wolff has little to no leverage, one of the only ways he may gain leverage is by waiting, and waiting, and waiting. This strategy will force others to make choices, Oakland, Alameda County, Davis, the NFL, MLB, the San Francisco Giants, the Supreme court, and perhaps the gods of all the universe before were done.
    It appears by Wolff not making a choice, everyone else in the equation will be forced into making one. Well played Mr. Wolff, well played indeed.

    • ???? Wait until he dies? SMH Bad play…

      • @cisco007
        That’s the risk; Wolff is obviously willing to take with his wait Davis out strategy. Or as others like to refer to it as “Oakland must chose”

      • @cisco007
        BTW: if you have no real intentions of building in Oakland, regardless of the situation (which could very well could be true of Wolff), then it really doesn’t matter if you die before it ever gets built.

      • @cisco007
        When I said well-played, it was a bit sarcastically. I do think Wolff has well-played the narrative, that “Oakland must chose.” Not that Oakland doesn’t have a certain amount of choice, but the idea that this choice is an evenhanded one is radicals. The fact is we don’t know if Oakland has a choice regarding the Raiders (let alone the A’s), if (when) they ever do they need to take it, because it’s quite possible the only real choice they may have.

  12. Bryant is a great writer, but I guarantee that RM has more inside 411 than he does re the A’s and Raiders future. Simply put: Raiders aren’t going anywhere, Bryant ‘ s “intelligence” be damned.
    So if we have loads of time and (for arguments sake) the Giants prevail in San Jose, why doesn’t Wolff reconsider Fremont? Oakland was once “dead” per Wolff, now it’s alive again; why not Fremont? Why relegate yourself to the poorest portion of your territory if you’re being forced to? IMHO dealing with insane NIMBYS and big box stores pales in comparison to dealing with Oakland.
    This thought brought to you from lovely Universal City, home of the Dodgers/Angels SHARED territory…

    • Concur with Tony D – Bryant is not a good source about the A’s or Raiders. Also both Manfred and Wolff have commented that the A’s have other local options besides Oakland.

      • If Dublin is scared to build a stadium for Raiders at Camp Parks than why not nut up and build a smaller ballpark for A’s on that land and let Wolff build his ballpark village aorund it??

  13. A new Raiders stadium in Oakland is inevitable. My guess is that a deal will be struck within 60 days. While I have supported the A’s and Raiders for 44 years, it is clear that football is king. The politicians realize that the East Bay Raider fan base is strong and a new football stadium is the only one that can anchor the CC project. If Wolfe doesn’t want any part of it, they can go play their games at Hayward State once they’re booted from the grounds!

    • The Raiders literally can’t pay for a new stadium. So no, it is not inevitable that one gets built by any stretch of the imagination.

      • 450 mill of Davis own money…plus NFL G4 grant 200 mill…than investors the other 500 mill?

  14. BTW Howard,
    There are A’s fans all over the Bay Area; San Jose, Fremont, Tri-Valley, etc. Not just in Oakland! Speaking of Tri-Valley; if San Jose is truly off the table, why not an A’s ballpark somewhere along 580/BART. High disposable income everywhere and still decent access from Silicon Valley via 680 and future BART transfers. Your NorCal Athletics?

    Happy Easter all!

    • There are also Raider fans all over….Alameda, Contra Costa…North Bay, San Joaquin, County, Sac, and even in Sotuh Bay. It’s about building it and providing a better product on the field…if you build it…they all will come to the new digs!

  15. My Hundredth birthday Thursday 07/16/2054!

    I get in my time machine in the Oakland Colosseum lot A. Set the time for 07/16/2054 12:00 PM. I get out and look around and see the same old stadium renamed Lew Wolff park. I see the Oakland A’s vs New York Yankees. I got to the ticket center put to pricy 350.00 cheapest seats. However a guy gives me his extra tic. I go into the stadium. I talk to a few fans they tell me that the Oakland A’s still want to go to San Jose. I ask about att park. The fans say it was damaged in a storm surge and the Giants moved to near golden gate park. They also say the raiders moved to Anaheim. The fans also ask me who was Lew Wolff.

    • I do have a dream that one day, near term, ATT is under water- and when this happens the A’s are already playing in SJ and the Coli still stands and it’s the only option for the gints. I know that’s f’d up but that’s how much I hate the gints-

  16. You know things are bad, when ML has to bring up the remote possibility of Howard Terminal. Real bad…

    • Or I should say bought up Howard Terminal. Don’t want to get persecuted for using the word “remote”, and “Howard Terminal” in the same sentence.

      • It’s not just remote. It’s effectively off the table given the agreements that are already in place for the current stakeholders at HT.

      • @SMG

        Yeah, I know it’s effectively off the table,
        that’s the point. The fact that ML even mentioned it at all, suggest just how screwed we all are. (form the title of course)

  17. Montréal Athlétisme

  18. Its too bad that the Tri-Valley Area could not be considered an option for an New A’s Ballpark if they can’t build in Oakland or San Jose. Possibly tapping into the money of cities like Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo etc. This area of the East Bay has wealth and could support the A’s. The Raiders building in Oakland and the A’s building in the Tri-Valley Area would be an intriguing scenario.

    Under this scenario a ballpark would be built near Bart in Dublin or a possible new station in Livermore. A ballpark in this area would defiantly require a retractable roof in my opinion as it can get quite hot in the summer time out there.

    The A’s building out there would drive the Giants crazy as they most likely depend on that area for a good chunk of their ticket sales. The Giants however would not be able to stop the A’s from building in their in own territory.

    I know this scenario is not in the cards but it would be nice if the A’s had more options in the region. Hope everyone is having a nice Easter.

    • @ Stark – it gets hot in LVM, but not kill-your-ass hot like it does in Phoenix, so retractable roof is probably not a viable option.

    • @ Stark

      I wish that area was more of an option, the politicians don’t seem to want to push it. I think that arena is petty much an equal distance from San Jose and Oakland, it would be great if it could work out there.
      Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like that area is even under consideration at the moment.

    • Wouldn’t be any worse than Dodgers Stadium in the Summer.

    • Yup! That is why Wolff and City of Fremont screwed up bad by not building for A’s there. Wolff needs to try and work it out with Dublin Camp Parks also….since they were scared of bigf time stadium for Raiders…they would probably be willing to work with A’s and smaller Ballpark Village at Camp Parks. Wolff is greedy and narrow minded though..only wants SJ or Oakland all to himself. SMH

      • @cisco007
        We are assuming Wolff would even want Oakland if he had it all to himself; the fact of the matter is we don’t know, and if we were to judge it by his past inaction and statements regarding the possibility of building in Oakland, I for one think he may not be willing to build there even with the Raiders gone.
        Let’s put it this way if Wolff ever builds a new ballpark anywhere in Oakland, it will be with one hand tied behind his back by MLB. (IMHO)
        BTW: I love the idea of Camp Parks for the A’s; perhaps that opportunity may open up one day.

  19. The A’s looked at Tri-Valley years ago and shot it down and with good reason.

    All traffic from the Bay Area flows through 580 out to the Central Valley. Imagine trying to drive there in the evening from anywhere in the Bay Area?

    It would be murder getting there, the BART is packed as is because of the evening commuters so you have to deal with that.

    The site they look at was I-580 and El Charro Road, any further inland the accessibility gets worse as you approach Livermore. The infrastructure and roads are not in place at any key exits, it would be a traffic nightmare.

    It would make the Coli look easy to get to during the weeknights.

    Wolff wants the Coli, he sees value now on that site now that the Bay Area has recovered from the recession. He and MLB want the Raiders out so he can own the development and for the first time have leverage on Oakland/Alameda County being the last team standing.

    But MLB is foolish, they think the Raiders are out. They are being dumb as usual. The Raiders are stuck in mud, they have no where to go. LA is a pipe dream for Mark Davis with the Rams/Chargers taking up the 2 slots down there eventually. The NFL does not feel any sympathy for Davis since he didn’t at least try Santa Clara with the 49ers.

    I want the Raiders to win here so MLB has to force the A’s to move in with the GIants indefinitely.

    Like the Raiders the A’s have no where to go, it makes zero sense for them to leave the Bay Area when the TV money is this good. The Giants/A’s are televised to the same # of people across NorCal/Nevada.

    Also, if MLB had another city willing to pony up 500M for a new stadium they would be all ears. Issue is MLB is in the right markets with the correct splits in multi-team markets.,

    The Rays and A’s are just in the wrong parts of their markets. A’s should be in SJ while the Rays in Tampa.

    Raiders/A’s stuck together because of the ineptitude of not Wolff, but of Mark Davis, Oakland and MLB.

    • I see what you are getting at with the traffic flowing to Tri Valley when driving and on BART…..but the new ballpark would only be for 35-40k fans….not 55-60k. People will pack that stadium regardless and traffic will still be bad regardless.

      The Camp Parks area in Dublin would have been a perfect spot for an A’s ballpark village. Traffic is always used as a weak azz excuse IMO.

    • Actually…it Marks old man Al who was greedy and didn’t want to share with Niners. However, York didn’t want to share with Al either. That Niners stadium sucks anyways design wise. Bad location, doesn’t get loud, weird design and exterior is plain jane. bad fan experience. Feel sorry for Niner fans who paid a pretty penny for PSL’s and York blows up team. They got played like a harp from hell. Ugh

    • Ineptitude of MLB more than anything!

      • Yep. MLB spent 5+ years looking but not finding a way to get a new ballpark done in Oakland/East Bay and responds with “the owners know their local markets best!” Translation: MLB will continue to do nothing about this situation. If the Raiders end up getting a stadium on the Coliseum site, we really could be looking at an MLB franchise with no place to play. How much more evidence does MLB need that Oakland is ho-hum about its status as a major league city and expects the A’s to do all the heavy lifting? MLB appears to be rolling the dice that the Raiders end up leaving. I like Sid’s idea – park the A’s at ATT Park for many many years.

    • @Sid
      Re: Wolff wants the Coli, he sees value now on that site now that the Bay Area has recovered from the recession. He and MLB want the Raiders out so he can own the development and for the first time have leverage on Oakland/Alameda County being the last team standing
      Not so sure I agree with you on this point. Wolff may be willing to build at the site if the Raiders are gone (that’s even debatable), but “Wolff wants the Coli” If that’s true he is running the risk of losing it to the Raiders, with his wait Davis out strategy.
      Re: Raiders/A’s stuck together because of the ineptitude of not Wolff, but of Mark Davis, Oakland and MLB.
      Wolff may not be inept, but he seems to be a bit stubborn (IMHO), and may overplay his hand if (when) MLB doesn’t grant him San Jose even after the Raiders get something done at the coliseum site. (If)
      BTW: thanks for the information on Dublin/ Livermore area.

      • Mark Davis inept? Davis is not the one who is the real estate developer (like Wolff) who wants all the surrounding land around his new stadium/ballpark all to hmself. Hmm….

      • @cisco007
        That’s was Sid’s comment not mine. I was only responding to what he previously said. Personally I think there is enough ineptitude to go around for every party and player involved.

    • So the A’s other possible sites are limited to easy access near 880 – anywhere south of Oakland to Newark? The 580 corridor might be ok, San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, even Walnut Creek are potential altternatives sites (they must some sites in mind, since Wolff and Manfred both have previously commented about that)

  20. Sierraspartan, building out in the Tri-Valley Area may not be feasible in the first place let alone having a retractable roof. The primary reason I bring up the idea of having the retractable roof is to make the experience as cool and comfortable as possible for the fans, especially the wealthy fans.

    I know there are areas that get even hotter than the Tri-Valley Area during the summer but that area does get hotter than Oakland on average. It would be nice to have some nice shade from the constant heat of 90 or even 100 degree weather on some days. I must confess there are fans like myself who sunburn rather easily and I get tired of drowning myself in sunblock when I have to sit out in the sun at the Coliseum for some games. Some of us fans have get up every so often to get out of the hot sun during games. Some good shade could be provided in a ballpark without necessarily having a retractable roof.

    Another factor of having said roof would be to make the A’s ballpark different from the Giants ballpark, giving Bay Area fans a different look and experience. Plus having a roof allows more events at the ballpark through out the year. I am just stating my personal opinion on this and I know there are those have a different opinion on this. The Tri-Valley could come into play for the A’s if other options in the region are not feasible. Again having more options would be nice.

    • I just wanted to add that I don’t dispute there would be traffic issues in the Tri-Valley area but the A’s need more possible options if Oakland and San Jose don’t pan out. Maybe Fremont comes into play again, as a fan I am just very frustrated. I don’t want them or the Raiders to leave the region. Maybe Sid is right and the teams are trapped in the region. Like I said before maybe a football stadium deal for the Raiders at CC happens soon and sets things into motion for an A’s ballpark in the East or South Bay.

      • “Traffic” is always used as a weak excuse when it comes to these things. Ridiculous actually…it pretty much derailed the Fremont Ballpark village with residents and Wolff not being aggressive enough with Fremont not being ready for the big time.

  21. Best case…Raiders and A’s get new digs in Coliseum City….2nd best case…Raiders get new stadium in Col City and A’s build their ballpark in DTown SJ or Camp Parks, Dublin.

    Worst case…Raiders go to LA and A’s stay at Col City site or worse move to DTown SJ in 5 years. Ugh…

    • The Howard Terminal dead horse is still being flogged. The multitude of issues with that site – sealed contamination, bounded by gigantic railroad obstructions, surrounded by wildly incompatible land uses, etc – have been discussed in this forum in full many times. Wishing it were an ideal site does not make it so.

      • There will be “issues” with every potential ballpark site so lets be real about that. The issue with the issues is the willingness to overcome the “issues” that arise for any and every site proposed.

        Excuses on top of more excuses….it’s getting old. Wolff just doesn’t want to be Oakland/East Bay. Only way he does….is if he makes extra money around the surrounding land. The greedy real estate developer in him. He doesn’t want to spend out of pocket to clean up Howard Terminal.

  22. Where is the Tri Valley idea coming from? I live in the exact area you’re talking about and while I would love to have the A’s in my backyard it doesn’t make any sense.

    Dublin can make more money from housing than the A’s. There’s really nothing in it for a suburban town like Dublin. It would be expensive for the A’s as well.

    The area is residential. The NIMBY concerns that came up in Fremont are nothing compared to the concerns that would come up. Hell, Pleasanton is terrified of anything that might bring in folks that make less than $200K a year to the area let alone a ball park.

    You can’t downplay the traffic concerns. You’re looking at significant infrastructure costs to make the area accessible. The 580/680 interchange would have to be completely re-done. It can’t support normal commute traffic let alone 10K cars all leaving at the same time.

    Location wise, you want an MLB park in a central location. The Tri-Valley is on the edge of the Bay Area. For a week night game, it would be pretty much inaccessible to folks in the South Bay and the Peninsula. Also, it’s easier to get to the Coliseum from Walnut Creek, Concord, Lafayette, Orinda, etc than it is to the Tri-Valley on a week night.

    • More tired excuses huh? Excuses and “issues” with any location proposed….it’s getting old.

      Dublin/Camp Parks is a central location from where A’s fans are located. Alameda, Contra Costa Counties and people from San Joaquin will drive West for the games. People from South Bay will have to drive and deal with it.

    • By the way…commute traffic eases up in East Bay before people head to Tri Valley per BART at least. Traffic is traffic….going to be there with or without the A’s in Oakland…Dublin…Fremont. Traffic is a way of life…..stop using it as an excuse. It’s tired and old…

      • Yes, you’re right. Traffic is tiring and it gets old quickly. That’s exactly why you don’t build a stadium at the edge of the Bay Area, not near a major employment center, where 90% of your fans will be commuting to the game in the commute direction.

        I’m sure “Just deal with it” will go over great as a marketing slogan.

    • The Tri-Valley idea was simply thinking outside of the box: if Wolff will TRULY be hemmed into his current territory by MLB (although we have a ways to go in this saga), why not explore more options outside of the decrepit Oakland Coli area. Fremont = $ilicon Valley/$J, Tri-Valley = high disposable income. And for those harping on 580 traffic I present to you Dodgers Stadium; traffic never a deal maker when money is involved.

      And responding to Sid above, NO! Wolff doesn’t want the Coli site! He wants it just as much as I want the plague. His current endeavor (if that’s what you want to call it) is just buying time and going through whatever protocol MLB has established. Again, we have a LONGGG way to go in this saga, unfortunately.


      • @Tony D.

        You echoed my sentiments, on that ” Wolff wants the Coli”, I’m right with you on that one.

  23. All we need is an owner willing to ram through a ballpark into some place where he’d face plenty of opposition, plenty of expensive (and maybe insurmountable) obstacles and lose plenty of money. That what it sounds like.

  24. @ Tony D.
    Hey over at KPIX Wolff is quoted as saying, “moving San Jose is not worth the bitter flight.” Have you seen this? If so what do you make of it?

    • I’ll say what I’ve said before…we have a LONGGG way to go in this neverending saga. Wolff could pretty much say what he wants at this point (he stated SJ was “dead” even in 2006), so won’t put to much into a few quotes to M&R. Remember when all options were “exhausted” in the East Bay? Also don’t think he’d talk up the possibilities of SJ with Opening Night in Oakland going on. Pretty classy of him to talk up Schaaf as well.

      I’ll put more stock in Wolff quotes 2-3 years from now. Patiece…

      • BTW,
        He’ll have some explaining to do to Liccardo, McHenry, the Di Napoli’s and the rest of his SJ friends/biz partners with that quote to M&R…

      • @ Tony D.
        Thanks for the response, enjoy opening night.

  25. You wasting time with Camp Parks. The city already has a developer, with all the land spoken for. In fact, the main gate is closing because construction is starting soon for housing. This would have been a great idea years ago, but there is no land left. Concord weapons station will all be spoken for soon, as developers are lining up for that too.

  26. any sewage jokes that will spread across the country for wrigley field’s terrible opening night showing?

    new giant scoreboards for the a’s look great by the way.

  27. RAIDERS MOVING: But to where if NOT LA? And if NOT St. Louis? Everyone keeps ignoring SAN ANTONIO. SAN ANTONIO is where. SAN ANTONIO will be the new home of the RAIDERS in 2016. LA will get the Rams and if San Diego fails to get a new stadium, then LA will get the Chargers too. It will be decided at NFL owner’s meeting in October 2015 and Announced at end of 2015 season. Unfortunate for Oakland and St. Louis.

  28. @ML “The NFL wants no more than two teams in Southern California (including the San Diego market).”

    What is your source for this proposition? I haven’t read anything to this effect anywhere (except Sid’s posts on this blog). Given the population and affluence of Southern California the idea is counterintuitive, to say the least.

    If the Chargers stay in San Diego, I think the Raiders’ chance of moving to LA will depend on Kroenke’s interest in working with them and/or Mark Davis’ willingness to give up a chunk of the team to another developer, not resistance from the NFL. And if the Chargers and another team were to move to LA, I think San Diego would vault to the top of the short list of potential markets for future NFL relocation or expansion.

      • @ML I don’t see anything in that article (or other articles by Farmer I have read) that says the NFL wants no more than two teams in all of Southern California (including San Diego).

        I see a statement that the NFL wants one or two teams in LA, which we knew but doesn’t preclude an additional team in San Diego.

        I see a statement that the Chargers would “vigorously fight” a move to put two teams in LA if they remained in San Diego. This seems somewhat speculative, but even if it’s true I don’t see any particular leverage that the Chargers have and haven’t seen any actual quotes from an NFL official or any NFL team owners suggesting they would support the Chargers in this.

        I also see a statement that 3 teams playing in the same LA stadium is a possible (though unlikely) scenario. I don’t believe for a second this would happen, but the fact it’s even mentioned as a possibility suggests the NFL has not ruled out 2 teams in LA and 1 team in San Diego.

        Am I missing something?

      • Yes. SoCal may have 23 million people, but that doesn’t mean it practically support three NFL teams. Considering that one or two stadia will be privately funded, it is absolutely in the NFL’s interest to protect those teams’ (and the NFL’s) investments by reducing the potential for pro football to cannibalize itself there. Too much is at stake to simply allow three teams to operate there. One is not enough competition. Two is the sweet spot.

      • Let’s be clear: This is your opinion based on speculation, yes? There have in fact been no public statements from the NFL or its owners to this effect, right?

        Assuming this is the case, I just disagree. The fact that SoCal has 23 million people does mean it practically should be able to support three teams, especially for a sport that is less dependent on gate revenue than any other sport.

        San Diego is a distinct market from Los Angeles. At least 11 NFL markets are smaller than San Diego by itself (not even considering nearby Orange or Riverside counties). SoCal had three teams until 1995 and is larger and wealthier than it was at that time.

        Three teams in SoCal makes more sense than one team in Jacksonville, frankly. But even Jacksonville can support an NFL team because of the unique economics of the sport.

      • Look, your only argument is that there is enough population. There has to be more than that to make three teams happen. What incentive is there for the NFL to have three teams in SoCal, given the financial issues I mentioned and the notably fickle nature of SoCal fans? Go ahead, explain away.

      • First off, I wasn’t really trying to start a debate over this. Your original statement reads as a statement of fact. I was on vacation last week and thought I’d missed an actual news story, so was looking to clarify. If the NFL had actually come out and said “we only want two teams in southern California,” that would be noteworthy (not because it would necessarily be true but because it would be an interesting tactic to try to further ratchet up the pressure on the incumbent markets). I do think your original post should have made clearer that statement was one of opinion and not fact.

        Since we are apparently having this debate, there’s nothing “only” about having population, especially of the magnitude that exists in SoCal. The two main demographic characteristics needed for a region to support a professional sports franchise are population and corporate base, and SoCal has both in spades. Even with three teams in Southern California, the population and corporate base available for each is something like 3x what it is in about half of the other NFL markets.

        When you say: “What incentive is there for the NFL to have three teams in SoCal,” I think you’re asking the wrong question. The right question is, “What incentive is there for three teams to want to be in SoCal,” because the teams are ultimately going to be the primary decision makers.

        The answer to that question is that there is only sufficient incentive for each of the three teams to move to SoCal if SoCal provides the best stadium deal available to each team. This is definitely a possibility, especially since there could end up being no other stadium deal in San Diego, Oakland or St. Louis.

        As far as potential financial risk to the teams, I think this is exaggerated. Kroenke would presumably make a buttload of money from his ancillary development, and in the three team scenario would presumably have a partner in the form of the Raiders. If the Chargers stay in San Diego it will probably be because a significant amount of government money became available. Plus, you’ve previously suggested that the value of these teams would skyrocket by virtue of a move to LA, which (if true) would further mitigate any risk.

        Flipping it the other way, what basis do you have to believe that, assuming each of the three teams thought SoCal was its best option, the NFL would be concerned enough to stand it their way? You’ve got to do better than trotting out the “fickle SoCal fan” cliche without deeper analysis. Virtually all sports franchises are subject to decreased attendance when their fortunes change. Are Washington and Pittsburgh not good football towns because of the empty seats they saw last year? What about all those empty seats at Candlestick before Harbaugh arrived?

      • You spent five lengthy paragraphs hammering evading my question, bartleby. SoCal is the best option for all three teams – assuming they’re all in a vacuum. What one does affects the others. As great as ancillary development-based projects sound right now, they aren’t slam dunks. SoCal, at least as far as Inglewood and Carson are concerned, isn’t providing much of anything other than a reduction of red tape and the ability to tap into a large market. They’re not providing better stadium deals than St. Louis, Oakland, or San Diego because they aren’t (as of yet) providing any money.

        The teams can want to be in SoCal all they want. Kroenke is the only one who can make it happen without the NFL’s guidance. Even if he did go rogue the NFL can decide to make it tough for him by forcing him a legal route. Remember that the NFL can declare any temporary stadium in LA either off limits or unsatisfactory because they make the rules. It’s not as if Kroenke can move to Inglewood this fall or even by 2017. Spanos’s move is entirely defensive because of Kroenke’s, and Davis is the runt of the litter because he lacks cash. Look at what happened in January. The NFL declared no teams would move before the relocation application window opened and no one batted an eyelash. The NFL is in control. So if Kroenke wants to start building with no assurances, he can go right ahead. Without a 3/4 NFL owners vote he’s stuck in StL until that stadium is finished. That’s risk.

        Sure, all of these teams would have their valuations skyrocket. They’d also have to pay some sort of relocation fee, somewhere in the nine figures. Risk in a stadium, risk in the relocation fee. Maybe if the ultimate goal is to cash out carrying those burdens is no big deal. All three of these guys appear to want to continue as owners for the foreseeable future.

  29. @ML I think I answered your question pretty directly, but I’ll try again. All things being equal, having three teams in SoCal makes more sense for the NFL than any of the other possible configurations of the teams in play. I say this despite being a die hard Raider fan who hopes against hope the team stays in Oakland.

    I get that all things may or may not be equal. The great unequalizer: Public money. If either St. Louis or San Diego ponies up a significant sum, they are likely to retain (or acquire) one of the NFL teams in play. I’ve consistently acknowledged that. This is the big reason why there are currently teams in St. Louis, Houston and Jacksonville and none in LA.

    I certainly get that what one team does affects the others. For this reason, regardless of what you or I think the NFL wants, we probably won’t see three teams in SoCal anytime soon because only one domino needs to fall the wrong way to prevent that from happening. If the Chargers fail to get a deal in San Diego, that kills the possibility of three teams because it will mean that there (currently) is no deal to be had there. If the Raiders somehow pull off a Hail Mary in Oakland or St. Louis offers something good enough to get Kroenke to stay (or the Raiders to go there), that also obviously kills the possibility. Even if the Chargers get a deal in San Diego, the Raiders fail to get a deal in Oakland, and there is no deal to be had in St. Louis, the three team scenario won’t happen unless Kroenke wants the Raiders as either a partner or tenant (a big enough).

    But none of this has anything to do with the NFL “not wanting” three teams in Southern California, as you originally said. The fact the NFL could theoretically block three teams from Southern California is also a completely separate question from whether they would wish to do so. (I would also point out there are currently no competing deals of any kind in St Louis, Oakland, or San Diego, either with or without public money).

    I’ll answer your question a third time: What the NFL wants most is public money. If they can’t get that, they want to be in the largest and wealthiest markets possible, which would be consistent with three teams in SoCal. Their incentive is more TV viewers and merchandise sales, and probably more sponsorship dollars than would be available in Oakland or St. Louis.

    You still have not answered my question. What basis do you have for thinking the NFL only “wants” two teams in all of Southern California? All of the variables and complexities you mentioned, while true enough, are separate issues and do not support your original point.

    The NFL has specifically said it wants two teams in LA. It has not said or implied this has any ramifications for whether a third team remains in San Diego. San Diego is a separate market 2 1/2 to 4 hours away from most of the LA market (especially considering traffic). Gate revenue is a small slice of the NFL revenue pie, and a team in San Diego would have a negligible effect on the gate revenue or sponsorship dollars of two teams in LA. I fail to see why three teams in SoCal would be more likely to risk “cannibalization” of the market than five NFL teams in the DC to New Jersey corridor or two teams in the much smaller Missouri market.

  30. Let me put it another way to try to make my point in a lot less words. The most likely way three teams in SoCal would happen is if San Diego ponies up significant public dollars to build a new stadium for the Chargers and Kroenke agreed to take on the Raiders as either partners or tenants to mitigate the risk of the Inglewood project. Can we agree that the NFL would “want” that? If so, your original statement is not supported.

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