Wolff looks elsewhere at Coliseum, Alameda County looks to leave JPA

NFL franchise relocation point man Eric Grubman made a visit to Oakland to talk Raiders stadium. Not much emerged from the talks other than Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley once again expressing a desire for the County to sell its half of the JPA (land and debt) to Oakland. That’s both good and bad – good in that having Oakland as the sole public entity involved would simplify the deal greatly, bad in that Oakland would have to find the cash to buy the County’s half and figure out how to fund infrastructure for Coliseum City. It’s possible that proceeds from the land sale would take care of the debt, but what about everything else? Oakland would effectively be trading one set of hassles for another.

The big scene-stealing news came from Lew Wolff, who walked back the MLB subsidy idea while providing slightly more detail on his plans. Interestingly, Wolff is considering a site he looked at way back when he was not yet an owner, instead working as an executive for Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann. No, it’s not the flea market all over again, nor does it appear to be the existing complex, either directly north or south of the Coliseum. Instead the site of choice may be what I like to call Coliseum South, better known as the Malibu/HomeBase parcels to the south adjacent to the Coliseum complex.

malibu-homebase

21 acres, though option leaves only 12 acres buildable

The City of Oakland bought the HomeBase site in 2010. That and the triangular Malibu lot total 21 acres, City owned, not JPA owned. Other lots in the vicinity (Denny’s and the EDD building) are privately owned and would have to be purchased separately for additional ancillary development. I suggested the possibility of building there in 2005, shortly after I started this blog. Back then the HomeBase site still had an empty shell of a warehouse, which frequently housed the homeless while the parking lot hosted sideshows.

coliseum_south

My 2005 concept which would’ve included a small retail-entertainment district beyond the outfield

21 acres of City-owned land that’s only used as parking? Break ground tomorrow, right? Not so fast. The City had worked hard to bring the County in only recently because of the pre-existing partnership. Should the County exit stage left and the City work out the financials, that would be a major step forward. However, there is a major encumbrance on the Malibu lot that makes it extremely difficult to build there – utilities.

Current assessor's map

Current assessor’s map

The dotted lines running northwest-to-southeast through the Malibu lot represent EBMUD’s sewer interceptor easement, which cannot have anything built on it. Power transmission lines run north-south along the east parcel line, up against the edge of the HomeBase lot. Unless someone is willing to pay the freight for relocating those utilities, chances are that the Malibu lot will remain a parking lot. That leaves 12 acres for a ballpark. The HomeBase parcel is less than 600 feet wide, making for a tight fit for a ballpark. AT&T Park is about 600 feet wide if you extend the first base line out to the promenade and back to King Street. Those constraints obviously go away if the utilities on the Malibu lot can be relocated. Keep in mind that means working with the Public Utilities Commission, EBMUD and PG&E, and chances are that it would mean more than moving them around to simply avoid the Malibu lot. If both utilities are going to be involved, they’ll want projects that are much more long-term, which means much more comprehensive projects. Who knows, it may ultimate prove worth the investment.

111 thoughts on “Wolff looks elsewhere at Coliseum, Alameda County looks to leave JPA

  1. Looks like an awful place to put a new ballpark. It is not clear to me why that parcel would be superior to the location just northwest of the Coliseum structure.

    • i guess this “coliseum south” site could be looked upon as better all around since it’s connected to hagenburger road and with the possible chance of a small retail/entertainment area next to it as one of the pictures in the post showed that area could be accessible to the not only fans attending games but also the public before, during, and after games more so than the current coliseum site which could be just a ballpark surrounded by a ocean of parking lot.

      • They have been cleaning up Hegenberger from that proposed site, all the way towards the airport for numerous years now, so I’d agree. Fans could have access from Hegenberger, BART(with an extended catwalk)and the existing parking lot(provided there is gonna be one)north of the park. But ultimately it says that the A’s and Raiders no longer have to fight over the same parcel(current coli site)of land. Build the A’s ballpark on that far south end, let the Raiders build their stadium on the north parking lot, and when both are built, tear down the old coliseum(and arena). What the city puts in the space in between, they can figure out.

  2. I wouldn’t consider that site neither superior or inferior to any location on the Coli grounds. Wolf never says anything that isn’t completely calculated first, so there may be something to it. And if the JPA could sell their half of the debt to Oakland, I consider it ultimately a good thing. The JPA was, and never will be an asset to any redevopment at Coli. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

  3. How far of a walk from BART is this site?

    • Its just on the south end of the existing south parking lot. I imagine they’d build an additional elevated catwalk(much like the one now, but hopefully wider)from BART to the new ballpark site, probably running parallel to Hegenberger, and/or an additional platform on the airport tram.

    • It is about two times as fare from Bart. This bad news for older people and Disabled people.

      • An additional airport tram should take care of that. It’s already running by there on the way to the airport.

  4. The only reason such a plan would be considered is that this is really the only way that both the A’s and Raiders can build their respective new facilities in that Coliseum area. In so doing, the current Coliseum would still be able to be utilized during the construction phase of their respective new stadiums. In addition, this plan would assure both the Raiders and A’s that there will be sufficient surface parking at that locale, especially after the original Coliseum is torn down.

  5. Any one else find it ironic that the parcel of land looks like home plate?

    RS

    • Yes, a birds eye view, no less! A sign from the heavens?

    • What an awesome comment, it does! So hopeful after viewing this site for over 5 years I really hope this happens, from the heavens indeed!

      Lew and Billy boy are finally seeing the light!

  6. So does this give Wolff a way to say, “We didn’t force the Raiders out” so the A’s don’t get blamed? What I still expect is the Raiders need $400 million+ in public money, which won’t be forthcoming. and they’ll have to leave, anyway.

    • Wolff couldn’t care less if he was blamed for the Raiders leaving. I never believed the bs that Wolff spewed out about there not being enough land for two stadiums. Absolute nonsense. That was just leverage to get the city to sell him the entire lot and have it all to himself. As far as the 400M+ that the Raiders need…if u can find investment, and prove there’s a return, you can always find the $$. The argument that the Raiders can’t find private investment is also a nonsensical/defefeatist approach.

      • Several years of developers looking at Coliseum City and passing on it kind of tells us there is not much of a return on investment, if any, to a privately funded $1 billion football stadium in the Coliseum parking lot. If the private investment is there, why is it taking so very long to find it? Many, many years.

      • didn’t the raiders themselves do some study years ago that came with the conclusion there isn’t enough corporate money in the east bay?

      • found the article from nearly two years ago from today.

        Two preliminary studies — one by the City of Oakland and Alameda County, and one by the Oakland Raiders — say the feasibility of a new stadium in Oakland for the football team would be hampered by the East Bay’s lack of corporate support. The stadium project also falls short financially due to a lack of public and private development dollars, according to a presentation of early findings offered Monday to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.

        http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2013/07/15/raiders-stadium-plan-is-short-on-cash

      • The Raiders justification for willing to finance $900 mil. towards a stadium in Carson, and only $500 mil. to a new one in Oakland is they may believe the LA market would offer a better return on investment (That’s what the Chargers franchise viewpoint about moving to LA, the Raiders may also believe that)

        Another odd twist is that the Raiders may wind up in San Diego. San Diego officials have given the Chargers a 9-11-15 deadline to commit to staying in San Diego, otherwise they will stop negotiating with the Chargers. San Diego officials are also planning to go forward with a new football stadium even if the Chargers move. They must have a possible replacement for the Chargers – could it be the Raiders?

      • Wolff has specifically said “We don’t want to be blamed for pushing the Raiders out.”

  7. Coliseum City is flawed only because there’s this 3rd party(Kephart)involved. The middle man always wants his cut, much to the disservice of the other primary parties. The Raiders should be dealing directly with investment bankers like the 49ers did with Levi. Buy the parcel of land needed from the city, and own it outright. I don’t like politicians involved in stadium development anyway. Wolff has his own $$ and should buy the parcel he needs from the city, as well.

    • Levi’s had $100 million in public funds, $200 million in NFL funds, thousands of fans ready to snap up expensive PSLs and Big $$ Silicon Valley companies ready to buy suites. Oakland and the Raiders don’t have this. And of course, is there a need for 2 $1 billion NFL stadiums a half hour from each other? Not really. I can tell you that high tech companies are renting out Levi’s all the time for corporate events- I’ve been there 3 times in the past few months for this. Would this happen in Oakland?

      • @pjk- The Raiders do not need the same level of corporate support or SBL sales the 49ers had to get this done.

        In fact they need a fraction of what the 49ers did as their stadium is considerably cheaper (900M vs. 1.2B) and smaller in size (55k vs.70k in seats).

        The Bay Area market is burgeoning, and I for one think the A’s and Raiders with new facilities at the Coliseum site could do better than good.

        I did not believe this even 2-3 years ago.

        Your right, there is no need for two 1B stadiums in the same market. The Raiders royally screwed up not sharing with the 49ers in Santa Clara.

        These idiots are now trying to share with the Chargers?

        A division rival? If they share it requires realignment. Not to mention neither team plays in LA right now. They will cannibalize each other for sales. The NFL know this full well.

        Because of this the NFL will not let either team leave unless they are a tenant in Inglewood to the Rams. It is the Rams who have the best plan and location and their financing is lined up.

        Mark Davis has no plan to even raise money in LA, he thinks it will magically fall from the sky. Even the Chargers have not publicly come out with a financing plan for LA.

        As for the A’s, the HomeBase site has too many issues, those are major utilities that need to be moved…..not going to be cheap or easy.

        This site just came up all of a sudden? Wolff knew about it years ago, he is just going through the motions with MLB right now.

      • Yes it would happen! I know its easy to say no one would ever come to the area. But the wealth prowess in the Bay Area is currently limitless. The complex get’s more concerts than most venues in the Bay. These stadiums will kick off a development bonanza that Oakland has never seen. It is a lot of people sincere hope that these stadium developments will be transformative for an area of Oakland that used to be respectable, to push out the seediness that currently plague a lot of East Oakland.
        No we don’t have the corp support that is needed or the swankiness that everyone likes to associate with the Bay ! Things go in cycles, Oakland is a last bastion for a lot of Bay lovers and power brokers.

        What does it need to transform!! Well guys this is what it needs! This is where the egos of Lew, John, Mark is a strength…Why not be known as the man that not only has a well known brand of a professional sports team, but a man that transformed one of the grittiest city’s in America! All Hail Lew!!

      • The coliseum doesn’t get booked for events because its a wreck. I’d pick Levi too if I was a promoter. Build the thing and promoters will book events there.

    • It’s flawed only because of Kephart? Well, since Coliseum City is Kephart’s plan, without him and his New City development group there *is* no Coliseum City plan.

      • There’s nothing that says Oakland has to do this with Kephart. Kephart can take a walk. Let Oakland and the Raiders deal directly. And get JPA to sell their share back to Oakland. One on one.

      • “There’s nothing that says Oakland has to do this with Kephart.”

        Does the phrase ‘Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with New City’ sound a bell for you? Once that ENA expires (real soon now, it looks like), the Raiders would have to start over from initial concepts.

        HOWEVER – Lew Wolff would no longer be barred from putting forward HIS proposal, which you know he’s been holding onto and updating for years while waiting for Coliseum City to fall apart. He’s already offered to cover the Mount Davis debt, isn’t asking the city/county/JPA to sell land to him. He could even conceivably *buy out the county interest*.

  8. Wouldn’t the only benefit here be the Coliseum debt? If the land is separate from the Coliseum, the A’s building there could avoid them having to pay the remaining debt on the Coliseum. That’s likely less than the cost of moving the utilities.

  9. With the EBMUD easement there, there is no room on this parcel for an east-facing ballpark. It’d need to be facing northerly or southerly to avoid encroachment. (Northerly would be better. Southerly would require a short fence in right field in order to miss the easement.)

    “Why don’t we just get the easement extinguished/moved” is not really an option, because there would need to be the very same infrastructure improvements/relocation as for the Coliseum itself, *doubling* the infrastructure construction costs of a new ballpark.

  10. Yes! Get the hell out of the way Raider Hating Nate Miley!
    http://teamstre.am/1ODB8p5

    Mobile Web – News – With Raiders, NFL at table, Alameda County seeks exit from stadium talks

    via ble.ac/teamstream-

  11. cognitive dissonance abounds in the comments section in myriad directions via copious sources.

    • @jeffreyaugust

      Hay man, what’s your filling on the latest news? I’d be interested in knowing, as I value your read on things.

      • What I have heard is that the plan has been to build a baseball stadium at this specific site from the “We’ll take another look at Oakland” utterance. I also heard that the plan includes limited development described to me as a “Downtown Disney” like outdoor shopping mall that extends from behind Left Field over to an area Adjacent to the BART/Airport Connector. That sounds promising to me.

        I have zero direct knowledge that this is true.

        If we go back to 2005, when this site WAS the preferred site for Lew Wolff… The hurdles with making it happen were easily summed up as: 1. The Raiders, 2. The Warriors.

        My gut tells me that this is the Oakland A’s Investment Co. saying “No Raiders, No Warriors and the spot is still there.”

        Anyone that thinks this is a good sign for keeping BOTH the A’s and Raiders wanted to believe that they both were staying before this came out. The A’s and Raiders both know that they can’t make it happen with the other still there (and have said so publicly). $2B is a lot of jack and, despite all the garbage people spout otherwise, it is hard to come up with AND has derailed 3 different developers from getting on board in the past 3.5 years.

    • Sure does! We have a bunch of cheap Fisher and Wolff fans here who like their asinine business model of the way they run the A’s.

  12. What about the A’s becoming part owner of the coliseum by buying the county half? Any possibility? They provide the needed cash plus they gain some control over what happens? I guess the Raiders could also do it…but I’m an A’s fan.

    • That might be an idea. Just dreaming here, but I’d love to see Oakland just sell the whole coliseum lot. Politicians building sports arena’s is a disaster.

    • It is possible that the A’s buy the County land and the proceeds pay off existing debt.

      • You refuse to acknowledge that Fisher/Wolff and Beane business is an asinine torturous business model and how rich Fisher is….but is still a cheap A Hole. Sounds like you don’t have accountability just like Fisher/Wolff and Beane do not have any. Keep drinking the Kool Aid.

      • cisco007, the A’s spend the same % revenue on payroll as other owners (about 40%). Their personal wealth is irrelevant. You are essentially demanding that they lose money while owners of other teams make money, just to have the same payroll. That’s utterly ridiculous and if that’s what you want, I suggest that you stop following sports altogether.

  13. beane was on 95.7 this afternoon, didn’t listen, really don’t listen to the station at all despite it being the “home” of the a’s on radio but that’s a whole other issue.

    he supposedly mentioned a bit of the plan going forward with the young talent he’s acquired in the a’s minors and possibly building a young team just in time for a new park maybe?

    Edgar Legarreta ‏@Nelli47SLB
    @DamonBruce @957thegame Can’t call, at work, but good interview. Heard what I wanted to hear from BB, build for future w/optimism of new yard

    • It’s so hard to listen to that station …
      “It’s Diamond Talk! gnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnatsgnats …. oh, and the A’s did some stuff too.”

      • Beane happy with trades for young unproven talent who may or may not be ready in 3 years. Beane is foolish…he got rid of multi talented players that were still young in Cespedes and Donaldson who Fisher and Wolff should have allowed Beane to pay the money to so the team can build around them for years and they inexplicibly let them for either short term rental players or unproven prospects. Idiotic and cheap and it will continue. I don’t support owners who run their team like that and who talk out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to where they want to be with a new ballpark. Sorry…time for them to go.

    • Beane said the same crap 5-6 years ago. As long as the cheap Fisher and Wolff are owners this torturous asinine business model will continue with or without a new ballpark. Period! Don’t let Beanes BS fool you!

      • You realize this isn’t new or limited to Fisher and Wolff? I know, it makes me a “Beane Fan” (something I am proud to be) or part of “Lew’s Legion” (something I don’t think even exists) to point it out… But your lack of critical thought is astounding. Keep spouting what idiots tell you too, it’s really making a big difference.

        By the way, anybody remember when the A’s traded Rickey Henderson for prospects? Both times?

    • Don’t buy into Beanes BS!

  14. I spend way too much time lately daydreaming about what a new park at the Coliseum site might look like. Now that we have an educated guess as to where it could potentially be going, I’m almost bursting with anticipation to see a rendering. If HOK’s work on Avaya Stadium is any indication, I think us A’s fans could be in for a real treat. Maybe this whole decade-plus-long saga will have been worth it in the end. I hope so.

    • not only the earthquakes new stadium but what the a’s did to renovate hohokam park down in az.

      the surrounding of any new park at the coliseum site may not be ideal but the park itself will be top notch if what we’ve seen from wolff and company from these other venues translates.

      some aspects i’m wondering about in regards to this potential new park for the a’s.

      size or capacity of the park? guessing it’ll be around 35k-37k.

      naming rights? would cisco still be involved? would an oakland based company step up? kaiser permanent field? clorox park? dreyer’s grand park?

      • And what’s the orientation? Do we get a view of the hills in the outfield back? That’s a big deal for me, personally.

      • looking at those three pics in the post it does seem as the coliseum backdrop would give you a view of the oakland hills.

        now it’s not certain if the a’s were to build at the coliseum location that it’d be exactly what the old coliseum backdrop would look at but after 20 long years looking at mt davis any open air park with a view of the oakland hills would be a welcome site.

    • I think a very small ballpark in that little plot of land at Malibu and Home base would be bad location. That whole side is ugly and needs to renovated as well. If a ballpark is there that whole surrounding area of Hegenberger needs to be cleaned up….not just the area where Dennys is at. Ugh…

  15. As an outsider watching this slow disintegration of pro sports on the East Bay I wonder if there is some hope that if the city can buy the county’s stake somehow then lease the land back to the A’s and Raiders. That could be a potential win-win. But then reality hits. I’m pretty sure the Raiders are off like prom dress by 2017 by the latest and the A’s will have the site.

    • Neither the A’s or Raiders want to be tennants – they want to own their stadiums.

    • The JPA is *currently* leasing to the A’s and Raiders … and the A’s have 9 more years on their lease, with a “get-out-of-jail-free” clause if the land goes to the Raiders exclusively.

      • Cool. Than MLB will lose the anti trust suit from SJ within a year and A’s can move to SJ while Raiders stay in East Bay like it should be!

  16. Stop hating on Billy Beane, the A’s made the playoffs the last three years on a shoe string budget playing in a dump. The guy works miracles with the limited resources he has.

    “The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’re being gutted, organ donors for the rich.”

    As for the HomeBase site, that site is far enough away from the Warriors/Raiders where if it was feasible the A’s would have built there already.

    Right now if I am not mistaken it is a overflow parking lot for Raiders games, otherwise it is not used at all.

    The site actually if feasible is perfect, it is far enough away not to affect the current stadiums and the site has been razed already except for 3 businesses that need to be bought out or moved.

    Something stinks…….

    Wolff must know something that will come up again as how did the BRC miss this site?

    • Those utilities are going to cost 200M to move……I cannot think of any other reason why Wolff did not like this site before

      • I’m guessing what changed was the warriors moving to sf and the raiders potentially going elsewhere

      • Wasn’t this site part of Coliseum City too? If so, Coliseum City would have been the blocker. Oakland wouldn’t have been open to giving the A’s this land as long as Coliseum City was on the table. Now that, that’s dying, the site can become an option.

    • It’s about closing the show and winning a title and keeping good multi talented players here and not trading them on a whim. Cespedes has another year on his deal and he only 3 month rental in Lester ?? Gomes who? After the deal….team fell apart! Than the “genius” trades the other multi talent in Donaldson?? Two players they should have spent the money on and continue to build around. Instead they give 10 mill to Billy Butler?? Than trade Moss for nothing and ignore the gas can bullpen? Nice premature fire sale. I don’t blame Beane fully….I blame Fisher and Wolff being CHEAP…especially when they have the money to spend! I’m not a Kool Aid drinker….sorry.

      • @cisco007- Money to spend? The A’s are 27th in payroll starting the 2015 season.

        To win a title you need to be top 10 in payroll period. Look at every team who has won since Bud Selig took over except the 2003 Florida Marlins. All big payroll teams.

        Moneyball wins division titles not WS titles. Beane went for it with Samardijza and Lester last year but came short. He tried his best and you gotta respect it.

        Until the A’s have a new SJ or Oakland ballpark they will always be in the same boat. Only competing for division titles or wild card berths.

        The simply lack the revenue streams from their ballpark to compete in a league where there is no salary cap, not even a soft one.

        Can the A’s make the playoffs? Yes, but win it all? No, ask the Royals last year how it turned out going up against big market San Francisco in Game 7?

  17. It seems like the utilities are a big issue (money), I hope there is a redevelopment grant somewhere Oakland can try to get. It seems like part of Oakland’s plan (lack of a better word), is to gain monies by getting it done from several different sources. The transportation proposition for Alameda County that passed will give some money, as it relates to a transportation hub at the site.
    Apparently the funds already in place for a total rebuild of the BART station at the location, I’m guessing one of the BART village concepts (don’t know if that includes walking bridge), and we already know the BART to airport connector is complete which could also be integrated into to any project built at the site.
    I know we are not talking about a lot of money from a major redevelopment project stand point, but every little bit helps when trying to pull off something this big.

  18. I read an article last night that purportedly quoted The A’s as having said two interesting things. The first said the A’s desire San Jose but mum on the lawsuit. The second said all sites in Oakland have been exhausted. Paraphrasing of course. The article was dated 3 days ago so, unless a reporter made some huge mistake, this may well be the sentiment still. Although I think a 2nd source is needed to at least have some kind of confirmation.

    I read it last night and can’t find the link now to post it. I cleaned out my history but I will post it if I can find it again.

    It may be a PR thing. I am not sure but this is exactly why I am not quite convinced that the A’s truly want to build at that site.

  19. Sadly for the A’s to be viable they either need to be in Downtown Oakland (19th and telegraph was perfect, but Jerry Brown is a no sports ass) or downtown San Jose. Lets face facts, in the best interests of Baseball the Comissioner needs to invalidate the Giants “rights’ to San Jose for the A’s to move there and stand on their own. A refurbished Coliseum (all new except Mt. Davis) could end up being superior to Levi’s (a Dump IMHO) and stealing away Super Bowls too. I grew up in the 70’s in East Oakland and love the A’s, but sadly Oakland has not served them well. Viva san Jose A’s!

    • @Oakland Dave, If only both the MLB and NFL commissioner’s office had the right sense of the situation as you definitely seem to have, the A’s and Raiders respective long time Bay Area stadium problems would have long been resolved.

    • Agreed. Much like what the Pads ended up doing building in an area of DTown where there was a whole lot of nothing going on in the East Village and they built Petco. Same should happen in Oakland with the A’s. There is whole lot of nothing going on around Lake Merrit BART near 11th, 12th streets, near Lincoln Square Park, Harrison, Jackson and Alice Sreets. Buy out some parcels build a ballpark there and revitalize that whole section with restaurants, bars, lounges and towards Lake Merrit. People can still walk to Browadway and hang out in that area after a game as well. Or build near JLS/Howard Term and reviltilize that area. Fisher and Wolff are cheap turds. The frustrating part is that Fisher and Wolff have the money tobdojit but are cheap!

      • I’m to take a break from ignoring your idiocy to let you in on a few things:

        Those parcels near 11th/12th/Alice/Jackson?

        They’re already under development. Loans have been arranged from banks, site plans have been submitted.

        The 19th/Telegraph site?

        I looked at the dimensions of that 4-block area, and it’s simply not physically large enough to fit a stadium. A diamond? Sure, but no stands.

        Howard Terminal?

        Too toxic, too expensive to arrange parking and freeway access. Additionally, the need to arrange for the railroad right-of-way to be moved. Either the toxic soil or the railroad tracks alone are significant poison pill to a ballpark-sized development.

        From a development standpoint, you simply don’t fuck with railroad rights-of-way. Trains don’t turn quickly, and all track sections are specifically designed to be traveled below a determined-safe speed. Too tight a turn, even at low speeds, and you get a derailment.

        Trying to force a realignment of a railroad right-of-way next to the 3rd largest container port in the world? Don’t even bother.

    • Exactly! But for some reason…MLB and the Giants are being corrupt about allowing SJ to have the A’s and vice versa.

      • Perhaps this whole thing is a way for them to say they tried in Oakland and couldn’t make it work, using their own data and especially the PR. “Just read the articles lately where we were quoted as seriously looking to build there.” Thus convincing the league’s owners to vote in favor of a TR change.

        The problem for us Oakland fans is that the Raiders may be gone too. LW said, even recently, that he doesn’t want to be blamed if the Raiders leave town. As I see it, if he is using that PR tactic to get SJ and the Raiders leave also, he will be the goat in the minds of many anyway.

        I don’t know the man and would never judge anyone but if I owned the A’s and wanted SJ so badly, I would be doing all I could do to advise MD to take over the place to initiate that out clause in the A’s lease. Unless, of course, the Raiders leaving provides the KO punch to convince 75% of MLB owners that nothing can get done in Oakland.

        “Look, even the Raiders couldn’t get anything done and you expect us to?”

        Who the hell knows at this point? Just continued drama.

  20. CCCTL,

    Since you allegedly have inside info on the actual Howard Term plan or what was of it…please enlighten us regarding more of the inner workings of the cheap Fisher/Wolff combo and what the City and County leaders are thinking as far as doing all they can lose all 3 of their sports teams.

    Enlighten since you know all the inside info. Ya D-Bag…..

    • Just wondering who you are talking to. If it is me you are talking to, I have zero inside info other than my own personal interpretations of this whole mess and saga. I don’t have that luxury of talking with owners. Wish I did but no dice.

  21. @ cisco007 – I just reread your post and realized you were talking to someone else. I didn’t see it until after. Sorry.

  22. CCCTL,
    “Those parcels near 11th/12th/Alice/Jackson?

    They’re already under development. Loans have been arranged from banks, site plans have been submitted.”

    Well…another wasted opportunity by the City and County leaders. Goes to highlight the continued lack of vision from the City, County and of course from the cheap Fisher/Wolff ownership group. That area could have used to develop a new ballpark for A’s but….SMH

    • Interesting that he discounts the Telegraph Ave site because Drawings were done:

      BTW the owners do not need to vote, The Comissioner can cancel the Giants San Jose rights “In the best interests of Baseball” he just needs to be pushed far enough.

      • that was by far the best site in oakland. imagine what 30 thousand people converging into that area of downtown oakland 82+ times a year and what it could’ve done for the city’s economy and even image.

        sure what been created there in the mean time has revitalized the area but it could’ve been a WHOLE LOT BETTER i think if that park would’ve been built.

      • Exactly! Plus, anywhere near a DTown whether Oakland or SJ would be ideal or near JLS. The lack of vision and effort from City/County and Fisher/Wolff is astounding. Though I can’t blame them fully regarding what is going on in SJ…but they should have played hardball with Selig/Manfred on that.

  23. You can never be entirely sure of what Wolff’s ultimate end game really is, but Wolff has to have seriously considered moving the A’s.

    • His end game appears to be SJ, without one shred of doubt. Manfred also appears to be on board with it despite these media comments we have read. The problem is that all of this drama is going to mean the Raiders will leave as well.

      I’d like to have one team stay at least.

    • @Berdj J. Rassam: Even though the Giants would prefer that Wolff move the A’s – that’s unlikely to occur. Wolff has repeated (quite a few times) that the A’s will stay locally. Also, there are no other plausible markets for the A’s to consider. All the possible frequently suggested possible markets (Portland, San Antonio, Sac, etc) are too small – the A’s couldn’t get the attendance or media rights revenue that they can in San Jose or Oakland. The A’s are better off staying in Oakland than moving to a small market city.

  24. Wolff wants a new stadium in either Oakland, SJ, Fremont, or Hayward if he could do it.

    The issue is he is pigeonholed by the Giants/MLB, not allowing SJ to compete puts no pressure on Oakland/JPA to make a deal.

    Look no further than the Warriors in 1995, they were set to move to San Jose and the new San Jose Arena. They were checked out and ready to go but what happened? The JPA dropped their pants and gave in with a public subsidy and now you have Oracle Arena.

    Leverage is a bitch and the Warriors had it since SJ could compete.

    Wolff needs leverage, and he for sure needs Alameda County to still be involved cause he knows how inept Oakland is alone.

    He has to play this waiting game on SCOTUS/SJ and the Raiders/JPA.

    He has his lease until 2025, so he will wait until he can pounce.

    Wolff loves being an owner, and he is more than OK to sit and wait for the right time.

    His patience will be rewarded, it is only a matter of time.

  25. I’m sure MLB is ticked off about the City of St. Petersburg for holding the Rays hostage by not allowing the team from negotiating a much better new ballpark location in the City of Tampa. MLB’s argument has no credibility, since they are also holding the A’s hostage to the Oakland/East Bay territory.

    • @ llpec
      Could not have said it better.

      • Apple just bought 40 acres in North San Jose where it will locate 15,000 workers, more than its new headquarters in Cupertino.

        If the world’s biggest company sees the value in SJ, why can’t MLB see it?

  26. @KA – That is a big opportunity cost the MLB is missing out, :One would believe MLB would be better off with the A’s at San Jose averaging 35K sellout attendence per game rather than giving in to the Giants, keeping SJ hands off limits, with the Giants drawing maybe 3K per game tops from Santa Clara co.

    • MLB has made it clear it would rather subsidize the A’s in Oakland than make Big $$ with them in San Jose, because of the Giants. MLB has locked itself out of lucrative Silicon Valley and is too terrified of the Giants to try to do anything about it. Maybe the Supreme Court will but I doubt it. MLB believes it “serves” Silicon Valley by placing a team 45 miles away.

      • @pjk -Whatever the Giants might attempt to do to MLB – an SC ruling against the MLB ATE would much more damaging. If the SCOTUS agrees to hear the case, MLB will likely quickly approve the A’s move before the SC makes a ruling.

  27. haha….now the man who likes to talk from both sides of his mouth (Wolff) supposedly doesn’t like the idea of his buddy Miley and the County getting bought out from the City of Oakland?

    Hmm…I wonder why this time Mr Cheap Wolff? SMH

    • What’s your definition of “cheap?” Being unwilling to charitably build a ballpark and losing millions doing so? Maintaining a payroll not sustained by revenues but by the owners’ personal bank accounts? The Haas family tried that and lost so much $$ they sold the team. A’s revenues are very poor (few tickets sold, tickets sold at cheap prices, lack of corporate support). Hence, the payroll is not what the Yankee$ can afford. The A’s are a business, not a money-losing charity sustained by whatever owner is willing to go broke running them in this fashion.

      • What the heck do you think I mean by Fisher and Wolff being cheap? They never pay to keep good talent here to build around. Constant roster turnover. Cespedes and Donaldson are young multi talented players that they could have continued built around. Pay them the money…it’s only two players….not like it’s 5 and they would have sold a ton of jerseys and more season tickets! Idiotic, cheap business model for billionaires like Fisher and Wolff.

      • “it’s only two players….not like it’s 5 and they would have sold a ton of jerseys and more season tickets!”

        EXACTLY!!!…if this was the 80s/90s. If you think jersey sales and season tickets can pay for today’s players you are sadly mistaken. Get out of the Deloran and look around! Baseball is a business that is fuled by television contracts and other media related ventures.

        “Idiotic, cheap business model for billionaires like Fisher and Wolff”

        What does being a billionaire have to do anything? Just because someone has the money doesn’t mean he/she had to spend all their money into their business to grow it. Actually, I’m wrong, that would be the case for a startup company. Last time I checked Baseball is a very mature business with an absolute business model that has defined cash flows…which include jersey sales.

      • @cisco007 – According to Forbes, the A’s had an operating profit of $20M last year on revenues of $200M.

        Let’s assume for a second that you’re right and the A’s could have generated more revenue by paying more for players. Even in the most optimistic of scenarios, the A’s would be able to spend maybe an additional $22M on payroll and break even.

        If you added $22M in payroll to the current roster adding players like Cespedes or Donaldson, the A’s still don’t make the playoffs. On top of that, they don’t have Lawrie, Barreto, Graveman or Nolin. Their future would be even worse.

        Unless Fisher and Wolf just want to lose a ton of money, the A’s can’t win by spending more unless they can significantly increase their revenues.

        Because of the stadium situation, they also can’t significantly increase the value of the franchise by winning.

        What you’re proposing is that Wolff and Fisher agree to give up $20M in profit, in exchange for a minimal increase of odds of winning in the short term and a decrease in odds of winning in the long term.

        That’s not called being cheap, that’s called common sense.

  28. Plus…do you Fisher/Wolff fans know that Fishers son is a Giants fans? Wearing Giants gear all over the place. Nice! SMH

  29. Who cares about Fisher’s son? Walter O’Malley (moved the Dodgers to LA) grew up a Giants fan. Fisher’s son’s allegiance is about as irrelevant as it gets. My son’s a Giants fan too. I’ve taken him to ATT Park 0 times and O.co more times than I can count…Once again, I’m always amused by these “Fisher’s the 4th richest owner in baseball!” comments, as if the team’s payroll should be tied to the owner’s wealth – and willingness to part with it – rather than what the revenues of the business can sustain.

  30. The point to keep in mind is that MLB is NOT the NFL. By this, I mean that unlike the NFL, all contracts are guaranteed in MLB. If the A’s were to sign a player to a multi-year mega contract and subsequently underperforms, the team MUST pay him the amount that was agreed regardless whether he is on the team or not. Remember a certain 3rd baseman named Eric Chavez? By the A’s reckoning at the time, he was judged to have a tad more value than some guy named Miguel Tejada. Remember him? They paid Chavez and let Tejada walk. Subsequently, Chavvy suffered multiple injuries and, despite winning three (or was it four?) Gold Glove awards, his bat was never the same. Despite the fact that his hitting and power production was WAY below what many of us expected, he still got paid his $11 million per year which he would have received from the A’s even if he was unceremoniously dropped from the active roster. Unlike the Dodgers, Yankees or even to a certain extent the Gnats, the A’s don’t have much of a financial cushion to absorb bad contracts like that even with the wealth of Lew Wolff and John Fischer. “Just paying” guys like Donaldson and Cespedes won’t ever happen unless the A’s find a way to dramatically increase media and corporate revenue. By the way, don’t ever think that MLB will have a contract arrangement like the NFL. The Major League Players Union will NEVER agree to it.

    • I always thought the A’s should have convinced Chavez to take steroids to get over the injuries. It worked (at least for a few years) for Tejada 🙂

      Chavez was the last player the A’s locked up into a long term deal. Beane is probably gun shy (and legitimately so) based on the results.

      The Giants are another good example of this. While they’ve obviously been successful over the past few years, it’s more in spite of the bad decisions they made to lockup players into long term deals. As Matt said, they can absorb these. The A’s can’t.

      Also, look at the players the A’s have let go instead of locking them into long term contracts. While some of them had good years after they left, on the whole you can’t point at a lot of bad decisions there.

      The A’s bad decisions seem to be more around trading the future to win now. Those aren’t decisions that they made to save money. The A’s aren’t where they are because they’re cheap.

  31. Consider also that, according to a recent L.A. Times article, the Dodgers currently owe $85.75 million to players who are no longer on the team which includes a guy named Matt Kemp who was a fan favorite that at the time of the signing was thought to be a smart signing by many Dodger fans. Again, the A’s just don’t have that kind of money to burn. Signing players who may be popular now but may become a drag on the team later. Again, the Dodgers are also experiencing this. For a while Andre Ethier was doing well for The Blue and was signed to a 5-year, $85M contract. Well, that contract is now an albatross around the Dodgers neck. He is currently hitting .279 with 38 RBI’s. The Dodgers want to get rid of him but there isn’t a team in MLB that is willing to take on his contract. So, he’s playing in the outfield preventing a prospect from getting precious major league experience. Imagine if this were the A’s we were talking about. Fans would be more upset about the team than they are now.

    • Again. Nobody is saying they need to pay 5-8 players big money. Keeping Cespedes and JD for another 4 years would have been nice. Plus they could have always dealt them away later if need be. They received nothing in return for Cespedes basically as waste and trading away JD preamturely was plain and simply a dumb when he was barely arbitration eligible. Any other GM might have been fired for what Beane did to blow up the team prematurley. Pray that all these so called “prospects” develop….if not…..SMH….Ugh. It won’t matter either way because Beane will trade them in 2-3 years anyways.

  32. Mark Purdy wrote a good column about Oakland officials and the Raiders/A’s situtation:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/athletics/ci_28592712/purdy-political-dealings-muddle-raiders-futures-oakland

    Oakland officials stalling and indecisiveness is becoming routine (Schaff has been in office for 7 months now and the A’s/Raiders situation is no closer to being resolved than it was 10 years ago) By contrast, after Balmer bought the Kings and was going to move them to Seattle, the Sac mayor was able to form a new local owners group, and plans for a new stadium, and somehow able to keep the Kings in Sacto (in 2 months) San Diego city officials devised an impressive plan to keep the Chargers in San Diego in only 3 months.

    • Both San Diego and Sacto offered public money, regardless of whether taxpayers in these cities want to pay for stadiums or not. Schaaf is holding firm to Oakland’s no-taxpayer-dollars-for-stadiums pledge. Therein lies the problem: Not enough private money to get the stadiums done, no public money to fill the gap.

      • Also, the Chargers don’t seem impressed with the city’s efforts. They could still end up in Carson.

      • I say this. With no public money being offered by Oakland, the A’s, the Raiders and the Warriors will be gone by 2025 or sooner.

        Who knows…i wonder if the NFL, NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball is still be in business by 2025 or later?

        Stay Tuned….

      • They need to commit to one team or the other – they’ve been playing both teams for quite a while now. Wolff will privately fund the ballpark and not require public funding anyhow. I agree about the Chargers (even though San Diego city officials have proposed a solid plan) It’s also possible the Raiders could move to Carson. San Diego may go ahead with a new NFL stadium even if the Chargers bolt for LA and will need a franchise.

        If the SC rules against the MLB ATE or even decides to place the San Jose vs MLB case in its docket – the A’s likely will have other plans, and the Raiders also – knowing that they would be Oakland’s only remaining franchise – would be in better bargaining position with Oakland officials.

  33. Last time the A’s committed long term to a player was Eric Chavez and look how that turned out?

    They should have given the money to Miguel Tejada instead at the time who at least stayed healthy for a few years or in reality not spend anything at all.

    Billy Beane learned from that mistake.

    He didn’t give money to Barry Zito or Mark Mulder long term, good moves. Tim Hudson would have been a good bet but this is in hindsight.

    What if Beane paid Donaldson and/or Cespedes only to have a Chavez situation on his hands? Big contract and no where to send him?

    50 feet of crap then there is the A’s guys….

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