Manfred: I want the A’s to stay in Oakland

Look, there’s little point to writing about San Jose. Other than the antitrust lawsuit, San Jose hasn’t been a player in the A’s stadium discussions for at least a year. I haven’t written about it much, yet I’m supposed to be San Jose’s greatest champion. Mayor Sam Liccardo appears ready to move on. The A’s may control some of the land into the future in case Oakland somehow screws the pooch. Absent that, all eyes should be focused on Oakland, the A’s, and unfortunately, the Raiders. We’ll know more about how the Raiders actions affect the A’s in due course.

RIP Cisco Field

RIP Cisco Field

No, I wanted to wait until I heard from the person who’s eventually going to drive this effort, if for no other reason than pent-up frustration. That man would be Commissioner Rob Manfred, courtesy of the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin. Shaikin got an A’s question in with the Commish today, and Manfred put it in no uncertain terms.

Shaikin: On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear San Jose’s appeal of its lawsuit against MLB. You had said you would not hold any discussions with San Jose about its interest in building a ballpark for the Athletics so long as the city was suing the league. Now that the suit is done, would you talk with San Jose, or do you want the A’s to stay in Oakland?

Manfred: I want the A’s to stay in Oakland. It’s a very fundamental policy of baseball. We favor franchise stability. I think it is possible to get a stadium done in Oakland, and that remains my preference.

That’s the most public support Oakland has gotten from a pro sports commissioner in 25 years. It’s meaningful. Most importantly, it’s a message to both the A’s and Oakland to git er done. Manfred has already mentioned pushing the A’s to do more on their own. This very visible support for Oakland is a way for Manfred to say to Oakland, I believe in you, now take this goodwill and do something with it.

Okay, but When? you ask. Well, if I’m going by how the A’s and the City of Oakland operate, I suspect things can start to go public in either November or December. The A’s have done past stadium presentations and info releases in November, clear of the World Series and around the busy fall/winter meetings timeframe. The City of Oakland seems to prefer dropping info in December, right before City Hall goes on recess.

The road to getting a stadium deal done is a long one. Thankfully, many of the process steps have already been done. There’s no need for a new EIR if, as Lew Wolff desires, a new A’s ballpark eventually replaces the Coliseum as the only stadium in the complex. The one tangible benefit from the Coliseum City debacle is a certified plan for the land in and around the Coliseum, which should streamline the process for a third venue. The only thing holding up matters, much to Manfred’s chagrin, is the Raiders.

Manfred would love for the A’s to be more proactive in making a deal. He’d also love for Oakland to kick the Raiders to the curb, but we all know the City is not going to do that first. Oakland would much rather let the NFL make a decision for them. Since that decision could come in only four months, there’s no real harm in waiting. The A’s have a lease for several more years, so they don’t have to rush.

And if I’m Lew Wolff, I want to have some idea what the future holds for the A’s via the collective bargaining agreement, the current version of which is set to expire after next season. It would behoove Wolff to show enough progress on the stadium front to convince Manfred and the Lodge to support some form of financial backstop for the team, whether via extended revenue sharing or a stadium loan. While there is no NFL-style G-4 stadium loan infrastructure for MLB teams, there is a league credit facility that can provide up to $100 million for various operating costs. As for a cap on revenue sharing, there is this entry I keep forgetting to cite from the current CBA:

(10) The “Base Plan” shall be a 34% straight pool plan… For purposes of the Base Plan in the 2012 Revenue Sharing Year only, the Miami Marlins’ Net Local Revenue will be $100 million.

Basically, local revenue above that $100 million mark would’ve been exempt from revenue sharing (paying 34% of it into the pool), though I’m not sure that the Marlins actually reached $100 million local revenue that year. In any case, the language and mechanism are there to support such a request. That’s important, though not so much for the initial years of the stadium and the expected honeymoon effect, but for later years when the effect wears off. Look at the two teams with the newest ballparks, the Marlins and Twins. Neither became huge successes when their parks opened, allowing revenue sharing to be a welcome safety net for both despite heavy public subsidies. The A’s should be given the same treatment from MLB, provided that it sunsets in a reasonably short period, say, for the length of the next CBA. After all, the A’s were given a sunset provision for revenue sharing in the current CBA, which would’ve kicked in if they opened a ballpark between 2011 and 2016.

People tend to remember stadium drives for groundbreaking ceremonies and impactful city council votes. But it’s all about the process, having a good working relationship, and the team and city presenting a united front. We know that Oakland is where the commish wants the ballpark to be. We know that the current atmosphere in City Hall is more hospitable to the A’s than it has been in previous administrations. It’s going to take a while to settle the land issues, to get the various details right. There is a recipe for a successful ballpark deal. It won’t happen overnight. If you have any hang-ups about Oakland or Lew Wolff and John Fisher, best to leave them at the door. They’re the dealmakers, like it or not.

85 thoughts on “Manfred: I want the A’s to stay in Oakland

  1. so any kind of optimistic realistic time line for what could be happening in the next 2-3 years? will we get a ceremony with shovels hitting the dirt at the coliseum site within this time frame?

    i would hope an opening day for a new stadium for the a’s in oakland, most likely now at the current coliseum site, would take place before this decade ends.

    so if it takes 2-2.5 years for a park to be built which is the average i think, if you want an opening day lets say in time for the 2019 season you’d need ground breaking to take place in mid to late 2016? honestly can’t see that happening just over a year from now.

    maybe more likely for a 2020 opening for a new park which would push that ground breaking to mid to late 2017 which would be about two years from this point?

  2. Nothing huge, but still good to finally see some things coalescing. Get it done, Oakland and the A’s. I want to bring my children’s children to their first A’s game, just as my Grandpa (and uncles) took me to mine.

  3. Any chance Wolff buys out the county share of coliseum?

  4. If NFL doesn’t give the Raiders the golden ticket to LA than the beat goes on in Oakland and we will continue in this stalemate. Add in W’s building in SF and locking up more of the corporate dollars that exist in the SF/East Bay and your financing becomes even more challenging. Silicon Valley companies won’t be interested in supporting a ballpark in Oakland when they have the ‘9ers, Sharks, and Earthquakes locally. If they want to head up that way they will look at the W’s and AT&T–not a new ballpark in east Oakland off of 880.

    Bottom line is LW will build in Oakland once he has assurances that Oakland remains a small market team (made that comment to the press ths week) and able to retain their revenue sharing and the city ponies up development rights. Bottom line the stadium cannot be privately financed as it would have been in SJ. My bet—nothing happens in Oakland before LW transitions his responsibilities to his son or they make the decision to sell. I think it will be the later….

    • All those outcomes based on the Raiders staying. What’s your bottom line if they move?

    • Also, what’s the distinction between the stadium being privately financed “as it would in SJ” versus in Oakland. If it pencils out in Oakland, then it pencils out and LW builds. What’s the point of pining for a counter-factual deal in San Jose? Are you a LW shareholder or an A’s baseball fan?

      • As an A’s baseball fan I want the most lucrative market for them so that they can complete on a regular basis–that’s SJ not Oakland. Second, prvately financed is just that–it wouldn’t have required continuing welfare (aka as revenue sharing) nor would it require the level of development rights (public money) to pencil out in SJ v. Oakland. Bottom line MLB recognizes it FUBAR’d the TR issue by not rescinding those from the gints when they didn’t buid in SJ. If they build in Oakland than they will be paying the price through continued revenue sharing and Oakalnd will forever remain a small market team that has to dispose of their players every 4 years to avoid paying the big contract—a true A’s fan would prefer that they are competitive every year rather than every 5 years

      • Right, San Jose would be more lucrative than Oakland. But that’s off the table unless the Lodge facilitates it. So no San Jose for the foreseeable future.

        So what’s your scenario if the Raiders leave?

        It sounds like you prefer or believe that an A’s move out of the Bay Area into a truly private set-up would be better than for them to remain in the Bay Area on revenue sharing. Would the A’s in Brooklyn make more money? Sure. Would they make more money in Montreal?

      • I, personally, am really tired of the “welfare” argument about revenue sharing. It isn’t welfare, it’s 30 MLB team owners realizing they have a vested interest in the financial health of each team. And frankly, the fact that more revenue is shared in the NFL is exactly why that league continues to outperform MLB. When a team in Green Bay, Wisconsin can make yearly runs to the playoffs and actually win a championship it is incredibly good for the health of the overall league.

        Do you know the top rated local television broadcast in MLB this season belongs to the Kansas City Royals? Imagine if the economic system was set up so that it wasn’t a forgone conclusion that Alex Gordon will be in some other city next year, and teams were capable of keeping fans interested year after year… I’d post a link to an article supporting this but that always makes my comments disappear. You can read about it on fox sports dot com / kansas city.

      • Raiders leave Oakland and path to an A’s stadium gets a bit clearer- having said that it still is no slam dunk as affordable housing advocates will definitely influence any ancillary development at Coli which cuts into revenue streams.

        I would have to see the numbers before I can comment on what’s better in terms of location- Oakland or Montreal. From an LW perspective I believe Montreal would be better as he could get a pretty penny for the sale of the franchise (higher than selling locally) and public dollars to build a stadium. I give LW a ton of credit for not pushing this given all of the pressure of the gints to do just that.

      • @jeffrey- the models are so different between the NFL and MLB that it’s pointless to draw comparisons. I prefer the shared revenue approach of the NFL which allows the playing field to be equalized across all franchises. There is no way you can compare $30M of welfare in baseball as equivalent to the NFL model. In the NFL you don’t have the team payroll disparities such as the Dodgers spending $300M while the A’s spend just over $100M?

        If MLB was like the NFL in terms of model than the A’s would be in SJ already as they would want the market that could optimize team revenues rather than do what MLB does which is basically to provide a welfare payment to appease small market teams.

        Not sure what kc viewing audience has to do with this- would rather see their viewing audience over the past 5-10 years rather than look at one year. Advertisers who are considering buying spots will request the same data

    • You’re way off base saying that corporations only want to buy suites and use advertising dollars for MLB teams within their own city limits. Corporations in SV who want to be associated with MLB will invest wherever the team is.

      • I stand by my statement. Show me the numbers from the Raiders market assessment and A’s own market assessment – both show limited corporate dollars available and that was before they were competing head to head with a new W’s arena in SF.

      • And one other point- “Corporations in SV who want to be associated with MLB will invest wherever the team is..” East Oakland off of 880 surrounded by parking or downtown SF on the water- what would you choose if your indifferent to the teams?

  5. I get the feeling that Davis is so inept, that he is going to be odd man odd in all LA scenarios. Which, would be bad news for any progress on A’s front. We all know, Oakland’s best strategy is for all other cities to fail. We better hope that the NFL cares more about their Oakland team than MLB does, or raiders will be kicking off the dirt for years.

    • Davis does have St. Louis working in his favor. They are going all in on their proposal to the NFL, including already having a naming rights sponsor on board.

      If Davis is really bringing in a partner with development experience in LA, he may be addressing his own ineptness directly.

      Such a tangled web, hard to really know what is going on and who will end up where.

  6. Welp, time for the Raiders to get out of the A’s way. {{-_-}}

  7. If the NFL does not approve the Raiders to LA, Mark Davis has already stated that he would rather stay at the Coliseum as is than to share Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. That scenario would more than likely also keep the A’s indefinitely at the antiquated Coliseum.

    Also, in the event that the Raiders do move from Oakland, Wolff and the A’s ownership will likely not risk fully privately funding a new ballpark on the Coliseum site without assurances from MLB that the A’s will be able to continue receiving revenue sharing. As long as MLB continues to hold the A’s territory to two Bay Area counties, the A’s will use that fact to maintain small market status.

    Unfortunately, it seems that all what Manfred is publicly saying will have the effect of keeping the A’s indefinitely at the decrepit Coliseum. His statement combined with the loss of the San Jose leverage will certainly only encourage Oakland officials to play hardball in any future ballpark negotiations with the A’s.

  8. It’s possible Wolff would decide to sell the A’s rather than build in Oakland, the A’s and Oakland officials have had rocky negotiations in the past (it would be difficult to overcome that and get the A’s and Oakland on the same page) If Wolff were to sell, Lacob has expressed interest, although one would think that paying almost $2 bil. to purchase the A’s (the cost of the franchise plus a new stadium – would be prohibitive for most prospective MLB owners) The A’s would likely draw mid market revenue (or better) in Oakland. A $1.5 bil., or more, price tag for the A’s may be too steep for most possible MLB owners.

    • What I don’t get about both leagues is they should be looking into emerging markets instead of saturating current markets. Why continue to focus on the Bay Area when Sacramento is right for the taking? Its apparent teams from Oakland cannot effectively compete for market share when the niche market is San Francisco. This being the case, both sports leagues can create new beginnings in Sacramento.

  9. This is getting really interesting, but I get the feeling that the NFL is not going to bail Davis out. If Davis can’t get someone to do his work for him this could go on for years to come, with both the Raiders and the A’s wanting the coliseum site. It would really be nice if there were a practical way for both of them to utilize the coliseum area, with the A’s utilizing the Home Base/ Malibu properties and the Raiders refurbishing/ rebuilding on the original coliseum cite.
    Not sure if both teams would be willing, or even could work (in a practical) towards that end.

  10. Great stuff, thanks as always for keeping us informed. This may sound completely ridiculous, but what are the reasons that a new dual-sport stadium couldn’t be built to suit both teams. Obviously there are concerns about sightlines and field sizes, but the benefits could be huge. Stadium technology has advanced since the original dual-purpose stadiums were built. NFL fields get moved into and out of stadiums and retractable domes are a thing. Would love to see your take on what that could look like.

  11. re: He’d also love for Oakland to kick the Raiders to the curb, but we all know the City is not going to do that first. Oakland would much rather let the NFL make a decision for them. …What I fear happening is, even though Oakland will not help pay for a new Raiders stadium (meaning there won’t be one), that the city could still cling to its pipe dream of holding on to all 3 teams by simply allowing the Raiders to renew annual leases at the current facility. This prevents the A’s from getting a new ballpark off the ground and maintains the current stalemate – the teams stay in the same dump with no new facilities in sight. It’s certainly not certain that the Raiders will be one of the teams selected for LA and Davis doesn’t want to go to Levi’s.

    • Read Manfred’s response very carefully. He said he prefers for the A’s to remain in Oakland. He did not answer if he would talk with SJ. He, as well as every one else, will be waiting on the Raiders!

      BTW, why do people think the Raiders have the money to build in Carson ( half of $1.9B), but don’t have the money ($ 900M) to build in Oakland?

      • It would serve MLB right to have San Jose auction off the ballpark properties for commercial development and take San Jose off the table once and for all. Although I think Wolff still has an exclusive option on the site for some time.

  12. Ok, step one is complete. We know what city. On to step two.

  13. “unfortunately the Raiders situation is preventing the A’s doing anything in Oakland”… How about its been the A’s for nearly a decade preventing anyone from doing anything anywhere!! If Lew was a real owner he would’ve never insulted his city and fan base the way he has. If he was a real man, he would never let another baseball team completely take over his own existing market and sponsorship. Lew argues that two new stadiums can not be sustained at that site with sponsorship? … What planet is this guy from? THE RAIDERS ARE NOT YOUR COMPETITION, your competition is the Giants, and the Giants are who have completely dominated and sucked your life away.
    Can you imagine the Pittsburgh Pirates ownership turning on the Steelers franchise and fans, or the 49ers turning their back on the Giants fans… I hate to break it to all you ” die hard A’s fans ” who brown nose this snake owner, MOST A’s FANS ARE ALSO RAIDERS FANS!! I know it’s hard to believe that, but as a native of Oakland, I’m sorry to break that news to you. The Raiders play ten games a year, if anything, that supports any team in the same marketplace.
    The A’s have zero leverage to go anywhere. They should live out the ten year lease they signed in that dump and hopefully the Raiders can get something done on Oakland. If Lew wants Oakland all the sudden, maybe he should’ve thought better than to split his fan base.
    I’ve said it over and over, and let me remind us all again. I was an A’s season ticket holder for many years until this clown started to pull his crap. A new A’s stadium at that location will still barely draw 20,000 a game. And if it goes down as it looks like it will, meaning the A’s basically force The Raiders out of Oakland, that 20,000 becomes 10,000 immediately! The Raiders fans of Oakland and the Bay Area will hold it against the A’s forever. Good luck to you Lew!

    • The A’s drew nearly 3 million people in 1990, while the Raiders were in LA. Shove that down your piehole, Oakland-but-not-A’s-fan.

    • Didn’t the city of Pittsburgh pay for both the Steelers and Pirates stadiums? When Oakland steps up with that offer neither LW or MD will have any issuing with sharing. In the meantime go on with your apples and oranges comparisons if it makes you feel good-

    • “meaning the A’s basically force The Raiders out of Oakland”

      Oakland has given the Raiders more than enough chances to make it work in Oakland. Davis can still present a proposal of his own. No one is blocking him.

      Al’s senility in his later years and Mark’s incompetence are the only things that would force the Raiders out of town.

      • “Davis can still present a proposal of his own. No one is blocking him.”

        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS X 1000!!!!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      • Not only can Davis present a proposal Wolff can also present one, nether is being prevented from doing so. Although I’m think either one or both will use the other as an excuse as to why they can’t.

    • “Lew Wolff let another baseball team completely take over his own existing market and sponsorship.”

      “Lew Wolff let another baseball team completely take over his own existing market and sponsorship.”

      Do you realize how you look blaming all that on Lew Wolff? Because the territorial rights gentleman’s agreement happened in 1992, while Lew Wolff didn’t become an owner until *checks* 2005. Nice to know he can time travel.

    • The Raiders ARE the competition if they are trying to sell suites, signage, etc for a new stadium the same time as the A’s are trying to sell one for theirs. It’s no surprise Wolff doesn’t see that as a workable situation. Yes, there will always be a faction that expects the A’s owners to donate a ballpark without regard to making back their investment. But that is not going to happen.

  14. So what happens if the Raiders don’t move to LA? There’s no way the two teams would share the site? A $400 million Coliseum renovation for the Raiders and a new park for the A’s elsewhere on the site?

  15. Yeah! That’s right, I said it! The A’s stand no chance at that site without the support of the Raider Nation! The A’s drew 3 million in 1990 because they had real ownership… Sounds like all you Lew robots need to really stop pretending you know anything about Oakland… Ummm? Oakland, that city you’ve been to three times in your life. We don’t use words like pie hole, we use words like, ” you hellllaaaa weak!

  16. Wolff after having SJ burn in flames in SCOTUS has1 shot of a new ballpark before 2025.

    That is if the Raiders build on the current site forcing the A’s to share with the Giants at ATT Park indefinitely.

    This is the only way he get his ballpark and it would have to be at that point in San Jose and it would be around 2025 or so.

    A’s are stuck guys at the current site unless the Raiders stay and boot them out with a new stadium.

    LA is not happening for the Raiders, Davis does not have the support and needs major help.

  17. Oh, I forgot, since I’m old enough to remember 1990… Out of those 3 million, I garauntee that 2 million in 1990 Oakland Coliseum were LA Raiders fans. Ask your boy hood idles of your nerd baseball card collection, home grown Ricky and Stew. The football team they loved, love and will always love, the Raiders!. But again sounds like you don’t know nothing about the Oakland or ‘the north pole’

  18. when it is time for those oakland/east bay businesses to come out publicly and say they’ll help sponsor or buy luxury suites to any new park built in oakland?

    remember the svlg had all those signatures from those south bay companies and their ceos who supported cisco field and would help pay for the new stadium essentially with what they were planning to spend money on the a’s had the moved down to sj.

    when are we going to see some list from those who said that if oakland were given a legit shot of having a stadium built that these businesses here in the east bay would step up to the plate in publicly stating they’d help the a’s out?

  19. After so many years of not knowing what MLB’s position was on the A’s moving to San Jose, thanks to Bud Selig and his “committee”, we finally have a definite answer in black and white from the commissioner. If for no other reason, just seeing some definite progress in this never-ending story is significant and positive news.

    I’m one A’s fan who used to be a Raiders fan before they abandoned Oakland. But their being gone so long and then coming back and ruining the stadium for the A’s, and the city/county rolling over for that and putting us taxpayers in massive debt for Mt. Davis, turned me away from the Raiders. It’s time for the A’s to be the first choice.

    MLB will have to help the A’s with a new ballpark, and I have no problem with that. There are still a lot of issues yet to be figured out, but I have more confidence in Libby Schaff than any of the past mayors, and apparently Manfred does, too — he wouldn’t come out and say he wants the A’s to stay in Oakland if he didn’t think there was a good shot of getting it done.

    • Yep and yep and yep.

    • Huh – What has Oakland mayor Schaff done so far except to explain that Oakland will not finance any stadiums? so far ex-mayor Quan was more proactive about new stadiums

      • LW himself has said he has a more productive relationship with Schaaf than the previous two Oakland mayors. Schaaf also got the County on the same page, albeit temporarily. Quan can be credited with overseeing the EIR for a new stadium and that’s about it. Everything else during her tenure was spinning wheels so to speak. Coliseum City was always a pipe dream. Schaaf has wisely allowed Coliseum City to run its course and engaged the teams individually.

  20. The A’s sadly lost any leverage they could have had in any future new ballpark negotiations with Oakland officials. We could thank SCOTUS and Manfred for that. Barring the seemingly remote possibility that a new or renovated stadium deal could be worked out for the Raiders on the Coliseum property. I see the A’s staying right where they are for at least the duration of their extended ten year lease renewal. Beyond that time frame, who knows? By that time, new markets could open up for the A’s that could finally provide that long overdue new ballpark home that this franchise.rightfully deserves. As for the ongoing situation right now, I place total blame on MLB for perpetuating this unnecessary and unfortunate impasse.

  21. Completely agree, and that’s all I’ve been trying to explain. The A’s lost the leverage, and the East Bay support while trying the last ten years to leave. East of the Caldecott was the largest support for the A’s… It is now 80% orange and black out there. And all this happened even before 2010 and three Giants World Championships.
    Blaming the Raiders return on ruining the Coliseum is an absolute joke. In 1996 when Mt. Davis opened, the Coliseum was already a 30yr old football stadium that baseball was played in. WAY too much foul territory. When Fisher and Wolf bought in 2006 I believe, that was the time to build a new baseball only stadium, and let the Raiders completely remodel the stadium for football. Lew did not even consider that, just like he doesn’t consider Oakland or its fans.
    Again, you do not push away the majority of your fan base because they have passion for a certain NFL team. You should embrace it, because they are also the same fans that will support the baseball team. And no the Raiders are not the A’s competition, the Giants are. Now you have a South Bay that you failed to obtain, and in the meantime you lost your East Bay support. So all the East Bay A’s / 49er fans can enjoy the A’s at the Coliseum all you want. All 10,000 of you.

    • “East of the Caldecott was the largest support for the A’s”

      You’re 100% correct here, but you’re over simplifying things.

      The A’s owned this market in the 80’s. At the time this market was made up of stereotypical, suburban, upper middle class families. Especially compared to Candlestick, the Coliseum was the “family friendly” place to go. Right or wrong, the Giants fan base was viewed more like the Raiders fan base as being not so family friendly. The Giants even tried creating the “family section” at the Stick to tap more into this market.

      Also, at the time MLB revenues were driven more by fan attendance than corporate sponsorship, luxury suites, naming rights, etc.

      Fast forward to 2000 when AT&T park was built and things changed drastically. Not only did you have Mt Davis, but in comparison to AT&T the Coliseum became a not so great ballpark. The location and higher ticket prices of AT&T also changed the demographics of the Giants fan base making it more of an upscale/family friendly place.

      To add on to this, this was right in the middle of the .com boom which caused a lot of new folks to move to the Bay Area who weren’t long time fans of either team. The Giants were the more logical team to start watching because of the shiny new ball park.

      The A’s started insane ticket discounts at the same time to keep attendance up, and while this worked a bit it also gave the Coliseum more of a bargain basement feel hurting the A’s in the upper, middle class East Bay markets.

      At the same time, luxury boxes, corporate sponsorship, etc. started becoming more important to MLB revenue. Again, the Giants with the shiny, new, and expensive park in the major city of SF were the logical choice.

      By the time Wolff bought the team, the train had already left the station for the A’s losing the East Bay market. While I wasn’t a fan of it, I think Wolff tried to change the image a bit of the Coliseum when he stopped some of the insane discounts, and made it harder for fans to move from the cheap seats to the more expensive seats, but there’s only so much you can do there.

      Only option was a new ball park. Wolff started going through the sites from the HOK study. When the viable Oakland options were exhausted he then looked to Fremont. When that failed, he then looked into SJ because there was nothing left in the HOK list.

      The Coliseum site only became an option again when it was clear that the Warriors were leaving and Coliseum City would be a no go.

      This isn’t to say that Wolff is innocent in all of this. I do think he did a bad job of messaging things and he could have pushed harder for some of the proposals, but to say it’s his fault for losing the East Bay Market, is way too simplistic.

      The A’s lost their leverage when MLB asserted that the Giants owned the South Bay and Oakland didn’t go with the Uptown ballpark. This pretty much locked the A’s into the Coliseum. All of these decisions were made before Wolff bought the team.

      • People are reading way too much into Manfred’s recent comments. Selig and more recently Manfred have been signaling that they preferred Oakland
        for at least 5 years. No report of the BRC results, Selig asking Mayor Reed to delay a vote on the stadium, not willing to even speak with Reed, etc. MLB has been using SJ as a stalking horse to try and force Oakland to get something done. Well, the chickens have now come home to roost! MLB better hope the Raiders leave (which is still a big question), or Manfred will be on the phone to Mayor Licarrdo!

  22. From today’s Vinny B LA Daily News article:

    “The Rams appear open to such a meeting, insisting their stadium can accommodate a second team on a low-risk deal they believe is financially beneficial to either the Chargers or Raiders. They believe they can offer assistance to the third team to help facilitate a new stadium in their home market or a move to a new stadium in one of the markets that soon opens up. ”

    So a hypothetical: Rams get approval for Inglewood, in part by loaning the “gap” money Davis needs to stay in Oakland to the league (then NFL in turn loans it to Davis). Rams at least temporarily take in Chargers as tenant, if nothing else to maintain leverage to pressure SD for more public $$ for new stadium there. St Louis encouraged to keep up public financing effort for new stadium e.g. either by getting the Jaguars or an expansion team. This scenario would keep 2 teams in the bay area, 2 in So Cal, with possibility for SD and St L to still get the NFL back.

    • The raiders challenge is getting money they don’t have to pay back because it doesn’t pencil out in Oakland. Borrowing more regardless of who it is from isn’t their answer-

    • Interesting that Kroenke may offer Oakland via the NFL, money to fill the 400 million gap to stay in Oakland. Wow! That would be a big development there! That would be the “investor” Davis might be looking for? Hmmm….

  23. Manfred and idiocy talking out of both sides of his mouth. First he publicly stated nothing can be done with SJ while the suit is pending and now it is done and he says he would rather have them stay in SF since he has no balls to rescind the SF rights that should have never been granted for free in the first place. You Raider haters better hope Davis sells half to LA investor, only way he may get to LA…otherwise Raiders are staying right here much to Wolffs chagrin. Too bad!

    • The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Chargers/San Diego plan for that “convadium” seems pretty legit, but who knows. Either way, it sounds like “wait and see” could easily be in the cards.

      I wonder what happens if Davis is actually denied a path to L.A.

      IMHO If Davis remains the owner, he will stay in CA. His comments portend that he wouldn’t leave the entire Raider nation, burning the brand to the ground and be some new-city Jacksonville Jags club.

      As to what this means for the A’s? Wolff just gonna sit and wait.

      • The SD writer says the Raiders would be a viable option for LA if they find an investor/ownership partner. True, but also true for staying in Oakland. Kroenke may be the guy to fill the gap for Oakland! Lots of moving parts!

      • @ KA
        Stranger things have happened. If Davis really wants to say in Oakland (no reason to think he doesn’t), then Kroenke helping him out for the right to move to LA (in part), really isn’t that long of a stretch.
        It’s actually conceivable.

  24. I don’t see the NFL rewarding the city of Oakland for refusing a “public-private” partnership – ie, not giving the Raiders a dime – by finding a generous benefactor to keep the team there. Sets a bad example when teams want new stadiums or improvements. “Get that rich Paul Allen to pay for it like Kroenke did for the Raiders.” The NFL would rather abandon Oakland first. And with Levi’s a ready-made option whether the Raiders like it or not, why ask Kroenke to pay for a stadium for the Raiders because Oakland doesn’t want to?

    • @ pjk

      Of corse the NFL would rather abandon Oakland, but Money talks and bull shut walks. It’s not about the NFL rewarding Oakland, it’s about the NFL rewarding Davis for staying his broke ass in Oakland, but of course with you it’s usually about Oakland. Not that’s not truly about Oakland too much of the time anyway.

      • The NFL already has spent several hundred million dollars on a stadium solution for the Bay Area. And the place (Levi’s, obviously) has extra room for more home locker rooms. Done deal. If Davis doesn’t want to play there, he can talk to the people in Saint Louis or San Antonio since it looks like he will be the odd man out in LA.

    • True, Kroenke might be be willing to finance a new stadium in San Diego, perhaps not Oakland though, because Davis’s chances of moving to Carson are poor.

  25. I have little faith we’ll see any real movement of any kind in Oakland in the next 12 months. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune spoke to an anonymous NFL owner who said: “there is a less than zero percent chance the Raiders get anything done in Oakland.” I’m sure some fans will and have interpreted that to mean the Raiders are on their way south; and soon. I don’t think that’s the case at all.

    The link pjk posted is interesting. Over the last 48 hrs some new information has come out regarding San Diego’s “Hail Mary” which could slow things down a bit – for everyone outside of Los Angeles. Cory Briggs, a San Diego environmental lawyer who is in contestant litigation against the city and anyone trying to develop around San Diego’s waterfront, is the person leading the charge, or at least trying to broker the deal for San Diego to pass a citizens initiative to bypass CEQA laws to build a downtown stadium for the Chargers. If the areas biggest and FWIW most recognizable NIMBY lawyer is working to do this, it’s a big deal. For Cory, it would most likely mean no convention center expansion along the waterfront. His proposal would likely include convention space growth by the hoteliers, which is what they want. The hoteliers are the real power brokers in San Diego. And if you listen to the Chargers, it’s the hoteliers who have been the biggest obstacle to developing a downtown stadium – which is what the Chargers want. In theory, all of San Diego’s power players would win. The thing is, for this to work, they need to work past January. But at least San Diego has the right players on the field for the “Hail Mary” to work, so to speak.

    I once thought the Carson project had a real shot. Now I just view it as one big joke. In the NFL, the smart money is to never bet against the money. Stan Kroenke is the money. One way or another, I think the Rams are in LA. Probably in 2016.

    Vinny Bonsignore has written about a plan for the odd team(s) out in LA can be given a massive financial boost to get something done in their home market. It would close the ~$400 million funding gap for the Raiders, assuming it’s only $400 million. It could work in San Diego too. I get the feeling the Chargers would be open to staying if downtown is really an option. Despite their scorched earth public relations strategy, they’ve always been honest about wanting downtown. But that won’t be settled in the next 90 days. If acceptable parameters can be reached in the next 90 days however, perhaps it’s only the Rams in LA in 2016 and San Diego is given a temporary reprieve. The Raiders won’t be moving to LA with San Diego in flux.

    If the Chargers do get something worked out, the Raiders only move if Kroenke is told to bring them on. Which is a possibility. But the idea Kroenke would make out better with a 2nd team is laughable. He’d much rather build his brand with the market to himself. He certainly won’t be reaching out to the Raiders if the Chargers say. The NFL would have to broker that deal.

    But the Raiders? I think we’re seeing more smoke signals from the NFL that they want Davis out altogether. If he brings in a Tim Leiweke type (if not Tim himself) to run the show, I’m sure that helps his cause. But, much the way MLB annoyingly played the long game to say no to San Jose, I’m worried the NFL will wait out Davis. Basically saying you either build in the Bay Area with the extra help we’re offering, or sell to someone who can. Dumping Davis is probably the NFL’s preferred option. The Raiders playing in a dilapidated stadium isn’t enough of a reason to give Mark a $1 billion team valuation increase Christmas present. As the one owner anonymous said, the Raiders aren’t getting anything done in Oakland. But that’s largely because the Raiders are Davis’ team.

    Either way, even if the Raiders do get to LA, I don’t think it happens until 2017 at the earliest. So unless Oakland is willing to work with the A’s minus the Raiders, or the A’s are willing to put a proposal together leaving space for the Raiders, I don’t think we’re going to see much movement in the next year.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    p.s. I prefer “Home Base” to the North Lot. Being attached to the city streets while having an open lot intrigues me. I’m looking forward to that debate – whenever it happens.

    • Very reasonable and realistic take. I agree that Carson is highly unlikely and Kroenke will be in LA next year. SD is hard to call, but I can squint and envision something positive happening there in the next 12 months. The Raiders have nowhere to go and no ability to get anything done, so we’re stuck with them ruining the field every August for the foreseeable future.

  26. Speaking of room to grow, the White Sox were the lowest-rated team in baseball with a 0.82 average TV rating. Their 29 percent decrease from last season was the fifth-worst in baseball. The Sox (76-86) fired their bench coach Mark Parent before the final series of the season in an attempt to shake things up.

    Only two other teams finished with an average rating below one point: The Oakland Athletics (0.91) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (0.95). The Dodgers are still having distribution problems in the Los Angeles market.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/jon-greenberg/post/_/id/1363/cubs-rise-to-playoffs-leads-to-boost-in-local-tv-ratings-white-sox-lowest-rated

    : (

    • Even so, Manfred is definitely pro-Oakland. (He could have taken Selig’s approach and prefer that the A’s move to some other location out of the bay area) This also does not please the Giants and their plans of forcing the A’s out of town.

  27. @ pjk

    I agree with you he should be using Levis temporarily on a long term bases, but the likelihood of that is barely above the likelihood that Kroenke would become part of the solution in Oakland.
    But then any solution that involves the Raiders building in Oakland (no matter how unlikely), is probably a solution you can’t see.

  28. The business model for sports teams no longer works in Oakland. If anything, the A’s can move to Sacramento, for much less than the expense of remaining in Oakland, and be more fiscally successful.

    • Hasn’t it already been determined that Sacto does not have the business base to support an MLB team? The market is too small.

      • @pjk — Yes, we’ve talked about it. Just goes to show how much of an inferiority complex many of its residents have.

      • Illogical. Are you stating the business base in Oakland is much larger? The market in Sacramento is larger than Oakland. Frankly, the contention is irrelevant. For example, the naming rights sponsor the Oakland Coliseum is based in Utah.

      • @Juan Pardell “the contention is irrelevant.”

        The contention is far from irrelevant. Putting your name on a building is one thing. Filling a deck full of club seats and suites for 81 home games is another thing altogether.

        And yes, although the business base in Oakland is smaller than SF or Silicon Valley, it’s still far bigger than Sacto (and at least has the ability to draw somewhat from SF and Silicon Valley).

  29. ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk
    Unlikely to support a Raiders move to L.A., owners are warming to the idea of keeping the team in Oakland long-term http://wp.me/p14QSB-9Sz3

    lets keep giving handouts to the raiders huh. i mean keep rewarding a team that has only had what 3 winning seasons in 20 or so years since coming back to the city of oakland.

  30. You know it’s entirely possible that nothing of substance will have been decided in the next five years

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