Looking backward to 2018

Square one.

That’s what we’re talking about. We don’t know what the A’s next steps are on the ballpark front. We may get a glimpse of it on Saturday, January 27, when the team will again host FanFest at Jack London Square. At FanFest 2017, Dave Kaval was coy about site choice, insisting that the A’s were still in the midst of studying site options. The Peralta site hadn’t been rumored yet, let alone publicized. Momentum built little by little throughout the spring, followed by the crash after the announcement.

The team has been licking its wounds since Peralta stopped talks with the A’s. Kaval has said nothing about next steps. Like last FanFest, visitors next month will be tantalized by visuals of Howard Terminal in the background. The Coliseum lingers in the background, though what can you say about a neighborhood that lost a Pak ‘n Save and a Walmart in the last ten years? Fans will be asking the A’s brass about both options, so I think this is an opportunity for the A’s to backers of both sites to start making their own efforts.

Howard Terminal, Coliseum JPA?

Let’s start bidding on the A’s. You want them? Really, really want them? Then show your hand. Present what you’re willing to offer. By that I don’t mean contributing cash for stadium construction. We already know that since the beginning the A’s have pledged to make the stadium part a privately financed affair. That leaves infrastructure, in terms of parking, improved roads, and enhanced transit options. Howard Terminal still has no estimate for what anything will cost to make it viable. The Coliseum still hasn’t figured out its ownership and debt situations, choosing to put those on the back burner. Any bids have to include those plans, respectively. Both plans effectively have to start with the City, because Oakland has to initiate the purchase of the half of the Coliseum land from Alameda County (the county would loan money to the city), or Oakland has the start the process of rezoning Howard Terminal to non-industrial port (or city) land.

Most of the details of any negotiations would be held in closed door sessions, as most municipalities do with real estate. But we can at least get some kind of framework to get started on either side. And that would give fans something to work with that’s more than a skin-deep debate over a pretty, impractical site vs. a cheap, dumpy one. A competitive approach is likely to yield better results than another one of Oakland’s aimlesss task forces.

The one wildcard to look at in 2018 is The Lodge. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stayed patient so far, preferring not to criticize Oakland while the A’s completed their search. Now that Phase One has ended with a thud, I’ll be curious to see if Manfred’s patience starts to simmer.

21 thoughts on “Looking backward to 2018

  1. At some point, Manfred is probably going to ask Oakland to do its part to show it really wants the team. So far, it’s been: no public funds for a stadium under any circumstances, then the A’s agree to privately fund a ballpark and run into massive resistance from NIMBYs, killing off the opportunity to build at their preferred site. FWIW, Oakland is in a sense being realistic about its inability to compete with the big cities when it comes to providing 21st century facilities for pro sports teams. It’s cost them two of the three teams so far. And it’s not looking all that good for the third.

    • MLB is also compounding the problem by phasing in over the next few years the Oakland A’s to major market status per the current CBA. As a result, the A’s will soon be full contributors to the revenue sharing pool, despite being restricted by MLB to the less populated and less affluent segment of the Bay Area market.

      • Wasn’t that intended to prod the A’s to get a new stadium done? How’s that working out for MLB? We might see the team either sold to out-of-market interests or simply turned back over to the league and Fisher gets bought out. Let the other 29 owners together pay the A’s revenue-sharing “obligation.”

  2. The A’s absorb the entirety of the city and county debt in exchange for complete control of the ~120 acres, after the Warriors and Raiders leave. They build whatever they want at their own cost, including ancillary development. This will work and it could pencil out financially for the A’s if the city and county don’t try to force constraints upon the A’s (affordable housing requirements, etc). The A’s should be allowed to build whatever they want there if they are willing to take on all that debt and build it themselves.

  3. Question; how serious is Charlotte on making a play for the Athletics??? Is it “leverage”? Is it “Look at what Mechlenburg County is willing to give us”? I know the Uptown Charlotte minor league ballpark was NOT designed to be upgraded to to a MLB park.

  4. Is 237/Zanker still available?

  5. I’m wondering if the recent move by Peralta was simply an effort to lay the groundwork for a very big payday from the A’s. Unfortunately I think the more likely answer is that it was a knee-jerk reaction by weak and myopic trustees to brainless, recreational NIMBYism. But a guy can at least hope that it was a shrewd, financially driven move as part of a longer game. I continue to think Peralta is crazy not to pursue this, if that indeed is the final decision.

  6. Where are the Oakland only folks saying “Kaval lied…he never tried” Lot’s of folks owe LW an apology—rather than the Lodge opening up SCCo (I don’t see that happening) the A’s will be re-located. Ironic justice to those Oakland only folks who acted like they have for the past 10 years—including all the local columnists who trashed ownership for wanting to give the A’s a fighting chance to be competitive in the Bay Area

  7. The A’s can build opposite the 49ers. Knock down some buildings. Fisher is too chicken though.

  8. Sadly, I think the A’s are as good as gone if Peralta doesn’t work out. They don’t want any other sites, unless there’s another downtown option that is comparable in terms of ease. What’s the point from the A’s perspective of forcing a team on a city that doesn’t want it? I’m so frustrated with the leadership at the city, county, community college, etc. It’s pathetic.

  9. @Pauliethehat: welp, how about sueing the Gnats or at least challenge the Haas agreement in court. The Gnats claimed they owned TR b/c Haas gave it to them. Fisher should challenge the agreement. Drag all parties to court including MLB and other owners. Dirty them up. Fight.Fisher is just sitting on his ass and doing nothing.

    • Sue the Giants? Doubtful. Remember they’re all part of the same happy organization known as the MLB, not separate interests. I’m not sure they have the right.

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