Dolich thinks A’s have secret plan

Now that the A’s have the not-heavy-lifting passage of AB 734 completed, we can focus on next steps.

That means the financial part of the deal. Besides picking the site (Howard Terminal or the Coliseum), the A’s have to arrange a deal to either lease or purchase the land. Andy Dolich thinks that the A’s will make a play for both, using one to offset the cost of the other.

When the green and gold can’t access enough infrastructure gold from the city, county and Port of Oakland, they might introduce their Hidden Ball Trick.

It goes something like this: You (public entities) pay for Howard’s infrastructure with this ball over here, and we (the A’s) and a DTBNL (Developer to Be Named Later) will pick up your debt load of $137 million on the Coliseum. Of course, you’ll have to make us the exclusive owner of that site.

Any guesses as to whether or not that’s an even trade? When the community activists start to speak out, we’ll soon find out the answer.

22 thoughts on “Dolich thinks A’s have secret plan

  1. @ ML

    Secret plan?

    I dont get it. I believe (have stated in comment section before), its always been part of the A’s plan to have control and development rights over the coliseum property, what’s so secret about that?

    When the A’s where looking at the Paralta site it was no secret that they wanted to still develop the coliseum site as well (see their video, which I sure you have), I dont see why that would change nesacarally if they built at Howard Terminal.

    Oakland is going to have to give up something, Dolich is not say anything new or secretive.

    • They weren’t planning to have dev rights over the Coliseum if they moved to Fremont. Or San Jose. As for Laney, it’s a detail that hasn’t exactly been emphasized.

      Normally when you apply for a project it’s in one location, not two in completely different districts. Mind you, ownership has done this before with the Quakes. But this is a completely different scale with so much oversight coming, I fear the A’s won’t know what hit ‘em. Kinda like what happened with Laney.

      • @ML

        Well, they couldn’t expect developmental rights at the coliseum if they where moving to Fremont, at least not from Oakland (maybe the county in that case?), and they defanitly wouldn’t have even asked if they built in San Jose.

        So, not sure how much both of those examples really apply since neither is in Oakland. Of course they didn’t emphasize it with Laney (they are never going to emphasize it in such a public way, until they have to), but for anyone that keeps up with your blog, or is acquainted with this clown show, they would/ should have known.

        For the people that have been into this like your readers it was fairly common knowledge.

        Let’s hope they lurned something from the Laney experience.

      • I wasn’t saying the A’s would cross city or county lines to spread the load. It’s about spreading them out twice in a single city, which is going to arouse a lot of attention, like it or not. They actually tried and failed attempting this in Fremont. In San Jose, for the Quakes that was reasonable because the relative scope of both projects was small. In Oakland, where both sites are high profile, this may not be the wisest choice.

    • @ML

      I wasn’t sure why you were bringing up the potential moves to Fremont or San Jose, I was simply responding by bringing up the fact that neither of those potential moves had anything to do with Oakland, therefore lessening the fact that the A’s could ask for such an exchange.

      The A’s are asking a lot of Oakland if this is part of the request, perhaps too much as you point out.

      However, my original point was simply that there should be no surprise to the fact that this is what the A’s potentially want to do in Oakland. It’s really not a secret, or should be considered as one since it was fairly clear that it was something they wanted to do.

  2. I am sick and tired of Dolich. The Niners were able to get a new FB stadium built in SC after firing him and his idiotic ideas. The A’s have nowhere to go except HT and Coli. Only an idiot would guess otherwise. It is time Fisher spends his family fortune or sell.

  3. Can someone explain to me why they are still pursuing Howard Terminal? Other than “it’s not the Coliseum” I can’t envision any reason why that should be the preferred option:

    – It still has to go through CEQA, AB734 or no
    – The site is located across both railroad tracks and a major freeway from the nearest BART station
    – The brilliant new transit idea is *Gondolas*?!
    – Reports are that the way the park would be situated you can expect a climate about as pleasant as Candlestick
    – It’s a freaking Superfund site

    whereas
    – The Coliseum property is shovel-ready
    – The A’s are about to become its only residents
    – It’s already CEQA-approved
    – It’s located immediately adjacent to a BART station and I-880
    – Plenty of parking
    – Site’s huge – plenty of opportunities for additional development.

    WHY do people want to build on this site instead of using the perfectly good site they already have? What am I missing?

    • @ResumeMan,

      IMO, many of the proponents of HT know full well that this site has so many obstacles in its way, both before and after a ballpark could be built there, that a new ballpark will more than likely not be built at that locale, or at best if it is accomplished, it will prove to be a mistake. I would put the Giants in this category. The A’s at HT would be for the most part an Oakland/Alameda County centric based team and would have difficulty drawing fans from other parts of the Bay Area market.

    • Not to mention a burning scrap metal company as your neighbor.

    • @ResumeMan

      Well, “Other than it’s not the Coliseum”, is a pretty big reason right there. The coliseum property while pretty much perfect for football (sad to see the Raiders go, but get the hell out already), is not optimal for what modern day baseball needs, which most agree should be built closer to a downtown or closer core of urban residence.

      Of course the A’s can build an entertainment/housing district around a new ballpark at the coliseum (ballpark village), but the neighborhoods around the area don’t integrate into the coliseum property well, so you would still have a situation where most would have to drive and park on site, excluding those that take BART or Amtrak.

      Of course one may say you would have to drive to HT or the surrounding area and park as well, that certainly makes sense.

      HT is not perfect (the Uptown and Dirdon sits where as close as we are going to get), but it is closer to downtown and a vibrant inner core of thriving neighborhoods that (hopefully), will flow more naturally into a development if built at HT, unlike the coliseum property. One big drawback is not having direct access to BART, but HT is closer to the type of location that modern day baseball looks for when building a new ballpark.

      Although the coliseum has several pluses over the HT site as you mentioned, it’s hardly shovel-ready as you said, both sites will need massive infrastructure improvements, before anything can be done.

      They are only looking at HT as far as we know, let them at least determine if something can actually be done there, which is more then what has been done in the past. (IMHO)

      • The Braves and Rangers beg to differ with the notion of a “modern day baseball” notion of a downtown ballpark.

      • @ML

        Either site is not going to be easy as you know, perhaps HT is not as impossible to build on as some have made it out to be, we might as well find out for sure

        The Raiders may not be leaving for two more years, the Warriors have one more season that overlaps with the A’s next season, so it’s not like the coliseum site is just sitting there waiting for someone to start building on it next week.

        If HT really cant be built on or is too cost prohibitive, then hopefully we can get something done at the coliseum site (which I would be more then happy with) or nothing at all, which I am sure the San Francisco Giants would be thrilled with.

        BTW: Those two examples you gave, they can beg to differ all they want, but as you know the general consensus is moving away from that model.

      • Atlanta and Arlington are the newest ballparks completed or in development. Add Miami to that and you have a mini-trend away from downtown ballparks. The Yankees didn’t move to Manhattan. Nor the Mets to Brooklyn. They moved next door.

      • @ ML

        Even if it where true that the trend was moving away from downtown, or more populated urban intagrated neighborhoods, which as you suggested may be the case with the more immediate trend.

        Would that apply to the A’s spacifacly?

        All things being equal (of course they are not) I believe HT is a superior site over the coliseum for the A’s. It may work, it may not there is no reason why we cant find out for sure is there?

        Unless we can start digging at the coliseum right now…oh, man are the Raiders still playing on the field? I guess we have the time to figure it out.

  4. Whats the potential flooding issues at the coloseum or HT? I think that will be a part of the process if and when the A’s pick a site for a new stadium.

    • Both sites are 6-8 feet above sea level. The Coliseum is in worse shape because its field is about 20 feet *below* sea level. In either case the new field will have to be placed slightly higher (3-6 feet) to compensate for potential sea level rise.

  5. “Atlanta and Arlington are the newest ballparks completed or in development. Add Miami to that and you have a mini-trend away from downtown ballparks.” – Arlington has less to do with anybody deciding that’s the best spot for a ballpark in DFW and more to do with history and (number one) the fact that Arlington city leaders were so eager to hand over $500 million when there wasn’t even a true stalking horse to steal the team in 2024. The history being that Arlington was both the perfect middle ground between Dallas and Fort Worth when those were the only huge, relevant cities in DFW (they’re still the biggest but this area has exploded over the last 40 years and a dozen other cities have over 100K people) and Arlington was also a joint effort from Fort Worth to make sure the team ended up in Tarrant instead of Dallas County. Neither one of those factors is particularly relevant today other than the fact that Arlington considers it important enough to have the team that they were willing to give the farm away to replace a perfectly good stadium after 25 years. For any talk of AC and a retractable roof, guess what, we live in Texas. It’s hot. Everywhere. We live. You’re not getting more than 20,000 on a Wednesday afternoon getaway day game against the Twins regardless of the temperature. And anything gained with potential free agents will be lost when the team installs artificial turf to make it easier to host other events. I legitimately feel bad for A’s fans who haven’t gotten a new stadium after all these years when the Rangers are about to have a totally unnecessary second one, which will be built with baseball as an afterthought. Rant over. Initial point was just that Arlington isn’t really reflective of a trend. Other than that, I think this is my first response since ML got back although I check the site regularly. God bless and good to have you back.

    • Thanks Joe. I remember having a discussion with Jeffrey about Dallas interests led by Roger Staubach trying to move the Rangers over to Dallas. Was that a stalking horse? I’ll defer to you and others on that.

      • Not really. There were the occasional columns from writers throwing things against the wall about downtown Dallas but Dallas has been enough of a mess financially and politically for so long that no Dallas official would’ve touched it if it meant one dime of public money. A minority owner met with the mayor a few times over several years ( https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/arlington/article102207872.html ). There was no dog and pony show the way that Jeffrey Loria or Mark Davis toured San Antonio. Dallas only narrowly passed the Mavericks/Stars arena years ago and ignored the Cowboys a decade ago when Jerry wanted to build the stadium in Fair Park – if Dallas blows off the Cowboys any public funding for the Rangers would’ve been DOA. I’m sure any Rangers discussions consisted of “if you wanna build a park here, knock yourself out.” Most of the Dallas claims came from Arlington pols as a defense for handing over the cash. At the end of the day, Arlington was having detailed discussions as far back as 2013 (probably further back then that) with the Rangers about the plan that eventually was announced in May 2016. There was no need for the team to actually threaten anything – Arlington went along with it the whole way.

  6. Makes sense. Combine some willingness to hand over a subsidy with some demonstrated competence, and you can get to a solution quickly. However, I have to add that in my backyard, the D-backs want to abandon a perfectly good ballpark in downtown Phoenix for some new also-domed location in rich Scottsdale. If that happens the trend continues, Arlington being a sort of circumstantial footnote.

    • You have a point with Arizona – maybe the trend is more specifically moving to wealthy suburbs (that describes Scottsdale and Cobb County, Georgia, right? Where the money is?) Arlington would still be a bit of an outlier as that would’ve indicated the Rangers would look to Frisco/Collin County which is north of Dallas (and actually, after the Braves plan was announced, I thought the Rangers might look to Collin.)

  7. @ML

    Joe’s below point, is exactly what I meant when I ask earlier in the thread

    “Would that apply to the A’s specifically?”

    “You have a point with Arizona – maybe the trend is more specifically moving to wealthy suburbs (that describes Scottsdale and Cobb County, Georgia, right?”

    Is the coliseum site and surrounding area more wealthy with more growth potential then the JLS/Downtown area? Is the coliseum area Scottsdale or Cobb County?

    Of course not, so there are two of your examples that really don’t apply to the HT/coliseum comparison. Also as Joe alluded to, what are the specifics of the DFW/Arlington situation as it relates to the Rangers? I am sure it’s vastly different then with the HT/coliseum comparison. Without knowing any real detail about the Braves, Diamondbacks, or Rangers, it sound like there was a fair amount of regional compaction involved, which would be more comparable to Fremont, or San Jose, vs the coliseum/HT sites.

    The Mets and Yankee’s, and perhaps Miami sound like a more appropriate example to use. You mentioned that neither of the NY teams moved to Manhattan, I don’t know much about the surround areas of where they did build, but I am going to guess it probable holds more growth potential then the coliseum or HT, after all the do have a population of 23 million to draw from, they are probable already in areas that offer potential without having to move to Manhattan.

    Point being weather the trend is moving away or closer to a downtown area, either of these examples has varied specifics, and it seems like the most recent examples don’t have much in common with the A’s current situation.

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