01 April 2005

LA Times article on ownership change

Most of the same information, but two new tidbits came up in the article:

Commissioner Bud Selig said he had no trouble with Wolff's wanting a deal done by season's end — "They've had enough conversations," Selig said — but added that Wolff should not look elsewhere.

"I want him to concentrate on getting something done in Oakland," Selig said.
... and...
Wolff said he could limit a ballpark to 35,000 seats, to minimize construction costs and maximize demand for tickets. He said the A's could not afford all of what is estimated to be a $400-million bill but would pay 25% and would consider involvement in real estate development — surrounding the park and elsewhere in Oakland — that could help the city and county recoup investment costs.

The first comment indicates that Wolff is sticking with the 6-month planning deadline. Oakland/Alameda County voters have to decide on a new ballpark, even if it's entirely privately funded. Since this year's election would be a
special election, it's not likely to be on that ballot. Look for the issue to come up next March.

Limiting the ballpark capacity to 35,000 will create the inelastic demand the owners want, but reducing square footage will cut construction costs a lot. It costs roughly $300 per square foot to build a ballpark, and cutting 100-200,000 s.f. or more would lower the cost $30-60 million. In today's era of large club areas and concourses, it's hard to know where the cuts would occur. Pittsburgh was able to control costs significantly by keeping the design limited to two decks.


Anonymous said...

I was just wondering how many ball parks in MLB are in or around 35,000 capacity seating? that seems very small to me. i would think that ball park should be at least 40,000.