14 October 2005

Contra Costa Times supports Fremont

A newly penned editorial in today's Contra Costa Times welcomes Fremont's attempts to get the A's. Since it's early in the game, there are no detailed specifics to criticize, such as public funding. The editorial qualifies the notion by emphasizing that the paper doesn't necessarily want the A's to leave Oakland, but if this is what it takes to stay in the Bay Area, so be it.


Georob said...

Of course, the CoCo Times is now part of Knight Ridder, who also owns the SJ Mercury. But at times like these, I wonder what former Times owner Dean Lesher would have done.

I didn't agree with him politically, but Lesher was truly a mover and shaker who helped put Contra Costa on the map. And I'll bet he would have tried to get the A's to move to Concord or Walnut Creek. Downtown Walnut Creek especially would have been an awesome location with BART there.
Of course 24 and 680 would have been nightmares, but Lesher would have found a way to bring everyone to the table and make it work.

Kenny said...

Dean Lesher almost single handedly built the Contra Costa Campus of Cal State "East Bay" and intended it to be a standalone CSU. Some speculated that CSUH did the name change to prevent Contra Costa from being spun off into it's own university.

Georob said...

But back to Oakland for a second:

I'm curious as to why a retractable roof stadium isn't being considered. Frankly, one big reason for the A's attendance problems is the weather. The Coliseum certainly isn't as bad as Candlestick was, but it DOES get chilly on many a summer night; which is not the case in most MLB markets.

Seattle, Houston, and Phoenix have shown that such venues CAN work and
(at least in Houston's case) be great facilities. Problem is, everyone's so fixated on the "retro ballpark" model now that
we're neglecting reality.

Of course, people will point to the sellouts at equally chilly SBC Park. But I'll be surprised if those crowds hold up once Bonds is gone and many season ticketholders don't re-up.

Marine Layer said...

The $80-100 million it would cost to add a retractable roof would be far too much, especially when you consider that moving a ballpark site only a few miles inland would mitigate the marine layer (pun intended) enough to eliminate the need for a roof. Besides, if it ends up being a roof like the one at Safeco, it wouldn't do much to make the ballpark any warmer.

I agree that the weather on some summer nights and especially during April and May can be a deterrent. I'll go into that in a future post.

jrbh said...

The Seattle roof was a disaster, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs for something that's virtually never used. It's also a disaster architecturally; that Safeco is a great ballpark anyway is a tribute to how well the rest of it's put together.

Further, a Seattle-type roof -- the ballpark is still open to winds -- wouldn't really improve the chilly nights in Oakland.

And for what it's worth, MLB did a study before expanding to Miami and Denver, and it turns out that the six driest cities in the majors, 1-4 pm, 7 to 10 pm, April through September, are the five California cities, then Seattle.

Georob said...

Did MLB also do a temperature survey? I'd like to see a month to month survey of evening temperatures for all the stadiums, and if they could factor in wind chill that'd be even better.

I think that the A's lose a lot of potential business in June, July, and August because of the cool nights. Particularly from fans who live inland.

Yes, the "Marine Layer" needs to be mitigated :)

jrbh said...

Yeah, my guess is that San Francisco and Oakland are the two coldest parks in the majors at night during most of the season.

The caveat is that in April and October, we don't get the *brutally* cold nights that they get in the Northeast, for example, when it's not unusual for it to be around 40 at gametime.

"Mitigating the marine layer" would require a completely enclosed stadium. That's a horrible idea.

Anonymous said...

I think this whole weather issue is a bit overdone. Yes, we do have pretty cold nights in April and May. But i've been to many night games where I could wear a single T-shirt and feel perfectly comfortable. Many fans dont even wear shirts.

Also, let's not forget that Oakland was ranked #1 for weather in the country by Rand McNally. So, I wouldn't really blame the attendance on the weather. Its been almost 40 years of A's baseball at the Coliseum and I haven't heard many complaints. Why not just get this stadium built and stop adding fuel to an already burning fire.

We have been watching A's baseball in the same place for years now and we really shouldn't trip on the weather seeing as the Coliseum is by water.

David Rodenberg said...

Not bad.