Pages

03 January 2006

Oakland: Let's try Plan B

Not surprisingly, the City of Oakland and Coliseum Authority officials have admitted that efforts to get the land deal for Wolff's 100-acre Coliseum North development are going nowhere. And for the first time, Wolff has become upset over the process.

So what's Plan B? Building on the existing Coliseum parking lot, of course. As indicated in Trib reporter Paul Rosynsky's article, there are several issues with that arrangement, starting with the elimination of parking for the other tenants (Raiders, Warriors). The kind of aggressive development strategy that Wolff is considering to finance the stadium may not be feasible with a Coliseum-based ballpark. Coliseum South appears to be available, if anyone's interested, though it's not nearly as large as Wolff's plan.

Wolff has made comments to the effect that he is willing to consider other sites. If it comes down to the Coliseum parking lot being the only alternative, someone's going to have to get extremely creative about the financing plan. Since the Raiders are able to leave cleanly after 2010, Oakland/Alameda County may find themselves in the extremely uncomfortable position of being forced to choose between the Raiders and A's.

As for Wolff's request for a three-year extension to the existing Coliseum lease? Don't be surprised if it comes with a price tag - perhaps a MOU or letter of intent, something that indicates that "everyone's on the same page." Same goes for the Raiders.
The Fremont Argus is also backing a Fremont site should efforts in Oakland fail. Fremont has started up a stadium task force, of which I am a member.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Being a proponent of Oakland Baseball, I would have loved to see a ballpark plan (be it Uptown, JLS, or Coliseum North) come to fruition...but it's appearing less and less likely. And I haven't been to hip on a Coliseum parking lot stadium. Marinelayer, assuming Oaklands ballpark plans die on a vine, what are Fremont's chances of getting a deal done with the A's? And wouldn't the "Fremont A's" be encroaching on the Giants territorial rights to SC County?

Anonymous said...

Did that Fremont A's editorial really run in the Oakland Tribune? You've linked insidebayarea.com, which is not the same thing. That publisher's web network includes more far-flung papers like the Marin IJ and the Tri-Valley Herald. The editorial you linked just doesn't sound like something the Trib would say. I'm not saying you're wrong, just asking for a direct Trib cite if you can.

Marine Layer said...

Mea culpa on the citation error. The op-ed was initially published in the Argus, not the Tribune. ANG's links usually indicate which paper they're from by using a /argus or /tribune directory shown in the link. I got the link through a Google search which did not indicate a source. I've traced it back to its proper source and changed the link accordingly. Thanks for catching it.

Regarding Fremont's chances - it's impossible to say right now. The Fremont A's aren't technically encroaching on Giants territory, but Peter Magowan has shown a recent resistance to the idea because Fremont is considered as much as part of Silicon Valley as any Santa Clara County city.

gojohn10 said...

The Fremont A's aren't technically encroaching on Giants territory, but Peter Magowan has shown a recent resistance to the idea because Fremont is considered as much as part of Silicon Valley as any Santa Clara County city.

I don't get it. Fremont is within Alameda county, one of the A's few territories. What could Magowan really do to stop a move in that situation? If he were to sue, wouldn't that bring the whole issue of the rightful ownership of the Santa Clara terrirory into legal question? It seems to me the A's could argue not only that Fremont is within their territory, but that SC county was given to the Giants with the expectation that they would move there which, obviously, they did not. It just doesn't seem to me like there is much Magowan can do to prevent a move there. Am I missing something?

Georob said...

Well of course Magowan would be "resistant" to an A's move to Fremont. And yet, we still think that he'll eventually let the A's go to San Jose. It doesn't add up, Rhamesis.

The question is, could MLB block a Fremont move even though it's in A's territory? What we really need in someone like Al Davis who'd haul all this territorial rights crap into court. Problem is, someone like Davis would never be allowed to own a MLB team and even then the anti-trust exemption might get in the way.

As for Coliseum north? I'll stand by my theory that the politicos in Oakland just don't care enough to make this work. That is, until the A's announce that they're leaving.

In an earlier post, I had said that all Oakland has is a good "poker face", but perhaps I was wrong. Between territorial rights in San Jose and the difficulty of getting a new stadium built in another city(case in point DC's problems), Oakland may be in a stronger position than we think.

Tony D. said...

Great stuff R.M., Being a proponent of MLB in San Jose, I would love to see Oaklands efforts fizzle out, the territorial rights issue resolved and the A's relocated to SJ. But I am also a realist, and I realize there's a good chance the hideous rights won't go anywhere and Lew Wolff will continue to abide by baseballs rules. If so, and if Oakland can't get anything going, then Fremont it is! This would also be a good way of sticking it to Magowan...bring the A's to Silicon Valley without actually bringing them to Silicon Valley.

jrbh said...

I've always thought that the easiest way out of all this would be to tell the Raiders that after 2010, they're no longer welcome at the Coliseum, then set about figuring out how to blow up Mt. Davis and redesign what needs to be redesigned. It'd be far cheaper, and the Raiders are a net drag on the city financially, socially and politically.

Kenny said...

Well, what about "New" AT&T (nee SBC) Park? When the Giants moved into their new digs, they moved even closer to Alameda County. I willing to bet some money that the Giants are closer to Alameda County than either sites in Fremont (Pacific Commons/NUMMI) are to Santa Clara County.

As to the label of "Silicon Valley." It seems that the Valley is expanding. Union City has a dubious claim of being the "Gateway of Silicon Valley" and some even think the Valley extends up I-680 into some of the industrial parks in Pleasanton. The arguement of an A's ballpark in Fremont encroaches on Silicon Valley are invalid. The MLB agreement says "Santa Clara County" not "Silicon Valley."

Georob said...

Could the Coliseum be renovated as a baseball-only facility if the Raiders left? It was done in Anaheim, but "The Big A" was originally configured for baseball only, and therefore was easier to convert back.

I'm inclined to think that had Mt. Davis never been built, the A's would still have the same issues they have now with the Coliseum. The sightlines, huge foul areas, narrow concourses and other shortcomings would still be there. And even though you wouldn't need approval from the Raiders to renovate, the job would be so large that it might just be easier to build a whole new stadium.

As elated as I was, to this day I'm baffled as to why the Raiders came back to Oakland. No matter how bad things were in LA, the departure of the Rams would have made things so different for Al Davis. I don't think ANYONE could have predicted that LA would be without NFL football going on 10 years now.

But I digress, no matter what happens with the Raiders, the A's are going to need a new stadium somewhere.

gojohn10 said...

I think georob is right. With or without the Raiders, the A's would be asking for a new stadium. In this regard, the Raiders may have actually done the A's a favor because with Mt. Davis, it's pretty much a concensus that the coliseum does not work for baseball. If the Raiders had never moved back to Oakland, that would not be the case. That said, other cities like Fremont or SJ might still have been dangling the prosect of new digs in their respective cities, but at least with Oakland, a new stadium would be even less likely (if that is possible)

Marine Layer said...

It's wishful thinking to believe that Oakland/Alameda County will make a simple decision between the two teams. If it comes down to that, they'll delay the decision as long as possible. There's one thing to keep in mind here. The agreements that the A's negotiated in 2002 and the new one the Raiders just did give the two teams most if not all of the leverage for future deals. There are no long-term leases, expensive buyouts, right-of-first-refusal clauses or anything else to keep the teams in Oakland. That's a very dangerous position for Oakland to be in. They know they have limited resources to make things happen. They have land in some parts of the city, but it's disappearing fast. They also have a city auditor that's very reluctant to rubber-stamp the issuing of new debt (and rightfully so).

And there are some 150 million other reasons why the Raiders can't be set aside so quickly. Good money after bad? Good luck getting a consensus at the City Center to back that politically.

I've gone over the reasons why the Coliseum can't be renovated the way Angels Stadium did. It's simply not the same situation because the Big A was more baseball-friendly to start, and gutting the infrastructure to make it work the way Wolff wants would require nearly as much money as building a new ballpark from scratch would.

There was a NY firm a few years ago that wanted to build a huge mixed-use development surrounding the Coliseum. That didn't go anywhere. I wonder what would happen if Wolff suggested that now. It would be similar to the development being planned at the NJ Meadowlands, with its "Xanadu" retail-entertainment project and a new NFL stadium for both the Giants and Jets. Price tag? $1 billion for the stadium alone and counting. Another $1.3 billion for Xanadu.

Georob said...

But back to the Fremont issue. Could Bud Selig indeed attempt to block a Fremont move because of its proximity to the South Bay? Or because of its location in relation to the rest of the A's territory?(CoCo and Alameda)

As I asked before, if the Giants and MLB have issues with a transfer within the A's OWN TERRITORY, then why on earth would they be willing to negotiate on San Jose?

The Cactus Leaguer said...

I don't think Magowan would have any recourse to block a move to Fremont by the A's... he may not like it, but he can't block it in the same way that he can in San Jose.

tony d. said...

R.M., Georob and Cactus Leaguer,
Just look at AT&T Park on a map...it's about 2 miles west of the Alameda County line (which appears to be slightly east of Treasure Island). MLB, and the A's, obviously didn't have a problem with Magowan building a ballpark so close to A's territory. So Magowan and the Giants should have no argument with a hypothetical A's move to Fremont/Warm Springs.

gojohn10 said...

tony d.-

The problem with that argument it that it assumes good faith on the part of the Giants. By that same mentality we could say the Giants would give back the territorial rights to the A's since the A's gave it to them for free originally, which, obviously, isn't going to happen. If indeed the A's try to move to Fremont, Magowen may not do anything, but I believe that would likely be due to his lack of legal authority than any good faith gesture

tony d. said...

Points well taken John10,
I personally don't think there's any good in Magowan. Regardless of your stance (Pro East Bay, South Bay), Giants fan, A's fan...is there anyone else on this blog that finds the Giants territorial rights totally un-American and hideous? Yeah, Yeah, they're legal under MLB Monopoly...but that doesn't make them right. Just needed to vent, have a good Friday all!

Marine Layer said...

An important thing about the major league agreement/constitution: Teams cannot sue each other or the league. All real or perceived grievances have to be worked out internally. Magowan hasn't been afraid of waving the sword of litigation in the past. But he hasn't used that sword since the last time the agreement was ratified in 2002. In fact he's been pretty mum on the subject. That would also mean that Peter Angelos's threat to sue when the Expos moved to DC was a hollow one.

jrbh said...

It sounds right that Magowan couldn't sue the A's or MLB, but what about the bondholders who bought San Francisco ballpark bonds with the assurance that the Giants would be able to pay off the bonds with money from fans in "their territory"?

jrbh said...

You don't think Ron Dellums could tell the Raiders and Al Davis to go to hell? I know he could, and I'm guessing he would if he had to make a choice between the A's and the Raiders. In fact, I think it's a key part of this whole ballpark dance Wolff is doing. I think he wants to lock the A's into a favorable deal or into leaving town before a Dellums administration takes office.

Of course, if Ignasio, i.e., The Dumbest Elected Official in America, Including Officeholders Who Pretend to Live in Crawford, TX, gets elected mayor, god knows what would happen.

I know Wolff wants all kinds of fancy new stadium stuff, but blowing up Mt. Davis, building a beautiful OF/BART concourse, moving the field a little closer to the stands and creating a club/exclusive seating area behind home plate seems eminently do-able to me, doesn't strike me as nearly as expensive as building a new stadium, and would be an excellent PR gesture to Wolff: "This is what we can do. It costs $100M or so. Are you serious about staying or not?"

Marine Layer said...

If there's really language in the investors' bond documentation that says anything about territories, I suppose they could file suit. I doubt it's on paper, however. If anything, they could sue Magowan for breach of contract. In either case it sounds farfetched. It would involve the opening of books, and none of them want to go there.

jrbh, we've discussed the renovation concept. Unless they tear down the entire Coliseum and build a new ballpark from scratch, it isn't happening. The foul territory is a big issue. So is the lack of a concourse for suiteholders. And it will cost well more than $100 million. I understand your interest in finding a compromise plan, but for Wolff, it's akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

jrbh said...

The argument that you can't renovate the Coliseum is simply a placeholder for, "If you don't give me a spiffy new stadium, I'm going to go to Las Vegas or San Jose or Portland or wherever I feel like." It's not a serious position intellectually.

A Coliseum upgrade isn't viable because there'd be no concourse for the poor, put-upon luxury box holders? It's not viable to move the field back 10-15 feet and build a club behind home plate? Come on.

The Raiders thing and the desire of Wolff and Fischer to make a truckload of money on a new ballpark are the only genuine obstacle to making the Coliseum a perfectly acceptable, even good, baseball facility. Serious obstacles, to be sure, but let's not pretend that it's anything else.

Anonymous said...

Could Lew Wolff be possible playing it from this angle:
1) Wait for the Raiders to skip town part 2 in 2010 (Las Vegas Raiders?)
2) Implode the current coliseum to make way for a new ballpark and limited surrounding developments.
3) Play at AT&T Park while a new ballpark is built...3 or so years.
You know, we talk a lot about Wolff's possible thinkings...does billionaire Fi$her have any say in the A'$ future?

Marine Layer said...

You may not have any sympathy for suite buyers, but Wolff is trying to sell these suites and he at least has to have something on par with the competition. Things like restrooms in each suite. Separate elevators. Concierge service. The guy is a hotelier. What do you expect? You still haven't addressed the foul territory issue. We may like it just fine, but it's a big negative for MLB.

Regarding the Raiders - they may not have a place to go to in 2010. Tagliabue has structured it so that he decides who goes to LA, not Davis. Davis can go there if he wants to build a stadium himself, and that's not likely.

jrbh said...

Some comments:

(1) I find it highly unlikely that the NFL will ever go to Las Vegas. It's one thing to cut down on baseball or even basketball betting; the casinos would order a hit on Paul Tagliabue (Dramatic license. I think.) before they'd let anyone mess with their football betting.

I do, however, agree that Tagliabue is probably interested in finding a way to move somebody else into the LA Coliseum and then a new stadium, if for no other reason than to fuck with Al Davis. Plus, a re-launch in LA isn't going to be a cakewalk, and who needs all the negatives Davis brings?

(2) I did in fact address the foul territory issue: in a remodel, I'd move the field back ten to fifteen feet. This brings it substantially closer to the stands.

(3) While it is true that I do not have not a lot of sympathy for luxury suite holders or for people trying to sell to them, if the lack of in-suite bathrooms and a guy in a hotel doorman uniform are what's keeping you from selling an exclusive service in which you offer luxury amenties and the chance to see top-flight major league baseball, you should probably get the hell out of the business.

(4(

jrbh said...

D'oh. There was no "4"

Marine Layer said...

You can't just move the field fifteen feet back and call it a day. It affects the view of fans, mostly those immediately behind the plate. There's a good chance that they would have obstructed views. It's bad enough that the front rows of the upper two decks are walkways, rendering the first 4-6 rows in the plaza and upper decks unsuitable.

That would help mitigate the foul territory a bit, but you'd still have the problem of numerous sections not being angled towards the diamond because of the bowl shape. I don't mind sitting in those seats so much especially if they're just $2 a pop, but if they were $15 I'd have a problem with it.

Not only that, but then you'd have to create an even bigger notch in the stands for the backstop since you're supposed to have 45-60 feet from the plate back.

I'm not a suitebuyer. I'm just saying that if you're going to invest in the renovation of a stadium, you better do what you can to get maximum ROI. Cutting corners for the premium consumer is not a good way to do it. That entire business model is based on perceived value and markup. The A's are competing with 5 other major sports franchises in the Bay Area. They don't need to make it an uphill climb for themselves.

I doubt that Tagliabue is out to intentionally screw Davis. He just wants to control how the NFL operates and keep maverick owners like Davis from causing too much damage.

Georob said...

Three unrelated things:

1) Rhamesis, you still haven't answered my question about whether MLB could stop a move to Fremont.

2) Not that it would change anything, but I'd love to know why the Coliseum was designed the way it was. Most other dual purpose venues built at the time had moveable lower deck seating that lined up in a straight line against either a football or baseball configuration, with everything above it else in a permanent bowl setup.

Oakland was in lot better shape financially in those days, but I suspect that saving money played a role in that design scheme..... Who knew?

3) As for JRBH's rants against the "greed" of sports owners; I will say this: It's a point of view that is probably shared by a good many voters within the city of Oakland. And any local politican or official negotiating with either Lew Wolff OR Al Davis has to keep one eye on that consituency lest they lose their power altogether.

True, a good many citizens of Oakland may be uninformed, unreasonable, and just plain clueless; but they still go to the ballot box on election day.

The beauty of our American system!(sometimes)

Anonymous said...

You know, many people may ask why the Coliseum was designed the way it was, but quite frankly, who was complaining about the way it looked back in the 80's when it was one of the most beautiful and it had the All-Star game? The Coliseum was built the way it is for multi-purpose reasons, and I cant say i'm totally sure saving money had anything to do with it. And this whole upper deck seating thing is overrated. I've sat many times in the upper deck and saw things perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I think it would be naive in the extreme to believe that Wolfe did not have a plan prior to purchasing the team. Before one dollar changed hands he knew what he was going to do. I don't think he cares one whit about what the Oakland city council does because he does not plan on being around with the A's very long. That leaves us in the position of guessing what his intentions were all along. Perhaps he knows that a Fremont location will drive Mcgowan to distraction and plans on using that as leverage for the return of the rights to San Jose. Mcgowan can't stop him from moving there and MLB has already publicly stated that the A's are not "viable" in their current venue. Wolfe will corner Oakland into refusing to back his stadium, threaten to move to Fremont, then give Mcgowan the option of choosing between the lesser of two evils from his point of view. Given the choice, what would Mcgowan opt for? The A's in Fremont or San Jose?

Marine Layer said...

Sorry Rob. I don't think Magowan would have any real footing on a challenge to a Fremont move because the A's would simply be moving within their territory. I asked Maury Brown, who got a nice peek at the MLB constitution, if the old "15-mile" rule was still in effect. The 15-mile rule prevents a team from moving within 15 miles of another's territory. The Giants and A's have always been within 15 miles of each other, so the Giants may have violated the rule by moving to China Basin. Back to the rule itself - Maury didn't see it in the docs, but he felt there was no reason for them to take it out. Whatever the case, it's probably a rule that can be enforced at the commish's discretion. Which means that if the commish approves the move, he won't let the rule stand in the A's way.

Last anonymous guy - I've considered your "conspiracy theory" and think it's plausible, though I don't think it's Wolff's preferred endgame scenario.

Georob said...

Of course, if the A's move to San Jose, the Giants presumedly would get something in return. Not so if they move to Fremont. All the more reason for the Giants to be against it.

jrbh said...

Yeah, I agree that moving the field back would probably eliminate a handful of seats behind home plate in terms of obstructed views. But since you'd have tens of thousands with better views, that'd be fine.

As part of a re-design for a baseball-only Coliseum, I assume we'd re-angle some of the seats.

And thanks for the shout-out, georob. I think I'd put it differently, of course: any fan who's watched baseball owners and administration in general and A's owners in particular take advantage of the special legal and social status peculiarities of baseball and doesn't think they're rapacious, well, I'd question that person's grasp of the obvious.

Shoot, even the *owners* think they're untrustworthy greedheads; Hoffman wouldn't sell his share of the A's unless Schott did too because he didn't trust Schott to cut him in on whatever Schott was cooking up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the acknowlegement Marine Layer. I am the "last anonymous guy" (lag). I hope I didn't come across as a conspiracy nut. It's just that I don't believe for a second that Wolfe didn't already have a plan in mind when he bought the club. I guess that's not entirely accurate either is it? Wolfe is merely the front man for those who did buy the club, albeit one with a significant stake himself. It seems far to coincidental to me that Selig has publicly stated that the A's are not viable in their current venue, and yet his good friend Wolfe becomes a managing partner in said "unviable" club. At the same time, Mr. Selig speaks in San Jose and obliquely refers to San Jose's chances at getting the team. While not encouraging, he didn't exactly close the door either. Any close look at Seligs actions pretty clearly identify his goal in all this. How many MLB teams have built new stadiums in the last dozen years or so? The list of those who haven't is a lot shorter than those who have. Bud has left an idelible stamp during his term as commish. It seems to be his legacy if you will.
I respect your insight into the issue because you seem to be personally involved and knowledgable. Do you thing that Wolfe will have an end game, or already has one in mind?

Marine Layer said...

What Wolff has are options. If he's able to get a deal done with Oakland, he'll look like a hero and opportunities to develop in Oakland could open up for him and his partners. If he goes to San Jose, he'll be a hero there with development opportunities there already in place and plenty of existing interests there to leverage, plus the Quakes if he invests in that team. If he goes to Fremont, he'll stay within the East Bay and not cause trouble by challenging territorial rights. All three have different issues to address so none are a slam dunk.

I've said before that I thought Wolff's timing in terms of picking up the option to buy the team was curious. It almost seems like he waited for all of the available ballpark land in Oakland to be assigned to other development projects, then let loose with his plans.

Anonymous said...

Then really it's a matter of what options he will choose to excercise. I hope the Marlins make Vegas their new home. At least that limits Wolfe's out of area options. Portland does not seem like a viable candidate for MLB. If Mcgowan is forced to choose between the A's moving to Fremont or San Jose, what choice do you think he would make?

Marine Layer said...

Magowan's been mum on the subject so it's difficult to speculate. It all depends on what might be pitched as compensation for a move to San Jose. He might go with Fremont because he sees it as less of a threat, or he could choose the compensation route. The cities could play roles here as well. If Fremont's pols think they're being played, they might pull out of the running. That would alter the landscape significantly.

Georob said...

Now that Rhamesis has questioned Lew Wolff's timing in buying the club, I'd like to question his wisdom in proposing his "ballpark village" in a location that did not appear to be a candidate for redevelopment. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since he's a seasoned developer used to working with cities Yet, the idea seemed to fizzle very quickly.

Frankly, I'm glad he chose to pull the deal as fast as he did, rather than let it drag on for two or three years. Still, you have to wonder what the heck Lew Wolff was thinking to begin with.

Nothing bothers me more than "conspiracy theorists" who claim that Wolff is setting Oakland up to fail. However, their argument got a big boost by the way this all was handled.

Anonymous said...

I think Lew was thinking the same thing he has been thinking for a couple of years now.
I know it may get annoying that some are all but convinced that the A's are gone from Oakland, but thats been my opinion since the day the A's were sold. It's not something I'm overjoyed about because it most certainly means bad news to my own personal bottom line. My only hope is that they remain in the Bay. That's looking more likely from where I sit.
Hey Marinelayer.....you running for office soon yourself? Great non-commital reply concerning Mcgowan....lol. He has been AWFULLY quiet concerning the whole issue. Wonder if he already knows the final score himself?
My own take concerning "territorial rights" is that he is fully aware that he has a tenious legal hold at best. The rights were ceded to him contingent on the Giants moveing to SJ.....or at least thats the way it will play in litigation. I think he will squawk when the times right, but will quickly lay down and take a compensation package. Fremont leaves him in a worse position, being that it's geographically closer and will link with public transportation much more readily than that of his stadium. San Jose at least puts them much farther away and restricted in their access to public transport. Face it, any new park anywhere in the Bay is going to hurt him. I think SJ will hurt him a lot less. Which do you think will inlfict the least harm to his club?

Marine Layer said...

I disagree about Fremont. Right now the two prospective Fremont sites are miles away from an existing BART station, with the Warm Springs BART extension as much as a decade from being completed. If Magowan wanted the A's put in a place where they would be somewhat isolated, Fremont's a good spot due to the lack of transit infrastructure. The question is whether the proximity of tech companies and GM/Toyota also plays a part. The Giants won't get indemnity for a Fremont move.

On the other hand a move to San Jose along the Caltrain route from the Peninsula and a downtown SJ location could be perceived as a greater threat, but at least the Giants would get compensation. I won't venture a guess at what that might be because I frankly have no clue how it might work.

There's talk about a lawsuit, but from whom? It can't be either of the ballclubs. San Jose or Santa Clara County could sue the Giants, but that would be politically unpopular - the "nuclear" option. Neither entity has the cash to spend on such a suit.

Anonymous said...

It's me again Marine Layer, lag. I see your point. But here's a question, suppose the A's decide upon Fremont. It'll take 3 to 5 years to get the actual stadium constructed and reayd to play in. So that decade long wait for the BART extension is now effectivley halved. Might it not speed things up (BART extension) if there is significant development beyond just a ballpark? I know this is just wild speculation, but really, what else do we have?

Marine Layer said...

Not necessarily. Take BART. BART-to-Warm Springs's ridership estimates are largely dependent on the BART-to-San Jose extension being built. Since BART-to-San Jose is in limbo, there's no telling when Warm Springs will get built.

BART won't be a major factor in getting a Fremont ballpark built and vice-versa.

Fremont's main selling points right now are the access to the Silicon Valley customer base without upsetting territorial rights, a large piece of land that may become available, and freeway access. There's no guarantee that BART will make it further south from its current terminus.

Anonymous said...

So you would eliminate proximity to public transportation as a consideration for a stadium. While it may be a plus, it certainly isn't enough of a factor to quash any particular site. OK. So eliminating any other potential sites other than San Jose or Fremont, which makes the most sense for the A's from their point of view?

I wouldn't be concerned about litigation. MLB very rarely operates that way. After all, the Expo's were placed squarely into the Orioles territorial rights and nobody seriously considered litigation. A very good reason for this is that in court anything can happen. Any plaintiff will surely seek to challenge MLB's anti-trust exemption as part of their case. MLB will not risk that exemption lightly. The other owners and the commish effectively slit Angelino's throat on that one. He was forced to accept the Expo's behind closed doors. If push came to shove, the other owners will happily slice Mcgowan's throat also. The close relationship of Wolfe and Selig smacks of collusion before the fact to me. I could be wrong, but I just don't beleive in those types of coincidences.

lag

Anonymous said...

Speaking of collusion...
The Baseball San Jose group was originally put together to, among other things, fight against the Giants territorial rights, ie actively recruiting supporters, gathering signatures and "declarations of independcence." But since the San Jose Bud Selig speech of late August 05, the BSJ website has gone completely silent...no new posts, no supporter updates, absolutely nothing! Makes you wonder, what affect did the Selig speech (positive/negative) have on San Jose's movement? What was discussed/said behind closed doors? Enquiring minds want to know...

Marine Layer said...

A couple of clarifications:

My comments were about Fremont's position with respect to public transportation. BART's not a valid selling point if no one knows when it's going to come to the ballpark. BTW, the BART extension will cost $750+ million, the price of two ballparks. Generally, public transportation is a huge factor. In Fremont's case, it can't be heavily emphasized.

If it comes down to choosing between Fremont and San Jose based only on difficulty of getting the deal done territorial rights aside, San Jose wins because it is already securing the land and has given entitlements for surrounding land development. Fremont's just getting going and will take some time to get the pieces in place.

As far as the O's-Nats situation goes, there is a constant misperception that the O's had territorial rights to DC. They didn't, at least not in writing. The only thing they could argue about was broadcast rights, which are a completely different story. Thus a deal was made to give Angelos a majority share of the regional sports network, though I think in the end it will be an excellent deal for MLB. The Giants-A's situation is completely different because the territorial definition is in writing. However, I think some aspects of the O's deal could be applied to the Giants' indemnnification if it gets to that point.

The lack of updates on the BSJ site is curious. I'll put it this way. Larry Stone IS Baseball San Jose. And he hasn't gone away.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, I wasn't aware that DC was not specifically given over to the O's. Who would have imagined that? At any rate, one precedent was set. The Expo's moved closer to the O's. The A's will be trying to move farther away from the Giants. I can see where there are some comparisons concerning the broadcast issues.

That's quite a sum of money. But if BART is not an immediate selling point, might it not be a future selling point? At any rate, with either known locations in SJ and Fremont, it will be non factor...is that correct?

And as it stands, you feel that SJ has the edge because they have already started the ball rolling? How long would it take Fremont to play catchup?

Marine Layer said...

San Jose has to get out ahead of the game because of the uncertainty involving territorial rights. So yes, they have an edge due to preparedness, but the rights issue negates it.

Anonymous said...

So Portaland and Vegas aside, do you see this shaping up as dogfight between SJ and Fremont to win the affections of the A's? That would be interesting. I know your probably a partisan in the issue, but the A's would seem to be the clear cut winner in either scenario. One can hope.