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25 April 2006

Wake me when a good offer comes

Over at The Hardball Times, Maury Brown provided an assessment of the three teams that are most often targeted for a possible move (Twins, A's, Marlins), along with potential target cities (San Antonio, Charlotte, Portland, Las Vegas, Norfolk). In his judgment, we shouldn't expect the A's to find greener pastures outside the Bay Area. I've felt the same way for some time, and I'll continue to concur until details about a knock-Lew's-socks-off deal from outside California are revealed.

For those that think a big, free stadium is just around the corner anywhere in North America - think again. Those days are over. You can point to the DC deal and how the public has been swindled, but that took an extreme amount of coordinated (some would say collusive) effort by MLB and the owners, and the payoff had to be huge (which it will be). That payoff is not happening anywhere else.

42 comments:

jrbh said...

It's a good article, but I think it missed a major point, which, for lack of a better term, I'll call psychic relocation.

An A's move to Fremont would mean an entirely different fanbase, demographically and geographically. I honestly don't see a dramatic difference between a move to Fremont and a move to, say, Portland.

Bleacher Dave said...

I totally disagree, jrbh. I attend A's games now, and 10 or so season ticket holders I sit near would all continue to attend in Fremont.

Cities don't support teams - regions do.

Georob said...

If the A's would be willing to share their info, I'm sure you'd find that "ground zero" for A's support lies in the 880 corridor from San Leandro down through Fremont. The A's should be able to hold onto a large chunk of that in Fremont.

There's also a good many fans in the Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore area as well. 680 access to Warm Springs should facilitate those fans to a great degree.

As I said in a previous post though, is that the A's will likely lose much of Contra Costa which is a very affluent market for them. And frankly, I think they've been slowly losing some of it since the Giants moved to Pac Bell/ATT. Same with the I-80 corridor from Richmond down through Oakland.

But what do you care, JRBH? If they're not in Oakland city limits, you're gone anyway, right?

And to claim that a move to Fremont is no different than a move to Portland? Sorry, you're just full of s__t!

Anonymous said...

jrbh, if you had to guess, what percentage of fans at an average a's game are residents of oakland?

i'm trying to figure out if you're an idiot or merely delusional.

Kevin said...

Earlier, I posted percentages showing where many of my buyer were located. I made the mistake of including all buyer, even those purchasing tickets to watch the other team play (Yankees and Red Sox). I have gone back over my list and weeded out those buyers who admitted they were fans of the other team. Here's what I got.

680 (Wal Creek - Pleasanton) 23%
880 No. (Oakland - Hayward) 10%
80 (Emeryville North) 0%
S. Bay (Mt. View South) 31%
880 So (Union City - Fremont) 4%
San Francisco 10%
Peninsula 8%
Central Valley 2%
North Bay 8%
Out of Town 4%

Obviously this is just one small sampling of buyers and not very scientific. But I think it is quite clear looking at the numbers that there are a large number of buyers in the 680 corridor and the South Bay. What is really interesting are the low number of buyers in the Fremont to Richmond area (14% combined). What does this say, if anything, about fan attendance, and proximity to the ballpark?

I'd be interested to see whether there are other STH with numbers similar or different from these.

Georob said...

Kevin, it looks like money to me. The areas that you show with a higher percentage (680 and South Bay) are more affluent areas, plain and simple.

People like JRBH can cry about the game becoming geared to the rich and white all they want, but when you're a business you have to go where your buyers are. I have to admit that I'm puzzled by your low numbers in the 880 South corridor, though.

I'd still like to know why the A's didn't go after a stadium near the Dublin BART station?. It's in the heart of a stronger demographic base, accessible by many freeways, and accessible to urban fans in Oakland by BART AND freeway.

I fear that the A's are going to find that much of the South Bay are inclined to be Giants fans, and that whatever they pick up down there may not offset what they lose in places like Concord and Walnut Creek.

peanut gallery said...

Interesting numbers Kevin. One way to look at that is your buyers are by definition not season ticket holders. So your customers' locations may very well be the inverse of A's season ticket holders' locations (or pretty close). Fremont north through Emeryville and beyond is low in your numbers. Could be the exact opposite in the A's numbers, meaning that corridor is the core of their current fan base.

jrbh, Hopefully, you can tell by now that I agree with you on a lot of items and respect your opinion. But I'm a little stunned by your post. That's just so out there. I have to assume you're just trying to get a rise out of people.

Marine Layer said...

My guess is that surplus land in Dublin is already slated for residential use in the future. The only commercial/industrial property that was readily available was the land that IKEA is going to occupy. It's that conversion that's the key to the deal.

mother's cookies said...

jrbh has this snobbish, elitist, and quite delusional opinion that he is the personification of the typical A's fan, that the bulk of the A's fan base is just like him. If the A's dare do something he doesn't agree with, his knee-jerk reaction is to state that the team will lose its entire fanbase out of sheer disgust.

Georob said...

JRBH is just an angry person who wants attention and tries to get it by picking a fight on any issue he sees fit.

He used to pull the same routine on Athletics Nation until people started ignoring him.

I suggest we all do the same

jrbh said...

An angry person? Shucks, I'm really not. My girlfriend, family and friends don't think so, and hey, I don't do the kind of things an angry, insecure person does, like commit nasty little ad hominem assaults when I disagree with someone in an argument. That'd be you, georob, and you "anonymous," and you, mother's cookies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

My point about a different fanbase is arguable, but it's not crazy. A dramatic rise in ticket prices -- is there anyone here who seriously doubts that that's where we're headed? -- is going to freeze out a significant part of the current fan base. (I'm thinking here especially of senior citizens, but anyone who isn't making a fair chunk of change would be in this group.)

A move to Fremont, with it's near complete lack of public transportation, is going to freeze out another part of the base, including students and again including senior citizens. And including people without cars, which, even though we're in California, is a not inconsiderable group.

Northern Contra Costa County, Marin and San Francisco fans, faced with a nasty drive, especially for 7 or 7:30 weekday starts, will probably stop attending, or cut way back. (The season ticket holders I sit with, who live in Pittsburg, already told me that they're going to cut back from 81 to 14 if the A's go to Fremont.)

And there are fans who identify the A's as an "Oakland" outfit, and the team will lose some of them, too.

You're going to get an influx of new fans, more like the crowd at Phone Company Park -- why would Wolff be doing this if this weren't precisely his goal? -- and combined with the fans that are being lost, it's going to be a massive change in the identity of the team and it's fans.

That's a huge change for a lot of people. Sure, it's different than if they move to Portland. But for a lot of people, the practical reality of it *isn't* all that different. The A's would be choosing to leave those fans behind, and they're going to feel angry and abandoned.

Anonymous said...

"You're going to get an influx of new fans, more like the crowd at Phone Company Park"

i'm confused, isn't that where you're headed if the a's move to fremont?

good point about the lack of public transportation. if there isn't any now, it's not like that could change in the future, for example if a major league ballpark was built there.

Kevin said...

georob,

Yeah the 880 numbers are rather puzzling. Perhaps it's as Peanut suggests that maybe that's an indication of where many of the STH reside. Of course given the large number of people living within that corridor and the fact that there are only 8000 or so STH, I would have thought there still would have been more buyers.
Then again, I don't think you can draw any serious conclusions from this small sample of buyers.

Bleacher Dave said...

The partial season ticket holders that we sit near are:

Hollister - 2
San Jose - 2
Santa Clara - 1
Redwood City - 3
Oakland - 1
San Leandro - 4

Bleacher Dave said...

Oh, and don't forget - avg. ticket price is up 25% this season.

Bleacher Dave said...

and finally, why don't the A's have a frequent fan program anymore? Every otherr business in the world is knocking themselves out to collect purchasing habit data from their customers.

You'll be able to knock me over with a feather if the A's don't end up with a new stadium in Oakland. I believe that this is, after all, not about ballparks but real estate development - and the "blighted" undervalued land is in Oakland.

Jeff said...

Bleacher Dave,

Do you really believe the A's will end up with a new park in Oakland? If so, what do you believe are the primary sites for a future park? I have noted that you seem to take a great deal of flack from the OAFC group who seem to think you favor the A's leaving Oakland. That is...if your the same Bleacher Dave.

Based on the information provided by Marine Layer, it doesn't appear that there is a viable site in Oakland. Not that ML has stated that it's not a possibility. If anything, his technical expertise has been spread in an about as unbiased manner as humanly possible. Hands down, he runs the best informational site concerning the A's future that is likely to be found on the web.

I happen to take the view that Wolfe/Fischer's primary goal is to maximize the worth of their investment. I suscribe to the view that if you wish to divine the future....you follow the money. And the money seems to me to be in the South Bay. The closer to the corporate teat the better.

One thing I find interesting about the OAFC's attitude is their maniacle insistence that the A's belong in Oakland by divine right. I understand the anger at the potential loss of the team, but it's not like the team is leaving their geographical area. Not once have I heard a lucent argument as to why I should agree with their position, other than appeals to emotion. I drive 150 miles to see at least 20 games a year. It makes little difference to me if I take 880 north or 680 south to reach the park where the A's play.

I take care to keep from insulting the Oakland folks, but it is exasperating when you drive such a long distance to support the team, and yet the Oakland folks act as though they are the victims of a huge conspiratorial betrayal because they face the prospect of a 20 minute commute to the games.

On another note, I must admit that I spend little or no money in Oakland itself, other than tickets and conscessions at the park. I usually stay in a hotel in Pleasanton and eat dinner there. That has more to do with the image that Oakland has created for itself. I realize that that "image" is not entirely accurate, but by the time I came to that conclusion, I had already become comfortable navigating my way around Pleasanton. The point being, the city of Oakland has much more to worry about than just their team leaving.

Georob said...

Oakland has been unfairly "dumped on" by the media, corporate world and a host of other sources dating at least 50 years or more. One downside of this is that a lot of Oakland boosters choose to assert little responsibility for the city's state and instead lay blame on outside forces, such as:

Racism
Class Consciousness
Corporate Greed
The Government
The State
The 1989 Earthquake
Al Davis
Lew Wolff
Steve Schott
Charlie Finley
KNBR
San Francisco

And so on. Read the comments of many in the OAFC and other Oakland boosters, and you'll unfortunately find a lot of that sentiment.

And I can't say that I blame them. But at the risk of sounding like a right-wing Republican(which I'm not) there comes a time that you have to "take responsibility" for your problems regardless of their source.

Like I said, Oakland's been dealt more than its share of bad luck; but it still has to compete with neighboring cities and neighboring regions. And if I'm an outsider trying to make a choice about where to locate my home or business, I'm probably not going to care about what happened 5, 10, 15 or even 50 years ago.

But I guess it's easier to say "I'm a victim" and blame someone else.

Anonymous said...

For someone to come from Pittsburg all the way to Fremont for even 14 games is still pretty good. And while the A's will miss JRBH's friends for the other 67, they should more than make up for it by the additional tickets they'll sell in Southern Alameda County and the South Bay.

And I have to agree with a lot of the other posters by saying that Jeff Beresford-Howe's remarks are designed more to get a reaction than to make lucid points.

You need to be on talk radio, Jeff!

Anonymous said...

Jeff,

Have you ever been to New York, Yankee Stadium? Did you ever go to Candlestick Park? How about Comisky in Chicago? You think the Coliseum is a bad area, go to the Bronx for a Yankee game, wait, that’s hallowed ground in baseball. It is what you make of it. Like Yankee stadium, at the coliseum, you go and watch baseball; I know this a new idea on this site and for baseball for that matter, since they want baseball to be an afterthought when you go to a game. If you like your baseball in bland location with Pleasanton type of restaurants, Fremont is the site for you. Congratulations, you may be able to eat at chain restaurants galore after the game. Regarding Oakland, don't worry we don't need you. We'll keep our world class dining to Oaklanders and those in the know. If you think Oakland is just what you see on the BART line or 880, we may have the best kept secret in the Bay. For all these Johnny come latelys’- this issue preexists the current ownership and our impossible (exclusive, which apparently wasn't so exclusive negots. w/a's) 8th month window to boot 80+ businesses or we'll move your team.
It's more than just a 20 minute drive for us, it is a slap in the face of a community that has supported this team through 4 world championships and 38 seasons, it's a slap in the face for the free rent that the City/county has given this team in the Coliseum. It is a slap in the face of Oakland for trying to bring the A's to the table many times to get a stadium in Oakland and the A's no showing. If the A's want out, just tell us it’s over, so we can stop this hope. Wolff, stop leaving the door open to Oakland if you don't want to be here say it so we can move on!
You may get that park that is void of all the undesirable aspects of life, bravo, but you'll lose the character of this team that comes from the tough town of Oakland and have it become just a distraction for shoppers and diners. "Lets all take in an inning or two between shopping at Old Navy and Costco, or lets leave early to beat the line at the claim jumper." If that is baseball to these owners, you can have it.
Plus, I love it that a guy travels 150 miles, is able to tell us what Oakland needs, buddy you have no idea about Oakland or what is best for it.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the condescending note on my baseball preferences anonymous. I asked for lucid reason why I should support a park in Oakland over a site in another area of the bay. You answered my question succinctly. Based on your discourse, I would have to conclude that no such reason exists.

I offered you an outsider view of Oakland. This may shock you, but it IS the prevelant view among those who are unfamiliar with Oakland. My point being that the PERCEPTION of Oakland is what should concern city residents. No one is going to be attracted to a city where their safety is at risk. No matter if those perceptions are accurate or not....they exist. I am aware now that a good many of those perceptions no longer reflect the reality of the city. I know the city is trying...and appears to be making progress. My goal was not to tear down the city image. I root for the underdog....part of what attracted me to the A's in the first place.

But the A's don't "owe" the city anything. Why does that concept appear so hard for the Oakland partisans to grasp? If you want the team, then position your city is such a manner that it is the most attractive option. But as with all things....it's going to cost you. That's the way the world works. I find it amusing that so many folks on the OAFC site are literally greasing the skids for the A's to leave. Folks there actually believe that laying the blame for the teams possible relocation on the ownership is a feasable means of pressuring the team to stay. That's almost laughable. All they are going to accomplish is providing the city politicians with the political cover they need to do what pols do best...which is nothing. What politician is going to concern themselves with an issue for which they will not be held accountable? If the OAFC folks are serious, they should focus their wrath on the city leaders. If a few of them believe they run the risk of being sacked over the A's leaving, they will react in a manner conduscive to the team staying.

For me personally, I would love for the A's to remain in the Coliseum. The price is right and the baseball experience exquisite. But I know that is not an option. I am not going to sulk about it. I am aware that my decision to remain a fan is going to cost me....that's the way the world works.

Georob said...

The last I checked there were no "World Class Restaurants" that I know along either Hegenberger Road or within close proximity of the Coliseum, so why are you complaining about Fremont?

Now there ARE choices in Jack London Square, Lakeshore, and Rockridge to name a few; but that requires a little more effort to get there, and the objective is to get those entertainment dollars within either walking or a 5 minute drive of the stadium.

And as someone who ALSO drives 150 miles to see games in Oakland, let me say that I lived over 30 years in the East Bay(El Cerrito); and I while I'm not claiming to have all the answers to Oakland's problems, I can tell you what they DON'T need, and that's a bunch of whiners making excuses.

Jeff said...

Rob,

Thanks for the moral support. It's appreciated. It's not my intention to incite the Oakland crowd. If I were there I would be one of them. I wouldn't want to lose a franchise as storied as the A's either. But it seems to me that if they are going to have any chance at success, it would be prudent to apply pressure at the point where they have the most influence. The politicians WILL respond to public pressure. But hell.....maybe Wolfe is manipulating events in order to create just that sort of environment. He can divide the electorate from their leadership in order to leverage a free ballpark from the city!

I sincerly hope my comments are not being misinterpreted as incendiary. I am really interested in the Oakland point of view.

Made it to any games this year? I've attended five. My A's addiction is getting unmanagble. What would the support group be for my affliction? AAA? Chevron and Exxon are going to make a killing off me.

Anonymous said...

Here is some responses from oakland officals.

1st is Jane Bruner (sp) district 1 Oakland city council member:

These and other ideas are great. We have shown Mr. Wolf three good sites but he seems not to be interested. I think you should try to contact the A's the city will work with them when they are interested because we are.

Jane

We have written the A's to no avail...My letters to Lewis Wolff and Billy Beane have gone without response.

These next two responses have were from Daniel Vanderpriem the CEDA/Redevelopment head, working with the A's on stadium development: The decision is actually made by the team's owner. You might want to send your email to Les Wolf.

and

"This isn't as much of a matter of where to build the ball park as it is matter of which jurisdiction can create the 200 million subsidy to pay for the ball park. Wolf is looking for 100 acres or so that can be purchased atindustrian prices and sold at residential prices. Cisco systems has thatland in fremont and the city is willing to rezone it for wolf so the profit
can pay for a new ball park. Oakland does not have such a property in one ownership, vacant, and able to be rezoned."

We are working with Oakland and applying pressure. We are doing all we can, letters to the tribune, chonicle...

I have personally talked to Ignacio Delafuente, the city has yet to give up on this ballpark issue....Oakland may lose out just because we dont have acres and acres of free undeveloped land. Thats is a shame...

Rockridge Athletic

Anonymous said...

It is also a shame that Athletics fans are arguing about this. Usually we have to argue with giants fans, not those in green and gold. Pitting cities against cities is never a good practice, shame on Wolff, I can almost see a bar fight coming on.

Georob said...

I still haven't gotten a decent response on the concept of "entitlements". The way I understand it, Lew Wolff can profit from the development and sale of properties in one area(ie: Oakland Army Base) and apply that revenue to building a stadium elsewhere(say, the Coliseum parking lot)

When I DID bring it up, Rhamesis thought I meant building the STADIUM at Oakland Army Base, too; but that's not what I meant.

Lew Wolff would undoubtedly rather have his "ballpark village" next to a stadium, but he's also talked entitlements as well.

Is that still a possibility?

Marine Layer said...

It's possible, but there are two inherent problems with building a ballpark in one place and residential somewhere else.

One, having the ballpark and entertainment district (ballpark village) right next to it is meant in part to attract a premium type of residential development. I'm talking an extra $100-300K per unit. This wouldn't be for all of them, but it would be for some part of it. It could also attract more upscale commercial/retail development, not just the typical franchise/big-box stuff.

Two, the municipality has to justify the additional city services that will become necessary with the ballpark and the influx of 5-7,000 residents. Property and sales tax revenue just from building homes won't cut it in the short term. If both ballpark and residential were in Oakland it could work, but reason #1 above is a factor. The difference would have to be made up by acquiring even more land. If the ballpark were in one city and the residential development were in another, one city would get the rewards will the other would pay the tab - an unlikely scenario.

Anonymous said...

Oakland, I was born in Oakland, and we are very proud of Oakland and to be a part of Oakland. We knoe Oakland is the hottest thing the Bay Area has right now. In our downtown office space is filling up with new, eager businesses ready to operate here. We are the most diverse city in the region. We know we're cool. We're not concieded, just convinced!!!

Georob said...

"We KNOE Oakland is the hottest thing"

"We're not CONCEIDED"

One thing's for sure, you probably went to school in Oakland. :)

Anonymous said...

the E happens to be by the W. so what! And I dare you to go to an Oakland school and make a comment like that.

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia:

"An inferiority complex, in the fields of psychology and psychoanalysis, is a feeling that one is inferior to others in some way. It is often unconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme antisocial behaviour. Unlike a normal feeling of inferiority, which can act as an incentive for achievement, an inferiority complex is an advanced state of discouragement, often resulting in a retreat from difficulties."


Looks like Oakland and its residents/supporters overcompensate with antisocial behavior and not spectacular achievement.

Some would say that the team has given the city 4 world championships. I don't see what the A's owe Oakland for winning the World Series four times.

And what is the definition of "world class dining"?

Anonymous said...

City of Oakland and world class dinning....It's not texas road house folks...A'cote, Oliveto, Bay Wolf, Citron, Garibaldi's, Dona Tomas, Le Cheval, Zacharys, Everettes and jones, and pizzaiolo (started up by cooks from nearby chez panisse, and picked by Conde Naste and one of the best resturants in the world)Near by Berkeley has just as many....

Georob said...

But are ANY of those places within a 5 minute walk or drive of the Coliseum?

And BTW....

It's World Class DINING, not "dinning"

It's EVERETT and Jones, not EVERETTES

Hey, at least you got Chez Panisse right, though it is customary to use CAPITAL LETTERS on names.

God bless the OUSD!

Anonymous said...

Georob-

That's Fremont Unified School District. Name world class restaurants within a 5 minute walk from Yankee Stadium, there is not, baseball stadiums were built where there was cheap land. These hallowed parks were built to watch baseball not for those who have ADD, go to pac bell for all the bells and whistles. I find that baseball is an event in it's self, I don't need shopping options or dining options surrounding the park. You want fine DINING tail gate.

Jeff said...

If some are comparing Yankee stadium to the Coliseum in order to evoke similarities, they are pursuing a useless path. Baseball on the east coast is much more popular than its counterparts out west. Yankee Stadium is firmly entrenched in history, not to mention a dedicated sports venue, unlike the Coliseum. It was designed soley for the benefit of the baseball experience, thereby giving it an inherent advantage over the Coliseum. I don't think it matters where you build a ballpark in NY city, the fans will turn out. Those people are fanatical about their baseball. Besides which, NY city is world reknown for their fine dining.

To be successful out west, other inducements have to be offered for the fans to turn out...ala phone booth park. And the fractured demographics ensure that any public subsidies will face an uphill battle from non baseball supporters in the community.

ML, when Wolfe talks of a ballpark village, does he mean retail shops in which he has a financial interest? In other words, when fans step out of their chosen means of transportation, will they walk through a village of stores and resturants enticing them to come in and buy on their way to the game? Or will he be merely the developer who sells the property to the store owners?

Georob said...

What's happening with the Alameda Naval Air Station? There's got to be potential there for something, the problem is that it's on the wrong side of the estuary. Still, it's so deliciously close to Downtown Oakland you think something couldn't be worked out there entitlement-wise.

Forget about the A's for a moment, the fact that there's a shortage of affordable middle class housing in the Bay Area alone dictates that this property be used for something worthwhile.

Marine Layer said...

The ballpark village may be around 30-34 acres including the ballpark, hotel, and baseball museum. I imagine that a hotel and its restaurant will be run by Wolff-DiNapoli since that's what they do. Other retail space will be marketed to whomever.

Alameda NAS is undergoing a very controlled-growth plan. Some of the first residential development includes affordable housing.

Jeff said...

So Wolfe will act as a tenant to other individual shop holders? I am curiuos because I wonder how this will affect the value of the franchise. If Wolfe owns the entire complex, that would certainly add to the worth of the franchise wouldn't it? Would any future sale of the team include the "village"? And would the value of the team include the retail component?

Marine Layer said...

No, they'd create other companies to handle the other ancillary revenue streams. Then the only money that would be subject to revenue sharing would be related to the ballpark itself. It's how business is done these days.

As far as franchise value, the village would probably be part of the package just as a radio station or cable network would be part of the package. But it could be structured in a way that they could easily divest themselves if they wanted to. I don't see why they would, however.

Anonymous said...

I haven't commented here before, but I check up from time to time and I appreciate all your guy's comments, but let's keep our eye on the ball here. The reason that Wolfe closed the third deck and gave a little more financial leeway this year is for the money. Those who think he doesn't want the epicenter of entertainment as his ballpark are fooling themselves. Wolfe wants the money, and if he can create a district around a new stadium with a whole bunch of businesses he can lease space to, he will undoubtedly jump at the chance.

As for the stadium being in another town, let's not get carried away with how "catastrophic" it would be. The truth is, only dedicated fans go to a ballpark with any regularity, especially when it's a lower tier spot like the Colliseum. If it changes location by 20-30 miles, the fans worth keeping will follow. I live in Lodi myself and as a college student with a part-time job I find time and money to go to several A's games a year. I've already been to both Yankees games and will be attending a game next week, and plan to hit up at least ten more games this season. It takes me an hour to get to the BART station in Dublin and then 20 minutes to get to the colliseum, but I still think it's a steal. I love the A's and I love the games, and to me a small commute makes no difference. How about fans from other states who move here and have to follow a team from afar? A friend of mine goes to school in Indiana and tells me how badly he misses A's games. He lived in Stockton, and he didn't mind the commute either. Fans who truly love the team will still continue to go.

The A's also wouldn't be the first team to play in a city outside of their namesake. The Cowboy's don't play in Dallas, the Piston's don't play in downtown Detroitm, and there are others. Do they have any problem attracting fans? If you build contenders, they will come.

Georob said...

I agree that it makes sense to "keep one's eye on the ball" and look at "the big picture" Unfortunately, too many look at this in terms of their local turf, often forgetting just how big the Bay Area really is.

The Oakland supporters claim to have the most intense and loyal support, yet threaten to have nothing more to do with the team if it moves 20 miles down the road.

San Jose supporters are more realistic, if only because they have a stronger city combined with a very tangible obstacle in being part of Giants' territory. Nevertheless, I often wonder if the only reason they're willing to get behind Fremont is because they assume the A's will get an "SJ" label.

What if Lew Wolff decides to keep the name "OAKLAND A's" ? Will Tony and "TenthlargestcityintheUS" brigade still be excited about baseball in the South Bay?

The rest of us just want a competetive team in a nice stadium. And although Fremont is no Paris, it beats Portland and Las Vegas.

Unlike most markets, the Bay Area is getting to the point where no one city dominates the region, making it difficult to "hang one's hat" on one name. However, until they change the name of that big bay, "San Francisco" will win by default.

...Making life tough for Oakland and San Jose

drummer510 said...

When are people going to realize that a ballpark in the middle of the suburbs defeats the purpose of a ballpark as a centralizing force in a region. By building a ballpark in Fremont, away from any legitamite entertainment, shops, restuarants, clubs, etc., it ruins one of the main legacies a ballpark could have on a community.

Building a downtown ballpark spurs growth and development in and around that area, and serves as a centralizing force in that region. How many recovering industrial cities have used a ballpark to recentralize and rebuild their city after all the industry left: Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Baltimore, etc.

Just like many of those midwest cities, Oakland is a recovering industrial city. Oaklanders are proud of their heritage and their city, because unlike many people who fled Oakland after the industry left, true Oaklanders stayed and have suffered for it, yet are still trying to rebuild.

That is why it is important that a stadium is built in Oakland and the A's stay in Oakland. Not only would it spur growth in Oakland, but would also help this community's mindset, that big civic and private projects in Oakland are very possible and feasible if people put their minds to it.

The A's fanchise has been through the good and bad times in Oakland. For Wolff to disregard this history for a cheaper location is a slap in the face of not only the Oakland legacy, but the Haas legacy as well.

So people don't hate on Oaklanders, just because they want to keep something that has been a big part of their lives. Can't hate on that Oaktown funk...