24 September 2006

Pay no attention to that stuff behind the curtain

The recent issue of Silicon Valley Metro had a blurb about the A's/Earthquakes new South Bay office, which is due to open in downtown San Jose soon. The location? The ground floor of the Fairmont San Jose, of course. I wonder if the employees get free vouchers to eat at one of Lew Wolff's restaurants nearby?

The office is located in the middle of a pedestrian mall called Paseo de San Antonio, which acts as a "bridge" between SJSU and Plaza de Cesar Chavez. The Fairmont actually occupies both sides of an entire block of Paseo de San Antonio thanks to an annex built a few years back. (I imagine that Lew once had dreams about holding victory rallies out on the Plaza's stage. Maybe he still does?)

When the announcement was first made about the new Earthquakes group setting up shop downtown, there was no mention of the A's involvement. These days, however, it seems like everything is co-branded (ESPN on ABC? What?) so it only makes sense for the A's to have a presence.

From looking at the picture above, the missing piece appears to be the Earthquakes logo. That must be tied up in licensing somehow, and since the A's technically don't own the Quakes yet, they don't have rights to the logo. The A's logo is quite striking, and given the frequent talk of territorial rights, seems like... an invasion of sorts.

But wait, there's more!

The vinyl window coverings shield anything that's inside from view, but the office's location next to an entrance to the hotel must mean there's another entrance to the office somewhere... Eureka!

And it would appear that there's just a little crack of light coming the edge of the curtain on the left door. Let's take a look at what's in there.

As the Metro blurb noted, it's a wall-sized matte photo of a crowd. I couldn't get a good picture of the other stuff I saw: maple cabinetry, halogen lamps. It's starting to feel like a condominium sales center (physical stadium models and video flythroughs included) with a hint of boutique retail.

Historical footnote: For those wondering if this is some sort of territorial rights violation, remember that the A's once had multiple "A's Clubhouse" team stores. IIRC, there were locations at malls throughout the East Bay. There was one other location: the Great Mall in Milpitas. The stores closed sometime in the late 90's or a few years ago.


Jeff August said...

How strange... Oakland A's in San Jose.

jonclaude4 said...

The very latest news wonder I log into this site just about daily. Thanks again ML!

BTW, my prediction on a stadium announcement (actual, teaser, or full BS), is right before season ticket fees are due the first week of February. Remember the teaser of a "major stadium announcement" right before the 2006 bill was due.


Anonymous said...

Hey Marine Layer,

Given the efforts to:

1)build new stadiums in the Bay Area for the A's, Earthquakes, and 49ers,

2) as well as the renovations to Cal's Memorial Stadium,

3) to say nothing of the Bay Area's Olympics 2016 bid,

have you ever considered making general Bay Area stadium construction the focus of this blog?

Seriously, I echo jonclaude4: I come here several times a day, because here is where I can find the most information on the Quakes stadium, including pictures and your knowlegeable commentary! Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

There's no guarantee that the Quakes will end up in San Jose, so it seems reasonable to think that the lack of the old Earthquakes logo is intentional.

sjoldtimer said...

I am sure that attaching the A's identity to the Earthquakes is a good idea. It lends instant credibility to an otherwise incredible series of events for the previous incarnation of the Quakes. Plus, I would think there is a bit of "in your face" aspect regarding the Giants.

Anonymous said...

I want my Earthquakes!!

Thanks MarineLayer. As always, you rule!


- Mark

Georob said...

It would have been very easy to put up the "A's" logo without the "Oakland" circling it. Then again, that IS the official logo they've been using now for 25 years.

I can see Tony printing the photo and putting it through one of those Infra-Red things to see if "San Jose" is subliminally embedded in the logo. If you're successful, I may just surrender and join your side :)

As for crossing territories, doesn't Willie MacCovey have a sports bar in Walnut Creek? Would that violate territorial rights? (Of course he DID play about five minutes for the A's in the late 70's?

Marine Layer said...

There's a ways to go yet in the Olympic bidding process. If the SF bid wins as the US choice, I'll start writing about it in full.

Both the Memorial Stadium renovation and the 49ers' new stadium are wrapped up in different types of political wrangling. For now, the Memorial Stadium changes are mostly about seismic retrofitting and other facilities for the various team sports, not renovation of the seating bowl or amenities. The Niners' situation appears to be getting pushed back far enough that Gavin Newsom will be well out of office - he'll never have to touch it. Smart move on his part.

Georob said...

BTW Marine Layer, what was in that space before? It would seem to me that the "highest and best use", to use a real estate term; would be retail. And for a venue like the Fairmont, high end retail.

Unless this is going to be a place that also sells sports merchandise and game tickets, then this is an inappropriate use and tells me that Wolff is having a difficult finding retail tenants.

Corporate ticket packages are usually not sold from walk-ins. They're probably done either on the phone, at the client's office, or over lunch. And if that client doesn't work in Downtown San Jose, that lunch probably won't be at the Fairmont.

If Lew Wolff REALLY wants to make a statement, he should do a combination A's store/sports bar at Santana Row or Valley Fair. But his rent there would probably be more than his lease at McAfee Coliseum :)

The Cactus Leaguer said...

Cool. I am tagging along with my wife at a conference there (SJ Fairmont) in about one month from now. Hope the store is open by then.

Kevin said...


Would MLB allow the Wolff to setup a sports bar/retail outlet in SR? I guess it all goes back to a question I posed earlier. What's involved with team's territorial rights? Does it prevent the A's from doing any type of marketing in SC?

marinelayer said...

Territorial limits do not extend to opening a store or office in Santa Clara County.

While Santana Row may be the best location to attract traffic, I doubt anything will open there. Wolff has long criticized SJ City Hall for approving both Santana Row and the Valley Fair expansion(s) as they have largely killed any chances for Downtown SJ to become a significant retail center.

Even though the space that the office occupies is in the Fairmont building, it's controlled by the SJ Redevelopment Agency. Other than restaurants, there isn't that much retail in the area.

Anonymous said...

How about setting up an A's bar in OAKLAND? Haven't seen one of those yet.

I can think of some empty space near the Coliseum that might have potential for synergy-laden opportunity...

Chris said...

Interesting article on how the $180 million in renovations for the Superdome was funded.

Jeff August said...

On the sports bar in Oakland tip...

It would be nice, but why is that Lew Wolff's job?

I'd love to see some development around the coliseum, I think Lew Wolff would have too.

Anonymous said...

I hope the SJ MLS team is named something like "San Jose Athletic" or "Atletico de San Jose", Green and Gold as their colors, and some variation of the A's logo on their uni's. It would lend instant tradition and class to the new team. No more lame-ass names like the Earthquakes or the Clash ever again, thank you very much.

murf said...

MLS has reserved the rights to the name "Earthquakes" for a new Bay Area franchise.

Earthshaker said...

The name "Earthquakes" does have tradition behind it.That is why it was changed from the Clash, which was lame. And I don't see how artificially putting baseball tradition onto a soccer team gives it instant class. And BTW, green and gold happen to be the colors of San Jose's fiercest rivals, the Los Angeles Galaxy. When the Raiders returned from LA would anyone have thought of changing from the silver and black?