03 October 2006

Want a piece of Pacific Commons?

Or rather, some land right next to Pacific Commons? If you're interested (and have several million bucks to throw away), the old Christy Concrete plant is up for sale (PDF brochure). Certainly the current owners know about the plans for the surrounding area and will make some coin on the sale of their 16.3 acre property if it comes to fruition.

What do you get? Excellent access to 880 and visibility from the Nimitz as well, for starters. The location also has great access to both the ballpark site and the retail area nearby.

The 16+ acres is deceptive. Almost 6 acres is set aside for a pond (wetlands, that's right) but the other 10+ are good to go. The land is zoned light industrial. A tech company with a desire for a high-profile location might be interested. If local pols are amenable to zoning changes, the possibilities are endless.


jrbh said...

I was watching Lew Wolff over the weekend on one of the A's/Angels telecasts and I finally figured out who he reminds me of: Ronald Reagan. He's got that same "aw shucks" thing, he seems so humble and likeable, so solidly old school, and like Reagan, he's excellent at slipping in the knife under the radar: during the course of an otherwise innocuous "ain't it great to win the division" interview, he said, unprompted, that the Coliseum provides a lousy experience for fans, an odd way to talk about the place you're going to be in for the next three years at least. He's got Reagan's taste for duplicity, too, and for cloaking greed with folksiness.

On another note, I'm thinking that if the A's make the World Series, how disgraceful those tarps are going to be. Fifteen thousand people per game are going to miss one of the greatest experiences a fan can have. None of Wolff's friends, of course, or Selig's, or the really heavy hitters, just middle class and lower middle class and even a few poor fans who could have scraped it together to buy a seat in the third deck outfield and have an experience they would be talking about the rest of their lives.

Anonymous said...


Repeat after me...30 mile move within the same county does NOT equal move accross the only does in the parallel univers that is the OAFC

Z said...

Yes, it reall sucks. I mean, its not as if there was a place like, I don't know, the Bleachers, where they could buy tickets to sit... I mean, its not like the coliseum has those type of seat available, and if they did, they wouldn't be in bulk.

We should open the third deck! I mean, then we can all buy 3rd deck tickets and sit in the 2nd deck like before!

jrbh said...

For the World Series, once you get done subtracting the season ticket holders and the MLB and media requests, a closed third deck means there are going to be substantially fewer tickets available to the public, and in particular the non-rich public.
Thousands and thousands fewer seats, bleachers or no. I don't see how that's an even remotely contestable assertion.

Sorry, but a pricey ballpark with no public transportation in which the corporate suites crowd back seats available to the general public is more than thirty miles from the Coliseum. It's in a completely different universe for fans who like to go to the games. I'm not sure why that's such a hard concept to understand, either. Or why proponents of the new ballpark have such a hard time acknowledging it.

The new park will also do something less consequential that I really hate: by radically changing the environment for the players -- different park dimensions, weather, etc. -- it will render forty years of A's tradition moot. Right now, for example, if a guy hits .300 playing half his season at the Coliseum, damn, that's some hitting. It's rare; only the very best average hitters can pull it off. In a new park with fake, quirky and short dimensions (a guess as to Wolff's taste), and no foul territory, .300 averages will be common. We're going to be watching a game in 2025 and there'll be a graphic on our 3D flat screen that lists the top 10 A's average hitters of all time, and they'll *all* be guys who played after 2010. No Carney, no Rickey.

(Of course, you could also say that when that same list for top ten pitching ERAs goes up, it's going to be all Vida, Catfish, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Except that none of you whiney OAFCers would be complaining at all if the new park was within Oakland city limits. Suddenly none of those issues would matter at all. It's time for you to get over it. The A's are getting a new stadium. It's not going to be within Oakland city limits. Either get used to the fact that you're going to have to cross over the Oakland city limit line for the first time in your pathetic lives or beat the rush and stop being fans now. Why wait?

jrbh said...

One of the things I try to do when I post is only say things I'd be willing to say to someone's face.

It's a shame you can't live up to that standard, anonymous.

Georob said...

It'll be interesting to see if MLB DOES force the third deck open if the A's get to the World Series. However(and we all know the A's have to get there first) Wolff is going to be very tempted to remove the tarps for weekend ALCS games against the Yankees. Those are guaranteed sellouts, especially with all the attention the A's will get IF IF IF (and ESPECIALLY IF) they can finally advance.

The second deck of Mt Davis should remain tarped regardless, as those seats are pure crap. Of course Lew Wolff could really do a public service and open those seats up for free to disadvantaged kids for the World Series. That would really shut up the OAFC.

As for JRBH, why should you care? After this season is over and Zito is gone, so are you. Because you DID say after you cancelled your season tickets(while continuing to go to games) that you would no longer attend A's games "once Zito leaves"

I'll link that discussion thread if you like.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am Anon 01, with the breath in....breath out...and I would most certainly say that to your face...I'm not the second anon, although I wholeheartedly support and agree with everything he/she far as your

"One of the things I try to do when I post is only say things I'd be willing to say to someone's face", I have no problem with that at all, in fact its one of the reasons I post here, as opposed to the shrill, hysterical voices at the OAFC who shout anyone down bringing up reasoned debate about a ballpark within the bay area,yet outside of Oakland...Once again, repeat after me....move within the same county +-30miles does NOT equal a move across the country.

Kevin said...


I've always gotten a kick out of your posts, even though I'm totally ideologically opposite of you. I love your take on Wolff's Reagan-esque attempt to appear as some simple hay-seed, instead of the shrewd and savvy capitalist that he is. But, if the A's do end up leaving Oakland it'll be hard sell to convince me it was Lew's fault. The coliseum aint cuttin' it, regardless of how charming some of us my find it.

Everyone knows Lew's seeking a development deal with any new ballpark, and that's largely why he was selected to head up the team of investors who purchased the A's. But, I don't believe that's where the rub truly lies. I think finding a location in Oakland s difficult, and Lew's to build a new ballpark. I would prefer one in the Bay Area. Oakland is my first choice too, but shit... you read this blog –– there doesn't seem to be too many viable options jumping put.

I dunno, maybe I'm worng. What do you suggest?

Georob said...

JRBH's premise is twofold:

1) Wolff is in it for Wolff and no one else and that he made up his mind a long time ago that the A's would leave Oakland. Therefore anything he says to the contrary is a lie.

2) Everyone's out to get Oakland. It's not clean enough, rich enough, pretty enough, and white enough. And unless you're a staunch and visible Oakland supporter, anything that is said or done to the contrary is ALSO a lie.

Therefore, JRBH has set himself up perfectly. He's innocent, and everyone's out to get him by way of criticism or online stalking.
He doesn't need to take initiative or responsibility because it's always the other guy's fault.

In short, he's a victim. And that's pretty much the attitude within the OAFC and much of Oakland itself.

jrbh said...

Here in the reality based community, georab, I was in fact stalked on-line. Doesn't mean that anyone who criticizes me is a "stalker". Far from it. I don't agree with very much of what you write, but you generally make your points and move on, and you're not usually so nasty about it. Doesn't make you a stalker. And your disagreement with me doesn't make me a victim.

Wolff has decided for whatever reason -- it would be foolish to eliminate personal profit as one of his primary motives -- that it's his job to build a new ballpark. The evidence is overwhelming that Wolff decided right at the beginning of the process that it wouldn't be in Oakland. His public statements, however, were entirely different: he even made a DOA proposal to build in Oakland which can only, at this point, be fairly described as deceptive. So of course I look at what he says with a jaundiced eye. Don't you?

I certainly disagree about the Coliseum being inadequate. I'd make three points here.

First, the team is making a substantial profit and growing in value while residing at the Coliseum, partly because of a sweetheart rent deal, and has stayed competitive while doing so. If the A's put half the effort into creative and interesting marketing that they do into building a new ballpark, it's clear to me that the Coliseum would be adequate deep into the future. At the very least, there's no crisis here, no need to act right away.

This is especially true in light of my second point: the Raiders situation is deeply troubled. The team has an owner in Al Davis who's quixotic, is a vexatious litigant, who's quite old and not in the best of health, and who no longer appears to have much of a steady hand. Davis has no apparent plan for succession in place, and the team will almost certainly have to be sold on the open market when he dies. It is certainly possible, even likely, that the deepest pockets among those interested in buying the team will be from people in Los Angeles, and the Raiders would then be gone. At which point the Coliseum can be remodeled or rebuilt for the A's.

Third, we should call a spade a spade here: Wolff is talking about improving the fan experience, but he's *only* talking about a certain kind of fan: the wealthy. The fan experience will be worse for huge segments of the population which will be unable to afford tickets -- that's not a good fan experience, right? -- and unable to avoid massive traffic jams in and out of games, and unable to take public transportation if they don't have a car, and unable to get decent tickets at any price because the team will be playing in a ballpark with a smaller capacity and in which the best seats are reserved for corporate boxes.

So if Wolff wants to run around saying, "Yeah, I need a development deal in Fremont so that rich people have a better time at the ballpark," at least I'd respect his honesty. But it's ridiculous for him to suggest that he cares one whit about the fan experience of most people.

Anonymous said...

So, jrbh...Who here has been stalkiing you here?? I havent seen anything like it. Has it happened on this blog??? Your quote
"Here in the reality based community, georab, I was in fact stalked on-line" cracks me up...the blogosphere and reality are seldom one and the same. Maybe you should stay in the safety zone that is OAFC. I've seen their HUGE crowd in the bleachers with their "there is no A in Fremont" banner (though there certainly IS an A in AlAmedA)...there must be five or ten of you...Go back and drink some more OAFC koolaide with Lil.

Marine Layer said...

Profitability is in the eye of the beholder. At the local level the franchise is making money, but at Selig's level the franchise is a veritable welfare recipient, which means to him that it runs at a loss or doesn't pay its own way. Like it or not, the Lodge is simply not going to stand for that too much longer.

bartleby66 said...

All of this hand-wringing about Mr. and Mrs. Joe Six Pack being priced out of ballgames is seriously overwrought. Here are some facts on what entry level tickets cost for an A's game versus other new, West Coast, showplace ballparks:

A's: $10
Giants: $13 ($10 SRO)
Padres: $8
Mariners: $7

In all cases, this compares very favorably to the cost of a movie. Also, promotional pricing deals, "Family Packs" and the like will certainly continue to apply.

Granted, the $40 MVP seats will probably be somewhere between $50 and $70, but that's life. Anyone at risk of being exiled from the ballpark over financial issues has no business buying $40 tickets in the first place. And the trade off is, all A's fans, regardless of means, will have a much nicer venue in which to see ball games.

And after the first few years, you'll still be able to buy a cheap seat for a weeknight game and "self-upgrade" to a better seat.

bartleby66 said...

JRBH, I don't know where your comments about the Raiders came from. Al Davis has taken uncharacteristically public steps in recent years to assure a line of succession. He has bought out the McGah family, thereby acquiring ownership of the lion's share of the team. He has stated that his wife and son will maintain control when he has gone. It seems pretty clear that Amy Trask will continue to run the business end of things, and I would expect they'll do what every other NFL team does to run the football stuff: hire a General Manager.

Let's not forget, as a long-time owner, Al owns his share of the team free-and-clear. He's not like one of the new breed owners with several hundreds of millions in debt incurred to acquire the team. With a franchise value of over half a billion dollars, and big revenue streams from TV and the like, the Davis family will easily be able to manage any inheritance taxes.

Your comment about the Raiders potentially leaving at the end of their lease is valid, but that will be driven by two things: (1) Their ability to sell suites in Oakland; (2) the Davis family's other options. New stadiums take a lot of time, and the Raiders have another five years on their lease. It is unreasonable to expect Wolff to sit on his hands for five years or more waiting to see how that shakes out. Even if the Raiders left, he'd still be at square one at that point, meaning a new stadium could be ten years away.

jrbh said...

You maybe right about Davis, bartleby. It's just hard for me to believe that (1) Davis has realistically considered his own mortality and (2) that his family will pass up the monstrously huge payday that will come if they choose to sell the Raiders, in particular to LA interests.

Georob said...

Much as I was happy to see the Raiders return to Oakland, it may have been also their biggest mistake.

Not because of Mount Davis, though. For as Rhamesis has pointed out many times, the problems with McAfee Coliseum lie mostly with the original bowl(the large foul areas, narrow concourses, visibility, etc). If the A's still had it to themselves they'd undoubtedly have the freedom to make some changes to make it a little better. But to satisfy MLB, you'd still pretty much have to gut it and in that case, you might as well start all over.

But what about Anaheim you say? Like Candlestick, It was originally built for a baseball-only configuration and that was just enough to keep the "Big A" from the wreckers ball. Big difference!

Back to Davis. His mistake was leaving LA after the Rams left. For even if, as he feared; the NFL brought in a replacement team in a new stadium, that would have taken several years and the Raiders would have had a HUGE advantage in marketing and fan loyalty being already there.

Of course that didn't happen and Davis could instead have had LA all to himself and done quite well, even in a crumbling LA Coliseum.

That's the real Raider mystery.

Bleacher Dave said...

How much longer will the small revenue owners be able to hold onto revenue sharng and luxury taxation?

The big money boys are whittling away. Supposedly, free agent draft pick compsentaion is DOA in the new CBA.

Marine Layer said...

It's not a matter of whether revenue sharing will stay or not. It's a matter of give-and-take. Does the current percentage of pooled revenue (30-40% per team) increase or decrease? The death of sandwich picks was forecast as early as two years ago. Revenue sharing isn't a panacea, but the commish can at least point to it when he gets questions about competition and money. And it does keep poorer teams solvent.

bartleby66 said...

I can't claim to have any special insight into the interests of the Davis family, or what they might do in the future. But I don't see a big attraction in reaping a "monstrously huge payday" from selling the team.

Look at it this way, you've got a $500 million dollar asset which also generates tons of cash each year. Even if you hold on to it,
you've got more than enough money for your private jets, mansions, yachts, and whatever else you want.

Sure, you can sell it, but that money isn't going to change your lifestyle. And what are you going to do with $500 million in cash? You're just going to have to find someplace else to invest it, and few investments have been as insanely lucrative as an NFL franchise over the years.

Also, what other business would be as much fun as being an NFL owner? It's not like inheriting your Dad's chain of dry cleaning stores where you have to work 70 hours a week to keep everything going. It's pretty much a turnkey operation which comes with instant celebrity. This is why the Dan Snyders of the world who make their money in other industries are dying to buy into the NFL.

If you want, you can be Jerry Jones and have your fingers in everything. Or if you're not that interested in football, you can be Georgia Frontiere and just sit in your luxury box entertaining glamorous friends at games. The rest of the time, you can be off doing rich-people stuff.

What could be better than that?

jrbh said...

Good points, Mr. Scrivener, but what we don't know is if Mrs. Davis cares at all about being an NFL owner.

bartleby66 said...

Kudos, jrbh, on recognizing the bartleby reference. When I picked it as a screen name many years ago I didn't think it was all that obscure, but since then the questions I've gotten about it outnumber the people who recognize it by a huge margin. Clearly you are a literate person.