12 March 2006

Sacramento's Sound of Silence + SF Venue Plans

A report in this week's Sacramento Business Journal goes over the ongoing struggle to get the A's on the radio in the Sacramento area. Most of the article isn't revelatory, but it does point out that a Modesto station (probably KTRB) backed out of a deal with the A's in January. What's discouraging is that there still are no prospects on the horizon, making Sacramento A's fans SOL unless they get XM. One interesting tidbit: 5% of A's season ticket holders come from the Sacramento area.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the on-again, off-again discussions about a downtown arena have heated up, especially since the city lost a chance to bid on the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The 49ers, fresh off a newly signed CBA and a renewed G3 loan program, are stepping up their stadium plans by soliciting architecture firms for their 72,000-seat venue that will eventually replace Candlestick/3Com/Monster Park. The 49ers' stadium could have an indirect impact on the A's because it's likely that the new stadium will have at least twice the number of luxury suites that the 'Stick currently has (64). That could in turn further saturate the Bay Area market, making the sale of luxury suites at an A's ballpark a bit more difficult.

Purdy: San Jose A's of Fremont?

More grist for the mill: Give Mark Purdy some credit for not spending the entire week on the Bonds saga, not that he won't revisit it as the season goes on. In Sunday's column, Purdy writes about a discussion he had with Wolff, and throws out some conjecture to boot. It's no secret that Purdy has been the Bay Area media's biggest booster of the baseball-in-San Jose effort, even to the detriment of the San Jose Earthquakes, who are, of course, non-existent for the time being.

The concepts:
  • Even though the A's move to Fremont, they'll be called the San Jose Athletics of Fremont. Now that certainly won't go over well with the keep-em-in-Oakland crowd. I'm not even sure how it fits into Fremont's goal of getting on the map. Since I'm not privy to the different conversations being held by the dealmakers, I can't say how likely or unlikely it is. There are certain "currencies" that could be in play to make this happen, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  • Moving to Fremont is a leverage ploy to force the Giants to discuss territorial rights, with the idea that if the A's move to Fremont the Giants wouldn't get any compensation or indemnification even though the A's would be physically located in Silicon Valley. Purdy himself admits this is a bit "out there." It's an idea that has been around for some time in the South Bay, but it would require a chain of events to occur that currently shows few signs of happening. For good measure, he even links the A's pursuit of the Earthquakes 3.0 and a downtown soccer stadium.
Wolff, for his part, couched his words carefully, though there is definitely a pattern of him letting the words "South Bay" and "San Jose" to occur more frequently in his quotes. No one should be surprised by this, since the corporate interests in the Valley are the big prize when all is said and done.

This is all speculation. Purdy does nail one point right on the head, that "even though the A's ballpark issue has been around for years, the ride is really just starting." In all likelihood, April 3rd won't be the day everything is resolved. It'll be around that time that things get thrown wide open.