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16 August 2008

Mayor Dellums sounds like a nice man

I am not an Oakland resident. I also don't claim to have any real inside knowledge of Oakland politics, so I'll leave criticism of the Dellums mayoral tenure to other corners of the interwebs. That said, Dellums' comments regarding his hope to keep the A's in Oakland read like typical rhetoric from someone who has spent way too long in Washington.
"With a deal that is as big as the deal is in Fremont, anything could go wrong," Dellums said, adding, "I want to continue to keep the door open so that we can keep the A's. The best-case scenario would be that they stay in Oakland. I would like to try to help them stay in Oakland."
That's a lot of well, nothing. Not that I blame him. Every city is playing the waiting game as the EIR and financial markets shake themselves out. Dellums is keen to keep some visibility on Oakland even if his comments are entirely non-committal.

What's not being told is that by the time the Fremont plan enters its crucial stage, Dellums will be entering big-time lame duck territory. I can only imagine what that would mean, given the cruise control nature of his first nearly two years at the helm.

The council hasn't exactly stepped up either, not even Ignacio de la Fuente. Given Oakland's difficult state, is any kind of stadium talk - whether A's or Raiders - the local political third rail?

42 comments:

reztips said...

Dellums should focus on Oakland's horrific homicide rate. And let alone a ballpark, people are unwilling to even go to Oakland these days to dine at its restaurants, as you may well be held up. A friend said he saw more Guardian Angels than diners at one Oakland eatery on Friday night.

Let's face it, Oakland is an unmitigated disaster zone and Dellums has far more important issues to confront than wasting time and money on a new ballpark for a constituency which clearly doesn't value the Athletics...

LeAndre said...

reztips,

With all do respect, it sounds like your letting your own tainted pro-Fremont mind set refuse you of making valid points...

The fact of the matter is, all major cities in the US have problems with crime...Yes, Oakland is in the top for most dangerous cities, but so is Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Baltimore, etc. are all these cities just supposed to abandon their teams that have had for decades just because of crime? I don't think so...

Oakland, as well as all the other dangerous cities in the US take crime as their number one priority, even Jerry Brown, who at the time of mayor said Oakland has more important priorities other than building a new ballpark, which goes for any city, including Fremont...but he still implemented a plan to help finance a ballpark for the A's...obviously Wolff didn't like it...

To be honest...every time I go outside the Bay Area and tell people I'm from Oakland they don't even realize how dangerous it is, all they say is..."oh, where the Raiders and A's play?"...and thats pretty much the ignorance of everybody outside the Bay for Oakland...cities like Detroit, LA, New York, Washington D.C. are way more commonly known for crime than Oakland is...

The point I'm making is...the only reason why anyone should be in favor of Fremont is to keep the A's in the Bay Area...but if Dellums, offers more than some cheap talk to keep the A's in Oakland, which would eliminate all this controversy, then as Oakland A's fans we should all support it...

Like I've said before...I'm not some OAFC member or some crazy pro-Oakland extremist...I just really hate when people try to use crime in Oakland as a reason for not keeping a team...

Michael said...

I want the A's (and frankly the Raiders) to stay in Oakland. It's the city I was born in and I still live nearby today.

But, with the unbelievable amount of violent crime that the city is wrapped up in, as well as the shortcomings in education, housing and other social/economic problems residents face, there's just no way to justify spending a single cent of Oakland's money on a baseball team. It's not the way I want to see it go, but it's the way it is at this time.

The Fremont deal and move is the right one. There's just no other way you will see the A's in the Bay Area. If the Fremont deal falls, the A's will soon be playing in Portland, OR or somewhere else far away.

LeAndre said...

If Fremont isn't paying for the ballpark, why would Oakland?

I don't understand everyones concern on Oakland spending money, last time I checked the ballpark was self financed...all they needed was space and support...Looks like Dellums is showing public support, all he needs to do is present some space that Wolff would benefit from...

Last time I checked a new ballpark in Oakland would bring business, jobs, and retain the Oakland A's legacy...the only downfall I could possibly see is traffic, but thats going to happen where ever the ballpark is built...

If everyone wants the A's to stay in Oakland like they say they do, why are they complaining about this...truth of the matter is Dellums is probably just blowing hot air...but if he, along with the city of Oakland actually provide Wolff with a legitimate option why wouldn't we all be behind this?

By the way ML, did you know you got a shot out on "A Better Oakland" (A popular Oakland Blog) They covered this story on Friday and recommended everyone interested check it out here...I thought it was pretty nice seeing a connection between two blogs I read regularly that usually have nothing to do with each other...

http://www.abetteroakland.com/surprise-v-smoothe-is-annoyed-by-the-news/2008-08-15

Marine Layer said...

I agree LeAndre. The violent crime issue is something of a red herring. Any kind of public financing is a nonstarter anywhere in the Bay Area, so it's more of a question of the non-cash support that Oakland would lend. Would they be willing to hand over a ballpark site for free or at a massive discount? It starts with that question.

V Smoothe is very much informed on issues pertaining to Oakland, and he's a fair, honest blogger who's quick to clarify when needed.

Another blogger, Oakland Space Academy, recently asked me about the Broadway Auto Row site. I explained that I proposed it three years ago but it never went anywhere. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get the ball rolling for that site if Fremont didn't come to fruition.

reztips said...

leandre, the other cities you mention are not running a horrific deficit like Oakland is. Moreover, even if you wish to exclude the tragic crime rate (which would be hard to do and, despite your contention, Oakland is well known nationwide for it), as Michael correctly notes, the city is also mired in a morass of poor education facilities, a non-existent budget for public works, an appalling housing situation, an inept/corrupt mayoral administration and city council, etc.

Also, leandre, you fail to note that the results of not one, but two Oakland polls show that the residents of the city don't want any public monies or efforts expended to provide for a new ballpark. The people of the city aren't stupid--they know it would only be selfish to succumb to the caprise of a tiny minority of urban dwellers who give a fig about the A's when there are so many other manifest priorities.

Anonymous said...

I see that Dan Spitzer brought up the crime issue regarding Oakland as a reason for the Oakland A's to leave the city. If you would allow me, Marinelayer, I would like to present statistics compiled from both the Oakland Police Crime Map, and the San Francisco Crime Map, regarding serious crimes in both cities downtowns.

These are statistics for robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, and auto theft committed in the last 90 days for a one mile radius of Oakland City Hall and 4th & Market in San Francisco. The 4th & Market one mile radius in SF, encompasses perfectly every neighborhood in downtown San Francisco. The 14th & Broadway 1 mile radius in downtown Oakland includes all of downtown along with a portion of west Oakland on the other side of 980. A one half mile radius would cover the entire area of downtown Oakland more accurately and would make the crime comparisons even more one sided and startling in Oakland's favor.

Aggravated Assaults: SF 733, OAK 100. Robberies: SF 300, OAK 108. Burglary: SF 344, OAK 109. Auto theft: SF 210, OAK 179.

How can anyone claim that Oakland shouldn't have a baseball team because of crime. These stats regarding crime in both cities downtowns, turn conventional wisdom and perceptions on their heads. I know this may not pertain directly to baseball, but it was introduced by Dan Spitzer and I hope you allow me the opportunity to respond.

Zonis said...

The problem with Crime as it concerns the A's and Oakland is not just the numbers, which are there, but the perception of it. People think of Oakland, and they think of crime. That keeps people away. Bottom line.

People think of San Jose, and they think of the Tech Boom. Even if the tech boom isn't here any more, its what people think of when they think of San Jose and Silicon Valley. They think of Spritzy halls, Cubicles, Computers and Money. That is the perception, reality true or false.

And it is perception that brings people to San Francisco and makes it one of the largest tourist cities in the world, and thus lets the Giants share the glory.

reztips said...

I'm amused to see an anonymous probable member of OAFC cite statistics by bending them to fit his/her biases. That less than candid individual--who for some reason needed to note my given name (not that I have any reason to hide it)--fails to note that Oakland's population is nearly half that of SF.

Now here's some 2006 stats which are accurate (and most likely the differential has become greater since then) ...http://sanfrancisco.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm.
Based on 100,000 people:
SF had 11 murders Oakland 36
SF had 20 rapes Oakland had 77
SF had 517 robberies Oak had 886
SF had 866 burglaries Oak had 813
SF had 889 autos stolen Oak 2645

Why do anonymous and OAFCers always mistate stats? Could be because Lil Bartholo has regularly boasted about burning her professors' books when a college student. Maybe if she hadn't destoryed them, her minion won't have developed such a predilection for fraudulent stats. ;-)

Seriously, in my last post on this site I noted several other major factors which should leave Oakland out of the loop in consideration f contributing anything toward the building of a new stadium. Anonymous OAFC'er, who doubtless claims to love Oakland, might prove to be a little less selfish and carrying for "his city" if he held that the destitute town focus on something other than a new ballpark...

reztips said...

One more matter: since "anonymous" felt compelled to print my name, I hope he/she will have the integrity to come out of the shadow of his/her screen moniker and tell us their given name...

LeAndre said...

I usually hate going into a tit for tat argument, but this is just ridiculous...

The idea of people not going to Oakland to see the A's in a new ballpark because they're scared is absurd, if that was the case the Warriors and Raiders wouldn't be selling out games like they've been doing. As for the A's, we all have our opinions about its attendance problem, Ownership, stadium, management, etc. but crime certainly isn't the reason...

And for the last time...The A's ballpark is self financed which means Fremont or if they were to move to Oakland, doesn't pay a dime...reztips, all your complaining about Oakland's deficit is irrelevant, and for the record Detroit, Baltimore, and a long list of other dangerous cities in the US all have horrible deficit troubles as well...and heres the interesting part...

Detroit: Nationally known more than any other city in the US for crime, built a new deserved ballpark for the Tigers in 2000...Detroit has been listed one of the most dangerous cities for decades...

Houston: Another city who has consistently been a leader in crime...built Minute Maid Park in 2000...

Washington DC: Notorious for crime...just built Nationals Park this year...

All these cities, rank higher in crime over Oakland on an consistent level, and lower in education than Oakland...

And as ML correctly noted...The violent crime issue is a red herring...If your scared of big bad Oakland than don't be an Oakland A's fan...families and fans have been going to 66th Ave now for over 40 years to watch the Raiders, Warriors, and A's play, and that's a much more dangerous area in Oakland than Downtown Oakland...

Maybe you'll feel safer walked down 24 Willie Mays Plaza after games...The rest of us will be on Broadway in DT Oakland, if Fremont doesn't work, enjoying some baseball...

reztips said...

The problem, leandre, is that you keep skipping over the totality of Oakland's problems and by focusing solely on crime (which I did not do), fail to see why the entire plight of the city abrogates any reason to build a new ballpark there.

Moreover, of the cities you mentioned, only Washington has an optional team in the vicinity (Baltimore) and I understand that Washington's stadium is in a decent area, as opposed to the projects and the ugly water swamp which abutt the Coliseum. Given the alternative of a beautiful stadium in a magnificent city, it's little wonder that baseball fans prefer SF.

Again, anyone who truly cares about Oakland knows that a new ballpark is economically out of the question there. Moreover, the A's owners--realizing the historically poor attendance of Oakland--no longer want to keep the team there. Hate to have to draw you a picture: it's their team; they can move it almost anywhere they choose. So as I wrote in the Chronicle, it will be the South Bay or the highway. Thus those who wish to keep seeing the team in the Bay Area had better root for a new stadium south of Oakland.

Finally, every major urban sector of California has a guidebook written exclusively about it (among the ways I make my living is to author guidebooks). But not Oakland. Now I wonder why that is--why Oakland is NEVER considered by major publishers to be anything approaching a destination city. Hell, even most of the visiting teams stay in SF.

And if you think the A's don't draw, ever venture anywhere in downtown (note, I said DT) Oakland at night other than Jack London Square or China town? Ever wonder why the restaurants which are open during the day close at dinner time? Or why you can shoot a cannonball down B-way in the evening and not hit anyone?

Kyu said...

People need to quit comparing the attendance drop for the coliseum with AT&T park. First of all most of the fans who go to see the Giants don't go to see their weak ass team or to watch a baseball game. They go to eat cheese and drink wine and maybe get some sushi (wtf...sushi?!)

If the A's were to get a new ballpark in either Downtown Jack London, Broadway Auto Row or even near the Port of Oakland/Army Base (which is where I say they should end up since there is so much unused land there), then after that point I say we should compare the attendance numbers.

I for one was been born and raised in Oakland and have been going to games for many years now and i have NEVER been a victim of violent crime anywhere in the city. It's simple...don't go to the bad parts and you'll be fine. All major cities have dangerous parts so why not compare those numbers of crime in those areas and not just by the overall population??

Oh and just so everyone realizes, crime isn't a problem near 66th ave.(the current neighborhood for the A's). It's an industrial area so it's just not that appealing for a ballpark village. If you guys want to compare crime at the ballparks, then lets see...I don't know the exact number, but I believe there have already been at least two deaths at a Giants game in the last couple of years due to violence. I go to about 40 A's games a year and have never heard of anyone losing a life or even being hospitalized after or during a game.

People are just so naive to the city I've been so proud to say that I'm a part of. Don't hang around bad areas where you shouldn't be and you wouldn't have to worry. Don't get me wrong...I do realize that we have problem with crime, but so do a lot of other cities who've recently got new ballparks.

I do think that Dellums should focus on the crime rate, but I also don't think that Oakland should lose out on a possible ballpark site if we could still come up with a good proposal. The city has deserves to have a new ballpark way before it was even considered in Fremont! The A's wouldn't even be who they are today if it weren't for this great city that most people are too naive or ignorant to see. I think Lew Wolff only cares about his money and just doesn't give a sh*t about our city.

we gave them an opportunity when with open arms 40 years ago and have done more than most other teams in any other city has accomplished.

LeAndre said...

reztips, I don't know what I haven't addressed that you mentioned, your position continues to hop around, the first thing you mentioned was "Oakland's horrific homicide rate" You continue to ignore the fact that when I'm comparing Oakland to other cities like Detroit, Baltimore, etc. I'm comparing all the problems...the whole point I'm making is Oakland's problems, crime, housing, education, unemployment, etc...is the same if not better than a long list of other cities in the US who also have pro sports teams...and to add insult to injury, a good portion of them just built new stadiums...The only thing I can recommend you do is check the facts yourself, theres a good site...
http://www.bestplaces.net/
...that lets you compare any city you want to Oakland or where ever...there you will find out that Oakland shares the same problems as a long list of other cities with pro teams...

Now I don't know why you brought up the "optional city" topic...that is also irrelevant...the Washington/Baltimore area has a large population much like the Bay Area, Chicago, NY, and LA...the reason they have more than one team per sport is because they have a population to support them...areas like Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, etc. only have one major city in their region...SF has no relevance to this topic...

You also failed to address a very important question...if people are so scared to go to Oakland why do the Warriors and Raiders sell out games...not to mention concerts that occur every week that sell out and the Barnum and Bailey Circus that is currently in town...I guess all those families and children are in a lot of danger...

You also like to pretend that Wolff didn't already try to stay in Oakland...the only reason he didn't is because the city didn't do a good job helping to provide options for Wolff...but if Dellums wants to change that I wouldn't see why Wolff wouldn't go back to plan A..keeping the A's in Oakland...

If you think that Oakland should just rid of all its sports teams because of its problems, than why should the US...which has trillions of dollars of debt, very poor education, high unemployment, etc. keep its pro sports leagues...shouldn't this country focus on its problems and not worry about sports? No...because that ridiculous, which is what you suggesting...

If you have a problem with the way Oakland is going, than join me at a city council meeting, maybe we can discuss sports and politics over coffee after...but if your talking about baseball...and you actually think your life is in danger going to a game in Oakland, or you feel like your going to get mugged walking to you car or Bart with thousands of other people after a game...then you should just stay home, lock your doors, and continue scarring yourself watching the local news...just don't sit too close to the TV, thats also very dangerous...

Jeffrey said...

Yikes... another Oakland, land of milk and honey, vs. Oakland, land of the lawless, debate.

I am an A's fan. I live in the suburbs. For full disclosure purposes: Pleasanton specifically, and over the past decade I have lived in Santa Rosa, Sacramento, San Leandro and San Lorenzo... my name is Jeff August. I'd share my social security number but that would probably be a bad idea :)

My only wish as an A's fan, is that the A's stay in the Bay Area.

Oakland, as a city has some big problems. Crime Statistics (not those jerry mandered to fit a particular view point) show that Oakland has issues with crime. I would be a liar if I said that didn't influence my decisions on when to take my children to games.

The other challenges that Oakland has, do not affect me in the slightest as a non resident. I read about them and it makes me sick to my stomache, but other than that I am not really vested in the situation.

LeAnder, I am sympathetic to your call. The only challenge I ahve si that some fo the thigns you say ring hollow to me. First, the Raiders are not a team that regularly sells out. In fact, last season they were 31st in the league in attendance. The same the year before, 30th the year before that.

Fremont is a smaller city with two huge advantages for a new stadium. First, available land (and thus the ability to use development around the park as a way to fund the park). Second, the ability to open up a "new" fan base for the A's.

As it stands now, the A's and Giants are competing for exactly the same crowd geographically. It would make sense for one of the teams, from a business perspective, to be closer to the South Bay.

Now, I don't ever recall hearing much about Jerry Browne's financing proposal. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard of that at all. Can someone fill that in? Until now, it has always been my impression that the City of Oakland has taken the approach, we want you to stay but we can't get burned like we did with the Raiders return.

reztips said...

Hear, hear, Jeffrey. You are reasonably and right on target. Leandre, I did first mention Oakland's horrific crime rate and in subsequent posts discussed the city's other manifest problems. The other cities you mention have more financial options and resources. Moreover, cities like Detriot have long supported baseball (both fans and corporations), whereas Oakland--with the exception of the few years of the All Star at every position LaRussa Dynasty--has given pathetic support to the A's, even during many seasons when they were winners. And don't just blame the current ownership--the team got little support during the last years of the Haas' ownership.

I do think that some people are put off by the city's well-earned reputation for violence. Moreover, after a game how many attendees do you think say, "Let's go to Oakland for a meal and a show?" Now compare that with SF and even the other benighted cities you mentioned. Oakland is simply not a destination where people who don't live there like to go.

Oh, and remember, the city's single DT movie theater had an experience where a thug shot at a patron through the front plate glass windows. Would you want your kid to go to a movie theater in a town which experienced that? Or, a town where people are now afraid to dine at the few restaurants open in the evening for fear they will be help up.

Yes, I know plenty of people who call Oakland "Dopeland," because it is the home of the "3 Ds": Dellums, drugs and drive-bys. Like it or not, that's its reputation.

Also, when have the locally-based corporations ever supported the A's? And as Jeffrey said, even the Raiders get terrible attendance.

'Course, the local TV and radio broadcasts have bail bond service commercials. How appropriate! ;-)

In sum, combine crime, lousy schools, high unemployment, poor public works, plus a terrible housing problem and you get a city which should never expend any effort or public monies on a new sports facility...

Mike D. said...

dear rhamesis,

"reztips" aka dan spitzer is a known troll who spends most of his time spewing anit-oakland hate on a's web-boards. he has been banned from many of a's websites (oafc, fanhome, scout, sfgate, athleticsnation ect) for trolling and putting up posts filled with strong hate and sometimes racist words. i know you and him both share a pro-fremont stance, but save some credibility and do what many other sites have done and get rid of this troll

---Mike D.

Marine Layer said...

...and this is why I don't like getting into the city-bashing/propping-up debate. Too much rhetoric, too little substance.

Anonymous said...

Lew Wolff needs to do is turn all Parking Structure to 5 level, 40 articulated (60' long) buses: 63 seated, 40 standees, and buy Pacific Park and turn into 5 level Parking Structure. That's how Fremont is going to happened.

http://fremontangus.blogspot.com/2007/11/update-on-my-parking-report.html
http://www.ccareyretail.com/gallery/index-gallery.html

reztips said...

Mike D. is an OAFC'er who spews their typical party line that if you don't like Oakland, you are a "racist." Mike, please don't hide behind your screen name and have the integrity to tell me your last name, for if you continue to call someone who was and continues to be involved in civil rights a "racist," I will haul you into court for libel. When the OAFC queen, Lil Bartholo, returns to the US, I may just do that with her.

Oh, and do quote a single solitary post from me which justifies your untoward characterization of me. If you can't, that should raise reasonable doubt about your capacity to express the truth.

BTW, I happily post under a different moniker on both AN and Scout and whatever problems I previously had on those sites have been non-existent for many a moon.

In sum, it's hardly atypical for those who cannot make reasoned rejoinders to stoop to accuse their opposite in argument as being this or that. But defamation, particularly toward a writer, simply will not do Mike and you are hereby warned not to repeat such libel. If you wish to justify that Oakland is the right place for the A's, I will respectfully differ from you. But I will not tolerate character assassination...

Anonymous said...

Actually the Raiders since taking over ticket sales have managed to sell out 6 of their 8 home games in both the 06 and 07 seasons despite their poor record in those seasons.

But going to a baseball game is little different experience than going to a basketball, football or hockey game. Unlike those other major sports, baseball has the largest number of home games a year at just over 80 games.

When compared to a sport like football which has only 8 home games a year on average, its apparent that trying to bring fans out to 80 something home games a year requires that not only the baseball stadium itself becomes a "destination" but the surrounding area around the new stadium as well, hence Wolf's vision of building a "ballpark village" to help fiance the new stadium.

Off coarse this requires ALOT of land something Oakland lacks but Fremont has. The kind of ballpark village Wolf wants to build with condos cannot be accomplished in the coliseum parking lot and the old army base will require a lengthy and costly cleanup or preparation. Its not just an issue of crime or bureaucracy but the lack of available land in Oakland. Plus as others have pointed out the bay area baseball and football teams are trying to get some distance between each other by relocating to other cities or regions.

This damn EIR report is sure holding things up. The A's can't break ground yet and the Raiders can't remodel the coliseum until the A's leave for Fremont.

Tony D. said...

Wow R.M., and I thought my pro-San Jose posts got the blood boiling here. Anyhow, nice piece over at Field of Schemes. It appears the owners of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins LIED about possibly leaving the Steel Town in order to get a new arena for said team. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf did the same thing back in the early 90's to get US Cellular Field built..."build me a new park or else I'm off to Tampa!" In both cases, lieing (or presenting a facade of relocation) got the owners what they wanted. No, not suggesting Mr. Wolff is lieing about Fremont. But who knows, maybe Oakland isn't dead after all. Then again...DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE!

Zonis said...

Tony, I don't think Wolff is lying about Fremont. You don't spend a couple hundred million dollars to bluff to stay in Oakland.

LeAndre said...

reztips, I'm glad your "hear, hearing" Jefferey or agreeing with him...because if I'm not mistaken, and correct me if I'm wrong Jefferey, he continues to mention that he wanted the A's to stay in Oakland and was in favor of the Uptown project...the main reason why Jefferey, and everyone else wants the A's to move to Fremont is so they stay in the Bay Area, which is something I agree with...the only thing I don't fully agree with is the idea that all these loving South Bay Giants fans leaving their team to support the A's just because they're closer, I know I wouldn't just give up on the A's, a team I've supported my whole life just because the Giants moved closer to my house...the interesting part is, everyone living in Oakland will be closer to the Giants ballpark if the A's move to Fremont, are we all suppose to go support them because of that same logic?...Reztips, you on the other hand just simply don't like Oakland, this is obvious from your silly insults, which leads me to my next question...have you ever been and Oakland A's fan or are you just now jumping on the bandwagon because of the Fremont Proposal?

Another thing you keep doing is making silly assumptions from your own personal bias, and denying facts...first you bring up "homicides"...then I present to factual evidence of other cities with new ballparks who have similar or worse problems...then you say. "the other cities I've mentioned are not running a horrific deficit like Oakland is." and which is untrue and I recommended a great website to check the facts yourself...you also continue to mention that the citizens of Oakland don't want to pay for a ballpark and I continue to mention that the ballpark is self financed...I don't understand why you have such a hard time comprehending this...

And I'll ask you again... if people are so scared of Oakland why do the Raiders, Warriors and weekly concerts sell out...nothing about that question is untrue...the Raiders have ranked 30th, but they've sold out all but the last two games of last season, which makes sense because of how bad they did...and the Warriors have sold out virtually all their games last season...both teams selling out at least 80 percent of their games...nothing about that is hollow...and for the record reztips, Detroit's baseball fan base or should I say attendance has been less than Oakland's for decades now...the Tigers have always trailed the A's in sells even with the new stadium they built in 2000, it wasn't until Wolff announced ink 2006 he wasn't staying that resorted to a horrendous drop in attendance...

Also I actually find it quite amusing how your holding on to a memory of some "thug" killing someone in a DT Oakland theater...Killings, murders, and robberies, happen in cities, its unfortunate but its reality...not everyone is scared to go outside because of it like you are...And there are 5 theaters in the DT/Lake Merrit district of Oakland, not one...

Reztips, I really recommend you actually walk around DT/Lake Merrit in Oakland, its actually very beautiful and despite what you believe there are a lot of great night clubs, bars, and restaurants to go to...Like I've said before, Fremont has a lot of space, which is probably why the A's will move there, but if Oakland steps up to the plate, no pun intended, and proposes enough space that Wolff could benefit from, I don't see why he wouldn't take the offer...

Georob said...

So Tony, doesn't San Jose have a completed EIR for Diridon South? To me, that looks right about now to be a pretty significant weapon in their arsenal (assuming that an EIR is REALLY what's holding up Fremont)

The question to be asked is: What is San Jose going to do now, if anything? It's the question I've asked over and over and all I get in response are platitudes about how great a place it is.

But if Fremont is really showing weaknesses, and Lew Wolff really wants to keep the A's in the Bay Area, then San Jose needs to get off its collective duff and start talking to the MLB owners.

If Ron Dellums is making token attempts at keeping the A's, Chuck Reed should at least do as much to GET them. I mean, what's Bud Selig gonna do, threaten to take away their MINOR league team?

If SJ is everything you say it is Tony, then the time to act is NOW.

Anonymous said...

Lew Wolff wants to complete EIR in Fremont first. He spent so much on studies in Fremont. There's no way he will stay in Oakland or move San Jose. He is focus on Fremont.

If A's is moving to Fremont, I hope you all Giants Fans, who is against A's moving to Fremont. I think A's are moving to Fremont and it's going to happen. So, back off Georob.

Tony D. said...

I MISS THIS BLOG! Debating with right-wingers who hate taxes and bonds get's old after awhile. Zonis, I don't think Mr. Wolff is lieing about Fremont either. However, you forget the man is a real estate MAGNATE! This isn't the first, nor the last, time the man has spent a couple of hundred million dollars on real estate. I could see him buying up Pac Commons even if a ballpark weren't involved. The stars must also be aligned, because for once I absolutely, 100% totally agree with Rob! If Dellums can do it, why not Reed. Yes, the EIR is complete and the land at Diridon South is spoken for by the city (relocation plan for area businesses/residents were handed out late last year). However, I don't think it will be so much C. Reed, in terms of making a move, as it may be McEnery, Munro, and the DiNapoli's. Then again, Oakland is free and SJ isn't (at least not yet). Let's see how things shake out after Oct. 1, day one of AM (After Magowan).

Anonymous said...

Leandre,

You are ignoring a lot of inconvenient facts in making your case.

First, your assumption that everyone here wants to see the team stay in Oakland is off base. Many frequent posters here would like to see the team in downtown San Jose. Many others don't care that much, as long as the team stays in the Bay Area.

Second, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston, Washington and Baltimore may all have crime problems, and may all have gotten new stadiums. But the other thing they have in common is that their ballparks all got MASSIVE public subsidies.

Here are the figures, taken from the League of Fans web page (Ralph Nader's group opposed to public ballpark subsidies):

Atlanta Braves
Turner Field (Opened in 1997)

Total Cost:
$235 million

Original stadium 100% publicly financed; No Significant Public Subsidy for Remodel*

* The original stadium was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics with a taxpayer subsidy of $209 million. After the games, it was converted into a baseball stadium. The Braves paid for the $235 million conversion.

-------

Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Opened in 1992)

Total Cost:
$235 million

State Public Subsidy:
$226 million, 96% of total (lottery proceeds)

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Cleveland Indians
Jacobs Field (Opened in 1994)

Total Cost:
$173 million

County Public Subsidy:
$152 million, 88% of total (alcohol and tobacco tax, gate and concession tax)

---------

Detroit Tigers
Comerica Park (Opened in 2000)

Total Cost:
$290 million

County Public Subsidy:
$145 million, 50% of total (hotel and rental car tax, casino revenue tax)

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Houston Astros
Minute Maid Park (Opened in 2000)

Total Cost:
$266 million

County Public Subsidy:
$180 million, 67% of total (hotels and rental car tax)

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The financing issue alone virtually guarantees there will not be a new ballpark in Oakland. However one feels about the wisdom of putting public money into a ballpark, it's a political non-starter in Oakland. And a privately financed ballpark is nearly as hard to imagine.

The statement that "the A's ballpark is self financed which means Fremont or if they were to move to Oakland, doesn't pay a dime" is simply naive. The two sites in Oakland most frequently mentioned as possible ballpark sites are Oakland Army Base and the current Coliseum site. But the private financing model relies on yuppies willing to pay a premium to live in luxury townhouses in a ballpark village. Show of hands for people willing to pay a premium to live at either site? Fremont may be bland, but it suits the target demographic.

Also, the key point about the Fremont project is that there is a kind of alchemy at work there that wouldn't exist in Oakland: The Fremont site is much, much more valuable zoned residential than industrial. If it were possible to build a residential development there without the added cost of a ballpark, some developer probably would. But because residential development costs more in city services and contributes less in taxes, the city has zero incentive to make such a change without a ballpark. By trading the rezoning decision for a ballpark, the city is actually able to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the project without directly impacting the city treasury.

This kind of quid pro quo just doesn't exist with respect to those Oakland sites. It is dubious whether either site would be more valuable zoned residential than industrial. Regardless,they clearly would not command the prices that similar housing in Fremont would.

Finally, your comment that South Bay Giants fans aren't going to change their loyalties misses the point. The point isn't converting the loyalists, it's drawing casual fans (especially casual corporate fans who buy the pricy seats) and expanding the market for baseball overall. Many people in the South Bay who currently go to few or no baseball games because it's such an ungodly hassle to get to them will start going to games. Some South Bay Giants fans will change loyalties (particularly if the A's are smart enough to tap into civic pride and name the team San Jose), and some won't. But even Giants loyalists who currently never set foot in the Coliseum will likely start taking in some A's games, because it's convenient, or because it's a pleasant experience, or because the Giants are out of town, whatever. Just as many of us who are diehard A's fans still find ourselves at some Giants games every summer.

Jeffrey said...

Leandre,

You are correct, I thought the Uptown plan would have been fabulous. In fact, it would have been exactly what Pacific Commons could be... a destination in and of itself. I was very disappointed when I read Mayor Browne's thoughts on the subject and then saw Robert Bobb get fired.

The Raiders... I guess I personally am not that impressed with the Raiders selling out 6 of 8 games last year. On account of three things, 1. They have a small stadium by NFL Standards. 2. I don't really watch football much anymore. 3. I am still pissed that they ruined the coliseum, ha! I know, those reasons are really not objective, so sue me :)

The truth si that I work at a very large internet company. Our office sits not so far from the Bay Trail. From that trail I can see Pacific Commons. And that si the point of Cisco Field.

A technologically advanced showcase for technology companies a short drive away. It isn't really there for the everyday fan like you and me. It's a bummer, but in a way we are fortunate to be one of the last group of fans to have to deal with this reality.

LeAndre said...

anon,
The main point I was making to Reztips was that people aren't afraid to go to Oakland to see baseball...I'm going to assume that you agree with me sense you didn't disagree with that point...

Also, the main reason I brought up other cities was to compare the crime/negativity involved, and to show its common amongst major cities, and the fact that they still got new ballparks...I know they were paid for through public financing, almost all stadiums are...but you can't deny how much more difficult it has become for teams to get public financing, we see this with current proposed ballparks, and Wolff wisely avoided the situation by implementing a plan to self finance the A's ballpark...your list of public financed parks has nothing to do with the point I was making...

Thirdly, I agree with you that some people rather the A's be in the South Bay...however, I think its safe to say that those individuals are people from, or who have ties with the South Bay who want to see San Jose claim more than just a hockey team (don't take that the wrong way, I love San Jose...and I think Chuck Reed is the greatest mayor in the Bay) but it doesn't mean its the best place for the A's...or the most convenient...its also safe to say that due to this controversy the A's attendance went from below average, to horrible...so Fremont wouldn't gain any "new" fan base, it would just replace the old one...Wolff has to hope people from San Jose come, and hope people from Oakland don't leave...not a very strong position, which is why Plan A, was to just stay in Oakland, but because Oakland couldn't provide land, he found land in Fremont, Plan B...thats the only reason Wolff is moving to Fremont, not because of crime, not because of a "new fan base", but because theres land...

Now the whole point I've been trying to make out of this whole manifest is that if Dellums, and Oakland DO provide the land needed, and Fremont doesn't work out, it only makes sense to go back to Plan A and do what you originally wanted to do, and stay in Oakland...

BTW, DT Oakland if FULL of "yuppies"...they would be more than happy to occupy a ballpark village...I've actually never heard of yuppies being or wanting to go to Fremont...

Anonymous said...

Leandre,

A lot of people, myself included, are not afraid to go see a game in Oakland. But a lot of people are. You are kidding yourself if you don't think the grim, scary, industrial setting of the Coliseum is not one of the factors which combine to keep attendance down.

The crime factor is relevant to the A's current attendance, and it's even more relevant to trying to privately finance a ballpark. If you're Detroit, or Atlanta, or Baltimore, or one of the other cities getting between 50% and 100% of your park paid for by the taxpayers, you have a lot more latitude to plunk it down wherever you like, crime be damned. When you have to convince people to actually buy a home there in order to finance the thing, it's a different story.

Whether downtown Oakland has more yuppies than Fremont is debatable. Certainly, real estate values are less in downtown Oakland, again, a big factor in the financing. But the point is moot because there are no sites available for a ballpark in downtown Oakland. The sites that are currently considered "in play" in Oakland are not appealing or practical places to build homes. Living by Lake Merritt would be one thing (if that were an option), living at Oakland Army Base quite another. Even the Uptown site, while a nice site for a ballpark, would have been problematic from the standpoint of the contemplated financing mechanism: If you put a ballpark there, there's not enough land to build the homes needed to pay for the thing. If you disagree with this analysis, name your proposed Oakland site, and explain in detail how you obtain the requisite financing there.

And land is far from the only factor favoring the South Bay over Oakland. Santa Clara County has significantly more disposable income than Alameda County, both in absolute terms and on a per capita basis. Santa Clara County has more Fortune 500 companies than Alameda and San Francisco counties combined (and remember, premium seating fueled by corporate money is what drives the business these days). In Oakland, the A's must compete for support with the Giants, Raiders, and Warriors, all spitting distance away, while in the South Bay they would only contend with the Sharks. The A's experience has been poor attendance with winning teams in Oakland; the Sharks experience has been constant sellouts even over many years when the team was lousy despite being a second tier sport with no roots in the region.

It is very fair to postulate that the A's will indeed find a new and larger fan base in the South Bay. Clearly Mr. Wolff thinks so, and he should know his business. In any event, it's hard to imagine the A's will get worse support than they have been getting in their current location.

Anonymous said...

The Giants also apparently feel that the South Bay is a more desirable market than the East Bay, or they would not be fighting tooth and nail over the territorial rights issue.

Jeffrey said...

horse beatage

When do we get another offhand comment to drive some discussion?

Anonymous said...

Yes, this ground has been covered many times on this site, but Leandre brings up good points and addresses the issues in a rational and realistic manner. Something you can't say for many of the previous Oakland advocates. This dialog is a worthy exercise for, if nothing else, realizing whether or not Fremont really is the last best chance for keeping the A's local.

Anonymous said...

If you read what the demographers are saying , " working class" white and black folks ( both long time baseball fans ) living in the close-in expensive Bay Area will continue a permanent exodus . More and more will be living in the Central Valley or places like that " beyond the exurbs " .Why do you think places in the middle of nowhere like Patterson grew in the past 15 years , subprime debacles and all. Look at East Palo Alto where it was once predominantly black just 25 years ago , now almost all Hispanic and South Pacific Islanders .Local news say many who owned their modest homes cashed out and moved back to the Deep South to become land barons !Those replacing them in Silicon Valley's tech economy are increasingly Asians/Indians . ( 90% of new home buyers in many south Bay cities are from these gruops ). Working class blacks are being displaced by working class Hispanics throughout much of the Southwest . Recent news article noted how baseball in the Bay Area will suffer because these ethnic groups have no family hx of growing up with Major League Baseball. Article says Oaklnd Raiders have the best marketing to non -white/non-black sportsfans and has fans in Spanish language countries and Asia. Said Bay Area pro sports teams will have to adapt their marketing in similar ways to these groups if they are to succeed in the future . So it doesn't really matter how many lifelong Giants fans there are in the South Bay ( or Peninsula or even SF itself if you just look at the changing demographics ) - the future success in baseball, if I'm an owner locally is catering to these non-traditional casual fans and giving them a wholesome family experience with enough surrounding activities to have them come again and again to please multiethnic " guys after work" or immigrant mom,pop and the kids who want to eat hot dogs and peanuts in a safe clean environ .
Seems like the Ballpark Village ( in a town - Fremont- where 90% of homebuyers the past few years are Asian/Indian is a good business move.

It's been suggested the A's have cricket matches at Cisco Field when the A's are on road trips and various Ballpark Village ethnic festivals on the big blocks long plaza just beyond centerfield .

Anonymous said...

Hey, anon 2:54 breaks some new ground. Some good points.

LeAndre said...

I agree with anon(2:43), this is an important issue that is healthy as A's fan to debate...I also agree with Jeffery that this is sort of becoming "horse beatage"...so I'll make this short and sweet...

Everything about this is debatable...I've addressed everything from Oakland crime to "yuppies"...so I think we all need to simplify this to things that have already happened and things that have been said by the guys who are really running the show...Wolff and Co.

Anon, Wolff isn't moving the team to the South Bay...Chuck Reed said in an interview that Wolff told him personally that the A's would not move to San Jose Because "it would be too much trouble"
http://www.metroactive.com/metro/11.15.06/chuck-reed-0646.html
...he also said bluntly "its not an option."...so i think its pretty obvious, well at least to me, that Wolff has no interest in moving to San Jose...I think there is one thing that everyone can agree on and thats that Wolff is a business man, so I think that we can also agree that Wolff would never do anything to jeopardize his investment...so the A's staying in Oakland couldn't have been a bad decision because that was Wolff's first choice...

I think if Wolff, someone who is successful in real estate, thought it was such a brilliant idea to move to San Jose he would have simply tried it...

So again, the main point I've been stressing this whole time (getting back to the blog topic) if Dellums and the city of Oakland provide the land needed, and Fremont doesn't work, it would make perfect sense to stay in Oakland, after all its what Wolff wanted to do in the first place...

BTW, I think ML's Broadway Auto Row is a pretty good idea...

Marine Layer said...

I'll keep this short:

The day Oakland becomes a viable option is the same day San Jose becomes a viable option. Either would have a tough road for different reasons, which have already been discussed here ad nauseam.

Tony D. said...

R.M.
I'll keep this short to:

Anon 9:40, those stupid Giants territorial rights to SJ/SC don't prohibit Silicon Valley businesses and residents from going 4 miles north into Alameda County/Fremont! 4 miles north to Cisco Field or 35 miles north to AT&T Park? You do the math...

Leandre 8:05, since the C. Reed comments of 06, Wolff has gone on record as calling the Giants T Rights "not equitable" and stating their existence is up to Bud Selig and NOT the Giants.

(sorry R.M., a little longer than short)

Jeffrey said...

More horse beatage! San Jose!

In any event, I am most interested in the A's staying the Bay Area. If that is Oakland, great... but the largest hurdle there is funding the park. As many have stated Wolff is a business man who has made his money in Real Estate. It only stands to reason that he is using Real Estate as a funding mechanism. That mechanism doesn't exist for the Auto Row project, although, I wouldn't mind going to a stadium there and looking off towards Lake Merritt when the A's are going down 1-2-3 for the fifteenth time in a row or whatever.

If that is San Jose, bully! It's true Wolff has said the territorial rights are up to Selig. It is likewise true that Selig has reaffirmed them at every step of the road. So that is pretty unlikely to happen I imagine.

If it is Fremont, great! I think the access concerns are pretty over stated. But even if they aren't. I will still go to games there and enjoy them. Considering the main hurdles that San Jose and Oakland have (t rights and funding)... Fremont has neither. That is why i eprsonally support Fremont.

Of course, if it was in Pleasanton, I'd support that more since I live there and all :) There is a huge chunk of land South of the fair grounds... hmmmm

Anonymous said...

Leandre,

Make no mistake, a move to south Fremont, for practical purposes, is a move to the South Bay. It's all about gaining access to Silicon Valley and its corporate money. It's only the Giant's T-rights issue which is preventing the A's from going those last four miles over the county line.

Wolff DID try to move to San Jose. The city was (and is) in the process of acquiring land downtown that could have been used as a ballpark site. Wolff gave it up (at least for now) only because the Fremont site, with its single owner and no T-rights to contend with, was a quicker and easier route to accomplish basically the same objective.

I'll give you one thing, of all the pro-Oakland posters on this board, you are the first to take Wolff at his word that Oakland was first choice. Everyone else goes on endlessly about how his efforts to find a site in Oakland was all a sham and he always had his sites set on the South Bay.

My own take: Wolff made a sincere effort to find a site in Oakland, but the handwriting was on the wall pretty quickly that this was not going to work. But it was always glaringly obvious to anyone paying attention (including Wolff, Schott before him, and McGowan) that the South Bay was by far the more desirable location from a business standpoint.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, an Oakland booster, a San Jose booster and all the OK-with-Fremont-ers (I don't think anyone on here is really a Fremont booster) are all coming to an agreement that Cisco Field is a good compromise for keeping the team local and becoming more successful financially. If that fails, I would agree with both SJ and Oakland partisans that a downtown park in one of those cities would be a great plan B, though either would have serious challenges. Can a group hug be far behind?