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09 December 2008

KTVU: Selig letter surfaces, urges resolution

KTVU sent veteran reporter Lloyd LaCuesta to the proceedings tonight and he got the scoop du jour, a letter from Bud Selig urging Lew Wolff to take care of business in Fremont. And if he can't?

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty interpreted that as meaning Selig is encouraging discussions with San Jose. Haggerty, who had a large part in putting the Fremont deal together, is as much in tune with East Bay politics as anyone.

Moving over to San Jose, Mayor Chuck Reed was asked for his reaction:

Basic pol-speak there. He went on to mention that San Jose has an already completed EIR as well as the Diridon South site at fair market value. Fair market value? Previous estimates for the 14-acre site were around $74 million, though that may have dropped somewhat with the flagging real estate market.

To keep things in order, this post will be the territorial rights and San Jose thread. The previous post and tomorrow's post will cover Fremont. Any comments straying from the subject matter in any thread will be deleted, you have been warned.

I'll say good night posing this question: Why did Selig allow Steve Schott to start discussions with Santa Clara?

26 comments:

FC said...

Wow, after being dormate for months, the ballpark site issue has suddenly awoken with a roar. So much now to consider.

I wonder whether this letter from Selig is just a tool he's giving Wolff to pressure Fremont into approving the project, or is it truly what it appears to be, permission to consider SJ? If Fremont doesn't move fast enough, at what point does Wolff decide to turn to SJ? In any case, this letter will certainly allow Wolff to take a harder stance on some of Fremont's demands.

ML, in an earlier post you said you'd withhold posting on this matter until sometime this week. Well, it no longer appears to be a rumor. Do you know anything more about Selig's letter and whether the A's will have to compensate the Giants should they move to SJ?

Oakland Sí said...

interesting...wonder what if anything changed regarding the Giants' "territorial rights"?

Then again, Selig didn't mention San José by name...

Anonymous said...

Shocker News eh? Money is and has been on table for SCC rights for many months. P Macgowan was stubborn as an ass to his detriment. Neukom is more sensical and needs the dollars to appease stakeholders. The Giants have a $20M ballon due at end of each season for years to come. SCC rights deal can go a long way to facilitate repayment of said note. SJ Stadium across from Shark Tank will have both Cal-Train and BART depots. A 99 lease by SJ to A's won't require public vote, but Wolff will have to finance by himself by way of zoning changes at other commercial zones for residential building. This could move real fast. Wolff wants this done now.

Dan said...

The fact Selig didn't mention SJ by name is the only thing that's got me worried. Without a change in the rights to SJ the A's still can't explore it as an option which means "other communities" could refer to anything from Sacramento to Las Vegas.

CA1650 said...

San Jose would be miles better than anything Fremont could offer in terms of the surrounding area. Compare a site either next to bay marshland and a big box strip mall or next to an auto plant to an urban downtown environment. I'd take SJ even though BART access will take years to arrive. At least there is already a light rail infrastructure in that area.

CA1650 said...

Also, none of this talks about the territorial rights that the Giants have to Santa Clara County. That was always cited as the main/only reason SJ was not a possibility. What makes this time different? Could the MLB give the A's Santa Clara county and then give the Giants rights to Alameda County? I doubt that makes much difference to them, though, since the Giants are not moving anytime soon.

Dan said...

Well one possibility is that MLB will just take the Giants rights away. They arbitrarily granted them in the first place, they can revoke them just as easily for the greater good thanks to the anti-trust exemption. And with MacGowan gone the Giants big "we own the south bay" booster is gone as well. Selig could just as easily grant the A's rights to the south bay at this point by force like he did with DC and Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

my goodness, I can't get over how naive some of the posters here are ... mlb just take territorial rights away? come one, that would be a vote and don't think selig wants to open up that can'o'worms.

did anyone see the Giants response ... it said we wish the a's success in building their park in FREMONT ... selig would have said sc county if that were to be included.

dan, my man, you're right about sac-town and vegas, but not even close in thinking neukum would sell out the t-rights.

Marine Layer said...

I have not seen the letter and this is the first I've heard of it. It isn't surprising given the way rumors were swirling.

I think what we are starting to see is a "circle the wagons" mentality in MLB. I'll expound on this later in a separate post.

Anonymous said...

When this issue was raised here in the recent past, I posted:

San Jose isn't entirely out of the question.

Peter Angelos was considered to be a powerful team owner, but his protests and appeals were eventually overruled by his fellows (28-1 vote according to Wikipedia), as they carved a chunk out of the Orioles territory, and awarded it to the "Nationals" for their new home.

It set a current day precedent that if the majority of owners see some benefit to MLB, or their wallets, they will approve a team's move into another team's territory.

Rather than let the team leave the lucrative Bay Area market, the owners might let the A's move to San Jose.

This would only be after all else had failed, however, and they probably would prefer that the A's revisit Oakland stadium/village possibilities if Fremont doesn't work out.
---------------------------
Someone then posted that it wouldn't happen because the A's situation was different, and I responded:

Angelos' rights were considered strong enough that MLB awarded him a 90% interest in the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, and then paid him 75 mil for a 10% share in it.

I never said that the situation was identical to the G's territorial rights in San Jose, and obviously it isn't. I'm just saying that after hearing so much that MLB would never taking business territory away from the Orioles, they did.

The G's sided with Angelos for a while because of the A's situation, but eventually even they changed their mind, as it was seen as being for the good of MLB.

If the G's were paid enough, or given some sort of major perk, they might decide to go along with an A's to San Jose move. They also might not.

But, I tried to convey that it might not ever come to this, and if it did, it would likely be the last Bay Area option pursued (and only because the market is so lucrative). The Fremont deal could very well work out. Otherwise, maybe Mr. Wolff might back down about Oakland...

---------------------------
My comments still apply to the subject, but I think that it is still early to say that Mr. Selig has given the OK on a possible move to San Jose. This may be just a letter to light a fire under Fremont on the matter. At any rate, the Bay Area is still the best market for the team to be in...

Anonymous said...

The Giants' balloon payments end in 2017.

If the A's are offering to pay off the Giants in return for territorial rights . . . well, that explains how they could afford CC Sabathia.

But MLB wouldn't ever dare to unilaterally revoke territorial rights. The reason is that the New York teams would not stand for it, else you'd have a third team in New Jersey toot suite.

Tony D. said...

Of all people, I'll play devil's advocate. "Other communities" could mean outside the Bay Area, or even state: Sac, Portland, Vegas, San Antonio. Of course, in this economy, is any of that possible? Could any of them match the corporate support and incomes of Silicon Valley? SVSE (Sharks ownership) and A's now tied to the hip? I'll be honest, I sure hope the letter means the A's can talk to San Jose. Also, any deal with the Giants will probably make Santa Clara County a "shared territory" in the likes of the other two-team markets; no breaking precedent there. I'm definetely staying tuned!

Anonymous said...

Vote of 75% of owners for issues in MLB is required - See MLB constitution. Fremont is moving to slowly. 2012 is rapidly becoming 2013. Wolff wants action. He already has plan in place for SJ....they worked on it in parallel with Fremont...the financing model has been massaged back and forth with Pacific Commons, and Earthquakes stadium plans. City of SJ has purchased most of land across street from Shark tank - See Minnesota Twins new stadium as a model for limited property stadiums with a substantially lower than street level playing field. If A's stadium is privately financed no vote required, only City Council approval for lease or sale of land. Giants balloon payment/loan will be assumed by A's as quid pro quo for SCC...that deal has been on table for a long time. Don't forget who really owns the A's....The Fishers, not Wolff...and they don't like the Giants, their owners, and especially Macgowan...remember they used to be owners with Macgowan and now want to do everything they can to "one up the Giants." The San Jose A's would be the ultimate "kick in the nuts" to the Giants.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:46 ... you're truly a piece of work. you speak as if you really know what you're talking about and want desperately for people to believe you. ok buddy, prove that this "deal" has been on the table.

well? waiting ...

Anonymous said...

"Elsewhere" does not include Sacramento. Wolff has said many times, they studied Sac to death and it just can't work there.

Anonymous said...

San Jose has got to be back on the table---as Tony D. said all the other 2 team markets have "shared" territory with no delineation as to who owns what counties---the Giants territorial rights were given away by Haas because he didn't seen any issues with sharing the territory--remember--this is a team moving further away from their competitor--not closer to---

Notice how the A's are marketing to San Jose--they were in the holiday parade and signing autographs after the parade--they have a ticket office in downtown San Jose, my kids LL field scoreboard was donated by the A's--and has their logo on it----funny how I have never seen the Giants provide any community outreach to San Jose-

Wolff wants a stadium near term--key point is EIR is done and certified in SJ---Fremont won't be able to do this near term-- my bet is that before spring training opens a deal in SJ is announced

Tony D. said...

Some questions/thoughts before I end my night.

R.M., any reason why Scott Haggerty was so quick to interpret the Bud Selig letter as encouraging discussions with San Jose? As has been discussed, "other communities" could mean anything. And as much as I would like to believe otherwise, Selig did not mention San Jose by name. Again, what's the reason for Haggerty's SJ interpretation? The guy seems pretty intelligent.

Lew Wolff DID mention San Jose, stating the WS/BART site would be closer to SJ, which is 100% obvious what he wants (great!). Why not go another 11 miles south?

Anon 3:23 brings up an interesting point regarding the Giants and CC Sabathia. It was reported earlier on ESPN that the two will meet this weekend. Where in the hell are the Giants going to get that "Barry Zito and then some" kind of money? A's anyone? We'll see.

Lastly, from the past year: territorial rights are up to the commissioner, not the A's or Giants...MLB wants us to stay in the Bay Area and may consider opening up our territories...Peter Magowan gone!...BART and high-speed rail to downtown San Jose..."marriage" of SJ Sharks and A's ownerships. Perhaps, and I could only hope, the perfect San Jose storm is taking shape.

(hey, where's Bartleby and GeoRob when you need them!)

Anonymous said...

Tony,

I'd imagine that it's easy to read San Jose into "other communities" for the simple fact that the A's have always been free to engage in discussion with other communities, with the exception of San Jose.

Dan said...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11181633

Things aren't looking good at Pacific Commons.

Marine Layer said...

Think about the role Haggerty plays in this. He can say things that neither Selig nor the Wolffs can say yet it has credibility. That goes a long way.

Also, Brian Sabean was interviewed by the Razor and Mr. T today. CC is not happening unless it's 5 years max. Sounds like Sabes learned something from the Zito debacle.

Anonymous said...

Tony, the Sharks and A's are already married now that SVSE has purchased a share of the Earthquakes.

Dan said...

Anon 9:33, not necessarily. The Earthquakes while owned by the same folks isn't run as part of the A's organization. It's a largely independent operation. The Sharks small ownership stake hasn't changed that.

Georob said...

I made a comment, Tony. I guess ML didn't like it. Even though all the anonymous nonsense gets through.

It's not my blog. I'm done here.

Marine Layer said...

You know, Rob, you can e-mail me if you feel unjustly treated. Just saying.

transic said...

Here's what I'm trying to get: Why do we hear about organizing opposition NOW? It's not like the A's-to-Fremont issue has been a secret. We have debated the merits of the idea for about a year and a half. Is it that people thought it wasn't a serious proposal? Does BART showing interest in working with the A's make it a serious issue for them?

Well, I still say Wolff want it done in Fremont first. If the Omissioner says he can talk to other ideas, I don't think he'd mind but he would rather not have to take that step.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:08p

Ask Lew, Baer or Macgowan. They have nothing to hide. Better yet ask Selig. It's common knowledge. MLB blessed Fremont plan even though Selig knew the best location was always downtown SJ. Econ downturn and BART to SJ has been silver lining for A's by reopening SJ as possible home. Econ development surrounding A's SJ ballpark in downtown SJ has more longterm upside than even Pac Commons. Ask Paul Krutko.