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16 May 2009

Oakland hinting at Howard Terminal

True to form, Mayor Dellums' office is talking up Howard Terminal as a ballpark site. Only they're not. Sorta kinda.

A KRON report reveals that the Waterfront near Market Street and Embarcadero West is a preferred site.
While officials could not confirm the exact location, Mayor Dellums’ spokesperson David Chai says a recent meeting between city officials and representatives for Major League Baseball proved hopeful, “They left that meeting very impressed by our overall efforts and we’re going to be in a process over the next month, making sure that our presentation and all of the details that go into it are sound.”
Before you run off to your favorite mapping site, here's the pic (again) from the HOK study.

The thoroughfare between the convention center and the ballpark is Market Street extended to the waterfront.

Quick refresher (again): Howard Terminal (aerial view) was reopened in 2004, with shipping giant Matson signing a 25-year lease. A related deal, finalized only last year, has SSA Marine operating the terminal on behalf of Matson. You may also be interested in the photo overview (PDF).

The challenges? Let's start a list:
  • Relocating Matson
  • Lack of proximity to BART (requiring a new BART infill station? 12th St station is 3/4 mile away, West Oakland is 1 mile away)
  • Environmental cleanup at site
  • Making the deal worthwhile financially for the Port
  • Street circulation improvements (Embarcadero specifically)
Discuss.

128 comments:

Navigator said...

Unless Wolff and Saperstein have changed their minds, and Oakland is NOW "viable," this site won't matter.

What do you think Marine Layer? From your earlier discussion with Lew Wolff do you feel that he views Oakland as now being a viable market for his ballpark?

This site would be next to the Ferry Terminal on Clay Street and would definitely have the potential to compete with At&T Park on an aesthetic basis.

Also, there is no better site to compliment the current expansion of Jack London Square. Fans could park at various garages around the square creating a tremendous amount of foot traffic between the garages just east of the ballpark, and the ballpark itself. A ballpark at the Howard Terminal, along with the current expansion of Jack London Square, would create a tremendous regional destination for people throughout Northern California and beyond.

The question is, is this on the level, or, is this Blue Ribbon Commission just a set up as a final nail in Oakland's coffin. I'm pretty confident that Marine Layer has a pretty good take on what's going on.

As far as the potential of Oakland, that goes without saying. As matter of fact, my teenage daughter just pulled me away from typing this note to show me a clip of Green Day's concert at the Fox Oakland Theater on HBO "on demand." It was exciting to see this hometown band proud to be performing in a glorious theater in their hometown packed with 3,000 screaming fans.

On the other hand, it's unfortunate that Oakland's hometown baseball team and its misguided ownership, shows nothing but disdain for Oakland and its fans to the point of denigration.propon

J Canseco said...

Gut feeling tells me this has no shot whatsoever. Freeway access to the JLS area isn't great, and there is no good in/out traffic pattern at that spot. Can you say clusterf#@k? BART is probably too far of a walk for most people as well. Too many hitches and no way this competes with SJ.

Navigator said...

Also, the nearest BART station near At&T Park is a full mile away. I don't see how 3/4 of a mile from the 12th Street BART station should be that much of an issue. I see plenty of Giant fans on BART trains after games.

This site is at least just as accessible as At&T Park to public transportation. We have the Clay Street Ferry Terminal at its doorstep, along with the Jack London Amtrak Station 1/4 mile away. This site has great transportation options along with a great deal of existing garage parking with an option to build more.

Anonymous said...

ML,
Could the ballpark be situated in either the northeast or northwest corner of Market/Embarcadero? Leaving Matson shipping intact?

Navigator,
Most BART riders to AT&T Park use Muni light-rail as an in between, unless they like walking over a mile.

FC said...

I'm not familiar with that area at all, but just in looking at that list of challenges, it sure looks as though there are lot of $$$ attached to this site. Who would pay for all of those improvement? If it's the City of Oakland, would it have to be but to a vote?

Bottom line though, the ballpark would still be in Oakland, and that IMO is a deal killer.

Anonymous said...

"This site would be next to the Ferry Terminal on Clay Street and would definitely have the potential to compete with At&T Park on an aesthetic basis."

That area looks across the the least pleasing sights of Alameda. It's industry and housing projects.

Marine Layer said...

The challenge that Wolff/Saperstein have put forward is to come up with a new site. This is not a new site. All of the pros/cons have been out there for years.

I'm sure there are some who will be excited that Oakland has presented this site. Problem is that Wolff's presentation to the panel included communications among the team, City, and Port that show how difficult a proposition this site would be. One piece that caught my eye was a laundry list of demands from the Port.

11:33 - Sure they could move it. But then it wouldn't be a waterfront site anymore.

TikiPundit said...

As an Alameda resident and fan of the attempts to develop Jack London Square and Oakland's waterfront, I've like this location since I was standing on it getting a demonstration of how customs officers inspect shipping containers.

There is practicality and there is vision. Here, I think, better than some other places, the vision could coerce practicality into playing along, more than practicality could squash the vision.

Jack London Square is a treasure not to be squandered by Oakland's sleepy city government. This kind of enhancement would make sure that doesn't happen.

Navigator said...

And if it's too much to walk 3/4 of a mile to the 12th Street BART station, couldn't the fans just take a bus up Broadway?

As a matter of fact, the 12th Street Bart station is the transfer point for all BART lines. This makes prefect sense for the City of Oakland along with the Oakland A's. Not only do the restaurants and businesses at Jack London Square get a huge boost, but, Old Oakland and City Center restaurants get a boost as well as places to dine before and after catching a BART train at the nearby 12th Street BART station.

For Oakland, there is no bigger bang for the buck then having 10,000 fans walking to the 12th Street BART station passing near to Old Oakland, Chinatown, and City Center. You talk about dining opportunities.

This site moves the A's closer to their existing fan base since nearly 70% of their fans have traditionally come from North,West and East of Oakland.

Also, this is a new site to the present Oakland A's ownership. Wolff shouldn't be allowed to take credit for Schott's disinterest in Oakland.

ShopGirl said...

"Freeway access to the JLS area isn't great..." YES it is! Alameda would have way more incentive to improve their side of the waterfront; you have great access to public transport with lots of fairly easy options for improvement; you're next to the ferry; and it's right next to JLS and this would be the perfect nudge that area needs to be even greater. The super-negative is the cost of environmental clean-up, but they overcame that problem in SF. The port might hurt losing that spot, but in this economic environment that's not a bad thing. I would love to see them give this site a real chance.

Marine Layer said...

A bus or shuttle works as long as it's free. If not, it won't work. People will pay for a rail transfer, especially if it's conveniently co-located like MUNI/BART in Downtown SF.

Wolff researched Howard Terminal during his venue development veep stint, just as he did Coliseum South. You can't dismiss that work that easily. It isn't a new site because someone else is at the helm. It shows a lack of creativity on Oakland's part.

jeepers said...

It's a fantastic concept. What it requires, however, is something that Oakland hasn't shown an ability to do thus far, which is to get real things done. If they can come out swinging with a real, concrete plan on how they intend to relocate Matson, for example--and Matson endorses it as a great idea--the site could have legs.

gojohn10 said...

I'm not a big fan of replicating AT&T. That said, if Oakland is willing to pay for everything but the ballpark, this could be a pretty damn good site. I don't think they will. Oakland seems to be looking for their own "66th ave" plan. I think they have found it with Howard terminal.

Navigator said...

Marine Layer, can we be honest here.

Wolff, and Schott before him, NEVER wanted to build a ballpark in Oakland. Wolff has always maintained that Oakland is NOT viable. It doesn't matter. Nothing that Oakland purposes to Wolff will EVER be "viable."

I'm glad that the City of Oakland is once again putting an honest effort in finding a site for the long-term security of this franchise. The HOK study, where the city spent 250,000 dollars was the first try. Now, Oakland will try again.

But, as Robert Bobb stated in the past, in regards to the attitude of the A's ownership and ballpark sites in Oakland, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it."

So, I'm assuming the denial of the Howard Terminal will be the "It's not new." defense. Why does Wolff continue to torture Oakland fans with this. Wolff once again attempts to use Oakland to show the Blue Ribbon Commission that Oakland isn't "viable," simply because HE says's so.

BTW, way to go Joanna. You go girl!

slo_town said...

The location does have many hurdles, but the potential is just amazing. The immediate area around Howard Terminal would make for a perfect redevelopment area.

As for highway access, 980 at 12th street, 880 south at 5th street, and 880 north at Market.

An infill BART station could potentially be build near 4th and Martin Luther King. Or fans would have to head down to City Center which would be a huge boost to Old Oakland, etc.

dbackman said...

If you're curious about the transit futures for this site, here's a link to the JLS BART Feasibility Study again: http://www.bart.gov/docs/planning/JLSFeasibility1.pdf

Regardless of whether a stadium gets put at the Howard Terminal, the best way to serve the transit needs of the JLS district is a light rail line or loop that could connect Uptown, Downtown, JLS, Amtrak and the Lake. It would help residents circulate between neighborhoods as well get people from BART to waterfront destinations easily.

At the same time, I really have to agree with Navigator this time about the potential of 10,000 fans marching down Broadway from BART to the game. As we have seen in SOMA, the foot traffic from ballgames can really stimulate the bar and restaurant scene, thus invigorating multiple neighborhoods along the path of travel. The more JLS becomes a destination, the more incentive for creative better connectivity in Oakland.

Jesse said...

ML what would you suppose an opening date would be like 2016 for that site?

Anonymous said...

Funny how 880 is a perfectly acceptable route now that the stadium is proposed for Oakland, not Fremont or San Jose. Where'd the traffic go?

gojohn10 said...

This site does have potential. What is Oakland going to do to make it happen? Anyone can propose a location. I'm waiting to hear suggestions from the Oakland supporters on this board and solutions from the city.

Marine Layer said...

I couldn't begin to project an opening date until Matson comments on a ballpark project. If they say "no" it's DOA.

Nav, I'm happy for you that a modicum of effort from Oakland is acceptable. Some of us expect more than that.

Identifying a site is far more than simply pointing at one an saying it's available. It means doing the dirty work necessary to secure the site, it means having someone within the City Center put political capital behind it. That's what I want to see. Only when I see that will I be convinced that Oakland is committing more than lip service.

Anonymous said...

Beyond the Matson issue, the site seems doomed due to poor freeway and public transportation access. That stretch of 880 has some of the worst congestion under normal usage. I can only image how horrible it would be with 20-30K people trying the access JLS.

FC said...

Nav,

I have to agree with you in that I don't think the A's (under Schott and Wolff) ever wanted to stay in Oakland. They always had their eye on San Jose.

I can't really blame them. Attendance in Oakland has been disappointing, and corporate support lacking. Now if they had been drawing 25-30K per game, then I'd have a problem with them moving. But such is not the case. It's time to move and put the organization on a better financial footing.

Anonymous said...

Howard Terminal site is well protected from the neighborhoods and would be a great site and better than the San Jose which will overwhelm the Shasta Hatchett area when the A' s are playing and especially when AC/DC or some other major event is at the spilling from the arena.

If not Howard I vote for The City of Santa Clara Great America Area with its 6 lane access in and out. Lets stay away from pissing off neighbors. Maybe San Jose could come up with a better site?


wes

Marine Layer said...

Maybe Santa Clara can come up with a better site. I grew up in, and my dad still lives in, the Lakewood/Fairwood neighborhood near Great America. He's pretty pissed off about a 49ers stadium and people invading his neighborhood for free parking. NIMBY potential lies everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Marine-

You are usually spot on! One of the smartest, I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

Both potencial Santa Clara ball park sites are not even close to having parking problems. One site that was approved by the voters of Santa Clara has 15 plus acres of parking. It is also is far from any neighbors.

Regarding the 49ers. Tell Dad He can relax most of the North Side neighbors will support the deal. It has already been determined by many studies that parking in the neighborhoods will be protected, especially by plans developed by S.C.P.D. More over during football Games mostly on Sundays; most high-tec companies are shut down. That means Thousands and tens of thousands of parking that are vacant. (25,000 plus including Mission College which is looking forward to extra revenue).

The last A's plan for a Santa Clara ball at Great America agreed that Santa Clara had ideal parking especially with all the availble parking on City owned land.

I was promoting the Oakland site today but still believe The Santa Clara Stadium Authority had it right picking Santa Clara has the no #1 location for MLB in the South Bay. If not Oakland my opinion is the best site right now by far is in Santa Clara and at The Great America Amusement Park site.

Cedar Fair is attempting to sell the park right now and Santa Clara owns all the land under the park. No need to spend millions aquiring land and especially land with issues. Vision the 49ers/Santa Clara leasing the land for a note of a song and having parking at the Convention Center, Great America, and a new structure already funded by RDA.

The Oakland site is good and San Jose could work; though it will cost way more than other sites because of extensive site preparation and infastructure costs.

If the A's wisely choose Santa Clara I can care less if they call the team the San Jose' a's of The SANTA CLARA A'S. Just pick the best site possible.

Best Regards,

Wes

Marine Layer said...

Dad lives in Sunnyvale, Wes. Just west of Mission College. He's not looking forward to the PITA restricted access he normally experiences on the 4th of July an additional 10 times a year. He really doesn't want to deal with people showing up at the neighborhood park in the morning, tailgating and getting drunk, littering and causing trouble all day every other fall Sunday.

Let's see if Santa Clara can actually get the 49ers deal done first. Santa Clara is putting themselves at far greater risk than any city in Bay Area stadium history. Hopefully SC voters will have all relevant information they'll need to make an informed decision. So far the City has been lacking in that regard.

Anonymous said...

ferliMarine-

Good Points the only thing you will be absolutely surprised about is regarding your statement that "Santa Clara is putting themselves at far greater risk than any city in Bay Area stadium history".

Santa Clara would never do that, in fact Santa Clara will negotiate a great a deal that is iron clad and will never sell City owned land or would even take on a project unless City Services and the General funded are fully protected.

Santa Clara wouldn't even consider building such large projects at the cost of closing fire stations or laying off employees.

You will be very surprised at how great the deal between the City of Santa Clara and the 49ers put together and agree upon.

Santa Clara with own its utilites and massive amounts of City owed land is an advantage that the
49ers clearly see.

Thanks again Marine, I enjoy reading your excellent site.

Best Regards,

Wes

Navigator said...

Marine Layer,

If the City of Oakland is proposing Howard Terminal, I have to believe that they've done preliminary work, and have at least contacted Matson regarding possible relocation.

Also, I'm not against the City of Oakland contributing to public infrastructure improvements for the Howard Terminal site because of the potential economic and civic benefits to the City.

The Howard Terminal has the potential to energize Jack London Square, Old Oakland, City Center, and Chinatown, because of its strategic location.

A ballpark at Howard Terminal would not only benefit Jack London Square with foot traffic from the garages east of the Square, but, it would also benefit neighborhoods just north of the Square like Old Oakland, Chinatown, and City Center with foot traffic from 10,000 A's fans coming from the 12th Street BART station and spilling onto City Center, coming down Broadway and Washington Street, while passing Old Oakland and Chinatown.

This is one location which would energize many of Oakland's downtown neighborhoods and would definitely be worth some public investment from the City.

Now, what is Lew Wolff's role in all of this? It seems like Lew Wolff has done a fraction in Oakland of what he's done in other communities in regards to investing in the process of getting a ballpark built.

Also, Marine Layer, you seems to always put the focus on what "Oakland needs to do." What does Lew Wolff need to do to make this come to fruition?

Does Lew Wolff need to do community outreach as he's done in Fremont? Does Lew Wolff need to spend some significant amount of time at Oakland City Hall as he's done in Santa Clara,(as Director of Venue Development for Steve Schott) Fremont and San Jose? Does Lew Wolff need to negotiate in good faith as he seems to be doing in San Jose? Does Lew Wolff spend 26 million to get the process started in Oakland as he did in Fremont? Do Lew Wolff and Guy Saperstein need to stop denigrating Oakland as a business community and as a viable site for the ballpark? Do Lew Wolff and Guy Saperstein begin to respect the views and wishes of the vast majority of the fan base? Do Lew Wolff and Co. need to do all of the above and stop the hemorrhaging of attendance caused by their misguided policies?

It's a two way street Marine Layer. We need sincere cooperation here from both sides.

Marine Layer said...

Wes - I'll believe that SC has a good deal when I see it. The economic impact report put out two years ago - and not updated to reflect the current downturn - was completely laughable. If SC doesn't do it right they'll be in the same position as Oakland/Alameda County or Indianapolis. I invite you to put blind faith aside and challenge your leaders to put together a fair deal for all.

Nav - There was laundry list put out by the Port in 2003, well before Matson moved in. The City should have completed at least a few of the items on that list before suggesting Howard Terminal as a site. But to do so, they would've had to stop the Matson deal in the first place, so it wasn't a priority. That's no one's fault because the City and Port weren't focused on a ballpark. That was the right thing to do to bring in much needed revenue. How long would it take to undo the deal and complete that laundry list now? The environmental cleanup alone will probably take a year or more.

At the very least, the City should have some kind of cost/benefit analysis at the ready in the next month for any site. Then they can determine whether it's worthwhile to invest in this manner or focus on other issues.

I know it won't convince you Nav, but Wolff has done due diligence. I could go into incredible detail about all of the communications and work that was done, but why bother? You still won't believe me. You'll call me a shill. Fantastic. That's just the dialogue we need to make solutions.

Anonymous said...

A baseball stadium amidst Santa Clara office parks would be as appealing as Coliseum South. What a terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

"If the City of Oakland is proposing Howard Terminal, I have to believe that they've done preliminary work, and have at least contacted Matson regarding possible relocation."

That's a big leap of faith considering the level of competence shown by Oakland city leaders in the past.

Even if it were true, the devil is in the details. Any business will do just about anything if you pay them enough money. The question is how much, and who pays. Matson might well move if offered, say, $300 million to make it worth their while. Unless Oakland and Matson have agreed on a figure, and unless Oakland is willing to pay it, such preliminary conversations are all but meaningless.

"Also, I'm not against the City of Oakland contributing to public infrastructure improvements for the Howard Terminal site because of the potential economic and civic benefits to the City."

Actually, neither am I. Diridon is clearly the better site for the team, but Howard Terminal would confer a lot of benefit to the City of Oakland. If I lived in Oakland, I would strongly support public investment if that could offset the obvious advantages of Santa Clara county and result in a downtown ballpark for the team.

I don't think this will happen though, because I think the dollar figure needed will be too high. And I wouldn't support a nickel of public money for the Coli site.

"foot traffic from 10,000 A's fans coming from the 12th Street BART station and spilling onto City Center, coming down Broadway and Washington Street, while passing Old Oakland and Chinatown."

10,000 A's fans is a completely made up number. Currently, 15-20% of A's fans take BART to the games. The planned ballpark is 32,000. Based on past history, even for sold out games the number for BART would be 5 or 6 thousand. You have provided absolutely no support for the notion BART ridership would double for a downtown Oakland park.

"Does Lew Wolff spend 26 million to get the process started in Oakland as he did in Fremont?"

He'd be crazy to do so. Private businesses invest based on projected return. It is Oakland that must invest to make a downtown Oakland ballpark look competitive with San Jose.

"Do Lew Wolff and Guy Saperstein need to stop denigrating Oakland as a business community and as a viable site for the ballpark?"

Why should they? Oakland has little business base, and is too close to SF, these are obvious facts. Only crazed partisans take these kinds of statements personally.

"Do Lew Wolff and Guy Saperstein begin to respect the views and wishes of the vast majority of the fan base?"

You have provided no evidence whatsoever that your views are those of the the "vast majority of the fan base." My observation is that most fans want "a new ballpark in the Bay Area wherever we can get it." There is also grudging recognition from many East Bay fans that a Santa Clara county yard is more doable and will put the team on a stronger competitive footing going forward. There is also strong sentiment that the ballpark should be in a downtown area, wherever it ends up.

"Do Lew Wolff and Co. need to do all of the above and stop the hemorrhaging of attendance caused by their misguided policies?"

You have provided no evidence that attendance is "hemorrhaging" or that there is any causal link between any fluctuation and Wolff's policies. A's attendance is actually UP over last year so far, despite a losing team and the worst economy in decades. It remains only slightly below the average attained by your sainted Walter Haas. Attendance in the past few years has been entirely consistent with the historical pattern when team performance drops off (a normal, cyclical occurrence for all MLB teams, especially those in small markets).

"It's a two way street Marine Layer. We need sincere cooperation here from both sides."

That's crap. San Jose nearly has a build-ready site with little to no assistance from the A's. Oakland needs to catch up if it wants to be taken seriously. The onus is on them.

Anonymous said...

Wes,

Your view that Santa Clara is in any way a better site than downtown SJ is so off-the-wall, it makes me think you have a financial interest there. There's not a lot of consensus on this board, but one point on which the overwhelming majority of people seem to agree is that downtown, urban sites are better than suburban ones.

A Santa Clara site would add nothing to the experience of going to a game. Nor would a ballpark benefit the city the same way it would benefit downtown SJ. There just isn't any "downtown" in Santa Clara to get those synergies going.

And your point on access is questionable, at best. Diridon sits in a triangle of three major freeways, allowing for rapid dispersal of fans. Access to HP Pavilion is among the best of any arena I've been to (and I've been to many); getting out after games is a breeze. And on transit, downtown SJ wins hands down. It's already got Caltrain, Light Rail, and Amtrak/ACE, and will someday have BART and high speed rail.

Navigator said...

"You have provided no evidence that attendance is "hemorrhaging" or that there is any causal link between any fluctuation and Wolff's policies. A's attendance is actually UP over last year so far, despite a losing team and the worst economy in decades. It remains only slightly below the average attained by your sainted Walter Haas. Attendance in the past few years has been entirely consistent with the historical pattern when team performance drops off (a normal, cyclical occurrence for all MLB teams, especially those in small markets)."

I hope this isn't management I'm debating with, because if it is, I can see why this team ranks at the bottom of the league in attendance. This is a franchise in total denial of the complete and thorough alienation of their fan base.

Also, if only 6,000 use BART as you say will be the case, it's still great for the neighborhoods around the 12th Street BART station. I happen to think that because Howard Terminal puts the team closer to it's existing fan base, and the 12th Street BART station is the transfer point for all BART lines, in addition to the fact that parking won't be as plentiful at Jack London Square as it currently is at the Coliseum, makes for increased potential ridership estimates. This will be an urban ballpark surrounded by mass transit, not a suburban site as is the Coliseum.

Lastly, in your cold analytical manner, you fail to recognize that this is a baseball franchise which engenders emotional ties to members of the community. We are not talking about a bank branch leaving Oakland for San Jose.

And, this is supposed to be about building a ballpark for the OAKLAND A's. This was NEVER supposed to be used as an excuse for relocation, which is what Lew Wolff, and Steve Schott before him, have always used this issue for.

If you can't build a new ballpark for the OAKLAND A's, then sell the team to an Andy Dolich/Piccinini type of ownership group who is interested in doing so. Don't come to Oakland as a South Bay business interest with the sole intention of relocating Oakland's baseball team for your own personal gain.

And, it's time that Santa Clara and South Bay interests stop attempting to pilfer teams from neighboring communities for National exposure enhancement.

Santa Clara County Assessor, Larry Stone, has been attempting to steal Oakland's team for decades. Get a life Mr. Stone and do your job. Why not begin assessing Santa Clara County's diminishing property values instead of worrying about stealing your neighbor's baseball team? Please keep your hands off of Oakland's team.

Marine Layer said...

Actually, the SCC Assessor's office has already started reassessing home values. They've done nearly 100,000 already this year. Of course, you don't care Nav. You just want to get in a cheap shot. Again, more great discourse from you.

How about that Bob Piccinini? He got the ownership stake he wanted, right? About 3% of the Padres, with the acquisition spread out for 5 years. No managing partner title. That's your savior.

I welcome contributions from all perspectives, including yours. I'm waiting for you to actually contribute something other than a rant.

Anonymous said...

Nav,

Just sign the petition and send it to EVERYONE you know. This petition is not only great for the East Bay and the city of Oakland, but to the Giants as well!

http://www.letsgooakland.com/

Navigator said...

Marine Layer,

I think I've made some good points regarding the benefits of a ballpark at Howard Terminal. I've also stated my opinions about Mr. Larry Stone and his decades long effort to take the A's from Oakland and place them in Santa Clara County. That's common knowledge.

Also, the fact that Schott and Wolff have never really been interested in building a ballpark in Oakland is common knowledge due to their obvious lack of effort compared to what they've done in South Bay communities. This is no secret to anyone who has followed this franchise for the last decade.

Also, it's no secret that attendance in Oakland has plummeted since Mr. Wolff closed the third deck and made his obvious contempt for Oakland, and its fans, well known.

Marine Layer, please answer these questions honestly based on all of what you know regarding the possibility of Lew Wolff working with the City of Oakland to make Howard Terminal a reality as the future home of the Oakland A's.

Will Lew Wolff sincerely and honestly work with the City of Oakland in order to make Howard Terminal or any other site in Oakland a reality? Yes, or NO.

Is the Blue Ribbon Commission designed to confirm Lew Wolff's opinions regarding Oakland's "viability" as a location for MLB. Yes, or No.

Has Lew Wolff made an honest and sincere effort at building a ballpark in Oakland, without at the same time, dealing in secret with other municipalities? Yes, or No. If yes, site some specifics.

The "66th Ave. to High Street" charade doesn't count. Proposing that plan two months after the eminent domain ruling come out, along with requesting a separate BART station, was clearly a proposal thrown out there for public relation consumption in order to appease a pro-Oakland fan base with a sorry excuse of "see we tried in Oakland."

That proposal was malarkey, and they know it. Shame on Wolff and Saperstein for trotting that dead horse out. The Coliseum South plan was another fraud, and Wolff cries about 250,000 when Oakland had already matched that with the HOK studies, while Wolff had no problem spending 26 million in Fremont? Have you no shame Mr. Wolff?

Anonymous said...

"This is a franchise in total denial of the complete and thorough alienation of their fan base."

Again, based on what evidence? The attendance statistics don't back you up. Most A's fans I talk to are thrilled to have an owner committed to keeping the team in the region and building a park with his own money. Most East Bay A's fans I talk to are at least realistic about the economics of the situation. Fans of teams in other markets would kill to have a great owner like Lew Wolff.

Look, at least thisplanetsux makes an attempt to twist some real world statistics to make his point. You just come on here with ipse dixit statements, talking through your ass as though you speak in any way for anyone but yourself.

"Also, if only 6,000 use BART as you say will be the case, it's still great for the neighborhoods around the 12th Street BART station."

I agree. As noted in my previous post, Howard Terminal would be great for Oakland if it happened, so much so that I think it would justify a substantial public investment. But 6,000 is not 10,000. I am reacting to your complete disregard, if not open contempt, for facts and logic.

"I happen to think that because Howard Terminal puts the team closer to it's existing fan base,"

Debatable. At best, only marginally true. And it also puts them much closer to the Giants. I call it a push.

"and the 12th Street BART station is the transfer point for all BART lines,"

That's true.

"in addition to the fact that parking won't be as plentiful at Jack London Square as it currently is at the Coliseum,"

We have no idea what the parking situation would be yet. We do know the park will be substantially smaller than the current yard. And it won't be sharing a lot with the arena, which brings in 20,000 competitors for parking. There's no way of knowing yet whether the overall parking situation would be better or worse. A lot of people made dire predictions for parking at AT&T Park also, and were dead wrong.

"makes for increased potential ridership estimates."

Maybe, we'll see.

"This will be an urban ballpark surrounded by mass transit, not a suburban site as is the Coliseum."

You are such a raging hypocrite. The Coli is actually BETTER served by transit than Howard Terminal. And just a short time ago, you were on here bleating how horrible suburban Fremont was compared with the urbanity of the Coliseum site; ballparks should be in cities, blah, blah, blah.

Let's face it, you'll shift arguments on the face of a dime. All you care about is your own selfish convenience.

"Lastly, in your cold analytical manner, you fail to recognize that this is a baseball franchise which engenders emotional ties to members of the community. We are not talking about a bank branch leaving Oakland for San Jose."

I do recognize that, but Oakland has never the supported the team well enough to have a legitimate claim for special consideration based on sentiment. Cleveland Browns fans I have sympathy for; likewise, Seattle Sonics fans. The Oakland-only partisans, not so much.

And a privately financed yard is different than a publicly financed one. If Oakland is willing to spring for, or at least invest substantially in, a new park, I say great. If not, economics rule. Only a complete selfish A-hole would begrudge team owners trying to at least break even on a $500 million investment.

Finally, a move to San Jose keeps the team in the same market. You'll have the same number of games on local TV, and you'll still be able to get to games if you want to. Your complete failure to acknowledge this makes you come off as irrational and is not helping you persuade anyone of your point of view.

"And, this is supposed to be about building a ballpark for the OAKLAND A's."

Says who? Ah, I know, San Jose will be less convenient for you personally. Well, then.

"This was NEVER supposed to be used as an excuse for relocation, which is what Lew Wolff, and Steve Schott before him, have always used this issue for."

Who says what it was "supposed" to be? As noted about, it's not a relocation. Get over it.

"If you can't build a new ballpark for the OAKLAND A's, then sell the team to an Andy Dolich/Piccinini type of ownership group who is interested in doing so."

Again, I don't see billionaires lining up to lose money in Oakland. ML has posted a lot of reasons to think Dolich would not have succeeded in keeping the team in Oakland, either. Anyway, that's ancient history.

"Don't come to Oakland as a South Bay business interest with the sole intention of relocating Oakland's baseball team for your own personal gain."

This is probably the closest you'll ever come to admitting that Santa Clara county is a better location for the A's economically. Thank you for that brief (probably inadvertent) nod to reality.

"And, it's time that Santa Clara and South Bay interests stop attempting to pilfer teams from neighboring communities for National exposure enhancement."

Blah, blah, blah. I say it's time to put pedal to the metal and keep the team in our region. I say its time for you to put your own selfish convenience ahead of what's clearly best for the team. If you were any kind of fan, you'd want to put the team on the best economic footing possible so they can consistently compete for a title.

"Santa Clara County Assessor, Larry Stone, has been attempting to steal Oakland's team for decades. Get a life Mr. Stone and do your job."

Those of us who live down here are delighted with Mr. Stone's efforts, both on reassessments and trying to keep the A's in the Bay Area.

Anonymous said...

Can the stadium face due south?

Marine Layer said...

Nav, you've advocated for Howard Terminal on the basis of revitalizing Oakland. You haven't begun to address how it could be done. It's more difficult to get it done now than it ever was in 2002. Yet you gloss over that. That difficulty makes it a poor site and not worthy of pursuit unless solutions for the challenges it faces are identified.

You'll disregard any efforts A's ownership have made because they don't fit your worldview. Fine, that's where we differ. I'm not going to change your mind no matter how much data I provide.

Coliseum South was important because A) it was a new site B) it could've been done with JPA/City/County help C) the A's suggested it first, and D) the A's were willing to foot some of the study cost. If that's insufficient for you then you have the problem, not the A's.

I've come around to thinking that Coliseum North/South were proposed in part to gauge political interest by Oakland/Alameda County. To that end, there wasn't much. And that breaks my heart, because when you considered how much they invested in the Raiders and Warriors, it would've been nice to get more effort on the A's behalf.

Navigator said...

Anon 1:06,

It was a pleasure to sign that petition. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Also, on a personal note, I do this not for selfish reasons, (as was stated, I could watch the San Jose A's on TV) I do it, because I grew up with this franchise in my beloved hometown.

I watched Sal Bando, Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Gene Tenace, Campy, Rollie, and Catfish from my class room at Rockridge Elementary as they were representing my hometown in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the early 70's time stood still in schools all over Oakland as our underdog A's battled and fought for championships. The parades down Broadway to Lake Merritt were awesome. As kids, we played sand lot baseball at Emerson Elementary with kids of every race and ethnicity all wanting to be their favorite Oakland Athletic.

I'll fight for the heritage, history, and tradition of the Oakland A's against a group of selfish disingenuous carpetbaggers who have no respect for the rich history and tradition of A's baseball in Oakland every day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

I'll fight and speak up against their straw man arguments that baseball cant thrive in Oakland. I will speak up against their disloyalty to the city which has hosted them for decades. I will speak up against their total indifference to their existing fan base.

If it makes me selfish that I want the A's to stay in Oakland where their history and tradition reside and where its convenient for the vast majority of their fans, then so be it. I'm selfish, and you, Larry Stone, Lew Wolff, Guy Saperstein, and Bud Selig have the best interests of Oakland A's baseball at heart.

Marine Layer said...

On the contrary, you are quite selfish for advocating for the A's to be kicked out of town because they offend your sensibilities. How does that make the A's more accessible to Bay Area fans?

Like it or not, the A's history and legacy are bigger than Oakland, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and San Jose if that ever comes to pass. I hope you enjoy the saddle time on your high horse.

Marine Layer said...

anon 2:42 - The field could indeed face south.

Navigator said...

"Coliseum South was important because A) it was a new site B) it could've been done with JPA/City/County help C) the A's suggested it first, and D) the A's were willing to foot some of the study cost. If that's insufficient for you then you have the problem, not the A's.

I've come around to thinking that Coliseum North/South were proposed in part to gauge political interest by Oakland/Alameda County. To that end, there wasn't much. And that breaks my heart, because when you considered how much they invested in the Raiders and Warriors, it would've been nice to get more effort on the A's behalf."

Marine Layer, you're obviously a very intelligent individual. It pains me to see you make these type of transparent excuses for Wolff and Co.

Marine Layer, your integrity is your most valuable possession. Once that's compromised, you cant get it back. I say this not as a put down, but because I believe that you're a very talented individual and provide a valuable service. I don't want to see you compromise the truth, or this site. It's not worth it.

Marine Layer said...

I'll accept the backhanded compliment as well as I accepted your calling me a shill, Nav. No thanks. I think I'll take advice from someone who doesn't have such a clear-cut agenda.

The amazing thing? You quote me but have nothing to refute the facts.

Anonymous said...

Stadiums can face any direction except West.

http://www.findballparks.com/

gojohn10 said...

I think many people on this board are overlooking one crucial fact. The city of Oakland spent $250,000 on the HOK study 8 years ago. 250,000 smackaroos!!! That is over $300K in 2009 dollars! The ball is clearly in the A's court.

Anonymous said...

Yes, gojohn10 nobody can now refute the city of Oakland has made a serious investment in keep the A's.
/sarcasm

StillLonging4Terrance said...

Marine Layer, I respect the dedication to your work and its thoroughness. However, as a long time reader of this site, I am shocked that you would criticize one of your most active and valuable participants in Navigator. Sure there are economic issues that need to be addressed but your high horse comment to Navigator displays your lack of understanding for what the A’s have represented to Oaklanders and other East Bay natives. I understand that it is your job to deal with more than the passions of fans but it is also your responsibility to answer questions (like Navigators that were unanswered). We come to you for an unbiased opinion but I now can only agree with Navigator that you may no longer be providing us with such. Please realize that the OAKLAND A's mean more than just a city and name and do not criticize the passions of your participants.

Kevin said...

I grew up in Castro Valley, and my Grandpa owned a business right across 880 from the Coliseum. My Grandpa and Dad both grew up in Oakland. I have, and continue to, spend countless hours at the Coliseum cheering on the A's. I'm lucky enough to drive 2 miles to CV BART, and hop the train to the game in about 20 minutes. I don't identify with SJ or the South Bay at all. I deeply wish the A's could stay put in Oakland and compete, but as a fan who wants the best possible situation for the team, I know it has to be SJ.

I'm sick of the A's being seen as one of the MLB runts. The glory days of the A's were under extremely different economic climates in the MLB. Even if the A's build a nice new stadium in Oakland, it'll still just be a gold-plated turd, marginally better at best. There's so much potential for the A's in SJ to be consistent. Consistent attendance, consistent revenue, and consistently competitive. The A's belong to the Bay Area - not just Oakland. Let's show this franchise some respect!

Marine Layer said...

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” - Robert F. Kennedy

Passion is good. I've been yelling at the TV repeatedly throughout the season. I got in my two cents about Bob Geren when I talked to Wolff. I loved Nico's "postgame wrap" on AN today. Unfortunately, passion don't pay the bills in Oakland.

Jesse said...

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.” - Robert F. Kennedy

That's a nice quote ML, but in the context of Oakland on this blog, you seem to take the position of enemy. Oakland cant do this, and hasn't done that.

Kennedy also said "Some men see things as they are and ask why I dream things that never were and ask why not"

Why not wait til June and find out what Oakland has to say.

Kevin don't buy into the fear campaign that Oakland can't change. Think about everything negative you ever hear or read about Oakland and then consider the sources and what their motives are.

gojohn10 said...

A ballpark in Oakland could certainly be more than a "gold-plated turd." A lot of people here are really dismissing the potential an Oakland ballpark can have simply because nobody shows up at the dump called the Coliseum. The central location of Oakland really is a big deal and a ballpark like the one proposed at Howard Terminal could be a gem.

Problem is Oakland is going to have to invest ~500 million in public funds to make it happen. And that's not even counting the cost of the park itself, which I'm still assuming would be picked up by the A's. Posters like Nav & Longing4Terrence (really? T-Long? You've lost your credibility right off the bat) are quick to criticize the A's lack of interest, but don't say a peep about the city's responsibility to keep the A's in OAKLAND. So either
a) they support this amount of investment from the city
b) they expect the A's to pick up the majority of the tab
c) they are in denial about the cost it going to take to make Howard Terminal a reality

Which is it? I'm curious to know what you think is a reasonable deal. How much should the A's pay and how much should the city pay?

Marine Layer said...

You think so, Jesse? There are some who'd prefer that the A's stay in the Coliseum indefinitely. Some would prefer that the A's either be contracted or moved to a completely different market rather than accept a change like San Jose. For them, change of one degree is their perceived enemy.

As for your quote, I find it highly appropriate to use in the context of territorial rights.

I'm not in favor of abandoning the process or even of accelerating it. I want all parties to be thorough. However, they should all come to the table realistic about what they can offer. At this point we have no idea what Oakland can/will bring to the table. Considering how long the A's have been in this predicament, that's not comforting.

Jesse said...

I'm waiting til June.

gojohn10 said...

Regarding NIco's post on AN:

I don't know why anyone on AN is criticizing Billy Beane about the performance of this team. Beane says he doesn't reassess the team's chances until a third of the season is over. All A's fans should give the front office the benefit of the doubt and hold any criticisims until June.

FC said...

I'm having a problem understanding something, and perhaps the pro Oakland crowd can help me out.

Right now the A's play in a ballpark which

- is situated right next to BART

- has an ample amount of parking

- situated next to a major interstate freeway, w/3 off-ramps leading to the ballpark.

- according to some, located in a central location to Bay Area.

Now, you take all of the above, and combine it with the "rich history of the A's", reasonable ticket and parking prices, and yet you draw under 16K for Saturday games against the Blue Jays and Rays. 10K and 13K against the Angels.

What I don't get is how is staying in the same city but moving farther from BART and the freeway going to change anything? How is it going to lead the A's to the financial promise land? Is simply building something new the answer?

In my mind, you need to move the team out of Oakland. Not because Oakland is a bad place, riddled with crime, but because it lacks the corporate and casual fan support. No knock on Oakland. Like I've said before, I don't think a ballpark in Pleasanton or Sacramento would work for the very same reasons.

So you can talk all you want about sites within the city limits of Oakland, bottomline is, financially it just wouldn't work.

FC said...

gojohn,

The way I see it, I think the criticism is not so much about the poor performance thus far this season, but instead the prospects for a competitive/entertaining team down the road.

Outside of Cahill, Anderson, and maybe Sweeney or Suzuki, there really isn't too much to look forward to talentwise right now, certainly not in the infield. Beane's record in drafting position players has been spotty at best.

But my biggest beef with Beane is his desire to control the team. Because of this, they will never be able to hire and keep a quality manager.

Bill said...

You all are a bunch of hypocrites. I have been following this blog for quite some time (and occasionally conributng to it). A while back I suggested that you all are moaning of the poor fan support, yet questioned how many of you actually supported the team by being season ticket holders. I asked how many of you were season ticket holders with little response. I take that silence as an answer that none of you put your money where your mouth is.

You say that this is a Bay Area team and the Bay Area should support the team. I think that no matter where the team lands in the Bay Area, all of you will probably still keep tight fisted and not support your team with season tickets.

I live in the Central Valley with over an hour drive and support the A's with 4 season tickets. Section 120 if you're curious. I'll probably still support the team if they stay in the Bay Area, Oakland or San Jose. If you all would actually support the team in the way that is necessary, much of this talk would probably not be taking place. If the A's do indeed move from the Bay Area, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Personally, I say put your money where your mouth is. If you don't support the team in the manner that they should be supported, you reap what you sow.

I challenge you all to either 1) state what section your season ticket is in with each post, or 2) shut up. I'm guessing that you'll either ignore my suggestion or this blog will suddenly become quite silent.

What say you, "fans"? How many of you are really support the team?

On a subject related to this post, I think Howard Terminal is a great idea.

thisplanetsux said...

"What I don't get is how is staying in the same city but moving farther from BART and the freeway going to change anything?"

The Fremont BART line and 880 are limited pieces of the East Bay transportation grid. They're maxed out right now with respect to serving the Coliseum. Downtown Oakland would allow multiple freeways and multiple BART stations to come into play from all directions near the new location. This makes more room on the trains and platforms of BART, and will undoubtedly increase BART ridership. How much depends on the exact park location and efforts to bridge the distance with local improvements, shuttles, etc. With more more options for freeway exits and parking to select from, driving could also become a better option.

If you've ever driven to AT&T from the peninsula, you might be surprised they ask you to exit at Mariposa Street, well south of the park, and go surface streets to a large area where you can choose from a bunch of different parking areas with different parking rates and different walking distances. The Coliseum offers a tiny, captive-audience scenario that I personally despise.

And is it even necessary to mention the benefit of moving to an urban waterfront area, where you can also walk to great restaurants, bars, and other entertainment vs. being sandwiched between freeways, train tracks, overpasses, and drainage ditches?

"How is it going to lead the A's to the financial promise land? Is simply building something new the answer?"

Are you at all familiar with the access and site problems the Giants had at Candlestick Park, that were resolved by the building of PacBell Park?

Anonymous said...

"The Fremont BART line and 880 are limited pieces of the East Bay transportation grid. They're maxed out right now with respect to serving the Coliseum."

That's crap. BART has almost unlimited capacity, all they have to do is add more cars. They size the trains based on ridership.

"With more more options for freeway exits and parking to select from, driving could also become a better option."

This is crap, too. The closer you get to the central core, the worse traffic gets. Your theory is, "Let's move the whole mess closer to the Macarthur Maze, that'll solve the problem.

Great idea.

And you still persistently ignore the fact that a downtown Oakland ballpark basically replicates the geographic area already served by a much stronger MLB team. Everyone who has had a financial stake in the outcome of this sees how idiotic this is.

"And is it even necessary to mention the benefit of moving to an urban waterfront area, where you can also walk to great restaurants, bars, and other entertainment vs. being sandwiched between freeways, train tracks, overpasses, and drainage ditches?"

That's all great. There's no question that a new, downtown, waterfront ballpark will draw more people than the Coli. And if you ignore costs and benefits, Howard Terminal is a great site. But all indications are that this site will cost something like double what Diridon would cost to realize. (Moving Matson, building new BART stations, improving lously infrastructure, remediating the site, etc.) And it would still be in a location with no corporate base, and in direct geographic competition with the Giants (i.e. less upside). It's just not going to pencil out.

It's all going to be moot, anyway, as no one is going to pay Matson what it would cost to get them to move.

FC said...

Bill - I think it's unrealistic to expect everyone who posts a comment on this or any site to be season ticketholders. But for the record, we have 4 seats in section 116. We are on the peninsula

Planet - My point was that it's very easy to get in and out of the Coliseum whether it be via car or BART. In terms of transportation, how can any site offer anything better than what the A's have now? You can't. Admission to an A's game is very reasonable, when compared to other teams/sports. Yet despite all of these pluses, attendance is poor. So you need to ask yourself why. My answer is the lack of corporate and casual fan support in and around the Oakland area.

True, getting in and out of Candlestick was a nightmare. By moving the ballpark closer to mass transit and the downtown business/hotel district, attendance for the Giants has significantly increased. But the biggest factor IMO has been the difference in weather.

thisplanetsux said...

"My answer is the lack of corporate and casual fan support in and around the Oakland area."

Well, I think your answer is simple-minded. For Candlestick, attendance was a problem because of the park. For the Coliseum attendance is a problem because of the "Oakland area"? Because you just want it to be that way.

Proximity to a freeway and a BART station aren't the end of the access story. There's not as much value in them when the freeway is always clogged and the BART station platform is dangerously over-crowded. People learn this the first time they go to a game.

Sure, you'll have traffic and busy BART stations in downtown Oakland, but people will be able to arrive into the area via 80, 24, 580, 980 and work surface streets to parking, in addition to just 880. They will be able to use different BART lines and different BART stations, effectively doubling or tripling BART capacity, depending on how well the walking/shuttling journeys are handled... Plus you get ferry service and much better AC/Transit service.

Spreading out and increasing access routes will ease congestion, and be more attractive to casual fans. Downtown Oakland is a transportation hub, the Coliseum is in a poorly-served freeway bottleneck.

gojohn10 said...

I'm trying to figure out why we need to have season tickets to post here. In fact, why would any fan need season tickets? There is no ticket scarcity, you can still buy tickets in advance and you have the added value of flexibility. The past few years I've gone to 10 games/year while living in LA. Now that I've moved back I've brought the family to four games so far. Those Friday night family packs are amazing deals.I've also organized a group event at the ballpark for my work. 50 people at one game. Hopefully that makes me worthy to post.

Bill said...

FC, you're missing the point. BTW, I'm glad you are an ardent supporter of the A's.

My point is that those who moan the loudest at this site about what's wrong with Oakland or what's wrong with San Jose are most likely the ones contributing to the problem. Not actually supporting the team through season tickets. If each ponied up like you and me, the whole issue of where the team would most likely succeed would be moot.

Thisplanet, I suspect is one of those who complains, but isn't contributing to the success of the team. Navigator, are you a season ticket holder? What about all you "anonymous" cowards out there?

Yes, I don't expect everyone who posts on this site to be a season ticket holder, but I say, unless you can support your team with season tickets, don't bitch about how the A's have no fan base in Oakland.

thisplanetsux said...

"That's crap. BART has almost unlimited capacity, all they have to do is add more cars. They size the trains based on ridership."

The biggest problem is after the game, which ends at the same time for every BART customer, and places them all on the elevated platform to leave the Coliseum. Sorry, hate to burst your bubble, but there is not "almost unlimited capacity" for people on the platform.
If you've ever taken someone to their first A's game on BART, the post-game chaos on the Coliseum BART platform is usually the ONLY complaint about the whole experience.

"This is crap, too. The closer you get to the central core, the worse traffic gets. Your theory is, "Let's move the whole mess closer to the Macarthur Maze, that'll solve the problem."

There is just no end to your fraudulence. The maze is a problem in the morning because vehicles from the north, east, and south of Oakland are funneled into a backup at the Bay Bridge toll plaza. Weeknight games in downtown Oakland will provide reverse-commute conditions for traffic from all those directions. Plus the evening traffic out of SF avoids a toll plaza and so is better into Oakland. Plus, the people from north and east currently have only a partial reverse-commute--after they hit downtown Oakland, they join the evening commute for the final 6 or 7 miles, creeping south on 880, something a downtown Oakland ballpark solves for them.

Anonymous said...

"Proximity to a freeway and a BART station aren't the end of the access story. There's not as much value in them when the freeway is always clogged and the BART station platform is dangerously over-crowded. People learn this the first time they go to a game."

Your theory that more people don't ride BART to games because of crowded platforms is novel, to say the least. BART handles the crowds for Raider games, capacity 63,000. Capacity for A's games is 35,000, and they are lucky to get anywhere close to that number. Even when they sell out, I never encounter crowded platforms for A's games.

I agree that the platform gets crowded for Raider games, as would be expected, but not to the point where it's a particular problem. If there's any part of the "BART to Coliseum" experience that could use a capacity upgrade, it's the BART bridge to the Coliseum. For Raider games, THAT gets overcrowded to the point where it might be a deterrent to riding BART. But again, never for A's games.

Your theory that fat, lazy Americans will be more motivated to ride transit when faced with a one mile walk at the the end rather than a crowded platform is questionable as well. As noted above, the BART bridge is a nightmare for Raider games. I avoid it by just walking around the bridge; out the north gate, right on 66th, right on San Leandro. This is about a one mile walk. I don't see very many people walking with me, notwithstanding the unpleasantness of the bridge experience.

Anonymous said...

Bill--not sure you are connecting the dots---there are only 8000 full and partial season ticket holders--I happen to be 4 of those 8000---share them with 3 other buddies--gives us each 20 plus games per year---We all happen to live in the South Bay. But with only 8000 season tix that leaves about 27000 tix available for most games---because of this no one really needs to buy season tix--which brings you back full circle--would a new ballpark in Oakland have any different outcome than the current one--

Why did I/we buy season tix? Becasue we are betting they will be in San Jose---and we want priority choice in a new ballpark that will have significantly higher demand for season tix than what is happening now in Oakland--

If they stay in Oakland--we give up our season tix--and buy game day when we want to go--

Anonymous said...

"one of your most...valuable participants in Navigator."

In what parallel universe is anything that lunatic has posted considered valuable? I'm amazed ML even reads his tripe, let alone responds to it. ML should be granted sainthood for that alone.

thisplanetsux said...

BILL, it's true I've not purchased a season ticket package since 1982. I've just been going to A's games every year since they arrived in Oakland. I have grown children who now take their children to A's games, just like I did with them. I do not feel guilty about expressing my opinions on either the Bay Area or the Oakland A's.

And I'm not "complaining" about anything, I'm just arguing with certain people that keep blasting false claims about Oakland and the larger Bay Area, in order to justify the A's leaving town.

FC said...

planet,

Sorry, but I don't understand your response to my lack of corporate support argument.

As far as traffic, I don't think I've ever heard that access to the Coliseum was the reason why fans stayed away from the Coliseum. With the exception of when there was a dual event going on, I have never found traffic around the Coliseum prior to a game to be all that bad. The slowdown I encounter is at the 92/880 interchange, which will hopefully improve once they have completed the now under construction flyover.

It's funny how my make getting to the Coliseum such a big deal. It wasn't such a big deal a few months ago when Fremont was still under consideration.

Anonymous said...

Bill,

I think it's you that's missing the point. If you want to take the East Bay fans to task for not supporting the team, fine. But the whole point of those of us in the South Bay is it's currently too much of an ordeal to get to the Coli on a weeknight. We are "bitching" about the fan base in Oakland because we believe it's obvious they'd do a lot better in San Jose. As long as the A's remain in Oakland, their ability to draw significant numbers from the South Bay will be limited.

Some of us actually have jobs and families. As I've posted before, I need to allow two hours to get to the yard on a weeknight. This means leaving my office about ninety minutes earlier than I usually do. I just can't project at the beginning of a baseball season which days I'm going to be able to do this. And taking the kids to a game is a flat impossibility on a weeknight.

I understand you have a long ride to the Coli, and buy season tickets anyway. Bully for you, you are the uberfan. I've had season tickets in the past, and it did not add anywhere near enough value to be worth the hassle.

If the A's move to San Jose, I very likely will buy season tickets again, otherwise not. If you want to insult my fanhood, be my guest; I have other priorities in my life.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of people on this site aren't real A's. Just new ballpark fans, where ever it goes. If you support the A's you should support the effort to keep them in Oakland where they belong. I agree with Navigator, this site would be great. Unlike the coliseum are, people visit jack london square on a regular basis. I wanna see the updated drawings or animations for it though.

Kyu said...

Bill,

I was one of the few who responded to your original question about a month ago regarding season ticket holders and I indicated that I attend around 40-45 games a year and purchase ALL my tickets the day of the game. The reason why I don't purchase season tickets is for the simple fact that you don't really save that much money when I can buy a plaza reserve ticket for every game and pretty much sit where ever I want. So in theory, I support the team more than most fans, and I like paying $9 a ticket to sit much closer to home plate. Believe me, if and when they build a new ballpark on the waterfront near JLS, I will start purchasing REAL SEASON tickets.

hamachi said...

I can't imagine that this would be a good location.

right next door is a shnitzer (sp?) steel recycling plant. you want to smell and deal with that during a game?

and surrounding the area are PG&E substations. would they have to be moved?

AND a working train line (amtrack and freight). dealing with muni light rail is one thing, but larger trains right in front of the ball park? that seems like an accident waiting to happen.

and the only road access is away form JLS. Embarcadero is just a rail line at that point.


there is nothing in that area (except my loft. ha!). no food places, no bars, just working shipping facilities and other industrial companies. it's close to JLS but I can't imagine that Oakland would have the chutzpa to close or relocate all the existing stuff in that area to make it equivalent to pacbell park. maybe on the other side of JLS where there is a bunch of retail already.

this just doesn't seem like a good idea. though I'd love to see the work the A's put into that site earlier.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Kyu on buying tickets. I never see the need to buy season tickets cuz yes, you can sit pretty much wherever you want for $9. Many of you complain that there aren't any corporate sponsorships or enough fans, but I'm telling you all that is only because of the current venue and location of the Coliseum. So many of you keep saying who in their right mind would ever want to sponsor anything in Oakland?? You guys are all naive. They don't sponsor anything because of where the A's play now. The oldest and one of the worst ballparks in the game, not to mention the not so appealing industrial location regardless if there's already a bart station within walking distance. Sure it's great for the Raiders, but not so much for the A's who plays way more games. The Warriors is a totally different situation because they receive help from the city of San Francisco since we essential share the team throughout the Bay Area.

The bottom line is if they build a new ballpark along the waterfront that's within walking distance to JLS, BART and Amtrak (which I know for sure they are looking at right now), then all the San Jose doubters needs to check yourself at the door and quit hating. Corporate sponsorship will come from all over including Silicon Valley with a brand new beautiful ballpark that will rival ATT park. Not to mention ALL the casual fans that will start coming to a nice destination ballpark by JLS, bars and new restaurants.

It just seems to me like the San Jose only crowd is just getting a little nervous since they know Oakland is obviously making strides and a good effort to keep the team home as well making a very positive impression with the "blue ribbon" stadium committee in their most recent meeting.

Jeffrey said...

So, one thing that needs to stop is jackasses telling other people who is and who is not a "real A's fan" based on whatever criteria the poster pulls out of their butt.

I am an A's fan. Have been since birth. I have owned season tickets in the past (and have a Dave Stewart Bobblehead to prove it) but don't currently. I still go to games on a frequent basis.

I want the A's to play in a new yard, be it in Oakland or San Jose. Having a preference for the A's staying in Oakland doesn't make anyone more a fan of the team, it might make you more a fan of the city. That's cool, I get it, but don't tell me I am not a real fan of the A's because I am open to watching them play in San Jose, Fremont or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:26-- true A's fans support a ballpark in the best possible location to ensure that they can be competitive---economics of MLB put that location in SJ--not Oakland--

Folks like you and Nav are not A's fans--your Oakland fans---big big difference--

Anonymous said...

"It's funny how my make getting to the Coliseum such a big deal. It wasn't such a big deal a few months ago when Fremont was still under consideration."

Hmm, are you detecting a bit of hypocrisy on the Oakland-only side?

How Fremont brought cries of "traffic," while other parts of the same freeway are magically traffic-free?

How the distance from Oakland south to San Jose somehow is twice as far as the distance from San Jose north to Oakland?

How we're all one, big happy Bay Area when we're discussing the potential for Silicon Valley supporting a yard in Oakland, but how San Jose is "poaching" someone else's team when we talk about a South Bay yard?

How BART and access were the salvation of the Coli site when the choice seemed to be Coli vs. Fremont, but now the Coli is suddenly too "inaccessible" if Howard Terminal is believed in play?

How Oakland is a vibrant business community, yet upon closer scrutiny, that business base turns out to all have San Francisco addresses?

How Santa Clara County is a hotbed of Giants fans who will ignore an A's park right in its midst, but Oakland is somehow going to persuade huge numbers San Francisco businesses and fans to ignore the far more popular team in their midst and hop on the train to Oakland?

Marine Layer said...

hamachi, I agree. The area around Howard Terminal is so pedestrian and car unfriendly that millions in streetscape improvements would be required. That would probably include a pedestrian overpass over the tracks much like the BART bridge.

hamachi said...

Somewhere there is an older plan to update the freeway on-off ramps and a few streets in the area. the links I had before are dead now though, and I can't find anything current.

but they were talking about improving some of the roads near 880 and Broadway along with some of the feeder streets leading to the Alameda tube.


and I can't imagine that Alameda people would be happy with the added delays 81 times a year. there already is a huge backup to get in the tunnel after 5PM. what would it be like on game days? yeesh.

I walk to 12th street and west oakland Bart every day for week, and 12th would be a MUCH better place for fans to get off. west oakland is nothing but train repair and giant trucks everywhere. I guess nellie's is on the way, but that's it. nothing to look at, no where to shop and no place for business to expand to. 12th has some nice spots in Old Oakland (the trappist!) but is still over half empty.

and where would the parking be? is there enough space on the terminal for a ballpark and enough parking? since most fans still drive to games this would be a huge limitation. and they'd have to redo a bunch of roads to get there too.


I'd love to see some actual plans on how to deal with all the nitty gritty details. otherwise it seems like just a pipe dream. and how could oakland afford to pay for all these updates? they are going to have layoff police due to the budget hole (unless they get the fed to pony up).

Anonymous said...

"Corporate sponsorship will come from all over including Silicon Valley"

Look, I work down here. My company currently holds club seats at AT&T Park. You just aren't going to get significant amounts of Silicon Valley buyers for premium seating in Oakland. You're up against the following factors:

1. Accessibility. From Palo Alto, Caltrain takes you door to door to AT&T Park in as little as 38 minutes. Or, you can take the free flowing 289 freeway there, one of the least congested freeways in the area.

Getting to Oakland, on the other hand, is a 90 minute to two hour ordeal which involves fighting bridge traffic. Proposals to site the team in downtown Oakland will make this even worse for South Bay customers.

2. Tradition. As has been noted previously, the South Bay has more Giants fans than A's fans. A new San Jose yard gives reason for people to switch (accessibility; civic pride) or at least go to some games. A new Oakland park gives no one a reason to switch.

3. Glamour. San Francisco is the more glamorous location. Premium seating is largely used for entertaining customers and clients. When customers and clients come in from out of town, they want to see San Francisco, not Oakland. Sorry, but that's the reality.

San Jose is not a glamour location either, but convenience makes up for a lot. Also, San Jose does not suffer from the same negative perceptions Oakland does.

Look, there are reasons why those with business interests at stake (Giants and A's ownership, past and present) are fighting over the South Bay. They're not dummies. They have every reason to be objective about this. The fact they are drawing different conclusions that you should tell you something.

"It just seems to me like the San Jose only crowd..."

There is no "San Jose only crowd." South Bay fans posting on this board are fans of the Oakland A's (mostly long time fans). We currently go to games in Oakland, and will be delighted if a new park gets built in Oakland. (Not as delighted as if it gets built in San Jose, but still delighted). After all, it will still be a huge improvement over the current situation, and in the end its not our money that will be lost. I haven't seen any crazed lunatics on the South Bay side posting "If the team builds a new park one foot outside the San Jose city limits, it's dead to me forever!" Plenty of such crazies posting on the Oakland-only side, though. The latest derangement: "I hate Lew Wolff so much, I won't go to games even if he does now build a new park in Oakland!"

"... is just getting a little nervous"

Not even hardly.

"since they know Oakland is obviously making strides and a good effort to keep the team home as well making a very positive impression with the "blue ribbon" stadium committee in their most recent meeting."

By rehashing old sites with fatally expensive defects to solve? I haven't seen anything in the past two months that changes my opinion of how this is going to play out.

ShopGirl said...

My perception is the Wolff did his due diligence on Howard Terminal (or somewhere nearby) based on wanting it to fail because he's so set on going to Santa Clara or San Jose. *I* won't go to another A's game until they either 1) get rid of Wolff; 2) decide definitively to stay in Oakland (whether they build new or stay put); or 3) I get given really great free tickets on the field. ;)

I think 'thisplanetsux' had great insight in comparing attendance at Candlestick & AT&T Park (which forever is ingrained in my head as PacBell Park). Having a new park definitely helps, but also having one that is considerably more public transit accessible also helps. What's *around* the park I also believe helps. (Seattle is a great example, imho.)

In the case of Howard Terminal you've got 2 BART stations fairly close by. Yes, the freeway is congested in this area, but there are many improvements scheduled by CalTrans in the next 3-5 years that should help (not solve) that problem.

The other issue for me is expecting Oakland to help financially in pretty much any way. The Port can pay for clean-up, imho, but the City shouldn't pay a dime. I don't think you'll find much sympathy in that department with the average Oaklandite. Are Santa Clara and/or San Jose willing to pony up lots of dollars? Let them. But remember that the legal fees that are going to come of trying to usurp the Giant's territory. I see that as a no win for all.

Joanna

thisplanetsux said...

"Sorry, but I don't understand your response to my lack of corporate support argument."

FC, you haven't really made an argument. There is no new ballpark in downtown Oakland with luxury suites to offer, so corporate support for a ballpark in downtown Oakland is unknown to you.

If you're trying to say there aren't enough large corporations within the mythical 21 mile radius of downtown Oakland to potentially buy luxury suites, you would simply be mistaken.

FYI, there is no such thing as "Civic Pride" preventing the top executives of downtown SF companies from being interested in the A's or an Oakland ballpark. These execs come from places like Sacramento, Brooklyn, or Des Moine, and live in places like Piedmont, Orinda, Tiburon, or Burlingame... They know you can't show your VIP guests/customers the best SF skyline and Golden Gate views until you cross the Bay Bridge. If your VIP is a baseball fan, he'll be more than a little interested in rubbing up against Moneyball and 4 World Series flags, not to mention any new ML ballpark.

Besides, the A's and Giants generally alternate home schedules, so what to do when the Giants are out of town? Take your visiting VIPs to a double-header between Galileo and McAteer just to stay in the city?

Add to all that, the massive potential of partnering with the 3rd largest corporation in the United States (lying to the east of Oakland, not to the west or south) and your "argument" appears off in the weeds.

"It's funny how my make getting to the Coliseum such a big deal. It wasn't such a big deal a few months ago when Fremont was still under consideration."

It's not that big a deal. You were the one quesioning how it could be any better by moving downtown, and I explained it to you. I'm all for any Bay Area ballpark, Oakland, Fremont, San Jose, I don't care as long as it gets built. I would just prefer the A's stay nearer to the center of the Bay Area and provide better access to all their fans, not just better for south bay fans, and much worse for everyone else. And I don't care for the full court press of disinformation on the population and economy of the Bay Area from certain fans with a geographical agenda.

Jeffrey said...

Howard Terminal- Everyone is aware that this site was proposed before Lew Wolff owned the A's? The HOK study that set the top 3 potential sites as 1. Uptown Oakland, 2. The Coliseum, 3. Fremont?

There was diligence done then that ruled this site out. If i understand correctly, not being an insider or anything, the diligence was redone after Wolff took over the team and shokcing as it seems it still was found to be a site that lacks in a big way.

It is not convenient for any sort of access, public transit, car, whatever. This will be very expensive to change.

There are environmental concerns. Remediation of the site will be very expensive.

Those are the sort of things that the city will have to pay for... and we are not talking about a small chunk of change.

If Howard Terminal is Oakland's big proposal, forget about it.

Zonis said...

Shopgirl, San Jose already has almost everything bought and in place.

And there will be no legal fees in regards to the Giants. As has been discussed ad nauseum, the Giants can not sue. Period. The Giants MIGHT get some compensation from Major League Baseball, similar to but less than what Peter Angelos got with the Nationals moving to Washington, but even that is not all too likely, because of the history of territorial rights in the Bay Area.

The MLB Charter specifically says that teams can not sue each other or Major League Baseball. And if the Giants try to get Oakland to sue MLB to get rid of their Anti-Trust Exemption, then that would only work in the A's favor by allowing them to move to San Jose immediately.

ShopGirl said...

Zonis,

Didn't know that.

Okay, well, I guess I won't be going to any more A's games. ;)

Let San Jose have them, and more specifically Wolff.

Oakland has the Raiders (another team owner that sucks, imho) and the Warriors. I think I'm going to get more interested in basketball.

(Secretly, I don't care what you say about Howard Terminal. I still think the challenges can be overcome.)

gojohn10 said...

ShopGirl,

Wolff says the Howard Terminal site won't work. You disagree to such an extent that you will no longer attend A's games. Yet, you don't want the city to pay a dime for the project. Wow.

ShopGirl said...

gojohn10 - most of the people I talk to agree with that. No one has ever been able to convince me that the City needs to pay. Oakland paid a crapload for the Raiders, and how did that work out? Not so good from my perspective.

No one pays for my business to be in Oakland. Why should I pay for someone else's biz to be here?

I'm actually not so tough. But I think I represent a fair number of people who are not at all into, much less obsessed, with baseball or any other organized sport. I go if it's fun, but not when a team is getting the press they're getting with Wolff at the helm. And for what it's worth, I'd just as soon the Raider's left because of Al Davis as well.

Cheers,
Joanna

FC said...

Planet-

I'm basing my argument on the fact that with the except of a few good years, attendance over the past 41 years has been crap. Granted there aren't any luxury boxes, but then again where is it written that corporations only can purchase boxes. I've been to Giants and Sharks games on another company's dime. In every instance, we sat in the regular seating area. Wonder how many of the current STH are corporations? Also, if the Oakland area is such a corporate powerhouse as you suggest, why then aren't the Giants granting the A's access to SJ? Surely moving the A's 50 miles to the south will help the Giants lure in these corporations.

You seem to subscribe to the Field of Dreams theory, "If you build it, they will come". Well that's one heck of a gamble when you're talking about half a billion dollars.

Anonymous said...

SG---why you "hating" girl--come on--anything is possible--we have time on our hand because San Jose is never gonna happen---all we need is $500M to move the current tenant--and another $300M to build infrastructure and prepare the site---Wolff the villian should pay for all of it---right? And that folks are your Oakland fans---

gojohn10 said...

ShopGirl,

I'm sure you are right that your sentiment echos that of most Oaklanders. The point is that if Oakland won't pay, then Howard terminal is not a solution for the A's to stay in Oakland because it's much too costly. Don't expect the A's to bridge the gap.

Anonymous said...

"Granted there aren't any luxury boxes,"

Actually, FC, there are a TON of luxury boxes at the Coliseum. I doubt you'll find more at just about any other ballpark. And they're really reasonably priced (often as little$700 per box, or about $38 per seat). The A's just can't sell them.

Anonymous said...

The opinion as to the viability of the site as determined by a conflicted interest such as Wolff and S/H is absolutely worthless.

The centrality of the Howard Terminal site is fantastic. No site offered thus far has this much synergy surrounding it. Keep in mind that this is the key determinant of new ballpark success in MLB for the past decades.

I see this site as more in the Coors Field vein. That park, as you may know, massively improved a huge swath of downtown Denver.

This site has beautiful potential. Amtrak access is a huge deal, allowing fans from all over the north bay and even Sacramento to easily get to games. Those fans are the ones who are most likely to stay for dinner and shopping and other entertainment. Going all the way down to Oakland to be at the Coliseum isn't worth it. To be at the Oakland waterfront is an entirely different story.

The need to improve freeway access to JLS has been known for sometime. Reconifiguration of some surface features of the area can go a long mile toward this. Oakland can use ballpark development as an impetus to improve this entire area.

As BART is at the surface within 3 blocks there is some potential for an in-fill station.

Oakland has also considered a downtown-circulating light rail line for some time. The need to tie JLS/Watefront into downtown and the lake has been there for some time. This may prove a wiser investment than say BART infill.

Please take any arguments about "Oakland not supporting the team" out of here. Oakland has had only one decent ownership group and when that group was here the team was well-attended. Further, they are better attended now than most MLB teams were twenty years ago. Consider also that their park is nearly universally derided, in a nowhere location and with ownership that has spent a DECADE doing their best real-life impression of "Major League."

Could these efforts have put a damper on attendance? Of course they could and in fact I know they have. A committed ownership with a new stadium in a central location will see far better attendance, you can bet on it.

The Ferry terminal is also great, allowing fans from SF to get to the games in style. There are many of us here!

It's inspiring to see Oakland showing up again. I'm also encouraged by Bobb's talk of running for mayor. If he ran on a plan like this, to revitalize a LOT of the city all at once, he'd be a shoe-in.

This plan shows all of the vision that was missing from the joke that was "Coliseum South."

Too many people on here dismiss Oakland because they obviously don't like it. Sorry to tell you but nearly 400,000 people live in Oakland plus another 200,000 in Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont and Alameda, form an urban core than Fremont and San Jose majorly lack. Throw in major support in Concord/Martinez/Walnut Creek/Pleaston/Dublin/Sacramento and you've got yourself a real fan base.

Let's stop pretending that all of these people think San Jose is the same place. It's not and for most of us it is "out of town." The residents of the East Bay aren't Giants fans waiting for the A's to leave town, they're OAKLAND A'S fans waiting for their team to get a modern facility.

I will applaud the recent efforts to get the A's a real TV and Radio deal. This will help the team compete get out from under the modern Giants AT&T-sized shadow.

Anonymous said...

"Oakland paid a crapload for the Raiders, and how did that work out? Not so good from my perspective."

That was a horribly flawed deal. Even so, Oakland got the prestige and exposure of having an NFL team for about $200 million. That is far less than most NFL cities had to invest in order to get or keep a team.

"No one pays for my business to be in Oakland. Why should I pay for someone else's biz to be here?"

Business subsidies for companies which make significant economic or cultural impact are routine. I'm willing to bet lots of businesses in downtown Oakland did receive subsidies to be there; certainly they did in San Jose (Adobe HQ, Fairmont Hotel, Pavilion retail, United Artists movie theatre, Improv comedy club, the Arena, and on and on.) For some reason, no one complains unless it's sports; then everyone starts screaming. It's completely irrational.

You can say you don't believe in subsidizing private business, and that's a principled belief. But the bottom line is, competing cities and states do, and if you stand on principle, you risk becoming an economic backwater.

California's in-state movie production has fallen by something like 50% in the last few years because other states offer heavy subsidies and California does not. In all seriousness, if we don't get realistic about this soon, we're not going to have a movie industry. That's a lot of lost jobs and a lot of lost tax revenue.

The right thing to do is a cost-benefit analysis, like any other business decision.

Anonymous said...

Public support for a ballpark does not occur in a vacuum. If the park serves primarily to enrich ownership at the expense of fans, like previous Wolff suggestions have, nobody will support it.

If the public support is to spruce up Jack London square and a that whole end of downtown, finally finishing a project begun in the 80s, you will find more public support.

The key is to spend more money on things like infrastructure development, beautifying streets, smoothing potholes and the rest. If you sell a ballpark as a way to enliven the city it will gain support - this has been shown throughout the country.

The public will not support a new stadium and retail/housing complex in an isolated, out-of-the-way part of town just for the privilege of paying more to see the A's play.

As for attendance there is a strong argument to be made that with some actual effort made attendance in Oakland can be strong. Closing down the third deck, for example, was the wrong way to "increase attendance figures."

It's amazing to me that some of you are so blind to the outright hostility of these past two ownership groups to the fanbase. Sure, Wolff is a little better in some ways, but the last guy was dead-set on getting the A's to the South Bay to fulfill a childhood dream. That's hard to compete with, even for Lew "Oakland is not an option" Wolff.

Oakland is an option and if Wolff doesn't like it, which he probably doesn't, somebody else will. The precedent in baseball has been to encourage ownership to sell to locally committed owners rather than relocating. If the city has a site ready and the will to fund improvements to make it ready and you have a local ownership group ready to get involved there is no way you can let Wolff relocate the team to another city.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31, that may have been one the best pro-Oakland comments I've read in a long while...definitely the best one on this thread.

Thanks, and lets go O-A-K-L-A-N-D!!!

thisplanetsux said...

"Granted there aren't any luxury boxes,"

"Actually, FC, there are a TON of luxury boxes at the Coliseum. I doubt you'll find more at just about any other ballpark. And they're really reasonably priced (often as little$700 per box, or about $38 per seat). The A's just can't sell them."

The best move would probably be to keep it simple. The Raiders and A's could join forces, and save costs by cutting the Coliseum into giant chunks, haul them down to some industrial frontage near 880 in Milpitas and reconstruct it there.

Then Silicon Valley would step up and simply fill it and it's luxury boxes to overflowing. Money, money, money, just falling from the trees for these teams by merely touching the golden soil of the South Bay. This makes so much sense, since the main argument some are making for San Jose ignores the value of a NEW BALLPARK completely. So why even build one? Take the old one, put it on some crap, nowhere, toxic site, and outperform!

Anonymous said...

The rebuilding of Jack London Square is going full steam ahead...

http://www.theoakbook.com/MoreDetail.aspx?Aid=3051&CatId=8

This will be such a great thing for a new ballpark and the Downtown area.

Marine Layer said...

If people are going to debate the feasibility of Howard Terminal, it's important to list some ballpark costs to make it ready.

1. Streetscape and pedestrian access improvements - $25 million
2a. Infill BART station at 5th & Market/Brush - $75 million -or-
2b. Light rail connection to downtown - $100 million per mile
3. Environmental cleanup - $20 million (based on adjusted O29 costs)
4. Demolition - $5 million
5. Cost to move Matson - $75 million (eliminated savings from consolidation, value of lease, plus relocation costs - may be lowballing here)

One other thing that makes Howard Terminal a challenge: it's not in a city-defined redevelopment zone. So that's $200 million in prep and infrastructure, plus a lot of political work.

Anonymous said...

ML,

That question should not only be directed towards Howard Terminal but the Diridon site as well.

You build a ballpark anywhere in this world, the costs for those types of questions are going to arise one way or another. No site is essentially "shovel ready," not even in San Jose.

Marine Layer said...

The difference is that the Diridon costs have been public for years. I've covered them here - for years. So there's no sticker shock there.

The point is that the sites aren't on equal footing. One is the culmination of several years of effort and process. The other was reborn yesterday.

gojohn10 said...

Great to see some numbers and realistic discussion about the city's role in this. How about the cost to acquire the land and build a convention center? Maybe the convention center costs should be left out since that would be a separate venue on the same grounds? How about the EIR cost?

hamachi said...

I walked by the area again on the way to see a movie last night. I imagine all the underground oil pipelines on the Embarcadero rail line would have to be relocated as well. And I still have no idea they would control pedestrian access in the area. they would have to redo the huge oil tank that PGE too.

no way Oakland has the cash ($83Mil deficit and will go up again soon!) to redo this area. No way do they have the ability make it work.

I have zero confidence in the elected officials to get a serious plan together to convince the A's to stay. it has to be BETTER than the SJ site right? and how many years would it take to get a plan like this started? or close to what SJ has already? Why is this site good now, when it was passed over before?

I'm waiting to be proved wrong, but so far all we've seem from Oakland is a threatening letter, a few memos about how they formed 3-4 groups to talk about it and rumors of a good meeting. show me a plan! show me details! show me dollar amounts! give me a reason to be excited.

If Oakland couldn't get anything together during the economic boom times, I can't imagine them making it work during this depression.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! shopgirl, who obviously isn't even a fan to begin with, won't go to any games while Wolff owns the team. What will we do if a non-fan doesn't attend games???? That's it. I change my mind. Wolff has to build in Oakland and foot the entire enormous bill so an uninformed non-fan might go to a game sometime in the future!!!

Anonymous said...

"The opinion as to the viability of the site as determined by a conflicted interest such as Wolff and S/H is absolutely worthless."

Conflicted how, exactly? It's hard for me to imagine a less-conflicted party that the team owner. Their fundamental interest is, "Where will the team do best economically?" They have every incentive to be steely-eyed realists. It is crazed, sentimental bloggers who have reason for bias.

"The centrality of the Howard Terminal site is fantastic."

It's central, but so is AT&T Park. No compelling case to build another park serving the same economic area.

"No site offered thus far has this much synergy surrounding it."

Diridon easily has this much synergy surrounding it, and with BART and high-speed rail, will have more so in future. Oakland partisans keep blathering about supposedly being "central to the Bay Area." How about being "central to the entire northern half of the state, including Fresno and Sacramento?"

"Keep in mind that this is the key determinant of new ballpark success in MLB for the past decades."

Based on what, exactly? You cite no statistical support for your premise.

Anyway, the vast majority of new ballparks have been built in one-team markets, where the dynamics are totally different. You have exactly zero examples of two team markets which were enhanced by building both parks in what is functionally the same location.

"This site has beautiful potential. Amtrak access is a huge deal, allowing fans from all over the north bay and even Sacramento to easily get to games."

Diridon has Amtrak. And Caltrain, ACE, light rail, and eventually BART and HSR.

"Those fans are the ones who are most likely to stay for dinner and shopping and other entertainment. Going all the way down to Oakland to be at the Coliseum isn't worth it. To be at the Oakland waterfront is an entirely different story."

As is being in downtown San Jose.

"The need to improve freeway access to JLS has been known for sometime. Reconifiguration of some surface features of the area can go a long mile toward this. Oakland can use ballpark development as an impetus to improve this entire area.

As BART is at the surface within 3 blocks there is some potential for an in-fill station.

Oakland has also considered a downtown-circulating light rail line for some time. The need to tie JLS/Watefront into downtown and the lake has been there for some time. This may prove a wiser investment than say BART infill."

Great, so you admit the site needs several hundred million dollars of infrastructure. Where are you getting your funding?

"Please take any arguments about "Oakland not supporting the team" out of here. Oakland has had only one decent ownership group and when that group was here the team was well-attended."

That's crap. Apparently your definition of "decent ownership" is "willing to lose tens of millions of dollars a year to subsidize all-star teams for an ungrateful fan base." And even your model, the sainted Walter Haas, only averaged 19,000 per game in his tenure - same as your hated carpetbagger, Steve Schott.

"Further, they are better attended now than most MLB teams were twenty years ago."

Now there's a completely irrelevant statistic for you. And did you know the San Jose Stealth draw bigger crowds than the average MLB team in 1898? Wow!

"Consider also that their park is nearly universally derided, in a nowhere location"

Except that you OAFC folks spent hours here defending it when it seemed the only options were there or Fremont. And you'll do so again once Howard Terminal gets ruled out based on cost. For now, the Coli site is suddenly the source of all your attendance woes. Hypocrites.

"...and with ownership that has spent a DECADE doing their best real-life impression of "Major League."

With GREAT ownership committed to building a new ballpark in the home market with their own money.

"Could these efforts have put a damper on attendance? Of course they could and in fact I know they have."

Thank you for sharing your great wisdom, all-knowing anonymous blogger.

"Let's stop pretending that all of these people think San Jose is the same place. It's not and for most of us it is "out of town."

It's you OAFCers who keep arguing we're all one big happy Bay Area when it comes to the subject to the East Bay's lack of corporate base. Then, for some reason, we're expected to believe thousands of Silicon Valley corporate executives will choose to fight two hours of Nimitz traffic rather than hopping a train to AT&T Park.

Anonymous said...

Please stop mentioning how sj has BART and high speed rail coming like its even going to happen in the next 10 years. The BART extension to the south bay was in the original plans for BART in the late 60's and guess what it still hasn't happened. Oh and with California's budget deficit I'm sure construction on high speed rail will start right away.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:57-- excellent post---personally I am so tired of the same ridiculous arguments of the OAFC group that I just choose to ignore them--Thx for taking the time to set the record straight--

Setting aside all of the economic/funding challenges--which are deal stoppers for this site--- MLB is not about to have 2 of the same ballparks 10 miles apart---

Building in Fremont helped to create some distance as will building in San Jose--I can only hope that near term MLB acts to open the door to SJ so that the OAFC'ers will take a back seat--

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:25--BART, which as 2 approved sales tax increases and is breaking ground on the first phase of the extension to SJ this summer and HSR, currently conducting the EIR for the first phase of SF to SJ, are much more probable of being completed than Oakland having $300M to invest in infrastructure improvements to prepare a site for a ballpark--

Anonymous said...

The Diridon site's neighborhood compares extremely poorly to downtown Oakland. You've got to be high to seriously suggest otherwise. Also, Fresno residents can get to downtown Oakland as easily as they can get to downtown San Jose, not that they're likely to do either. Yes, I consider the central valley part of the Oakland A's future natural territory but moving to San Jose doesn't actually make that easier.

San Jose is fully auto-dependent no matter how many trains you build for your housekeepers. I've lived in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland and there is simply no comparison of urban life or density where San Jose enters the conversation.

San Francisco and the Giants are not in the "same economic zone" as the A's and the East Bay. That is bollocks. They are distinctly different cities with greatly intertwined markets but separate identities nonetheless. The only people who go between the two frequently are those who live in the East Bay and work in SF. Everybody else lives on their side of the bay 95% of the time. This is not a Manhattan/Brooklyn divide, it's more like Baltimore and Washington, DC

The SF Bay Area has 7 million residents. I think less than half of major league "single team" markets contain 3.5 million residents. There is plenty of room for two teams and if there weren't, moving one down to San Jose would not change this.

San Jose is NOT particularly accessible for most people in San Francisco or anywhere in the East Bay north of Hayward/Pleasanton.

I'm also enjoying how some of you ignore the 20-40 minutes of extra driving time as if that doesn't matter.

Finally, ownership that is dead-set on moving a team out of one city into another is entirely conflicted in terms of rating the markets. They are not comparing them equally, they are trying to make their measurements fit their pre-determined conclusion.

As for the Howard Terminal costs, ML has nicely thrown in a huge amount of money that is not necessary to build the ballpark and serves only to inflate those costs. BART Infill and light rail is not necessary but it is possible and desirable for the ciyt BEYOND the context of the ballpark. These costs are also not pure ballpark costs. Further they compare very favorably to the 10-years off BART and HSR options at Diridon. Now THOSE are expensive transit improvements!

As for the cost of moving Matson that is entirely speculative and the way that pencils out could vary widely. Their facilities aren't much and this "move" might actually benefit them. The real costs may be very limited.

In terms of the site itself I see no reasonable way to say Diridon is superior. All arguments thus far relate to the merits of Oakland versus San Jose. Yes, we know you South Bay-ers have a chip on your shoulder and are always trying to prove to everyone you're a real city but the facts remain and San Jose simply does not have the urban reality that Oakland does.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:28

Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are 10 miles apart.

Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park are 10 miles apart

Dodger Stadium and the Angels stadium are 30 miles apart.

None of these are separated by a large body of water with only one bridge and one rail link.

slo_town said...

Now I'm a huge supporter of high speed rail, but I seriously don't think it will have much of an impact on the ballpark. HSR will serve fans in Fresno...but that's about it.

The location near CalTrain isn't of any benefit to the majority of fans. Sure, people on the Peninsula can get to games, but most are Giants fans. (I know there are A's fans, but they are the minority)

Most A's fans that reside in the East Bay are still at a loss for public transportation. Sure BART will make its way to downtown San Jose someday, but that isn't a very viable option for A's fans in Berkeley, Concord, etc. It would take ages to get to San Jose via BART.

Anonymous said...

Try to let go of your partisanship. Look, there are two good downtown options, each of which has obstacles to overcome. For Oakland that is sizable and expensive infrastructure improvements. For SJ it is territorial rights. As local A's fans we should hope that one of them can overcome those obstacles so we still have a team to root for. Either one would be a huge improvement over what we have today and I would be thrilled.

Marine Layer said...

"I'm also enjoying how some of you ignore the 20-40 minutes of extra driving time as if that doesn't matter."

You point this out yet say that an infill BART station isn't necessary. If one doesn't get built, the walk from 12th St to Howard Terminal will be an extra 20 minutes in each direction. Does that not matter?

If you don't build some kind of transit bridge, what are you telling the public? "Oh, we want the team to stay on our terms but aren't willing to invest enough to make it convenient." Now that's sending a message. FWIW, China Basin works in large part because of SF bringing Muni a similar distance from Market St to South Beach. Transit usage would be far less if fans were forced to either walk or take the 30/45 bus.

The infrastructure improvements being planned for the Diridon area are meant to improve the regional transit hub for the South Bay. They're a good investment whether or not a ballpark comes in.

Anonymous said...

"The Diridon site's neighborhood compares extremely poorly to downtown Oakland. You've got to be high to seriously suggest otherwise."

It's not me that's smoking something. Downtown San Jose rocks; you can barely find parking on the weekends these days. It is full of new luxury condos people are actually buying. It has something like 35 clubs which actually fill up on the weekend.

Oakland has struggling Jack London Square and some new restaurants near Uptown. I'll take the urban life San Jose offers over Oakland any day of the week.

"Also, Fresno residents can get to downtown Oakland as easily as they can get to downtown San Jose, not that they're likely to do either. Yes, I consider the central valley part of the Oakland A's future natural territory but moving to San Jose doesn't actually make that easier."

Fresno residents aren't going to either city for ballgames until high speed rail is built. You may have missed the memo, but HSR is not going to the East Bay.

"San Jose is fully auto-dependent no matter how many trains you build for your housekeepers. I've lived in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland and there is simply no comparison of urban life or density where San Jose enters the conversation."

Caltrain gets extremely good ridership. San Jose will be the future transit hub of all Northern California. As has been pointed out repeatedly, only 15% of A's fans ride BART to games now; Oakland is hardly less auto-dependent than San Jose. The East Bay is not all that much denser than San Jose, and the main result of that extra density will be it will continue to see less growth in the "urban core" you are touting.

"San Francisco and the Giants are not in the "same economic zone" as the A's and the East Bay. That is bollocks. They are distinctly different cities with greatly intertwined markets but separate identities nonetheless."

I actually mostly agree with you on this; it's YOUR side that keeps arguing they are the same market, because the East Bay has no corporate base of its own to buy the premium seating necessary to support a modern MLB team. Thisplanetsux is on here constantly ranting about all the San Francisco corporations that are going to abandon the Giants to buy suites at an Oakland yard.

Anonymous said...

"The only people who go between the two frequently are those who live in the East Bay and work in SF. Everybody else lives on their side of the bay 95% of the time. This is not a Manhattan/Brooklyn divide, it's more like Baltimore and Washington, DC."

This argument actually undercuts the notion Oakland can support an MLB team.

"The SF Bay Area has 7 million residents. I think less than half of major league "single team" markets contain 3.5 million residents. There is plenty of room for two teams and if there weren't, moving one down to San Jose would not change this."

I agree the Bay Area can support two teams. The most logical way of doing so is to have the parks at different ends of they Bay so that the majority of people have convenient access to a park (i.e. putting the maximum number of people within 21 miles), not having them bunched up in the same functional location so that some people have their choice of two parks and millions of others face an ordeal to get to either.

"San Jose is NOT particularly accessible for most people in San Francisco or anywhere in the East Bay north of Hayward/Pleasanton."

San Francisco has its own team. San Jose is just as accessible to people in Oakland as Oakland is to San Jose. A big difference though is that a HUGE percentage of East Bay folks actually WORK in Silicon Valley, whereas almost no one from the South Bay or peninsula work in the East Bay. Meaning: A lot of East Bay fans will find a San Jose yard only a short hop from their offices, if not their homes. Folks north of Oakland will still have easy access to AT&T park.

Anonymous said...

"I'm also enjoying how some of you ignore the 20-40 minutes of extra driving time as if that doesn't matter."

We're not ignoring it; that's the entire point. That's why MLB is not drawing as many people from the South Bay as they could; because getting to games on a weeknight is an ordeal, and more than half the games are played on weeknights.

From the standpoint of maximizing the market for baseball, it makes little sense to put two parks within eight miles of each other. All it does is split the market of baseball fans in that geographic area. Whereas putting a park in the South Bay provides reasonable access for millions of affluent fans who didn't have it before.

And, as pointed out before, the burden isn't the same for East Bay fans because so many of them work over here in the first place.

"Finally, ownership that is dead-set on moving a team out of one city into another is entirely conflicted in terms of rating the markets. They are not comparing them equally, they are trying to make their measurements fit their pre-determined conclusion."

This is idiotic. Billionaires don't become billionaires because they ignore economics while trying to make their business analysis fit pre-determined conclusions. Lew Wolff is not even from San Jose; he has little reason to favor it over Oakland for any reason other than business.

And what about Giants ownership? What is their theoretical bias causing them to hand the A's the lucrative East Bay market and keep the less desirable South Bay market for themselves?

Face it, the folks who know the market best and have an actual financial stake have ALL made the judgment that the South Bay is more valuable than the East Bay. Deal with it.

"As for the Howard Terminal costs, ML has nicely thrown in a huge amount of money that is not necessary to build the ballpark and serves only to inflate those costs. BART Infill and light rail is not necessary but it is possible and desirable for the ciyt BEYOND the context of the ballpark. These costs are also not pure ballpark costs."

Environmental remediation is a necessary cost. Redoing the roads is a necessary cost. Making the area pedestrian safe is a necessary cost. Paying off Matson to move is a necessary cost (if they're even willing to do it, which is questionaable).

"Further they compare very favorably to the 10-years off BART and HSR options at Diridon. Now THOSE are expensive transit improvements!"

Those are no more necessary for a Diridon yard than BART infill or people movers are for an Oakland yard. Some logical consistency, please.

On the other hand, those projects are actually underway and have funding in place, unlike BART infill/people mover fantasies. They are far more likely to actually happen.

And as for them being 10 years off, it'll probably take about five years to get a ballpark built. Once built, it'll be there for anywhere between 40 and 100 years. When it's due for replacement, it likely will be rebuilt on the same site. So it makes sense to think long term when making the siting decision.

Anonymous said...

"As for the cost of moving Matson that is entirely speculative and the way that pencils out could vary widely. Their facilities aren't much and this "move" might actually benefit them. The real costs may be very limited."

It may be speculative, but we know the number will be large. And the answer may very likely be a flat, "no." The big box stores in Fremont weren't extraordinarily generous when it came to possible disruption of their business, and a lot less was being asked of them.

"In terms of the site itself I see no reasonable way to say Diridon is superior."

The Diridon site is nearly acquired and ready, with a certified EIR. It has far more existing urban life and entertainment options around it. It sits next to the future transit hub of all northern California. It provides superior access to an affluent population that isn't sports saturated llke the East Bay. And it provides superior access to the corporate base of Silicon Valley.

"All arguments thus far relate to the merits of Oakland versus San Jose."

Not hardly. Did you just start reading this blog this morning?

"Yes, we know you South Bay-ers have a chip on your shoulder and are always trying to prove to everyone you're a real city"

Sheesh, talk about lack of self-awareness. San Jose may have an inferiority complex but for God's sake, so does Oakland.

"but the facts remain and San Jose simply does not have the urban reality that Oakland does."

Part of that "urban reality" is crime, or the perception of crime. Don't think that doesn't play a factor also.

Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous how Oaklanders piggbyback on San Francisco when it's convenient but maintain that they're a totally separate identity. Why does access from SF matter so much if you're like "Washington and Baltimore?"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming the above Anonymous by knocking Oakland at every opportunity.

The fact is that San Jose is trying to relocate a team from another city. Tearing down that other city is ugly, insulting and short-sighted. The fans will not be moving with the team, you can bet on it. Sure, a few tens of thousands of A's fans are already in the South Bay but that hardly replaces the million they will lose leaving the East Bay.

It's hard to justify this, even as a callous and cold business move, when you are in trouble already by advocating the jettisoning of an existing customer base in hopes that a superior one will materialize in an unproven market for MLB.

Finally, why would fans openly advocate the ownership's attempt to treat them as second-class citizens? Why would you actually care about luxury boxes? Are you buying a luxury box season-ticket plan? I highly doubt it.

In my opinion a team needs adequate corporate support and a loyal, dedicated fanbase to thrive in MLB. It is this loyal fanbase, that feels connected to the organization through a shared hometown, that will get you through the rough times and give your ballpark and team character.

Dear San Jose: Get your own team and leave ours out of it.

Anonymous said...

SF and Oakland do have entirely different identities. But if there is something cool happening in Oakland people from SF will go there.

A ferry ride from the SF Ferry Terminal downtown right to the doorstep of the A's new ballpark and the bars, restaurants and entertainment district that surround it will be quite an attraction for the SF crowd.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for confirming the above Anonymous by knocking Oakland at every opportunity."

I'm not knocking Oakland, I think it's a fine city. I'm glad some good things are happening there, and I hope it continues its resurgence. I have some personal ties to Oakland, and a lot of good memories there.

At the same time, I leave in the real world. Facts are, Oakland has little corporate base, sits right next to a much more popular baseball competitor, and has a poor history of supporting MLB. I don't think it's the best place in the region for a second major league team, and I definitely don't think it can bring the support needed to pay off a privately financed ballpark.

Making these observations is not knocking the city. Get over it.

"The fact is that San Jose is trying to relocate a team from another city."

As Oakland did to obtain the team in the first place. Get off your high horse. Difference is, the team will stay in market, and all its existing fans will continue to be able to see their team. And the alternative to San Jose is someplace out of state. These are big differences.

"The fans will not be moving with the team, you can bet on it."

Actually, I'd bet a lot of money the other way. A lot of East Bay fans are about equidistant from San Jose and Oakland. A lot already work down here, and will have an easier time making games after the workday than they currently do. And a lot are realists, and excited about the chance to have a new ballpark, and a team with more resources to compete, when they know it's not going to happen in the East Bay.

"Sure, a few tens of thousands of A's fans are already in the South Bay but that hardly replaces the million they will lose leaving the East Bay."

I think you're a little math impaired. There are 2 million people in the South Bay; we have many more than "a few tens of thousands" of A's fans. There are 2 1/2 million people in the East Bay; if a million of them are fans, they sure aren't showing up at the turnstiles. And as noted above, the vast majority of them will remain fans.

Further, it's about expanding the market for MLB overall. A lot of Giants fans will go to San Jose A's games, either for the convenience, or out of civic pride.

"Finally, why would fans openly advocate the ownership's attempt to treat them as second-class citizens? Why would you actually care about luxury boxes? Are you buying a luxury box season-ticket plan? I highly doubt it."

I don't think anyone sane thinks they're being treated as a second class citizen. I care about the luxury boxes because they will finance the construction of a new ballpark which will greatly enhance my game day experience, whether or not I sit in the boxes. I also care about the luxury boxes because they will enable the team to keep more of the star players we all grow to know and love.

"In my opinion a team needs adequate corporate support and a loyal, dedicated fanbase to thrive in MLB. It is this loyal fanbase, that feels connected to the organization through a shared hometown, that will get you through the rough times and give your ballpark and team character."

The South Bay has the corporate support, the East Bay does not. The South Bay is hungry for sports, the East Bay is currently oversaturated. And the South Bay has a history of raging support for niche sports like the NHL and Arena Football; the East Bay has a history of ignoring championship caliber baseball teams. Thank you for helping make the case for the South Bay.

Anonymous said...

"Dear San Jose: Get your own team"

Working on it, thanks.

Anonymous said...

"A ferry ride from the SF Ferry Terminal downtown right to the doorstep of the A's new ballpark and the bars, restaurants and entertainment district that surround it will be quite an attraction for the SF crowd."

Because lord knows there's a shortage of ferry rides and entertainment districts in San Francisco.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:24---1M fans will be lost when the A's move to SJ? Given that there are only 8000 full and partial season tix that is quite an exaggeration--

BTW--I have 4 of those 8000---and I support the A's move to SJ---so lets cut the crap that you speak on behalf of A's fans--you don't--

True A's fans support a new ballpark for their team where they can compete in todays economic realities of MLB---thats SJ--not Oakland--

Anonymous said...

The internet is clearing crawling with A's -to- SJ trolls who have nothing better to do but follow development news. Not everyone is like you. The internet is an echo chamber.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:34--what type of troll are you?

hamachi said...

I'll give ML a couple cases of homebrew if he turns off anon access. I can't keep straight who is yelling at who anymore.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5/19/09 8:39 PM your comment is just dumb. You put it like there are only 8000 A's fans, cause that's the number of season ticket holders. Also this comment "True A's fans support a new ballpark for their team where they can compete in todays economic realities of MLB---thats SJ--not Oakland--" true A's fans have supported Oakland for years. A real A's fan should be happy with where the A's are now, but be open to a new park...in Oakland. So you just sperated yourself from a true fan.