24 June 2009

Rickey speaks out

CoCoTimes columnist Cam Inman had a lengthy interview with Rickey Henderson prior to last night's game and the 1989 team reunion. I found this excerpt interesting:


It's hard. I'm a native. You think about the Bay Area. This is where I grew up. This is where I played. This is where I accomplished stuff. So to me, it's heartbreaking. What I would say is do like the Yankees did, do like the Mets did. You've got a big parking lot. Build it in the parking lot and tear the other one down later. You don't have to go anywhere. Build it like it was. That's what I see. We say they're trying to find a place, that they have to go way out there. We want a product here. You want a new field? Build it. But we still need a product here. Let's have a product here. They go on with 'small market' and fans can't come. I played here. We packed the house all the time. We had fun here. Bring em out if they're promoting it right. The Haas family was the best because of all of them, because they got out into the community. So the community respected us and they'd come out to see us play and he put a product there. Instead of saying, 'we're in this situation.' Let's look to see how we can build it. If it had never happened before, then I can understand. But it has happened before. So I would say parking lot.

Keep the debate clean, everyone. You've been warned.


Anonymous said...

Nice tell em' like it is and how it was before!! Build it in OAKLAND!!

It's just too bad that the current owner Lew Wolff is clueless to who Rickey Henderson is and was to the Oakland A's franchise. Rickey even remembers the time when an actual GOOD and CARING owner can bring the fans to the ballpark to pack the house!!

Dan said...

Rickey has a point, but his point misses two important things. #1, NY city and state gave the two NY teams over a billion dollars between the two of them. Oakland and California by comparison can't give the A's a dime right now (and both are actually considering taking more money from the team via 2 separate ticket taxes). And #2, The Coliseum is arguably in a worse part of its respective town than Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are in.

Anonymous said...

Ricky should put his money where is mouth is---let him invest $500M of his own money to build in the Colisieum parking lot and see how quickly he changes his tune---

I don't think you would find any business person out there that is willing to do that--for that matter--any city/county that is willing to invest in that solution

J Canseco said...

I think he's got a point. Fisher and Wolff are terrible and don't understand the community at all. Beane's time might be up as well. I see more marketing and PR relation problems than the "boo hoo - small market" problems we keep hearing about. I mean, look at the current lineup for starters...

Jeffrey said...

Rickey is my favorite player of all time. That said... he is dead wrong on this, specifically in relation to the locale to build.

He misses some stuff:

When the A's sold out the place it had to do with competition (Candlestick sucked, AT&T doesn't) as well as marketing.

A ballpark in the parking lot of the coliseum could not be built with the idea of tearing down the existing coliseum as in Shea/Citi... So you have space limitation issues to consider.

The alternative is a stadium built near the current coliseums parking lot (Coliseum North anyone? Home Base lot anyone?).

I am not as sure as San Jose backers that the area around the coliseum is all that important. I thought Coliseum North would have been very cool. But the underlying theme is that things are different now, people expect things to do around a stadium as well as within it.

The key for Oakland is to find a spot that has everything Uptown had going for it. That isn't the coliseum parking lot.

Anonymous said...

For the umpteenth time, "community""loyalty""tradition" etc don't pay for a new ballpark! MLB is a private venture and Lew Wolff/MLB has every right to choose where the A's play. Yes Oakland only partisans, the truth hurts sometimes, but that's life.
I'm pretty sure we heard the same sentiments back in the day for the NY Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Kansas City Athletics.
Change in life is inevitable; the sooner the Oakland only crowd realizes this, the better off they will be.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to the Great Rickey Henderson, MLB is a lot different then when he played back in the 80's; more driven then ever by corporate support, luxury suite/club seat sales, advertising...stuff that San Jose will deliver hands down over Oakland.
Also, you can't compare NYC, with its population and massive corporate presence, with Oakland. Definitely a case of apples and oranges, no pun intended.

Anonymous said...

are you guys missing the point of rickey's comments?? i don't think ricky is aware of the sites that oakland is presenting to MLB and he could probably care less as long as they keep them in at home where they belong. he just wants the A's to stay in Oakland so quit hating.

Anonymous said...

I guess Rickey is also one of those so called Oakland partisans that all the San Jose only crowd keeps hating on as well.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Anon 152,
When did stating facts/truth all of a sudden become "hating?". RH is more than entitled to his opinion, and there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with him or pointing out where he's wrong.
Lastly, will you stop with this so-called plan that Oakland will (or has) presented to MLB.
Let me guess, Big Foot is ravaging the Sierras as we speak.

Paul said...

...Oakland partisans are overlooking the lousy treatment Oakland has given the A's for 40 years:

* Poor attendance, including walk-up availability for World Series tickets. Let me repeat that - Walkup availability for World Series tickets.
* Ruining the stadium to bring the Raiders back. The A's wanted baseball-only improvements to the Coliseum and got a football stadium instead. They couldn't even get an indoor batting cage.
* Dismissing the A's efforts to get a new stadium.

And for this the A's are supposed to give them 40 more years?

According to the A's co-owner's recent letter, the Haas family subsidized the team to the tune of $10-$15 million a year. This is not sustainable.

Meanwhile, San Jose has overwhelmingly supported the Sharks and has been getting ducks in a row lined up to get the A's. So what reason is there to stay in Oakland other than nostalgia?

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 2:30,

Why should we stop with the plan Oakland has presented to MLB?? It's a fact that I know of. You obviously only want to believe the info you read as your troll around on blogs. Again another San Jose hater!

Navigator said...

San Jose hasn't accomplished a thing. Oakland has proven that with a community oriented ownership that fans will come out as they did for the Haas family.

San Jose is pure conjecture at this point. What has San Jose proven by filling a 17,000 seat arena? Oakland fills a 19,000 seat arena for a mediocre basketball team. Oakland fills the same ballpark in which Lew Wolff can't attract flies with 62,000 fans for Oakland Raider games. By contrast, San Jose doesn't support the Earthquakes or the San Jose State Spartans. San Jose is hardly a hotbed of sports enthusiasts.

San Jose has money. Remember, money don't buy you love. The passion for sports is in Oakland. Remember the "we believe" playoffs for the Warriors at Oracle Arena? Also, the passion in the "black hole" is unequaled anywhere in the Bay Area. The "let's go Oakland" chants are from the heart. San Jose is a yawn compared to Oakland.

And for Dan who claims that the South Bronx is a friendlier place than where the A's currently play. You don't know what you're talking about. I've been to the South Bronx.

Rickey knows where the love and the passion reside. It's not in San Jose, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:30 nice joke, considering san jose doesnt have a plan at all. Maybe you should stop hanging out with puff the magic dragon and lew wolf.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:54- San Jose doesn't have a plan at all? What do you consider the 15 acres that they have acquired right next to a rail hub--in the core of their downtown with a completed EIR that will be released on July 7th?

The problem with Navigator and his disciples is that facts mean nothing---but secret plans that only he is aware of are golden--

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result--I can understand that Nav and groupies dont understand this but I gotta beleive that MLB and the blue ribbon commission do---

Anonymous said...

You learn something new everyday! I didn't realize Raiders and Warriors games were packed with Oakland citizens only! By the way, you bring up how SJ doesn't support SJSU or the Quakes. Guess What Sherlock! Oakland doesn't support the A's!
Some on this blog are simply amazing.

Anonymous said...

"Oakland has proven that with a community oriented ownership that fans will come out as they did for the Haas family."

Oakland has proven that with a wealthy owner willing to subsidize the team for tens of millions of dollars of losses to field All-Star teams which make multiple World Series appearances it will produce.......

(wait for it)

.... almost exactly the same average attendance as showed up for penny-pinching, Santa Clara-loving Steve Schott. Over the course of their tenures:

Haas avg attendance: 19,000 Schott avg attendance: 19,000

"What has San Jose proven by filling a 17,000 seat arena? Oakland fills a 19,000 seat arena for a mediocre basketball team."

Apples to oranges. The NBA is a big time sport; the NHL is a niche sport. Nearly all of the NBA draws well; about a third of the NHL is struggling. Drawing well for the Sharks is much more of an accomplishment than drawing well for the Warriors.

"Oakland fills the same ballpark in which Lew Wolff can't attract flies with 62,000 fans for Oakland Raider games."

What planet do you live on? Since the Raiders have been in Oakland, they have consistently been among the league leaders in television blackouts. They have done a bit better in last few years with a real marketing plan, but still have a few blackouts each year. Bear in mind that they play in one of the smallest venues in the NFL. Most NFL teams sell out every single game in much larger buildings.

Anyway, again it's apples to oranges. With only eight home games per year, you could put an NFL team almost anywhere and sell out most of the games. Oakland's support of the Raiders has been better than its support of the A's, but far from overwhelming.

"By contrast, San Jose doesn't support the Earthquakes"

Again, you don't know what you're talking about. The Quakes averaged 13,000 per game when they played in San Jose. That's pretty good for team playing in an old building in a minor league sport. There's a reason why Lew Wolff is committed to building a privately financed soccer stadium in San Jose.

"or the San Jose State Spartans."

Oh, please. How big are the crowds for Laney College intramurals?

"Remember the "we believe" playoffs for the Warriors at Oracle Arena?"

Yes. "We Believe" guy now says he no longer believes, and has cancelled his season tickets.

Jesse said...

Can any pro Oakland A's in the coliseum fans tell me, what specifically are the A's not doing to attract more people to the ballpark? What could they do better? What did the Haas family do that Wolff and Schott didnt do?

I can give one answer, take the tarps off and draw 45K to 55K on Interleague, NY, BOS, Opening Day, Fireworks nights instead of 34K.

LarryJ said...

Just so we understand some things about Oakland, San Jose and the site for a new stadium. Let's get one thing straight, anyone who thinks San Jose is a great baseball market is kidding themselves. You have NO baseball history to support that and as for supporting the can't win the big one Sharks, it's HOCKEY folks, a 4th class sport. Let's see how much support the Sharkies get when they eventually go belly up. Also, absolutely NOBODY north of Montague Expressway will go to S.J. during rush hour to go to a game so the team will become solely a S.C. County team with limited support. Can we say Kansas City? As for Oakland, there is a plan being developed to build a ballpark/spots/retail & entertainment center on the 24 acre Home Base site adjacent to the South Coliseum parking lot. The plan includes a 40-42,000 seat ballpark based on the PNC Park design that sits in the center of a 2 level shopping mall. The plans also include an open air and covered shopping plaza of about 50-60 top retail stores, 6 major restaurants, at least 2 sports bars, a jazz club, either a Dave & Buster's or an ESPNZone, a permanent site for the Oakland/Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, a larger Denny's and an agreement from AMF Bowling Lanes to explore the possibility of a new 40-50 lane bowling center. The project will be the largest "green" project in the country with a great deal of its power coming from solar energy. In light of Lew Wolff's statement not to ask the cities for ballpark funding, the city and county will only have to handle the costs of the infrastructure, and there are ways to offset those costs. AMF and Denny's will handle their own venues and either Oakland and Alameda County can secure their own retail developer, or Wolff can do the job himself, since that is what he does. Other than the housing Wolff wanted but is dead in this economy, this proposal gives Wolff EVERYTHING he wanted in Fremont right here in Oakland, but on a larger scale. The property is ready to be developed now, all we need is to get city and county leaders to agree to sit and work out the details. That may not be as hard as it seems, even with both facing tough financial choices. I've had a few discussions with some of the elected officials and those discussions have been more favorable than I expected. All they needed to see was something bold and new that offers something for everyone. By the way, the revenue generated by the retail and hotel and cab fees that this project can generate is more than any other structure this side of the mississippi. Couple that with the long and short term jobs that will be created and you've got the kind of project that the Obama Administration wants to see, especially from poor old Oakland. Can someone say stimulus? This is what Wolff requested, now we have to sharpen and fine tune these plans so that he and MLB will have very few reasons to turn down such a great plan. And just in case you think I'm blowing smoke, my name is Larry E. Jackson, and I was the person who concieved, planned and designed the Uptown project in 2001 that HOK Sports said was the best location and proposal for a downtown ballpark in Oakland. We can thank Jerry Brown for killing that deal. So don't sit in your ivory palace with that smug "we've got something to offer" look on your face S.J., right now, you've got bupkiss. We've got the A's, and a location and a real plan that actually makes a whole lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

im sorry ML, but you gotta take some blame on what this blog has turned into...very sad...everyone here is acting like vs city, my town is better than yours...ive been following this blog since 05, but no more. I just cant take this anymore...every post is the same thing and it always gets closed down by you..this ones on you ML...good luck to you all and heres to the A's getting a ball park built ANYWHERE in the 9 county bay area!

Anonymous said...

I heard Oakland is also building a castle and founding their own country at the Coliseum site! This is totally in place now! A security guard at city hall said that MLB is really impressed!

Anonymous said...

omg you san jose lovers just got straight up owned. Thanks LarryJ for giving some true insight. It's about them these idiots got told.

Marine Layer said...

Adding to what Larry Jackson said - it's not a new plan. Mr. Jackson proposed the very same site several years ago (as did I in 2005), though like the Coliseum lot and Howard Terminal proposals, it's getting a dust off and rework.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe someone as immature and myopic as the person who wrote the first five sentences of that is the same person who "conceived, planned and designed the Uptown project." I've never seen a development professional write anything that unfounded and clearly based on the emotional development of a teenager. (It clearly appealed to another teenager at 7:09.) If you're the best Oakland has to offer, well, the game is over.

Anonymous said...

Larry J.,
That post made my stomach hurt (my wife asked me why the hell I was laughing so hard).
Look, you can propose lining the streets of Oakland with gold. The fact remains that Lew Wolff doesn't want to be there, and MLB will want the A's in a geographic position (SJ) to take full advantage of Silicon Valleys corporate wealth.
I suppose back in Montreal there were Larry J types proposing an emerald city for the Expos.
Oh well Larry, its your world.

Anonymous said...

the parking lot idea is an 'idea'. its bad to rule out ideas, that can always hurt in the end. put it on the table and say 'this is an idea how do we make it work' and draw up a plan and then see if the end product makes sense. dont throw a plastic bag in the trash too early.

another thing is i don't want to see san jose get hurt by building a 49'ers stadium, football season is 16 games, 8 at home, baseball is a little over 160 with 80 or 82 at home. if baseball wins the world series it is played at their ballpark, while the superbowl is off in some city picked way ahead of time, and only 1 game too.

i'd like to see san jose get the a's rather than a football stadium sit idle (monster truck pulls, k, but 50+ monster truck pulls compared to 80 home games never happen, so idle).

i wonder if san jose has a second site though. something nearer to the bart, since bart cant go all the way to san jose anymore due to funding. driving all the way to san jose is too much for me and the transit bottleneck vs the auto bottleneck on the way out of the game is also something where i prefer the transit.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:16 your just an idiot. Quit wasting your time.

Anonymous said...

Just for the sake of argument, let's assume LarryJ wasn't speaking from the wrong end of his body. How much would this Home Base fantasy cost? I'm going to say at least a cool $1 billion (probably more). Who would pay for it? I guess people like LarryJ will expect Wolff and Obama to pick up the tab on that one (yeah right!). Wolff is done with Oakland, yet you'll expect him to invest his hard-earned money in perhaps the most least desirable spot in the Bay Area.
I'm sure developers, Silicon Valley investors and corporations (Cisco) will be tripping over each other to get in on this site (yeah right!).

Anonymous said...

As someone coming from the SJ side of things, I'm becoming just as disgusted by the rhetoric from this end of the bay as the other. Can we all stop talking in such certain terms? Nobody knows much of anything at this point.

Anonymous said...

Least desirable...yeah right. Damn you talk so much like you know everything you must be a personal friend of wolf. Didn't think so, you don't know crap so shove it. You and most who talk on here about why San Jose is sooo great, its hogwash.

Anonymous said...

Ok lets assume everyone on here just wants to move to san jose, and wants to put down anything that isn't going for the san jose move. Remeber people if any evidence of a possible oakland site could happen, we need to put down whoever said that. Remeber it's san jose or nothing, I don't care if Bud Selig says we aren't moving there, call it an invalid source...remember lies lies lies is the name of our game!

LarryJ said...

I had written a long reply to 8:16 & 9:02, but then my wife reminded me that they're probably just sloppy balding 40-year old Republican men, frustrated by the fact that they live in their parents basements, have dead-end jobs at McDonalds and Kinkos with nothing to keep them warm at night but thoughts making it with either Rush Limbaugh, or each other. And she's right, I'm way too intelligent to dignify the rantings of the idiot fringe by explaining myself. Besides, I'd probably use too many 2-syllable words and confuse the heck out of them. I'm sure they're thumbing through their Thesaurus and Speak and Spells trying to find some witty retort to show off the worth of that 2nd grade diploma they so proudly display next to the water heater. Don't hurt yourselves fellas, please save what few brain cells you have left to flip them burgers or make them copies. It would be my pleasure to supply you with the only reply I'm sure you'll think of...."duuuuuhh."

Anonymous said...

To Anon 10:22

You called Oakland the "most least desirable spot in the Bay Area". Aside from the fact that you used horrible grammar (you generally never want to put "most" before "least") I think you're absolutely wrong about Oakland being "undesirable", and any real-estate agent could tell you that prior to this poor economical fall the U.S. is in, Oakland properties have been placed at their highest value in history because all the yuppies want to live there. Not to mention downtown Oakland is fast becoming a central hub of the entire Eastern Bay Area.

In any event, I'm gonna stay on the fence and say that in the end, neither San Jose or Oakland will have the A's. Oakland is a beautiful city but has no money to give the A's even $5, and San Jose is a great town, but the Silicon Valley isn't as happening as it was in the early part of this decade (which means less revenue from corporate sponsorships), not to mention San Jose is a Californian city which means it's in as much economic trouble as any other town out here.

In addition to that, the MLB wants the A's OUT of the Bay Area, as Bud Selig thinks the Giants should be the only team out here anyway (Remember he called the A's move to the Bay Area a "mistake"?) So it's time to be content with having ONE MLB team, ONE NBA team, and ONE NHL team because the A's are gone. And if the 49ers don't get a new stadium soon, we can get used to having only ONE NFL team as well.

San Antonio Athletics anyone?
How about the Oklahoma City 49ers?

LarryJ said...

Oh, and just so you idiots understand this, the problem with Wolff is that like most wealthy men, they have no way of admitting when one of their stupid ideas is a stupid idea. Tarping the 3rd deck, a popular section for day games was a mistake from the start. Counting the disaster called the "all-you-can-eat section, 14,142 seats sit unused. If the A's were to sell them at $5.00 per seat, a sell out of the section which would almost be a certainty would be worth $70,710 a game. For an 81 game season that's worth $5.7 million a season. Assuming even 75% attendance that's still $4.2 million. And at 75% capacity that would add an additional 10,000 to the attendance average bring it up to a respectable 27-30,000. If it were just about making money, this would be the workings of a madman, but I think more of Wolff and believe that he knows exactly what he's doing. Kill whatever good feelings there are between the organization and the fans and then cry that nobody loves me. Sounds more like the Melendez Bros. defense, kill the parents then plead for mercy because we're orphans. Anytime a sports owner would rather deny himself $4-5 million in revenue and 10-14K in attendance for the sake of proving a point, than that man has a problem. Maybe he feels that by selling those seats at $5.00 a pop he won't get to sell his overpriced 1st deck seats. well, he has the decked tarped and he still can't sellout the 1st deck. At a time when money is scarce and jobs are even scarcer, it would have been such a show of community goodwill to offer the 3rd deck as a 'baseball stimulus plan' for those who are hurting and can't afford even the bleachers. Instead, Scrooge just sits in his money counting chamber grumbling about the price of a decent veteran pitcher while thumbing his nose at the outside world. He stares at a mirror and sees 2 figures, he and Bob Geren. The Ghost of Baseball Present tells him "The manager is want, the owner is ignorance. Beware them both but most of all the owner for his ignorance blinds him from reason and understanding." if Wolff really wanted the Oakland A's to be successful, all he has to do is get out of the way.

LarryJ said...

Ok, Anon 10:22, here's the facts one last time. I know this might be too much info for you to decipher, but here goes. First of all, the majority of the 25 acres is owned by the city and county, anything else can be purchased or claimed through eminent domain. Secondly, the cost to Oakland and Alameda County will ONLY be the cost of the infrastructure. The very same cost that city and county officials openly agree they would provide even if someone wanted to biuld a warehouse, or a dept. store or ANY retail oriented business. The retail part would be paid for by a developer with concessions provided by the city and county, same as they did with the housing downtown. Several developers have shown a more than casual interest in he area. The area falls within the Coliseum Redevelopment District. Since the development would provide jobs, a retail revenue base AND be 60% green, it qualifies for State and Federal relief which would offset a portion of the cost. The new bigger Denny's would be remodeled at company expense with the additional land, (the old Sam's Hof Brau) gifted by the city. The bowling center would be built and operated by AMF Inc. on land within the property. The Oakland/Bay Area Hall of Fame would be constructed the same way most are, through public/private donations, with a good portion provided by the A's, Raiders (yes, the Raiders know of and like this project) and the Warriors. the only building that will be removed is a small storefront church, they will be given a choice of several city owned sites to rebuild. Nobody will lose a job, no business will be permanently harmed by this project. No streets will have to be torn up or upgraded and no neighborhoods will be impacted. And the ballpark could have the added attraction of being the first of 3 stops on the new BART to Airport extension. Funding for that extension has already been offered by the federal goverment as part of Obama's stimulus package, and approved by the BART Board of Directors. The project may indeed cost$1 billion dollars, or it could cost much less. The point is, and I hope you truly try to understand this, no one entity will be financially responsible for anything other than that part of the project that pertains directly to them.
As for the ballpark, Cisco will dtill own the naming rights for the property, corporate interests throughout the Bay Area, especially the East Bay (NOT JUST OAKLAND) will be solicited to provide the corporate part of the project with the A's tacking in the remainder. The team will also have the option of signing a 30-40 year lease, or purchasing their parcel outright. It is absolutely simplicity itself, no graft, no favors and complete fiscal oversight and publicly reported finncing and costs. And, since it involves NO PUBLIC MONEY, and will provide jobs to many Oakland residents in the surounding neighborhoods, a ballot challenge to the project will easily pass, if one is even needed. The way you get this done is simple, spread the costs, share the wealth. I'm not saying it's a slam dunk since anyone's ego, or lack of a suitable kickback could kill the whole thing, but it's the best deal out there and everyone benefits from it. There, I've spelled it out so even a caveman could understand. Maybe not a Neanderthal, but definately a caveman.

Anonymous said...

LarryJ thanks for the info, sounds like you really know your stuff. Your still gonna get haited on by people rooting for san jose, but it won't matter what you say, you won't get there vote. Only thing is I havn't heard much about this plan publicaly. Do you know when this idea could become more public?

Marine Layer said...

LarryJ, can you comment on what would be needed from the EBMUD infrastructure standpoint?

Jesse said...

Hey Larry, is this exact idea being submitted to the Blue Ribbon Committee?

Anonymous said...

LarryJ-This is great. But one thing that is still hard to believe. The Raiders like the idea? Anyway thanks for the info.

Jeffrey said...

A Larry Jackson citing!

All of you who are trying to rip on him should not. He has been working tirelessly to get the A's a new stadium for a very long time. I had a conversation with him on the phone back in 1999 or 1998 about the Laney College idea. He sent me volumes of information. The plan he has written up here, I'd believe that it is the plan for Oakland (although not the location I'd prefer within Oakland). It is doable.

He is not talking out his ass and when I last spoke to him, he lived in Santa Clara, so he it isn't a case of guy in Oakland pushing Oakland.

Welcome Larry!

My only request, can we please keep it to the facts and not the "my momma is better than your momma" crap that is flying all over the place?

The big question... who funds this and how? Where are the corporate dollars coming from? Is PSL's part fo the plan? Has this stuff even been discussed?

Anonymous said...

LarryJ, you destroyed your credibility (or that of this Coliseum proposal) with your childish rants and insults that have nothing to do with the team or stadium. I find it hard to believe that somebody with this inside knowledge would stoop to conducting himself in such a way on a blog's comment section.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in San Jose/Santa Clara most of my life and I have, perhaps, some insight to Oakland vs. San Jose.
Most baseball fans in Santa Clara County are Giants fans and there is a simple reason. Oakland has a negative connotation associated to it. The view is that Oakland is a crime ridden hell hole. Fair or not that is the view. As a result people just hop on CalTrain, go to the City, watch the Giants and make a day trip out of it. Oakland will never have the support it needs in attendance for this reason. People in the South Bay don't care if there is new stadium, they still won't come. The only way it changes is for Oakland to somehow change there image as a city.

@Larry- I don't understand why you have to be so hateful. It only hurts your cause.

Paul said...

I would love to see the plan Larry details come to fruition. But my feeling is Oakland doesn't deserve the A's. Larry himself acknowledges the damage Jerry Brown did to downtown stadium efforts.

But if Oakland at long, long last, is ready to play ball, get me my BART ticket from Fremont to Oakland to see that new park. My concern is more that the A's stay in the Bay Area than that San Jose gets them. If the A's leave it's either "Go Dodgers" or no rooting interest at all for me.

If San Jose is forcing Oakland to do what is necessary to keep the A's than I thank San Jose for that.

But I still have my doubts that Oakland has the will to pull it off. And the A's would still be left in a place with limited corporate and probably fan support. Moving to San Jose puts them in the middle of the 10th-largest city in the country and gets baseball closer to the big bucks on the Monterey Peninsula, too.

And just because Larry says hockey is a 4th-class sport doesnt make it so. It draws fanatic fans worldwide, not just in a handful of countries like baseball and football. Or basketball, for that matter. Baseball and football, in particular, would love to have the international following that hockey has - it is those sports that are the niche sports, not hockey.

And the Sharks have already spent some years with lousy teams in San Jose and still sold out. While the NHL has fended off criticism of its expansion efforts in places like Atlanta and Miami, San Jose stands as a beacon of success in the NHL's 1990s expansion experiment.

Paul said...

...Let me add I'm an Oakland fan. My kids love that place near Lake Merritt, what's it called "Children's Fairyland" or something? The bat (the flying kind) exhibit alone is with the trip to the Oakland Zoo. I played golf once in my life - in Oakland. But if San Jose gives us the better chance of not ceding the entire Bay Area market to the Giants, then put the A's in San Jose. Put the A's in Morgan Hill if that's what it takes.

Anonymous said...

"Let's get one thing straight, anyone who thinks San Jose is a great baseball market is kidding themselves. You have NO baseball history to support that"

NO baseball history (plus good demographics) is better than BAD baseball history (40 years of ignoring championship teams).

"and as for supporting the can't win the big one Sharks, it's HOCKEY folks, a 4th class sport."

That's exactly the point. The fact that San Jose gives big league support to a minor league sport says volumes about it's potential as a sports market.

The fact Oakland gives minor league support to a big league ballclub says volumes about it's potential as a site for, well, a big league ballclub.

"Let's see how much support the Sharkies get when they eventually go belly up."

This doesn't even make sense. The Sharks are one of the stronger franchises in the NHL, and remain that way by avoiding Haas-like deficit spending. Assuming you mean "once the Sharks put a bad team on the ice," we had that for the first part of the Sharks time in San Jose and the result was - perpetual sellouts.

"Also, absolutely NOBODY north of Montague Expressway will go to S.J. during rush hour to go to a game so the team will become solely a S.C. County team with limited support."

By this logic, nobody south of the San Mateo bridge will go to games in Oakland and it will become solely an Alameda County team with limited support. (Well, the limited support part is right).

You do understand that traffic is far worse during rush hour going north than going south, right? And you do understand that a huge percentage of East Bay folks work in the South Bay and would find a San Jose park highly convenient, right? And you do understand that, regardless of where the park is built, the primary market for the suites and club seats which make the business go and will pay off the private debt are Silicon Valley executives, right? If you think Alameda people won't endure the relatively light traffic going south (or pop over to the park from their jobs in Cupertino or Sunnyvale), what in the world makes you think the corporate bigwigs are going to fight the hideous traffic going north?

"Can we say Kansas City?"

We could, or we could just say "Oakland."

Anonymous said...

Anon 1106,
I said least desirable spot in Bay Area, not least desirable city. Learn to read correctly!
Also, all that Selig talk about the Bay Area being a one-team market is ancient history. Could it be that some so-called A's would rather see the A's leave the Bay Area than move to San Jose? Shameful!
Anon 241,
This Home Base fantasy is nearly 4 years old; its already "public."
Lastly, I find it amazing that to the Oakland partisans, LarryJ and Dellums spokesman apparently know what they're talking about. Yet Lew Wolff, who talks to Selig and the other MLB owners on a regular basis, Saperstein, and even Marinelayer don't know crap about the A's future. Amazing!
Hopefully a lot of you have an appetite for Crow.

Anonymous said...

"the problem with Wolff is that like most wealthy men, they have no way of admitting when one of their stupid ideas is a stupid idea."

The problem with most wealthy men is that they have no idea how to make money. Indeed, your logic is compelling.

"Tarping the 3rd deck, a popular section for day games was a mistake from the start. Counting the disaster called the "all-you-can-eat section, 14,142 seats sit unused."

As opposed to before the tarping, when about 25,000 seats sat unused.

"Anytime a sports owner would rather deny himself $4-5 million in revenue and 10-14K in attendance for the sake of proving a point, than that man has a problem."

Except that your figures rely on a series of wild assumptions. And ignore the fact that tarping the upper deck resulted in an increase in AVERAGE ticket price achieved by the A's of something like 25%, while having only a modest effect on attendance. And ignore the money saved by not having to open concession stands to serve a sparsely attended upper deck, and by not having to clean that deck after games. And ignore the benefit of giving at least some people a reason to buy season ticket packages, or at least buy advance tickets rather than simply walking up.

Attendance did not drop by anywhere close to 10,000 - 14,000 per game with the closing of the upper deck. Nor is there any rational reason to believe, with plenty of cheap seats available for every game even with the deck closed, that it would suddenly jump by that amount with the deck open, as your rant suggests. The A's most assuredly are making more money with the deck closed than they would with it open.

Anonymous said...

Now you're calling Wolff and his ideas stupid?!
Couple that with imposing a ticket tax to bail out Oakland financially, and you'd still expect him to invest his hard-earned millions on your Home Base fantasy?
I'm sorry, but if you insulted me I wouldn't do crap for you!
Oh well, its your world LarryJ.

hamachi said...

I can't believe you are pinning your hopes for the A's on a Denny's and a bowling alley. ha! is that the best oakland can come up with? I'd much prefer to see something near JLS than to have to deal with the colliseum again.

and the bart to OAK connector is going to die on the vine. no way that gets funded in this economy. maybe they'll look at the rapid bus line, but the rail stuff will fade away.

I hope some of the parties release some more info soon. we're getting stir crazy thinking up insane proposals and are running out of names to call each other.

Anonymous said...

"Other than the housing Wolff wanted but is dead in this economy, this proposal gives Wolff EVERYTHING he wanted in Fremont right here in Oakland,"

Well, except a desirable location convenient to the corporate support he absolutely needs to pay off the private debt.

"...but on a larger scale."

Well, that sure make up for it. He may not get the revenue he would've in Fremont, but at least he'll have four times the cost.

We may lose money on every sale, but we'll make it up on volume...

Anonymous said...

"I heard Oakland is also building a castle and founding their own country at the Coliseum site! This is totally in place now! A security guard at city hall said that MLB is really impressed!"

LOL. This was really funny.

Anonymous said...

The Pabst Blue Ribbon Committee?

Anonymous said...

So based on your insane logic, if the A's reopen the third deck attendance will magically increase 30k per game?
Unbelievable! They can barely get 10k in the two decks that are open.
Maybe Wolff should tarp off the second deck as well.

Anonymous said...

"Let's see how much support the Sharkies get when they eventually go belly up."

Yes, because teams that SELL OUT EVERY GAME regularly go belly up...

Anonymous said...

LarryJ's stadium "plan" is something Bernie Madoff would be proud of.

Navigator said...

I like the plan Larry.

There's no question that this location is easily the most accessible location to the entire Bay Area. If you look at a map of the Bay Area and take into account public transit along with a central location, there is no better site than the Coliseum area.

I don't see why something magnificent couldn't grow there. Thanks for the details.

Jeepers said...

Thank you, Rickey, for expressing what many thousands of people also feel. The idea of Oakland losing the A's hurts the heard.

Anonymous said...

If this blowhard Larry is really an Oakland insider, that city is toast. What person with real influence on one of these deals is on blogs calling strangers idiots? It's no wonder Wolfe can't wait to leave. It probably took him 30 seconds of conversation with this mental midget to turn and run the other way. And people living in parents' basements? Dude, get some original material. That was a tired cliche at least 3 years ago. Or better yet, have an adult type your arguments for you.

Let's not even get into the fact that if SJ is such a bad baseball town, why are the A's and Giants fighting over it? Or that the good folks of SJ have been making the trek to Oakland for years, yet "nobody" north of Montague(please don't speak for me, as I live well north of there) can be bothered to travel to see them in SJ. If that bizarre statement were true, it would only prove that SJ is at least a much better baseball town than points north in the east bay.

FC said...


...there is no better site than the Coliseum area.

Then why the heck are we drawing just 12K at the current site right next door?

Anonymous said...

It's terrific this plan has come to light. Clearly, the main thing holding back attendance at the Coliseum all these years is that the Denny's is not large enough.

Anonymous said...

It's stupid that people are blamming LarryJ's credibility because of people responding saying stuff like "What person with real influence on one of these deals is on blogs calling strangers idiots?". Ok this is after he left a post on his opinion of the situation and got negative responses like "I heard Oakland is also building a castle and founding their own country at the Coliseum site! This is totally in place now! A security guard at city hall said that MLB is really impressed!". What do you people expect him to say back? I think a lot of people would give attitude back after explaining themselves. But that's what you have to face on here, people thinking they know more than the next person.

Anonymous said...

I think Oakland is in good hands with Larry. His insightful economic analysis of the upper deck closing shows he is ideal to pull together a high stakes, $2 billion dollar deal involving dozens of private businesses and government entities. (Remember, it'll be easy because its all private and/or federal money.) And his calm, mature, professional demeanor in responding to his critics here will undoubtedly be an asset at the negotiating table. Taken together with the strong track record of similar projects like Lennar/Candlestick Point, Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and Cisco Field/Pacific Commons, and I'd say success is assured.

Anonymous said...

For the Oakland-only partisans: If this bloated fantasy ever did come to pass, you do realize the severe and permanent damage it would do to your downtown, right? So much for any hopes of being an entertainment or retail center.

Anonymous said...

"What do you people expect him to say back?"

Option A: Nothing. If his point is is to win hearts and minds, the substance of his comments will stand on their own merit. Engaging in mindless, vituperative debate with a bunch of anonymous bloggers only makes him look like a wingnut and undermines his credibility (and therefore runs counter to his presumed goal).

Option B: Respond with calm facts and reason. The point, presumably, isn't to simply insult those who disagree with him, but to influence those whose minds are open to his arguments and might be persuaded to support the project.

You will notice that ML occasionally gets pointed criticism on this board (almost always unfairly, in my opinion). He doesn't allow himself to get drawn into name-calling fests, presumably because he values his credibility and knows that reasonable people will dismiss the opinions of the name-callers. As a result, I believe he is respected by the vast majority of readers of this blog.

Option C: If the opinions of anonymous bloggers mean that much to him, and he absolutely cannot contain himself, post his retorts anonymously. I'll tell you, I am a professional myself, and I wouldn't be caught dead by my colleagues engaging in a mindless flame war using my real name.

"I think a lot of people would give attitude back after explaining themselves."

Maybe, but not mature professionals posting under their own names.

"But that's what you have to face on here, people thinking they know more than the next person."

Um, it's called the internet. You should check it out sometime, it's all the rage.

Anonymous said...

I thought Larry J's post was good and I don't think its right to bash him for some good ideas. The sad reality is that Oakland had plenty of chances and blew them all. Oakland as a city is incompetent and is not going to get anything done. When they did try to get something done, look what happened....Al Davis' raped the county and city. Talk about incompetence.

The San Jose versus Oakland debate doesn't really matter though. Wolff wants out of Oakland, one way or the other. I also think MLB wants the A's out of Oakland too - make the Bay Area a 1 market town or move to more fruitful pastures in San Jose.

Navigator said...

Come on, why don't we relax a bit. Let's undo the necktie and take the business suit off. This is a blog regarding a baseball stadium site.

Baseball evokes passions especially when we're talking about relocating a team from a city which has hosted the franchise for over forty years, and then handing the team to the covetous neighbor down the street along with 500 million in investment capital.

Also, I'm not worried about Larry responding to his rude critics. I'm far more interested in the details he laid out regarding the plan to keep the A's in Oakland.


...there is no better site than the Coliseum area.

Then why the heck are we drawing just 12K at the current site right next door?"

Simple, attendance has been decimated by carpetbagger owners who have threatened relocation just about every year. I can tell you that's precisely why I haven't attended a game in two years. And, I know many people who've done the same thing. Why should I put a nickel in the pocket of a man who wants to snatch the team I grew up with, from my hometown? It's not going to happen. You can not denigrate your host city, your ballpark, and your fans, and then wonder why "we get 12,000 per game." The problem is a horrible ownership who is throwing away a great opportunity in the best location for a ballpark in the entire Bay Area.

The Warriors know what a great location they have since they wisely chose to play in Oakland rather than San Jose. The Raiders know this because they're on board with the plan. The Raiders also know that if the 49rs move to Santa Clara and this tremendous project comes to fruition, they will control the vast majority of the Bay Area football market including San Francisco.

There is no way that a city located on the southern end of the Bay Area can compete with the potential of Oakland's fabulous central location. Also, Oakland's downtown will continue to thrive as an entertainment venue with great restaurants, the Fox, Paramount, and Grand Lake. An entertainment center at the Coliseum will cater to a regional sports crowd. This will be a very different demographic from the current and future downtown patrons.

Debbie Demographer said...

Why would MLB want to make the Bay Area, with a population of more than 7 million, a one-team market while it tolerates markets of barely 2 million, such as Cincinnati and Kansas City?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:49 hit the nail on the head!

We could argue all day and night, SJ vs. Oak, loyalty/tradition vs. economic reality, our plan is better then your plan, the grass is greener at my site, we'll buy everyone a puppy, kiss all the babies, etc.

What matters at the end of the day is what Lew Wolff and MLB wants! Case closed! Enough already!

Anonymous said...

God people are just annoying, and stupid on here. Have fun bickering at each other.

Anonymous said...

"Then why the heck are we drawing just 12K at the current site right next door? Simple, attendance has been decimated by carpetbagger owners who have threatened relocation just about every year."

Of all the dumb things which get repeated over and over on this blog, this is one of the dumbest. Listen, the number of neurotic weirdos for whom "Does my billionaire sports owner love me enough" is the determining factor on whether or not to go to a baseball game is vanishingly small. Certainly not enough to drive attendance figures.

If you're going to keep repeating this, please answer a fundamental question: If "sports owner love" is the driving attendance factor, why did Walter Haas, your model owner, who spent tens of millions out of his own pocket to subsidize all-star teams and was a god of community outreach, achieve the same average attendance during his tenure as penny-pinching, Santa Clara-loving, carpetbagger owner Steve Schott - approximately 19,000 per game?

(Crickets chirping)

"The Warriors know what a great location they have since they wisely chose to play in Oakland rather than San Jose."

Um, as the only NBA team in the area, it really doesn't matter very much where the Warriors locate. They chose Oakland because they got to control the arena there and got a better lease, that's it.

"The Raiders know this because they're on board with the plan."

You believe this why, because one wingnut blogger said it was true? It defies common sense. This fantasy will cost about $2 billion WITHOUT a new football stadium; you think an extra $1 billion of private money is going to fall out of the sky to accommodate the Raiders.

"The Raiders also know that if the 49rs move to Santa Clara and this tremendous project comes to fruition, they will control the vast majority of the Bay Area football market including San Francisco."

OK, now I get it. It's Friday night, getting late, you're kicking back, relaxing. Dude, pass that pipe over this way....

Anonymous said...

C'mon, you have to give Navigator some credit from being so consistently divorced from reality.

FC said...

"You cannot denigrate your host city, your ballpark, and your fans, and then wonder why "we get 12,000 per game."

I know Wolff has made some disparaging remarks about the Coliseum, but I never heard him say anything negative about the City of Oakland, nor the A's fans.

"The problem is a horrible ownership who is throwing away a great opportunity in the best location for a ballpark in the entire Bay Area."

As far as I can remember, the Coliseum has always been in the same "central location" for the past 40 years. It has always been next to 880, and it has had its own BART station. Yet, except for a few years in the late 80s, early 90s, attendance has always been relatively poor. Damn, I guess we've just had 40 years of bad owners.

Anonymous said...

i recieved an email, ask the oakland city councit to review the cement train to the airport at the july 14th, a july 14th hearing.

dont know what that is about. i made up the term 'cement train' just now, the 1bil dollar project from , keeping in topic the new a's ballpark to the airport about 4 miles or 2 each way. or 4 each way i forget the actual distance. but either way you dont get caught in a traffic jam over only 4 miles.

now also in topic, what if we spent that money in san jose for bart + new ballpark.

Anonymous said...

if you build it they will come (if it's in oakland, cause san jose is too far south).

Anonymous said...

San Jose is too far south? Last I checked, Oakland was too far north for SV industry. That's the reality of sport today. It is not an element which the big, bad Wolff introduced. Pack in a few more fans and no more luxury boxes and the team is not much better off.

Anonymous said...

everyone can argue..but when are we ever gonna get news on the situation. that's what we need, some fresh official news

Marine Layer said...

1-2 weeks before the news cycle starts up again. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

Jesse said...

Just out of curiosity ML, why wasnt Wolff willing to pay for the entire feasibility study on the Coliseum parking lot plan? Why did he want Oakland to meet him half way? He paid millions in Fremont for nothing.

Marine Layer said...

It wasn't Wolff's team at the time, he was the VP of venue dev. He had to convince Schott to commit to the $250k.

Anonymous said...

I hope this plan Larry J. describes goes through. It would be great for the city of Oakland.

Fuller said...

ah, okay.

Anonymous said...

I hope the public can hear something about the situation period...

Jeffrey said...

Chuck Reed on CHronicle live in a few minutes

Anonymous said...

Yeah chronicle live was interesting. They talked about possitives and negatives in san jose.

Anonymous said...

male anon (male anon dont cry): i think fremont hates baseball

Anonymous said...

anon 9:27 you win the random award of the night!