04 September 2009

Oakland Metro Chamber seeks letters of support

Picked this up from V Smoothe @ SFGate's in Oakland blog.

The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is distributing a letter to member businesses, imploring them to show their support for "a new, state-of-the-art, transit-friendly ballpark
within its currently defined MLB territory" by signing the letter and sending it back to the Chamber. The Chamber will then package the letters as part of a presentation that will be sent to MLB at the end of the month.

September __, 2009

[Read & delete: DO NOT send this to Bud Selig directly. Return all letters to the Oakland Chamber of Commerce! We will forward them all as part of Oakland’s PROPOSAL to Major League Baseball. Thank you!]

Mr. Bud Selig
Major League Baseball
12 E 49th St # 24
New York, NY 10017

Re: Support for a New Baseball Park in Oakland for the A’s

Dear Commissioner Selig:
It is my understanding that Major League Baseball (MLB) has appointed a three-person committee to evaluate the options for the development of a new, world-class ballpark for the Oakland Athletics. As part of the MLB analysis, I understand that the appointed, three-member MLB committee will review the level of support in the business community for the Oakland A’s, including specific interest in luxury suites,
season tickets and other forms of corporate support.

As a member of the business community that operates within the A’s territory, I am pleased to inform MLB that should the A’s succeed in moving forward on a new, state-of-the-art, transit-friendly ballpark within its currently defined MLB territory, [INSERT BUSINESS NAME HERE] would be interested in supporting the A’s, including pursuing the rights to a luxury suite and/or a package of season tickets
subject to a more formal evaluation based on ticket price and availability.

We strongly support the City of Oakland’s efforts to retain the Oakland A’s. As you are aware, since making Oakland its home in the late 1960s, the A’s have won four World Championships, bringing pride to our community. We are proud to offer our support for the retention of this historic organization.

The Oakland A’s represent one of America’s great urban franchises, which in years past enjoyed strong support from the region’s business community – and will enjoy strong support going forward should the franchise make a real commitment to Oakland.

In prior years, the Oakland A’s had strong attendance and business community support. From 1982 – 2004, average annual home attendance (excluding the strike year of 1994) was over 1.87 million.

American League average home attendance during the same period was 2.1 million. In recent years, notwithstanding the recent economic challenges confronting the entire country, the East Bay region (Contra Costa and Alameda Counties) has continued to grow and represents an economically robust and vibrant region. Oakland and neighboring Emeryville have a thriving economic base, including serving as the headquarters for major corporations such as Kaiser Permanente, Clorox, Cost Plus, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Waste Management,, Pixar Studios and Novartis. The University of California system, the world’s finest public university system, is also headquartered in Oakland. The Port of Oakland, already one of the country’s largest, is moving forward with a significant expansion further contributing to regional economic prosperity. The Tri Valley area extending east of Oakland and home to such corporations as Chevron, Safeway, Ross Stores, Sybase, and Polycom, is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, and represents an untapped opportunity for the Oakland’s A’s.

We look forward to the committee completing its work and, hopefully, attending games in a new world-class, baseball-only ballpark in the City of Oakland.

I wonder if a ballpark at NUMMI/Warm Springs would've elicited this kind of effort. That site fit the "a new, state-of-the-art, transit-friendly ballpark within its currently defined MLB territory" criteria, didn't it?

Ever the realist, V Smoothe also reflects on Lew Wolff's quotes in yesterday's Bloomberg article:
The most delusional Oakland partisans will surely find a way to spin these lines, just like they have with all similarly unambiguous statements, as part of an elaborate scheme from a shrewd businessman to get some great deal out of Oakland, while the moderately more rational ones will continue to insist that Major League Baseball and territory rights will come to their rescue. But for those not blinded by love and hope, it's pretty hard to deny that it's looking increasingly clear that the best option for everyone involved (except, of course, Oakland) is for the team to move down south, and it's really only a matter of time before that's final.
Can't say I have much more to add to this.


gojohn10 said...

Once again Oakland is several steps behind San Jose. I doubt it is coincidental this is leaked the day after the release of the SJ economic impact report. However, I am interested in the response to this letter. If baseball has any future in Oakland, broad corporate support will be needed. Unfortunately, I doubt enough support will be garnered to justify releasing the results.

Dan said...

They'll get some support I'm sure. But it won't be "big corporate support". There just isn't enough "big corporations" in Oakland.

Tony D. said...

V Smoothe keeping it real!

Can't blame the Oakland Metro Chamber for trying.

One thing the letter does highlight is this continued myth that the Alameda/SCCo./territorial demarcation line really has any bearing on where these businesses will spend their money. Meaning, businesses/corporations in southern Alameda County and the Tri-Valley area will be just as likely to support the A's in San Jose as they would in Oakland. They could probably care less if they're located in the A's current defined territory or not.

What would be interesting to know is which corporate base has more "firepower" so to speak: the regions and corporations mentioned in the letter, or San Jose/Silicon Valley? Probably a dumb question. Agree completely with gojohn10 and Dan.

Again, can't blame "The O" for trying.

Anonymous said...

This might carry a little bit of punch if the letter could include that as a "current season ticket holder"....but we know that there are few and far between--talk/letter committments are cheap-which is all this amounts too---and actually comes across as weak and desperate from my perspective---sign a letter saying you will care even though you haven't cared enough to buy season tix--come on--

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Oakland's newspaper hosting this blog? Says a lot about the sense of community...

Jeepers said...

I bristle at the notion that the A's moving south is best for anyone--except San Jose, of course.

What's best for the A's is a new ballpark, and it could easily be successful in either location. If San Jose continues to put forth a better effort than Oakland to get it, then good for them. But if it's built in San Jose, it will be because Oakland failed, not because it's better for the A's.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge San Jose booster but I kinda feel bad for Oakland now. Tho I suppose they did it to themselves. You can't blame San Jose for having a functional governmental and business infrastructure.

Clyde Frog said...

Thats a good way to put it Jeepers. Although now your gonna get a million replies on why San Jose is better. Can't we leave it like he said? Because he is correct, there would be success in either location.

Magellan said...

I bristle at the notion that the A's moving south is best for anyone--except San Jose, of course.

What's best for the A's is a new ballpark, and it could easily be successful in either location.

Exactly which Oakland location are you talking about?

In broad geographical terms, being in San Jose is better than being in Oakland. It's further from San Francisco, and closer to a well-heeled fan base and corporate support.

In finer-grained geographical terms, only one potential Oakland site would be better than SJ's Diridon Station -- Uptown. But for reasons that I don't understand, that one never got traction.

SJ's Diridon location has lots of support and momentum, while Oakland's only good location seems undoable.

Clyde Frog said...

Until I see a date scheduled for a San Jose ballpark to be built, I'll call it "undoable". Every project has its issues. The case being, Oakland may be harder to accomplish, but that doesnt make it undoable.

Jeffrey said...

Clyde... Sweet South Park reference...

You realize the complete contradiction in what you just wrote, right? Undoable until there is a date in San Jose, doable thought there is no plan in Oakland... WTF?

Clyde Frog said...

Jeffrey I wasn't being realistic, I was just being sarcastic cause he said Oakland was undoable. Yeah it's doable ofcourse, but so is Oakland. Just right now the only good Oakland idea would be harder to accomplish. Bye the way, glad you like the name :)

Jeffrey said...

Got it. I agree, and have said for a looooong time that I am cool with either happening. Iwas so excited about Uptown from the first time I saw renderings with Fox Theater out in center field.

I thought it looked a lot like Wrigleyville or photo's I had seen of Fenway Park. Sort of a baseball carnival at every game.

What I like most about Diridon is the ability to have that similar atmosphere.

Clyde Frog said...

Yeah thats a good atmosphere. It's to bad this process is at a turtles pace.

Jeepers said...

Magellen, it's closer to the Giants fan base. Are all the Giants fans in San Jose going to turn into A's fans just because they moved there?

There is no real advantage in corporate support, just a perceived one. San Francisco is right across the bridge, and there are plenty of corporations there. The new ballpark doesn't need to be physically in the same zip code as the corporate sponsors. It needs to be shiny and attractive so corporate sponsors want to have something to do with it.

That said, your point on which location specifically works in Oakland is well taken. This is the question on which Oakland needs to come out swinging very soon to have any hope of keeping the A's, since as you said, the best site they had was inexplicably made unavailable.

Anonymous said...

"There is no real advantage in corporate support, just a perceived one. San Francisco is right across the bridge, and there are plenty of corporations there."

Hahaha, right. Get this: San Francisco already has a team! That city doesn't even have enough to give the Giants without Neukom fearing the loss of Silicon Valley dollars. I guess the NFL should move another team to Green Bay since they've shown they can support football. Why the hell would people leave their bubble city and go to games in Oakland when they have the same sport played at a more chic address? Have you ever talked to people in San Francisco? They couldn't be troubled to attend a game if it was in the Sunset, let alone Oakland.

Jeepers said...

Why make a meaningful contribution to a conversation, when you can just draw wild inferences based on stereotypes?

Anonymous said...

I love how the bottom quote dismisses the million or so fans who will no longer have their baseball team, in addition to the city of Oakland, which is the center of the East Bay at large.

SJ had better come up with a LOT of new fans because the number of people who don't move with the team will shock most of you.

Even Raider fans abandoned their team for moving to LA and rest assured, SJ might as well be the same thing for most of us.