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.