A’s, Oakland clarify positions on lease squabble, if by “clarify” you mean “issue accusatory press releases”

Yesterday’s bizarro news about Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff angrily rejecting a ten-year lease extension on the Oakland Coliseum shortly after demanding a ten-year lease extension on the Oakland Coliseum has come into a bit more focus, though it’s still pretty bizarro. First off, the A’s organization and the Oakland-Alamada County Coliseum Authority (called for short, naturally enough, the “JPA”) issued dueling press releases at the start of yesterday’s A’s game, in which the JPA asserted that Wolff was refusing to pay $5 million a year in back rent and demanding $3.5 million a year in rent subsidies, while A’s president Michael Crowley retorted that the team had paid all its back rent and wasn’t demanding any subsidies.

Thanks to Marine Layer, the proprietor of Newballpark.org who rushed home from changing a flat tire to pore over the actual numbers, we know that the A’s have in fact been paying rent, but deducting maintenance costs on the Coliseum, as they’re allowed to do by their lease; he speculates that the JPA’s gripe may be over back parking revenues that are currently in arbitration. As for the rent subsidy demand — not to mention unsourced rumors that the JPA’s deal would require Wolff to build a new stadium in Oakland if the Coliseum were torn down for a new Raiders stadium — there’s no way to tell the truth, since neither side has released their actual lease proposals.

In fact, Marine Layer argues, none of this is really about actual lease proposals, but rather about trying to lean on MLB to issue a ruling on where the A’s should play, something the league has steadfastly been trying to avoid:

Wolff wants to show MLB that the JPA prefers the Raiders over the A’s by a large margin, and their inaction on the lease extension offer along with previous stalling on previous offers is proof of that. The JPA is also trying to score points with MLB, providing baseball with a copy of their own agreement as a sort of make good. The JPA is already dealing with bad news related to Coliseum City, so there’s a chance for deflection. Meanwhile, MLB’s own track record has been to avoid these two parties like they were lepers, only coming in when talks completely broke down after the 2013 season. You have to wonder what kind of effort is being wasted by both sides, and what effect if any this is all having on MLB’s thoroughly inscrutable decision-making process…

Since nothing actually came out of last night’s revelations other than the two sides pointing fingers yet again, how about a moratorium on interviews, press releases, and any other kinds of dispatches to the public until you actually get a lease extension done? I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I personally don’t mind if I have slightly less to write about, because at least I won’t be writing about nothing. Which is exactly what this 600-word post is about. Nothing. Thanks.

Marine Layer also (in a subsequent post) points out that JPA chair Nate Miley claims that the county is “talking to [Wolff] about a new stadium all on the existing site,” which could involve public money. Which could be a revelation, or it could just be more grandstanding. It’s sure giving us lots of nothing to write about, though.


53 comments on “A’s, Oakland clarify positions on lease squabble, if by “clarify” you mean “issue accusatory press releases”

  1. Talk of public funds at the Coliseum for the A’s is nothing but grandstanding. Oakland has no money to provide currently, and their leadership would be evicerated at the polls if they tried it.

  2. Find it ironic that the W’s are getting out of dodge ASAP, are disputing that they will owe more than $60M of debt from when Oakland remodeled the arena in 1998 and yet none of the media is trashing Lacob and others- amazing double standard that makes no sense other than the media prefers to be more of the nat’l enquirer v actually doing any investigative reporting of facts

  3. Marine Layer can not be trusted on anything. He is a tool for the ownership who twists and fabricates the crap out of nearly everything he writes.

  4. @Keith- really? Can you cite specifics because from my perspective ML is the only one who does any investigative checking of facts- as he did yesterday-

  5. Keith, I’d beg to differ. ML has been very even handed in his coverage over the years. And has been critical of both the A’s and Oakland unlike the mainstream press who just blame the A’s for all of this…

  6. Neil, I appreciate your work and have nothing but praise for your fair analysis of ballpark and stadium issues. Marine Layer is indeed a skillful writer and very good at his investigative work. However he is totally biased and spins very skillfully all the information he provides. He is far from being even handed and if anyone tries to confront him he finds a way to ridicule and even uses very unethical practices such as forging posts from people. He did it to me by forging a comment from me using my monicker accusing the owners of racism, something I never did in my life. As for the present squable between the A’s owners and the JPA…it is in my opinion all for public consumption. Here’s a note from a very serious writer: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2014/04/24/thursday-must-reads-as-end-lease-negotiations-at-coliseum-warriors-say-they-will-leave-east-bay-taxpayers-on-the-hook-for-62-million

    This at lest gives you another perspective to look at from the East Bay other than the San Jose folks. Thank you and keep up your good work, Lil

  7. Keith and Lilian, can you provide some specifics for these accusations against Marine Layer? I don’t agree with everything he says, but I have found him to be a pretty astute (and generally fair) analyst of the power politics in Oakland, so I’m a little surprised to hear this.

  8. Unfortunately the oakland only crowd never likes to read anything that is critical of Oakland when it comes to this issue. In their view it has always and forever be the fault of ownership, anyone who says otherwise can not be trusted. ML has been covering this issue for many years, so he writes with a slant towards skepticism (based on Oakland’s track record) on any “announcement” from oakland pols regarding the stadium issues. That is the only thing i have picked up from MLs site, I find him to cover the issue accurately and be critical to both Oakland pols and the a’s.

    You don’t need to spin anything regarding this issue…just listen to Mayor Jean Quan’s interview on 95.7 the game a few weeks back. The lack of leadership, miscommunication, and unfamiliarity with the stadium issues was shocking. The worst part of the interview was when the head of the JPA called in and contradicted what Mayor Quan had said…

    Its a cluster f*** created by Team ownership, the leagues and oakland pols, its everyones else’s fault.

  9. Neil, I am the founder of the OAFC http://www.oaklandfans.com/discus/messages/board-topics.html
    Right after Walter Hass family sold the team we found out that the new ownwership bought the team under false pretense with a dicounted price due to the return of the Raiders, with the intention of either relocation or contraction of the team with the orientation of Bud Selig who has always been against the A’s coming to Oakland. Even prior to that I had a “bulletin board” discussion forum. Marine Layer was a frequent poster there. When the OAFC started he became a supporter of the new owners intentions to relocate to Fremont and started his present blog. He has tried to appear “neutral” but has NEVER been an advocate of any of the projects or attempts made by any group, including the Dolich/Piccinini group that Oakland brought forth as a consequence of the lawsuit Schott vs Oakland. Of course Selig tabled the deal. During the ongoing discussions and “internet wars” I was very surprised to read a post on Marin Layers blog comments, where a “diamond_lil” was accusing Schott of being racist etc….a comment I NEVER posted…furthermore I had NEVER posted on his blog any comments for I found it would be counter productive to engage on these types of bickering online. The purpose of posting using my monicker could only have come from ML since he previews all comments and is able to edit and post only the ones he wants to post. He monitors his site very tightly. I lost all respect for his ethics and have numerous times read comments where he ridicules people who are not fortunate enough to have his writing skills or are not able to engage in a civil discussion with him. He has also often posted information that is very one sided, manipulating information coming only from one side leaving out other important relevant contradictory information. I guess or other anti Oakland folks can accuse me of being biased as well….I only have in my favor the fact that I know and feel the pain and know the harm losing a baseball team can do to a city like Oakland. I grew up loving the Brooklyn Dodgers and suffered along the members of that community and don’t want to see that happen in Oakland. Sorry if I can’t supply you with more details about ML for I never bothered to document the information. I’m not the suing type. Cheers, Lil

  10. Neil, I just want to add that the OAFC site I linked above is no longer active and remains online only as an archive and testament for all that has been done since the Haas sold the team to Selig’s minions for the sole purpose of keeping the team in limbo until he succeeds with his mission which is to do to Oakland baseball what he succeeded doing to Montreal baseball. The members of the OAFC now are on a closed group of Facebook and we remain loyal to our cause which is to keep and respect Oakland A’s baseball. I really don’t intend to keep responding to these people who seem to be share holders of Wolff/Fisher/Selig’s bank accounts. I am not an economics expert. I’m just a very passionate Oakland A’s fan….also a grandmother and retired health care provider. Cheers and thank you for your interest and time. Lil

  11. I started taking a lot of Marine Layer’s information as tilted for San Jose a long time ago. He even went so far as to invest time in the idea of promoting San Francisco trading Barry Zito’s bad contract to the A’s for territorial rights :D

  12. Also, it seems like everyone’s favorite punchline, is talking about the Coliseum’s sewer system problems. For the record, the backup that made national headlines, was due to a person shoving something into the pipes. Whether it was stupidity or sabotage, it wasn’t due to the sewer system’s age. http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Oakland-Coliseum-pipe-clog-caused-backup-4608306.php

  13. Not to get into the greater issues of ML’s position on where the A’s should play, but: Lilian, on the matter of someone posting under your name, let me say as someone who approves/rejects comments on a regular basis that it’s *very* possible for someone to spoof another’s name without the site administrator noticing. Unless I’m watching IP addresses carefully, we’re all on the honor code here that we are who we say we are.

    I’m also puzzled by your statement that Selig “has always been against the A’s coming to Oakland,” since he didn’t even become an MLB owner until three years after they moved to Oakland from K.C.

  14. The NY Times has a fascinating map today, showing where baseball fans reside.

    Fascinating here, because the A’s appear to be favored in exactly zero counties:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/24/upshot/facebook-baseball-map.html?_r=0#7,38.298,-115.498

    There isn’t even one zip code where there are more A’s fans than Giants fans, and Giants-fandom appears to go all the way to Fresno, Reno and Southern Oregon; and in not even a single zip code are the A’s the #1 team.

    I think the argument for them moving away completely is probably pretty strong.

  15. That map is terrible, because it only shows the #1 team in each area. If you looked at it this way by country, the entire U.S.A. would show up as a big blob of Yankees fans.

  16. When we start using Facebook likes as a statistically valid measure is when we are in trouble- find it funny that the nytimes would publish such easily refuted data-does anyone bother to check before writing articles these days?

  17. “There isn’t even one zip code where there are more A’s fans than Giants fans, and Giants-fandom appears to go all the way to Fresno, Reno and Southern Oregon; and in not even a single zip code are the A’s the #1 team.

    “I think the argument for them moving away completely is probably pretty strong.”

    To be fair, the Mets also have no zip code where they are the number one team. I’m pretty sure from MLB’s perspective that having two teams in an extremely wealthy and hugely populated region (like, say, New York or San Francisco Bay) trumps whether or not one of the teams is the most popular in a particular part of that region.

  18. Find the anti ML comments to be highly emotional while void of facts and logic. Ironic that PIcininni attempt to buy the A’s was underfunded with Larry Baer of the gints working behind the scenes to make sure it didn’t happen. Picininni himself recounts a discussion with Baer where he was told we want you in baseball just not with the A’s. The reality is it is easy to perceive a bias against Oakland because they have yet to do anything nearly 20 years after ruining the Coli with mt Davis. Whether u agree with it or not Sacramento, with KJ as the leader, has an arena under construction- that’s leadership- Oakland still hasn’t agreed upon a site and quite possibly has yet to find a site that is economically viable unless taxpayer dollars are used.

  19. Neil, hear and listen to Bud Selig….it shows how he feels what a “HORRIBLE MISTAKE” the Oakland A’s coming to Oakland was….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP8I7FE90sQ

  20. @SanJoseA’s

    Yep. It’s terrible. Self-selection into Facebook, then the idea that ‘liking’ something is somehow a proxy for being a fan. Maybe even worse is the trend toward using Google search data. I never Google teams I’m actually a engaged fan of as I already know good outlets for info on those teams.

  21. Bud Selig has derailred and boycotted any and every effort made by Oakland to have local buyers and/or to build a ballpark with/without investors. He has sent in a Trojan horse possible bidder at every occasion any effort has been made. Even Mayor Brown who is not a sports fan did cooperate and formed a Baseball Coomiittee naming Rob Bobb and Rosie Rios, the City and JPA contracted HOK and offered several sites and financial deals with land swap deals but MLB through the two chosen ownerships after the Haas sold the team showed no interest and refused to come to the table to negotiate. Robert Bob said before he left his position in Oakland: “:You can bring the horse to the water but you can’t force it to drink the water”. Bud Selig has since he became commissioner tried to contract the A’s and elimanate baseball from Oakland. He ran into difficulties and certainly is running out of time. I certainly hope so…But of course if you read the spin anti Oakland you never hear anything about this because they’re too busy trying to steal the team from where it is loved and honored.

  22. @lilian- it was mayor brown who fired Bobb- he was the horse the Bobb was referring to not owners- to this date Bobb was the only guy who had the right intentions in Oakland and he had the right site- but jerry wanted his condos on it and ultimately fired him- and recall Schott also wanted to redo the Coli for baseball only and then suddenly Oakland delivered the raiders back in town and ruined the ballpark- yup- all the owners fault- and this was before LW!!

  23. SJA’s….I’m sorry but it was not at all how it happened. Yes Brown fired Bobb but it was not at all related to that quote. The HOK presentation took place and the owners never showed up so Brown decided not to give the negotiating rights to the housing project. That day when the presentation took place I was at the City Council meeting when Robert Bobb came back from the meeting making his last effort to bring them to the presentation and THAT was when he made that statement. The Mayor was indeed pushing for the Forrest City project but they were ready to inlcude the 20th and Telegraph HOK plan into their project. When the owners refused to show up the City Council had no other option but to vote for the project without including the ballpark. Rosie Rios talked to Crowley that same day and told me that Schott and Hofmann had received a bid to purchase the team (sent by Selig) and they were ready to put down a non refunded down paying. The man was Leidecky who later could’t get a confirmation to relocate and decided to withdraw http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/apr/20/20050420-120606-4112r/?page=all That was just another Trojan horse Selilg sent in to stop any deal Oakland could make with Schott and Hofmann. So the HORSE was Schott who refused to even listen to the offer.
    But of course Marine Layer never spoke about this to his San Jose followers.

  24. And SJA’s…I’m sorry but you are also very misinformed about the sequence of events of what Schott did when he purchased the team from Walter Haas. When the team was put on sale, Haas and Schott KNEW the Raiders were coming back and that the Coli was going to go under construction. For that reason Haas put the price below market value but asked for a guarantee the buyers WOULD NOT relocate. Schott bought the team and unfortunately nothing was tied down in writing and he immediately put his assistant Ed Alvarez on the hunt for a Bay Aerea future home for the A’s, preferably Santa Clara, where Schott was actually from….Alvarez later sued Schott and settle over his failure to succeed and settled….Meanwhile Shott sued Oakland/Alameda for loss of revenue saying he was unaware the Raiders were coming back….They settled making Oakand pay for the Diamond Seats (and elimination of the bleachers as it was) since there was a better project Schott refused. In the settlement Schott/Hofmann put the team for sale under the condition Oakland would find local buyers within a ????months. THAT was when the Dolich/Piccinini/Lugar/and other VERY well funded investors came forward. Selig stalled and tabled the deal WITHOUT a vote stating the settlement time period had expired and Schott no longer wanted to sell…he later sold the team to Wolff…also personal friend of Selig. That’s the story most folks never heard from Marine Layer but it is archived and well documented in our OAFC site.

  25. “Neil, hear and listen to Bud Selig….it shows how he feels what a “HORRIBLE MISTAKE” the Oakland A’s coming to Oakland was…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP8I7FE90sQ”

    “This video is unavailable.”

  26. The A’s ownership & Bud Selig are definitely the horse that wouldn’t drink up Oakland’s offers and the pattern continues with Lew Wolff. “Oakland officials, City Manager Robert Bobb among them, pushed for a new stadium in the Uptown area, one of four locations identified by the city’s consultant, HOK Sport.
    But because the A’s are dragging their feet, Brown and the council majority voted in favor of a concrete proposal for 800 homes on the site. Considering the A’s stance � or lack of one � that was a good call. Kudos to the mayor and his supporters for making a sound business decision.” http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2002/06/24/editorial1.html?page=all

  27. Neil, I’ll see if I can get a better copy of that utube film

    http://youtu.be/XP8I7FE90sQ

  28. So Lilian- if bs hates Oakland so much why are the A’s still there playing in a near 50 year old dump? He could have involved the best interest of baseball and sent them down to rich SV. What has bs done to keep Oakland from providing a new stadium for the A’s in Oakland? And why are the W’s fleeing Oakland as fast as they can….soon to be followed by the Raiders- anyone who has a choice wants out- hint- it’s not the owners it’s a dysfunctional city leadership

  29. San Jose A’s….I will decline to respond to your post simply because your arguments are a consequence of misinformation and non factual. You keep rooting for the owners bank accounts and I’ll keep rooting for the Oakland A’s. Enough said.

  30. Neil, here’s a cynical but good perpective of what is going on right now….Ray Ratto is a well known sports writer that may not always be right however I find him to be rarely wrong. And HE is very neutral in his analysis:http://www.csnbayarea.com/athletics/a%E2%80%99s-coliseum-authority-trapped-same-car

  31. Kinda like calling out ML without any facts to support your assertion- ok- the victim mentality and victims are a dime a dozen in Oakland

  32. Stop. Everyone. Now.

    “Rooting for the owners’ bank accounts” and “victim mentality” may be borderline attacks, but I think we all know where this is headed. I’m moving the border: Next person who comes within 50 feet of the line gets their comment deleted.

    There are a lot of strong feelings here, and that’s fine. But if you want to start just insulting each other, take it outside.

  33. Watch out Neil, you are going to be accused of only “posting” comments you want! ;)

  34. @Lilian Bartholo from your comments you believe that Oaklands politicos have never been the problem, it has always been Selig and A’s Ownership? The political leadership to get something done has always existed in Oakland?

  35. Guey not at all. I think the politicians have in the past made lots of mistakes, especially in trying to allow tax payers to get stuck with incredible debt service which at the end is never enough to retain the fickle sports owners. San Jose and San Francisco turned down opportunities to fund ballparks for the Giants. I don’t believe in corporate welfare and that is what the sports owners want and threaten to leave when they don’t get what they ask for. I’m hoping the present politicians can negotiate and not give in to extortion. I’m just tired of reading some San Jose residents putting down Oakland, a city that is undergoing a renaissance, but want to ignore and negate because of special interests. San Jose has the same problems as Oakland and many other cities…look at Detroit….so you think they don’t deserve to host a baseball team? Just because MLB wants to have a bidding war over a baseball team you consider it right? I don’t and that’s the difference in some of your arguments and mine. I’ve responded more than I wished and would like to go back to watching a baseball game. Thank you for your time.

  36. @lilian- Detroit has baseball because the taxpayers built them a new park. Is Oakland willing to do the same for the A’s and if not then how do you propose a privately financed ballpark get built in Oakland?

  37. That “newballpark” blog is totally biased against the City of Oakland in every way. They report on every negative thing that comes out about Oakland and will defend SJ and Silicon Valley at all cost. That’s my humble opinion.

    The fact that Lew Wolff gave them an exclusive interview should tell you all you need to know.

  38. San Jose A’s…do you think San Jose taxpayers are willing to build a ballpark to a billionaire like Fisher? I think Detroit is a lot more in debt than Oakland but the era of corporate welfare is over. Oakland should not and must not build a ballpark for Fisher/Wolff. And I tell you more, the reason San Jose doesn’t have the A’s is because Fisher doesn’t want to reimburse the Giants for their revenue loss they would incurr if the owners would approve the relocation. Are the taxpayers in San Jose willing to foot the bill the Giants require to give up their TR. I doubt it. So why does Oakland have to let the owners give a ballpark if they are making a ton of money with tv contracts and in the receiving end of the shared revenue pie. I would love to see the lawsuit move into a discovery phase. It would have to make public the letter Selig sent to Fisher/Wolff with the “guidelines” they would have to follow to obtain the vote from the 3/4 owners. I would love to see the actual $$$$$ amount they would have to dish out to meet the secret “guidelines”. So sure they want the territory but you forget that MLB is still a franchise and franchises follow certain guidelines regardess of anti trust laws. So good luck with the lawsuit San Jose. The most you’re getting is a settlement amount to avoid discovery enough to pay lawyers expense. I hope Neil doesn’t consider my “emotional” post offensive. It was not meant to be.

  39. There’s no rule here against “offensive” posts. The rule is against personal attacks on other commenters.

  40. Neil, thank you for the opportunity to get a lot off my chest that I would have never posted on Marine Layer’s blog. I already stated my reasons and will not repeat them. Hopefully you will be able to see that tape where Bud Selig says that he
    “watched the A’s move to Oakland from Kansas City over 30 years ago (now 40) and that he considers that a HORRIBLE MISTAKE that hurt the Giants a great deal and that the A’s never really did well themselves” (paraphrased) ….and on… Never mind that the A’s won 4 World Series, 3 of them before Selig’s Steroid Era…. and he considers that not doing well. Also the Giants and A’s together, under a good ownership drew almost 6 million people, And the A’s really hurt the Giants (before their new ballpark) they outdrew the Giants 13 out of 17 years….So Selig is right about one thing. The A’s have a much more legendary legacy alteady in the Bay Area alone in Oakland…but I digress. Good night Neil and thanks again for your time.

  41. Finally got the link to work — it was a video from 2000 in which Selig was making excuses to a D.C. TV station about why he wasn’t rushing to let baseball back to Washington, using the A’s and Giants sharing a market as an example.

  42. “Detroit has baseball because the taxpayers built them a new park.”

    Actually, the Tigers had a strong lease on Tiger Stadium that would have been very tough to break. But even if they hadn’t, Detroit has baseball because it’s the 11th largest TV market in the U.S.

  43. @lilian- agree with you- taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill so it’s an owners prerogative to identify the best location where he or she can sell every inch of the space to get a return on their investment. Besides the gints the dodgers are the only other MLB team to privately finance a ballpark. Silicon Valley is privately financing 2 stadiums right now- the 9ers and the EQ. The valley has proven it can do it- Oakland failed to try and cover the debt from the raiders remodel and warriors arena and these debts are still hanging like a black cloud- collectively over 200M for teams that are done playing in the stadium/arena…and to remind you the city of Oakland flipped the middle finger at the A’s and ruined what was a decent ballpark for the time.

    Could Oakland build a privately financed ballpark- yes if they are willing to give away gobs of land and development rights for free- which would work but they can’t do it depending on corporate support. Ask yourself why the report commissioned by the JPA and Raiders recommends a 50,000 seat stadium, and only half of the suites and half of the club seats in the ’9ers new stadium. And it was Blackwell who said there was a 500-600M funding gap before he left. You say the era of taxpayer subsidies is over- look to Miami, and Sacramento,as recent examples who illustrate that the candy is still flowing-

  44. @neil- who paid for the ballpark? Who is paying for the new wings arena- the taxpayers of a city who is bankrupt- anyone bother to read the auditor report for city of Oakland that was released last week- Oakland’s in pretty much the same shape

  45. I’m right with you on Detroit elected officials spending stupidly on sports venues. But they have a lot of company there, not just in Oakland.

  46. Interesting that this article has generated more posts than most about the A’s… when the actual substance of the article indicates that yesterday’s press release war contained information (possibly from both sides) that was either without merit or highly speculative… and neither side appears willing to release their actual communication exchanges on the matter.

    Can we really be a species that is more interested in arguing over baseless allegations in press releases than we are in fact?

    The good news here is that Wolff apparently can have a 10 yr lease extension if he wants one, and can transfer what he has been paying (maybe) in rent into improvements instead. I know of no other commercial landlord who would offer such a deal, even if it is for a property that is only four years newer than Dodger stadium.

  47. I love the comments made by Lilian. Well written, informative and interesting. Thank you for sharing your history as founder of the OAFC. I look forward to more of your posts and contributions.

  48. Thank you Dean. I don’t usually post anywhere else other than in the closed group of the Facebook OAFC page. It is mostly an informational FB page where most of the members came to share their thoughts after the original website of the OAFC forum became inactive. The OAFC website now is kept online as an archive that dates back to when it started in 1998. I wish the local sports writers could be the ears, eyes and voice of the fandom of both teams but it is not…this mostly due to the way the Giants PR machine promoting their team and the A’s, due to special interests of the owner, uses the press to promote his desire to leave the host city, constantly trying to portray himself as a victim when he is in fact making huge amounts of money. We Oakland A’s fans are very proud of our team’s legacy and even with all the lack of negative media promotions remain conscious of our “bragging rights” over the Giants. The fans have endured having affordable seats tarped; have seen our ballpark sabotaged (the sewage incident was proven to be staged) and we have seen a fragmentation of our fandom with having an ownership bidding a war between A’s fans from Oakland vs San Jose. This is a sad thing but I hope the love and respect for the game will prevail and the Oakland A’s will find an ownership willing to continue to make money by doing what the wonderful owner Walter Hass did for wonderful years. This is America where competition and quality on the field of a good team is the way to promote the team and attract the fans. In America we all know that it takes money to make money.and MLB wants corporate welfare to get richer and richer. Oakland and San Francisco can have a wonderful rivalry and Bud Selig is very wrong trying to eliminate that rivalry. When the tide rises all ships rise with it. Sorry for being so wordy but if the Bay Area media doesn’t talk for us, I take any and every oppotunity to do so, especially in such a good and fair website as Neil offers
    here.

  49. To those who asked if it’s a personal attack to accuse someone of being someone else posting under a fake name: Hell, yeah, it is.

  50. So Neil- if it’s a personal attack why are lilian comments still posted- isn’t that what he has accused ML of doing?

  51. Lilian, FieldofSchemes is one of my favorite websites. Mr. deMause does a wonderful job as both commentator and monitor. And your comments and keen insight breath life into a very emotional topic.

    I’ve been going to A’s games since 1968 when I was 5 years old. The A’s and Raiders were the heart-and-soul of Oakland back then. I went to the parade in downtown Oakland in 1972 after the A’s beat the Big Red Machine. So much tradition and history. I just can’t get my head around a move to San Jose and it’s sterile environment. Here’s to hoping your voice will be heard by those in key positions to hammer out a deal in Oakland!

  52. @Lilian- For how much intelligence your arguments show your Pro-Oakland stance clouds your logic.

    1. Schott did not know the Raiders were coming back. The reason why everyone knows this is because if that was the case then they would have not had grounds to sue the JPA/Oakland for 16M and not only win but also win mass lease concessions and get revenue from Raiders games. If this was not the case then it would have been in writing (If Raiders or NFL return etc…). So your argument there holds no water. I will say Schott was using the Coliseum renovation as a bargaining chip with the Giants for Santa Clara, then the Raiders came back and Pac Bell Park got financing…..leverage flipped from Schott to Magowan.

    2. Oakland in no way was going to help the A’s with any kind of money. Even the Uptown project would have needed a public subsidy. Has Oakland offered a penny to the A’s over the years? What makes it worse they gave public money to the Warriors and Raiders and tore up the Coliseum in the process. Is this good business? Why should the A’s trust the JPA/Oakland? They have no reason too….

    3. Territorial rights are against all U.S. law, to restrict a business or municipality (SJ) from relocating or attracting a business because of “T-rights” is flat out wrong. Chicago, NY, and LA are all shared, the Bay Area is no different, it is not like people in SJ cannot watch A’s games on TV. They have been for over 40 years. If MLB were forced to show their “guidelines” it would demolish their case, they want a handout either from SJ or Oakland and it is never going to happen….It is anti-competitive if San Jose can get the A’s for free but MLB is not allowing it. MLB is not above the law, SJ will win their lawsuit because of it.

    4. Oakland’s has one of the highest crime rates in the country for a large city and their police department is under receivership. You cannot compare Detroit/Oakland to San Jose, where the crime is far lower in a much larger city and has the corporate base and affluent fans to support a privately financed ballpark. Wolff is not like other owners, he wants to pay for the ballpark itself. Al Davis even said Oakland is a “depressed area”. San Jose is far more lucrative than Oakland hands down; is Oakland doing some good things? Sure, but no where near the level San Jose is on.

    5. I will say if a privately financed ballpark could work in Oakland then I say go for it but it doesn’t. The sites in Oakland will cost 700M minimum. San Jose is 450M…….not even a close argument. Forget demographics, corporations, affluent fans, revenue sharing, etc….

    6. Finally, Walter Haas was a great man but a terrible businessman. He lost 100s of millions trying to keep the A’s competitive. He was a rich kid with a silver spoon in his mouth and he gave away San Jose without thinking about the long term future of the team. It is his fault the A’s are stuck in the Coliseum period. The A’s should have been in San Jose 10 years ago.

    All of this coming from a lifelong Giants fan from San Jose…….