Warriors’ departure for SF wouldn’t doom Oakland arena, but it wouldn’t help, either

Good piece in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle by Rachel Swan looking at what the Golden State Warriors‘ (eventual) departure for a new arena in San Francisco would mean for Oakland. It’s especially welcome because it doesn’t waste time on any alleged costs to the overall Oakland economy — Oracle Arena may provide less spinoff spending than any other arena in the nation, given that virtually 100% of fans see nothing more of Oakland than the walk from the parking lot or the BART — and instead examines a new SF venue’s impact on possible arena glut:

“[Oracle Arena] will not only lose the team, it will also lose some events to the Warriors’ new [Chase Center] in San Francisco,” [Stanford economist Roger] Noll said. “It’s not going to be the Cow Palace, but it’s not going to be the venue of choice, either.”…

For the last few years the venue has turned a small profit for the authority, [Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority head Scott] McKibben said. … He’s optimistic that the arena will reap more money for Oakland and Alameda County once the Warriors leave. Without the team, the Coliseum Authority will collect all the proceeds from luxury suites, signage on the building, sponsorships and ticket sales. And it won’t have to block off 40 to 60 days a year for basketball, he added…

The big challenge, [Long Island University economist Geoffrey] Propheter said, will be steering those headliners away from the Warriors’ new home.

This is the arena management story in a nutshell: Sports teams generally aren’t big money-makers, and you can actually do better just booking concerts if a team leaves — Swan cites Seattle’s Key Arena as an example here. On the other hand, Key Arena is a cautionary tale as well, because if Chris Hansen’s SoDo arena ever opens, Key is going to have a hard time filling its calendar, and Oracle Arena could face a similar fate, which will cost Oakland taxpayers since they own the place.

The Bay Area is way bigger than Seattle, of course, and it can probably support two arenas. (The Cow Palace is probably doomed, but it’s been that way for a while.) There are only so many concerts, though, and once all those are booked, any additional arenas become surplus — and we’ve seen what happens then.


121 comments on “Warriors’ departure for SF wouldn’t doom Oakland arena, but it wouldn’t help, either

  1. The new Chase Center would be the third arena in the Bay Area, as the SAP Center (i.e. San Jose Arena) has pulled in its own share of top line concerts since it was built in the 90s. In my experience, people anywhere in the Bay Area will travel to any of the three venues for a show. So there will be three arenas, two major outdoor amphitheaters and two ballparks for premier concerts. That’s a lot of capacity for the Bay Area. Without a sports tenant, Oracle Arena could go all-in as THE go-to indoor concert venue, but it’s a gamble.

  2. Can’t forget the Shark Tank in San Jose–to make it three arenas. If you toss in Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain view (seats 22, 500) that makes four.

    There is distance between the venues (35-45mi), but people will travel.

    I have no data on what drives acts to chose what venues or perform in multiple venues or how competitive it is between the arenas now, but I have to believe the acts/events would be in a much better bargaining position at least in the north bay when the SF arena opens.

    And the Cow Palace is dead. Best known for HempCon, train and gun shows these days.

  3. Oakland should look at the example of the Forum if they want to keep Oracle around after the Warriors leave.

  4. It really isn’t just about the sheer number of arenas, though.

    There is a place in any large market for a variety of performance facilities… Yes, true headline acts will invariably prefer the biggest and newest arena (assuming the money is right… which can often leave the arena operator scrambling to net a profit from a top act’s performance in just the same way they do after all the revenue assignments involved in pro sports these days…).

    That said, there aren’t that many acts that need a 70,000 seat football stadium to accommodate them. The number is greater for a 20-22k arena, obviously, but there are still a significant number of acts that don’t work as well in a 20k setting as they do in a 10 or 12k facility.

    Don’t rule out the possibility of converting one of the older arenas into a profitable 8-12,000 seat performance venue.

    And aren’t the Sharks sabre-rattling about a new arena too? I mean, they’ve been in existence for 25 years and have only had two arenas… clearly they are due…

  5. While the Shark Tank does exist, I’m not sure that many people will actually drive from San Francisco or the East Bay to San Jose for a show unless they really, really want to go. A lot of big concerts and the like seem to today have shows at both the Oracle Arena and Shark Tank to capture the market. It will quite directly compete with the new San Francisco arena, however.

    It will be interesting to see how the Cow Palace does. It seems like the venue that just won’t die. It’s grabbed a lot of events that are…ummm….different: gun shows, tractor pulls, hempcon, body art expos, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. It’ll be interesting to see if those move to Oakland or if it has a niche. If not I guess it could become housing though it’s hardly the most desirable location.

  6. I’m also pessimistic on the (repeated endlessly by Raiders fans) assertion that a new Raiders stadium would get a lot of accessory use, when it’d be competing for events against Levi’s, Cal Stadium, Stanford, AT&T park, the Coliseum, Shoreline Ampitheater, Concord Pavilion, etc. And that’s just for outdoor venues.

  7. @ Anonywous….how is the Forum doing? Can you be more specific? I found this self promoting statement: “In 2015, the Forum ranked second in its venue class of Top Grossing Venues in the country in Billboard magazine’s mid-year charts.” Given that the Kings, Clippers, Lakers and Sparks occupy so many dates on the calendar, the Forum seems to be practically a necessity for acts looking for a place to play.

    @John B: I can’t recall any recent saber-ratling by the Sharks. The last handout they got was a few years ago was when they whined tot he city for a $6-$8M upgrade to the scoreboards and advert panels (now all active LED panels). Every time I go to that arena (within walking distance from my house), it still feels fresh and brand new. The only thing that needs upgrades are the seat cushions.

  8. I don’t have specific figures for the Forum. From what I gather though, it seems to be doing pretty well as a nearly concert-only venue.

    And to John Bladen’s point, I do thing that there is a good argument to be made for reducing Oracle’s capacity to 10-12k and making it a midsize concert specific venue, assuming the city and county even decide to keep it around.

  9. The Forum does quite well with concerts. Keep in mind that Staples has 3 pro teams that eat up most of the schedule from Oct – April (+ the Grammy blackout in Feb).

    The Forum is also recognized as having superior accoustics than Staples.

  10. Is the Forum’s “pretty/quite well” enough to make up the $100 million that the owners put into it? While it sounds like there was some effort put into improving the acoustics, it’s still a concert at an arena.

    Actually, I think if a Bay Area arena was going to try to be concert-only it should be the Cow Palace. Much better seating in general there than the upper-deck-above-two-levels-of-suites Oracle. You could rip off the upper deck of Oracle as part of a renovation, but why when you have the same thing at the Cow Palace? And while the Palace does have many events on its grounds, most (like I believe the gun shows/expos) are held in the exhibit halls that attach to the arena. So the arena itself isn’t getting a lot of use.

  11. The argument for Oracle over Cow Palace, aside from it just being newer, is that it’s way easier to get to.

    Is there a huge concert market for 10,000-seat venues, though? New York City doesn’t have one, and it seems like the in-betweener acts that would play in one either play in a partly empty arena, or do multiple dates at a large theater like the Beacon or Radio City.

  12. I wonder if the San Jose Barracuda (if they stay in Bay Area at all) would look to Chase Center or The Oracle as a new home. They could draw in people who may only be up for a trek to San Jose a couple times a year.

  13. Jim: Given that the San Francisco Bulls failed after just a few years I don’t know if there is much demand for minor league hockey in the Bay Area, let alone enough to fill such a big venue.

  14. Prior to the Bulls, we had the San Francisco Spiders and Shamrocks. None of these teams made it to two complete seasons. There’s way too much entertainment offerings in SF, and minor league hockey isn’t on the radar. Those who develop an interest will make the drive to San Jose for the real thing. Chase Center won’t be built for hockey, as well. Without those additional hockey dates, Chase will pursue music and other big ticket acts which will make it even tougher for Oracle.

  15. While each metro area is different, it’s also possible Oracle might turn into the next Meadowlands Arena, scraping by for a few years after its major tenants moved to Newark (before shutting down last year).

    @Brian
    I don’t have financial numbers, but The Forum is viewed as a successful comeback story. It will be integrated into the NFL project in Inglewood — not bad for a facility that functioned as a church for 10 years after the Lakers/Kings left.

  16. In the meantime, a Sacramento based health care provider has become a sponsor of the Oakland A’s. Could that be a sign the A’s may be considering a move to the state capitol?

  17. One of the things discussed here is how arenas perform over their lifetimes. This place has been around since the late 1960s. I bet it has far more than broken even over 50 years, even with a couple renovations. And it’s still turning a profit, even with it’s cruddy seating arrangement.

    And the Warriors are about to move just a few miles, still near BART, into a city that badly needs an arena. Correction, a privately funded arena.

    This is about the best outcome possible. Overall, I don’t see any overwhelming problem. I hope it works out.

    By the way, I like downtown Oakland. It’s actually kind of neat. Yeah, there are bad areas in Oakland. Like everywhere else, really.

  18. There are quite a few things I like about Oakland. Fenton’s is one of my favorite places in the Bay Area. However, I believe Oakland is too close in proximity to San Francisco and that is detrimental for the success of the sports franchises located in that city. The Bay Area is not New York or Los Angeles. New York has a far greater population density to support their sports franchises. The Los Angeles area has far more residents over an entire region. But with the exception of the two NBA teams, the other professional sports teams in Los Angeles are located approximately 40 miles away from each other. That places some distance between the organizations. Oakland and San Francisco are but a few miles away, and its a given the wealth enhancement for professional sports teams will carry the San Francisco moniker. The A’s and Raiders will never be the dominant Bay Area market team in their respective industry. That is why I believe they should move to Sacramento. They can control their own market without sacrificing much of the process.

  19. jcpardell: ” However, I believe Oakland is too close in proximity to San Francisco and that is detrimental for the success of the sports franchises located in that city.”

    Perhaps but the A’s had an operating income of $32.7M last year, 11th in the majors. Granted the Giants were first, but that was actually higher than the Yankees or Dodgers.

    Admittedly, the Raiders were 6th from the bottom in the NFL, making a mere $39M profit, but Sacramento’s one sports franchise, the Kings, was 5th worst in the NBA and made $4.2M.

    You are probably right that the Raiders/A’s will “never be the dominant Bay Area market team in their respective industry” but that begs the question “who cares?” The Jets will never dominate NY. The Angels and Clippers will never dominate LA. So what? The A’s and Raiders are highly profitable businesses.

    Not sure what any of that has to do with uses of Oracle Arena.

  20. jcpardell: “In the meantime, a Sacramento based health care provider has become a sponsor of the Oakland A’s. Could that be a sign the A’s may be considering a move to the state capitol?”

    To invoke Betteridge’s law: No.

    Said sponsor is Sutter Health. The same Sutter Health that runs Alta Bates Medical Center in Oakland, Cal Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, Mills Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame, Palo Alto Medical Center in Palo Alto and many other hospitals around the Bay Area and Northern California in general.

    Furthermore sports fans might know Sutter Health because they already did a sponsorship deal with the San Jose Earthquakes, Lew Wolff’s other team, to put their name on the front of their jerseys. I don’t think the Quakes are moving to Sacramento either.

    Sutter Health, along with Kaiser, Dignity Health and a few others is one of the major health care providers in the Bay Area sponsoring a sports team is about as newsworthy as “fog is expected this June in San Francisco.”

  21. The A’s are NEVER moving to Sacramento. I really have no idea why people are still grasping at that straw.

  22. Scola: Under Donald Sterling, the LA Clippers were the most profitable franchises in all of sports. However, much like the A’s, it was evident to the fan base that all the owner was interested in was making a profit. In my opinion, that is the best way to erode your fan base. Its obvious, that operating income didn’t go back into producing a better product.

    Sutter Health may operate quite a few facilities in Northern California. But they are headquarted in Sacramento. Yes, they are a sponsor of the San Jose Earthquakes. Given they just built a new stadium , and that Sacramento is on its way to obtaining its own MLS franchise, its understood the Earthquakes won’t move to Sacramento. But the A’s and Raiders are in limbo. Where they end up is anyone’s guess.

    Anonymous: I’m certain many people stated the 49ers will never move to Santa Clara, the Warriors will never move to San Francisco and the Rams will never move to LA.

  23. Do you also think every team Nike sponsors is moving to Portland? Are the Giants moving to Dallas and Warriors to New York because of AT&T and Chase sponsorships?

    Sutter Health has hundreds of thousands of Bay Area customers and thousands of Bay Area employees. I should know. My wife works for them. She’s never even been to Sacramento.

    As for your opinion of how to erode a fan base, so what? Lew Wolff is a businessman and a very successful one at that. He’s in this to make money and he’s doing a heck of a good job at doing so.

  24. Well, you have helped prove my point. Should the A’s and Raiders move to Sacramento, the issue of local corporate sponsors is irrelevant. If they attract advertising revenues from entities not located in the Sacramento region, would that matter? Money is money.
    I bank with Chase and AT&T is my cellular. However, I have no plans on moving to Dallas or New York.
    Sure, Lew Wolff may be a successful businesman. So was Donald Sterling. It doesn’t mean the franchise owner can do whatever it wants. I’m pretty sure that MLB is pressuing the A’s to do something about a new stadium. Dittor for the NFL and Raiders.

  25. That’s true it doesn’t mean the franchise owner can do whatever he wants.

    However, somehow I don’t expect Lew Wolff to go on a racist tirade.

    Anyways, Donald Sterling was a personal injury lawyer not a businessman. Lew Wolff is a real estate developer. I expect one day he’ll use the A’s to grease the skid on a real estate deal just like he did with the Quakes but only if and when it makes financial sense for Lew Wolf.

    As for the Raiders, I’ll I think I’ll simply put out this flawless analysis:
    “The two realities are: 1. Mark Davis doesn’t have the money to build a new Raiders stadium on his own. 2. He doesn’t want to take relinquish majority ownership to a deep pocketed business partner who has the funding capabilities to build a new stadium.

    Solutions: a) Find a willing municipality that will throw billions of taxpayer dollars into a new stadium. b) Wait out what happens in San Diego and then possibly join the Rams at their new stadium in Inglewood. c) Sell the Raiders d) Shut up and accept the Coliseum for what it is.”
    -jcpardell, 4/17/16

  26. As an aside, you realize when Donald Sterling sold the Clippers the new owner made zero changes in the location or arena of the team?

    Despite the fact the Clippers still will “never be the dominant market team in their industry” and despite the fact the team was bought by an owner from Seattle the team is still second fiddle in LA and still highly profitable.

  27. To my understanding, Lew Wolff is no longer the lead decision maker for any new A’s stadium.
    http://blog.sfgate.com/matierandross/2016/04/10/silent-majority-owner-of-as-takes-over-stadium-hunt-from-lew-wolff/

    As I have stated on numerous occassions regarding the Raiders, where they end up is anyone’s guess. My feeling is Sacramento would be the best place for them.

    The Clippers are locked into a lease at Staples Center. Why would they want to leave? Its a great venue and likely less expensive than developing a new one. Apples and oranges comparison with the Bay Area. Los Angeles is exponentially larger than OAK-SF-SJ.

  28. Ummm…he’s the managing partner. Period. Because he delegated certain areas doesn’t mean he doesn’t have control because he sure as heck does.

    Define “best place”? By what measure? As you stated whoever can come up with a billion dollars no strings attached meets Davis’ requirements and in the post-KJ era I’m not sure how that is Sacramento. Unless you expect the next mayor to be equally as corrupt.

    Yes, you are right, LA is different than the Bay Area. The Bay Area is much more objectively more profitable for baseball today. The Giants made $72.6M and the A’s $32.7M whereas the Angels made $41.7M and the Dodgers lost $73.2M.

    As for the Clippers why would they want to leave? Why would anyone move from an existing stadium in a large market to build your own stadium in a smaller market? Let me know when you figure out the answer because I haven’t a clue why you think anyone would.

  29. Also “Los Angeles is exponentially larger than OAK-SF-SJ.”

    That’s true. The exponent is about 1.36

    By the same token the Bay Area is exponentially larger than Sacramento. That exponent is about 2.37.

  30. Please back up your assertions and predictions with actual evidence. There is literally nothing — NOTHING — to indicate the A’s will ever move to Sacramento or have any interest in doing so.

  31. Scola: John Fisher is the majority owner of the Oakland A’s. He has a greater say in what happens with the franchise. If anything, John Fisher can, by proxy, have Lew Wolff removed as managing partner.

    I believe Sacramento is the best place for the Raiders based on a few variables. For example, the location is relatively close to their current fan base. There are ready made sites to build a new NFL stadium. The infrastructure is better than most locations being considered by Mark Davis. Also, I have already stated the proximity to the 49ers as being a hinderance. A new NFL stadium for the Raiders will be talked about for the next couple of years. Its anyone’s guess as to who will provide $1billion+ dollars and if the league approves the move. Las Vegas and San Antonio will be met with quite a bit of resistance. A move to Sacramento wouldn’t.

    The Bay Area is relatively larger than Sacramento if you skew the population figure. If you’re adding every county which cover regions of likely Raiders fans, you can incorporate that same value to Sacramento. The distances are pretty equat. I doubt if you took that into consideration, nor did factor in the neighboring counties encompassing the Sacramento area..

    Anonymous: I gave no assertions or predictions stating the A’s will move to Sacramento. As with the Raiders, I believe a move to that city would be better for the long term existence of the franchise.

  32. “Its anyone’s guess as to who will provide $1billion+ dollars and if the league approves the move. Las Vegas and San Antonio will be met with quite a bit of resistance. A move to Sacramento wouldn’t.”

    Nice conclusion rendering the rest of the argument completely meaningless, with one exception, yes it would be a great financial boon…for the 49ers. The rest of the arguments “close to [tiny] fan base” “ready made site” etc. and $3 will get you a cup of coffee.

    As for John Fischer he’s largely a silent investor and isn’t going to muscle out his business partner to kill his cash cow.

    I hate to break it to you, but his is about money. Specifically money for the owners of these teams. Not clearing the way for your preferred teams to make even more money.

  33. “The Bay Area is relatively larger than Sacramento if you skew the population figure.”

    _I_ didn’t skew any figures. I used the Census Bureau numbers which I pulled from wikipedia. Take it up with Uncle Sam if you don’t like it.

  34. The commitment to utterly baseless assertions, “analysis”, and predictions here is both astounding and disgusting.

  35. Scola: I’m not stating Sacramento would be perfect. I did state its a better location than most of the options being discussed for the Raiders. I could care less if you disagree.

    John Fisher is a silent partner. However, he is the majority owner of the Oakland A’s. I don’t know if his business relationship with Lew Wolff will ever be dissolved. What’s apparent is the fact John Fisher is 54 years old and Lew Wolff is in his early eighties. Something tells me Lew Wolff will be the first of the two to retire.

    It doesn’t matter where the team is located. They are expected to earn a profit. You are under the impression they can maximize that potential in Oakland. I disagree with you.

    Anonymous: When you can provide evidence of the future please let me know.

  36. Scola: “I_ didn’t skew any figures. I used the Census Bureau numbers which I pulled from wikipedia. Take it up with Uncle Sam if you don’t like it.”

    If you want make a one-to-one comparison:

    Alameda County Population = 1.579 million residents
    Sacramento County Population = 1.462 million residents

  37. I’m with Anonymous here.

    It’s a better location only in your opinion based on nothing, you know except for that billion bucks construction would cost which you have no idea where it would come from.

    As for the A’s, they have a lease through 2024 which they just signed barely 2 years ago and they have publicly stated they want to stay in Oakland, have never expressed interest in Sacramento. In fact when KJ expressed interest in the A’s Wolff succinctly responded “We are not leaving the Bay Area, and that’s the end of it.” After doing so they broke their affiliation with Sacramento’s minor league team and transferred it to the Giants.

    Short of getting the whole team to go to the capitol steps and mooning Sacramento, how much more clear can they be? It ain’t happening. Period.

  38. jcpardell: Seriously? MSAs and CSAs exist for a reason which should be obvious.

    San Francisco County: 864,816
    Kern County: 882,176

    Now introducing the starting lineup for your Bakersfield Giants!

  39. Scola: “Seriously? MSAs and CSAs exist for a reason which should be obvious.”

    It depends on the significance of its use. Obviously, San Francisco is the central focal point of the Bay Area. However, how much of that data applies to A’s/ Raiders fans as to whether they played their games in Oakland or Sacramento? Quite a few areas of what you many consider the Bay Area (Contra Costa and Solano Counties) are relatively close to Sacramento.

  40. Contra Costa County is NOT close to Sacramento. The populated parts of Solano County are NOT close to Sacramento. Pick say, Walnut Creek, it’s 17 miles from Oakland, 26 miles from San Francisco, 51 miles to San Jose and 71 miles to Sacramento.

  41. Also, by the way fans of the OAKLAND A’s and OAKLAND Raiders are fans of the OAKLAND A’s or Raiders. They would not be fans of the Sacramento A’s or Raiders.

    People tend to get pissed when you take their team away from them. In fact when you take a team away from their fans they not only don’t continue to support them–many start hating the team. As a childhood fan of the Cleveland Browns who later lived in Baltimore, I watched every weekend hoping they’d lose.

    Unfortunately, the Davis’ convinced themselves their fans were part of the “Raiders nation” and it was only the second word in the team’s name that mattered not the first. History has proven them wrong. In moving the team twice they’ve taken one of the most iconic franchises in sports and completely destroyed it, making it one of the least valuable in the league. That has nothing to do with the stadium. It has to do with assuming you could give fans the finger and they’ll still love you.

  42. Scola: Actually, Walnut Creek is 22 miles away from the Oakland Coliseum. Now, to counter your supposed insurmountable distances, Antioch is 42 miles away from the Oakland Coliseum while it is 58 miles away from Sacramento. Doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
    You’re overstating that Oakland A’s/Raiders fans will discontinue being fans of the teams. Granted, you’re expressing an army of one opinion. Neither of us can determine if that will be the case. However, there are still quite a few Raiders fans who make the treck from Los Angeles to watch Raiders home games in Oakland. In addition, I’m certain the A’s and Raiders will have many new fans in the Sacramento area to compensate for the loss of those who choose to no longer support the team.
    .

  43. Scola: “It’s a better location only in your opinion based on nothing, you know except for that billion bucks construction would cost which you have no idea where it would come from.”
    And that happens to be a dilemma facing each city which is proposing a plan for the Raiders.

    “As for the A’s, they have a lease through 2024 which they just signed barely 2 years ago and they have publicly stated they want to stay in Oakland, have never expressed interest in Sacramento. In fact when KJ expressed interest in the A’s Wolff succinctly responded “We are not leaving the Bay Area, and that’s the end of it.” After doing so they broke their affiliation with Sacramento’s minor league team and transferred it to the Giants.”

    The A’s also have an opt out clause which allow the team to leave at any time after 2017. I will reiterate that Lew Wolff is 80+ years old and his tenure with the A’s may be winding down. Furthermore, the A’s didn’t initiate the end of their affiliation with the Sacramento Rivercats. Rather, the Giants offered that organization a better deal and the Rivercats accepted. As you stated, its all about money.

  44. There are almost no Clippers fans left in San Diego. There are almost no Wizards fans in Baltimore despite the fact that’s 38 miles. When the Clippers and the Bullets skipped town, their fans didn’t follow them. The Lakers are the most popular team in both places.

    When you move to another city, you move to another city. Period. You give your fans the finger and most of you give you it back. There’s a name in sports for the next nearest city to your own: Your archrival.

    Now maybe these teams would get lots of new fans in a new city like has happened with every other sports relocation ever, but Sacramento is small. They would be choosing to move to a small market for no good reason.

    As for the opt out of the A’s sure. They can opt out and pay every dollar they owe for their lease as a lump sum. Do you seriously think they are that stupid to sign a lease like that if they wanted to move? Seriously? They signed a lease that signaled a long-term commitment to Oakland. They said exactly that and they put their money where their mouth is.

    The Raiders will move to LA if they can. How do I know? Because they actually put in an application to do so. If not they will go look for a city that publicly finances a stadium for them? How do I know? Because they said it. If neither works out they will go year-by-year at the Coliseum. How do I know? Because they signed a lease. The A’s want to stay in the Bay Area? How do I know, because they both said so and signed a lease. Period. Facts.

  45. As for Antioch, let’s start with wikipedia: “Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith’s Landing, and Marshs Landing) is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland.”

    No one in Antioch thinks they live near Sacramento. In basketball per the New York Time’s “mapping basketball nation” using Facebook data, 39% of people support the Warriors, 23% the Lakers and 7% the Heat. The Kings don’t rank in support from Antioch.

    I don’t personally know anyone who lives in Antioch but I know folks who live in Pittsburg and they’d be surprised to learn someone thought they lived near Sacramento. They live in the East Bay.

  46. And when the 49ers moved to Santa Clara the fans wouldn’t follow them. But they did purchase all of the seat licenses. How many A’s and Raiders season ticket holders actually live in Oakland? You keep insisting that Sacramento is a small market yet it has a media market greater than quite a few cities with professional sports franchises. The best reason for the A’s leaving their current market? They are second fiddle to the market dominant team. Sure, the A’s produced an operating income higher than other MLB teams. They hardly spend anything. What happens when they choose not to reinvest in making the A’s a quality team? Perhaps you will see the Oakland Coliseum revert back to the days when the A’s would have 8,000 fans in attendance on a regular basis. A new stadium won’t guarantee large crowds in Oakland. Just look at the San Diego Padres.Their stadium is awesome yet they’ve never averaged near capacity for an entire season. And they have their own market.

    The A’s, like the Raiders, signed a new lease because they had nowhere else to go. The reality is the A’s wanted San Jose. They didn’t get it. So, all bets are off. Lew Wolff may have expressed Oakland as a preference. But he doesn’t speak for everyone in the A’s organization. John Fisher may have different ideas. If a better opportunity exists elsewhere to build a new stadium, paying $20 million to leave the Coliseum won’t seem like that much. After all, the Warriors are willing to pay close to that for leaving Oracle Arena. To them, its worth it.

  47. The 49ers remained the “San Francisco 49ers” and if you recall they did analysis which they made public that the bulk of their ticket holders lived in the South Bay, so they were moving to their fan base.

    If you said the Raiders were moving to Pleasanton or San Ramon or wherever where their fans are and remaining the “Oakland Raiders”, ok, but unlike the 49ers they have no money to do so.

    Moving to Sacramento not only makes no sense, neither the A’s, nor the Raiders, nor the City of Sacramento have even put the option on the table.

    As for the A’s and success, might I remind you they are in first place at the moment and have, since the turn of the century, won the division 40% of the time. That puts them behind only the Yankees and Cardinals for success.

  48. Scola: “I don’t personally know anyone who lives in Antioch but I know folks who live in Pittsburg and they’d be surprised to learn someone thought they lived near Sacramento. They live in the East Bay.”

    I know people who reside in Pleasanton and none of them ever say they live near Oakland.

  49. Still waiting on you to make a factual argument based on facts and not your personal opinions and emotions. *sixty minutes sound effect*

    Oh, and does it not throw up HUGE red flags for you that nobody involved with the Raiders or A’s has displayed any measurable or concrete interest in Sacramento? Just kidding, of course it doesn’t; otherwise you wouldn’t have ever made such a ludicrous argument in the first place.

  50. Oh neat, you literally admitted you are making things up with absolutely no basis whatsoever:
    “When you can provide evidence of the future please let me know.”

    You are making active claims (which means you have to prove them) that you represent as concrete and/or factual when they aren’t. I don’t know why you think that an effective or convincing way successfully argue a point.

    Neil, I defer to your judgement on regulating comments (obviously, it’s your site), but I seem to recall something about more actively deleting comments that have no factual basis and for which no supporting evidence is supplied. I think this is very clearly a case of that.

  51. ROTFL! The 49ers moved to Santa Clara because that city assumed ownership of the stadium. Being closer to the fan base was a crock. I doubt if anyone trusts a report produced by the 49ers organization. Jed York has conditioned himself to believe his own lies.

    After both franchises failed in their attempts to move (A’s to San Jose;Raiders to Carson), I’m certain they are evaluating what options are available to them. I believe both franchises are in the preliminary stages of taking such an action. They haven’t ruled out anything except for the fact Mark Davis will not move the Raiders to Levi’s Stadium.

    In spite of any on field success by the A’s, they haven’t averaged over 30,000 per game since the years of Canseco and McGwire.

  52. Anonymous: I have made no assertions whereas any executive of the A’s or Raiders have publicly expressed an interest in moving to Sacramento. I have always asserted my belief it is the best relocation city for both franchises.

    Your contentions make you an excellent employment candidate for the Donald Trump or Ted Cruz GOP presidential campaigns.

  53. Pleasanton is in the East Bay. Oakland is in the East Bay. Sacramento is not in the East Bay.

    As you probably know if you ever read the local news, Antioch is where people are being pushed when they get priced out by the gentrification of Oakland.

  54. “I’m certain they are evaluating what options are available to them. I believe both franchises are in the preliminary stages of taking such an action.”

    Provide some f***ing evidence as it pertains to Sacramento. If your ranting had any factual basis, you would be able to provide numerous current sources on this immediately.

  55. It’s your belief. That’s nice. I met a guy the other day who believed that the CIA has planted a cockroach in his brain.

    Come back when you have actual facts.

  56. You are and have both implicitly and explicitly made claims about the team’s intentions, the economics and demographics of moving to Sacramento and out of the Bay Area, the locations where these hypothetical stadia are to be built, etc, etc. You know EXACTLY what you’re doing and what it is amounts to trolling and nothing more. Stop backpedaling and provide specific, concrete evidence to support your point. You have yet to do that even once in an accurate fashion.

  57. “Being closer to the fan base was a crock. I doubt if anyone trusts a report produced by the 49ers organization.”

    I trust they can figure out the billing zip code for their customers, because well, they can.

  58. Scola: I get it. When its convenient for you it becomes a regional issue. So its not that Vacaville is in an entirely different county. Its still the East Bay. Just like Santa Clara is in its own county but is part of the the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Yes, Antioch is also a city where former Oakland resident moved to escape the crime problems of that city.

  59. And by the way, your “belief” means precisely nothing as far as reality is concerned.

    You are representing an opinion, and an unsupported one at that, as fact. What you’re doing is no different or better in terms of making an argument than saying “blue is factually the best color” or “penguins are factually the funniest birds” or “peaches are factually the tastiest fruit”.

  60. San Francisco, Vacaville and Santa Clara are still in the same combined statistical area (CSA) and the same media market. Sacramento isn’t.

    As I say take it up with Uncle Sam and Nielsen, not me.

  61. Anonymous: “Provide some f***ing evidence as it pertains to Sacramento. If your ranting had any factual basis, you would be able to provide numerous current sources on this immediately.”
    “You are and have both implicitly and explicitly made claims about the team’s intentions, the economics and demographics of moving to Sacramento and out of the Bay Area, the locations where these hypothetical stadia are to be built, etc, etc. You know EXACTLY what you’re doing and what it is amounts to trolling and nothing more. Stop backpedaling and provide specific, concrete evidence to support your point. You have yet to do that even once in an accurate fashion.”

    Provide any evidence where I have made any claim the A’s and Raiders are actively looking to a Sacramento move.

  62. Scola: “San Francisco, Vacaville and Santa Clara are still in the same combined statistical area (CSA) and the same media market. Sacramento isn’t. As I say take it up with Uncle Sam and Nielsen, not me.

    Did that particular CSA include a categorical summary of any data which classifies A’s and Raiders fans?

  63. You have directly and intentionally implied that moving to Sacramento would be the best option for both teams (an opinion) and attempted to represent that opinion as fact without citing a single piece of concrete evidence to support it. You don’t even understand the issue at hand. This isn’t about whether or not they are or ever will move there, because they won’t. This is about you having never once provided concrete evidence to support that opinion.

    For Sacramento as a home to the Raiders and/or A’s:
    – Link us to the economic impact reports now.
    – Link us to the specific and detailed stadium site reports now.
    – Link us to the market research analysis documents now.
    – Link us to the broadcasting rights regulations now. (spoiler: neither team would be allowed to be televised in the Bay Area market, just like the Kings aren’t now)
    – Link us to the major corporate letters or statements of support for such moves.

    We’ll wait. I have a strange feeling it’ll be a while.

  64. No, the census does not do research on sports teams. However, you can overlay it with Facebook data which is widely cited and analyzed by writers and data scientists at the New York Times and other publications and get a pretty good idea. I’ve cited such data many times and you just ignore it and offer no citation in return.

  65. Anonymous: I’m curious about the broadcast rights regulations. When I lived in Baltimore, Baltimore TV stations broadcast a number, but not all, games from the Washington team (which I will not name). Of course, there were frequent blackouts.

    If both the Raiders and 49ers were scheduled for an early or late game the Raiders would be blacked out and if the Raiders were on a Fox game, they’d be blacked out, but I do not believe all games were blacked out.

    In Baltimore, Washington games were often shown because of interest in Howard and Anne Arundel Counties that were in the Baltimore TV market but sat in the area between Baltimore and Washington. That said, a lot more people lived in those counties than live in Fairfield and Vacaville, the only part of the Bay Area media market remotely close to Sacramento, and overall the Baltimore market is smaller than the Bay Area market. So a broadcaster might elect to show the Seahawks or Rams even if they could show the Raiders but I don’t think it would be a blanket ban.

    That said, I could be wrong and would love to be corrected if I am.

  66. Anonymous: Before you have a seizure or stroke, let me reiterate I have expressed an opinion. I have never stated there is hard data to support what I have expressed, nor will I engage in conducting any analysis for the purpose of having the A’s or Raiders moving to Sacramento. After all, I am not an employee of either organization.
    Now, from a general standpoint, Sacramento was just named a front runner for the next round of new MLS franchises. Thus, professional sports leagues are thinking about Sacramento.

    ” Link us to the broadcasting rights regulations now. (spoiler: neither team would be allowed to be televised in the Bay Area market, just like the Kings aren’t now):

    spoiler; A’s and Raiders games are viewed on Sacramento television networks. The only way that Bay Area viewers won’t allowed to watch either franchise on television in Sacramento is if the leagues they play in award any perceived abdicated television market to the team closest to the regional area. I seriously doubt that Major League Baseball will grant the entire that entire region to the San Francisco Giants. As for the Raiders, NFL games are televised by national networks and I doubt that CBS will show the San Diego Chargers games to Contra Costa County residents if the Raiders were to move to Sacramento.

  67. jcparnell: I got curious after anonymous wrote his remark. Here’s a decent article:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/redskins-own-the-market-but-ravens-making-airwaves/2011/08/24/gIQAFCkebJ_story.html

    Basically the most analogous situation is the Ravens-Washington team split. The less financially successful team (the Ravens) has argued they’d like to be treated like the Raiders, who share a single market with the 49ers. The NFL has said “no dice.” As a result Ravens games are often not shown in the Washington market. For this reason only 10% of Ravens season ticket holders live in the Washington TV market. This is despite the fact that market starts barely 30 miles away.

    So, yes, CBS will show some other game in Contra Costa County if the Raiders vacate the Bay Area media market and move into another adjacent market. They will be treated like the Ravens.

    And yes, likewise, if the A’s vacate the local TV market the Giants will own it exclusively. That’s how it has always worked. The only way (and this is a huge hypothetical) I could see the A’s leaving is if the Giants paid them handsomely for their territorial rights. It’s a hugely valuable asset they’d be giving away for free.

  68. To correct myself (I aim for accuracy), my statement on MLB is incorrect. The two teams share a very large territory for TV purposes, stretching north into Oregon and well into Nevada and that likely would not change.

  69. Oh, look, a middle-of-the-night flamewar.

    No, there is currently no rule against posting baseless speculation, though I have considered it in the past. There is, however, a rule against personal attacks, which means this:

    “Your contentions make you an excellent employment candidate for the Donald Trump or Ted Cruz GOP presidential campaigns.”

    is out of bounds. JC, watch yourself, please.

    Meanwhile, I think it’s fair to say that this has been going around in circles for some time now, and no one is convincing anyone of anything. (And any bystanders who might be learning anything from the debate have probably long since lost interest.) Please stop now, everyone. If it keeps going like this I’m going to close comments on this item.

  70. Scola: The general rule of thumb as I understand it for broadcast rights is that if a media market has a local team in a league, other media markets’ teams are not televised. So since Sac gas the Kings, the Warriors aren’t televised. If the Republic get promoted to the MLS, the Earthquakes would not be televised in Sac. If the Raiders moved, they wouldn’t be televised in the Bay Area and the 49ers wouldn’t be televised in Sac. And if the A’s moved, they wouldn’t be televised in the Bay and the Giants wouldn’t be televised in Sac. Since the Bay Area has is represented in every league, any team leaving it for Sac would be downgrading significantly in terms of media market size while entirely surrendering access to the larger media market.

  71. Every league has its own media-market rules, and they pretty much make them up as they go along. Here’s the MLB map, for example — you try to to make sense of that:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/MLB_Blackout_Areas.png

    Trying to guess what would happen if a particular city entered a particular league, in other words, is a difficult proposition at best.

  72. I love how the Giants and A’s have an exactly overlapping media market according to MLB, and yet the A’s are formally territorially confined to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Real solid logic on MLB’s part…

    Meanwhile every other two team market had the teams sharing both formal territory and media rights in a geographically identical fashion. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  73. Anonymous and Scola: MLB owns the broadcast rights for every game. They would decide, should the A’s move to Sacramento, which sections of the Bay Area retains television rights. Should the A’s leave Oakland for Sacramento, I don’t see MLB granting all of the broadcast rights for the East Bay counties to the San Francisco Giants. I’m sure the Giants would want them. Who wouldn’t want that amount of leverage? Maybe they would seek an LA Dodgers type of television deal. However, I don’t know if such a deal would work well in the Bay Area market.
    If anything, I believe an A’s move to Sacramento would result in a compromised split of their current television market where the A’s are granted a section of the broadcast rights and the Giants acquire a portion of the East Bay market.

  74. They tried that with the Nationals and Orioles and it has been a total disaster for the league.

  75. MLB is complicated as Neil alluded to and why I made my correction. MLB is also much less strict than the NFL on certain matters, which is why you can pretty reliably see every Braves and in many cases the Cubs games on cable anywhere in the country.

    Given the fact the Rangers and Astros share a territory and the Orioles and Nationals share a territory, I imagine the A’s and Giants would still share a territory under your scenario.

    The NFL, however, is not nearly so lax and has pretty strict territories mapped to media markets, which out east can be geographically quite small.

    Two interesting asides:

    1. The geographical size of media markets compared to CSA is noteworthy in some ways. For example, the Sacramento market is actually the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto market. Modesto is 75 miles from Sacramento. In fact you get Sacramento TV hundreds of miles away from Sacramento in all directions except towards the Bay Area. Compare to, say, Pittsburgh, which is a bigger metro area and a smaller media market. 35 miles outside of Pittsburgh you hit the Wheeling-Steubenville media market. 50 miles in other directions you hit the Youngstown and Altoona-Johnstown markets. That said, with Youngstown as an exception (a battleground for fans with the Cleveland team), you will reliably see the Pirates and Steelers on TV. You know unless the NFL puts a team in Altoona…

    2. When the Nats moved to DC, the way MLB got around the issue is they gave rights to all games for all teams in the shared Orioles/Nats territory to MASN (Mid-Atlantic Sports Network). MASN just happens to be owned by Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos. Unlike the Ravens and Washington NFL team, you can see Orioles and Nats games throughout the territory, but Angelos gets the money. My understanding is the same deal applies to any other team that moves into the territory, which includes everything from Harrisburg to Charlotte. I believe this is why Charlotte is never a relocation threat.

  76. Scola: The NFL would have nothing to lose should the Raiders move to Sacramento. Currently, the franchise has the league’s lowest local television ratings. However, to state a move to Sacramento by the Raiders would result in their not being televised to the Bay Area market is premature. If anything, the NFL would have more to gain by not restricting the current viewership of the Raiders and incorporating it with the Sacramento television market. Ditto for the 49ers and their fan base in Sacramento. The NFL has dealt with the 49ers/Raiders broadcasting issue for quite some time and they normally don’t schedule their games to coincide with each other. A move to Sacramento wouldn’t change that. The league has allowed the secondary market to televise games beyond the extended 75 mile radius limit.

  77. This isn’t a theoretical. The NFL has rules.

    Yes, the NFL could theoretically change their rules. However, the Ravens and Steve Bisciotti have been lobbying for a rules change for ages and gotten nowhere.

    While I like to deal in the factual and not the parlor game of which owner likes which other owner, Bisciotti was basically hand-picked by the league to take ownership of the Ravens from Art Modell when they forced him to sell. Per wikipedia “His stewardship of the Ravens has been calm, professional, and trusting in the management of GM Ozzie Newsome.”

    Mark Davis was not the league’s choice to own the Raiders and I don’t think anyone would use the word “calm” or “professional” to describe Davis.

    As such, I don’t see why you think Davis would succeed where Bisciotti has, for over a decade, failed in his lobbying for a rules change.

  78. Um, it doesn’t matter which team gets the broadcast rights in the NFL, because all NFL broadcast fees go to the league. I suppose it might matter slightly to the league which games people in the East Bay and/or Sacramento are allowed to watch, but it’ll amount to a rounding error.

  79. By the way, I’d also like to challenge your view that an Oakland team would never be the dominant Bay Area team.

    From the time the A’s arrived in 1968 to the time the Giants opened AT&T Park in 2000, the A’s outdrew the Giants in ’69, ’70, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’75, ’76, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’91 and ’92. In fact it was the Giants who almost were driven out of the market, first to Toronto and then Tampa. The fact the Giants have a great stadium and the A’s don’t has led them to consistently outdrawn the A’s, but the A’s still make money none the less.

    Likewise, the Raiders held their own in fan base and attendance (though I can’t find the exact numbers) with the 49ers until Al Davis skipped town right before Montana and Rice built a dynasty, handing a generation of fans to the 49ers.

  80. Neil: Agreed. However, it is hard to maintain a fan base when you’re not on TV. You become an away team really quickly. If jcpardell is counting on fans in Contra Costa County packing up the Studebaker and making the haul to Sacto you need those fans to be able to follow the team. The Ravens example is a clear point where almost very, very few of their fans come from 30 miles away in the DC TV market.

  81. For one, Sacramento has already been designated an official secondary market for the 49ers and Raiders. If the Raiders moved to Sacramento, what would prevent the NFL from simply designating the East Bay as a secondary market for the Raiders? Its less complex than MLB because their dealing with only a few games per year. T

  82. As I’ve already mentioned, Washington is a secondary market for the Ravens and Baltimore a secondary market for the Washington team.

    In reality a bunch of games are shown but not all games. It’s probably around half.

    I am being generous and assuming the Bay Area would be a secondary market for the Raiders. If this was the case, the Bay Area would see somewhere in the neighborhood of between 6 and 10 Raiders games a year as opposed to the current 16.

  83. Scola: The A’s were a dominant baseball team yet they still rarely attracted an average annual attendance above 30,000 per year. The Giants near abdication of San Francisco had nothing to do with the A’s. The Giants owner at that time (Bob Lurie) was unable to secure a publicly funded baseball only stadium. He didn’t have the fiscal resources to do it on his own and MLB wasn’t going to support the move to Tampa. So, he sold the team to a group that could afford to provide a new stadium for the Giants. Realistically, the Giants could have been perennial winners every season during Lurie;s tenure and it still wouldn’t have made them a financial success. Candlestick Park was the worst MLB stadium ever constructed and the fans hated it. The A’s are making money but that is by design. Despite the obvious wealth of their billionaire owners, their spending habits are tighter than a snare drum. Time will tell how much longer fans are willing to endure such a practice.

    The NFL wants to encourage fans to attend games. That is why they won’t cut out certain secondary markets. Comparing the Ravens situation with the Raiders is a logical fallacy. For one, the median income in Baltimore is much lower than the national average. Also, the entire population in the state of Maryland is less than the combined counties of potential Raiders fans extending from the East Bay to Sacramento and above. In addition, the weather climate in Baltimore is not as favorable as California. Then again, a likely issue may have to do with the Ravens as a product. Perhaps the owners of the team should be asking why their fan support is dwarfed by the Redskins.

  84. That’s one way to look at it. However the facts are the two teams were both about equal in attendance when both were in lousy stadiums. There’s no evidence that this would not be the case if both were in good stadiums.

    As someone who has lived in both Baltimore and the Bay Area, you really have no idea what you are talking about. The Baltimore-Towson MSA is the 11th wealthiest in the US. That’s less than DC (#1), San Jose (#2) and San Francisco-Oakland (#4) but way above Sacramento (#49). Maryland is the wealthiest state per capita in the US. While Baltimore is a depressed town, Howard County MD, about 15 miles away and in the Baltimore TV market (which is where I worked) is the third richest county in the US, surpassed only by Fairfax and Loudon County VA. Montgomery County, which is where the Ravens say “if we were just on TV we would get more fan” is #11. To put it in perspective, Santa Clara County is #14, and Marin #17. Contra Costa County, which you are counting on, is #56.

    As for “Then again, a likely issue may have to do with the Ravens as a product.” I’m really struggling how to respond to that one without violating Neil’s rule on personal insults. I mean the team is a consistent playoff team with two relatively recent Super Bowl rings. The Raiders last had a winning season in 2002.

  85. Scola: The combined population of the Baltimore-Towson area is less than quite a few Bay Area cities. Howard County has a population of approximately 300,000 residents which is dwarfed by Sacramento County’s near 1.5 million residents.However, your referring to an area of the country where football is not a cherished sport. Most of the college football teams in those area rarely attract the large television networks. Whatever the case, the Ravens stadium still drew the 11th best attendance figure in the NFL. The television market issues are something the league has to deal with.

    The issue with the Ravens as a product may have something to do with tradition. If anything, they are comparable to the Raiders venture into the Los Angeles market back in the 1980’s. They were to the only LA based team to win a Super Bowl but were never the darling professional sports team of Southern California. Then again, it may simply be a lack of interest in professional football for the people who reside in the areas you have mentioned. As for Sacramento, that area has a loyal following for the both the 49ers and Raiders. Should the Raiders move there, I wouldn’t expect it to change.

  86. Are you serious? You think football is a cherished sport on the West Coast and not out East. Holding back…. Holding back….

  87. Let me bullet this out. You are proposing a team basing their attendance on part on a secondary market which is a primary market for another team. This has been tried once, by the Ravens, and after 20 years of work they sold 10% of their season to fans in the secondary market.

    However, as you say “Comparing the Ravens situation with the Raiders is a logical fallacy.” There are several differences. Let’s bullet them out.

    – The distances in California are about 3 times as long as in Maryland. Consistently multiply everything by 3 for the Raiders.
    – The Ravens have been perennial contenders while the Raiders are perennial doormats.
    – The Ravens are run by a competent, respected and influential owner who has been lobbying to improve his position in the media. The Raiders are run by Cabin Boy.
    – The Ravens stadium involved a massive subsidy from the state to build it. The Raiders have no idea how to fund any stadium.
    – The Ravens stadium is located in an ideal location to connect to the competed-for market, right off I-95 with infrastructure that enables easy flow in and out. The Raiders stadium doesn’t exist.
    – The area between the two teams’ stadium which is the battlefield is comprised of the large well-off suburbs, akin to if Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Gatos and Sausalito were where Vacaville and Antioch are. The battlefield in California is a military base / outlet mall town and a down at the heels suburb for people priced out of Oakland.
    – The competing team in Maryland plays in a stadium which while not old is one of the most disliked in the NFL (having seen games both places I’d argue it is worse than the Coliseum). The 49ers play in a new stadium that just hosted the Super Bowl (even if it has flaws).
    – The Washington stadium and 49ers stadium both have serious transportation issues but Washington is worse (enjoy the 30 minute hike from Metro).

    I’m probably missing a few things. But hey, the Raiders can count on the long history, tradition and passion that Californians have for football that nowhere in America can match (*snicker*).

    Yes, the two are different. If the Ravens failed at this, the Raiders have absolutely, positively no freaking chance of succeeding at doing the same thing.

  88. There are significantly more Giants and/or 49ers fans than A’s and/or Raiders fans in the Sacramento metro area and media market. It’s really not close at all. A higher than you’d think percentage of 49ers season ticket holders come from the Sac metro area and the team has deepened its ties there by partnering with the Kings to take a stake in potential stadium development in the Railyards should the Republic be promoted to the MLS. The Giants have deepened their base in Sacramento by winning 3 World Series titles while the A’s puttered around in early playoff exits and general mediocrity, and by partnering with the River Cats as their AAA affiliate. The Sacramento market is getting less hospitable to the A’s and Raiders as a fan base, not moreso.

  89. Anonymous: In broad strokes I agree with you. In fact in Sacramento County 55% of folks are Giants fans, 11% A’s fans. The other third support other teams (e.g. 8% are Yankees fans). While I don’t have specific percentage data for the NFL, it is true the 49ers have more fans. (Again facebook data as analyzed by the NYTimes is my source for both).

    That said, allegiances do change when a new team moves in. For example, the Rams have very few supporters in LA but I expect they will soon. In the case of the 49ers, Sacramento would become a primary market for a new team and the same rules about fan atrophy in the Bay Area would apply in Sacramento.

    I don’t necessarily think a team could simply never work in Sacramento. It just isn’t a big enough market to be worth putting down $1B in private money and there’s no prospect of public funding even under discussion. That’s especially true for someone like Davis who simply doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of money.

  90. – The distances in California are about 3 times as long as in Maryland. Consistently multiply everything by 3 for the Raiders.

    * Perhaps. However, the population in California is the largest in the nation.

    – The Ravens have been perennial contenders while the Raiders are perennial doormats.

    *Yes. That’s not the fault of Raiders fans.

    – The Ravens are run by a competent, respected and influential owner who has been lobbying to improve his position in the media. The Raiders are run by Cabin Boy.

    * No one will ever confuse Mark Davis with Jerry Jones

    – The Ravens stadium involved a massive subsidy from the state to build it. The Raiders have no idea how to fund any stadium.

    *Public subsidies for any stadium project in California are hard to come by. Even San Francisco wouldn’t provide taxpayer monies for a new 49ers stadium. The Rams are privately financing their new stadium in Inglewood.

    – The Ravens stadium is located in an ideal location to connect to the competed-for market, right off I-95 with infrastructure that enables easy flow in and out. The Raiders stadium doesn’t exist.

    * The Oakland Coliseum sits next to a freeway and subway system. Should they consider a move to Sacramento, the Raiders can build a stadium located next to freeways with easy in/out access and public transportation

    – The area between the two teams’ stadium which is the battlefield is comprised of the large well-off suburbs, akin to if Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Gatos and Sausalito were where Vacaville and Antioch are. The battlefield in California is a military base / outlet mall town and a down at the heels suburb for people priced out of Oakland.

    * You have a one dimensional view of the Sacramento area. However, I will reiterate the population of any location mentioned in Northern California dwarfs the population values of the locations you provided in the Baltimore area.

    – The competing team in Maryland plays in a stadium which while not old is one of the most disliked in the NFL (having seen games both places I’d argue it is worse than the Coliseum). The 49ers play in a new stadium that just hosted the Super Bowl (even if it has flaws).

    * The 49ers play in a new stadium solely because they found a municipal government foolish enough to undertake the responsibilities. Is it any wonder the mayor resigned immediately after Super Bowl 50 and a grand jury is investigating the financial dealings of the stadium authority?

    – The Washington stadium and 49ers stadium both have serious transportation issues but Washington is worse (enjoy the 30 minute hike from Metro).

    That was something they knew going into the development of Levi’s Stadium. However, I bet the 49ers are praying to the heavens that Great America ceases operations and the amusement park is torn down so that more parking can be built next to their home.

  91. Scola: “That said, allegiances do change when a new team moves in. For example, the Rams have very few supporters in LA but I expect they will soon. In the case of the 49ers, Sacramento would become a primary market for a new team and the same rules about fan atrophy in the Bay Area would apply in Sacramento.”

    Hence, you just explained the Ravens problem. The Colts were the team many from the Baltimore area grew up cheering. The Ravens are the old Cleveland Browns. In addition, the Rams have always maintained a following in the Los Angeles area. As for a potential move by the Raiders to Sacramento, it wouldn’t erode the 49ers fan base. Those who support the 49ers in that region will continue to do so. Sacramento is relatively close to the current Raiders fan base. They will retain a sizable portion of that group, while acquiring the allotment of current and new Raiders fans in that location.

  92. Just to point out the obvious, the Baltimore-Washington CSA has 1 million more people than the Bay Area CSA. That’s a fact.

    And within Baltimore, everyone hates the Colts with a passion. People tend to hate teams who leave their city. The Ravens have very strong support within the Baltimore TV market, just little in the Washington TV market. I suspect the Raiders likewise would have little Bay Area support and perhaps even some hatred if they moved.

    Listen, at a fundamental level, Sacramento isn’t a bad market. It’s akin to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Portland and San Antonio. Those markets aren’t LA. They aren’t the Bay Area. They aren’t DC or New York or heck even Baltimore. They only get and keep teams when they put down some of the most egregious, appalling public subsidies. Think holographic replay systems. Sacramento won some infamy for the Kings arena, joining the club. If they are willing to hand Davis a billion bucks, I’m sure he’ll go for it. But it won’t be because he’s going to bank on the Bay Area. That’s provably absurd.

  93. “– The Ravens have been perennial contenders while the Raiders are perennial doormats.

    *Yes. That’s not the fault of Raiders fans.”

    No, it’s not the fault of the Raiders’ fans. It’s also not their fault that the response of their incompetent ownership is to constantly threaten to move the team to see what shakes loose. It’s also not their fault that you want to take their team away from them.

    At the end of the day, I’m not a Raiders fan. I don’t care if they play in Oakland, LA, Sacramento, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Antonio or Timbuktu. I just wish they’d pick a market and try to build a fan base there. If they pick Sacramento, fine (once you find that billion bucks in the cushions), but stop pretending you’re doing some favor to the poor Oakland Raider fans by taking their team away from them yet again. It’s insulting.

  94. Also when they do decide where they want to play long term they need some words for their fight song.

    As someone who grew up with “Hi-o Hi-o (or Hi Ohio) for Cleveland” and singing about “The pride and joy of Illinois” I was shocked that the Raiders fight song has no words. It’s like they are ready to move to a new home at halftime. When I went to a game my wife asked “why do they keep playing the Hawaii 5-0 theme song.”

    People follow teams in large part because they identify with their hometowns.

  95. A Raiders move to Sacramento would not be the end all for current fans of the team. It would be a slightly severe version of the 49ers move to Santa Clara. However, if the Raiders were to build a new stadium at the Sleep Train Arena location they won’t have the parking problems that plague Levi’s Stadium. Although it would no longer be Oakland, its a better option for the current fan base than Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Antonio.

    In addition, the Raiders have a theme song. Its been the same one for decades. It didn’t change when they moved to Los Angeles back in the 80’s. It remained when they returned to Oakland in 1995. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE

  96. You realize it not changing was my point, right?

    The Raiders believe they play in a fictional place called “Raider Nation.” They have actively tried to have no ties to any place. It’s why they are a mess.

    I guess that must be the tradition of California where football is such a “cherished sport.” Not like the places where the team is the city and the city is the team, and fight songs are celebrations of both, where stores close when the game is on and where instead of a shrug when teams move they have to send covert moving vans to avoid armed mobs or where the owners who make moves have people pee on their grave.

    The Raiders broke the contract. If they broke it again, their few remaining fans in Oakland will abandon them. No question. No one in Oakland will support the Sacramento Raiders when Sacramento is a rival city and the Raiders are the people who gave them the finger twice.

  97. I don’t know if the Raiders will ever become a case study for future sociologists. I’m certain if they leave Oakland there are some fans who will be upset. However, much like 49ers fans who were adamant about the team building a new stadium in San Francisco instead of Santa Clara, they will learn to accept the team not being in Oakland. As I previously stated, should the Raiders not remain in their current home city, a move to Sacramento would be the best option for the fans.Those who are fans of the team will continue to support them. Now, I would understand if the Raiders are the only professional sports team contemplating a move away from Oakland. The problem is the A’s and Warriors are looking to do the same thing.

  98. By the way, as a devoted Chicago Bears fan the idea you can move team 80 miles away to another city and expect the fans to support them seems absolutely absurd.

    If the Bears moved to Milwaukee, I’d stop supporting them. In fact I’d hate them. George McCaskey would have to avoid even changing planes at O’Hare because he could die.

    If you look at where fans are, the Bears-Packers frontier is exactly the state line. Not a county on either side. When you cross the line on the other side the first restaurant in its lobby has a bear wearing a Bears jersey hanging in effigy. Yes, the Packers and Bears are rivals, but we Chicagoans, as a people, are rivals with the Cheeseheads just as they have a rivalry with us FIBs (I’ll let you look up what that means).

    Then again, I’m not a native of notoriously fair weather California where football is so “cherished”. You know I guess that’s why when I go to the Bears-49ers game 1/3 of the stadium supports the Bears. When I saw the Bears play in Philly I was one of 3 Bears fans I met, and people warned me that I could die going in there in a rival’s shirt (The fact the Eagles beat us 54-11 took some of the threat out).

    Also when the hell did people in the Bay Area give a shit about basketball? Suddenly the Warriors are good and people care.

  99. Yes, it would be the best choice for the fans. Specifically 49ers fans. You. Hence why it is your opinion.

    You might want to ask some actual Raiders fans what they think about that.

    Wear a cup.

  100. By the way, we’ve focused a lot on the Raiders which certainly would move if Sacramento (or another city) came up with a billion dollars of tax dollars for a stadium.

    We’ve lost the A’s in the shuffle. Sacramento makes no sense for baseball. Baseball attendance is much more casual, meaning even fewer people will travel long distances. Furthermore, Sacramento looks like Kansas City, the city the A’s abandoned, and the Royals did similarly financially as the A’s last year. The difference–that was how they did when they won the World Series whereas the A’s had the worst record in the AL.

    Oakland makes a ton of sense for baseball. Sacramento doesn’t.

  101. Scola: For starters, Milwaukee isn’t just another city. Its located in another state. Now, if the Bears moved from Soldier Field to some place in Aurora or Joliet, would you still support them as Chicago’s team?

    I don’t know what the significance would be for 49ers fans. If there is any impact it would be felt by 49ers fans in Sacramento. Simply, I believe a move to Sacramento is the best long term solution for the Raiders and their fans. However, as you continuously emphasize, until someone comes up with $1 billion we cannot predict an outcome.

    BTW, in spite of the previous ownership of the franchise, the Warriors sold out Oracle Arena on a regular basis. The difference with the team today is that they’re winning having won an NBA championship last year and just completing the greatest regular season in league history (besting the Chicago Bulls record).

  102. Aurora and Joliet are “Chicagoland” a term of identity used just like “the Bay Area”. I actually went to high school in Aurora. I say “I’m from Chicago.” People in Oakland don’t say “I’m from Sacramento” nor to people in Sacramento say “I’m from Oakland.”

    Because identity matters.

    Hey, I think the Raiders moving to Sacramento would be great. I’d get to watch some other team half of the season. I think them moving to San Antonio would be better as then I’d never have to watch them. Of course, I also think the 49ers moving to another city would be great for the same reason. More Bears games.

  103. Also, what does state have to do with this? East Rutherford is a different state than NYC. It’s still the same metro area.

    Aurora and Joliet are stops on Metra, Chicago’s (far superior and more extensive) version of CalTrain and the team would still be the Chicago Bears. if they moved to Milwaukee they wouldn’t be any of those just like Sacramento is not the Bay Area, not on BART and would not be called the Oakland Raiders. It’s a different city.

  104. Oakland makes sense if you continue to apply the business model which Lew Wolff has applied to the A’s organization which is to have a low payroll with no frills baseball for the fans. The issue is going to be how much longer the fans will continue to endure that philosophy. Under the current acumen, it would only be fair for the ownership of the team to level with their constituents and tell them there is a small probability the A’s will ever win another World Series. Unfortunately, that is their current product.

    Sacramento makes sense in terms of potential. Although some may disagree,I still believe Raley Field can be purchased and engineered to become a viable MLB stadium at a fractional cost when compared with the expense of building a new stadium. I mention Raley Field because the location is perfect for baseball and A’s fans. Many Giants fans travel by train from the San Jose area to ATT Park. From a logistical standpoint, many A’s fans could the same via Amtrak. Of course, there will be new fans from the Sacramento area, If you believe baseball isn’t big in Sacramento, then explain the success of the Rivercats.

  105. “Oakland makes sense if you continue to apply the business model which Lew Wolff has applied to the A’s organization”

    That sums it all up right there.

    Let’s apply to other businesses.

    “Apple makes sense if you continue to apply the business model which Steve Jobs has applied to the Apple organization.”

    “Berkshire Hathaway makes sense if you continue to apply the business model which Warren Buffett has applied to the Bershire Hathaway organization.”

    You’re really out there dude. The A’s aren’t moving. Ever.

  106. Honestly, I’m certain that Raiders fans can accept the “Sacramento Raiders” more easily than anyone from Chicago could accept the “Milwaukee Bears”.

  107. I guess you like to cherry pick my comments. You left out the part where I mention how much longer A’s fans will continue to endure Lew Wolff’s business approach for the team. Eventually, someone becomes exhausted and its usually the fans. Making the A’s a perennial winner has been a constant struggle since the days of Charlie Finley. There comes a time when an organization needs a fresh start. That happened with Apple Computer. It will happen with the Oakland A’s.

  108. I’ll be sure to let my friend the Cubs fans know how painful the trials and tribulations of A’s fans are and how they will surely abandon their team if they don’t win another championship soon.

  109. Another bad comparison. Much like the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs are the dominant market team in Chicago. The A’s are more comparable to the White Sox.

  110. White Sox fans will never abandoned their team. They are the most loyal fans in the world. When you see a guy with a Sox hat there’s a ton of identity that goes with that. South Side Chicagoans are very proud people. When you see a guy in that hat you know where he grew up, his class, his politics, if he’s Irish that he goes to a different parade than you….lots of stuff. No matter if his team never won a game there’s no way he’d go to a Cubs game with a North side dandy.

    ….unless they had moved to Tampa as they almost did. Then he would have hated them and hired a hit man to take out Jerry Reinsdorf, you know because he knows a guy.

  111. Great idea, Scola! Maybe the A’s, Raiders and Warriors will be convinced to remain in Oakland if some die hard gangmembers storm their offices and threaten the top executives if they leave the Coliseum Complex.

  112. I’m pretty sure your average White Sox fan could explain to you the difference between the outfit, the machine and actual gangs of the sort that snooty San Franciscans imagine are the only thing in Oakland.

  113. A few points from a fan who was born in Berkeley, grew up in Oakland, and lived three years in the Sacramento market (UC Davis) before moving out of state.

    1. The Kings-Warriors norcal market as of five years ago and presumably today was divided by zip code somewhere between or/in Fairfield and Vacaville. South (west) of the line, you get the Warriors hence why everyone in Vallejo is a Warriors fan – C.C. Sabathia can vouch for me. North and East of the line, the Kings are shown. (I’m not sure now but ) Before the last 2-3 years, the Kings were much more popular than the W’s in Dixon and Winters…increasingly so as you drove I-80 toward Sacramento of course.

    2. For this reason, the Giants would claim and be granted the whole Bay Area market, the Monterey Bay region for broadcast purposes (like the Warriors), and some of the further coastal counties from northern Sonoma plus Mendocino County north. The A’s would essentially get the Kings tv market which is Sacramento, its western regions of Yolo, Colusa, and northern Solano County, the wealthy foothill counties like El Dorado and Placer, the whole valley all the way north to Redding/Shasta, South to Fresno and everywhere east to NV or Reno. The A’s would not be able to penetrate the East Bay market. Livermore and Discovery Bay (east of Antioch) would see Giants games. Just east, in Tracy &Stockton (San Joaquin), A’s would be in-market.

    2b. MLB teams can have secondary markets for radio where demand (Team or station) warrent, but TV territories are more strictly governed.

    2c. The Raiders will never move to Sacramento, but it is different in the NFL. I think many Raider and 49er games would be televised in the other’s primary market. Football is different and has a larger regional base of support. Also it is easier being a football fan outside of the primary market than a fan of any other sport. Many 49er fans would remain as such.

    3. As stated, the Rivercats were the ones who ended their A’s affiliation.

  114. One more thing:

    The markets like Redding, Chico, Fresno, and Bakersfield get Sacramento tv stations or simulcast from Sac so while they are separate markets, they get lumped into Sacramento’s. It worked the same way with the newspapers too.

  115. Bryceh: You kind of hit one thing on the head. Any Sacramento team, in any sport, would want to build a regional following all up and down the Central Valley from Redding to Bakersfield.

    A fine example of a team that has done this is this the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh isn’t that big–similar to Sacramento. However, the Steelers are “Appalachia’s team,” the following is strong and people do drive huge distances to go to games. Of course the fact it’s historically the league’s most successful team helps.

    The Kings haven’t managed that. In Fresno or Bakersfield most people are Lakers fans. Fresno State explicitly tried to do this. You’ll notice the “CV” on the front of their jerseys for “Central Valley” as they are the only program in this most “cherished” sport for the region. They have not really become the regional powerhouse either.

  116. BryceH: I don’t believe the NBA dictates the broadcasting decisions of MLB. Should the A’s decide that Sacramento is the best fit for them, I’m certain they will argue to retain a portion of the current television/radio rights of their Bay Area fan base. If the Giants argument is based upon the A’s leaving for a completely different market (e.g.. Portland, San Antonio, etc.), they can effectively be granted what they seek. However, should the A’s leave for a designated secondary market, especially one which is relatively close to their current fan base, it would be fairly easy to plead the Giants are being excessive and greedy in wanting the entire Bay Area media market, when it was the territorial rights issue which prevented the A’s from moving to San Jose and forced the hand of the Athletics organization. I don’t believe, under the pretense of the A’s making Sacramento their new home, that MLB will grant the entire Bay Area media market to the Giants without adequately compensating the A’s, or having both franchises share a section of that particular media market. MLB would likely look at matters from a point of solvency. The A’s need it more than the Giants.

    Scola: The reality of the Sac. Kings not developing a fan base in Bakersfield or Fresno is rather simple: Those cities are too far away from the Sacramento area to develop a loyal fan base. That’s the equivalent of stating only SF Giants games can be shown to the people of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

  117. jcpardell: The Steelers have a fan base that stretches as far south as the coal fields of Southern West Virginia and Kentucky and even down into parts of the Carolinas and across Pennsylvania almost to Philly (or in other words “all of Appalachia and all the places where the inputs for steel come from). Those distances are just as long as Bakersfield is from Sacramento and far less connected.

    You need to get out of San Francisco more.

    As for the arguments of “designated secondary markets” for MLB, no such things exist. That’s an NFL term. You should perhaps do a little research first. It might make such opinions worth responding to.

  118. Scola: My apologies. I don’t follow the Steelers and I imagine the demographics of the communities you mentioned are vastly different than what exists in California. Then again, you’re referring to a region where there is literally one NFL team to support (unless you include the Carolina Panthers) .You need to come to San Francisco more. Oh, I forgot. You can only afford Oakland.

    I believe BryceH used the NBA & NFL broadcasting models and applied them to a hypothetical situation of the A’s moving to Sacramento. I don’t know how MLB perceives Sacramento. No MLB team has territorial rights to that city. However, I believe if a move there by the A’s were to occur, MLB would not grant the entire Bay Area media market to the Giants. They may request it. But I doubt if that would be granted and a compromised solution would be facilitated.