OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: A's stadium
| By kevink on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 04:04 pm:|
I was just in the "South Beach" area of SF near Pac bell park, and I came to the conclusion that the A's AND Oakland absolutely need a new stadium for several reasons. This are of SF was virtually DEAD before PBP: it mostly consisted of warehouses and desolate, scary places that you wouldn't want to be around after dark.
Today, the area is BOOMING. Brand new condo complexes are opening everywhere, restaurants and stores are slowly being added to the mix, and the Giants did an excellent job of making it a great "experience" to go to the park (Willie Mays statue, renaming the street Willie Mays Blvd, palm trees, etc.)
As much as I hate the Giants and love the A's, I am completely jealous of what they have and I think we need to do something similar. The reasons? Well clearly, to keep our team in Oakland. But I also feel the A's DESERVE a beautiful new park at this point. I love the Coliseum, but it's time to move on. The fringe fan would clearly migrate to the A's with a setup like PBP in Oakland, given a winning team. And then there's Oakland, in desperate need of ANYTHING to improve itself. No one can argue that a new ballpark in Oakland wouldn't improve the area, bring new businesses including restaurants, sports bars, condos, and shops downtown. If anyone does make the argument, just point to the transformation of "South Beach" in SF.
| By dorrit on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 05:08 pm:|
Well, now management will have an excuse next year. Out of frustration, not as many people will attend. Then they can cry,"See? We're just not getting the attendance. Oh, woe is me.." Then, no ballpark.
| By sactodavey on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 06:27 pm:|
Wouldn't it be ironic if the Twins almost contracted by winning yesterday go on to the W.S. and it creats such enthusiasium that they get their stadium and the A's by losing turn thier fans off and attendance sinks with the Owner not shelling out any $$$ for a staduium or resingng F.A. the A's in 3 yrs are contracted and not the Twins, Game 5 might have been the game that termines the servival of the teams winner stays, just a point to consider could be a mark turning point.
| By jace on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 06:29 pm:|
Contraction won't happen. Relocation maybe, but not contraction.
| By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 08, 2002 - 08:32 pm:|
Kevink, I couldn't agree with you more. I've said it many times that the A's and the city of Oakland need to build a park in downtown. Not near Jack London Square or in the parking lot near the Net, but in the uptown area of downtown Oakland.
The area where Pac Bell is was an area filled with empty warehouses and showed no signs of the potential it has right now. Maybe housing would've have been built there eventually but without the huge attraction of the new park, would the area be as inviting to live in as it is now. Now only would downtown Oakland get close to 2.5-3 million people there 81 dates out of the year not including exhibition/playoff games, the area would surely spark the same kind of revitalization that the area around Pac Bell has now.
The ballpark idea in downtown Oakland has so much potential. Jerry Brown wants to bring people to live in the downtown area, fine, but just building housing in the uptown area won't revitalize downtown that a new park could. The restaurants, bars, the civic pride of a beautiful new park could bring to the downtown area that is in need of serious attraction to bring people not only to live there but to spend their money there too. The area in downtown Oakland needs a nightlife and what's better than inviting maybe an average of 35k people there for a good part of the summer time.
I'm know some A's fans love the net but a new park is like a getting a brand new car. The net is is old and doesn't attract the people to it. Sure it's comfortable, broken in, and you know how everything thing inside and out just like you would with an old car you had since you were a teenager. But sooner or later the time has to come to part ways with an old friend. A new park in downtown Oakland would make people want to go there and check it out. Yeah, sooner of later the draw of the car will wear out but face the facts, the A's need a new car(park) to compete with the other teams. Everybody else is getting one and it's about time the organization and the city gets one too. This team and city deserves a new park.
New park in Oakland? On whose dime? The world has turned - muncipality isn't gonna pay for it, neither is Schott. A's got nowhere else to go. SF was in the right place at the right time, they struck while the dotcom iron was hot. For Oakland to mimic SF would be a huge disaster, they gotta come up with a different plan. Given the resistance to high prices for playoff games - can the A's draw with a high-priced new stadium? Or will attendance fall off after the first year, and the debt remains there like a stone, unserviced by ticket revenue
| By chris_d on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 - 10:15 am:|
>The world has turned - muncipality isn't gonna
>pay for it, neither is Schott.
Municipality (Oakland) will pay for some of it. As for Schott...that's why he needs to sell the team to a local buyer. With an owner who has a feel for his town, like Haas or (gulp) Magowan, there will be no dropoff. A new ballpark will be a big success with the right owner.
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 - 10:45 am:|
The A's need a new ownership first and then a new ballpark.
When Andy Dolich/Piccinini group bid for the team, they specifically said that FIRST they had to bring back the fans who had been alienated, make a commitment to stay in Oakland longterm and THEN go for the new ballpark.
Right now, the climate for building a new ballpark could not be worse. And this horrible climate was created by Schott, who despises Oakland, has never given the fans one iota of respect and now expects love and devotion in return.
Can you imagine how Schott would extort and outprice the fans if he got a new ballpark a la Jerry Reinsdorf in Chicago? Look at what that greedy guy did to his fans and how they turned their back on his organization, even when they were winning.
When you are selling a product to your customer, you have to earn respect and cooperation from your customers. You don't insult, berate and diss them at every moment and expect love and money support in return.
NEW OWNERS NOW!!!!!!
| By rlaber on Monday, October 14, 2002 - 06:37 am:|
There is no silver bullet on this one, it's not a simple matter of "get a new park" or "get new owners". I see the first step as getting the population interested in the organization before anything else.
Those that have been to regular season games at pacbell park will recognize the fact that there is a core of true baseball fans that regularly attend, then there are those on the fringe who don't care so much about baseball but still enjoy making the scene. I personally know several that fall into both categories. Pac Bell park's success has come partly from making that average citizen more interested in the game. That's the formula that should be followed.
A new ballpark in Oakland under the current ownership and it's tendency to charge exorbitant prices for tickets would be a disaster for the team, and more importantly (speaking as a tax paying resident), to the city of Oakland. The average citizen would be priced out of attending individual games, let alone season tickets. There would be nothing worse than having a shiny new ballpark that sat half empty on game days.
In my mind, the ideal scenario would include owners that demonstrate a commitment to the community, an affordable venue to take my family to see the highest quality baseball experience, and a competitive team in which the players feed off the energy of those in attendance.
End of my rant:
I took my family of 4 to game 5 of the playoffs, at the cost of $147, not including food, mainly because we love the A's and wanted to show support and see them win. Buut not far behind that was the fact that I don't think I could afford to take them to see the A's in the next round of the playoffs had they made it. Not to mention World Series. I would have found a way so that my wife and I would catch a world series game, but a big part of my growing up included going to those post season games in the early 70's with my dad. I'd like my kids to have that experience too.
I agree that the fan base needs to get excited about the team again I don't think they are or else the team would have better attendance the front half of the season. I understand the attendance numbers as a whole, so I don't need those numbers throw out again. The A's should be drawing better than even those numbers with the team they have.
I'm not sure a new park is the panacea for attendance woes, it certainly will help the revenue streams when companies fall all over themselves to be associated with the park and the fringe fans step into the park.
If the A's want a park in downtown Oakland, they and not the fans would be working to get one built. I don't know what Schott's motives are in terms of what his vision is for where a park should be built. It doesn't appear to be where everyone else thinks it should be. And without the two sides being on the same page, I don't see how the city is going to just up and build something because it fits with a revitalization goal with all the money they've blown on the Rahdahs.
Get some ownership in here who understands how to run a service organization. People need houses and you can overinflate the price of a house and people will pay it because they need a roof over their head. You don't have to cater to a homebuyer so Schott can't have a clue about why people will or won't pay gouged prices and added secret surcharges to see a game.
The fans from this group were very active in lobbying the politicians to cooperate with ownership. Especially because of the past history of animosity between the said Oakland politicians and the sports owners of the area.
But this present ownership did not take advantage of the opportunity some politicians offered them in hiring consultants and in putting the city's developement officials at their disposal for negotiations. They never came to the table as they did in Santa Clara. Showed no interest and continued the whining over how bad the politicians in Oakland have been.
There is no doubt in my mind that nothing will get done if ownership doesn't step up to the plate with a proposal which would make economic sense to the city and not the other way around.
Nobody is going to build this ownership a public funded ballpark, especially after its history of lawsuits settlements which have cost millions to taxpayers already.
I really don't see a baseball ballpark being built under this ownership. And frankly I believe it would be a disaster due to their lack fan support brought on by their own stupidity.
| By oaktownfan on Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - 10:02 pm:|
I've said months back that I've given up on this ownership group. Even before the playoff ticket fiasco, I categorized the current owners as the worst in the Bay Area and the playoff ticket prices was just another example of these owners pissing off the A's fans, especially the blue collar ones who spent most of the season cheering them on before the 20 game win streak, but were outpriced from the playoff games.
The owners never embraced the city ever since they bought the team and many of the fringe fans probably have leaped over to the other side of the bay to a owner who actually cares about the team's city and the fans. There is no excitement for the A's in the community because of that. The Haas family cared about the community and in return the city embraced the team.
Getting a new park built in downtown Oakland isn't impossible. The biggest obstacle is the A's ownership and Jerry Brown. 4 years from now, Brown probably will be gone and A's fans can only pray that the team gets a new owner. Although who knows if Commissioner Butthead would allow one to buy the A's if it doesn't fit into his scheme of things.
Other then that, I think the majority of the Oakland government wants to build a park in a downtown entertainment district. The majority of the city council, planning commision, and other groups favors a park in downtown Oakland. It was the owners who never stepped up.
The A's can draw if they build a new park. Everybody loves a winner and people want to be associated with a winner so I don't think it'll be a problem of drawing fans or corporate sponsers to a downtown park. If the park has a capacity of around 35-38k, it would defenitely makes it more of an event than it is at the net with a capacity of 55k and the Bay Area is as big as an "event area" in the country. If the playoff games could draw close to an average of 32k, then a new park would probably draw the same amount, even for an entire 81 games.
With the farm system this team has, the young players on the big league team now, and with the best general manager in the game, this team can win for a long time if the team gets an owner who actually spends his money instead of pocketing it.
| By chris_d on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 10:12 am:|
I agree with you 100 percent, Oaktownfan. I would like a new A's ballpark to have a capacity of something like 39,990. Small enough to create demand, big enough to draw well over 3 million when the park becomes a big success. That way a dropoff won't be as noticeable when the attendance is 35,000 for a game. It's still "30-thousand-something" to the casual fan. And when they sell out, you'll know it's a really big game when the announced crowd is 40,000+.
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:17 am:|
With all this stadium talk put on hold due to the indifference of this ownership towards what the City of Oakland put on the table for them, I strongly believe the ballpark process has taken several steps back.
The fans who were willing to support the project earlier this year should take a long hard look at how this fan-insensitive ownership would carry out a transition to a new ballpark.
It seems to me, their recent demonstration of incompetence and inability to capitalize on the success of the A's team this year, turning the playoffs into a PR fiasco with the fans, ( out-pricing themselves in an unfavorable situation due to week-day games), should send a strong message of caution on future dealings with them on the ballpark process.
They could turn a good thing into a disaster very fast, as we have seen with some of the new ballparks i.e. Tigers, and Selig's Brewer's ballpark.
Detroit averaged 18K with att of 1,5 mil
Milwaukee averaged 24K with att of 1,96
It's just not one simple answer, but right answers and wrong answers, since other ballparks have shown much greater success.
Oakland needs to take a very hard and close look at why those teams are failing while others are succeeding in those new ballparks before they continue their own ballpark process.
| By rono on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 09:01 pm:|
The success of a stadium alone, regardless of team performance, depends on the fans' perception of a need for a stadium for them, NOT for the owners' needs or because of the owners' threats. I know from first hand knowledge that there was no ground swell of support for the new stadiums in Detroit and Milwaukee even though they had antiquated stadiums. It was because of the campaigning and vailed threats of the owners that the bonds past narrowly and so attendance dropped off with the novelty. These cities are very blue collar and the new, higher prices have hurt. In San Francisco and Cleveland the fans really wanted and needed new stadiums regardless of what the owners said or did. Their success speaks for itself and will have a long term impact although diminished over time. In Oakland a new stadium will not have a big long term impact. People may wish for a better view in the outfield and smaller foul territories,but these factors do not keep hundreds of thousands of people away from the stadium now nor will they bring such increased numbers to a new stadium. A new stadium will bring some increase in attendance but Oakland's experience will be more like Detroit's amd Milwaukee's, some increase but nothing fantastic. I expect the owners understand this and therefore show no interest in a new stadium unless it brings them a change of market area like a move to San Jose or maybe Fremont( i.e., if it really changes the drawing power of the team)
| By oaktownfan on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:29 am:|
rono, the difference between cities like Milwaukee, Detroit and cities like Frisco and Cleveland is the wins. Both Frisco and Cleveland, which can be considered blue collar, built their parks right at the point when their teams began to win. You can put cities like Baltimore and Seattle up there too. With winning, you get butts into the seats. With a team constantly winning, you'll get sell outs like they did at Jacob's Field.
The complete opposite can be said about teams like Pittsburg, Milwaukee, and Detroit. They built parks and their team still stinks. Yes, once teh team opened the new park, there were huge crowds but once the fans saw the team was losing, the majority of them stopped attending. Who wants to go to a park to watch a losing ballclub, no matter if you're a blue or white collar fan. I honestly think that when the Pirates and Tigers begin to win on a consistanly basis, they're draw near sell out crowds.
Oakland, if they get a new park, I won't say they'll draw sell outs every night like Cleveland did, but they'll draw a whole lot better at a new park than they would if they stayed at the net with the same exact team. The novelty of a new park will lose some steam, but if you got a consistant winner which the A's can be for the next decade if they get a new owner, you'll draw huge crowds to a new downtown park. How many times did we see A's weeknight games where there would be maybe 13k but once a "dollar day" came and a few weekend games arrived, the average jumped up up to respectability. I don't think there would've been 12-16k at a weeknight game at a new downtown park in Oakland. I'd almost guarantee there would be at least 30k every game, which would be the same amount at the A's games back in the late 80s or early 90s.
Fans will come to see a a new park and they will continue to come if the team is winning. You put a new park in downtown Oakland with this A's team for the next 7 years if they're still together, I'll put money on it that they'll draw near sell out crowds during that time. If you talk with A's fans at the net or just the streets of Oakland, many will want a new park for the A's. I know I've talked with many fans at the net and especially in the upper deck where I sat during the last few seasons and they would like to see the A's have a park of their own. The players themselves even said they would like to play in a new park. The organization, players, fans, government officials & agencies said they want a new park perferably in downtown. Most importantly, the city wants a downtown entertainment district to revitalize the area and a new park for the A's would be the perfect centerpiece.
| By tekgraf on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 07:44 am:|
I agree, we need a new ball park and I too believe that a new park will draw a consistently higher throng of people. As it is now, the present ownership doesn't give a rat's ass about the team nor do they care about the fans. It's damn sad that Schott and Hoffman couldn't see past their bottom line what potential they have with this team and the great fans that we are. That idiot Schott should have siezed the moment and take the offer the city of Oakland was giving them. Hopefully the team will come around and want this park in downtown Oakland.
| By rono on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 11:52 pm:|
In analyzing a new park you have to factor out winning and losing. Will a losing team in Detroit or Milwaukee draw a lot more in a new park versus the old one, evidently not for very long. I think Cleveland and the Giants will draw considerably more in their new parks than they would have at the old ones even when there are not in contention. Attendance will dropoff from the winning seasons but it will considerably better than it would have been in the old space. The old facilities in Cleveland and SF were keeping people away ,not so in Milwaukee or Detroit. Many people here would like to see a new stadium but how many are NOT coming now because of the stadium but would come a lot more often with a new stadium . I doubt we would see more than a ten pervent increase in the long run. Thats where Milwaukee and Detroit are headed.
| By oaktownfan on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 02:59 am:|
Granted if the A's had records like the Tigers and Brewers, yes they wouldn't draw even in a new park. But you can't discount that the A's have been winning for the past four years while those two teams haven't had a winning records for about a decade and see no sign of any improvement in the near future. You can't compare the A's with teams like the Tigers, Brewers or Pirates. Yes, this run for the A's won't go on forever but the way the team is built right now, the team would draw in a new park, much better than they would at the net.
If the A's stay at the net with this team, is there any chance at all that they'll ever draw 3 million at the park, I don't think so. It's the fact that the net isn't a real attractive venue to watch baseball anymore especially when it's late in the season when football ruins the field completely. It doesn't feel like a baseball park anymore and even if it sounds stupid, there are many fans who don't come to the park anymore because of what they see at Pac Bell. The seats at the net are so far away from the action because of the circular design. I know, I've sat in different parts of the park for the past 17 years and the upper deck for the past 2 seasons and the views are much farther than they are at the newer parks. I've heard some say that the team needs to point out the good features about the net. You know, the prices, the thought of getting a seat anytime you can, and etc. Well, that's a nice theory to draw more fans to the park but when you see Mercedes like parks all across the country and you got the net, it's pretty hard to sell the park to the fringe and bandwagon fans you're looking to attract.
The most important reason why a park should be built is the downtown area's need of an attraction to draw people there. Let's say the A's aren't doing very well and they draw only let's say 22k. Getting 22k, and possibly 39k sellout if the A's are doing really well, to downtown Oakland during the weeknights & weekends is reason alone for the city to build a park in the uptown area and not some dinky housing project that would certainly draw people to live downtown but won't revitalize the area. I keep hearing Jerry Brown saying that they want the city of Oakland to be a world class city. Building a brand new park as the centerpiece of an area that draws thousands of people to the downtown area would certainly help the city's case
If the A's don't want one there, why should the city build it there? That's what I keep coming back to in my mind. The A's had an opportunity to play ball with a good site and some politicos willing to fight to make it happen. It was their silence and not so much what Brown wanted that killed that. The poll numbers were such that Brown was not pressured to go either way but he had something in his hip pocket to push and that's what he did. If the A's ownership stopped looking for handouts or like a bunch of a-holes, they'd probably be working on getting the money together right now.
They obviously don't want a ballpark downtown or at least don't want one where it would make the most sense to build it. If somehow anybody could make an argument to me that the reason a ballpark isn't being drawn up and we're not excitedly circling 2006 opening day on our calendars is the fault of a shortsighted city I'd like to hear it.
| By oaktownfan on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 07:22 pm:|
The A's owners didn't want to build a park in downtown period but it didn't help that Jerry Brown had different things in mind regarding the uptown site. It was Brown who put that gag order on the city staff concerning the new park. If Brown had said that building a park along with his housing project was feasable, then Schott wouldn't have that b.s. excuse that the uptown site wasn't viable because of the so called "political problems" it would face. If Brown had let officials like Bobb and his staff publicly announce or show the financial ways to help build a park, it would've put more pressure on Schott and Hoffman to lean towards the uptown site as the leading candidate for a place to build a new park for A's.
I agree that the city has done all they can in help building a park so far. They've hired HOK and other consultants to study how and where a new park could work in downtown Oakland. But Jerry Brown didn't help at all by the way he handled the park situation. The main key is getting new owners. With this current ownership group, nothing will get better with the progress of a new park in downtown Oakland.
| By kbailey3131 on Saturday, October 19, 2002 - 11:52 am:|
That's my whole point, why should it have taken ANY pressure on Schott to make him interested in that site? Brown had the polling numbers to do exactly what he did. The people in Oakland were ambivalent at best regarding building a new stadium as part of revitalization of the uptown area or anywhere in Oakland. It should have worked the other way, Schott should have been more visible and more connected here and been leading the cause to state his case on how the two projects can work together to achieve the goals. Gag order or not, why would the city incorporate a ballpark in any revitalization projects presented to the public when the A's have shown no interest in putting any money there or even showing up at the table to talk about it? To pressure Schott into forking over money? or at the least pressure him to the table? What kind of strategy is that?
I keep reading here in response to my questions that the city and mayor were behind exploring the possibilities or else they wouldn't have forked over the money to HOK etc to review sites and put the reports together. I accepted that. But when it came time to step up to the table it became all to clear that the A's weren't interested in joining Bobb's cause. From my perspective, it looked to me that Brown was making that case VERY clear. He put the pressure on the A's to step up and they were nowhere to be found. If Brown's goal was to make them blink he succeeded, because the A's not only did that, their eyes nearly fluttered completely shut.
If there was as short a window on getting the funding together as was repeatedly stated in the HOK stuff I've read here and what I heard at the spring council meeting where were the A's? That is the one thing I took away from that spring council meeting the total lack of representation from the team itself. Even a courtesy appearance by some flunkie in the front office to parrot what Crowley's standard lines were whenever he is asked about the idea. The A's line however never centered around uptown, Schott and Co. always said they were open to exploring "multiple sites" which told me they were never committed to uptown as much as everybody else seemed to be. Hoffmann kept being reported as wanting a park on the water. Who knows where the hell Schott is looking, it's clear to me it ain't in downtown Oakland and if it is it has nothing to do with the HOK rendered Uptown multiplex. If he's sooo all fired close to dumping the team, wouldn't it at least make sense for him to have publically acted more involved in the process of getting and/or keep the uptown park squarely on the table? That way he keeps the wheels moving while he plays footsies with what ever flavor of the month potential suitors he has?
| By diamond_lil on Saturday, October 19, 2002 - 01:20 pm:|
kbailey, there were discussions between the city officials and the owners. In fact, Hofmann was present at one of the meetings and said he felt the Uptown site would be good for Oakland and the team. It was Schott who really never showed up when he was supposed to show up and completely refused to even fake an interest.
In fact I believe that as long as Schott is part owner of the A's, no ballpark in Oakland will ever be built. You can take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink the water.
I'm going to post below the letter Mike Crowley sent me right before that meeting when the City Council voted to extend the Forest City Housing project for another year. According to Crowley, the interest was there but the timing wasn't right.
In my opinion, the owners aren't right.
I am responding to your e-mail addressed to Steve Schott. Thank you for your positive words of support regarding our lease extension. Our intention is to get a new ballpark for this team, so that we may keep this talented group of players together.
We have been in discussions with the City of Oakland. There is a tremendous amount of work being done behind the scenes. However, it is premature to go to the public with a plan.
Thank you for your avid support of the A's. All the best to you and the members of the Oakland A's Fan Coalition.
Michael P. Crowley
| By rono on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 09:34 am:|
There are a couple of mysteries regarding the stadium odyssey. We know that Schott had Alvarez and others looking for South Bay sites for a few years before they finally surfaced at the Santa Clara site. One mystery is why would they spend all that time and effort if they knew that territorial rights were sacred per Selig. My guess is that Selig backed by Alderson told him to go ahead and look and if they could make a deal they would remove the territorial rights of the Giants. The Giants case was very shakey among the owners since the Giants did not have Santa Clara County fights for over 20 years and were specifically given those rights to pursue a stadium there which they could not produce. This is different than the Baltimore/Washington case where Angelos can argue that two franchises have failed in Washington and his investment needs to be protected.
The second mystery is why the A's may such a big issue of their meaningless lease extension and then failed to even show up for the stadium meetings at the city council and Board of Supervisors. One would think that they would have played up their interest and then backed out when the city and county failed to provide all the funding.
Is this all incompetence or are they content to play in an "inadequate facility" until Mr. Selig tells them to sell/move?
Your thoughts please.
| By diamond_lil on Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - 10:57 am:|
I think that the search for a city which is willing to use public funds is always ongoing. If they can find a city with a mayor or politicians willing to put public moneys into a ballpark, it is their first step.
The second step then becomes having cities compete for the team, and if there's a city willing to invest in a ballpark, the leverage and bidding war has a huge chance to succeed.
The lease for them was important because it is a relatively short term lease which allows them to negotiate with new owners or relocate the team without great amounts of moneys if the lease needs to be bought out.
I'm more inclined to believe your guess that they are just on a holding mode until the right opportunity to sell/move occurs. And Selig of course is the one conducting this symphony.