New Stadium Talk
OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: New Stadium Talk
"I talked to Billy like a Dutch uncle," said A's owner Steve Schott after Monday's news conference. "I told him he's going to have many opportunities to make more money. He may even have it here if we can get a new stadium so we'll have more revenues."
It ain't gonna happen. No municipality around these parts is gonna build a stadium for Schott, and unless he suddenly morphs into my fairy godfather ( a la Billy), he ain't gonna build his own.
But as he continues to equate the level of the A's revenues, hence their continuity and ultimately their competitiveness, with their need for a new stadium, Schott frames the debate. It becomes the accepted premise that the A's need a new stadium to even compete. Baloney and it ain't gonna happen.
Schott should take a page from his darling GM's book and work with what he has. Billy's bravado in the face of his limited budget is renowned. Instead of moaning about the budget dollars he doesn't have, he makes the most of what he does have. Schott needs to do that with the 'Net.
I believe that if he invests enough to win a WS, and markets the club agressively, he will attract the corporate dollars that want to be associated with a winner. He'll get his revenues without the debt service needed to finance a new stadium.
Stop whining and go out and win.
Quit your damn whining... nobody likes to hear millionaires whine
I used to be on the other page, but now I'm glad Jerry Brown has taken the attitude he has.
If Schott wants a new ballpark, he can build it himself. If he wants some help from the city of Oakland, he can at least have the decency to ask for it, instead of waiting for the city to offer it.
Either way, though, Schott and the A's are fine.
They can still make a ton of money at the Coli.
They just need to apply some of that whiny energy towards creative marketing.
| By kenarneson on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:54 pm:|
Can I ask a naive, stupid question?
Why does it seem that the stadium process always goes like this:
1. Ask the architects how much a fancy new ballpark will cost.
2. Go and somehow find all the money the architects say it will take to build that stadium.
Why doesn't it go like this, instead?
1. Figure out how much you can afford
2. Go tell the architects to design a ballpark to fit that budget
Everyone seems to believe, for example, that the Uptown site will cost $385 million, as HOK said. Why do we believe them? Why can't we say, OK, we have $175 million, what'll that get us?
And wouldn't the second scenario be right up the Schott/Beane regime's alley? They found a way to build a competitive team on half the budget, by being as cost-effective as possible. Why not apply the same philosophy to the stadium project?
Raley Field cost $40M. It seats 12,000, with 35 luxury boxes.
Multiply that by three, and you have 36,000 seats and 105 suites for $120M. I know it's not that simple, but I would think there is room for compromise between $120M and $385M, if you just force the architects to think a little creatively.
OK, now everybody set me straight...
I completely agree
seems to me they could just throw up some cement blocks and wood bleachers and call it a ballpark if they really need to
$385 million isn't what a new ballpark will cost... it's what the new ballpark that Schott wants will cost
| By dorrit on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 10:00 am:|
I don't care for an amusement park like Pac Bell, just a comfortable, clean place in an area with a nice restarant or something. I feel there's just alot of excuses with these guys.
Plus the local press is really broadcasting about murders in Oakland, calling it one of "the bloodiest cities". I know the murder rate is high, but there are other cities with the same problem.
It's pretty unlikely that a park would be built in the hood. Oakland gets painted with a broad bush, but in SF they're pretty clear to distinguish the Mission, Loin, and HP from the rest of the City.
| By ramjet1 on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 11:44 am:|
Back to the earlier part about the cost to build a new ballpark. Personnally I think you are right the cost for these ballparks are inflated. The architects dont necessarily want to design a cheaper version because they know it will cut into their profits since their fee is usually 15% of total cost. But you can build a bargain basement park in this area even taking into account the higher construction, land, material, transportation and energy costs of the region for less than 200 million. The team needs to take the lead and the City needs to put their foot down to not spend over a certain amount.
| By voxhoo on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 12:19 pm:|
Can't compare a stadium that seats 12,000 (Raley) to a Major League park seating 40,000 anymore than you can compare 100 1-story buildings to a 100-story skyscraper. The higher seating capacity requires that you build stands that are bigger in 3 dimensions. The bigger it is, the more costly it is to satisfy earthquake codes. You can build cheaper by cutting out amenities. But, then what's the point?
There won't be a new ballpark. It cannot be financed. The great myth of Pac Bell is that Magowan put money into the park. He did not. It was a zero-risk gold mine. Over $250 mil was raised from corporate sponsors and fans who got fleeced for $75 mil in personal seat licenses. Using that money, Magowan put a massive downpayment and secured a loan using the park itself as collateral. In other words, Magowan didn't put a nickle of his own money and if he can manage the debt, will walk away owning a $380 mil. ball park, essentially for free.
When Schott talks about his willingness to finance the ballpark, obviously he's speaking in the same terms as Magowan. He is willing to assume whatever debt is necessary so long as the only collateral is limited to the park. He's also willing to match Magown dollar for dollar in the downpayment, which would be $0. The city/county won't put in money and corporate sponsors are tapped out. There is no financing.
Exactly. Impressive info yet again, Vox.
| By kbailey3131 on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:36 pm:|
I agree, that was a very impressive exposition Vox. Thank you!
| By chris_d on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:53 pm:|
I agree that as long as Schott owns the team a new ballpark will always remain a long shot. But, with the right owners, who are willing to share the fair amount of financial investment and risk, a new ballpark in downtown Oakland could be great.
We CAN have a new ballpark without it becoming the cell-phone, yuppie fest that Pac Bell became. And if it helps revitalize a part of downtown Oakland that is just waiting to explode, even better!
The city and county said just this past summer that they WOULD be willing to put in money, the exact figure was never publicly determined because talks never got that far. But, the city and county would be willing to put in 25 percent, I believe. They said as much at various times at the city council and county supervisor meetings many of us attended.
And the corporate dollars won't be tapped out forever. Where the economy was going boom in 2000, it's now going bust in 2002. It will boom again sometime in the next half decade. The important thing is to time it right, in terms of selling seats and naming rights for a new ballpark.
Now, I love the Coliseum. It gets a bad rap. In a perfect world, a new fan-friendly owner would come in and market the hell out of the Coliseum and remind everyone of its great history and mystique and hopefully remove the stigma that a lot of people have unfairly put on the Coliseum.
The last prospective A's owner in '99 said he would do just that. His name was Andy Dolich. And he was rejected by Bud Selig and his cronies at MLB.
I'd love it if the A's made the Coliseum part of their rough and tumble image. In a few years it may be the ONLY multi-purpose stadium in baseball, which would make us unique. The way Oakland is a unique city that should be appreciated more. But, in case that never happens -- due to these owners and Selig holding a gun to the city's head re: relocation -- let's not be absolutist about anything that may determine whether the A's stay or not.
In a perfect world, we'd never have to have this debate. But, as long as Bud Selig runs the show, MLB will NEVER be a perfect world. And as much as I love the Coliseum, a necessary "evil" like a new Oakland ballpark may not only keep our favorite team here forever, it could -- if executed right -- be an awesome thing for the fans and help bring the city the thriving downtown it needs and deserves.
If the timing isn't right in the next couple of years, then fine, the Coliseum is cool. If the timing is good again, however, why not go for it? Oakland deserves the best.
| By ronc on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:55 pm:|
At this point in time it looks bleak for the city but I wouldn't rule out the county. Schott and Hoffman are unlikely to put up any money unless they get a sweetheart deal in return (e.g., Land).
| By sactodavey on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 03:07 pm:|
What is interesting people detest this place as an ugly place to play but a few years ago before mt. Davis it was such a pretty place to most baseball people that the Disney people used the coliseum as the home of the Angels in the movie Angels in the outfield, hm...... funny how fast people change their thinking.
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 04:12 pm:|
I remember some national broadcasters saying that they thought the Coli (pre-Mt. Davis) was one of the prettiest parks in the country.
| By ramjet1 on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 04:21 pm:|
Well put Voxhoo explaining the investment scheme behind the "Jewel by the Bay". But I still believe you can put a 40,000 seat ballpark in Uptown for less than 390 million and still have a facility worth visiting.
Cardinals new stadium is being privately financed after the state of Missouri declined to pay for it. Hopefully, this will be a nudge toward Schott waking up from hisw dream of public financing for an A's stadium.
Cardinals get tax credit for stadium
| By voxhoo on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - 09:27 am:|
The construction company will build, finance, and own the stadium. The Cardinals agreed to a long-term lease. Several things makes this economically feasible:
1. $325 mil. price tag
2. construction company willing to risk some of its profit margin
3. no property taxes ($30 mil tax credit)
4. Missouri legislature waived taxes ($3.4 mil last year) on Cardinals for duration of lease to help Cardinals pay their lease (est. $102 mil over life of lease)
Privately financed? The city/state doesn't get any credit for kicking in $130 mil in future taxes?
Again, before we revisit the build-a-cheaper park questions, St. Louis is not earthquake country. Also, land doesn't cost a bazillion dollars an acre like it does in the Bay Area.
| By voxhoo on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - 09:51 am:|
Looking at the St. Louis stadium in more detail it's clear the construction company is forgoing near-term profits. The Cardinals agreed to a $14 mil/yr lease for 30 years plus all maintenance and operations. So, only $200 mil is needed to actually build the stadium when the construction company doesn't take any upfront profits. Either that or the construction company is eating some of the cost in exchange for owning the land and the ballpark.
Maybe that's the blueprint to get a new stadium in Oakland.
I'd think that with the price of land here in the Bay, municipal owned land would be donated to make it feasible. Can you give us links to the details of deal?
| By voxhoo on Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - 11:12 am:|
I just found this other story that gives more details:
The first year lease is paid upfront at $50 mil. before the start of construction. St. Louis will sell 10,000 PSL-like seats, probably to finance part of the initial $50 mil. Plus, naming rights and other corporate sponsors should allow them to cover the $50 mil.
| By oaktownfan on Sunday, December 01, 2002 - 09:10 pm:|
I always thought the 385 price tag was a bit too steep.
Reliant stadium for the Texans which has a retractable roof and Gillete stadium for the Patriots cost around 400 million. Why would a smaller baseball park cost about the same? It didn't make sense to me.
A smaller downtown park should cost only about 300-340 million. Just like many here have expressed, I don't want a park filled with bells and whistles, just something simple and pleasing to the eyes. Great example is PNC in Pittsburgh which I feel is the best park in all of baseball. I know some money would have to go to demolishing the existing parking lots and buildings before the park is built but it shouldn't be more than a few million for that.
Doesn't matter anyway. I don't think anything will get done regarding a new park in downtown with Schott as the spokesperson for the A's and with Brown as the mayor of the city. Oakland was rated one of the best cities for economic growth in the country so corporate businesses will come to the city in the future in my opinion when the next economic boom hits this area. If Schott doesn't think Oakland isn't good enough for him, he can kiss my ass. Until the A's get new owners who are committed to the city of Oakland and if Perata gets elected mayor, my opinion won't change.
| By diamond_lil on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 07:36 am:|
Great to read the awesome insight from all of you.
I totally agree with those who feel a new ballpark in Oakland will not happen under the Schott ownership and under Brown's regime.
The first big step towards the new ballpark is to dispel the idea promoted by Schott and others with a relocating agenda, that Oakland is not a good venue for hosting the A's. Oakland with its diversified economy is showing a great potential for the future and the reports and prognosticians are not hiding these facts. Some just don't want to see it even if it hits them in the face.
There is no doubt in my mind it will take a change in ownership for a new ballpark in Oakland to become a reality. The City, the ownership and the fans (who will have to put their money where their mouths have been) must form a partnership and a bond to make the ballpark a reality. Selling PSLs to an angry and alienated fandom who refuse to make a season ticket commitment is a very steep uphill battle and a very scary one at that.
The other reality is that if you look at all the new ballparks that have been built, the URBAN ballparks are the ones who have succeeded the most. And we all know that, no matter how beautiful the house can be, location is the key to success.
I believe that a quaint, small and no frills ballpark embraced by a city is the way to go...
see Wrigley Field is the prime example. In 1995, the Cubs renovated and now have 65 luxury boxes and that seems to be enough for the corporate $.
The investors and profit makers will weigh the risks and all it will take is one big penguin to take the first plunge into the cold waters, the others will follow.
| By eyleenn on Monday, December 02, 2002 - 09:05 pm:|
I don't see how the A's could ever sell enough PSL's to make a dent in the cost of a new park. The Raiders weren't very successful at it; how can the A's expect to be?
Actually Eyleem,its the city of Oakland (not the Raiders) who sell the PSLs. (and they do a TERRIBLE job at it I must add).
| By chris_d on Tuesday, December 03, 2002 - 11:01 am:|
The Raiders and the JPA together put on a clinic on how NOT to sell PSLs. The Raiders didn't help matters by almost immediately filing a lawsuit in '96 vs. the NFL in which they claimed the league "forced" them out of L.A. -- and gave Davis critics (and there are thousands) fodder to claim that he may move again. That's not exactly the kind of thing that sells tickets or PSLs. And the JPA made an enormous mistake when they quashed efforts to make the PSLs lifetime, instead of the currrent 10-year period. I work in the East Bay and I'm blown away by how much Raiders t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, seat upholstery(!), etc. that I see in the area. There are plenty of fans and plenty of passion. It's just been marketed poorly, customer service has been worse and Big Al doesn't have a lot of corporate fans due to his endless lawsuits, either. (Currently, Al has 4 separate lawsuits going. It's an expensive hobby, so you know the team is making money.)
By comparison, Larry Baer/Magowan of the Giants (as much as I hate to admit it) put on a clinic on exactly how seat licenses should be and can be sold. The Giants success shows it can be done when ownership makes a commitment to its city and cares about its fans.
(Am I praising the Giants? Hopefully this will be the only time.)
Heck, I live in Hollister and work in Salinas. I'm amazed by the amount of Raider paraphernalia I see way down this way!
| By oaktownfan on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 04:37 am:|
Was watching the news on channel seven at six last night and they had a special segment about the FOX Theater. They were talking about how the theater renovation would take at least a decade even if a housing project was built next to it.
Would the same be said if a park is built next to it. It would be strange to see a new park built next to a unrenovated building like FOX, espcially since the plan is to renovate the area around the park as soon as possible.
| By linusalf on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 03:08 pm:|
I assume it would take so long to renovate the theater because it would be harder to get funds. Forrest City project has no funds allocated for restoration of the fox. I think the ballpark is the best hope for renovation of the Fox, for there is no way that the parks centerpice would be dusty and empty. I would only assume that the rebulidng of the Fox was in the projeceted costs of the park put forward by HOK
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, December 04, 2002 - 05:28 pm:|
I'm not so sure about that.