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Why Urban Ballparks Work

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Why Urban Ballparks Work
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:25 am:

people can cite numerous studies that will back one side or the other, but it only takes a little common sense to see the truth

go to downtown Oakland now and walk by the Fox theater

the place is a ghost town... almost all the storefronts are empty

now imagine if a ballpark were there and at least 81 days out of the year anywhere from 20,000 - 40,000 people showed up

and most of them had to walk a few blocks from public transit to get there

it only makes sense that those storefronts would come alive to service those people... places to eat and drink before and after the game

that alone would be enough, but it would probably spread all over the downtown... as more and more foot traffic came in

then maybe we could someday get a Macy's and a Nordstrom

and sure, that might take some retail away from Walnut Creek or SF, but screw em', that's the whole point

more retail means more taxes for Oakland and it's parks and schools

what I don't understand is why Jerry doesn't seem to get this

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:40 am:

Chris,

Who said Jerry Brown doesn't seem to get this?

He has said he is "working on it" and he is working on it. Jerry Brown has authorized a group of his aids and Oakland officials to work on this project. He has signed off on the money to hire the two very reputable firms who are working on this project. This project has gone from ground zero to its first phase and it will go to the next phase by the end of this month...

So, considering how the sports' ownerships have tried to extort and double cross the city of Oakland during the last decade, I think the Mayor's attitude and good sense by doing things the right way is to be commemded and not attacked.

Keep the faith Chris,and get ready to rally around the ballpark drive because it is going to happen!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 11:41 am:

wow that sounds pretty straight forward and right along what I would say. I am doing research that indicates in San Fran and Denver the ball park spurred economic developement (Commercial Real Estate, Apartment Rent, New Retail Outlets and Eateries are what I am using as my basis for measurement) the story in Cleveland does not look as good... so we should really highlight Denver and San Fran and the similarties between Uptown Oakland and those two sites. I also plan on outlining the specifics as to why Cleveland did not get the boom they expected and highlight why those issues do not apply to Uptown Oakland... Uptown Oakland, is that a new phrase I don't remember hearing it until HOK came to town... ha!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 12:07 pm:

Darth, please don't forget that our website welcomes columns and reports from fans who want to give their insight and well thought out opinions re our common cause.

So please submit your finished report so we can publish your hard research work.

column@oaklandfans.com

also, people who are signing up for the ballpark drive, don't forget to add your comments in support of the ballpark in Oakland. Remember this information is going to go directly to the ballpark promoters and Oakland officials.

Even the out of state and overseas folks should sign up and send their support.

here's the url for signing up online and the other to download the hard copy forms.

http://www.oaklandfans.com/ballpark/drive/

http://www.oaklandfans.com/ballpark/form/

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ramjet1 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 02:35 pm:

Chris in my opinion Mayor Brown will not say anything about the ballpark because he doesnt want it to become a campaign issue. Remember he has to get re-elected March 5th. Why risk making noise now and potentially give your opponent ammunition. I see him more willing to discuss this topic in the public forum after March 5th. I think everything you said is right on target. Even if a ballpark doesn't stimulate additional construction in the area if it can get some viable businesses in those empty storefronts it would be a dramatic improvement over the neighborhood's current state. Plus additional attention in the area would help stimulate attention in the Fox Theater that would ultimately result in that structures refurbishing and re-introduction to the arts community.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 03:48 pm:

If the good ol' mayor is seriously working on this, then I'm happy... I've just always gotten the impression that he doesn't care too much

but if you say so Lil', then I'll believe you

and Darth... they've been using the phrase "uptown Oakland" for awhile now to describe the area around the Fox that they've been intending to revitalize

there's been many many many plans on the table in the last 20 years that have all fallen through... but I think none of them would have had the same overall impact as a ballpark

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:06 pm:

Cool... Uptown Oakland... chris, here are some of the highlights in regards to what I am finding out about Denver, San Fran and Cleveland and how they relate to Oakland.

1. Denver built the stadium as part of a neighborhood in downtown that was not exactly priemier but that the city saw as up and coming. (very similar to Jerry B.'s 10k)

2. San Fran built the stadium in a part of town that was close to downtown but had no "draw" or "attraction" in the neighborhood. (I don't think many people outside of Oakland consider the Fox an attraction)

3.Cleveland built Jacobs Field right next to a new Basketball arena and at the same time that they were building other "attractions" in another part of the city. (Oakland will not have the problem of other attractions taking away form a new park because the new park will be used as the cornerstone for redevelopement)

These are just 3 brief points that deserve much more elaboration and supporting facts... I am still looking at some other factors I hope to email a report to the OAFC. SOme of the sources I am using are commercial real estate markeitng reports (I have moles in San Francisco and Denver who work for a large commercial real estate firm and they have given me some figures that really show support for P*B and Coors and show a slight impact for Jacobs Field but also show the impact of "the Flats" in Cleveland), quite a few articles on the subject I got from Larry Jackson and a few other sources. If anyone has suggestions on source material please let me know I have looked at a few things posted on here and it all helps the analysis.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:19 pm:

I really don't think it's a good idea to mention "economic benefits" much. There are plenty of peopel with lots of data out there to shoot down or at the very least bring into serious question such assertions.

I know I sound like a broken record on this issue, but I think it's important. There is a growing backlash against publically funded sporting facilities and it centers in large part on the questionable assertions of economic benefit. Going that route is like walking into a great big trap.

Just my two cents. I'm 100% against any ballpark plan that involveds the public paying more then 15% or so of the total cost, so take anything I say with that in mind.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:38 pm:

Well like I brought up on your previous posts... where is the data to support such claims? Tell me where to find it and I will include it in my reasearch... There are economic benefits (from the research I have done, not from my imagination) and that is the route I am going.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:50 pm:

darth, I've already pointed out the major pitfalls. You've chosen to ignore them as far as I can see.

Check out

http://www.fieldofschemes.com

for some pointers on where to look for more details.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 05:10 pm:

How did I ignore them? I disagree with what you have said based on my own research... for instance your claim that money just merely moves around within a city... not true (in 2 out of 3 cases, Cleveland it has proven to be true) as I pointed out that the commercial real estate prices in San Francisco did not decrease in any part of the city when compared to 1997 and they had seen a considerable jump in the area around P*B Park... that is fact.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 05:21 pm:

interesting reading on the field of schemes page, it is a bit dated but I noticed not much of what they are saying refutes what I am saying. Unless I am reading it wrong... I agree about Cleveland not getting out of it what they wanted to get as the site points out. But it doesn't say anything about Coors Field not providing an economic benefit and it doesn't even mention P*B Park because most of the information on the site is from before P*B Park was built. It just mentions that they used tax money to build the stadiums which is common knowledge and has nothing to do with the economic benefits I have been talking about.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 06:28 pm:

darth, you haven't factored in the fact that it was a booming economy in SF during those years. If the economy had been stagnant then you could more easily make such claims. Otherwise there is too much noise to easily make the assertion you would like to make in regards to PacBell and its impact.

The book that the field of schemes site is named after goes into a fair amount of detail on why Cleveland is not unique. I remember it talking about Coors field in the same manner. It doesn't talk about PB, since the book predates the completion of the Giants new digs.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:45 am:

Although research indicates Coors Field is completely different than Cleveland, the people who do that web site are obviously biased in their conclusions because all you have to do is look into it yourself and you will see that Cleveland and Denver are not even close to the same... and I have factored in that the economy was booming in San Francisco. All sections of San Francisco saw a huge rise year of year starting in 1997 (the e-commerce boom) and ending in 2001, at which point all sections saw a huge drop so if you look at 1997 rent prices and you compare them to 2001 (eliminating all the inflated years in between) you will see that only one section of town maintained the huge upward swing while the rest returned to a nominal gain over their 1997 numbers. The only section of town that maintianed a huge gain was SOMA South (or the neighborhood P*B Park is in). It isn't exactly trig.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:10 am:

darth, your conclusion on SF is still not valid. Think about it. The assertion by myself, and more importantly economists is that you are just taking money from one place and concentrating it elsewhere. You conclussions in no way invalidate this assertion. In fact, it could just as easily be claimed to support it. IE, it could be claimed that the drops would have been less extreme in the other areas if not for PacBell.

As for bias, EVERYONE is biased. I make it a rule to assume this of myself as well as others. It makes it easier for me to see weaknesses in my own beliefs and either refine them or come up with good doublespeak to cover them up. ;-)

On one level the "Field of Schemes" people are the enemy. I'd advise understanding who they are, what they are saying and why they and people like them are growing more effective in their opposition of public funding of sports facilities.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:48 am:

Emkey... if you were taking money from one part of San Francisco and moving it to another, the rent prices would drop in the other areas when you compare 1997 to 2001 and they do not. So my information does refute that claim. Claiming that the "drops" in other areas (by the way as I have mentioned in the other areas of the city the 2001 price is still higher than the 1997 numbers so I think calling it a drop is not accurate, unless you are talking about the drop from the hugely inflated prices for years 1998-2000 which are the anomaly) would have been less significant is rubbish.... it is not tangible and can only be used to speak in hypothetical which is not appropriate in analiysis. Analyzing data is the only way to form conclusions, not theorizing what may have been. Which is why I unbiasedly say that Cleveland watsed public money on a stadium while Denver and San Fran did not.
I agree that we all have bias towards one thing or another. But my job is to ignore my own bias, I would like to say Cleveland did a great job building Jacob's Field but the fact is in that case only the Cleveland Indians benefit. So if the Field of Schemes people wanted to have some weight to their analysis they would mention when some situiations do not reconcile with their hypothesis.
The question then becomes why did it happen that way in Cleveland versus San Fran and Denver. I would include other stadiums if I could but I only have access at this point to data in San Fran, Denver and Cleveland. So why did it work in Denver and San Fran but not Cleveland?
That is the real question... and how is Oakland's situation like or unlike the 3 cities mentioned? The answers are the reason that HOK sport recommends Uptown over Jack London Square and the Coliseum. All things considered it is the site that is most similar to Denver and San Fran.
Do you see my point? I see yours but I disagree with it. I still love you though.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 09:28 am:

darth, you are trying to make this problem too simple. It is not simple. There are too many other variables at work that you haven't noted or made any effort to compensate for as far as I can see.

I'm not an economist, but my understanding is that this is a very complicated topic with many variables. I think you're going to get eviscerated on this, and I speak somewhat from experience. The research I did on the Oakland market in comparison to others was all fairly straight forward in comparison and I've been greeted by a heck of a lot of derision inspite of the fact that no economist has ever questioned the validity of using IRS tax returns as a data point. :-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 10:38 am:

like any complex economic issue, this can be twisted and contorted to fit anybody's agenda

however, common sense says that uptown Oakland will benefit greatly from a ballpark

I honestly can't see how anyone who has actually been there could disagree with that

what CAN be debated though, is just how much should the city invest

anyway, here's a great article on Sears and Uptown Oakland in general

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/issues/2001-08-22/feature.html/1/index.html

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:30 am:

I am highlighting one factor of what I am researching... there are others of course, and I am looking at them still. I likewise am not an economist, but I have spent time doing market research professionaly. My brother still does market research as a career and thus my access to real estate industry information.

But here is the thing I would like to highlight... you said I am making it too simple... I disagree, other people try and make it too complicated. They do this on purpose of course because it gives them an advantage in trying to push their opinion off as reality. It is very simple, you take one viewpoint "Baseball stadiums do not economically benefit anyone but the baseball team" and you look for evidence to either support or refute the statement. Once you are convinced you have done this, you move to the next question. I looked at field of schemes (not only there but since you directed me there I will use it as an example) to see what they meant by "no one but the baseball team benefits" and they talked about tax revenue not going to schools and other public institutions. That does not demonstrate that no one but the baseball team benefits from a new stadium, it points out the obvious that tax money used on stadiums can not be used some place else.
When debating marketing issues, from my experince, the best offense is to have an answer for every question people present. I have only found one answer to one question at this point.
I am still in the infancy of my research but I have completed one part of it and that is to find out how the new ballparks in these 3 cities impacted real estate prices in the immeadiate vicinity and how that change impacted the rest of the city. When people say there is no economic benefit to anyone but the baseball team they obviously have not looked at this information.

Does that make sense?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:33 am:

Yup Emkey, I sure will miss you at our new ballpark if you cancel your season tickets...but
we can't all be happy can we?

I tell you, I now travel an average of 2 hours to and fro the ballpark 81 times per year. But by the time the ballpark in uptown Oakland is finished, I'll probably be retired from work (ahem...early retirement of course...)... I work around baseball anyway, before or after games...
My kid is grown and married and if lucky, by then, I'll have a couple of grandkids to teach how the game is played and how beautiful our A's legacy is all about...

I'll be relocating from Novato to uptown Oakland so I can take a nice slow stroll to and fro the ballpark... window shopping and sitting at a sidewalk cafe to rest my aching bones while I read the box scores....

and I'll invite you for a nice afternoon tea Emkey, and tell you all about the game I watched that day.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:59 am:

Darth, there's a hard read but very informative book called "Sports, Jobs and Taxes - The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums" -
Brookings Institution Press, Washington DC.

It is already a bit dated since it was put out in 1997 but is still very helpful to anybody wanting to look into the economic impact of sports in communities.

This book was EDITED but now written by Roger Noll and Andrew Zimbalist.

The book was written by a group of researchers from the Brookings Institution, which is an independent organization devoted to nonpartisan research, education, social and economic matters.

PS: note that Roger Noll is the Stanford Economy Prof who has in the past been very negative about the area as a two team market. Andrew Zimbalist is Prof at Smith College who has written several books: Baseball and Billions in 1992 and several studies and reports as consultant to the players union and team ownerships.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:01 pm:

sorry... I meant to write EDITED and NOT written
instead of now written.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ramjet1 on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:54 pm:

There will be no direct tax revenue increase for Oakland from the construction of a ballpark, or any other type of development other than retail outlets because a city's revenue is generated directly from retail sales taxes. Alameda County (Donald R. White, Tax assessor) will get more revenue because the value of the land will increase. However, positive spinoff's can occur when land value increases in your city and destination points are located there. The benefit is that there will be a reasons for people to go to downtown Oakland during off business hours. Right know unless you work or live in downtown Oakland there is no reason to go there. By putting a draw in downtown Oakland that can pull in 2+ million people it will attract other uses to cater to those 2+ million. No market sits uncatered someone will take advantage of it. You need to locate the destination point in such a way that visitors have to park and get out of their cars or take public transit and walk two or more blocks through your downtown to get to there destination. Someone along this pathway will open up a retail store, a beer joint, a restaurant, a sportsbar etc, retail attracts retail. These uses are much better than empty store fronts which is the situation now. This will happen Uptown it won't necessarily happen at any of the other sites in the HOK report or in Santa Clara because the structure will be located in the middle of a parking lot. I can't speak on why Jacobs Feild has not been as successful as Coors or PB, but one must realize that Cleveland is not traditionaly a tourist destination as is SF so that if Cleveland builds other attractions like the Rock & Roll hall of fame across town they run the risk of not having enough visitors to support all of the great things they put in their city. Downtown Oakland is also not a tourist destination but we dont really have much in the downtown that a ballpark would take people away from. This use will draw people who otherwise would be walking through the coliseum parking lot or on the BART ramp.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:57 pm:

Chris, common sense says that the A's never should have moved to Oakland, that the team should move south and that there is no hope. Never trust common sense. It is uncommon and falsely advertised more often then not.

Lil, I admire your dedication. For me the two hours round trip it currently takes is all I can deal with. Too many responsabilities alas.

Besides, I'm a long ways from retirement and the money I'm currently spending on season tickets is probably going to cost me a fair chunk of potential retirement income already. If a new ballpark is built I'll either be sitting in the back row of the third deck or risking dog food as the main food choice of my retirement. ;-)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 02:18 pm:

emkey...you're starting to sound like Selig in that first paragraph...pleehse!!!! What was that all about?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 02:31 pm:

Common sense does not dictate that a move south is smart and that a stay in Kansas City or Philadelphia was more wise than a move to Oakland

On point number 1: we've discussed this to death, but in sum, I believe that an urban spot has far more potential than a suburban spot for a teams's financial success

On point number 2: the Bay Area is wealthier and more populous than Philladelphia, so sharing with the Giants makes more sense than sharing with the Phillies... and even half the Bay Area is more populace than Kansas City, so it makes Oakland a bigger market

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 05:12 pm:

Lil, the point was that many people believe those statements to be true and would claim it was "common sense". You and I both know that those statements are in fact not true. Thus the closing sentance of that first paragraph. Though perhaps I should have worded it

"Be wary of common sense, it is far less common then some people suppose. And more often then not the product being labled such should be indicted for false advertising"

See what I'm getting at? I don't believe in common sense. I believe in research and logical arguments that are backed up with statistics.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 11:05 pm:

There are three types of lies in the world; lies, damn lies and statistics.

- Mark Twain

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By emkey on Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 08:41 am:

And "common senses" more often then not falls into the first two catagories of lies. ;-)


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