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Territorial Rights

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Territorial Rights
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 08:37 am:

I gots a question kind of off the ebaten path and maybe even it is the antithesis of what we are trying to do but I am just wondering if anyone here can understand this.
When there was a lot of talk about the A's moving south, the "big" obstacle was territorial rights in the media's perception.
Now those same writers claim that MLB can move a team into the Orioles territory as long as the team comes from the National League.
So how is the Bay Area any different? Why couldn't an American League team (the A's) move into the Giants territory (Santa Clara).
I don't want ths to happen of course and it is pretty much a dead issue, but what in the hell are they all smoking?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 10:09 am:


The territorial rights that would prevent the A's from relocating to San Jose or Santa Clara is not the same as the NL/AL territorial rights. Each MLB territory has a set of marketing/tv rights in which an AL and NL team can co-exist as long as they stay a certain number of miles away.

The Giants requested and were awarded additional marketing territorial rights to the South Bay when they tried to relocate there in early nineties. They alleged the bulk of their fanbase was from there and without any objection from the A's at that time, were awarded that territory at that time.

Interesting enough, when the A's changed ownership in 1995, the Giants, probably predicting or knowing of the desire of the new owner to relocate South, smartly renewed their claim of marketing rights to the South Bay.

I'm posting here an article which talks about this very issue you brought up:

From the March 30, 2001 print edition
San Francisco Business Times

Baseball's boss: A's can't steal home
Commissioner won't strip Giants' rights to Silicon Valley
John Rofe

Commissioner Bud Selig has apparently slammed the door on the Oakland A's attempt to move to the lucrative Silicon Valley, saying he has no intention of stripping the San Francisco Giants of their marketing rights in the area.

"Once a club has a territory, it has a territory," said Selig, responding for the first time to A's owner Steve Schott's public declaration that he intends to move. "We don't have anarchy. We have rules and we have guidelines that have been in existence for many years."

The Giants have opposed a move by the A's, who play 12 miles away from Pacific Bell Park, to Santa Clara County, about 40 miles away, because the area represents a significant part of the team's fan base. Selig said the Giants' claim to the territory for marketing purposes is long-standing and was renewed in 1995 or 1996. The designation is not related to their desire earlier in the decade to build a ballpark in San Jose.

The Giants moved last year to Pacific Bell Park from 3Com Park, which is about eight miles closer to Silicon Valley.

The Santa Clara City Council in March agreed to delay for six months the construction of a parking structure on a site that a local group is seeking to develop as a ballpark for the A's.

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The A's, who made the baseball playoffs last season but drew only 1.7 million fans to Network Associates Coliseum, have one year left on their lease. After 2001, they can remain at the coliseum on a yearly basis through 2004.

Schott, a real estate developer, home builder and Santa Clara native, said he has "some ideas" on how he will attempt to persuade Selig, Giants owner Peter Magowan and other owners of the benefits of an A's move, but would not elaborate.

"I'm not trying to play hardball with the Giants or with the commissioner," Schott said. "I'm not threatening legal action or anything like that. I just want a fair hearing."

Schott said he has not contemplated paying Magowan for the territory. "We barely have enough money to pay the players," Schott said.

The A's player payroll of about $38 million is among the game's lowest.

Larry Stone, the Santa Clara County assessor who is also president of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, a group of local leaders seeking to lure the A's, said he thinks the A's could make a legal case for terminating the Giants' territorial rights.

Stone said a study being conducted by league officials on the viability of franchises in troubled markets will support the case for an A's move. He said the Santa Clara group was told it was one of three viable new markets during an informal meeting last year with MLB officials.

Selig said he would consider franchise relocation as an option in cases where teams cannot succeed in existing markets. But he has privately opposed moves to what are considered the three most viable -- the Silicon Valley, Washington and northern Virginia -- because of the impact on existing clubs.

Asked whether MLB's policy on marketing territories was changeable, Selig said, "Marketing territories are part of baseball's rules and everybody has to respect everybody else's territories."

But the A's are in a precarious position. The A's have no lease following the 2004 season, though the presumption is that the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Authority, which operates the coliseum, wouldn't kick the A's out.

Meanwhile, Schott's talks in Santa Clara seem to have nudged Oakland city officials toward considering private-public financing of a new downtown stadium.

But team officials have hinted privately that a new stadium is only part of the issue and that the franchise needs stronger revenues from elsewhere in the organization, not just lower costs.

John Rofé is a reporter with Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, an affiliated newspaper.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 10:47 am:

And while you're at it, check out what Mr. Peter Magowan would like to see happen to the A's.
This was sent to me by e-mail without a link. I don't know the author nor the source. But check out what was one of the "options" being offered to Mr. Schott.

June 29, 2001

Contraction Is Becoming A Distraction
By: Althea Pashman

It’s been a few weeks since the word ‘contraction’ has been mentioned in the sports news – but, this week it made it’s way back into the news with yet another team mentioned into the mix… the Anaheim Angels.

According to a report in the LA Times, there is a strong possibility that the plug will be pulled on the Anaheim Angels. It was almost two years ago that Colorado owner Jerry McMorris first suggested contraction and San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan became the leading lobbyist; the Montreal Expos have been paired with the Minnesota Twins or Florida Marlins or Tampa Bay Devil Rays as the teams most likely to be dissolved… that is up until now.

There have been cursory conversations regarding a plan that would dissolve the Expos and Angels and result in the Oakland Athletics moving to Anaheim. Or the A's would move to Anaheim in some form of combination with the Angels under A's owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann or owners to whom they would sell.

The basic thinking on the part of supporters who are unwilling to risk a $1-million fine by discussing labor issues publicly is that the A's/Angels half of the Montreal twin killing would solve two problems:

· The A's stadium lease ends this year and there are no prospects for a new ballpark or new owners in the Bay Area, and no new thinking on the part of the Giants and Commissioner Bud Selig in regard to allowing the A's to infringe on the Giants' territorial rights without whopping indemnification. The A's and their current owners would be given new life in Anaheim and the Giants, alone by the bay, could conduct a millennium-caliber celebration.

· Disney, long willing to sell the Angels short of taking a loss or making a public sales pitch, would find a buyer in major league baseball that it has been unable to find otherwise. The sale would placate some stockholders and allow Disney to escape the media abuse and alleged losses it must shoulder as a baseball owner. It would also allow Anaheim to retain major league identity with the A's, providing a taxpayer for remodeled Edison Field, where the Angel lease runs through 2016.

What’s makes this talk about pulling the plug on the Angels is that not one single person in the Angels organization is aware of this plan, nor have they been given any indication from Disney that they are even considering dissolving the team. According to a city official that asked the Times reporter not to use their name stated that, “What we get from Disney is that they are more determined than ever to make it work here.”

Former Baseball Commissioner Peter Uebberoth even said that there is no way the Angels could, would or should fall under Contraction. He said that if Disney wanted to sell the team, there would be plenty of interested parties out there that would want to purchase the Angels. He felt there would be no problems with Disney finding a buyer.

The bottom line is that contraction in any form is not about to happen. A 2002 schedule based on 30 teams is expected to go to the players' union on July 1st, which is Saturday, suggesting another season of status quo. One thing though is for certain – you can bet your next paycheck that there won’t be any contraction until there is a new labor agreement in place.

Baseball’s own Blue-Ribbon economic committee, in a report expected to be the blueprint for negotiations with the union, wrote that if there was increased revenue sharing and a stronger luxury tax, among other changes, “there should be no immediate need for contraction.”

Meanwhile, nothing has changed for the Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, or the Minnesota Twins… The Marlins still are without the green light for a new stadium, Tampa Bay’s attendance continues to fall and the Twins hopes for a new park are still on hold, despite the success they’re having this season. But, it’s a different story for the Montreal Expos. The crowds in Montreal are so small, providing little or no revenue makes relocating the only safe measure of improvement for this franchise. As for where the Expos would move, baseball lives in fear of being sued (a likely result of contraction) and if Jeffrey Loria and company attempt to move to Northern Virginia/Washington count on Orioles owner Peter Angelos suing. Forget about Charlotte, they're about to lose their NBA team.

With declining attendance in many of the ballparks, there is one place, located in Brooklyn’s Coney Island that needn’t worry about that. The newest Class-A team, in the NY-Penn League the Brooklyn Cyclones began play this month. The Cyclones, the NY Mets affiliate made a robust home debut in Brooklyn on Monday night – with a come from-behind 3-2 win, all done in front of a soldout crowd of 7,500 fans. But that’s not the story… it’s the resurgence of Brooklyn’s Coney Island and it’s economy.

Steeplechase, Luna Park, Dreamland and the rest of the big amusement parks that once lined Coney Island's mile-long beachfront are gone. The Wonder Wheel, an apartment-sized ferris wheel, and the rickety 74-year old Cyclone roller coaster - the team's namesake - remain. Citing the developers and real estate groups who are now expressing interest in investing in the area, New York City’s Mayor Rudolph Guiliani's office is convinced that KeySpan Park will lure amusement-type businesses back again. With 15 of the team's 38 home games already sold out, Jeffrey Wilpon, the club's chief operating officer, predicts the Cyclones will make money: “All there are is losses right now because we haven't played any games, but obviously it looks like it's going to be a positive financial venture.”

The old Parachute Jump towers over the right-field fence, just in foul territory, and behind that is the Atlantic Ocean. Back when the Dodgers were still around, the Coney Island beaches were one of the most famous summer destinations in the world. Out past left field is the Astroland amusement park, and the world-famous roller coaster for which the team was named. The community is hoping the team will help ignite tourist interest in the area. Nothing like a new ballpark to help do that.

The new minor-league team has received a royal Brooklyn welcome, including a hot-dog concession run by Nathan's Famous, a Web site full of nostalgia for the old days, and a parade through the streets of Coney Island. The team is named for an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone that clatters, soars and dips beyond left field. But in that great Brooklyn tradition of giving every newcomer a New York nickname, the Cyclones already have three: Da Brooks, Da 'Clones and Da Psychos. (The Dodgers, of course, were Dem Bums).

Build it, and they shall come…?

While they’re not the Dem Bums from Brooklyn, the Philadelphia Phillies have unveiled architectural design plans for its new 43,000-seat, natural-grass and dirt-field ballpark. Set to debut in time for opening day of the 2004 season, the Phillies are developing the New Ballpark with the goal of building a world-class baseball-only venue that offers fans an intimate and exciting experience.

With the Philadelphia city skyline as the backdrop, the New Ballpark will feature “bowl-style” seating with the playing field scooped out 23 feet below street level. The seating bowl layout is inspired by the classic plans of the Baker Bowl, home of the Phillies until 1938 and Connie Mack Stadium (formerly Shibe Park), which housed the team until 1971 when they moved into Veterans Stadium.

Meanwhile, the stadium saga for the Florida Marlins continues. Two Miami city leaders say recent discussions with the Florida Marlins have left them pessimistic about the club's commitment to a new funding proposal for a downtown baseball stadium. Miami Commissioner Johnny Winton on Wednesday said his attempt to discuss Mayor Joe Carollo's plan for a referendum on ballpark financing with team owner John Henry fizzled when Henry expressed concerns about the proposed Miami River stadium site and financing, and an unwillingness to seek legislative approval for some of the funding.

Carollo wants to ask city voters to approve $326 million in bond debt, $148 million of which would go toward a new stadium. The city would also buy the land where the team would play, and the county would provide $118 million in hotel tax money.

The Kansas City Royals are in the new stadium mode as well. Kansas City Royals owner David Glass wants a unified front from the Kansas City community regarding a long-term home for his baseball team. “Right now, my read on this is Kansas City is pretty divided,” Glass said Thursday, while watching the Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 9-2 from his suite at Kauffman Stadium. “We'll never get anything done if we're divided. We need for the appropriate people to sit down and decide what's the best thing to do. Then, every one of us has to line up behind it. We can make it happen if we do.”

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Thursday, March 14, 2002 - 06:03 pm:

Pennsylvania's economy has not exactly been booming the past few years, and yet both Pittsburgh and Philly have been able to build new football AND baseball facilities. I just don't understand why the same can't happen here.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jeffreyb on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:37 am:

when i sat down after saying to the City Council that PNC Park in Pittsburgh was built for $100 million less than the HOK slide listed as the cost of an Oakland park, the HOK guy rolled his eyes at me, and said, "that's Pittsburgh."

BS! Pitsburgh is a more solid union town than Oakland. I bet prevailing construction wages there are no lower than here.

The Seattle attorney was nice and all, offering to explain how they did their deal there...but the Seattle ball park cost twice what Pittsburgh's did. I'd want to know how Pittsburgh saved money...and Nadel is right that maybe you gotta look beyond HOK in that regard.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ramjet1 on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 09:53 am:

The same can with the right amount of political pressure on the decision makers. If people like Nancy Nadel only hear from the weekly City Hall groupies who attend every council meeting they will sway her position no matter how wacky and out of touch they may be. What we are doing is conducting a long termed sustained and disiciplined political attack. We have got to keep the pressure on the politicos and Da Mayor to educate them on the merits of this proposal. We have to stress how the ballpark is more vital to Oakland than it is for the A's. Baseball is probably Oakland's only real tourism draw so lets put it in a part of the City we want tourists to be in and require the visitors to walk through our city streets. Letting the team leave makes about as much sense as SF shutting down the Cable Cars or Piza letting the leaning tower fall over.

We are in a war of attrition and we will win.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 10:01 am:

I just don't see how we can even discuss cost when a financial package has not been presented in detail. And the cost can only be really be estimated and projected when a definite site is chosen.

Just like Nadel's projection and impact a ballpark can only be estimated once it is decided if a ballpark will be urban or sub-urban. And remember...a ballpark surrounded by a sea of concrete would be considered a sub-urban ballpark and no commerce can be expected to integrate with that setting.

Comparing one city's ballpark with another requires knowing many factors other than just construction wages. Disappropriation and ownership of land alone could have a huge impact on the price of a ballpark.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 10:28 am:

Yes, we have to make good and educated pressure on the politicians.

What I really would like to ask Nadel is if she is willing to go along and support the other arguments both Zimbalist and Noll propose in their writings. (she cited them as sources during the meeting)

Both these economists heavily support revoking MLB antitrust exemption to promote competition of other professional leagues and expand baseball to as many cities as possible as opposed to contraction. They feel that cities should allow franchises to leave and go where they want and wait for another franchise to come and replace the one that left, possibly even not a MLB. They promote the end of the MLB monopoly.

"Finally, more research needs to be carried out with the goal of determining how to overcome political pressures from sports leagues and implement some of the ideas mentioned above, in particular, how to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption and foster the creation of professional sports leagues which compete with each other. "

and they conclude:

"As the costs of stadiums rise ever higher, though, the private sector should play an increasingly larger role in financing projects to reduce the strain on public budgets, and efforts should be made to break up the major leagues into competing entities."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ramjet1 on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 11:30 am:

Nadel is not going to really give us any support on our cause and I have very little confidence that she will sing a different tune no matter how logical our arguments are, she has a long history of saying no to everything, and having little long range civic vision. But I do feel it is worth the effort to try and educate her. We will have more success with the rest of the City Council, who will give us the support when they realize that there is a ground swell of support in the community for this project. Those of us pushing this are not citizens who go to City hall constantly asking for handouts but people who contribute to the economy of this region. We want to see Oakland's economy and downtown prosper, this project is an investment and needs to be presented as such. We also need to reach out to the Friends of the Fox Theater and get them in our corner.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 03:34 pm:

The reason why Nadel is like that is because saying no the easy way out. If you say yes to something, and it doesn't work out, you look bad. The path of least resistance is saying no all the time then no one can blame you on anything. "I didn't vote for that." Obviously, this is not the type of council person any of us would have elected given the chance. I say count her as a 'no' vote and don't be surprised by her negativity in the future.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 03:44 pm:

Kevin has a good point. Nadel is probably against this no matter what we do. Maybe we'd be better served by focusing on the fence-sitters like Jane Brunner, Moses Mayne/Desley Brooks. This doesn't mean we don't seek to refute Nadel's arguments, it's still important to do that. But, we need a simple majority to win a vote. Nadel and Wan may protest loudly and still get outvoted. Either way, however, we still have quite a bit of work to do.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bshbro4rvr on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 04:13 pm:

Hello. I'm not as well versed in the issues you all are raising here, (though I'd be interested in hearing more), but if the goal is to gain a simple majority, chris_d's suggestion makes good sense.

diamond lil, I think you mentioned in one of your earlier posts that cost cannot be discussed until a proposal is made (was this correct?). On this site, however, I saw several proposals with estimates. How were these calculated?

I am definately of the opinion that this proposal is a financial investment for Oakland just as it is for the A's. I also agree that baseball is one of the strongest financial assets of this town, and that its current arrangement with the city does not optimize either's potential.

Oakland and its downtown, which has had fits of rennovation recently, should serve to enhance its investment, just as the team would generate greater revenues both for itself and the city if it were drawn into closer proximity with downtown.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, March 15, 2002 - 05:34 pm:


What I meant to say was that the estimated costs which are being presented for each site being considered is not a financial proposal nor are they very accurate when you speak in general terms of how much it would cost to build a ballpark in Oakland. For starts, some of the sites have land owned by the city, port authority and some private property.

What we are waiting to see in a proposal is who and how the ballpark will be paid.

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