Main Sections:
Main Site
Discussion Forum
    All Topics
    New Messages
    Search
    Last Day
    Last Week
    Tree View
    Edit Profile
    Create Login
    Guidelines
    Help
Game Chat
Fund Raiser:
Order Merchandise!

Suggested Reading:
(click cover for info)

cover

Ballpark Question

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Ballpark Question
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By goldtymer on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 10:50 am:

I was looking over the proposed sites here and couldn't help but wonder...

1) Is there any progress being gained anywhere?

2) Has anyone done a study on the property in old Alameda NAS? There is tons of land being used for temporary causes (such as building freeways for Matrix etc...) I am sure the transportation could be worked out also.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jayho on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 11:42 am:

I think it would be a major pain in the but to put anything in Alameda. Access problems abound. Also, old naval bases have severe environmental impact issues as well. Urban revitlization for old bases take a lot of time to redevelop. They are still figuring out plans for places like Point Molate, which were turned over what, 8 years ago?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chrishorvath on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 10:55 pm:

I think no matter what, the ballpark needs to be walking distance to a BART station. So, unfortunately, Alameda won't work.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bubba69 on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 08:03 am:

I like the naval base idea but the cost would be too high. Now, If I had Bill Gates money it could be great...Trollys from downtown across a draw bridge to get to the yard. A view of SF that SBC could only dream of and plenty of parking. A boat parking lot and a retractable roof for bad weather nights....oh to dream
SCHOTT SELL NOW YOU PUTZ!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By goldtymer on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 08:21 am:

Bubba dreams pretty!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jerryo1 on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 09:51 am:

I work for a company that is located on the Alameda NAS, and in fact the view from my office window is the Bay Bridge & SBC Park (I try not to look that way too often). There is plenty of wasted property out here, and for purely selfish reasons would love to see a new ballpark in my backyard. The lack of BART is only one transportation concern, since Alameda is an island; and access is limited to 3 ways by land: the Webster Tube (closest to Alameda NAS, but only 2 lanes), Park Street Bridge, and High Street Bridge. Can you imagine the gridlock following a game thru The Tube to get to the freeway? Sorry, but it can't happen.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ssblip on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 09:53 am:

It's kinda scary. Up here in Portland, they just ran a story in the paper that had the latest of bringing the Expos over. And for some reason the mayor seems to think Portland has just about as good a chance of getting a different relocating team -- "Oakland," specifically and in her words -- to come here if the Expos don't.

What's to make her even think this is a possibility? I know Selig hates Oakland and would certainly let them up and leave before his own beloved Brewers of Milwaukee became the Micro Brewers of Portland, but I haven't seen or heard anything legitimate that makes me think Oakland is going anywhere.

Let me clarify: I know there's always the threat of the A's leaving -- and thus this site was born -- but is the threat any more real, for any reason, than it's been anytime in the last five or so years?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bubba69 on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 10:23 am:

As long as Selig is the commis the threat is very real!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By goldtymer on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 10:26 am:

The Posey tube is a joke and has been for some time. With all of the development that will be happening in west Alameda (no matter who ends up using the land) there are going to have to be new transportation initiatives anyway. know something CAN be done...but I doubt it will very soon.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By richochet on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 01:39 pm:

Hey ssblip, can you give us a link to that story in the Portland press? That is indeed scary if Portland comes up with the financing and backing of MLB, especially if the Expos move to Washington, DC. It would make sense for the Expos to remain on the East Coast, thereby remaining in the NL East (rather than having to re-arrange things if they were to move to Portland). It also would make sense from MLB point of view to move a west coast franchise to Portland - of all the west coast teams, the A's are the only ones without a long-term viable (in the eyes of MLB) ballpark and really no prospects in the horizon. Scary stuff indeed. Again, would appreciate the link. Thanks.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rockridgeas on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 03:07 pm:

Here is that link + article

http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1074345011182640.xml


Expos sweepstakes gets even more crowded

It's now Portland and seven others as the process plods along

01/18/04

JOHN HUNT

It's baseball's version of "Groundhog Day." The tragi-comedy of Major League Baseball's efforts to sell and relocate the Montreal Expos has entered its third year, at pretty much the exact point it entered years one and two.

The pliable deadline is the same: the All-Star break. But the names have changed. Joining Portland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., are five relative newcomers: Las Vegas; Norfolk, Va.; San Antonio; Monterrey, Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Where does Portland stack up in the more crowded field of permanent relocation hopefuls?

Arguably, ahead of the other seven. But in baseball's eyes, it's an eight-way tie, with no stadium finance plan in place.

Portland proponents insist they will have a fleshed-out plan by early February, but their focus still isn't on the Expos.

"It is imperative that we participate in the Expos process, and I think the Expos process could even be fruitful for us," Oregon Stadium Campaign leader David Kahn said. "Having said that, there will be more than one bite at this apple."

Mayor Vera Katz agrees, but she is well aware that it is baseball commissioner Bud Selig who is holding the apple.

"I believe more and more that the work that we're going to do may not be for the Expos," she said. "However, we need to, in good faith, continue our work because in the final analysis, (Major League Baseball) makes the decision, whether it's the Expos or it's Oakland or some other team."

Selig squeezed the apple more tightly at the recent owners meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., telling reporters, "Whoever gets the team is going to have to have a ballpark situation structured," and saying contraction (banned by the labor agreement until 2007) was "off the table."

The subject of the structuring of the ballpark situation is a sensitive one in Portland now, mainly because of delicate talks with the hospitality industry on the plan's second-biggest revenue chunk.

Here's the current stadium finance plan for the overall project cost, still estimated at $350 million. State income tax: $150 million.

Senate Bill 5, the mechanism that would capture state income taxes of players and other team members, figured to provide $150 million toward stadium construction, but those estimates have been revised downward. It's now somewhere between $100 million and $150 million, according to Kahn and city spectator facilities manager David Logsdon, who is leading the local financing effort.

Uncertainty as to who will guarantee the bonds -- not the state, not the city and now probably not the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, since the Portland casino idea appears off the table -- has put a crimp in that revenue stream. Original estimates used a 7 percent payroll escalator (after years of double-digit raises in player salaries), but that has dropped to 4 percent.

"We need to be conservative," Kahn said. "Seven percent is too aggressive."

But Kahn said there are other yet-to-be-revealed methods of raising that state revenue back to $150 million. Tax increment financing: Around $10 million.

This is the urban renewal money, obviously dependent on which site is selected. Katz still is planning a public hearing process on site selection, and Kahn said he hopes to pare the list from seven to perhaps two or three in the next few months. Charter seat licensing: $25 million.

The San Francisco Giants generated nearly three times that from their charter seat licenses, so this is a conservative estimate. Concessions and merchandise tax: $20 million.

In lieu of a sales tax, this is a little extra off the top that would go toward stadium financing. Ticket user fees: $65 million.

It's a simple tax on tickets that, like the charter seat licenses and concession taxes, is money that would have gone to the owner, so technically these are private contributions that add up to more than $100 million. Funding for off-site improvements: $5 million.

Tapping into funding sources for improved streets, utilities, etc., around the stadium. Hospitality: Undetermined (original estimate: $54 million).

Leaders of the hotel industry have shot down the idea of another hotel tax, so negotiations are centered on the business license fee.

"We have not had discussions since early December," said Joe D'Alessandro, head of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association, "but I would not classify it as a stalemate."

More talks are scheduled for this week. Parking revenue: Undetermined.

Another factor in favor of the Rose Quarter site is the ability to capture money from city-owned garages, but this is a source that the city has just begun to explore. Team equity contribution: $0.

This is the check the owner would have to write to bring the deal together.

"This will be as close to zero as humanly possible," Kahn said. "In order for us to make a deal that makes sense for baseball, that equity share needs to be at or near zero."

This, of course, leaves a gap that Kahn -- splitting time between the OSC, his consulting role with the NBA's Indiana Pacers and his campaign finance efforts for Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards -- and others must fill. And if they fill it, will it be good enough?

And that's where Las Vegas comes in.

Like Washington, Las Vegas has the ability to build a stadium faster than you can say "Caesar's Palace." Mayor Oscar Goodman has been trying for years to attract major league sports to Las Vegas, with the NBA's Grizzlies being the latest flirtation before their move to Memphis.

"I'm still skeptical that they will really, in the end, want to go to Vegas," Portland Baseball Group president Steve Kanter said. "The ability to get it done there is certainly easy. The money would roll and it would be very easy."

Caesars Entertainment reportedly is talking with Major League Baseball about siting a team on land it owns near the Strip. But the demographics of Las Vegas, which ranks 51st among national markets, are one question. Also, would tourists want to take in a baseball game if that means time away from the casinos, buffets and shows?

The biggest question, of course, is whether Major League Baseball -- still struggling with the Pete Rose issue -- would enter Sin City.

Baseball remains noncommittal on that and on whether it would move in, if baseball gambling moves out.

"The presence of baseball on the book of Nevada and in particular, the potential of a local team being on the book is a serious issue of Major League Baseball in considering whether Las Vegas might be a viable location for a major league franchise," baseball's chief operating officer Bob DuPuy said.

Plus, there's the issue of a temporary ballpark for the three years or so it would take to construct one. Cashman Field in Las Vegas is not major league quality, or even Triple A quality, according to Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey III. Goodman has resisted all efforts to spruce up Cashman Field, preferring to hold out for the majors.

Still, awarding a team to fast-growing Las Vegas and having the team play temporarily in Monterrey or even Montreal is an option that is very much on the table.

Though much relocation talk is focused on Las Vegas, the silence is deafening in and around Washington.

Since Major League Baseball formed the relocation committee in November 2002, it had been widely assumed that the Expos would wind up in Washington or Northern Virginia, unless those areas dropped the ball.

The ball may or may not have been dropped, but nobody seems to care where it is.

Steve Czaban, a radio talk show host on WTEM in Washington, said he hasn't gotten a call on the topic of baseball relocation since the All-Star break.

"Nil, zero," Czaban said. "We are Charlie Brown, and Bud Selig is Lucy. And we are no longer playing the game."

Two-time losers with franchises that became the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers, the Washington area still is battling its past and its neighbor, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who has threatened to sue if Washington lands a team and last week was named to the owners' powerful Executive Council, increasing his ability to block such a move.

Talk of relocation all but died when D.C. Council member Jack Evans called baseball's bluff last summer by insisting that stadium financing would come only after Washington was promised the Expos.

So interest has drifted south from the Washington area to the Norfolk, Va., area. The relocation committee visited Hampton Roads last week, and the scene was vintage Portland, circa 2003.

Playing the part of Kahn was Rick Horrow, a Miami-based consultant hired to lobby MLB, who entertained the two-person relocation contingent (Selig's daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb, missed a flight on her way from Milwaukee).

"This is not a sprint, it's a marathon," Horrow told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk.

Playing the part of Katz was Norfolk mayor Paul Fraim, who -- like Katz, Goodman and Anthony Williams in Washington -- wants badly to make his a major league city.

The Norfolk group has a bit of a head start in stadium financing. It can use the legislation designed for Northern Virginia that already is written and can easily be enacted -- about $100 million that would come from existing state and local taxes.

The Virginia finance plan -- whether it's Northern Virginia or Norfolk or somewhere else in the Commonwealth -- would call for an owner to kick in one-third of the overall project cost. A stadium in Northern Virginia would run about $450 million. One in Norfolk would cost around $300 million because that site is on land owned by the city that would be donated for free.

The group trying to lure major league baseball to Northern Virginia has joined forces with the Norfolk group. But all is not harmonious in the Commonwealth:

A bill was introduced in the General Assembly last week that would extend the stadium authority act through 2007 (it is scheduled to expire at the end of 2004). But another bill introduced last week would shorten the legislation to this season's All-Star break.

DuPuy emerged from the owners meetings Wednesday saying that none of the eight areas had been eliminated.

(Even Detroit has tried to join the Expos sweepstakes. Some would argue that Detroit already has a major league team, but a group is trying to secure the franchise for still-standing Tiger Stadium -- talk about retro.)

"If you had a house to sell, you would want to have the most bidders for that house as possible," Kahn said. "In our case, we're a potential buyer.

"I do sense in their comments a more steely resolve to finish this, but this franchise will not play somewhere unless there's a financing deal and a lease."

Portland still ranks as the nation's largest market without a major league team that also is not demanding an exclusive negotiating window with Major League Baseball.

"Here's what's kosher with MLB: Build us a stadium," Kahn said. "I understand that. I think MLB is doing this exactly right, exactly right."

John Hunt: 503-294-7643; johnhunt@news.oregonian.com

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By rocket on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 03:21 pm:

Not sure this is this is the article, but the
A's, Marlins and Twins are mentioned as teams
for Portland


http://www.oregonlive.com/mlb/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1063455230187751.xml

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By richochet on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 03:40 pm:

Thanks guys ...

Ouch - this is indeed scary stuff - Portland seems pretty intent on getting a stadium plan together. It it seems the mayor has been told it's not going to be the Expos coming her way. She mentioned Oakland first as an example. With Schott as our owner, I wouldn't doubt for a second that he'd sell the franchise to the highest bidder, which in this case could very well be MLB/Portland.

Something else to keep me up at night while I ponder Miguel playing in Baltimore and Chavez soon joining the Dodgers? Yuck!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By ssblip on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 05:49 pm:

Thanks for posting these links, folks. One thing I should mention is that the paper did a follow-up on these above-posted stories, in which the chatted with Portland's would-be next mayor (Katz isnt' running for reelection), Jim Francescnoninoinoi. His take is that he's not interested in publicly financing the remaining $150 mil that's needed for a new ballpark. He wants private financing for that amount...which is different from the current mayor's vision, and which is starkly different from Selig's position of never having owners pay a dime (if he can help it).

And that's probably good news for Oaktown A's fans. Imagine that, a mayor who doesn't see things Bud's way. I like it.

Da link:
http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/1074517173312960.xml

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 09:43 pm:

This scares the hell out of me.

"Mayor Vera Katz agrees, but she is well aware that it is baseball commissioner Bud Selig who is holding the apple.

"I believe more and more that the work that we're going to do may not be for the Expos," she said. "However, we need to, in good faith, continue our work because in the final analysis, (Major League Baseball) makes the decision, whether it's the Expos or it's Oakland or some other team."

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 - 01:15 am:

The only reasonalbe site still in Oakland is near JLS and to build there will cost over 500 million.

If Schott didn't act like an ass, the downtown project would already be ongoing and it would've cost not near as what it will be near the waterfront.


Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.


 

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Please contact info@oaklandfans.com.