Update on Oakland Ballpark Discussions
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| By jenmed on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 03:13 pm:|
Just want to keep everyone up-to-date regarding efforts to keep the A's in Oakland. Lil and myself attended an Oakland Chamber of Commerce Committee meeting today along with city leaders and prominent business people in Oakland. There have been ongoing discussions with the A's, and the Chamber and city are working on a proposal to keep the team in Oakland. There isn't a lot for us to do as that develops, but as soon as we know something more concrete we will make plans for rallies, city council meeting participation, etc.
We'll let you know as soon as we know more.
| By jesse on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 03:33 pm:|
Thats great, I have a few questions though.
How long have these discussions been taking place.
Who have they been working with in the A's organization?
Is there a positive vibe?
| By jenmed on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 05:02 pm:|
These discussions have been taking place for several months, since Lewis Wolff was hired in the fall. They have spoken with both Mike Crowley and Lewis Wolff.
There is a positive vibe in that the Oakland business community is really committed to making things happen. They look at it not only as A's fans, which many of them are, but as a business retention issue. It is still hard to say where the A's are coming from, although it is clear they want to be presented with a cohesive ballpark plan by the city/business community, which is what is being worked on now.
| By kevink on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 10:26 pm:|
Wow, this is surprising good news...thanks for posting that Jen.
| By jenmed on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 10:20 am:|
No problem, Kevin. I will provide more details as soon as they become available.
| By oaktownfan on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 12:58 am:|
This means very little until I see Schott make a real committment to the city of Oakland, which I still haven't heard from him yet since he's owned the team.
| By jenmed on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 09:34 am:|
Oaktownfan, I can certainly see where you're coming from, but there has to be a first step. At the very worst, we know that the ownership cannot say that the city of Oakland has done nothing to retain the team. It is important that the city is willing to fight to keep the team, regardless of what happens in the future. Aside from that, none of us knows what will happen, but we need to support the city in any efforts they make.
| By oaktownfan on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 11:26 pm:|
Yeah, I just keep thinking of cities like Baltimore that lost the Colts and Cleveland that lost the Browns. Cities and fans who didn't want the team to move yet the owners of each respective team saw the oppurtunity and left breaking the hearts of the millions of fans who were loyal to that team. The Colts basically moved their team overnight and I have this sickening thought in the back of my head that Selig and Schott will get their way and move the team out of Oakland because both and the Giant org wants the same too.
Sure, the city and fans will want the A's to stay but it takes two to tangle and like it's been posted here many times, Schott has yet to even acknowledge the fact that the future of the A's is in Oakland.
Selig and company will have their excuses or will make them up like the city didn't have the money to help fund a new park or it had no location to build one that would satisfy both the A's owner and the city. I can imagine it now and all the bs being spewed in a press conferenced.
I still have hope that the A's will get bought by somebody like the Haas family and keep the team in Oakland and help build a new park in the downtown area but as long as Selig and Schott are still here, that likely isn't going to happen soon and the A's fans will be stuck with this nightmare situation.
| By tekgraf on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 11:31 pm:|
Great news. Is Jerry B in on this? Or is he absent as usual?
Oaktownfan, you must be optimistic. I too have some doubts, but this has been an ongoing situation since 1980. Remember when they were going to Denver? And the A's are still here. I suspect they will be here in twenty years. As much as I like the coliseum, we, the community, must be pragmatic and get this greedy son of a bitch a ball park or our beloved A's are history.
Keep up the good work, jenmed and lil. Yippee!
Folks, keep the faith...
sometimes I have a very hard time staying optimistic, especially being so aware of Selig's bad intentions as far as the A's fate is concerned...but...
as Jen explained, the people heading this group are very serious about keeping the A's in Oakland and they want to really keep things out of the press until they come up with a very solid and meaningful proposal.
One thing you can be sure. Once they give us the go ahead sign, Jen and our site will be the first ones to really put the word out there asking for support for our cause.
Btw, Jen made a great presentation at the meeting, showing how the OAFC has grown as a grassroots organization and internet community, without any sponsors (unlike the Santa Clara website funded by the COC).
I don't have the exact numbers right here with me but I was surprised at the number of hits and page views we have per day etc....amazing and very encouraging.
| By jesse on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 06:08 pm:|
in your opinions, what do you all think it will take to get a deal done. On behalf of the A's and the City and or private investors, what will it take in $$$$$
| By eyleenn on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 09:41 pm:|
A new park will run about $400 mil.
| By oaktownfan on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 11:33 pm:|
How does a new park in Oakland cost at least 400 million while SBC was built for about 50 million dollar less.
From the reports of the Howard Termianal, it's likely to cost an extra 100 million at least from that 400 million mentioned.
If that's true, then I think the owner whoever it is would have to pony up half of the cost around 200-250 million.
I still think the city/county would pass a tax on liquor/cigarettes. I mean would can't you pay an extra quarter or so on some beers or cigarettes to keep a team in Oakland and help revitalize a part of the downtown area. Maybe I'm living in a dream world but I'd vote for it and hopefully the A's fans would too if they were given the chance.
I was listening to 1140 this afternoon and it looks like the Kings are interested in building a new downtown arena for their team. Kinda sad to see Oakland have three sports teams but to have their venues out in the middle of nowhere. It'd would've been nice to see at least one of the Oakland teams be playing near the downtown area.
| By tekgraf on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 08:52 am:|
The warriors were looking at building their area in the downtown area. Instead, they have their practice field atop the convention near the Marriott hotel.
Has anyone ever been inside. I understand they have an observation deck.
| By tekgraf on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 08:55 am:|
The warriors were looking at building their arena in the downtown area. Instead, they have their practice field atop the convention center near the Marriott hotel.
Has anyone ever been inside? I understand they have an observation deck.
Sorry for the double entry, but I couldn't let the first entry go as it was.
| By jenmed on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 09:37 am:|
Out in the middle of nowhere? Not sure how the Coliseum and Arena qualify there. True, not downtown, but very easy access by car and public transportation. Soon there will be not only BART but an Amtrak station and AC transit hub, not to mention the proximity to the airport.
Still, I understand the appeal of a downtown ballpark.
Unfortunately, the best (and most likely only) spot for a park in downtown Oakland is not on the table. The uptown site at 20th and Telegraph is committed to the Forest City housing development, and that is not going to change. Jerry Brown is adamant that housing will be built there, as he sees it as the centerpiece of his downtown revitalization plans. I don't agree, but he is unwavering on this point.
We have to look at other locations at this point, which is what the city/business community is doing.
| By oaktownfan on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 06:12 pm:|
jenmed, I think having 3 sports team in a city and not have a venue for them to play in not anywhere close where it could turn the surrounding area around was a big mistake. I don't see any revitalization around the net the past decade ever since the Raiders came back or the arena was refurnished. That area where the arena and net is, you got thousands of people coming in but once the game is over, they don't stay there and spend money around that area like it is at SBC and at other new venues being built around the country for sports teams in the downtown area. No restaurants, clubs, or bars around the net.
As of now, I don't know where a new arena or park could be built near the downtown area. Uptown is a dead issue but that would've been a great play to build either a arena or park back in the mid 90s.
Howard Terminal is still open for discussion isn't it and I think the 9th to Oak Street area near the waterfront south of JLS is being used for housing/park area so that area is not an option.
| By linusalf on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 11:26 pm:|
| By oaktownfan on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 02:44 am:|
The location in the parking right by the net would be even a bigger mistake.
To spend 400 million on a park that provides no impact around the area. Might as well play at the net rather than to spend that much money and get very little in return revitalization which is maybe the top goal of building a new park in a urban area.
What would you rather have? A park like Miller in Milwaukee which is built near a freeway and has very little impact around the existing area or that of the numberous parks that you've seen built the past 5 years. SBC, Jacobs, Coors, Safeco and the other half dozen that have revitalized dead areas of the city and have been turned into vibrant areas. The choice is obvious.
I rather spend the 500-525 million on a waterfront park rather than the 400 million at the net location. That extra money being spent would well be worth the revitalization a new park would create, it would pay for the views you would get and the pr the new park would provide to your downtown setting. The same can't be said if you built a new park in net's parking lot or if the team across the bay built a new park near the candlestick park instead of where SBC is.
As for all those extra negatives you pointed out, the same was said about SBC. It would clog up the streets, no parking, it would be too like it was at the stick because it was close by the bay, and have traffic delays on the bridge. Well if you do your work right all those problems won't be solved but they will not create the absolute headache that some fear.
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 09:22 am:|
SBC has pretty good access via public transit, including Muni, Cal Train and ferries. If any park were to be built on the Oakland waterfront, it would be critical to assure public transit access.
Heck, BART is the best thing about the Coliseum.
| By goldtymer on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 10:01 am:|
Say what you will about our park, it has excellent transportation (BART), an airport, great freeway access(880)and a good "All East Bay" location.
What has anyone ever done (besides Zhone) to build up that area? Why not revitalize Hegenberger & 98th ave/66th areas?
Why not make that area an attraction through development?
It seems that there is something there to work with......
Hey, the above is a start…and there’s more coming.
I too would have prefered the Uptown site, but its no use crying over spilled milk.
And I agree the ballpark shouldn't be in an island of cement for parking. But mass transportation is a huge plus and that they have and can be improved. And once you have the customer coming, then you'll see the food and other types of services coming along.
| By linusalf on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 11:30 am:|
| By eyleenn on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 03:09 pm:|
aaaaargh! Fix that thing, linusalf!
| By sactodavey on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 04:31 pm:|
comming from sacto it is always pretty easy to get in and out without much traffic mess, this has always been the advantage with the colisieum over the years i love the site for a new stadium or better yet get rid of the Raiders and remodal the old one.
there are plenty of empty commerical property around thee to buy up and put 2 stadiums on the lot and build up the area.
| By oaktownfan on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 07:08 pm:|
Even with the improvements being made around the net, it's still not a place where citizens of the city will spend money before and after a game. You don't get that urban atmosphere that you would get with a downtown setting, at least I know I wouldn't.
I don't know if all those improvements listed would cost that much to improve the transportation to the Howard Termianl site or any other waterfront park. I do believe the new park would warrent those needs but in all total it would cost around 800 million. Way too much in my opinion.
The ferry system for SBC wasn't that much was it?
| By goldtymer on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 08:29 am:|
Around the Coliseum, most likely around Hegen..
Outdoor shopping, several restaurants, theatre, park & business.;
The area has plenty of property for a new Baseball only Park, and a ton of development in a few directions.