One Man's Opinion
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| By finleyshero on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 03:53 pm:|
Don't shoot the messenger, OK? I'm just posting what he wrote...
Sacramento A's? It's letter-perfect
By Marcos Bretón -- Bee Columnist
Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, February 10, 2005
An open letter to Lewis Wolff, soon-to-be-owner of the Oakland A's.
Dear Mr. Wolff:
Congratulations on purchasing the A's, the best-run organization in all of sports. We know you must be thrilled by this momentous opportunity, but you must also realize that you have a huge problem:
Oakland can't build you the new stadium you need for the A's.
You can try for a million years, but it will never happen in a sickly city bled dry by the Raiders.
And you can't move to San Jose, either, because the Giants will sue you with the backing of Commissioner Bud Selig.
So as a self-appointed representative of the booming and underappreciated city of Sacramento, I have a proposition for you:
Move the A's to the state capital.
Now is the time, because Sacramento soon will have a huge sports vacancy that you could fill nicely - the Kings are threatening to leave the most loyal NBA market around.
Yes, we know that sounds crazy.
But the Kings-will-bolt-unless-Sacramento-builds-them-an-arena theory has been getting shoveled all over Sactown like cow dung on our beloved camellias, even finding its way into The Bee.
So, OK then! Let's talk about the Sacramento Athletics and worry about where to move the River Cats later.
First off, by moving here, you would never be in the shadow of the Giants again.
From Fresno to the Oregon border, this region would be yours and yours alone - just as it is for the Kings right now.
You would think that no team would want to leave a gold mine like that, but apparently it's not enough for the Kings, who don't seem to appreciate how far nearly $300 million can go into building a state-of-the-art arena.
And though Bay Area snobs think we're a backwater, we actually have cable TV here - Comcast has 770,000 customers in the Central Valley alone. And that would just be a fraction of your TV audience.
Just think of the marketing power you could tap with a massive and growing audience in your pocket alone.
God knows how much money the Kings' owners have poured into their Las Vegas casino by advertising to a captive audience passionately following the local NBA team.
You would think that no businessman would walk away from such a bonanza, but apparently it's not enough for the Kings.
And we haven't even mentioned how blindly loyal people here are to their team. Mr. Wolff, we in Sacramento stand in line at Carl's Jr. for five hours or more just for Kings bobblehead dolls.
We have thousands of people who can't afford to even peek inside Arco Arena's hallowed doors - and yet Sactown is strewn with Kings gear and Kings flags flying from creaky cars.
But that's not all. Do you know that the local ABC affiliate - an alleged news operation - actually morphs into a Kings party wagon whenever they carry Kings games?!?
News anchors drop their game faces and go goofy over them big, purple-wearin' galoots.
Can you ever imagine Erubiel Durazo or Bobby Crosby or Eric Byrnes ever being treated like royalty in Oakland?
You would think that no team would ever walk away from such publicity - The Bee does its share - but apparently it's not enough for the Kings.
But the real reason you should move the A's to Sacramento is the political clout you get here.
Unlike Oakland, this town is ready to make a deal - any deal.
We have a mayor who practically did back flips and had her political image trashed forever by trying to please the Kings' owners. We have a City Council that - as they say in sports - got pimp-slapped by the Kings' owners.
We have an esteemed sheriff who was a towering crime fighter but was embarrassed politically when he tried to do the Kings' bidding.
And now the richest guys in town are saying they will give the Kings - that's right, GIVE - the Kings $300 million to build an arena.
And it's not enough.
So let's talk turkey. You have stated that the A's will commit $100 million to a hopeless stadium deal in Oakland.
Why not wait for the Kings to bolt for the obvious greener pastures of - (fill in the blank) Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Anaheim, Las Vegas or Barstow - and then meld your cash with our local rich dudes?
That's $400 million - about what you estimate it will cost to build a stadium in hopeless Oakland.
Our land prices are still cheaper here; let's do it.
Don't get hung up on wondering why the Kings would ever leave Sacramento. Frankly, it doesn't make sense to us, either.
But apparently that's the threat, and one man's threat is another man's opportunity.
You won't regret it. We'll love you long time.
| By jenmed on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 03:58 pm:|
This sounds to me more like an assault on the Kings ownership than a real play for the A's.
| By finleyshero on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 04:12 pm:|
Well, yes it is somewhat tongue in cheek, but he does make some arguable points.
| By washfan on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 04:50 pm:|
I am not trying to hate on Oakland but sometimes I lament that the A's might be better off in Sac, a metro region where they would not be the Giants red headed step-child. They would certainly sell out the stadium but I do not think the TV market would be as robust.
It is unfair to call Oakland a sickly city. I do biz in Sac from time to time and I run into or observe quite a few sketchy/seedy characters.
| By diamond_lil on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 04:56 pm:|
I'm not trying to shoot the messenger, but next time just put the link please. I think we can click on it and save a lot cyber space especially when the first paragraph was enough for some here.
I suppose it is good to know the enemy as if we need more of em...
| By bubba69 on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 06:53 pm:|
Lil, I could not have said it better!
| By deajay on Thursday, February 10, 2005 - 10:51 pm:|
It's amazing how all these vultures can quickly insult the city of Oakland, while drooling over the A's.
| By orangeman on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 06:47 am:|
I think Sacramento would go crazy over the A's, but not to the same extent as the Kings. There are a lot of Giants fans there, people who have followed them for nearly 50 years. I doubt they're going to switch allegiances right away.
Fan loyality for the NBA is nowhere near what it is for MLB or NFL. I bet many people in Sacto didn't even follow the NBA before the Kings moved there.
And while the Sacramento A's would be the Central Valley's only team, I'm not so sure they'd consistently draw well from areas like Merced or Fresno, especially during the week.
| By hubbard88 on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 09:40 am:|
If they are going to move that would be at the top of my list because they would get a real shot at being "the team" something they will never get in the greater Bay Area.
| By ramjet1 on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 03:29 pm:|
Washfan, the A's are not the Giants redheaded step child. However, the Colisieum is SBC park's red-headed step child. The Bay Area loves a winner, and new digs, we're shallow that way. As long the Giants win and have the only new state of the art facility in town they will get more press then the A's, unless we win a World Series. If the A's get a comparable ballpark to SBC things will revert back to the equal status the two teams had when the Giants were housed at Candlestick. We out drew them in 89 when we both made it to the Series.
| By washfan on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 03:39 pm:|
You are delusional if you think that. The Giants receive prefered status within the SF Bay Area, new ballpark or otherwise. I don't want to see the A's in SAC but it is prefered to Vegas or Portland.
| By yc2578 on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 04:18 pm:|
I'll be making my first trip to SBC this year in May. Don't worry though as I'm getting the ticket for free and they're playing the A's.
| By diamond_lil on Friday, February 11, 2005 - 04:53 pm:|
If the A's get a comparable ballpark to SBC things will revert back to the equal status the two teams had when the Giants were housed at Candlestick. We out drew them in 89 when we both made it to the Series.
When the Giants were at the Stick, the A's outdrew them in 10 of 17 seasons.
| By ramjet1 on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 08:02 pm:|
I'm not delusional washfan I know Bay Area sports fans and they flock to winners and whats hot. The Giants recieve preferred status by the press because the Bay Area media is based in S.F. but the Giants are not neccesarily more popular with the fans despite all the uneven coverage. Case in point in the late 80 and pre SBC park 90's the A's routinely out drew the "more popular", Giants.