Articles and Columns on 7/9 developments
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Here's Robert Gammons' report on what happened at City Hall.
Please post any other columns/articles on this thread if you find them. I'm also linking these articles on the 'ballpark news' of our ballpark site.
A's owners swingin' in right direction
Chronicle on lease extension
David Newhouse...bless his soul :')
In one of yesterday's press conference links, DLF was quoted as saying that the Uptown site is the only site that he would "vigorously support" for a stadium. In this Trib article, he says he will "vigorously fight" the amendment to make the negotiating agreement non-exclusive. Do you have a better read on this guy?
Well, DLF is playing on both ends of this deal.
He wants to get the some credit if the ballpark is built and he wants to be on the good side of Jerry Brown and the Forest City deal...
Jerry Brown will intrusively (as he has already done) fight any chance for the ballpark to succeed. He wants his Forest City project.
He will continue to pressure the City Council to vote down the proposal to negotiate with the A's.
DLF conveniently was not at the City Hall meeting so he did not vote for Dick Spees' proposal to leave the ballpark negotiations on the Forest City negotiating 12 month period. But he went on the record saying that he "would have voted against it" had he been there. So he stayed out of the dog house with the Mayor...for now.
Instead he was at the Supes meeting to shmooze a bit with Schott and get some credit for the lease extension which he had also been against...
AND...he is even offering land for development IF Schott would want to build in conjunction with the ballpark...which is THE MOST intelligent thing to do if you have owners who are developers.
Schott and Hofmann could have their cake and eat it by developing the area and building the ballpark...
Why Forest City? Because Jerry Brown wants to make due to his campaign donors and political friends.
But the reality and the truth of the matter remains that the only way for the A's to have any kind of visitor or sin tax and/or redevelopment moneys is to build at the Uptown site. They would get no support whatsoever at any other site...and that includes Fremont.
The issue now is to present the financial options to the A's with the land and development plans
BEFORE the July 23rd vote. If the A's come forward with a viable commitment and proposal for that site, the Forest City deal would be DOA on the 23rd.
I was told by a 'high up' yesterday that as soon as Mike Crowley returns from the allstar game, the city officials will meet with the A's to show the master ballpark plan AND the financial package.
So this will probably happen this coming week...
| By dorrit on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 09:13 am:|
I'm enthusiastic, but why would councilmember Jane Brunner make a statement like, "It may never happen.It may happen. But why take it off the table?" Is this called covering your tracks?
No, its not covering her tracks. Jane Brunner, like Dick Spees, are working very hard to make the ballpark in Oakland a reality, but only the A's owners can make it happen now.
The reality is that IF the A's owners don't step up to the plate very, very soon, the Uptown site WILL be off the table and so will any chances of Oakland getting a ballpark.
Jane Brunner is telling it like it is...She wants a chance to see if the Oakland A's owners want to negotiate. So why take the chance off the table now like Jerry Brown wants to have happen. She wants to see if the owners really want this deal and are willing to put about 150 million (espimated) into the pot to make it happen.
That's what she means.
| By chris_d on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 09:40 am:|
The Press Democrat's take on the lease extension:
| By dorrit on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 09:49 am:|
That makes sense-I just didn't know where she was coming from.
| By tekgraf on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 10:21 am:|
People, people. The park is a reality. Oakland and the A's will have a ball park downtown by 2006, 7 at the latest. We need to let JB know that the Forest city thing is not viable for that area. Come on, it's a gated community and will not benefit the downtown area at all. The ball park and the revitilized Fox theatre will bring people, fans and shopping back to that area of Oakland. Let's go A's and Dreyer's Park!!!
Thanks Lil for bringing some clarity to all the posturing of everyone involved. I like what Lil said regarding DLF offering land for development. It sounds like the owners are going to give this an honest look and possibly realize Uptown is the best spot. With the 23rd looming, hopefully we'll have a better idea of what the owners will cough up and if it'll be enough to make this happen.
It'll take at least a year for a financing plan to be settled upon. No way can the A's due their due diligence in a couple of weeks. How about the voters?
It's gonna be a long, strange trip, and I, for one, am looking forward to the ride.
How is each council member likely to vote on the amendment? That appears to be the key vote - if they get an ENA the ballpark is DOA.
Contact your council person and make your views known - especially if they are undecided!
I don't think it should take a year for a financing plan to the settled upon.
And I'm not so sure we should continue to contact only the council members...I think now we should contact the A's owners as well. Try to encourage them to come forward by expressing our support for the Uptown site.
There are so many different opinions and ideas out there among A's fans. Some very justified and some due to denial or mis-information re what can happen to the A's.
Unfortunately there are still many A's fans who for various reasons don't want a new ballpark. There are many A's fans who favor building right next to the Coliseum, not realizing that site is not even being considered. The owners don't even want to hear about that option.
We all know there's a huge mis-conception about downtown Oakland and how unsafe it will be etc...etc...
some fans keep dreaming about the water...some just don't want to leave the Coli which is undertandable since we all know how much more our tickets will cost at the new digs.
So the master ballpark plan needs to be well presented to the owners and they in turn must feel the pulse of the fans and residents of Oakland.
According to Robert Bobb, there's a time frame to follow for the ballpark to be ready in 2006. If this time frame is shifted, the financing will also have to be altered accordingly.
I think that the July 23rd vote would not even be necessary if the A's show a sound interest and sit down to negotiate in a serious manner. But if the A's start to posture and play hard to get, the July 23rd vote will be in favor for negotiating exclusively with Forest City. And the
Uptown site would be dead for the ballpark.
Breacherdave, based on their most recent history here's how the council members line up on the ballpark issues.
On the fence:
Ignacio De La Fuente
Other Officials who don't have a vote at City Council
Mayor Jerry Brown - against
City Manager Robert Bobb - pro
City Attorney John Russo - pro
This is the first time I disagree with you, Lil. I think what happens on 7/23 is critical, unless a decision is made to table or otherwise withdraw the vote on the ENA. Given the mayor's position, I do believe it will come to a vote. If IDF stays against the plan, it looks like 3-3 with 2 undecided. Those are the 2 we should try to sway.
I agree with you that now is the time for ownership to give us a leg to stand on. You guys have been fighting a good fight without Schott/Man havin your back. It's time for them to come forward so that we don't look like we're tiltin at windmills.
Oh wait...I agree with you that what happens on 7/23 is critical.
Maybe I didn't explain myself well. I said that the July 23rd vote may not even come into play IF THE A"S step up and show interest in negotiating with the city between now and the 23rd.
The only thing we disagreed was that I thought it would not take a year to work out the financial deal. I think a decision has to be taken fairly soon and certainly before the end of this year.
| By kevink on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 - 05:26 pm:|
Is it true that Schottman will need to pony up $150 mil to make this thing happen? I saw that you had written that but I wasn't aware there were any numbers being thrown out there just yet. If we're relying on Schott to open up his wallet I'm a little scared!
The 150 million is a ballpark (no pun intended) amount. Some have mentioned less at 120 million.
The other day, one of the city council members who is in fact a proponent of the ballpark, told us that it would take Schotmann to come to the table with 130 million.
Now, when Schott was wooing Santa Clara, they had pledged 80 million to be paid in the form of rent.
I don't know if there was any more moneys pledged up front towards the construction. And I've read somewhere that they in fact had offered to come in with 120 million.
| By oaktownfan on Friday, July 12, 2002 - 09:14 pm:|
I'm not sure Wan is totally against the idea of building a park. I went to the March 12th rally and he didn't totally object to the park idea like Nadel did and is doing right now. Wan didn't agree to the lease deal because of financial parts of the package, I wouldn't guarantee that he would be against the park too if it was incorporated with the housing. He was against how much the A's were willing to pay for rent for the lease, not the idea of building a park. I'm not totally intuned like many of you with the park's dealing, but I've never seen Wan say publicly or in the newspapers that he is against the idea of building the A's a park like Nadel is.
As for IDLF, he's covering his ass like a typical politician does when he's given the oppurtunity. He wants to take credit if either project goes through. He supports the housing project and he also said he would only support a park in the uptown site. I still think he will vote no when it comes down to it but if the vote passes, he will always take credit for the lease deal in keeping the A's here.
Chang and Mayne, they're the most important people in the council. From what most people here say, the vote would be 3-3 and they're two votes are the tie breakers. They're the ones who proponents of the park have to persuade. I hope they come with an open mind and see that the entertainment/housing/park plan is the best plan for downtown.
A's ownership has to finally acknowledge that the uptown site is the only site that has any chance of getting any support from the city council and residents of the city. The ownership has to at least pony up one-third of the cost for the park. Another third can from naming rights(although some say naming rights alone can garner a 100 million by itself), corporate sponsers/business leaders, and the redevelopment funds. The other third can be paid off by with some combination of personal seat licenses and profits made by the park. Do what the other team from the bay is doing by allowing events to take place in the park when baseball isn't being played there. I still think that Oakland residents would approve some public money to help build the A's a ballpark.
| By eyleenn on Friday, July 12, 2002 - 09:31 pm:|
Oaktownfan, you're right about Wan. In response to an e-mail I sent him about a ballpark, he said he didn't see any reason that both housing and a ballpark couldn't be built together uptown.
I agree with Oaktownfan, Wan could be potentially convince to support the New Ballpark. Its Chang and Mayne we have to win over to secure a Majority for the New Ballpark. Don't count on DLF ever voting in favor of it. Off course, DLF will try to take credit for or make it seem like he supported it all along if the New Ballpark passes, yes a typical politician's trick, taking credit for something they had nothing to do with.
What irks me is the Naysayers trying to spin it as if it were a choice, "its eighter the Housing or the Ballpark". The Forester Housing can be built in a 100 different areas in Oakland or can be easily located next to the Ballpark!!
"No Brown, Nadel and DLF its NOT eighter or, and the choice is obvious to Bringing Downtown Oakland to life, Build the Ballpark Entertainment Housing District!!!"
I hope you guys are right about Danny Wan. I got the impression he is a little unrealistic in his ideas. He gave comparisons of how much rent the A's should pay at the Coli with a baseball only new ballpark like Denver. He apparently doesn't notice the difference. He also didn't want a lease extension, even mentioning eviction as a bargaining tool.
And I fear that when he says the ballpark and the housing could be worked out, I hope he doesn't mean the location DeLaFuente came up with which would involve disappropriation in a very small area they came up with at the eleventh hour as an alternative site for the ballpark at the bus terminal and not the 20th and Telegraph.
But I hope I'm wrong and Wan does come around...and I agree about Mayne and Chang. Somehow I think Chang does approve of having the ballpark as part of the master plan for downtown.
I remember how he seemed to understand the importance of MLB as status for the city and its residents.
The worse of all is the obstructive way Jerry Brown has behaved during this entire process. He will not lift a finger to help and will probably do what he can to kill any deals which involves the ballpark. He wants Forest City and nothing else....and oh yes...his Indian Casino.
| By tekgraf on Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 01:16 am:|
"With their relatively small fan base and outmoded stadium"
This is the kind of media crap I hate. Oakland for many years has out sold the Giants and here the A's are made out to be in a small market with a small fan base, what horse shi...! I believe the A's fans are more loyal and more knowledgeable than the Giants fans. I just want to know, where doesn this horse manure come?!
| By oaktownfan on Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 04:44 am:|
That crap started right after 97 and escalated when Pac Bell opened. During the 90s, both the A's and Giants were struggling in the win column and attendance wise. I still remember in 97 when the Giants promoted their announcers when Jon Miller came aboard instead of team; while the A's promoted "powerball". Then the Giants shocked everybody by winning the pennent and the A's were still rebuilding. All of a sudden, the media here jumped on the bandwagon of the Giants and once they got Pac Bell, there was no way the A's could get back what they had attention wise here in the late 80s and early 90s. Pac Bell is being nearly sold out all the time while the A's can bearly draw 20,000 on a given weeknight. As for the fans, I think there are the same amount of hardcore fans for both the A's and Giants. Unfornately, many of the Giants die hard are priced out of Pac Bell and the A's die hards who can always attend the A's games are ridiculed by the media. Now if the same happens with the A's if they get a new park, I think it's worth it. It's better to know you can attend maybe ten A's games and catch the rest of the games on television/radio than not having them at all if a new park isn't built.
Face it, the Giants came here first and the A's second. The Giants play in the glamour city and the A's play in the blue collar city that is being stigmatized by the media. The Giants have one of the biggest sports radio stations in the country supporting them, the A's games are broadcasted on an a.m. music station where you can only talk seriously about the A's for about an hour after the game ends, the Giants have the park and media behind them while the A's have the better organization from the general manager down.
Now if the A's can get a new park that can compete with Pac Bell and bring life to the city, the gap will narrow but not by much. I seriously don't think the A's can compete with the Giants even remotely until the organization gets new owners. If the current ownership wants to still own the team, fine. But bring in somebody who can spend the money that can keep this team together or help finance a new park. With the current ownership, the A's will never keep the talent it has after their contract is up. It's a amazing how Billy Beane has kept this team competitive while given one fourth the budget of the Yankees and half the budget of what the average playoff contending team has.
What I really want to see is the ownership selling part of the team to owners who have deeper pockets, the A's getting their own sports radio station, and finally the A's playing at their new downtown park, Dreyers Field. All three happening probably won't come true but I'm hoping the day comes true that they will. At least give me a new ballpark.
| By tekgraf on Saturday, July 13, 2002 - 10:55 am:|
Good analysis, but it stills gauls me to no end. I've lived in Oakland all my life and it just burns me that this city gets so much sh.. from most people in the bay area and from national newscast (remember 60 minutes?)
But as a friend once told me; don't let the rest of the world know how nice it is to live in Oakland or every yuppie will want to live here.
tekgraf, check out this website:
| By oaktownfan on Sunday, July 14, 2002 - 03:45 am:|
Screw the media! I don't care what the bay area or national media has to say about Oakland. I admit it bothered me a long time ago but after a while, you have to get used to it because the perception of the city won't change.
Now if a ballpark gets built in downtown Oakland, that might change a bit especially if the entertainment/housing/park plan becomes a reality. That way, the city can showcase what it has to offer in culture, history, the best weather in the bay, and the excitement of a revitalized downtown.
For example, New York City during the late 70s and 80s was thought of as a crime invested area but Rudy Guilliani took over and things changed. Although some of his tactics can be questioned back then, he cleaned the city of crime and the of the ugly mentality it had for decades. Now I'm am in no way comparing NYC to Oakland but if we can elect a leader who was as determined and driven to prove doubters wrong as Guilliani, this city might get some respect.
| By jeffreyb on Wednesday, July 17, 2002 - 05:05 pm:|