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  1. Wow. The amazing thing to me is how badly the A’s got screwed on the original territorial deal. How/why did they agree to that massively lop-sided division of the bay area?

    Comment by OmahaJoe — September 7, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  2. So basically the A’s will eventually be able to move to Oakland, as the law says they can, but SF will play every card in their hand, ethical or not, to delay the move so they make a little bit more money.

    Comment by TKDC — September 7, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  3. edit —

    move to San Jose

    Comment by TKDC — September 7, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  4. The Giants were planning to move to San Jose which wasn’t much of anything before the tech-boom. The A’s then could move in on the city of San Francisco, which was far wealthier, but unwilling to finance a new stadium. However, the Giants move to San Jose was voted against and the new Giants ownership self-funded a stadium while the economy of San Jose boomed.

    Comment by Jack — September 7, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

  5. Walter Haas agreed to give the Giants that portion of the Bay out of generosity, with the understanding that it was so that the Giants could build a ballpark down there. That never happened, and the territory was never changed back. It’s sad that such altruistic “best for baseball” action is now so far in the rear view mirror for the Giants.

    Comment by Tim_the_Beaver — September 7, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  6. When was that? I was born and bred in the Bay Area, an I don’t recall any suggestion the A’s were ever going to move to SF.

    Comment by Bigmouth — September 7, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  7. This is a great summary of a complicated topic. Thanks Wendy. I read two baseball blogs every day: this one, and which is by far the best news source on the topic.
    My take: you are exactly right that Selig is biding his time, hoping that one of two things occurs: the Giants and A’s can negotiate a settlement for access to the South Bay, or Oakland can get its act together and put together a *viable* ballpark proposal. (I add the emphasis because Oakland has gone through numerous ideas, but never given them the proper leadership to make them viable. And by viable, I more or less mean financially viable).
    So what will break first? The A’s patience? Bud? Oakland? I honestly have no idea at this point. I see the chances of the A’s location as 50/50 for SJ/Oak 10 years from now. It’s sad that the real losers in all this are A’s fans, who have no clarity on the future of their team.

    Comment by Tim_the_Beaver — September 7, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  8. Not that the A’s were going to move, but they would reap the benefits of San Francisco, just like the Giants are reaping the benefits of San Jose.

    Comment by Jack — September 7, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  9. Well, you have to remember that the As were the new team and were working from a one-down position.

    Also, the A’s territory, at the time, was far closer in population than it is now because this pre-dates the massive growth of Silicon Valley.
    In 1970, it was the East Bay — C.C and Alameda county, that had been growing 3-fold every few years. In 1960, Alameda county was twice the size of SC; in 1950 it was 3x.
    Now SC is almost twice the size of Alameda.

    Comment by mettle — September 7, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  10. Wow, the A’s tried to help the Giants out of the goodness of their hearts years ago and now are paying for it. How sad is it that this kind of proves the idea that no good deed goes unpunished?

    Comment by Average_Casey — September 7, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  11. I actually think that Alameda/East Bay is a viable location for the A’s long term and moving to the South Bay is short sited.
    Silicon Valley already had it’s income and population boom 1970-2000 and won’t be getting much bigger – they’re pretty maxed out with millionaires. On the other hand, Oakland is beginning a big population and income resurgence.

    Comment by mettle — September 7, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  12. No offense, mettle, but this is exactly the problem the A’s face: yes, the East Bay is “viable” for many theoretical reasons. When it comes to looking site by site, however, and seeing what development costs and regulatory hurdles (env. impact, zoning, transportation, etc) would be, you quickly find out that there are literally no good ones. They all have significant problems/hurdles. The City of Oakland’s brass focuses way too much on the type of argument you make, and way too little on the problems that actually matter

    Comment by Tim_the_Beaver — September 7, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  13. It’s not personal. It’s business.

    Comment by Michael Corleone — September 7, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  14. Does this mean that their new team name would be the “Greater Bay Area Athletics of San Jose”? Because that would be awesome!

    Comment by Mike B. — September 7, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  15. How about the Contraction Athletics.

    The bay area consistently supports 1 team and thats the giants. No one cares about the A’s who havent won a world series in 23 yrs.

    Better to disband that franchise, there’s enough room on the giants bandwagon for migrating A’s fans, feel free.

    The A’s are like the homeless, salvation army of mlb who steal money from revenue sharing. Selig would be smart to contract the A’s as his plans 10 yrs ago were. A’s will never get SJ and city of oakland cant support them

    Comment by sfgiantsfan4ever — September 7, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  16. Not sure what you’re referring to here.
    How is Oakland a more difficult place to develop than elsewhere in the Bay Area?
    So, everything combined, San Jose would be just as difficult PLUS there’s the issue with the Giants.

    Comment by mettle — September 7, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  17. I am a Giants fan and this post represents only the fringe moranicy of the fanbase. I like the A’s, just not in San Jose.

    Comment by Michael Corleone — September 7, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  18. I will not dispute the fact that Mr. Haas was a greatly respected gentleman, but he was also an ultra-successful businessman. It would seem unlikely that he allowed the Giants to have territorial rights to Santa Clara (which he did not technically own to begin with) purely out of the goodness of his heart. He obviously had something to gain in drawing from the lucrative San Francisco market. To strip the Giants of their territorial rights to Santa Clara is not tantamount to “righting a wrong” done to the A’s. Both the current Giants and A’s ownership groups knew full well of the situation when they purchased the teams. It would seem to be a greater wrong at this point to award territorial rights to an owner who has completely ignored and alienated his current fanbase in an attempt to move his team to a location where he figures to reap the benefits of a massive retail/residential/entertainment development.

    Comment by mick — September 7, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  19. Wow, a San Franciscan Romney supporter.

    Comment by MAC — September 7, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  20. “All of the two-team territories but one share the same counties: the Yankees and Mets…”

    Um… No, not at all. How did a mistake this obvious get put in one article, then quoted in another article, and nobody noticed how obviously mistaken it is?

    The Yankees play in the County of Bronx. The Mets play in the County of Queens. Among the other NYC teams, the Nets play in the County of Kings (borough of Brooklyn); and the Knicks and Rangers play in the in the County of New York (borough of Manhattan). The County of Richmond (borough of Staten Island) does not have a major league professional team.

    I mean… this is pretty easy stuff here.

    Comment by JimNYC — September 7, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  21. Then the Bay area becomes the largest Metropolitan area with only one team and you have 29 teams, which begs for expansion to 30.
    Then where do you expand?
    Vegas (2 mil)? NC (2.5mil)?
    If Pittsburgh (2.5 mil) can have a team, it seems reasonable that SF (7 mil) should have 2.
    Heck, Sacramento has 2.5 mil people (I think it’s the biggest metro region without a team). So, maybe put the franchise somewhere near there and the 2.5 m teamless fans in Alameda and Contra Cost counties.
    The biggest city, after SF and SJ: Oakland

    Comment by mettle — September 7, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  22. The issue isn’t where the teams are located, but what the MLB rules say about territories. The Yankees territory and the Mets territory are the same. If the Mets wanted to move to the Bronx they could, and vice versa with the Yankees.

    Comment by Wendy Thurm — September 7, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  23. Maybe it’s a reading comprehension fail on my part, but I read “share the same counties” to mean “play in the same county.” It probably is a reading comprehension fail on my part; it’s confusing whether “territory” or “teams” is the subject of the initial independent clause. If it’s the former, then it’s correct; if it’s the latter, then not so much. Also with reference to the Los Angeles County Dodgers and Orange County Angels, I suppose.

    Comment by JimNYC — September 7, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  24. Meanwhile, little miss Sacramento sits patiently at the end of the bar watching while the A’s ply San Jose with drinks, roses and promises of a long romance, all the while knowing that her big bad Giant boyfriend nearby will never let it get that far. Only when it’s last call will Mister A realize that San Jose is clearly unobtainable, and turn his attentions to the only option left at the end of the geographical bar. Sacramento may not be the best option, but at the end of the night, she’ll be the only option.

    The Giants ownership group originally purchased the team with the legal agreement that San Jose was their exclusive territory. The A’s current ownership purchased the team knowing this was the case. They will never be allowed to move to San Jose without years of legal wrangling, and Oakland will never manage to figure out a way to build a new stadium there. The only other viable option in Northern California is the capitol city, and with the Kings set to move, Sacramento will be looking for a another sports franchise to replace them. It might take awhile, but eventually the A’s will realize the only other choice is to either stay in their decrepit old ballpark, or move out of the area completely (presenting your 2018 Albuquerque A’s). Suddenly, Sacramento won’t seem like such a bad option…

    Comment by Giants fan #2 — September 7, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  25. Well, the territorial rights to San Jose do have economic value to them. I don’t blame the Giants for wanting compensation for those rights, though as an A’s fan I do wish the process would move along a bit faster.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — September 7, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  26. This is kind of funny, anyone from the SF bay Area knows people are usually A’s fans or Giants fans, doesn’t matter where you live. (same for the Raiders and 49er’s)

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — September 7, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  27. Since 2000, the A’s have won 11 more games than the Giants have. Say what you want about their payroll decisions, but we’re not talking about a rudderless franchise that can’t win games.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — September 7, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  28. “…city of oakland cant support them” I would agree with you except I would rephrase that as “The East Bay will NEVER support Lew Wolff by choice.” The Giants were in a similar position in the early 90′s; low attendance; an owner who wanted to move; a multi-purpose stadium; lots of uncertainty. What happened next? The team was sold to visionaries who spent money to upgrade Candlestick to be more fan-friendly while, at the same time, began working on a new downtown ballpark. This ownership lost money during those years but it ended up paying off big time in 2000 when the new park opened. The area that the new park now stands was once a drug-infested slum that has now turned into the hip place to be. The same thing can happen in Oakland except that it must happen without Wolff/Fisher/Beane/Crowley, who are hell-bent on SJ or bust. If they sell and this fab-four are long gone, then and only then will we see the same thing occur in Oakland for the A’s. A downtown park by the water would have the same effect as AT&T Park. Attendance will rise dramatically, corporate sponsors will flock in, revenues will grow, and the franchise value will skyrocket. And the best part? This can all occur without this drama that Wolff has created with his SJ love affair. They all need to go asap otherwise this thing drags on for years. If I was a decision-maker for the city of Oakland, I would negotiate the 2013 lease with near impossible terms. This guy has ruined the franchise, is getting a sweetheart lease right now, and is making money due to revenue-sharing. If they get the go-ahead for SJ from his frat buddy I would not want them in Oakland beyond the lease expiration. Let them find their own temporary home to play. Hey, maybe they can play at SJSU’s baseball field. I say good riddance to an underhanded liar and I would never support the SJ A’s……..ever. It would be schadenfreude for me and I’d be rooting for them be perennial losers each and every year. Why the vitriol on my part? Simple. I can easily accept a legitimate move to SJ where all options have been looked at thoroughly in the East Bay. If the East Bay proved to have real viability issues, whatever they may be, then so be it. I would support the move. However, Wolff and his group have been dishonest the entire way through and his transparent attempt to alienate the fanbase is nothing short of despicable. His motives were well-known all along. He never gave Oakland a chance and this is why Oakland leaders are keeping him out of the loop on their dealings to keep the team. He did the same thing with the Fairmont Hotel in SF. He went back on his word per the contract he signed that specifically said the hotel is to remain intact and the new owner shall not try to build condos. That didn’t last very long before he violated his word. His excuse was that the hotel was not “viable.” Sound familiar?

    Comment by Billy Baroo — September 7, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

  29. Two problems:

    1) The A’s already have their AAA franchise in Sacramento.
    2) While the median household incomes for each city are roughly equal ($50,267 for Sacramento and $49,721 for Oakland based on U.S. Census Bureau figures), there are wealthy surrounding cities like Berkeley that don’t exist near Sacramento. Also, the corporate base in Sacramento is less than it is in the East Bay.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — September 7, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

  30. I think you aren’t listening to what Mr. Corleone is saying. I hope you don’t own a racehorse.

    Comment by gobears — September 7, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  31. If the A’s moved to San Jose, then all that upper East Bay and inland area (Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Walnut Creek) would be much more open to the Giants. AT&T park would be a lot more accessible than for most of those residents.
    Downtown Oakland is about 40 miles from downtown San Jose, and only 12 miles from AT&T park.
    So there is some gain for the Giants here in terms of territory– it’s far from a total loss of territory.

    Comment by bowie — September 7, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

  32. But the Giants would still be losing. I’m sure if the Giants thought they could profit from relinquishing San Jose and gaining the East Bay, they would have.

    Comment by Jack — September 7, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  33. That… one impressive wall of text.

    Comment by I Agree Guy — September 7, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  34. If we’re willing to consider more extreme solutions… the San Antonio/Austin area is a large metro area that could support a pro team (and keep the A’s in the AL West). But then, of course, you have to have the exact same discussions with the Astros that you are having now with the Giants…

    Comment by Adam D — September 7, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  35. I think they are trying to have their cake and eat it too. The shift in territory will likely have negligible effect on their revenue (if anything it would increase their fan base as they picked up the greater East Bay). But they know they have something of value to the A’s as well and are trying to get as much compensation for it as they can, despite the fact they would benefit from the change.

    Comment by Train — September 7, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  36. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The Giants know that their territorial rights are valuable, so even if they believe they will see a revenue boost from the A’s moving, it’s still in the best interest of the club to maximize the value of the settlement received for relinquishing the rights to San Jose.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — September 7, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  37. Hahaha. Or just read what Train said.

    Comment by Jon Sullivan — September 7, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  38. Why can’t the A’s raze the coliseum, and rebuild a decent ballpark on the same land?

    Comment by Hunter — September 7, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  39. Am I the only one who sees “Alameda” and my first thought is “It’s where they keep the nuclear wessels.”

    Comment by Hunter — September 7, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  40. The worst thing for this situation is to allow the stalemate to continue. As it stands, the A’s have no incentive to spend loads of money, because they are more profitable keeping payroll minimal and gaining from the revenue sharing. Also, as the A’s continue to draw money from revenue sharing, it causes more people (team owners) to have a vested interest in the matter. And the current goal is to place presure on the front office of MLB to make a ruling, or allow for an ownership vote.

    Selig needs his “committee” (which who knows if it even exists), to release their “findings” (if they have even been looking into it), and make a clear determination on the subject so that the dominoes can begin to fall.

    Comment by DowntownChico — September 7, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  41. The stadium is surrounded by undeveloped land. There is no commercial presence near the Coliseum. There is also very little residental development, and the little that is there is low income. The site is not in a place that is considered a “recipe for success.”

    (Also, I’m not sure the site passed the environmental surveys taken, not sure tho)

    Comment by DowntownChico — September 7, 2012 @ 3:45 pm

  42. IIRC, former Giants owner Bob Lurie was a San Jose guy and a real estate developer in that area. The A’s would have been happy to see the Giants move south, making SF and the North Bay area more open to them. The main issue here is probably not population, but corporate HQs/luxury box sales – SF and Silicon Valley have the big concentrations. As I see it, the Bay Area will struggle to support two teams unless one of them (now the A’s) can move south. At this point, no move out of the area is likely to be viable – those markets just aren’t big enough.

    Comment by Mr Punch — September 7, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  43. If it’s business, I’ll go away happy. If it’s personal, I’ll go away, but I won’t be happy.

    Comment by GOB Bluth — September 7, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  44. Jack London Square beckons…we can have dueling parks by the bay!!

    Comment by MajorDanby — September 7, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  45. I used to work at a political law firm filing campaign and lobby reports. Stand for San Jose should be required to file quarterly or semi-annual campaign reports with the City of San Jose disclosing their funding and expenditures. You should be able to call the City Clerk and request a campaign report.

    Comment by Mark Reynolds — September 7, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  46. I couldn’t find anything with the City Clerk or State of California. Maybe they aren’t a registered PAC or ballot measure committee. Must be a nonprofit of some kind to be able to get away with no filing campaign reports.

    Comment by Mark Reynolds — September 7, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

  47. Jon, it’s not about the wins, it’s about an agreement that if broken, effects a lot of teams, not the least of which are the Yankees and the Rays.

    Comment by channelclemente — September 7, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  48. What if the Rays want to move to the NY area, then what?

    Comment by channelclemente — September 7, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  49. People who live here (Bay Area) aren’t changing allegiances based on location of ballparks. Can’t tell you how many folks in the East Bay are Giants fan – LOTS – and there are a smattering of A’s fans in SF. That said, a snazzy new stadium would almost certainly bump up attendance at least for a little while.

    Comment by Delirium Nocturnum — September 7, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

  50. Not really sure what isn’t clear. Name the site in Oakland and it has potentially insurmountable problems that don’t exist in SJ: Jack London Square- can’t purchase or zone the land for the ballpark. period. Colliseum City- development costs are far higher than the option in SJ, AND you need to get the Raiders on board (Warriors already leaving). Howard Terminal- significant land development/cleaning, and it’s far from BART. this is just a snapshot. AND none of these have environmental impact reports done. San Jose, on the other hand, 1) already has land purchased 2) already has an EIR, and 3) (to boot) has a much better corporate base for support. If your curious about more detail of each of the Oakland sites, head over to and search for each of the sites. you’ll get all the ugly details you want.

    Comment by Tim_the_Beaver — September 7, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

  51. I think I disagree with a bunch of these words, but perhaps I’ll just concede.

    Comment by Tim_the_Beaver — September 7, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

  52. This is just not true, Wolff tried for years to find a place in Oakland, but wasn’t supported by the city.

    Comment by logic... try it — September 7, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  53. While Stand for San Jose may very well be a sock-puppet organization, they’re just a part of the greater rule that every Bay Area construction project must face at least one lawsuit. Which is more a law of nature than a law of man.

    Comment by Tim — September 7, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

  54. The A’s weren’t really “new” to the area when this all happened, they had already been to the WS 6 times and won it 4. You’re reaching a little too far back. Most of this history is from the early 90s.

    Comment by Troy — September 7, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  55. The problem Oakland faces is that it can’t finance the stadium the way it can in San Jose. In the Bay Area, you cannot get public money for a stadium, it won’t happen. The Giants privately financed their stadium largely with the large corporate base they have in The City. Oakland lacks that corporate base, but San Jose doesn’t. The only way to finance a stadium in the Bay Area is to take advantage of the corporate base. Otherwise, any added revenue the A’s get from a new stadium will simply go towards paying the mortgage and they haven’t improved their situation.

    Comment by Troy — September 7, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

  56. Consistently support the Giants? I swear Giants fans don’t know history. It wasn’t so long ago they were in the same exact boat. Here’s a fact: Between the time the A’s moved to Oakland and the Giants got their stadium, more people had walked through the Coliseum gates than Candlestick.

    Comment by Troy — September 7, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  57. You are clearly mistaken. Oakland and the East Bay have been given a chance…multiple times.

    Comment by Troy — September 7, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  58. Financing

    Comment by Troy — September 7, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  59. So wouldn’t the easy solution be to have the As and Giants share northern California like the other markets do? The As get a new stadium and they both get to broadcast their games to more people.

    Comment by D.t. — September 7, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

  60. What Michael said.

    Comment by Bigmouth — September 7, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

  61. I completely agreed with your general premise a while ago and commented on a previous article about this topic with that mindset. However, somebody from the Bay Area–I’m from the East Coast–explained to me that the Giants’ concern is that the numerous corporate entities in San Jose that currently purchase suites from the Giants and contribute advertising dollars to the Giants would be funneled to the A’s if they moved to San Jose. Is that a valid concern? I honestly don’t know anything about Bay Area regional dynamics.

    Comment by Mcneildon — September 7, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  62. Part of me thinks that maybe the Giants are being intransigent and protracting this for as long as possible with a long-term goal in mind: they hope that if the A’s can’t move to San Jose and don’t have attractive options available in Oakland they’ll eventually just relocate outside of the Bay Area leaving the entire market to the Giants. I mean, if I owned the Giants and thought I could drive a competitor to another market I would do whatever I could to achieve that.

    Comment by Mcneildon — September 7, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

  63. I don’t think the Raiders would be on board with that plan.

    Comment by Mcneildon — September 7, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  64. Or maybe they could use the revenue sharing money they’ve been stuffing into their pockets the past few years while crying poor and putting out a lower quality product to buy their own stadium. This fight is the worst – between super millionaires about future millions – and overall bad for baseball. I don’t think it’s ok to say either team is right, they’re both trying to protect their own selfish interests.

    Comment by E — September 7, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

  65. The territories don’t have anything to do with television rights. The A’s and Giants games are both broadcasted throughout the entire Bay Area.

    Comment by Lonely Marin A's Fan — September 7, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  66. The City of Oakland has long been more receptive to the Raiders than the A’s. The classic example of this is Mount Davis, the awful monstrosity of suites/bleachers that now exists in the outfield, which was built in order to lure the Raiders back from their stint in LA. Prior to this construction, the Coliseum was a fine, though not great, baseball facility.

    One of the Raiders’ stadium plans involves just what you describe (building a new stadium at the Coliseum site), which would effectively hang the A’s out to dry. Because of the A’s standing relative to the Raiders, this isn’t a real option for a baseball stadium. Plus what DowntownChico says about the already poor location.

    Comment by NRAF — September 8, 2012 @ 2:19 am

  67. Agree with the above … plus the Giants fan base extends much further south than the Bay Area. The coast down to probably Santa Barbara and the central valley to Fresno. Now if you put a team geographically between the Giants and those fan bases perhaps it erodes their support long term?

    Comment by Jason — September 8, 2012 @ 2:50 am

  68. Maybe nobody over the age of 15 .. but what about the next generation of fans. The Giants have to be concerned about their long term market share, not just short term.

    Comment by Jason — September 8, 2012 @ 2:53 am

  69. Oh they play football in Oakland? My bad.

    Comment by Hunter — September 8, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  70. leave the bucs out of it jagoff

    Comment by matt — September 8, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  71. The owners of the A’s are spoiled billionaires crying poverty. There are plenty of corporations in East Bay; they (the owners) could spend their money on fixing up the coliseum but they don’t. There was not a problem with getting people to the ballpark in the 2000s and late 80s when A’s we’re great. And if anything east bay has become gads wealthier since then.

    Look up Fischer family owner of Gap Old Navy Banana Republic. They have more money than god and spend it liberally on art and on ultra conservative politics. When it comes to the A’s for some reason though their rear ends pucker up. They should move the team to Oklahoma City or something.

    Comment by Daniel — September 8, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

  72. Selig should show some guts for once in his miserable tenure and tell the Giants to back off. Both teams should share NorCal as their territory, but if they can’t even do that, the boundary should be drawn as roughly a line East starting from the SF/SC border.
    Secondly, baseball should expand to 32 teams and have 4 regional leagues (AL and NL no longer existing) in the SE,NE,Central and West, reducing travel and rationalizing the playoffs. NC and NJ would be good locations, as would many other areas.
    If only baseball had a real commissioner.

    Comment by Baltar — September 8, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  73. It’s also difficult to get to. When I lived in SF, I was a Giants fan first and A’s second. Even though the A’s were better then, I often took a bus and sometimes drove to Candlestick rather than driving over to the Coliseum, which I did occasionally.

    Comment by Baltar — September 8, 2012 @ 2:02 pm

  74. BEADS?!?!?!?!?

    Comment by a — September 8, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  75. “indeed, absent the Giants’ opposition, MLB’s owners likely would have approved the move already” – not sure if this is accurate. If the big market teams didn’t mind or supported the A’s move, it would be done. Its not just the Giants squatting on their rights at play here, its establishing new precedent, or avoiding such.

    The owners have changed over the years, from Stoneham/Finley et al, but the point about Wolff/Fisher knowing the rights situation upon purchase and having that reflected in the price is a good one, and its absent this summary. This SJ lawyers fee boondoggle really won’t change a thing big picture. Its still the vote of the owners that counts.

    Here’s what I want to know: what is a reasonable price for the Giants to give up the rights? What has Wolff/Fisher offered? Why is the city of Oakland run by incompetents who can’t leverage the necessary land use permits/enviro red tape to get an honest proposal together?

    Finally, in 1993 Silicon Valley was simply not worth anything, and now its a corporate gold mine. Preceding cautiously with an eye towards what the future might bring makes sense. And hard core A’s fans are getting screwed, which is a bitter pill. They might need to look at their ownership/GM instead of blaming the Giants for everything though.

    Comment by Shankbone — September 8, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  76. Do they even have the authority to “fix up” the collisium?

    Comment by D.t. — September 8, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

  77. Not necessarily. Before the leagues merged in the 1990s, the NL counted only “paid attendance” — number of tickets paid for that were actually used. The AL used the loose standard of counting all tickets paid for, whether used or not (which is what MLB uses today).

    In any event, Candlestick depressed Giants physical attendance. But TV and radio results always told the same story: even at the height of the Bash Brothers in the late 80s/early 90s the Giants dominated the Bay Area market.

    Comment by Candlestick Parker — September 8, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  78. What “law” is that? The A’ss will NOT be allowed to move to SJ– they don’t have the votes to force it to happen and the Giants want them out of the area so that we can play the Red Sox to the doyers Yankees. No WAY the Giants agree to this move. The Stand for SJ case is a sideshow — the A’ss can’t/won’t build in Jokeland and they can’t move to SJ…they’ll be in San Antonio soon enough.

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

  79. “A’ss fans?” All 17 of ‘em? Please. They couldn’t even sell out WS games at home in the 70s…there’s no there, there. San Antonio would be a good fit. While they’re at it, they could take the wayduhs with ‘em.

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  80. Common myth. The A’ss helped the Giants out b/c the Giants were/are essential to keeping MLB alive in the Bay. The A’ss are not. They’ve always been weak stepchildren to the Giants. In any event, it doesn’t matter WHY the G’s have the rights, but rather that the DO have them. Shuffle on to San Antonio, get the wayduhs back to LaLa and return the W’s to the City. SJ can keep the Sharks.

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  81. I am a third generation Giants fan and MC’s post represents the fringe lunacy of the shortsighted. To compete with the doyers we have to have HUGE cable money. The only way to get that is to be the only team in the area. Adios, athleticos…hasta el alamo.

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

  82. If Pitt can have a team at 2.5MM people, then LaLa can have four, and NY can have 7!! Fun with math!

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  83. And yet despite that, the A’ss can’t get a new ballpark and MLB has no interest in helping them do so as they did the Giants when we were almost in St. Pete. Not the same boat at all…the Giants have always been the major team in the area and always will be. The A’ss will never get SJ and cannot fund their own stadium. Begone to Texas already!

    Comment by McBagger — September 8, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  84. The Rays will play in NJ.

    Comment by FieryFurnaces — September 9, 2012 @ 12:23 am

  85. Nope

    Comment by FieryFurnaces — September 9, 2012 @ 12:27 am

  86. E: The Athletics actually have a better record than SF in the past decade, and since the ownership change. They may be crying poor, but they haven’t been putting out a lower-quality product.

    Comment by cthabeerman — September 9, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  87. The simplicity of “2.5M in this city means a city with 5 can hold two” is pretty annoying. Look at the Metro area, the next closest team, as well as other substitutes. Look a the Cardinals, St. Louis isn’t a huge city, but they draw well and have a ton of exposure because there are no teams south to the coast, no teams directly east until Baltimore, Chubbies northeast, no teams north, no teams southwest until the Rangers, and no teams west until the Royas. That’s a HUUUGE territory for them to capitalize on, they have a storied history, and are the main show in town and (mostly) the only show in town during the MLB season.

    It’s not as simple as looking at the population of the city. If you did that, you wouldn’t realize how blessed the Rangers and Cardinals are.

    As for this situation, I think moving Oakland to San Jose is what’s best for baseball. Could move them to Sacremento I guess but I don’t know the interest there. Portland apparently wants a MLB team.

    One other thing to consider is the “only show in town” thing. The Oklahoma City Thunder play in a pretty small city. However, they are the only pro team in the whole state, so they get a ton of support. You could possibly move the As to the biggest city in a state with no pro teams and see if they support it the same way. It’d have to be a state that appreciates baseball though.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 9, 2012 @ 7:06 pm


    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 9, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

  89. What are the substitutes in Sacremento vs the other options? What’s the expected growth?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 9, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  90. Jason, isn’t fan allegiance in baseball something passed down? Baseball seem to have a lot more of a deep rooted allegiance thing going than other sports. If you grow up with dad a Giants fan and you see him rooting for them and talking about the history, and grandpa, and all your uncles, I’d think most people would be inclined to be Giants fans. Then again, it’s contrarian hipsterville over there (or so I hear) so maybe they’ll all be Athletics fans.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 9, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

  91. If the Raiders at some point end up moving back to LA, what are the chances that the Athletics get a lot more support in the Oakland area to improve their situation?

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — September 9, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

  92. When Arizona took over the Phoenix area, the Giants AAA franchise was kicked out, so the Sacramento team would be too.

    If that is all it takes to prevent a MLB team from moving in is a minor league team, then there is already the San Jose Giants.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — September 13, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

  93. Either way, the A’s owe the Giants, and a lot of money, if they want to move to San Jose.

    If you want to cite recent situations, the fact is that both teams bought the team knowing that the Giants own the South Bay rights. Like in any other business, if the A’s now want that property rights from the Giants, they need to pay for it.

    And they can afford it, Forbes list them having over $20M in EBITA for every year of Wolffe’s ownership, which is around the amount of revenue sharing money that the Giants have been paying in all those years. I would be OK with Oakland paying the Giants around $120-150M – or the profits that they have made during his ownership from the Giants revenue sharing – for the rights, plus that is in line with what the Nats paid the Orioles, plus baseball inflation.

    If you want to look at the long-term view, Haas might have “given” up the rights to San Jose and the South Bay to the Giants, but they should not really have been his rights in the first place. The A’s moved into the Giants territory in the 60′s. There was no payment that I’ve heard about, and at that time all of the SF Bay Area was Giants territorial rights. All the rights they have now, they stole from the Giants long ago. The A’s paying to get into the South Bay would right a historical wrong, as would them moving out of the area.

    The delay with Selig cuts both ways. I’ve suspected for a while now that Wolffe asked his college frat buddy to ‘delay’ the findings of the committee. The longer it takes, the more money Wolffe can soak up in revenue sharing money from the Giants, because he knew that there was most probably no way he could move south without paying the Giants. He’s just using the Giants revenue sharing money (look at Forbes, before Wolffe, the EBITDA was much lower) to pay back the Giants.

    Something else that this article is missing is that the San Jose land deal is a sweet-heart deal for the A’s. The city paid something like over double the price that Wolffe is paying for the same pieces of land, even though (I believe) it took city powers to buy together all those parcels of land. He should be paying twice the cost, not less than half the costs that the city paid. The citizens of San Jose should be outraged by this, especially during times like this where the Mayor is playing hardball with the police and firemen unions on pension costs, reducing things there, while handing over money to the already rich A’s owners. Maybe the Giants are funding this, maybe not, but who is looking out for the poor San Jose taxpayers?

    In any case, the A’s should pay the Giants. The matter is how much should they pay. I think the Nats set a precedence, and a recent one at that, that could be copied for this situation, adjusted for baseball inflation and the difference in population and economy. It is all pretty simple, but Wolffe apparently either thinks he can get away with paying less or he’s trying to make the Giants pay for it themselves.

    Comment by obsessivegiantscompulsive — September 13, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  94. Well here is an idea that will solve the problem the Giants and cause the A’s more heart ache including 5 other markets. Have the A’s return to there former starting point in Philadelphia. That way Philly will have 2 teams in an area with twice the amount of population on the east coast. The Giants can have the whole S.F. area and A’s can fight with other local teams such as Philles, Nat’s, Oil birds, Mets and Yanks.

    Comment by Blizburgh — December 9, 2013 @ 11:38 am

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