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Monday, December 21, 2009

Purdy: S.F. Giants must think San Jose is full of clueless rubes

If you’ve ever had shingles, you could get chickenpox now!

The San Francisco Giants must be really afraid. They must also think we’re totally stupid here in San Jose.

We aren’t. And I expect we will prove it over the next year or so, as the issue of whether the A’s can move here is finally resolved.

You see, I have the curious belief that San Jose residents should decide if a major league ballpark for the A’s should be built in downtown San Jose. I’m sure most San Jose citizens agree.

The San Francisco Giants don’t. Which is why the last week has been such a comedy of clumsy, nearly desperate moves on their behalf, including a bizarre lawsuit threat. Also, the team has induced the formation of a bogus San Jose “coalition” to challenge a potential A’s ballpark project.

The Giants evidently are expecting us to be South Bay rubes who can’t figure out what’s happening behind the curtain. Wrong.

Repoz Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:32 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, business, giants, media

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   1. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:50 AM (#3418401)
I have yet to see an intelligent analysis as to why the A's would draw more fans in San Jose than they are in Oakland. Somebody enlighten me.

The Sharks work, but they are the only hockey team in the entire Bay Area. If they played at a decent arena in SF or Oakland, they'd likely draw just as well.
   2. Lassus Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:06 AM (#3418411)
They must also think we’re totally stupid here in San Jose.

Well, yeah.
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:08 AM (#3418413)
Scientifically put: Oaktown is full of poor ghetto-ites, San Jose is filled and surrounded by the wealthy who prefer to watch baseball in the sun, rather than the bitter cold of the north peninsula.
   4. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:10 AM (#3418414)
I would think that part of the appeal of San Jose is that it has a much larger corporate base than Oakland. I don't know that to be true but it's my sense of things having lived in SF for a couple of years.

Either way, I still want everyone to work out a downtown Oakland site. I think it would really be a sad deal if the A's left Oakland- for Oakland and the A's.
   5. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:14 AM (#3418415)
San Jose is filled and surrounded by the wealthy who prefer to watch baseball in the sun, rather than the bitter cold of the north peninsula.

No doubt the "San Jose A's" would generate a few luxury suite sales. But in terms of everybody else, Oakland is a far more convenient location - I sure as hell wouldn't travel down from Marin to see them. Nor would people from the counties Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, San Francisco, most of Alameda and most of San Mateo (not to mention those coming in from the valley) prefer the drive down 101 or 280 (or for the clinically insane, 92, or egad egad 680/880) to coming to Oakland or SF. Geographically speaking, Oakland is far more centrally located.
   6. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:47 AM (#3418421)
Yeah but they won't bend over backwards to let Lew build a stadium in Oakland.

I mean that's really all it comes down to.
   7. Halofan Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:07 AM (#3418424)
What the A's cut off visitor-wise in Oakland and the neighboring communities is made up for with $ per visitor of who attend games in San Jose.

If there was a state of the art stadium with double the ticket prices in Oakland right now they would draw about what they are drawing the last few years. Put it in San Jose and you get at least what they are drawing and the likelihood that the prices can be inflated regularly.
   8. Bhaakon Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:12 AM (#3418427)
If the Giants had their druthers, I'm sure there wouldn't be a team in Oakland either. The Bay Area shouldn't be a two team market.
   9. Flynn Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:16 AM (#3418430)
What the A's cut off visitor-wise in Oakland and the neighboring communities is made up for with $ per visitor of who attend games in San Jose.

Well, sure. If they attend games. And there's really no evidence of that. Most of San Jose still roots for the other team.
   10. Ken Arneson Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:36 AM (#3418436)
I would think that part of the appeal of San Jose is that it has a much larger corporate base than Oakland.
Much larger is an understatement. Look, here's the thing: San Jose is the world capital of the computer industry. San Jose and its suburbs are the home to nearly every major company on the whole friggin' Internet. It's the engine that is driving the entire economy of the planet, the whole thrust of globalization. OK? I've worked there, met with these people, I can tell you: every President, every Vice President, every Director, every Manager, every CEO, CTO, CFO and VC knows that they are all the most important people doing the most important work in the history of the planet Earth.

These people will all buy tickets to this stadium in San Jose. They will not care what it costs, because they are too important to have such concerns. It will not matter to them if they ever use the tickets themselves. What matters is that they deserve these tickets, because they are such important people. And when they can't use these tickets (which is most of the time, because they are so very very busy doing very very important things), they will give these tickets to their little people, partly as thanks for helping them do such important things, but also to display what kind and generous people they truly are.

This is how Silicon Valley works. And this is why the San Francisco Giants would much rather have the A's five miles away in Oakland than 45 miles away in San Jose.
   11. McCoy Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:57 AM (#3418441)
I'm reminded of something Veeck said once which was along the lines that rich people like to go to games but there are not a lot of rich people while there a a ton of working stiffs that want to go to a game.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:58 AM (#3418442)
You want the A's ... and you want us to believe you're not clueless rubes?
   13. The Artist Posted: December 21, 2009 at 07:45 AM (#3418447)
Yeah - A's fans in San Jose - not really that common. I think of anything on the Peninsula or the South Bay as Giants territory.
   14. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 21, 2009 at 11:50 AM (#3418463)
The problem with San Jose, and I say this with all the love in the world, is that it's a ####### pit. It's the absolute apotheosis of what everybody thinks of when they think of what is wrong with California: flat, featureless, strip-mall America, no downtown, no culture, no history or meaning -- no there there. Just money. Buckets and buckets of money.

So, by all means, move a team there. It's Giants country now, but that could change. And watch the Giants swoon like the A's did when they have to try to replace the giant, meaningless, filthy rich suburb with the piddling pittance that is the East Bay, a place with some meaning but no money.
   15. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: December 21, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3418474)
The problem with San Jose, and I say this with all the love in the world, is that it's a ####### pit. It's the absolute apotheosis of what everybody thinks of when they think of what is wrong with California: flat, featureless, strip-mall America, no downtown, no culture, no history or meaning -- no there there. Just money. Buckets and buckets of money.


But Santa Clara....

If the A's move to San Jose, can we just shorten the name to the San Joses?
   16. Swedish Chef Posted: December 21, 2009 at 01:45 PM (#3418477)
no history or meaning

I probably own more books about the history of Silicon Valley than about the rest of the world combined. :-)
   17. jolietconvict Posted: December 21, 2009 at 01:51 PM (#3418481)
The problem with San Jose, and I say this with all the love in the world, is that it's a ####### pit. It's the absolute apotheosis of what everybody thinks of when they think of what is wrong with California: flat, featureless, strip-mall America, no downtown, no culture, no history or meaning -- no there there. Just money. Buckets and buckets of money.


Winchester Mystery House. pwn3d.
   18. GregQ Posted: December 21, 2009 at 02:22 PM (#3418496)
Whoile San Jose will never be mistaken for an interesting town I do not see it as comparing poorly to the East Bay. Sadly much of the interesting portions of SJ have been plowed under for new buildings etc... I wonder how many silicon valley honchos really would buy into A's package deals and suites. At Intel for example I believe that more of its top execs live out of state and commute to Santa Clara from Az and Ore. Many of the well paid engineers that I know are not intertested in baseball. Still I think it would siphon a good deal of fans away from the Giants, particularly on weeknights. On a weekend I would much rather be in downtown SF than in SJ or Oak.
   19. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 21, 2009 at 02:32 PM (#3418502)
In my experience, most software engineers would be more interested in a professional cricket team than a baseball team.
   20. DL from MN Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3418533)
How do the San Jose Giants draw?
   21. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3418549)
How do the San Jose Giants draw?


Not nearly as well as the Sacramento River Cats, which is the direction the A's should be looking to move, IMHO.

SJ: 211,054 in 70 games
Sac: 657,095 in 72 games
   22. esseff Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:36 PM (#3418550)
I wonder how many silicon valley honchos really would buy into A's package deals and suites.


Given the way that tech firms bought up Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T;when it first opened, I'd think the A's would do well in that regard, as long as the economy is strong.
   23. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3418555)
Not nearly as well as the Sacramento River Cats, which is the direction the A's should be looking to move, IMHO.

SJ: 211,054 in 70 games
Sac: 657,095 in 72 games


Granted that Sac is AAA and SJ is A, but still, the point stands. I concur that the Sac are may be the A's eventual destination (but probably not for at least 20 years).
   24. esseff Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3418558)
Something will have to be done about improving that I-80 corridor first. It can still turn into a parking lot through Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville several times a day.
   25. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: December 21, 2009 at 03:58 PM (#3418564)
Something will have to be done about improving that I-80 corridor first. It can still turn into a parking lot through Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville several times a day.


I know that public transit helps, but that commute into Oakland/Alameda around game time isn't exactly the autobahn, either.
   26. Flynn Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:35 PM (#3418600)
The interesting thing about this move is the A's are looking to trade in a pretty sizable portion of their current fanbase for a new fanbase. They're relying on the lack of a serious rivalry between the two franchises and effectively basing their business plan on people in Santa Clara county putting their Giants hats in the closet and buying A's hats instead. People from Solano county and Sacramento are not making that drive when AT&T;Park is much closer and I predict the Giants will be able to further market to these areas. People from Oakland, Berkeley and Contra Costa county probably aren't making that drive either. That's some money the A's are giving up and those areas are some of the few places that are unambiguously A's country in a crowded market.

Obviously there are good financial reasons to go to San Jose, but it's not going to be the panacea the A's seem to think it will be. They'll still need to improve their marketing by a hell of a lot.
   27. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:42 PM (#3418603)
No doubt the "San Jose A's" would generate a few luxury suite sales. But in terms of everybody else, Oakland is a far more convenient location - I sure as hell wouldn't travel down from Marin to see them. Nor would people from the counties Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, San Francisco, most of Alameda and most of San Mateo (not to mention those coming in from the valley) prefer the drive down 101 or 280 (or for the clinically insane, 92, or egad egad 680/880) to coming to Oakland or SF. Geographically speaking, Oakland is far more centrally located.

Well, for you it is. And for me too; but a lot more of "everyone else" live in San Jose than Oakland, and it's growing much faster. Add in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, the peninsula up to Palo Alto, and the East Bay up to Hayward, and there's plenty of folks for whom a game in San Jose is as convenient if not much more so than in Oakland. For most of the others, SF is still close and convenient (and if someone's willing to take the 80 from Vallejo through the maze, I don't know if an extra 25 minutes on 880's a dealbreaker).

It's a shame that the situation is being played out like this, with Oakland being judged based on a terrible ballpark and the A's making virtually no effort to stimulate interest; but in terms of general population size, I can understand why Wolff's obsessed with SJ.
   28. BFFB Posted: December 21, 2009 at 04:54 PM (#3418616)
I visited San Jose once for about a week, all I remember of the place (besides the Winchester Mystery House) is that the hotel I was put in had a tv in the bathroom, which was weird. Don't know if that says more about San Jose or my memory.
   29. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:04 PM (#3418625)
It's a shame that the situation is being played out like this, with Oakland being judged based on a terrible ballpark and the A's making virtually no effort to stimulate interest;

I agree 100% with this. Ultimately the problem really isn't with Oakland itself (although it surely isn't helping), it's with Wolff.

And for me too; but a lot more of "everyone else" live in San Jose than Oakland, and it's growing much faster. Add in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, the peninsula up to Palo Alto, and the East Bay up to Hayward, and there's plenty of folks for whom a game in San Jose is as convenient if not much more so than in Oakland.

The problem is that you've pretty much named San Jose's entire reach in this statement. As Flynn points out above, the A's would be punting the Solano/Sacramento areas, which currently lean towards the A's, and those areas would be immediately swallowed by the Giants (whom, as has been pointed out time and time again, know a thing or two about marketing).
   30. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3418626)
EDIT: Double post. F*** Comcast
   31. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: December 21, 2009 at 05:42 PM (#3418652)
The problem is that you've pretty much named San Jose's entire reach in this statement.

Not sure it's that much of a problem--that's a lot of people, and San Jose's still growing.
As Flynn points out above, the A's would be punting the Solano/Sacramento areas, which currently lean towards the A's, and those areas would be immediately swallowed by the Giants (whom, as has been pointed out time and time again, know a thing or two about marketing).

Yeah. Again, the current situation makes it hard to tell whether, without Mt. Davis and with a real marketing team, the Solano/Sacramento areas would support the team much more than they are now. I can see that it's a gamble, but I can see why (a) Wolff would rather have a huge population base right there even at the expense of losing one metro satellite area and a few suburban/rural ones, and (b) why Selig would rather have a "north bay" team and a "south bay" team.
   32. asinwreck Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:00 PM (#3418667)
I would prefer the A's remain in Oakland; it would be more convenient for when I visit the East Bay. But a move to the South Bay makes long term sense. Aside from the Silicon Valley money, more people live in Santa Clara County than Alameda County. Using 2008 Census statistics, Alameda County has 1,474,368 people. Santa Clara County has 1,764,499 people.

Does the South Bay have shortcomings? Sure. Public transportation isn't as good as it is in Alameda County, and it's a much longer haul for fans from north of Berkeley. The A's would trade convenience for Sacramento and Napa fans to compete with the Giants for people from San Mateo and Palo Alto. A Jack London Square ballpark stands a better chance of becoming a tourist destination than any site in San Jose or Fremont. But if the A's want to be proximate to not only the piles of money that have accumulated in Sunnyvale and Cupertino, but also the larger, faster-growing population base, relocating to San Jose makes some sense.
   33. Alex_Lewis Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3418678)
San Jose would sell luxury seats in plenty. Like a few other people in this thread, I've hobnobbed with the wealthy elite in Silicon Valley, and you can bet your sweet bippy that they'd snork up a box or two. They wouldn't have an option to do otherwise. And you doubters may be surprised to learn that San Jose is the 10th largest city in the United States.

That said, I'd much rather have the As be in Sacramento. That city, and its surrounding suburbs, certainly generates some avid sports fans.
   34. GregQ Posted: December 21, 2009 at 06:25 PM (#3418706)
The one thing missing is MLB approval, well one of the things missing. The Giants are not going to sit by idly and allow this to happen if there is any way that they can stop it, and while their most recent efforts seem a bit backwards if there is anything a lwayer from Microsoft understands it is protecting its installed base.
   35. Ken Arneson Posted: December 21, 2009 at 07:04 PM (#3418750)
You're not really trading Alameda County for Santa Clara County, it's more like you're trading Contra Costa County for Santa Clara County. You're shifting the fan base one county further south. Contra Costa County has just over 1,000,000 people. That's a gain of 700,000 people.
   36. The Most Interesting Man In The World Posted: December 21, 2009 at 07:18 PM (#3418771)
it's more like you're trading Contra Costa County for Santa Clara County.

If it were only that I'd agree. Except that you're also trading what interest there is in the North Bay and the Valley. And San Francisco as well as essentially all of San Mateo County. And Alameda County north of maybe the Dumbarton Bridge, which is a pretty sizable chunk.

Would people from those areas visit the A's in San Jose at all? Probably a little. All I can say is that in the last 13 years of living in the North Bay, I have seen the Sharks play in person once. At an exhibition. In Oakland. As craptastic as the Warriors have been for the most part, I've seen them play about 30 times during that timespan.
   37. BarrettsHiddenBall Posted: December 21, 2009 at 07:39 PM (#3418798)
If it were only that I'd agree. Except that you're also trading what interest there is in the North Bay and the Valley. And San Francisco as well as essentially all of San Mateo County. And Alameda County north of maybe the Dumbarton Bridge, which is a pretty sizable chunk.

Would people from those areas visit the A's in San Jose at all? Probably a little. All I can say is that in the last 13 years of living in the North Bay, I have seen the Sharks play in person once. At an exhibition. In Oakland. As craptastic as the Warriors have been for the most part, I've seen them play about 30 times during that timespan.

Well, they're not visiting the A's in Oakland very much right now (obviously this has a lot to do with the stadium, marketing, etc..., but still). The areas that you mentioned apart from maybe the inland Valley and Alameda* are already essentially Giants regions where the A's have to compete to keep a minority position (and there's plenty of folks in both the Valley and even Alameda that root Giants). When the Giants have KNBR and a better TV deal and cetera, that's a very tough competition.

*I'd put the interest line at the San Mateo bridge, not Dumbarton; from Union City and parts of Hayward, taking the 880 south to SJ is just as easy as taking it north to Oakland, and much easier than driving to SF.
   38. Bhaakon Posted: December 21, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3419034)
And for me too; but a lot more of "everyone else" live in San Jose than Oakland, and it's growing much faster. Add in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, the peninsula up to Palo Alto, and the East Bay up to Hayward, and there's plenty of folks for whom a game in San Jose is as convenient if not much more so than in Oakland.


I live in Fremont, which is south of Hayward (making it closer to San Jose), and it is MUCH easier to get to the Colosseum around 7 PM than anywhere in San Jose. The entire South Bay is a transportation disaster area.
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: December 21, 2009 at 11:15 PM (#3419059)
but that commute into Oakland/Alameda around game time isn't exactly the autobahn, either.

Last time I went by car through Germany it took three hours just to get past 20 miles of autobahn around Hamburg.
   40. Khrushin it bro Posted: December 21, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3419068)
As the only A's fan from Santa Cruz (now in Santa Barbara but hoping to move back) I want the A's to move to SJ. There are WAY more Giants fans around however but that can change I guess. Part of the cool part of being an A's fan is the drummers / banjo guy etc.
   41. GregQ Posted: December 22, 2009 at 12:03 AM (#3419092)
The banjo guy just lost his banjo, he left it on a street somewhere. So at least for now there is only the beat beat beat of the tom-tom.

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