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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rob Neyer: With Fremont out, A’s should turn to Portland

This is huge news, right?

The Coliseum isn’t the worst place to see a baseball game … but it’s far, far from the best. I suppose this is good news for the taxpayers in Fremont and it’s good news for all the A’s fans who didn’t want to schlep all the way to Fremont without even a BART stop at the end of their journey.

By my count, after the Twins move into their new palace next spring, only the Dodgers and the Red Sox will play in older homes than the A’s. But Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park are both baseball-only cash cows, while the A’s are sharing with the Raiders, and nobody shows up even when they’re winning.

I feel sorry for everyone involved, and I wish to extend a heartfelt invitation from the good citizens of sunny Portland, Oregon.

Rob Neyer will poach your team. He wants it all. The Marlins. The Rays. The A’s. Hell, he’ll even take the Royals.

Tripon Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:16 AM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, special topics

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   1. Damon Rutherford Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3085518)
I believe he forgot about the Cubs with regards to older homes. His point still stands, though.
   2. Damon Rutherford Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:30 AM (#3085519)
Also, isn't the Metrodome newer than the Coliseum?
   3. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:33 AM (#3085522)
Maybe Portland could be the newest home of the intimate 19,000-seat stadium. Because I'm still not convinced they would be able to support a team otherwise, from living there for 3 years.
   4. Tripon Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:57 AM (#3085535)
Portland seems to be able to support the Trailblazers.
   5. Gamingboy Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:02 AM (#3085539)
I put forth a motion that no matter where the A's go, they must remain named the Athletics. All in favor say Aye.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:02 AM (#3085540)
Isn't Anaheim older as well?
   7. Tripon Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:42 AM (#3085621)
They both opened the same year, 1966. Technically, Angel Stadium is older by a few months, but that's because Football doesn't start until Sept.
   8. Guts Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:47 AM (#3085623)
Rob's new headshot is really shiny, I already miss the flannel.
   9. Halofan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:54 AM (#3085625)
Rob Neyer really ought to write articles that substantiate his passionate opinions with a smidgen of statistical proof because this rah-rah homerism is just cluttering up the internet and its tubes.
   10. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: February 25, 2009 at 11:52 AM (#3085638)
I feel sorry for everyone involved, and I wish to extend a heartfelt invitation from the good citizens of sunny Portland, Oregon.

I propose sunny San Juan instead!
   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 25, 2009 at 12:20 PM (#3085640)
I propose sunny San Juan instead!


They haven't knocked down the "old" Yankee Stadium yet. How about two clubs within one block of each other?
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM (#3085641)
I hate to say this, but #### off Rob.
   13. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 25, 2009 at 01:39 PM (#3085657)
Yeah, that photo looks like a wax statue.

A Portland team won't do well in merchandising. The Indianapolis Clowns rule the area.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 01:56 PM (#3085658)
I feel sorry for everyone involved, and I wish to extend a heartfelt invitation from the good citizens of sunny Portland, Oregon.

And who is he feeling sorry for? We still have our team and I think something will get worked out eventually. All Lew has to do is look across the bay to see what the answer is. Not to mention that MLB pulled in 6 billion in revenue last year. They could just loan the A's the money to build a stadium if they can't get tradtitional financing in this market. So, seriously, all the vultures in all the quaint little towns from North Carolina to Portland, Oregon should just go build a sprint car track or try to get some third rate WTA tennis event in their town if their so hard up for sports entertainment. And again, at the risk of repeating myself, #### off.
   15. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:02 PM (#3085660)
"Not to mention that MLB pulled in 6 billion in revenue last year. They could just loan the A's the money to build a stadium if they can't get tradtitional financing in this market."

If Portland would not need this loan (source of repayment from the A's who do not draw?), doesn't this make them more compelling? It is hard to see why the other owners (say, KC) would want to loan money from their business to support a city that won't support a team as well as other cities. Why wouldn't they be more interested in finding a city that WILL support a team?
   16. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:02 PM (#3085661)
I hate to say this, but #### off Rob.

Rob has also advocated draining Lake Merritt, tossing the Tribune Tower into the Willamette River, and pelting Jerry Brown with rocks and garbage.
   17. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3085662)
Portland seems to be able to support the Trailblazers.

Not really. There's a legit question whether they would be there if it wasn't for Paul Allen. Portland has no corporate base worth speaking of except Nike, which really hurts their ability to support a team. And as crappy as the Coliseum is, the Portland Beavers are playing in a 1920s football stadium.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:08 PM (#3085663)
If Portland would not need this loan (source of repayment from the A's who do not draw?), doesn't this make them more compelling? It is hard to see why the other owners (say, KC) would want to loan money from their business to support a city that won't support a team as well as other cities.

1. They would make money on the loan. It's an investment.
2. The East/South Bay is a much better market than Portland and is better for MLB in the long run.
   19. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:10 PM (#3085665)
Portland right now is THIRD in average attendance per game in the NBA. They were 7th last year. If that is not support, I am not sure what is.
   20. Traderdave Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3085667)
If the A's move ANYWHERE, it should be Sacramento.

But they shouldn't move at all.
   21. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3085669)
"1. They would make money on the loan. It's an investment."

I am guessing that means they would charge interest on the loan at a rate to give them a healthy return, and factor in the underwriting risk of non-payment (it isn't as if this asset, if the A's fail, could have much of an other use). Let's just say 8% on a $200,000,000.00 loan. That is $16,000,000.00 in interest a year alone (not including any amortization of that loan). Is there anythin in the operation of the A's to suggest that they could take on the burden of an extra $16,000,000.00 per year from their cash flow? That's one Matt Holliday, or 2/3rds of a Manny Ramirez.

I cannot speak to your point 2. I always thought of the Bay area as one market, which could be covered by the Giants, but if there are separate markets there, that could be a point for staying put in Oakland.

Don't forget that from MLB's stanpoint, moving the A's strengthens the Giants market to some extent, also.
   22. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:23 PM (#3085675)
Let's just say 8% on a $200,000,000.00 loan.

Why would they charge 8%? I would guess they would charge 5% tops and maybe slightly less than that. And yeah, I think the A's ownership could swallow that interest charge.

I cannot speak to your point 2. I always thought of the Bay area as one market, which could be covered by the Giants, but if there are separate markets there, that could be a point for staying put in Oakland.

The Bay is plenty big enough for two teams. The Giants would be gain only very marginally if the A's left town. I remember the days when the Giants were hopeless and could only survive by moving to a new city. In retrospect, moving the Giants to St. Pete would have been monumentally stupid. This situation is remarkably similar.
   23. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3085678)
"Why would they charge 8%? I would guess they would charge 5% tops and maybe slightly less than that. And yeah, I think the A's ownership could swallow that interest charge."

This is kind of what got our wonderful banking system in the shape it is in. Loans have to also bear a risk of non-payment and loss factor, and again, I would guess that such a specialty use (a stadium) loses a boatload of value if the original tenant fails to operate, so the risk premium would be higher than other uses. Since no loans are being made, it is hard to price what a conventional loan would cost now, but this isn't your residential home loan type of deal.
   24. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:31 PM (#3085679)
Portland right now is THIRD in average attendance per game in the NBA. They were 7th last year. If that is not support, I am not sure what is.

Great. How many of those are cheap seats? How many luxury boxes are they selling and at what price? Portland's below average in NBA revenue, and in the bottom third in team valuations according to Forbes. It's not a big market, and it's easier to support an NBA team than an MLB team. Again, where are the businesses required to fund 50 luxury boxes and club seats?
   25. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:37 PM (#3085684)
but this isn't your residential home loan type of deal.

Why would MLB treat a loan to one of its partners the way a bank would treat a standard mortgage? They know the business and can be reasonably sure the team is going to go bankrupt so their principal and interest are almost guaranteed. A 5% yield with the kind of safety the A's would afford is a pretty decent deal for MLB. Not to mention the ancillary benefits they get for strengthening the franchise. A new, shiny stadium in that market and the A's could easily get off the revenue sharing gravy train. Of course, MLB has had so much success milking public funds, private financing is only a nuclear option, much like it was in Ess Eff.
   26. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3085692)
"Of course, MLB has had so much success milking public funds, private financing is only a nuclear option, much like it was in Ess Eff."

Agreed, and whether you think it is wise or fair or prudent for the municipalities to fund these stadiums, from MLB's perspective, it is a no-brainer; as long as there is a city aspiring to be a player on the national scene that thinks having the name of the city in the standings and on tv and with the goodyear blimp overhead, and is willing to ante up a stadium for that privilege, that is at the very-least a tie-breaker.

Why treat (price) a loan to one of its partners the way a bank would treat (price) that loan? I guess the question back would be, "why would you subsidize one of your partners by charging them a below market interest rate on a loan (being a loan at a lower cost than what they would pay were it in the open market)." Maybe the answer it that the cheaper loan is no different than the other subsidies that MLB offers its members (luxury tax on salaries, to certain teams). But at the very least, if I am either a recipient or a donor to that fund, I would want the value of the loan subsidy counted in the A's take from the pot.

I will make this easy, though; let's settle on 6%, which I still believe is below market. With amortization, you are still paying out about $14,000,000.00 a year to service the debt, and if the A's can handle the extra cost burden and still be competitive, that is great for them.
   27. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3085698)
"Great. How many of those are cheap seats? How many luxury boxes are they selling and at what price? Portland's below average in NBA revenue, and in the bottom third in team valuations according to Forbes. It's not a big market, and it's easier to support an NBA team than an MLB team. Again, where are the businesses required to fund 50 luxury boxes and club seats?"

Those are all fair questions, and I don't live or work in Portland, so I do not know. I will say this, though, at least on the seats. Right now, Portland is selling out its basketball games at over 102% of capacity (don't ask me how-I just get these figures from what the NBA reports). So if Portland is selling "cheap seats" for a product that is selling more than its available supply, they are not so very smart business people. I bet that is not the case.
   28. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3085702)
Portland's ticket prices are 17th in the league, which basically correlates to their revenue. That's alright, but it's nothing special. The Beavers don't draw well either.

I'm just not seeing a good argument. Portland's MSA is barely over 2 million, it really has no significant corporate base that can be counted on to buy tickets, it's probably a no-go in terms of getting a new stadium without significant hassle, and it doesn't support the baseball team it already has. I'd rather Buffalo get a team.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:06 PM (#3085704)
It pains me to have to say it in Rob's case, but anybody who advocates stealing another city's team should be beaten with pipes.
   30. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:18 PM (#3085709)
Portland right now is THIRD in average attendance per game in the NBA.

Yes, but those people are from Oregon, for God's sake. They don't count.
   31. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3085713)
"Portland's MSA is barely over 2 million, it really has no significant corporate base that can be counted on to buy tickets, it's probably a no-go in terms of getting a new stadium without significant hassle, and it doesn't support the baseball team it already has."

Divide the bay area's smsa population by 2, and you get just over 2,000,000 (and in fact less than Portland's). Look at the growth rates of the 2 areas; I have no idea whether they are sustainable, but the chart I saw had Portland growing almost 13% from 2000 to 2007, and the Bay area growing by about 2% over that same period. I cannot answer the corporate donor/citizen point; I have no idea, and that IS an important factor. But it seems clear from the Trailblazer's ticket sales and the population numbers, fannies in the seats wouldn't be the problem.
   32. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3085717)
I'm not sure where you're getting the Bay Area's smsa as 4 million? The SF-SJ-Oak CSA is 7.2 million.
   33. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3085722)
all the vultures in all the quaint little towns from North Carolina to Portland, Oregon should just go build a sprint car track or try to get some third rate WTA tennis event in their town if their so hard up for sports entertainment.


No one from North Carolina is even thinking about MLB in this state. The population centers are too small to support a team.

-- MWE
   34. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3085723)
wikipedia chart labeled "Metropolitan Statistical Areas of the United States of America", for "San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA MSA", with the population listed as 4,203,898 for 2007. Maybe your figure includes people who are willing to testify against Barry Bonds at his trial, but don't actually live in the area.
   35. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3085725)
No one from North Carolina is even thinking about MLB in this state. The population centers are too small to support a team.

The Charlotte area usually gets touted in these situations as a possible relocation spot. I'm glad to hear that it's not anymore.
   36. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:37 PM (#3085726)

The Bay is plenty big enough for two teams. The Giants would be gain only very marginally if the A's left town. I remember the days when the Giants were hopeless and could only survive by moving to a new city. In retrospect, moving the Giants to St. Pete would have been monumentally stupid. This situation is remarkably similar.


Yeah. Maybe now that the move is off, ownership will actually make a serious effort to try to get fans to watch, and also to make it easier for fans who want to, to watch on TV or listen on radio.
   37. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:41 PM (#3085731)
wikipedia chart labeled "Metropolitan Statistical Areas of the United States of America", for "San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA MSA", with the population listed as 4,203,898 for 2007.

Do you know the way to San Jose?
   38. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3085733)
Do you know the way to San Jose?

We could call them the San JosA's!
   39. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3085737)
Apparantly neither I nor the good people at Wikipedia do.

Obviously there is a big difference between an MSA and a CSA, as it relates to California areas.
   40. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:45 PM (#3085740)
Yeah. Maybe now that the move is off, ownership will actually make a serious effort to try to get fans to watch, and also to make it easier for fans who want to, to watch on TV or listen on radio.

The A's are finally on a real radio station this year (KTRB - 50,000 watts!), so that's a start. The Coliseum's never going to be Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, but it's got some things going for it (fantastically easy to get to, for one). A's need to start doing $2 Wednesdays again to market the team.
   41. Traderdave Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3085747)
The Coliseum's never going to be Fenway Park


Thank God.
   42. Traderdave Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3085752)
Do you know the way to San Jose?


And Sacramento, already a bastion of A's fandom?
   43. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:51 PM (#3085756)
"A's need to start doing $2 Wednesdays again to market the team."

I doubt the trailblazer's do $2 Wednesdays, but if that is what the A's have done, I can see why you raised the question earlier about how Portland's great attendance translated to revenues. At 102% of capacity in tickets sold, I bet Portland does not have to discount much at all.
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:56 PM (#3085769)
Does minor league attendance have any bearing whatsoever on major league attendance?
   45. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3085773)
"Does minor league attendance have any bearing whatsoever on major league attendance?"

Without knowing anything about the City itself, I can think of several reasons why it shouldn't. One big one to me would be that any city that has a major league franchise it one sport would have to have a pretty bad attitude about having a minor league franchise of another sport; that just seems to be an attitudinal thing that would be hard to overcome.
   46. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3085775)
Does minor league attendance have any bearing whatsoever on major league attendance?

I think it does when more people per game go watch your minor league soccer team as compared to your minor league baseball team.
   47. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:02 PM (#3085777)
I doubt the trailblazer's do $2 Wednesdays, but if that is what the A's have done, I can see why you raised the question earlier about how Portland's great attendance translated to revenues. At 102% of capacity in tickets sold, I bet Portland does not have to discount much at all.

Did you know the Golden State Warriors--the team probably tied with the Clippers as the worst in the NBA over the last 30 years--outdrew the Blazers in 2007-08?
   48. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3085782)
A Portland team won't do well in merchandising. The Indianapolis Clowns rule the area.


Excellent callback.
   49. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3085792)
"Did you know the Golden State Warriors--the team probably tied with the Clippers as the worst in the NBA over the last 30 years--outdrew the Blazers in 2007-08?"

You actually are kind of making the case for Portland, my friend. Unlike baseball, the bay area has ONE basketball team. Since 2002 (that is how far back the chart I am looking at goes; I am not being selective in my starting point for some hidden reason), Portland outdraws the Bay Area more years than the Bay Area outdraws Portland. So Portland supports its ONE basketball team better than the Bay Area supports its ONE basketball team. And you want to make the case, based on fannies in the seats, that the Bay Area deserves 2 baseball teams and Portland none? None with these attendance numbers, you don't.
   50. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3085794)
I will say this, the Portland area IS growing by leaps and bounds (as mentioned already above), which has to be an argument in their favor.

Also, I for one am glad the A's aren't moving. I loved going to the Coliseum to see the A's play when I lived in San Francisco, pre-PacBell. I think I probably stil would, due to the cost.
   51. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:19 PM (#3085795)
So Portland supports its ONE basketball team better than the Bay Area supports its ONE basketball team. And you want to make the case, based on fannies in the seats, that the Bay Area deserves 2 baseball teams and Portland none? None with these attendance numbers, you don't.

No. The Warriors are historically pathetic. They are an awful, awful franchise and the Trailblazers are actually competently run. Imagine if the Warriors were any good. Look, I don't know why you have such a bug up your ass to move the team to Portland. Are you offended by they early work of Too Short? Do you not like zucchini?
   52. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3085797)
"A Portland team won't do well in merchandising."

Good point. It will be tough to compete with 2 state colleges that go under the names "Beavers" and "Ducks".
   53. Traderdave Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3085798)
Sacramento River Cats lead all minor league teams in attendance in most years. If they've fallen out of #1 it isn't by much. By itself that may not be definitive but SAC is also a significant source of A's attendance. The A's are very popular there, IMO they would thrive moving there (and for the record I prefer they don't).
   54. Tuque Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:26 PM (#3085809)
There's also the fact that nobody in Portland gives a #### about the Padres. That's kind of a big one, in terms of AAA attendance. Most of us are Mariners fans, if we're a fan of baseball at all.
   55. JoeHova Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3085817)
According to Forbes, the Blazers had gate receipts of $36 million last year, compared to Golden State's $44 million. Not really a huge difference, but it is a difference. And Oakland got the traditional post-great season bump in attendance last year, they were coming off of that upset of Dallas in the first round, so I don't think it's fair to say they were a garbage team or something. They are this year, but they weren't last year. Even though they missed the playoffs, they went 48-34.
   56. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:37 PM (#3085821)
"Look, I don't know why you have such a bug up your ass to move the team to Portland."

Wow.

I am just making the counterpoints that, quite candidly, are pretty easily made. The corporate stuff I cannot refute; i have no idea. The population and attendance stuff is pretty easy to find, and pretty clear in my mind. Otherwise, I really couldn't give a flip.

I just checked back as far as I could, and in the last 17 years, the warriors have been above .500 4 times, and below .500 13, not good at all. That does seem to be in line though, with a bunch of other NBA not so good NBA franchises (Atlanta; Minnesota; Clippers; Charlotte; and Cleveland (pre-Lebron, at least) come to mind). Portland does have a much better record over those 17 years, but it is interesting that over the last 5 (before this year), they have not been above .500 once. That is relevant because the attendance data easily available to me is over the shorter, but not longer, period.

I guess the conclusion is that when the blazers are better than the warriors, the Blazers ALWAYS outdraw the warriors, and when the warriors are better than the blazers, the warriors SOMETIMES outdraw the blazers, but both as the only NBA franchise in their area. And that makes the case for SF to have 2 baseball teams, and Portland none?
   57. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3085824)
They are this year, but they weren't last year. Even though they missed the playoffs, they went 48-34.

But that's the sadness of being a Warrior fan. Last season was a really great season for us. We have to take solace in the occasional individual greatness of the occasional player. Sleepy Floyd's quarter against the Lakers. Purvis Short's rainbow threes. Chris Mullin's slow-mo svengali-ism. Andris Biedrin's anti-missile defense free throw shooting. Joe Barry Carroll's scowl of boredom.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3085829)
Wow.

I apologize if I'm not taking your glibness about moving the team well. You're just lucky your not talking about the Pirates. Vlad has pipes and he's not afraid to use them!
   59. Rodder Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:53 PM (#3085838)
As far as Sacramento is concerned, the Kings problems seem to forbode what would happen there. A few years ago they were the hottest thing in town, and Arco was packed every game. Now, the team is terrible and the Maloofs are hemorrhaging mony with them. Attendance is very low and there isn't the corporate backing around town to prop them up. Additionally, I believe any efforts to build a new basketball arena failed, which would indicate a baseball stadium might as well.
   60. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:55 PM (#3085839)
"I apologize if I'm not taking your glibness about moving the team well. You're just lucky your not talking about the Pirates. Vlad has pipes and he's not afraid to use them!"

No problem, and, based on your comment, let me propose this. Move the A's to Portland, and the Pirates to the Bay Area.
   61. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:56 PM (#3085840)


I guess the conclusion is that when the blazers are better than the warriors, the Blazers ALWAYS outdraw the warriors, and when the warriors are better than the blazers, the warriors SOMETIMES outdraw the blazers, but both as the only NBA franchise in their area. And that makes the case for SF to have 2 baseball teams, and Portland none?


Well, if you get Paul Allen to own the baseball team in Portland, sure Portland should probably have a team.
   62. bfan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3085841)
Maybe Paul allen is tired of the trailblazers, and he would like a new toy to play with? I am sure MLB would love it.
   63. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3085849)
Hey, as long as Paul Allen is happy, #### those of us who have invested a lifetime with the team. I wouldn't want Paul Allen to get bored or have to commute from Portland to Oakland to enjoy ownership of an MLB team.
   64. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3085862)
There's also the fact that nobody in Portland gives a #### about the Padres. That's kind of a big one, in terms of AAA attendance. Most of us are Mariners fans, if we're a fan of baseball at all.

I've always wondered why MLB teams don't make more of an effort to get minor-league teams closer to home. The Kane County Cougars would get a lot more attention if they were a White Sox or Cubs affiliate than they do as an A's affiliate.
   65. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3085871)
They do, JRE. The Red Sox have three affiliates in New England. The Yankee AA and AAA teams are in Trenton and Scranton, respectively.
   66. Rodder Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3085876)
The Phillies may have the best situation with AA & AAA in Reading and Lehigh Valley (both about 50-60 miles away and in the heart of Phillies territory).
   67. Jeff K. Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3085878)
It's been 15 years since I lived in Salem for two years, but unless something drastic, and I do mean *drastic* has changed, the notion that Portland can support a baseball team in a manner that would justify someone moving there is laughable.
   68. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3085883)
The Phillies may have the best situation with AA & AAA in Reading and Lehigh Valley (both about 50-60 miles away and in the heart of Phillies territory).

The A's and Giants have their AAA and High A affiliates close by. There's no AA league on the west coast, so they're out of luck, there.
   69. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:39 PM (#3085891)
So, what are the A's going to do, then? Stay in the Coliseum for the forseeable future?
   70. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:43 PM (#3085899)
So, what are the A's going to do, then? Stay in the Coliseum for the forseeable future?

I would imagine. The theory is they're seting up a run to San Jose. We'll see. I just want the season to start so we can start talking about games. This has been a torturous offseason, IMO.
   71. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:48 PM (#3085906)
The theory is they're seting up a run to San Jose.

I said it before and I'll say it again - if the A's really want to move down there (and they can stop the Giants from ######## and moaning about it), they need to improve the infrastructure from the East Bay to the South Bay first. They can't afford to just write off the East Bay fan base.
   72. Flynn Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3085911)
If, and I mean if, ground is broken on BART going to San Jose, then they have a chance. But like I said in another thread, people have been talking about extending BART to San Jose as long as there has been BART.
   73. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:59 PM (#3085919)
PHI - And their low-A in Lakewood NJ and short-A in Williamsport.
CUB/WSX - It's debatable if they want to make the Kane County affiliate more palatable to local consumers (and possibly take away from their own business). I don't know the numbers - I can see it either way... The Cubs are in Peoria, which might help leverage their brand across the state. Not sure why the White Sox stay in Kannapolis (I'm not sure that team will stay in Kannapolis, frankly) - maybe they want warmer weather for guys' first full season exposure? I dunno...
Other - Pretty much everybody is relatively close to home. The White Sox are an exception, I guess. Florida has bounced around at the AAA level, but their next 2 teams are in Florida. Minnesota - not so much - but they don't have a lot of options - they at least have Beloit.
Hmmm - the White Sox may have made less of an effort here than anyone else in baseball.
   74. Steve Treder Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:07 PM (#3085936)
I said it before and I'll say it again - if the A's really want to move down there (and they can stop the Giants from ######## and moaning about it), they need to improve the infrastructure from the East Bay to the South Bay first. They can't afford to just write off the East Bay fan base.

Yes. Completion of the proposed BART extension from Fremont into San Jose would, at the least, be very important.

And the Giants aren't just idly p!ssing and moaning. The territorial rights granted to franchises by MLB are a serious deal. The only way the A's can move to San Jose is by arranging some manner of substantial buy-off to the Giants of their legitimate territorial rights to Santa Clara County. That can be done, but it isn't a small deal.

And as I've said a million times, if all a move of the A's to San Jose would accomplish is a re-slicing of the current Bay Area market between the A's and the Giants, what's the gain from the MLB standpoint? No new market would be cultivated.

That's the primary reason why the whole thing is dumb, based on no objective assessment, but instead just Wolff's ongoing desire to have someone, anyone, subsidize the development of a new stadium for him, and the San Jose Mercury's incessant boosterism to get some team, any team, to move to San Jose.
   75. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 09:41 PM (#3086321)
San Jose just makes a lot of sense - it's probably a better long term market than Oakland (and even if you assume the entire East Bay is going to stop showing up for A's games, San Jose supports the Sharks largely by itself plenty fine. And as an East Bay resident for whom San Jose is way out of the way (Benicia) I sure know a lot of people who regularly go to Sharks games) and the land is already pre-approved and sitting idly in downtown. I can't imagine a more ideal situation for the A's, and that includes nonsense like Portland. Quite frankly I'm with Shooty on that one, get your paws off my team Neyer. #### that noise.

edit: And kind of off topic, but are we really about to legalize pot? Wouldn't that be ####### awesome?
   76. Excal Posted: February 27, 2009 at 03:45 AM (#3087611)
Comparing revenue and attendance figures between the Blazers and the Warriors is meaningless in the context of discussing whether the A's should play in the Bay Area vs Portland. The Blazers are IT when it comes to major league sports in Portland. In the Bay Area there are two MLB teams, two NFL teams and an NHL team competing for the sports dollars of Bay Area fans.

As for why MLB should support the A's moving to San Jose, that should be obvious. It's not a 're-slicing' of the Bay Area, it's moving the Bay Area MLB franchise that currently plays in an unattractive multi-purpose venue in a bad part of the 3rd-largest city in the area into a newer, baseball-only stadium in the largest city in the area. Also, San Jose has quite a bit more money, both in terms of municipal funds and residents' disposable income, floating around.
   77. Srul Itza Posted: February 27, 2009 at 04:35 AM (#3087632)
those of us who have invested a lifetime with the team


And how are the three of you getting along these days?

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