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Sunday, October 30, 2022

Rob Manfred says it ‘just doesn’t look like’ A’s will remain in Oakland, thinks ghost runner is here to stay

During an interview with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on SiriusXM, Manfred expressed pessimism that the Athletics will be able to figure out a new stadium in Oakland, though he had something different to say about the Tampa Bay Rays’ situation:

“I think the mayor in Oakland [Libby Schaaf] has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen ... I’m not positive about it.”

“I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of pace in Oakland. I think they have to look for an alternative. I see Tampa differently. I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa’s a viable major league market. I’ve got a lot of faith in [Rays owner] Stu Sternberg. I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa.

When asked if Oakland could leave within the next five years, Manfred said “oh yeah” twice then added “something has to happen, we can’t go five more years in the Coliseum.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 30, 2022 at 10:48 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletic, rob manfred

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   1. sanny manguillen Posted: October 31, 2022 at 08:16 AM (#6103350)
Maybe Oakland could have a whole ghost team?

   2. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2022 at 10:00 AM (#6103358)
I feel like baseball should move out of tampa and stay in the bay area of CA. Really Florida is a ###### up state for a lot of businesses.

Let TB go to Portland and let Nashville and LV get a team.
   3. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: October 31, 2022 at 10:01 AM (#6103360)
2022 Attendance, bottom 3:

Tampa Bay: 1,128,000 / ~14,000/game
Miami: 907,00 / ~11,000/game
Oakland: 787,00 / ~9800/game

Oakland Roots minor league soccer: 2016 / game (19 games)

At this point, does Oakland even have enough support in the community for the Oakland City Council to bother?
   4. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: October 31, 2022 at 10:16 AM (#6103362)
If the Bay Area can’t support 2 MLB teams, considering the number of people and amount of wealth in the area, then I think it speaks to baseball’s bigger problems.
   5. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: October 31, 2022 at 11:01 AM (#6103368)
The Bay Area can't support two NFL teams, two NBA teams, or two NHL teams either so maybe this one ain't exclusively on Manfred?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2022 at 11:41 AM (#6103381)
Why not move the Rays to Oakland and the A's to Tampa?
   7. McCoy Posted: October 31, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6103393)
The Raiders could have absolutely stayed in Oakland. The A's are held back by MlB territory rules and a cheapskate owner.
   8. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: October 31, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6103398)
I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built for them with taxpayer money, and I think with that the baseball owner can thrive in Tampa.
   9. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: October 31, 2022 at 02:00 PM (#6103401)
Oakland Athletics Attendance in the 1970's and early 1980's wasn't so hot either

1971: 914,000, lost ALCS
1972: 921,000, won WS
1973: 1,000,000, won WS
1974: 845,693, won WS
1975: 1,075,518, lost ALCS
1976: 780,593
1977: 495,599
1978: 526,999
1979: 306,763
1980: 842,259
1981: 1,304,052, lost ALCS, Billy-Ball
1982: 1,735,489,
1983: 1,294,941, no more Billy-Ball

The "Haas Years" of 1987-1993 were really the big years, peak of 2,900,000 in 1990

The "Moneyball Years" of 2000 to 2007 were also good, peak of 2,216,596 in 2003. Note Oracle/Pac Bell Park opened in 2000, so this was even with that competition.

there was a rebound in 2012-2014 where they hit 2,000,000 again in 2014

Seems to me it's ownership combined with the general collapse of baseball-interest in the Bay Area. The Coliseum can be a nice place to watch a game. The game moving so slow has really hurt it especially in the Bay Area, where people have many entertainment options and interests.
   10. John Northey Posted: October 31, 2022 at 02:37 PM (#6103408)
Oakland I feel has better potential than Tampa or any Florida location. Look at Miami...
Top attendance: 1993 - their first season, and only year with 3 million, heck, with 2.4+ million.
Other years over 2 million: 1997 - their first WS winning year where tons of hype around signing a batch of guys pushed them as far as possible in that market, 2012 - first year in a new park that was supposed to be the magic bullet (2.2 million). So 3 years of 2+ million vs 5 years sub 1 million (including 2021, but not 2020).
In 2003 they won the WS for a second time, with 91 wins, just 1 shy of that 1997 season, so just as good on the field all year as that team was but just 1.3 million showed up.

Tampa is even worse.
First year: 2.5 million, never reached 1.9 million again.
This year was their 4th in the playoffs in a row but just 1.1 million showed up. 2021 was their only season other than 2020 to be under 1 million so clearly there is a base bigger than Miami has but is that just because they have been blessed with a super front office? Probably.

For comparison, the Expos in their 2nd last season with MLB and others saying to stay away (plus literally tons of concrete falling off the stadium) they cracked 1 million. They cracked 2 million 4 times over 5 years when they were one of the best in baseball (but only made the playoffs in the strike year of 1981). In 1987, the last year the owners and front office put in a full effort (resigning Tim Raines, having a big trade for the best pitcher available which cost them Randy Johnson & others), the team was 9th in NL attendance (the players didn't do the job, getting 91 wins in a year you needed 95 to reach the playoffs) with 1.85 million (a figure the 2 Florida teams today only dream of).

Basically, put either Florida team in Montreal, especially the Rays, and you'd see 2+ million fans show up more often than they have for those 2 teams combined quickly. Just imagine Vegas or another city where demand is even higher.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: October 31, 2022 at 03:06 PM (#6103417)
Agree with #10 -- there's no way Oakland doesn't have more market _potential_ than Tampa.

I think it is true that, in the older cities, it's hard to get a stadium done. The only real options are out in the far burbs or a re-purposed site (or the parking lot next to the current stadium). It might be equally tough in the smaller cities too I don't know but where in Chicago could the Cubs move? (Bears to Arlington, new Wrigely on Soldier Field site? Some old industrial site?)

The Bay Area can't support two NFL teams

Given NFL revenue is almost completely centralized, location doesn't matter. LA "couldn't support" even one team for several years there, Green Bay "can support" a team? You can put a NFL team anyplace you can get 70,000 people once a week, less than a million a year. Is there even a single NFL team with the attendance of the A's? Miami? Virtually by definition, you put a NFL team wherever you get the best stadium deal.

EDIT: that said, for sports at least, maybe the Bay Area is better thought of as two markets, SF and Oakland and Oakland is not a great market.
   12. Karl from NY Posted: October 31, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6103433)
Yeah, SF and Oakland are separate markets for sports attendance. They overlap for TV but traveling cross bay for games is more hassle than it's worth.

As for Green Bay, anything citing that is missing the point, in reality the Packers' market is Milwaukee and really all of Wisconsin. Defining the Packers' market by Green Bay is like defining the Mets' market by Queens.
   13. Tony S Posted: October 31, 2022 at 04:28 PM (#6103435)
Miami is always kind of an outlier/special case for these kinds of comparisons.

The franchise is a perfect storm for attendance issues. It's at the corner of the country, with water on two sides and a swamp on another. It's been perhaps the most cynically run franchise in pro sports, with the first two owners tearing apart championship teams because they didn't get their way with the local taxpayers. Another ownership group gave away their biggest star, decapitating any positive momentum that developed post-Loria.

San Diego and Seattle have similar geographic situations, but at least their ownerships act in better faith, so they've been able to build solid fan bases.

Tampa is hamstrung by a dreadful stadium at an exceedingly inconvenient location. But it's more centrally located than Miami and the team is almost always competitive (if faceless). There seems to be good local interest in the team, given their decent-ish media ratings; people just don't physically go to the games. A new ballpark is usually just a cash grab by the ownership, but in the specific case of Tampa, it might be what saves the franchise.

   14. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: October 31, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6103436)
yeah, SF and Oakland are separate markets for sports attendance. They overlap for TV but traveling cross bay for games is more hassle than it's worth.

IMHO, it's exactly the opposite problem. Many, many of those fans at Giants games are riding BART and going right past the Colisum on their way to and through the TransBay tube, then to walk or take Muni to PacBell/Oracle/Whatever. Same with Warriors fans who are now riding BART and Muni down to the Chase Center. Folks in Walnut Creek, Dublin, Livermore who should be "naturally" A's fans are and have been Giants fans, and the same was true in the case of the Raiders.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 01, 2022 at 12:21 AM (#6103487)
As for Green Bay, anything citing that is missing the point, in reality the Packers' market is Milwaukee and really all of Wisconsin. Defining the Packers' market by Green Bay is like defining the Mets' market by Queens.

Still not missing the point. Milwaukee is puny, GB barely even registers. LA is 6 times the combined population, more than twice the population of all Wisconsin. Northern Ill is twice that size and I suppose you could add Central Illinois and Iowa and northern Indiana to define the Bears market.

But most importantly, NFL team revenue has VIRTUALLY NOTHING to do with market size. It simply doesn't matter. The TV contracts are all national, divided equally. The merchandise is all divided equally. The attendance is virtually equal across all franchises. That's how the economic model is set up.

From Forbes:
Although the NFL’s 32 teams equally share a little over 70% of football-related revenue, the rising tide of multiples does not mean all boats are lifted equally. Teams that can leverage their brands and stadiums to increase luxury suite, sponsorship, hospitality and non-NFL-event revenue the most will typically be worth more.

Prime example: The Dallas Cowboys, worth $8 billion, sit on top of the league for the fourteenth consecutive year and are the most valuable team in all of sports. The Cowboys also are the first team to generate over $1 billion in revenue, thanks in large part to a bevy of lucrative sponsorships, such as a ten-year, $200 million deal with Molson Coors. In 2021, the Cowboys pulled in over $220 million in stadium advertising and sponsorship revenue, more than double that of any other team.


But based on Forbes' list, that's really only true to any great extent for the Cowboys. The revenues for the other 31 teams vary between $450 and $650 M (Dallas at $1.1). Even including Dallas, franchise values range from $3 to $8.

And, no surprise, the Rams are valued at $6.2 B and $628 in revenue -- it made sense to have that market empty for years? The Chargers add $3.9 B and $491 M. Yet the Rams generate just $60 M more than the Raiders, $75 more than the Eagles, $50 more than the Texans and $80 more than the Packers. Why? Because market size doesn't ####### matter.

Over in baseball, franchise values range from $1 B to $6 B, a factor of 6 (same raw difference of $5). Revenues range from about $200 (Oak) to $550 (LAD), a bigger spread both relatively and absolutely. The gate receipts of the Chicago Bears were $74 M; the Sox were at $51, the Cubs at $106.

Gate receipts
Bears 84
Cubs 106
White Sox 51
Packers 81
Brewers 55
Rams 98
Chargers 64
Dodgers 150
Angels 64

Bears and Packers equal, Dodgers 14 M (16%) above Bears/Packers, Chargers 20 M (20-25%) below Bears/Packers.
Brewers and White Sox equal; Cubs 50 M ahead (100%), Dodgers another 50 M ahead (200%), Angels just barely ahead.

Taking Forbes' 70% claim above, the shared revenue would be about $12 B or $400 M per team. That means that Cowboys, Rams and Pats aside, teams generate (give or take) $50-150 M in non-shared revenue. While there's clearly a market size component to how much non-shared revenue is produced, Las Vegas, Green Bay and Miami top the Bears and Jets (but not Giants) and Balt, Cle, Sea, Carolina all produce about the same revenue as Bears and Jets. Of the roughly $5 B in non-shared revenue across the NFL, about 14% is generated by the Cowboys, about the same as the bottom 10 teams. The Cowboys are followed by the Pats and Rams account for about 5% each. You're down to an "average" 3% or so around the 7th or 8th highest team in revenue. The Lions are the worst at about 1% of total non-shared revenue.

MLB doles out $200+ M to each team in common and shared revenue. Even if we knock out the top 3 here, non-shared revenue ranges from about $0 (Oak) to $240 (those poor Braves!). MLB also generates about $5 B in non-shared revenue. The Dodgers account for about 7% of that. You hit 3% also around #8 (Giants or Angels).

About $120 M of that A's-Braves gap is ticket receipts, I assume the other $120 M is mostly local TV rights. The ticket reciepts gap between the Lions (lowest revenue) and Giants (4th) is about $40 M but most of the rest must be corporate sponsorships and stadium deals (unless pre-season football TV sells for even more than I suspect).

Sure, unless they got a great stadium deal, a team in Billings, MT would probably generate less revenue than the Lions -- despite drawing from the entire Montana/Wyoming/Dakotas/Idaho region! -- but not by a lot.

In 2021, KC, Balt, Buff (and GB) out-drew the Rams, Giants and Bears (by a "lot") but even the Lions-Cowboys gap was a mere 360,000 (<100%). The Dodgers outdrew the A's by 3.1 M, about 400%.

So the NFL can't afford to #### up the Cowboys' brand but, otherwise, it doesn't really matter where an NFL franchise is located as long as they can draw 60-80,000 every other week. You go where you get the best stadium deal and corporate sponsorships. That's obviously largely true in MLB and will be true for poorly drawing, low TV revenue teams like the Rays and A's but you've got to draw about a million a year to be at all viable. Maybe you could still do that if you moved the Brewers to GB but I doubt you could move the Rays to Buffalo successfully. After the A's move to Vegas (whether it works or not), I suspect Nashville is the most viable option for the Rays/expansion. (Tenn and Buffalo right next to each other in NFL attendance conveniently.)
   16. Lassus Posted: November 01, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6103493)
They overlap for TV but traveling cross bay for games is more hassle than it's worth.

When I lived in the Castro I would travel frequently by BART to Oakland to see games rather than deal with the batshit transportation options to Candlestick.
   17. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2022 at 08:55 AM (#6103495)
I live like 6 miles from the Battery. I don't go to games because "it's a hassle".

Everything is or isn't a hassle depending on whether or not you want it to be.
   18. DL from MN Posted: November 01, 2022 at 09:52 AM (#6103502)
Football is such a national game that I wonder whether it is worth expanding. I don't see expansion improving their TV contract. They're already on TV from dawn until midnight on Sunday plus Monday and Thursday evenings so it won't allow them to offer any more games than they offer now. It might improve their ratings in the new markets but people are already watching football in great numbers and the new markets are generally pretty small. I can't see why the other owners would want to dilute their national revenue share further.
   19. cookiedabookie Posted: November 01, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6103516)
Move Tampa to Montreal, Oakland to Sacramento
   20. Karl from NY Posted: November 01, 2022 at 01:02 PM (#6103521)
Still not missing the point. Milwaukee is puny, GB barely even registers. LA is 6 times the combined population,

That's correct, but it wasn't the point I was making. You were citing Green Bay in a misleading attempt to make the Packers' market look smaller than it is. That's all I was citing.
   21. McCoy Posted: November 01, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6103526)
Is there anyway one could slice it and not have the Packers metro market not be the smallest market for a baseball or football team by a country mile?

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