Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

The South Bay is Sports Central

If you live in San Francisco or even Oakland
you might want to consider moving to the
South Bay. The San Jose Sharks play in the
beautiful HP Arena in downtown San Jose and now the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco 49ers are
planning a move south. All-of-a-sudden Silicon Valley is rapidly becoming Sports Central.

By Amaury Pi-GonzalezThe principal owner of the Oakland Athletics
Lew Wolff came down to Fremont to make his
presentation buying 143 acres off Auto Mall Parkway in the Fremont area known as
Pacific Commons. Commissioner Bud Selig will follow next week. Mayor Bob Wasserman
said that the city of Fremont still doesn’t know
how much money they will ask the A’S. The A’S
park will bear the name Cisco Park/Field and it
would be 25 miles south of Oakland, 14 miles north
east San Jose and 5.5 miled south from BART southernmost station in Alameda County, the
Fremont BART station. $300 to $400 million will
be the cost of the A’S new park and it will have a capacity of over 30,000. Could open for business
by 2011.
Can Oakland still pull a miracle and keep the A’S?
The odds are against that.

John York owner of the San Francisco 49ers gave up on negotiations with the City of San Francisco regarding a new stadium there. This went on for
10 years. Mr York announced he is moving the
team to Santa Clara to a 20 acre site next to his
training facility. The 49ers have trained in Santa
Clara since 1987. This move jeopardizes the
2016 Olimpic games in San Francisco since that
new stadium that the 49ers were hoping to build
in San Francisco would have hosted the opening
and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Olimpics as
well as the Track and Field competition.

The new park for the 49ers is expected to have a cost between $600 to $800 million dollars. Finance
was not made available at this time. The 49ers owner said he would like to keep the name
San Francisco 49ers even though they would play
in Santa Clara. The people in Santa Clara love the
idea since this park is not that far from Paramount’s
Great America Amusement Park. With the 49ers
in town 8 times each season it would make Santa
Clara more of an entertainment area. In Football (unlike baseball) a park doesn’t have to be in
a downtown area. People will travel long distances
to see an NFL game, it is a weekly "event"you don’t need restaurants or hotels nearby, it is
a tailgate affair with people arriving and camping
outside the park even the night before the game.
Can the City of San Francisco and Mayor Gavin Newsome pull a miracle and after 10 years of
futile negotiations come with an 11th hour plan to
keep the 49ers ? San Francisco has a hard time
fixing the potholes in the Mission district and to
expect them to come out with a solution at this time would be insane. But there still a shot and
York might be just forcing the action here.
When I first moved into the Bay Area it was
in 1969 and I lived in San Francisco and at that
time they called San Francisco "They City that
Knows How"…

For baseball it is much more practical to build a
park in a downtown area. Baseball has 81 home games it is more of a family sport and people tend to go to games and frequent the stores and restaruants in the area. The best example is
ATT Park. I know a couple of restaurant owners
(older restaurants)that have been in the China Basin area for decades and once the Giants build
their new ballpark they already can retire early and wealthy. Mr.Wolff concept is to have stores,restaurants and sort of a community around the new A’S ballpark in Oakland. I believe him, after all he is a developer, that is how he made his fortune. He knows land.

But the simple fact is that the South Bay is where
the population is moving in the Bay Area. San Francisco still the most beautiful city,favorite by
tourist and all that, but San Jose residents have the highest per-capita income of any big city in the United States. Parts of Fremont are also part of
Silicon Valley and in Silicon Valley is where some of the world’s finest high tech companies have their headquarters, like Apple and Hewlett Packard, just to mention two of the most famous.
Fremont is like an extension of San Jose as far
as the high tech industry is concerned and this
city of 210,000 also has a high per-capita income.
Here in Fremont a $450,000 prized home is a"cheap"home. And that would probably be in
one of the old sections of town. Up in the Mission Hills the cheapest home go for a cool $1million, or more. For those who just drive through Fremont,
the real estate here is hot and expensive.

So, what will be left in the northern part of the
Bay ? The Giants at ATT Park, the Raiders will
have all of the Oakland Coliseum for themselves,
Al Davis cannot complain and the Golden State
Warriors (for the meantime) will remain in
Oakland after 12 consecutive seasons without
reaching the Playoffs, the longest such streak for
a professional team in the Bay. As we remember
not too long ago there were talks of moving the
Warriors back to San Francisco.

Have a great Sports day Bay Area fans, wherever
you are!


1 rick { 11.10.06 at 1:36 pm }

If one presumes that everything in life should be determined by one’s position, wealth, privilege, then your explanation of these franchise shifts away from their traditional base and toward greater riches makes perfect sense . . . but not everyone agrees that we are all on this planet to help Lewis Wolff and John York make even more money than they already have. In fact, according to Forbes Magazine, the Athletics in 2005 (last year available for this data) made $16M in profits, right at the average for all MLB clubs, and saw Wolff’s capital investment grow by more than $50M, the FOURTH highest in all of MLB. But I guess that’s not enough. The truth is that the A’s could make a lot more in Oakland by building upon their base of loyal, wonderfully diverse, followers, remodelling along the lines that the Dodgers have done, and OPENING and improving the third deck with some amenities that now don’t exist in that sadly neglected space (which has some of the best seats in the house). The sports world, despite the sense we get from the business world and its apologists, is not a Luxury Box for the well-to-do . . . or is it?

2 Anonymous { 11.10.06 at 4:31 pm }

I agree but your view is very idealistic, remember the A’S and Giants were within hours of leaving the
Bay Area a few years ago. Baseball has become a
very competitive business and specially here in
the “spoiled” Bay Area. These ar not Red Sox or Cubs fans, you need a new stadium and a good team to be succesful here. Even thought the A’S made a profit, the truth is that the Oakland Coliseum is not a good facility for baseball it is as simple as that and Mr Wolff would be the first to tell you that.
Take care.

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

5 Anonymous { 09.08.09 at 1:48 pm }

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6 Anonymous { 11.07.09 at 11:04 pm }

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