San Jose Wants the A’s

City leaders enthusiastically signed off on a resolution supporting the relocation of the A’s baseball team to San Jose at today’s council meeting. “Let’s play ball,” said Councilwoman Rose Herrera. Mayor Chuck Reed pointed out the chances of the A’s moving here are still pretty slim, but that the city is working hard to market itself as the right place for the major league baseball team.

One big obstacle: San Francisco currently has the territorial rights to San Jose. For that to change, baseball commissioner Bud Selig would have to intervene. One big plus: Selig is old college buddies with Lew Wolff, owner of the A’s.

The resolution included a set of negotiating principals, namely that Major League Baseball would be responsible for building the stadium. Also, the team name must include San Jose. “We are doing this to put ourselves in the best situation possible,” Reed said.


  1. Where do I start?

    1.  The motion also carried a rider that specifically tells Wolff that the city is not spending a dime.  Wolff cannot pull this deal off on his own, and so the City Council actually voted to deny the stadium from going forward.

    2.  Homeowners in the area, especially in the Shasta Hanchett area are already sending petitions back and forth.  This project is DOA.

    3.  Environmentalists have alread mentioned that the area has several toxic waste sites,and the city will have to spend the money, not Wolff, cleaning it up.

    4.  Downtown crime, and car thefts in that area, have been going up for years.

    5.  This deal kills the Giants.  Reed and the City Council forget one key issue.  There is a limited market for baseball.  Fans will not take trains to see the Giants if there is a baseball game on the same train route which will mean that the placement of this stadium kills future attendance at ATT Park.

  2. 5: You’re really reaching.

    – Wolff wants this location because it will be easier for him to finance. Fremont required all kinds of extras just to make it profitable. Diridon is prime because the location pays for itself. Banks are more likely to jump on board with him and Fisher.

    – These same people opposed the arena and were proven wrong. Now the arena exists and a huge transit center is coming. A stadium won’t be destroying the fabric of the neighborhood. That boat sailed decades ago.

    – I haven’t heard this. If it’s true, we should be spending money to clean it up anyway! Are toxins activated by baseball or what?

    – Wow, this is the most backwards suburban thinking ever. Are baseball fans criminals? I find them rather tame. They sit there with their button-covered hats, listening to the radio and keeping score in their little book. Perhaps you are saying that these elements exist and would scare away the A’s? In that case, just look at China Basin.

    – It doesn’t kill the Giants; it just cuts into their profits. Walmart could buy and sell the world, but they’d fight you tooth-and-nail to keep just one of their stores open. They don’t want a silver-coated personal jet when they could have gold.

  3. Where do I start?

    1)  Lew Wolff privately financing his own ballpark?  This is just awful!  To bad the city council DIDN’T deny the stadium effort from going forward.  How dare Mr. Wolff not ask for a public subsidy for an A’s ballpark.  We should all be appalled!

    2)  SOME homeowners in SHP don’t want a ballpark a mile to the east.  Classic NIMBY!  So because SOME (key word being “some”) don’t want it, it’s DOA?  Forget the fact that many neighbors DO WANT a ballpark (Helen Chapman), but want it done right.  Oh no, this about me, myself, and I!

    3)  Run for the hills!  This city may have to clean up the site to make way for a family entertainment venue.  If no ballpark, the city will STILL have to clean up the site for housing and/or corporate campus (see Diridon/Arena strategic plan). 

    4)  Downtown crime and car thefts are up?  And your point?

    5)  This deal kills the Giants?  Shame on San Jose for thinking it was a major American city that should be free to pursue our National Pastime.  I guess some in the Rosegarden feel we should forever remain a suburb of San Francisco and pay homage to their sports teams.  San Jose, a city of 1 mill…I’m sorry, 1 hundred thousand!

    A’s a bad deal for San Jose?  Far from it!  Eagerly awaiting your best insult #5!

  4. Reed is off to make the Good Neighbor Committee one of the most non transperant group of them all.  Reed’s IPA effort is not an exception, IT IS HOW HE DOES BUSINESS.  Already, we hear that Reed has qualifications on various areas that should be represent on this committee.  Shasta Hanchett residents already heard through the grapevine that they will be UNDER REPRESENTED.  Also, Wolff has asked for a veto of anyone on the committee with a history of opposition.  The SF Giants, who will be losing South Bay fans to this deal, are also not welcome on the committee.

    Reed’s plan is already unraveling, and we all know it.

  5. #5 BadDeal, In answer to your questions:

    1. Wolfe has said all along he would pay for the stadium himself and was not seeking city money for it. However, what the council approved last night was that ANY city contribution, be it land, street improvements, etc., must be approved by voters.

    2. The homeowners are also meeting with the city to resolve any issues. This includes the Shasta Hanchett association. Not all are opposed, many are speaking in favor so long as neighborhood issues are addressed. Most neighbors are smart enough to know that if a ballpark doesn’t get built at the site, something else will! That “something” is likely to be high-density housing. A’s would bring traffic on game days. Housing would bring it every day. 

    3. The environmentalists seem to be grossly exaggerating any necessary toxic cleanup. Reed calls any site contamination “very minor.” I do agree, however, that the city should know the true costs of any cleanup. I am not aware of an EIR with cost analysis for cleanup, are you?

    4. What does historic crime rates have to do with a future stadium? If anything a downtown stadium would likely help to control downtown crime by bringing a different element into downtown. Look at what happened to SF’s China basis when ATT Park was built. It went from a high crime area to one that is relatively safe.

    5. I doubt it. But even if you are right, so what? The SF Giants box office receipts are not San Jose’s problem. Giants fans from SJ will still support a winning team. But if the SJ A’s do end up hurting the Giants then maybe the Giants have it coming for being such jerks to San Jose! You might also ask yourself how the SJ A’s would hurt SF when the A’s currently play in Oakland? 

    For me the only downside to the A’s coming to San Jose is we will lose our SJ Giants…good cheap fun.

    #6, Jeffrey: Alabama Governor George Wallace also once famously stood in a schoolhouse door using the word “Never.” That school is integrated today. When enough $$ is on the table, MLB will fall in love with San Jose.

  6. Once a Giants fan always a Giants fan.  However, first and foremost I am a San Josean and I think that bringing a major league baseball team here would be great for the City.

    First, because it would encourage new business in DT to accommodate the thousands of fans that would attend ball games not to mention the thousands of residents that are expected to move DT.  This surely would generate much needed additional revenue to San Jose’s general fund. 

    Second, it would be a boon to tourism because of the people who follow their teams across the country to watch them play at different venues.

    Third, it raises the visibility of San Jose.

    These are just some reasons why I think it would be great to have the A’s come to San Jose.

    However, I do understand two important points to consider before moving forward on the proposal:  The impact on surrounding neighborhoods and that the city shouldn’t spend any funds on construction. 

    Clearly these two points are being addressed through the formation of a Good Neighbor Committee that includes a wide variety of stake holders and continued statements that make it clear that San Jose will not pay for the construction of a stadium.

  7. Don’t much care for baseball.  At high school PE was chewed out for throwing the bat the few times I hit the ball.  More often the ball his me, always painful. 

    However the proposed SJ A’s site is just great!  It’ll be next to the Didiron train station, close to light rail and several bus stops including Hiway 17 Express to Santa Cruz.  The HP Pavilion is nearby.
      Now all that’s needed is a football and/or soccer stadium.  With future additions of a bicycle velodrome and swim/diving stadium, the entire area could be a sports enthusiasts dream come true.  Sufficient space should be provided at the stadiums or nearby for restaurants, shopping and housing so the place won’t be empty when no one’s playing. 
      The old San Jose Water Co building (now owned by Adobe Systems) is a great site for a “youth” hostel that would bring in young international tourists and house school and other groups as well as athletic teams for low cost.
      Downtown San Jose is within walking distance with the Tech, Children’s Discovery museums, TMcE Convention Center, SJSU close by, yet far enough to provide many taxi drivers a good living. 
      With the Guadalupe Expressway to provide easy access, bicycle and walking paths along the Creek, this whole area will be a regional People attraction rivaling Santana Row. 
    Cricket anyone??

  8. #10 Reader,

    Your point #2 is the most compelling argument I’ve heard.
    ANYTHING is better than another “affordable housing” project. A million people is enough already.

  9. One big problem: we, as a society, are no longer shameless about concealing who-knows-who and conflicts of interest when it hurts us (Independent Police Auditor)

    One big plus: we, as a society, are no longer shameless about promoting who-knows-who and nepotism when it helps us (Territorial Rights in Baseball)

  10. Who are these principals who are going to be doing the negotiating?

    #3. It looks very much as though the location of this proposed stadium would block off those bicycle and walking trails and prevent them from ever being linked together.

  11. Has anyone noticed the irony of Mayor Reed saying the city won’t put a dime into the proposed stadium, but, hey, we’ll give you the land for free. Same effect. A responsible use of taxpayer dollars would be to see how much $ the city’d get for selling the land at market rates to a developer, then comparing that sum (and taxes from that development) PLUS the expected tax returns from that development with the expected tax returns from the stadium. Anybody wanna guess which would return the most?

  12. Good for you, RG.  It is ironic that Reed has decided to sell his soul, what little of it there is, to his downtown masters.  We have no chance with Reed.

    Darren Everson wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal today about the failure of the new Yankee Stadium.  Overall baseball parks are losing revenue.  Reed has no interest in keeping the assets of San Jose secure.  He has no interest, because Reed has been directed not to have one.

  13. #15,
    While both are important to our city, which of the following has brought in more tax revenue and provided life/family fun for downtown and SJ as a whole: HP Pavilion or Adobes corporate towers?  I think you need to look beyond the sum of one development and take into account the effect on the entire core and city.  FYI, Petco Park in San Diego has attracted over $5 billion in private investment to their downtown.  In short, an A’s ballpark will have a financial affect far beyond just the stadium.
    Yankee Stadium a flop?  Hate to break this to yah, but we’re currently experiencing one of the worst recessions in U.S. History.  It also doesn’t help that the Yankees ticket prices are ridiculously high (especially behind home plate).  Even in this recession, HP Pavilion was constantly sold out. 

    Did I mention the tons of revenue HP Pavilion has brought San Jose and our downtown?  Priceless!

  14. “Good for you, RG.  It is ironic that Reed has decided to sell his soul, what little of it there is, to his downtown masters.  We have no chance with Reed.”

    This stadium should be welcomed by the downtown bashers. It’s always being said that a disproportionate amount of money goes into revitalizing downtown. Well here’s a chance for the city to unload land already owns to builders that are financing their own multi-million-dollar construction venture. The end result is proven in various other downtown parks which have opened over the last 15 years. We’ll truly have a stabilizing force so downtown can get off the ground. More funds will then be dispersed elsewhere in our city.

  15. Some places are cities with large dense city centers.  Block upon block of tall office buildings and apartment blocks.  These are places like New York and Chicago.

    Some places are simply conglomerations of low rise neighborhoods.  These are places like Indianapolis and Oakland.

    Take a look at aerial photographs.  Does San Jose look more like New York and Chicago, or does it look more like Indianapolis and Oakland?

    Get over yourself, San Jose.  You’re just ten Sunnyvales stuck together.  One baseball stadium won’t make you any more important than the Grand Prix did.

  16. Oh, so we build during deficits and recessions with redevelopment money or with exchanging valuable land that could be used for new industries.


    Build a stadium that will keep fans from Giants games, ruin our minor league team, which is thriving, and give up land that could be used to generate good revenue.

    Those peanuts, 10th largets, you flavoring them with anything like Jack Daniels sauce with plenty of the good stuff??

  17. #19

    MLB is a huge business.  And a MLB ballpark will act as a catalyst for further private investment in our downtown.  You gonna tell me AT&T Park and Petco Park were wrong for SF and SD.  You must have voted against the arena!  As for the minor league Giants…single A ball is sooo Modesto and Turlock.  We’re a major American city now, worthy of MLB.

    And speaking of such #20, you’re obviously a SJ hater who’s gibberish doesn’t deserve a proper response.

    How about a little SJ pride on this blog!

  18. 25: That’s a great article about cities who bend to the will of owners. If you’d done any research before spouting off, you’d know that San Jose is merely easing the process of the A’s building a stadium for themselves. Your knee-jerk paranoia has no place here.

  19. Nam Turk –

    There are multiple references sited – the CATO study is one, and all pro-stadium idiots want to try to differentiate between the cost to build versus cost to operate.  But, perhaps if you’d read any of these –  you’d understand.


    Indepedant data confirms this over and over and over and over.

    Your knee-jerk defense is unsubstantiated with any fact.

  20. The studies show that subsidized stadia never pay off. This would be privately financed, aside from the land which is already city-owned. That’s the key difference. Previous studies are based on cases where the tax-payers bent over backwards to keep their local team from skipping town, which is rather pathetic. Also, that argument s typically against football stadia, active for ten days a year instead if eighty-something. This is not such a case.

  21. Here is another Nam Turk –

    Notice the words – “…Humphreys and colleague Dennis Coates, a professor of economics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, haven’t uncovered a single instance in which the presence of a professional sports team has been linked to a boost in the local economy.

    Notice that this statement has NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW THE STADIUM WAS FINANCE.  It doesnt say “PUBLICALLY FINANCED stadiume” – – –  it says “..NO INSTANCE…”

    Stop selling the Wolfe’s finances.

    How much are YOU being paid to be their mouthpiece ?  OR – – maybe YOU are one of the very very few businesses located right next door to the proposed stadium ?

    • Or maybe a baseball fan.  Why would another entertainment option in San Jose, especially one with national cache, be a bad thing, as long as the public investment is small?

  22. Nam Turk –

    Read this (and the other myriad sources before you comment !) –


    The authors cite several studies, including one by sports economist Robert Baade that found “no significant difference in personal income growth from 1958 to 1987 between 36 metropolitan areas that hosted a team in one of the four premier professional sports leagues and 12 otherwise comparable areas that did not.” The authors’ conclusion: Arenas put a drag on the local economy by hurting spending on other activities in the city and boosting municipal costs such as security.”

    This is a conclusion based on OPERATING COSTS AND REVENUES – Nam Turk !!!!!!

    Get a clue – – – –

  23. A’s will redistribute community revenues TOWARDS the handfull of businesses in the immediate vicininty of the ballpark and AWAY from other areas. 

    Impact of ballpark in the local community is largely neutral – in total.

    But it benefits –

    The land developer
    Businesses close to the development

    And it takes those revenues away from –

    Businesses that are further away from the facilities.

    It places incremental demands on city infrastructure – P.D. – F.D. – roads, traffic control etc., etc.., etc.

    Team owners leave town for another development and the residents are stuck with remidiation of massive concrete pit in their midst.

    Wolfe has demonstrated his unwillinglness to work with his existing host.  Why does San Jose think he will not be pitting SJ taxpayers against some other town hungry for noteriety in the future ?

    NOTHING prevents him from taking his team and negotating for future land grants and development rights somwhere else when he decides he needs more for his greedy little pockets.

    THINK THINK THINK – – –  this isn’t a decision that should be made on the basis of your emotional infatuation with baseball or the A’s.

  24. Was there a sale on tin foil? Why are you two talking about redistributing people within San Jose when the whole point is to lure people from outside the city? Sorry, but increased business near the ballpark is better for the city than no business at all. I don’t need a college professor to tell me that.

    Also, the Diridon south site is going to be redeveloped whether there’s a baseball stadium or not. However, it would be a great anchor and spur the influx of other taxable business for the city. Maybe you think the current parking lots are better for us residents?

    If you really thought this was about “significant difference in personal income growth” then perhaps you should not be on this blog, debating with adults. That’s such an asinine straw man. The benefit is bringing dollars into SJ city limits that can then fatten our municipal budget. Did you think the pro-stadium crowd was expecting a pet unicorn out of the deal, too?

    • The same weaving and dodging tactics were used in the Fremont battle.

      Lots of wistful “visions” of a ballpark on gameday in the setting sun . . . .

      Lots of indepedant data offered by those who opposed the stadium, all of which confirmed the claims of SJ Parents.  N O T H I N G   in the way of independant data offered by pro-stadium factions to support their claims of economic advantages. 

      Lots of claims of “you dont have to be a rocket scientist” – name calling “NIMBY” and “mob” – – – – at the end of the day, WOlfe and those who are developing the stadium stand to gain.  The few restaraunts across the street from the stadium might enjoy service of some more meals – – – but, according to the data – it will come at a cost to the restaraunteer across town – that is, until WOlfe and the A’s decide to leave their San Jose digs for some other community salivating to give away land, services and other indirect subsidies to this property developer.

      • “it will come at a cost to the restaraunteer across town”

        Haha, this has to be the most bizarre and short-sighted view on the matter. Those restaurateurs (an actual word) near the ballpark will be serving only San Jose residents, huh? No people will cross city limits to patronize SJ businesses because of this new ballpark, right? Wow, I’ll bet those people in Santa Clara and Milpitas wish they were getting a stadium so then maybe they’d be allowed to attend games. Keep bashing Wolff (as his name is spelled) all you want, but you just come off like the standard drone who’s too accustomed to sports owners milking taxpayers and can’t properly assess a case such as this when it finally comes along.

        By the way, whenever ANY business comes into town, it takes away from another. Think about that.

  25. See – proponents shift their objections to suit whatever argument they are presented with.

    Nam Turk starts out with the argument that “public subsidies” aren’t the issue – – – – but independant data states that ballparks IRRESPECTIVE OF HOW THE CONSTRUCTION IS FINANCED do not benefit the community.

    Nam Turk changes his/her tune to a new argument – – one of baseless unsubstantiated opinion.  Read the facts as concluded by those who have no economic interest Nam Turk.  We have presented several sources of independant studies.  YOU AND THE WOLFE PRO-STADIUM FACTIONS CONTINUE TO OFFER OPINION AND EMOTIONAL RHETORIC.

    • You’re not even addressing my rebuttal. You’re in no position to critique my argument when you can’t stop repeating your rant over and over. Wolff (as any informed person knows his name is spelled) is not promising you a bigger house or new car, so what do you expect to gain as “benefit to the community?” An urban baseball stadium has proven to be a stimulus in cities like Denver and San Diego. That is the point here, not how you and all the other parents make out.

      What do parents have to do with this anyway? What dramatics. I’m not the emotional one here. You seem to think “no benefit” means “severe detriment.”

      • Wolfe will develope downtown – sell rights – sell property bequeathed to him by the city – and then take his franchise to the next city that wants to slather freebies in his back pocket.



        *I* dont offer a RANT – I offer D A T A !!!!  WHAT DO   * Y O U *  Offer other tham emotional hyperbole ?

        Your arguments all focus on emotional B.S. – and reveals your lack of fact to support your claims.

        SAN JOSE RESIDENTS – please read the referenced articles we have given you for yourselves.  Then decide.

        Nam Turk would want you to act and give away land and P.D. support and other indirect subsidies based on his/her   O P I N I O N S……

        • “and then take his franchise to the next city that wants to slather freebies in his back pocket.”

          Haha, right. He’d go through all the trouble to move the team once and build a stadium without public funds just to do it again in a few years. Where is there precedent for such frequent movement of a sports franchise? Name one case of a team hopping from city to city in a massive development spree.

          You fly off the handle, accusing me of arguing emotionally when I don’t even like baseball. You, on the other hand, are far more rooted in blind rage and ridiculous speculation.

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