Oakland’s Loss is South Bay’s Gain

It’s OK to pity Oakland, a beleaguered and maligned city whose greatest achievements were earned on the field by its World Championship sports teams. But now those storied franchises are fleeing like refugees from a war-torn nation.

San Francisco, which just lost the 49ers to Santa Clara, replaced that lost income last week by stealing the Golden State Warriors from Oakland. In economic terms, The City lost 557,886 patrons in 10 dates at Candlestick and replaced it with 766,398 patrons over 41 dates by landing the Warriors.

Moreover, the Warriors expect attendance to rise and the location downtown is a better fit for the local economy than Candlestick, which sits on the southern end of the city. Like AT&T Park, it will be an economic boon for the City.

Santa Clara gets the Niners, and if the Raiders are smart, they will make a deal to share the new stadium with their San Francisco rivals. The Raiders’ fan base comes from San Jose and southern Alameda County.

And if Bud Selig ever has the good sense to allow the A’s into San Jose, Oakland would also lose its baseball team.

While only the Warriors are a done deal, the Oakland to South Bay migration of makes economic sense for both football and baseball. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and an enlightened business and labor community have come together to pitch the A’s. Santa Clara has already proven it has the political will to accomplish the task of landing the Raiders. (In the case of the Warriors, strong political leadership by Mayor Ed Lee helped net the franchise.)

All of this leaves poor Oakland Mayor Jean Quan holding a potentially empty bag. For instance, it’s hard to imagine Don Perata, Oakland’s 2010 mayoral race runner-up, fiddling while Oakland’s best public relations assets leave town. It seems the biggest beneficiary of Instant Run-off Voting, the real reason for Quan’s ascension and Perata’s defeat, might be the South Bay.

Ever since Gertrude Stein uttered the phrase, “there is no there, there,” which would forever define Oakland as a less than second-rate city, it has fought an uphill battle for self-esteem. The fight won’t get any easier with the exodus of their sports teams.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


  1. Oakland isn’t a second-rate city because it can no longer afford to keep its sports franchises.  It’s a second-rate city because it has a history of overspending and bad governance.  Right now that city depends on the kindness of the State and Federal governments to keep its citizens safe and to educate its children.

    I would rather spend money of bringing another E-Bay or Cisco down here than a sports franchise.

    • Oakland isn’t a second rate city, not by a longshot.  In fact, Oakland was a very desirable place to live before the gang violence and urban decay.

      In fact, it’s still a vibrant destination city.  Oakland Hills are very nice, and it has some of the best education available. You’re a Ball player who loves fishing?  Oakland offers Marina slips in all shapes and sizes for considerably less than what you’d have to pay in SF.

      What do we have to offer Ball players?  A house in a gated community like Silvercreek?  A loft at Santana Row?  The best we could offer in the South bay for a boat would be Santa Cruz harbor, which has a 20 year waiting list.

      San Jose needs to build venues for the wealthy to play with their toys before building another stadium.

      As far as us being “second rate” it’s been that way for the last 30 years.  It’s our constant shameful trying to re-invent the city that makes other cities point at us and go “HAHA SAN JOSE, YOU’RE SECOND RATE!”

      If I were king for a day, I’d dredge up the Alviso Marina so it had a 20’ draft again.  The reason it silted in the first place is because the Coyote creek used to join the Guadeloupe river just before the marina, which aided in flushing out the silt.  It was an artificial, man made connection that was “corrected”, but because of that correction the marina silted up, and the livelihood of Alviso (and SJ) was buried under the silts mud.  I’d fix that too, maybe not with moving rivers and creeks, but there should be a way to use the natural forces of the tide to flush the silt out.

      Also, DTSJ is crowded enough.  None of the residents want another stadium there.  The FAA REALLY doesn’t want it there.  Alviso would be a perfect place for it as well (Candlestick south)

      I sort of look at our city attractions like a stock portfolio.  Everyone always says, “Diversify your portfolio” and in the same way, the CSJ needs to diversify its main attractions.  Stuffing everything into DTSJ isn’t diversifying enough.

  2. Rich,

    San Jose is the one turning inot a second rate city.  And its not Bud’s call, it’s 3/4 of baseball owners having to approve it.  The A’s should just start looking else where but then those cities will probably not give away land like Chuck does.  San Jose had their chance before but voted against it.  Will propably do the same again.  I know I would vote NO against a ball park if it ever comes to a vote.

  3. San Jose is not becoming a second rate city.IT IS ALREADY A 3RD RATE CITY!! This is what you get when you have a Mayor and council that also Masquerade as The Redevelopement Agency , The Finanicng Authority , The Diridon Developement Agency. The Corruption is out of control in this City. City workers are already jumping ship to go to other municipalites for better pay and benefits. This City is on verge of Massive lawsuits due to Mr Burns ILLEGAL BALLOT MEASURE , That will cost the residents of San Jose Millions upon Millions of Dollars! Mr Burns wont care because he will have his ………wait for it ………..Pension after only 12 years.
    This city is now a training center , where all new and some current employees will use as a spring board to better employement else where , and that will leave the citizens of San Jose UNDER protected and UNDER served . the quality of candidates is going to severly drop, all thanks to Mr. Burns

  4. Last night, still basking in the glow of a new ownership, and with their ace on the mound, fans of the first place Dodgers filled less than half of the seats at Chavez Ravine. Over 30,000 fans missing in action. Why?

    One of the reasons is clearly the unsafe atmosphere there. The once clean, safe, hospitable park has become a favorite proving grounds for low-life thugs; you know, the kind of scum that has become commonplace in downtown San Jose over the last two decades.

    Bring the A’s here and just who is going to control the A-holes? SJPD? Guess again. By the time this city breaks ground on a stadium the SJPD will, thanks to Chuck Reed and his band of incompetents, be down to about 600 officers and broken beyond repair. That should be just in time for the next generation of unable-to-compete anchor babies, the offspring of those who were welcomed here by Chuck Reed, to reach physical maturity and give us all a better idea of what LA is facing today (with its 10,000 cops).

    I can see it now, the San Jose A’s Tuesday Night Special: two bleacher seats, two hot dogs, two cokes, and a tourniquet, all for just twenty bucks. Sounds like an exciting entertainment option.

  5. So I was listening to the police scanner the other day and I hear a broadcast about a call close to my house where a neighbor calls about his house getting broken into. The dispatcher tells the officers on the air:, ” The RP (person reporting) is requesting an ENGLISH speaking Officer to respond” ..So darn funny!…I wish I had scanner TiVo!

    You hear that RC? You’re not the only one that thinks the cops don’t have a full grasp of the English language.

    The future of San Jose is dim. Good job Reed.

  6. > Oakland’s Loss is South Bay’s Gain

    And another thing, Rich:  If the A’s move to San Jose, it will be just one more reason why people in LA will want to jump on the High Speed Rail LA-to-SF-in-two-and-a-half-hours Bullet Train and zoom up to the South Bay to take in a game.

    You haven’t been hyping this enough.

    > This will be done in year 2034. In the final analysis, the cost is $98.5 billion over 23 years. This is not an obscene number, nor is it too much for this program.

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