Giants vs. A’s in San Jose

Councilman Sam Liccardo tells Fly that political consultants working for the San Francisco Giants have been “push-polling” to turn the San Jose public against the idea of the Oakland A’s franchise coming to the South Bay.

A push-poll (for anyone who missed the 2000 Republican primary, in which the George Bush campaign famously used the tactic against Sen. John McCain) is an attack masquerading as a telephone poll. Liccardo says the Giants have been calling people in his district asking if they agree or disagree that city resources should be spent on police, fire fighters, parks, trails…or “land giveaways.”

The poll also asks people if they’d be okay with bringing a team to San Jose if the San Jose Giants are forced to leave. “That’s a message we’ve been hearing over and over, which by the way, is not true,” he says. “I expect they will soon present poll results that reflect that manipulation.”

Liccardo reports that the phone poll ends with a message that says: “The greedy team owners will receive millions in city funds leaving less money for San Jose fire fighters, police officers and parks and traffic, which will be severely impacted.”

This all stems from the fact that Major League Baseball granted the Giants territorial rights to San Jose when they built their new stadium in 2001. Reasons the Giants have cause for concern: 1: A’s owner Lew Wolff has many business interests in San Jose, including the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team and the downtown Fairmont Hotel. 2. Wolff was college roommates with MLB Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig, the guy who will be deciding all of this in the end.

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. Why is it that what’s good for San Francisco would be God awful for San Jose?

    AT&T Park, the PRIVATELY FINANCED ballpark for the Giants at South Beach SF, has brought nothing but good to SF and its residents.  It has transformed the South Beach district with its vibrant retail/residential/commercial scene and has had no negative affect on SF city services…NONE!  Yet a PRIVATELY FINANCED ballpark for the A’s at Diridon/Downtown San Jose would bring Hell on Earth for SJ residents and their city services.  HUHH?!  SJ residents are smart and will definetely see that the real “greedy” owners are those of the SF Giants; hell bent at keeping SJ a “colony” of SF and denying our city its Major League dreams.  It isn’t going to work!

    For the record:

    * Giants territorial rights to SJ/SCCo. were born in 1992 for the sole purpose of the MLB Giants themselves relocating to San Jose. 
    * Possible A’s move to San Jose DOES NOT MEAN the single-A SJ Giants have to move; that’s a straight up lie.
    * limited SJRA monies will be used for surrounding infrastructure improvements in the Diridon area (Autumn Parkway, parking structures); these improvements are already planned with or without ballpark.
    * Look up “PRIVATELY FINANCED” to see how much “library, fire, police, park” money will go into A’s ballpark (I’ll give you a hint; it’s $0!)
    * No “land giveaways” if the city leases or sells the Diridon plot to A’s at market rates.


    • “* Possible A’s move to San Jose DOES NOT MEAN the single-A SJ Giants have to move; that’s a straight up lie.”

      So, what effect would the A’s in DTSJ have on attendance @ SJ Giants, do you think?

  2. This is just straight up dirty. Apparently the SF Giants have no shame and are willing to deceive people and flat out lie to satisfy their own greed. The fact that the city of San Francisco itself is backing up this initiative for a team that is willing to stoop to such lows says a lot.

  3. The territorial rights were granted to the Giants when they had ballot propositions to move the Giants to San Jose.  I believe the rights were granted in either 1989 or 1990.

    The Giants (both San Francisco and San Jose) need to be careful where they tread.  If the A’s don’t come to San Jose, they will be coming to San Jose for a handout to help improve Municipal Stadium. It’s OK for them to get a handout but not the A’s?

  4. As a Giants season ticket holder, I can tell you that the transformation of the ballpark neighborhood has been astonishing.  Its considered a hip place to live and the local businesses, restaurants etc…benefit from the influx of 40,000 people 82 times a season.

    The Sharks draw 17,000 approx 41 times a season. 

    This will give local businesses a year-round boost.  And if San Jose can make the peripheral area interesting enough for people to spend time in, the odds are more will discover what San Jose has to offer.

    Right now, San Jose lacks identity.  Sports franchises can do wonders.  Go visit Seattle & San Diego as well as AT&T Park to see how ballparks help.

    • And therein lies the hypocrisy. The Giants and San Francisco both claim the park was done wonders for China Basin, but now they’re trying to convince San Jose residents that a stadium will do the opposite at Diridon.

    • Chris

      good show

      glad you love the game

      yes, stadiums enhance neighborhoods

      rivermark residents are supporting the niners

      save Santa Clara is lying when he claims we don’t

    • Well, you’d think then that the SJ Diridon area would already be well on its way to being cool and hip, with all that Sharks traffic. It isn’t. Not even a bit.

      It’s still, more than anything else, a haven for drunks and homeless who are allowed to live on the trails and abandoned properties in the area.  I live a couple blocks from the arena and deal with this neighborhood on a daily basis.  In a more urban city, these problems blend in with “everything else,” but around here it’s all we have.

      • Sharks games are almost completely at night.  Many during the week.  People get off of work, drive to the game and many eat at the Arena.

        MLB & NFL games are often played during the day and on weekends.  The selection of the location of these arenas/stadiums is important when you speak of revitalizing an area.  In San Diego, a tired beat-up Gaslamp district is now busy with many restaurants and bars.  In Seattle, their older downtown section has seen the same.  You can see the growth in S.F. near the ballpark.  But if you build a stadium near already existing housing, corporate buildings etc…the effect on the community will be lessened.

        I think the Arena/Sharks do boost the local economy, but the arena was not built in a place where there was much room for new development to take place.  Thus the neighborhood remains largely the same.

        The recent economic downturn hasn’t helped things much either.

  5. If the ballpark does such a great job of transforming neighborhoods then let’s put it in East San Jose. 

    If we close Reid-Hillview and use the 180 acres in a positive manner then we can improve that neighborhood.  This location on Capitol Expressway is much easier to access via 101 or 680 than downtown.  Additionally, Light Rail down Capitol Expressway can bring fans from Alamden, Campbell, Mountain View, and other locations.

    • Easier access? Diridon station is going to be the hub of half a dozen rail services and 280/87 are freeways, easily trumping Capitol Expressway and Tully Road.

      • Reading comprehension problems eh?  Who said anything about Tully Road?

        Few will be taking non-existent trains to the game, but will drive, or take Light Rail.  Capitol Expressway has both 101 and 680 exits not far from this location.  In fact, this location is almost in the middle between the 101 and 680 exits.  It is the perfect location.

        • I mentioned Tully Road because it’s the other thoroughfare fronting that lot. Who cares if you didn’t mention it? All that means is that you’re relying on Capitol alone, which is an even worse plan. Good job.

          Also, way to plan for the future. Non-existent trains? Your whole conjecture is based on what doesn’t yet exist.

  6. Don’t forget, Giants owner Bill Neukom used to be Microsoft’s chief attorney.  “Nuke-em” is as tough as they come.

    I’d like to see the A’s move to San Jose, but it will be expensive.  Somebody is going to have to compensate the Giants.  MLB is already subsidizing some teams.  I believe that the Giants would need $200 million (at least) to give up their rights.  Who’s going to pony up the $200 million?

  7. JMOC,
    I personally don’t think 4,000 SJ Giants fans will defect from Muni to Cisco Field.  I know some who love the affordability and small-town atmosphere of single-A ball.  Will some attend games at Cisco Field or even become SJ A’s season-ticket holders; perhaps.  But there will always be a market here for affordable family fun, and the SJ Giants are it.  Heck, even I’ll still attend games there when the A’s are on the road.

    Chris Patterson,
    Now that’s what I’m talking about!  Major props as an SF Giants fan/season ticket holder for supporting SJ’s Major League endeavors.  I know a lot of other SF Giants fans who think along the same lines as you, and for the life of them they can’t figure out why SF/MLB Giants don’t want SJ to have a team.

  8. C’mon, we all know that National League ball is better than that junior circuit the A’s play in! (ha-ha!)

    I actually think Fremont might have made more sense, but wouldn’t gripe if the A’s moved to San Jose. 

    Just don’t charge that ridiculous $ 30 parking fee they do in S.F.!!!!

  9. DTSJ is the right place for a ballpark.

    For all the posturing the Giants are doing, it’d be better for their club to move the SJ Giants to Santa Rosa or somewhere in the north bay.

    This will end up being better for the Giants, A’s, MLB and the citizens of SJ. Losers will be Oakland residents who will have to take a train something to SJ for A’s games or *gasp* go to SF for Giants games.

  10. Pete Campbell,
    It doesn’t matter who Bill Neukom was before or what he did with Microsoft.  He is now in the fraternity of MLB’s ownership and, like Lew Wolff, must abide by the laws set forth in the “Lodge.”  No infighting or lawsuits allowed within MLB.  And why on Earth should the territorial rights cost $200 million when the Giants paid $0 back in 1992?

  11. Tony:
    I agree with you, no infighting in the “MLB Lodge.”  But that sort of makes my point… I don’t see the other owners reversing their decision without heavy compensation for the Giants.  Who pays for that?
    By the way, I hope the A’s move here, I just think that it’s not going to be easy.

  12. The compensation package to the greedy sfgiants should be based on how much of their base is from SCC——18%.  Do the math i.e. 40,000 x .18 is 7,200 per game.  You might note that 18% A’s fans are from SCC or 20,000 x .18 is 3600 per game.  Seems that people of SCC don’t believe the sfgiants “onwership” of this territory.  My guess is that these numbers would switch if A’s move to San Jose so attendance to sfgiants game might degrease.  Sfgiants could go after the Alameda/Contra Costa
    fans (51%) of A’s fan base and easily make up the loss of the SCC fans.

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