Oakland has supported the A's for 38 years, and this rich history cannot be compromised. A's fans have celebrated and suffered with this team, and almost two generations of A's fans have lived with their team playing Oakland. Help Keep the A's in Oakland and fight the move. Feel free to voice your opinion on topics by making comments on posts. Please, add your name or screen name to your comments, because the validity of your comment is hurt by being anonymous. Thanks and Go A's

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CC Times writes that "Fans -- not city -- likely to feel biggest void"

Here's an article from Contra Costa Times: A'S, FREMONT NEAR DEAL Fans -- not city -- likely to feel biggest void. CC Times writer Chris Metinko, doesn't really add anything new information to the A's current negotiations with Fremont, he just says that "The A's are said to be in the final stages of negotiating to build a new ballpark in Fremont just off Interstate 880." Metinko gets opinions from some A's fans (Of course, none of the fans currently live in Oakland), about what they think of the team moving to Fremont. One guy says ".. It just doesn't seem right (if they leave). It would be a big deal if they went to Fremont."

In the article, Metinko quotes Andrew Zimbalist, co-writer of Sports, Jobs, and Taxes and other sports econmics books, that economic impact of the A's moving would be small. This is true; most of the workers are unfortunately seasonal, and A's fans are not the base of much business around the Coliseum. The Coliseum isn't a big money maker for the City of Oakland.

Metinko also contends that there is no proof that a sports team is beneficial finacially, quoting Phil Porter:
"Sports teams are not economic engines," Porter said. "Teams love to tell people they bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy. But the fact is there is no proof that is true. The money people spend on baseball is discretionary income. If they didn't spend it on baseball, they would spend it on other activities. Those other activities are likely to keep more of that money in the local economy than Major League Baseball is."

This is true, there is no proof. Andrew Zimbalist, in his book Sports, Jobs, and Taxes, agrees that there is no proof that a sports team itself is beneficial for a city, but argues that it can be beneficial if a stream of new economic activity is created by the stadium investment(p58-59). In Fremont's case, Wolff plans to build a stadium in a empty lot with no previous economic growth around the location. Fremont is hoping that a stadium will bring in new business and growth, I don't see this happening because most of the economic growth will be happening in Wolff's Ballpark Village. The city of Fremont will not be making any money from this deal; if they do make money from new business's popping up, the profits will be offset by the dealing with transportation issues surrounding the site and the cost of maintaining clean and safe streats around the stadium. Also, unless the ball park village is a complete success, I don't see people going to shop Fremont during the offseason, because of the lack of other entertainment and attractions in the city.

I sent an email to Andrew Zimbalist a couple weeks ago asking him what he though of the current Fremont stadium situation. He kindly replied:
(Dummer510), I don't have srong feelings about it. Wolff is seeking a
creative solution to the stalemate in Oakland and the conflict w/ Magowan over San Jose. Depending on the details of the prospective deal, and the extent to which Wolff succeeds in attracting clientele from greater San Jose/Silicon Valley, I think it could have a salutary outcome for the A's, as well as for the town of Fremont which stands to pull in outside income. The problem to overcome, of course, is that baseball in the suburbs is an old concept. What will happen to the corporate dollars to buy luxury suites, club seats and signage. 81 games is a lot seats to fill in the burbs. Part of the success or failure will be dependent on what kind of team Wolff builds and how well he promotes. Oakland certainly hasn't been a gold mine. I'd say that I am cautiously optimistic.
Andy Zimbalist

He has it right, Wolff is going to have to rely on "corporate dollars", for his stadium to be a real succuess, because "81 games is a lot of seats to fill in the burbs". As I've said before, I feel that "fringe" and "bandwagon" fans (people who maybe aren't the biggest baseball fans, but enjoy going to games especially if it's a new ballpark) will not be as big on going to games in the burbs as going to one in a downtown location with other entertainment, shops, and restuarants.

Metinko ends his article, by quoting Porter who says that the city of Oakland could come out on top... "if the A's keep the name 'Oakland'". Just by looking at recent history between A's owners and the City of Oakland, I highly doubt that the name 'Oakland' will be kept.

You can email Chris Metinko at cmetinko@cctimes.com


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well... that's amazing but to be honest i have a hard time figuring it... wonder what others have to say..

3/09/2010 8:53 PM


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