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The San Francisco Giants want to get into the basketball business

Apr 30, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

The San Francisco Giants may join the bidding for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The California iteration of the franchise is 48 years-old, so it makes sense that the organization that employs Brian Sabean would be interested. Heck, if the deal goes through he’s likely to play the entire basketball team at second base and have it bat leadoff.

The real reason for the potential investment: there’s talk of an arena near AT&T Park which the Giants could develop and operate, luring the team across the Bay from Oakland to San Francisco. At the same time, the team would like to realize financial synergies via its partial ownership of the regional sports network that broadcasts Warriors games.

Which kind of puts the whole Oakland A’s-San Jose thing in perspective.  The Giants have the money to literally buy other sports franchises, build arenas, become landlords and exploit the property via favorable broadcasting deals. Meanwhile, they’re threatening legal action and demanding tribute from Major League Baseball due to the mere possibility that the Athletics — one of the rinky-dinkiest operations in professional sports — might set up shop 50 miles to the south of them.

Hard to have any sympathy for them, really.

  1. Chris Simonds - Apr 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    It’s a joke. Oakland is just ten miles away from ATT Park, eight as the seagull flies, while San Jose is fifty miles away and well over an hour’s drive even when the traffic is light. But San Jose has more people who can afford ball games and high priced food and drink. The Giants don’t want to lose them. They know they won’t replace lost revenues from what the population of Oakland can afford. And it’s just a too-good-to-be-true opportunity pull a Peter Angelos and throw a tantrum when there’s even a suggestion that you might have to actually compete for audience share.

  2. APBA Guy - Apr 30, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    And let’s not forget the managing partner of the Giants is former Microsoft General Counsel Bill Neukom, most known for his defense of Microsoft against monopoly charges. On the plus side of the ledger he’s from San Mateo.

  3. Yeti Monster - Apr 30, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    To continue Chris Simonds’ comment, the Giants have very few fans in Oakland and a large number of fans in San Jose. They fear that moving the A’s from a city that doesn’t care about the Giants to one that does will significantly cut into revenue. More so than from individuals purchasing tickets, the Giants are worried about losing revenue from Silicon Valley/San Jose corporate sponsorships that could possibly occur if a rival sports franchise was located there. And the Sharks don’t count, as most of the Bay Area has no clue what hockey (unfortunately).
    I think the positioning by the Giants makes sense from a strictly business prospective. You could also make an argument that regardless of the business side their position is bush league.

  4. Brute Sentiment - May 3, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    It should be pointed out the Giants would NOT be buying the Warriors.
    It is in discussions to join one of the ownership groups, and no one is reporting they’d be buying a controlling interest. In fact, the original article reporting this indicates that the Giants may not even have a financial investment in the team, and instead is looking at ‘marking and sponsorship partnerships.
    Hard to have sympathy for a blog post that barely even looks at what the story is.

  5. Bob the Ballpark - May 26, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    “The Giants’ participation could range from a marketing and sponsorship partnership to a direct financial investment”… direct financial investment means part ownership. Peter McGowen wasn’t resported to be the controlling interest in the Giants back in 1993. He merely put together an owenership group.. and then took over. Whatever the Giants involvement, it would be a good deal for the city of San Francisco to get the Warriors. Getting the Warriors would midigate losing the 49ers to Santa Clara after the stadium vote passes in a couple of weeks.

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