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Silicon Valley execs want the A's in San Jose

Sep 10, 2010, 1:01 PM EDT

The Silicon Valley Leadership group has sent a letter to Bud Selig in support of the Athletics moving to San Jose.  You can read a press release about it and — if you click an extra link — a copy of the letter here.  It’s signed by the CEOs of Cisco, Yahoo!, eBay, Adobe and seventy others. The upshot: they think a ballpark in downtown San Jose would be swell and that it would “create jobs” and “strengthen the economy.”

Maybe most interestingly, they argue that a team in San Jose would in no way diminish support for the Giants. It’s support from Silicon Valley companies, you’ll recall, that the Giants are most worried about losing if the A’s move south.  Wonder if the CEOs are willing to make actual commitments to the Giants in exchange for them dropping their opposition to the team moving . . .

Intrigue aside, I think the A’s need to move to San Jose for their own sake, but I’m somewhat surprised to see a letter like this from tech business leaders. Sure, we all love baseball, but the whole “a ballpark will create jobs and stimulate the economy” argument has more or less been debunked by every smart person who has
studied the issue.  The people who benefit from ballparks are basically
the owners of baseball teams and people who own parking lots.  The real benefit the signatories to this letter would get would be quality of life and employee/client entertainment opportunities. Which they do note in the letter, I’ll grant, even if they do make the “public good argument” a bit more strongly.

Of course, the move wouldn’t hurt too terribly if this was primarily a private project, which the A’s and San Jose leaders claim it will be.  I just find it weird that putatively forward-thinking tech companies would get into this kind of boosterism. Maybe I’m just idealizing Silicon Valley in this regard, however, and they’re no different than the insurance companies and car dealers and stuff that get on these kinds of bandwagons back east.  

  1. CM_Wang - Sep 10, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Aw, hell no! Time to ghostride the Volvo:

  2. Old Gator - Sep 10, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    It’s scary that there’s no comment from APBA guy. I sure hope he doesn’t live in San Bruno.

  3. RichardInBigD - Sep 10, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    If each of those CEO’s contributed just $10 million, they could build a really nice ballpark. I would even go so far as to say that they should each get ownership of a luxury suite in exchange for their act of generosity. If the A’s had no cost associated with a new park, they could probably let loose with some payroll, and maybe have a real run at the gold ring.

  4. APBA Guy - Sep 10, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    No, thank heaven, not San Bruno, but 8 miles South of there, close enough to smell the wood smoke of those unfortunates’ houses, yards, and surrounding woodlands. It’s been really dry here, like every summer, so the fire had lots of quick consumables when it hopped from yard to yard. But the one positive was there was no strong wind last night. Had the fire spread to the forest preserve West of 280 it would have been even more serious, and had it been pushed by the wind into Millbrae and Hillsborough we’d be talking 10 times the casualties. Thoughts and prayers to the people of San Bruno.
    As to the business at hand, the roll call of business execs is also probably a roll call of future minority owners should the A’s take the next step in their move to San Jose. It’s obvious Air Bud wants no part of any confrontation with the Giants, but wants his eternal commission to act as a palliative to the restive A’s owners and disappearing fan base.
    But this can only end in confrontation. At some point, the Giants will have to be bought off, a la King Angelos, and that confrontation resolved. A’s color guy Ray Fosse was at a lunch for the San Jose C of C the other day, just another PR chip in the ongoing wooing by the A’s. And the most important name on that list of execs was John Chambers. Remember that the A’s stadium in Fremont was going to be called Cisco Park. Chances are the stadium in SJ will be named Cisco something. Chambers has serious pull, moreso than the other execs on that list combined. But of course together they represent a butt-load of Santa Clara County employment and tax base.
    We’ll see this thing escalate further when the A’s get a big-name attorney like David Boies. Until then, the Mausoleum always has walk-up tickets and lots of parking.

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