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Does the Giants World Series win mean anything for Oakland’s move to San Jose?

Nov 5, 2010, 4:36 PM EDT

This story is a couple of days old — I missed it among the dozens of articles about the actual World Series — but the San Jose Mercury News wrote about how the Giants winning the World Series might be good for the A’s designs on San Jose:

At least one expert Monday said the claim that an A’s move to San Jose would hurt the Giants’ bottom line might be difficult to prove after the San Francisco team’s handsome postseason profits — as well as the prospect of an even larger boost from ticket sales and sponsorships next year.

“To the extent that the commissioner’s office would be concerned about the Giants’ financial well-being if the A’s were allowed to move to San Jose,” said Andrew Zimbalist, a Smith College economist and baseball expert, “that concern would by allayed given the success the Giants have had.”

Setting aside the fact that Zimbalist has been disqualified as an expert in ballpark development cases because, to put it delicately, he’s often full of crap, on what planet does this make any sense?

The Giants just won a World Series and made a bunch of money with no other team in their territory.  Wouldn’t it be more logical to say that a team cutting into their territory and thus their profits would hamper the kind of success they just experienced while their territory rights remained inviolate? Or even if that wasn’t the case, why wouldn’t the response be that, no matter how successful the team is, they’d always be more successful if they had San Jose to themselves?

The Giants winning the World Series was great for Bay Area baseball fans. It was even nice to see some kind words exchanged between Lew Wolff and the Giants as a result.  But this is ultimately a business dispute. The kind that no amount of baseball success is going to resolve on its own.

  1. Ken Arneson - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    It probably doesn’t mean anything to the Giants’ bottom line. It may mean that Santa Clara County voters would be more likely to approve a stadium deal for the A’s, because they’re in a good mood about baseball.

  2. IdahoMariner - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    okay….I’m still having trouble wrapping my brain around the concept that Oakland is somehow NOT in the Giants (real, not fictional, developed only for MLB purposes) “territory” but that San Jose is. I mean, if we are talking about economic impact, does it matter, in reality, whether the A’s are across the bridge or are down the road? Can’t, since we are ultimately dealing with the fiction created by MLB, MLB simply redraw the Giants’ territory? I know I am missing something…and I have faith that in about five minutes my ignorance will draw about 40 comments, so….go.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    It’s not about how close Oakland is to San Francisco, it’s about whether the A’s are closer to Silicon Valley than the Giants are. SF is worried about corporate and suburban dollars making the shorter trip to the A’s new ballpark than up to San Francisco.

    • IdahoMariner - Nov 5, 2010 at 4:55 PM

      okay, that, at least makes sense, since the corporations in silicon valley are way more flush than those in emeryville, or fremont, or … walnut creek? hmmm. now that i think of the suburbs, I’m back to wondering if it isn’t a wash. Maybe my knowledge of the relative cash flow around the bay area is out of date. Because while it is obvious that the silicon valley corportate world has more cash, I would think the giants would have to feel good about the cash that is in the suburbs that would now be farther from the A’s than they are now, like walnut creek and the like. those guys are used to rolling right past oakland and into downtown SF (for work), so they won’t lose the ones they have now and might pick up the ones that stuck on the east side of the bridge for the a’s. I’m not saying that Zimbalist is right, because he’s a tool. Just thinking that there are a lot of layers here.

      Of course, not so many that MLB should have taken this long, damn it.

      • Ken Arneson - Nov 5, 2010 at 5:24 PM

        I think the suburb thing is a wash. You’re essentially trading Santa Clara County for Contra Costa County; the populations aren’t that different. The corporate dollars, though–that’s a huge, huge, HUGE difference.

      • hackerjay - Nov 5, 2010 at 5:48 PM

        There’s also the issue that the people in Walnut Creek and surrounding areas are already going to Giants games and not A’s games. I live in Alameda less then five miles from the Oakland Coliseum, and I still went to more Giants games then A’s games. And it has nothing to do with which team I like better because I’m from Chicago and a huge Cubs fan. It’s just more enjoyable to go to a Giants game then an A’s game.

        When/if the A’s move to San Jose the Giants won’t gain much, but they stand to lose more then 1,000,000 people that will now be able go to a game in their neighborhood rather then traveling an hour up the peninsula.

  4. apbaguy - Nov 6, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    As I’ve said in previous posts, this has all the makings of an Angelos style payout, wherein the A’s pay the Giants for some extended period ti gain acquiesence for the move.

  5. simon94022 - Nov 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Exactly right. It’s so idiotic when people talk whine that it’s “not fair” to keep the A’s out of San Jose. This is a business deal.

    The current Giants ownership paid for a team that included exclusive rights to Santa Clara County. The current A’s ownership paid for a team with no rights to Santa Clara County. So the South Bay rights were priced in to both teams, and any change in those rights now will require a large payment to the Giants.

    The real question is where the money will come from. When Angelos received his payoff for the Montreal-Washington move (and remember that move didn’t even impact the Orioles’ territorial rights at all), the money came from the District of Columbia, which paid 100% of the Nats stadium costs, and from the Nats, who had to surrender control of their broadcast rights forever to an Orioles-controlled cable network.

    How is this going to work in San Jose? Mark Purdy and various chamber of commerce-types keep yammering for the A’s to move south, but I see no interest in spending taxpayer money to build the A’s a ballpark. So where’s the money come from to buy out the territorial rights?

  6. Walk - Nov 6, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    A payment seems logical to me from the A’s to the giants. Something in line with the giants recieving the ammount of increase the a’s recieve in attendance of x number of years that they negotiate. To make this a bit more clear if the a’s increase attendance by 3,000 a game the a’s pay giants a portion, plus a portion of any loss in giants attendance. If they cant negotiate a settlement thats fair then maybe try other areas.

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