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Walk-Off

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    High fly ball into right field, she is ... GONE!
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  1. The African American Sports & Entertainment Group -- an Oakland, California-based alliance of Black business people and community leaders -- wants to buy the City of Oakland's 50% share of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum site. (The Alameda County government agreed to sell its 50% interest in that site to MLB's Oakland Athletics in April 2019.) The Oakland City Council has scheduled a tentative July 20 vote on whether or not to approve the AASEG's term sheet for the city's Coliseum site stake. (Coincidentally, July 20 is also when the council intends to vote on a term sheet for the Athletics' proposed Howard Terminal ballpark.) A "yes" vote on the AASEG's term sheet would allow that company to start to negotiate with the Oakland city government on a deal to buy the city's half of the site. https://www.sfchronicle.com/local-politics/article/A-s-surprised-that-Oakland-may-consider-16242444.php Among the AASEG's long-term goals is ownership of an NFL team that would not only play in Oakland at a new stadium within the Coliseum site, but also be that league's first franchise with majority Black ownership. https://www.aasegoakland.com/nfl-team https://www.aasegoakland.com/stadium For now, the NFL has not gone public with any plan for further expansion (let alone within the United States). However, almost a year ago at this time, the AASEG went ahead and supplied the league with a letter of intent to file a formal application for a new franchise. https://www.aasegoakland.com/our-letter-to-the-nfl https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/NFL-Oakland-team-community-stadium-plan-Goodell-15354429.php Since it is likely that the AASEG could buy an existing NFL club and then at least try to move that team to Oakland, I gave serious thought to posting all of this in the NFL "Relocation Roundelay" thread. Also, given the impact that the AASEG's quest could have on the Oakland Athletics' goal of full ownership of the Coliseum site (even though the A's want to leave that site as soon as possible) or even the A's ownership's dream of a Howard Terminal development (which is intended to be funded partially by redevelopment of a 100%-A's-owned Coliseum site), this post might be a good fit also for the A's "Wheel of Relocation" thread. However, I decided ultimately that all of this information is unique enough and complex enough to deserve its own thread.
  2. I think that this thread is overdue for these two links: https://www.tampabay.com/news/st-petersburg/2021/06/04/the-rays-the-mayor-and-montreal-st-petersburgs-stadium-drama-explained/ https://www.tampabay.com/st-petersburg/i-say-let-them-go-st-petersburgs-black-community-is-indifferent-to-rays-fate-20190703/
  3. Dave Kaval, for all of his recent uptalking of a potential move of the A's to the Las Vegas area, seems to have admitted that a Howard Terminal ballpark is, at least for now, much closer to becoming a reality than an MLB-ready venue anywhere in Southern Nevada: https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/06/07/as-have-called-the-stadium-pursuit-in-las-vegas-and-oakland-parallel-paths-but-what-does-that-mean/
  4. I am quite sure that I made that suggestion in the 2021 MLB season thread, but I appreciate the shout-out just the same. Anyway, Josh Solomon, a St. Petersburg city hall reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, has made a detailed thread of tweets recapping this past week's developments in the Rays' stadium saga: https://twitter.com/ByJoshSolomon/status/1398399480874086404 Also, Charlie Frago, a co-worker of Solomon's who covers Tampa city hall matters, has revealed what one Tampa City Council member claims to have heard recently from Rays officials with regard to one potential option for the team's future: https://www.tampabay.com/news/tampa/2021/05/28/are-the-rays-listening-to-music-city-siren-songs/
  5. Yesterday, an anchor of the morning newscast on the Bay Area's Fox station interviewed Dave Kaval: https://www.ktvu.com/video/938385 Kaval talked up the Las Vegas option so much in that interview that I have come away with the impression that Kaval, A's principal owner John Fisher, et al. are now to MLB, Oakland, and Las Vegas what Anthony Precourt was to Major League Soccer, Columbus, and Austin, respectively -- people who are eager to try to move a big-league pro sports team from a fairly large city that seems to be too boring for their tastes to an area that has noticeably fewer residents but also a considerably more exciting image (be it the hip, socioculturally cool, "weird" reputation of Austin or the hedonistic glitz of Las Vegas).
  6. https://www.tampabay.com/sports/rays/2021/05/27/rays-resurrect-ybor-city-stadum-idea/ The Good News for Rays Fans A new ballpark for the Rays in Tampa's Ybor City section might be gaining another chance at being built. The Bad News for Rays Fans The Rays remain bound to their stadium lease in St. Petersburg through 2027. Stu Sternberg is still demanding that at least one government somewhere in North America spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a new stadium for the Rays, and he has made no obvious offer to spend substantially more of his own money on such a venue than what he has done so far as the team's principal owner. Sternberg is insisting that Tampa and Hillsborough County, just like St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, settle for sharing the Rays with Montréal and thus letting the Rays be only a part-time user of a new ballpark in the Tampa Bay area. Furthermore, Sternberg is continuing to spin his split season proposal as a way to enable governments in both the Montréal and Tampa-St. Petersburg metro areas to build open-air ballparks for his team instead of a government in either region having to spend more money in order to construct a roofed stadium for a full-time local MLB club. On another note, I think that the time has come either for the Rays to have their own "Wheel of Relocation" thread or for the Oakland Athletics' "Wheel of Relocation" thread to be expanded to cover discussion of any reasonable possibility of any MLB franchise moving from one market to another.
  7. Trucking Groups Oppose Oakland Stadium Port Site Even as A's Mull Moving Oakland A’s set to come to Portland on a baseball fact-finding mission Finally, there is this bizarre, tone-deaf tweet from the president of the A's: https://twitter.com/DaveKaval/status/1397023219421310978 (I made multiple tries at embedding the tweet, but each attempt resulted only in code being displayed in my post.)
  8. https://ballparkdigest.com/2021/05/18/as-schedule-fact-finding-trip-in-las-vegas/
  9. https://ballparkdigest.com/2021/05/17/after-ultimatum-oakland-officials-say-they-will-consider-as-ballpark-plan/
  10. Disney, MLB agree to scaled-back ESPN broadcast schedule
  11. https://ballparkdigest.com/2021/05/13/with-as-in-play-what-comes-next/
  12. Under the ownership of Joe Lacob and some rich buddies of his, the Golden State Warriors moved out of an arena within the Coliseum campus in Oakland and into a new venue in San Francisco. So, the idea that Lacob -- whether by himself, with his fellow co-owners of the Warriors, or with a different set of investment partners -- would buy the A's and keep them at the Coliseum site (even with a new stadium inside that property) makes no sense to me at all.
  13. @BBTV, yes, the A's gave Santa Clara County to the Giants back when the latter team wanted to move to that jurisdiction. However, the fact that MLB has let the Giants keep Santa Clara County all to themselves well after the Giants exhausted all efforts to get a ballpark in that county, and especially long after the Giants built and moved into their current stadium within the city and county of San Francisco, suggests to me that the "MLB-endowed" label fits quite well after all.
  14. From all that I have read on NewBallpark.org, a blog that has been chronicling the Athletics' quest for a new stadium since 2005, widespread "Not In My Back Yard" sentiments among residents and businesses across Fremont (particularly with regard to possible increases in road traffic) forced the A's to abandon their plans for "Cisco Field" (yes, naming rights were already sold) in that municipality. By all appearances, the A's wanted a Fremont ballpark because, with the Giants still claiming exclusive ballpark construction rights in Santa Clara County, Fremont was the closest place to Silicon Valley where the A's could play while staying in Alameda County. A desire for a maximum ability to tap into the wealth of both businesses and residents in Silicon Valley, which seems to be mostly in Santa Clara County and completely outside of Alameda County, is a very likely reason why the Athletics' ownership (then led by Lew Wolff, just as was the case during the pursuit of Fremont) tried and failed to prod MLB and the Giants into letting the A's move to San José, why the A's have appeared to act reluctantly in their attempts to get a new venue in economically weaker Oakland, and why the A's have shown no sign of trying to get a new ballpark in any East Bay locale other than Oakland or Fremont. While the Bay Area may have plenty of groups (or even individuals) who are wealthy enough to buy the A's, how many of those groups or people are willing to accept MLB's mandate that Alameda County and Contra Costa County be the only places in the Bay Area where the A's may play home games, while the Giants keep enjoying an MLB-endowed exclusive right to play home games in pretty much all of the economically strongest counties in the Bay Area?
  15. I could understand the Astros and the Rangers having a full overlap of regional television coverage back when those clubs played in separate major leagues; fans in both the Dallas-Fort Worth market and the Houston market could have frequent audiovisual access to the full spectrum of MLB teams, stadia, and styles of play without having to wait for national telecasts of games in whichever was the "other" league locally. However, to this day, I have thought that such an arrangement has made far less sense ever since then-Commissioner Bud Selig forced the 'Stros to play in the same league (and especially the same division) as the Rangers. A relocation of the Athletics to either Austin or San Antonio is almost sure to be the death knell for the Astros' and Rangers' 100% Texas-wide presences on traditional linear TV services. While MLB has required the A's and the Giants to locate their ballparks in different sections of the Bay Area for as long as those teams have shared that region, they have understandably had complete overlap in their regional TV territories throughout their coexistence by the Bay. Thus, I think that no one should be surprised by an Austin Athletics or San Antonio Athletics franchise wanting regional TV exclusivity in at least their new Nielsen-defined market, even if it precludes opportunities for regional TV coverage in Big D, Cowtown, or H-Town. Finally, I think that a move to anywhere in Texas by the A's will put an unusually high level of pressure on MLB to realign across league lines. The prospect of the A's becoming a third American League team in a Lone Star State without a National League franchise may irk at least some owners of NL clubs enough to call for a return of the Astros and/or even a shifting of the Rangers to the NL.
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