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Oakland Athletics Wheel of Relocation


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9 hours ago, Walk-Off said:

 

The Portland area has two standing proposals now for a major-league-caliber baseball park.  A few weeks ago, the Portland Diamond Project's plan for an MLB venue at the Port of Portland's Terminal 2 gained a intra-metropolitan competitor in the form of a proposal for an MLB park within a hypothetical mixed-use development in Gresham, a suburb east of Portland.  Thus, the Athletics' owners could not only play the overall Portland metro area against any other possible relocation destination and/or Oakland, but could also pit the City of Portland proper against Gresham in the battle to give the A's the most attractive ballpark offer.

 

The Gresham project is the latest attempt in the 25-year odyssey of Lynn Lashbrook to bring MLB to Portland. I give him points for persistence, but this initiative -- much like his prior attempts -- is little more than pie-eyed optimism. There's a rendering, but nothing in the way of a legitimate plan. As that story lays out, this is just Lashbrook attempting to kickstart a community discussion around the idea of MLB in Gresham. 

 

As for the Portland Diamond Project, they've been spinning their wheels for years now. At this point, they're little more than an apparel brand. Russell Wilson's involvement appears to be cosmetic. They've been talking from the start about how they've got some big-money investors behind the scenes, but they've never shown their cards. The effort could turn out to be legitimate, but at this point it's mostly hype. 

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3 hours ago, DukeofChutney said:

Just a curveball question - what location would be the biggest surprise for the move?

 

Doesn't have to be one of the locations already mentioned. I'm thinking Seattle Pilots level of unexpected here.

 

 

 

 


Sacramento. It would be even more of a :censored:show than the whole Pilots saga. 
 

EDIT: Also, lol at the person above who suggested Reno. My God what a disaster that would be. 

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55 minutes ago, FiddySicks said:


Sacramento. It would be even more of a :censored:show than the whole Pilots saga. 
 

EDIT: Also, lol at the person above who suggested Reno. My God what a disaster that would be. 

I think a lot of people need a course in Western US geography.

 

Just because you've heard of a place doesn't mean there's a bunch of people there and there probably aren't any cities to pull more people from for quite a few miles.

 

Reno's metropolitan area, is under 500K.  Bakersfield's is at 850K.  Fresno is 975K.  These cities can't fill a stadium 81 days a year.  Stop it.

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1 hour ago, DukeofChutney said:

Probably been said already but....

 

Athletics move to where ever and Rays then move to Oakland.

 

So they'd loose the A's and gain the Rays.

Yeah, that makes no sense. This isn't a Sonics-OKC situation where the success of a multi-team market is there, it's just a stadium issue, but the new owner wants to move the team to his hometown. This is a "pretty much no possibility of ever getting a new stadium, and also the other 2 major teams jumped ship" situation. When the A's leave, Oakland's done.

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42 minutes ago, LMU said:

I think a lot of people need a course in Western US geography.

 

Just because you've heard of a place doesn't mean there's a bunch of people there and there probably aren't any cities to pull more people from for quite a few miles.

 

Reno's metropolitan area, is under 500K.  Bakersfield's is at 850K.  Fresno is 975K.  These cities can't fill a stadium 81 days a year.  Stop it.

 

Yeah I don't think any city under 2 million could support an MLB team. Currently only Milwaukee is under that.

These are the available western cities over 1 million:

               
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,650,631
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2,550,960
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 2,492,412
Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA 2,363,730
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 2,266,715
Vancouver, BC 2,264,823
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 2,227,083
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1,990,660
Oklahoma City, OK 1,408,950
Salt Lake City, UT 1,232,696
Tucson, AZ 1,047,279
   
 
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3 minutes ago, flasah said:

 

Yeah I don't think any city under 2 million could support an MLB team. Currently only Milwaukee is under that.

These are the available western cities over 1 million:

               
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,650,631
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2,550,960
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 2,492,412
Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA 2,363,730
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 2,266,715
Vancouver, BC 2,264,823
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 2,227,083
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1,990,660
Oklahoma City, OK 1,408,950
Salt Lake City, UT 1,232,696
Tucson, AZ 1,047,279
   
 

The Riverside/San Bernardino census area is two counties encompassing an area  roughly 175 by 175 miles and even with that aside, the area is completely integrated into the LA media market.  That’s not happening.

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Just now, flasah said:

 

Yeah I don't think any city under 2 million could support an MLB team. Currently only Milwaukee is under that.

These are the available western cities over 1 million:

               
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4,650,631
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2,550,960
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA 2,492,412
Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA 2,363,730
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 2,266,715
Vancouver, BC 2,264,823
Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX 2,227,083
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1,990,660
Oklahoma City, OK 1,408,950
Salt Lake City, UT 1,232,696
Tucson, AZ 1,047,279
   
 

INLAND EMPIRE: Outside chance if they were really open to a 3rd LA-area team. Though, you have to remember, the Padres are Southern California, too, so that would be FOUR teams in the SoCal region. So doubtful.

SAN ANTONIO & AUSTIN (One or the other, basically close enough to be considered one market): Possibility.

PORTLAND: Strong Possibility.

SACRAMENTO: Not really.

LAS VEGAS: Strong Possibility.

VANCOUVER: Outside chance. Mariners would probably veto it due to the proximity to Seattle.

SAN JOSE: Giants will never allow it since they control the rights. So, no.

OKC: No chance.

SALT LAKE CITY: Not really.

TUCSON: Not in a million years.

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1 hour ago, flasah said:

 

Yeah I don't think any city under 2 million could support an MLB team. Currently only Milwaukee is under that.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 


Even that's misleading because for whatever reason, only Milwaukee County and three counties that surround it are counted in the metro population.  But if you include all 9 counties in Southeast Wisconsin, the population is over 2 million.  Granted, half of those people live in Milwaukee County itself, which is why a market like Milwaukee can work.  Baseball needs a strong centralized population because few fans are willing to go on a significant commute to attend a weeknight game, which I would think goes to your point.  Lots of western metros have massive populations.  But if that population is spread out, which tends to be the case with sunbelt cities, it won't translate into attendance.

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I’m not really sure why people are giving a strong yes to Portland if they’re going to give a no to hard no to Sacramento. The metro population is almost neck and neck, yet Portland is even more isolated. At least Sacramento is close to the Bay Area and the central valley to draw from. 

 

And that’s not to say that Sacramento is a worthy MLB market (It isn’t. No later how much I’ve hoped for it in the past). But neither is Portland, really 🤷‍♂️

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3 hours ago, FiddySicks said:

I’m not really sure why people are giving a strong yes to Portland if they’re going to give a no to hard no to Sacramento. The metro population is almost neck and neck, yet Portland is even more isolated. At least Sacramento is close to the Bay Area and the central valley to draw from.

 

The top answer can be shortened to three words: Portland is richer.

 

Specifically, Portland enjoys a lower unemployment rate and a higher rate of projected future job growth than does Sacramento.  More importantly, Portland's per capita, median household, and median family incomes are all above the US average.  Meanwhile, Sacramento is below the US average in all three of those income categories.  Finally, as best as I can tell, Portland has more businesses that can afford to pay for premium seats at and season tickets to a MLB team's games than does Sacramento.

 

Also, in a way, Portland may be helped by being geographically more isolated than Sacramento.  If nothing else, part of the desire for a Portland team in MLB and particularly in the American League is to create a geographically close rival to the Seattle Mariners, who are decidedly the most remote MLB club at the moment.

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Seeing the Rays mentioned has reminded me yet again that I would love a 30 for 30 about Tampa Bay’s relocation madness. Seems to me (albeit I have done little to no research on the matter) that they were constantly brought up as a city for the MLB to move to and seemed to be kind of the #1 option when teams were pursuing relocation/#1 bargaining chip when owners wanted to hold cities hostage for new stadiums. They even had a deal to get the Giants at one point. Yet when baseball finally did get to Tampa it flopped, and flopped hard. 

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4 hours ago, Walk-Off said:

 

The top answer can be shortened to three words: Portland is richer.

 

Specifically, Portland enjoys a lower unemployment rate and a higher rate of projected future job growth than does Sacramento.  More importantly, Portland's per capita, median household, and median family incomes are all above the US average.  Meanwhile, Sacramento is below the US average in all three of those income categories.  Finally, as best as I can tell, Portland has more businesses that can afford to pay for premium seats at and season tickets to a MLB team's games than does Sacramento.

 

Also, in a way, Portland may be helped by being geographically more isolated than Sacramento.  If nothing else, part of the desire for a Portland team in MLB and particularly in the American League is to create a geographically close rival to the Seattle Mariners, who are decidedly the most remote MLB club at the moment.


That actually makes a lot of sense. I’ve traveled and lived all over the west coast, but Portland has always been somewhat of a blind spot for me. I’ve only been there twice and it was only a total of maybe three days. I figured that corporate support probably had something to do with it (It’s absolutely abysmal here), and so the overall increase in wealth would make sense as well. 

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16 minutes ago, GDAWG said:

So who has the territorial rights to San Antonio and Austin?

I would assume it's shared between Texas and Houston.

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@GDAWG, if, by territorial rights, you mean regional television (and maybe also radio) rights, I am under the impression that the whole state of Texas is part of a TV territory shared by the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.  Unless I am mistaken, Astros games are on regional cable even in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, and Rangers games are on regional cable even in the Houston market.

 

As I understand it, the MLB commissioner's office ordered a full overlap of those two teams' TV territories back when the second AL Washington Senators were seeking to move to North Texas.  This decision was made in order to preserve the Astros' freedom to syndicate their game telecasts to any willing local TV station in the DFW area and thus encourage the 'Stros to let the Metroplex have its own MLB club; an unwillingness by the Astros' ownership to sacrifice regional TV coverage in North Texas was a key reason why the DFW region was turned down for one of the 1969 MLB expansion franchises.

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The Rays only exist because MLB didn't want to be sued for denying the Giants relocation to St. Pete. They basically said here's an expansion team, now shut the hell up. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Walk-Off said:

@GDAWG, if, by territorial rights, you mean regional television (and maybe also radio) rights, I am under the impression that the whole state of Texas is part of a TV territory shared by the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.  Unless I am mistaken, Astros games are on regional cable even in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, and Rangers games are on regional cable even in the Houston market.

 

As I understand it, the MLB commissioner's office ordered a full overlap of those two teams' TV territories back when the second AL Washington Senators were seeking to move to North Texas.  This decision was made in order to preserve the Astros' freedom to syndicate their game telecasts to any willing local TV station in the DFW area and thus encourage the 'Stros to let the Metroplex have its own MLB club; an unwillingness by the Astros' ownership to sacrifice regional TV coverage in North Texas was a key reason why the DFW region was turned down for one of the 1969 MLB expansion franchises.

 

That's what I thought.  Texas Rangers games are seen in Houston on Bally Sports Southwest (formerly Fox Sports Southwest) and Astros games in DFW via AT&T SportsNet Southwest.  Not sure either team wants to split that even further with the A's.

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1 hour ago, GDAWG said:

Texas Rangers games are seen in Houston on Bally Sports Southwest (formerly Fox Sports Southwest) and Astros games in DFW via AT&T SportsNet Southwest.  Not sure either team wants to split that even further with the A's.

 

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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