Jump to content

Oakland Athletics Wheel of Relocation


the_fan
 Share

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, bosrs1 said:

 

Not to mention they're talking expansion right now. They're not going to contract and then expand back to back. If anything they'll forego expansion and just relocate both teams. 


Indeed. Chivas USA was the exception, not the norm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/16/2021 at 10:26 PM, GDAWG said:

Las Vegas if they get the A's: "We are going to make a call to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and MLS Commissioner Don Garber to ask them to give us teams so that we can have teams in all five major league sports, plus indoor football, WNBA and indoor lacrosse!  We are not longer a minor league city!  We are a major league city and we thank Golden Knights Owner Bill Foley and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for allowing us to have delusions of grandeur as a major league city!"

Arena football is arriving next year.

2 hours ago, who do you think said:

Too early to speculate about an A's/Rays contraction after the 2027 season?

 

25 minutes ago, GDAWG said:

 

Players Association isn't going to allow it.

The player's association is why the NL still doesn't have the DH. And if MLB tries to contract a team instead of moving it when they're actually doing better now than they were in 1994 they are going to get raked across the coals. 

2 hours ago, spartacat_12 said:

 

The Las Vegas metro area population has doubled in the last 20 years, and is projected to hit 3 million in the next 5 years. It has been one of the world's major entertainment destinations for decades now, and if it weren't for professional sports' puritanical views on gambling, there would have been teams there a long time ago. Whether or not they land a MLB team, I think the NBA is an inevitability.

 

I'd like to see the A's find a solution that keeps them in the Bay Area, but I'm not sure why so many people have issues with Vegas getting professional sports. This isn't that different than LA getting 3 expansion teams & 2 relocated teams in less than 10 years during the late '50s/'60s.

I think that's the one thing that rubs people raw more than anything else. Phoenix just seemed to pop up as the new city to get everything in the 1990's when the Cardinals and Diamondbacks took root there, even though the Suns had been there for a good bit. Las Vegas seems to be taking on that mantle now. I think if you can get people to show up for hockey, it's possible to get some bleed over into baseball fans as well, but they'll need a dome stadium to do it. I also want to see how well the Raiders do this year with fans finally being able to enter the stadium. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:


Indeed. Chivas USA was the exception, not the norm.

 

Chivas USA was also a mistake from the moment it was announced. One that was such a mistake that the LAFC ownership wanted nothing to do with being linked to it. The A's for all their issues, are still one of the most storied teams in MLB history with over 120 years of history that comes with them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:


Indeed. Chivas USA was the exception, not the norm.

 

32 minutes ago, bosrs1 said:

 

Chivas USA was also a mistake from the moment it was announced. One that was such a mistake that the LAFC ownership wanted nothing to do with being linked to it. The A's for all their issues, are still one of the most storied teams in MLB history with over 120 years of history that comes with them. 

Chivas USA was also dealing with the discrimination lawsuits stemming from ownership firing anyone who didn't speak Spanish.  That, and it's kind of hard to market to fans of a team known for only signing Mexican players by signing mostly non-Mexican players.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, LMU said:

 

Chivas USA was also dealing with the discrimination lawsuits stemming from ownership firing anyone who didn't speak Spanish.  That, and it's kind of hard to market to fans of a team known for only signing Mexican players by signing mostly non-Mexican players.

 

Plus I mean it's not like MLS didn't eventually learn. They didn't do the same thing with Columbus/Austin and instead had Austin come in as an expansion team under Columbus' ownership and left Columbus in the league in the hands of new owners.  Then again, Columbus Crew had a brand (and history) worth saving. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, bosrs1 said:

 

Plus I mean it's not like MLS didn't eventually learn. They didn't do the same thing with Columbus/Austin and instead had Austin come in as an expansion team under Columbus' ownership and left Columbus in the league in the hands of new owners.  Then again, Columbus Crew had a brand (and history) worth saving. 

It took the fans of the Crew, and the other 25 teams to get the MLS to see that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

It took the fans of the Crew, and the other 25 teams to get the MLS to see that. 

 

I mean it wasn't without precedent. They got halfway there with the Earthquakes/Dynamo fiasco when they at least had the foresight to leave the San Jose IP in San Jose and found an ownership group pretty quickly to pick it up  making Houston a de jure if not de facto expansion side. But again it was the fans that got them there. 

 

Point is, Chivas was such a :censored:show that no one wanted anything to do with it. I don't even know that they had many pure Chivas USA fans that were really all that upset they shut down. They had no owner. They had no stadium. Hell at the time they didn't even have their own identity as they had no ties to Chivas Guad when they shut down. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, bosrs1 said:

 

I mean it wasn't without precedent. They got halfway there with the Earthquakes/Dynamo fiasco when they at least had the foresight to leave the San Jose IP in San Jose and found an ownership group pretty quickly to pick it up  making Houston a de jure if not de facto expansion side. But again it was the fans that got them there. 

 

Point is, Chivas was such a :censored:show that no one wanted anything to do with it. I don't even know that they had many pure Chivas USA fans that were really all that upset they shut down. They had no owner. They had no stadium. Hell at the time they didn't even have their own identity as they had no ties to Chivas Guad when they shut down. 

Sharing a stadium with your rival doesn't help either, especially when you weren't winning. I think it helped chase off the idea of a FC Barcelona sponsored team as well, right? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

This might sound like a smartass question, but it's not: how is NYCFC different than Chivas USA?

 

They don't have race/national origin based hiring practices in place as a centerpiece of the team's culture? That and NYCFC don't really play up the City Football Group ownership much, where Chivas USA was operated as a subsidiary of Guadalajara and that was front and center in everything they did, particularly in the early years. In fact NYCFC seem to play up their minority owners, the Yankees, more than they do their City Football Group owners. And CFG isn't Man City itself, CFG just own all or part of Man City, Melbourne City FC, Montevideo City Torque, Lommel SK, NYCFC, Mumbai City FC, Girona FC, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, Yokohama F. Marinos and Troyes AC.  It's actually quite an impressive portfolio of teams. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, FiddySicks said:

Well, one issue is that, long term, they have no access to water. That’s probably going to be an enormous problem. They’re also centered in one of the most flat broke states in the country. 

 

Well cities like Phoenix & Miami will likely be uninhabitable by the end of this century, and that doesn't seem to be a concern for pro sports leagues. 

 

1 hour ago, MJWalker45 said:

I think if you can get people to show up for hockey, it's possible to get some bleed over into baseball fans as well, but they'll need a dome stadium to do it. I also want to see how well the Raiders do this year with fans finally being able to enter the stadium. 

 

I don't think the Raiders drawing fans is going to be a problem. Only 9 home games, with most of them happening on the weekend means there will be plenty of out of town fans planning trips there around the schedule. The only issue they might face is that the crowds might be skewed towards the visiting team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

This might sound like a smartass question, but it's not: how is NYCFC different than Chivas USA?


NYCFC have picked up as many regular season wins, one more playoff appearance, and one less "Wooden Spoon" in the six seasons and ten matches of their Major League Soccer play to date than Club Deportivo Chivas USA managed in the entirety of its 10-season  MLS existence. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, spartacat_12 said:

 

Well cities like Phoenix & Miami will likely be uninhabitable by the end of this century, and that doesn't seem to be a concern for pro sports leagues. 

 

 

I don't think the Raiders drawing fans is going to be a problem. Only 9 home games, with most of them happening on the weekend means there will be plenty of out of town fans planning trips there around the schedule. The only issue they might face is that the crowds might be skewed towards the visiting team.


Plus the Raiders came with a built in fan base who seem more than willing to make the 8 times a year pilgrimage out to Vegas from SoCal to root for their team. What's 4 hours on the 15 when Las Vegas and it's dirt cheap hotel rooms and your favorite football team are on the other end of the drive. A form of visiting fan to be sure, but at least one that roots for the home team.

 

I think the Golden Knights are more indicative of the kind of support the A's will need to tap into than the Raiders. And it'll require a domed stadium without question, and likely some form of soft rebranding to make the team feel like Las Vegas' team in the same way the Golden Knights were and are Las Vegas's hockey team. An expansion baseball team would have been better, but beggars can't be choosers. But the worst thing I think a Las Vegas A's team could do would be to up and move to Vegas and keep the green and gold, the uniforms, the logos, etc... and all the same trappings of Oakland like the Raiders did. It won't hurt the Raiders much because their brand is uniquely borderless in that their fanbase has always been scattered due to it's odd "rebel" appeal. If anything moving to a more central, vacation oriented destination like Vegas closer to the bulk of their fan base in SoCal will likely have more upside than downside for the Raiders. The A's on the other hand don't have much of a fanbase outside of Oakland proper (and even that's the minority of local baseball fans in Oakland proper). The A's will be largely reliant on local fans like the Knights and will have to work hard to foster that. Which is doable, but it's going to require some big changes to the franchise and its branding. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would've loved to see the Anchorage Raiders, just for the lolz. The brand does fit the city, because of how pretty much everybody in Anchorage is there because they're not welcome in their home town/state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, bosrs1 said:

 

Not to mention they're talking expansion right now. They're not going to contract and then expand back to back. If anything they'll forego expansion and just relocate both teams. 

 

Expand to where? Forget expansion, baseball has no good landing spots for the A's or Rays if their stadium issues don't get resolved (and seeing as both battles have been going for well over a decade at this point with no resolution...).

>Montreal

Failed the first time around, had a Coyotes-tier final decade, not much reason to think they would succeed this time around other than blind optimism... and they're the most appealing city on the list.

>Nashville

>North Carolina

For NBA/NHL, maybe. For MLB, with twice as many home dates and seats to fill per game? You're scraping the bottom of the barrel hoping they can be as good a market as Milwaukee or Arizona, and praying that it's not Florida all over again... I don't know about that. Have we mentioned that all three cities are transplant hell?

>NBA city roll call

oh please

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, who do you think said:

>Montreal

Failed the first time around, had a Coyotes-tier final decade, not much reason to think they would succeed this time around other than blind optimism... and they're the most appealing city on the list.

I mean, considering they succeeded the first time until Jeff Loria decided to :censored: it all the way up, I don't think it's the market's fault the Expos left. The team being run like crap post-94 is what ultimately sealed the Expos' fate, and the downturning Canadian economy at the time didn't help matters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Ridleylash said:

I mean, considering they succeeded the first time until Jeff Loria decided to :censored: it all the way up, I don't think it's the market's fault the Expos left. The team being run like crap post-94 is what ultimately sealed the Expos' fate, and the downturning Canadian economy at the time didn't help matters.

 

Well, it's not just Loria's fault. That's a misrepresentation that downplays other more critical, more demographics-based reasons why the Expos flopped. To quote myself:

 

On 8/6/2019 at 7:43 PM, SFGiants58 said:

 

4Ll7bkf.gif

 

1. The passage of the Quebec language law known as La charte de la langue française, or Bill 101, in 1977 was the first blow. Many have argued that it was a necessary measure to protect to province’s cultural heritage, appease the FLQ, and dismantle the “anglophone ruling class” and the “Catholic shadow government.” However, the establishment of the “language police”/Office québécois de la langue française and their harassment of both the Anglophone and Jewish communities, mandates of primarily French public education, and the threat of independence referendums incited tension. The business community largely left the province, with the Bank of Montréal, Royal Bank of Canada, and Sun Life moving to Toronto. Both the Anglophone and Jewish demographics saw significant emigration to Ontario, with the remnants of said groups facing persecution from the “language police's” abuses.1

 

While this may seem like it would not impact the Expos, the unfortunate reality was that most of the baseball community and fans in Montréal were Anglophones. While there were plenty of Francophone fans of the team (i.e., “Nos Amours” and English/French broadcasts/announcements), they simply didn’t have the numbers of the Anglophone supporters. Another blow was the loss of business community to support baseball with suite purchases and sponsorships, a necessity for running a team.2

 

Several of the later reasons described here have some relevance to the post-Bill 101 economic problems faced by Quebec and Montréal. These include:

  • The Blue Jays took the Southern Ontario market away from the Expos. This represented a notable loss in revenue for the Expos, as they would have to depend on the economic fortunes of a less-powerful Quebec. 
  • These language laws made free agency unattractive for players on the market, along with higher Canadian taxes.
  • Because of the added economic stress from the Canadian Dollar’s decline (at times worth less than 70% of the US dollar) and the prospect of an independence referendum in October 1995, the partners in Claude Brochu’s ownership group were unwilling to spend more on the team. This, along with lost revenue from the 1994 strike and the group’s cheapness, incited the ‘90s fire sale. 
  • The lack of a strong business community made it harder to find a buyer from Quebec or necessary corporate support. Even the Canadiens couldn’t find a local buyer, nor did they use public funds to build the Bell Centre. Trying to gain both a strong local ownership group and getting public funds from a concerned government would prove difficult obstacles for the Expos.3

 

giphy.gif

 

2. The construction of Olympic Stadium/Le Stade Olympique was a disaster that proved concerning for publicly-funded venues in Montréal. Building the stadium involved delays, costs going from $124 million to $600 million, and political cronyism. Even upon completion, the stadium’s roof would frequently rip and barely retracted, a 55-ton beam fell off of the building in 1991, the turf surface hurt players, and it was in a location with few local entertainment options and far from Anglophone neighborhoods. The team felt the need for a replacement in the ‘90s, one which resulted in the Labatt Park impasses. With all parties unwilling to foot the bill, especially after Le Stade Olympique’s controversy, the team would remain at The (unsuitable) Big O.4

 

anigif_sub-buzz-21583-1516898725-9.gif

 

3. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed exclusivity in Southern Ontario, taking away a lucrative market away from the Expos. Even though both commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth offered compromises (i.e., 15 games a year broadcast in Southern Ontario, would have to pay for broadcasting rights afterwards), owner Charles Bronfman rejected these proposals. Losing this market eliminated a significant revenue stream, one which the Blue Jays built upon and secured by contending throughout the 1980s (during a competitive downturn for the Expos) and early 1990s. Playing in the cultural capital of Anglophone Canada further cemented the club as a multi-provincial entity. The Expos would have to be content with being a provincial squad, further isolated due to Quebec separatism.5  

 

giphy.gif 

 

4. Post-Bronfman ownership ran the team as cheaply as possible, inciting fan apathy and enabling MLB to pull the Expos’ plug. While Bronfman did engage in salary cutting measures due to declines in revenue streams and the season ticket base (e.g., trading Gary Carter), the Brochu group made them standard from 1991-98. His partners refused to chip in much beyond their initial investments while imposing cost-cutting measures. This forced the team to sell off most of their franchise players to satisfy the books (which were probably cooked to a decent degree). Even when a team put together a contender in 1994, there were concerns about whether or not a World Series titles would get them to break even. The fire sale of the 1994 team was a result of this cheapness, along with the loss of playoff game money. Continually being cheap on player salaries and failing to provide any significant capital towards the Labatt Park plan (only $40 million in PSL’s) crippled fan engagement.6

 

The Loria ownership of 1998-2002 took things further, refusing broadcasting contracts (paying a high $1,000 per game for radio and only receiving $5,000 for TSN games compared to the Blue Jays’ $200,000) and leaving the team without English radio, tanking stadium talks further (although the negotiations were fairly untenable when he arrived) and selling off the rights to potential stadium land, not marketing the club, and taking every piece of valuable organization property upon selling the team to MLB. Loria also wrestled control away from Brochu’s consortium partners, although any of the other owners could have answered his cash calls to stop him.7

 

Under MLB ownership and following the failure of the 2001 contraction, the club never called up minor leaguers in September 2003 and began playing games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With owners who were unwilling to put in money for baseball, the baseball fandom of Montréal turned their interests away from the club.8

 

Stephen Bronfman speculated that Loria’s ownership was more or less a conspiracy to kill off the failing market in Montréal (financial losses, smaller crowds, and bad publicity with the ownership/community), which fits with the actions of both the Brochu and Loria partnerships.9

 

7QJYZB2.gif

 

TL;DR: It was not one factor that killed the Expos, but rather a chain of events set off by Bill 101, the shoddiness of Olympic Stadium, the Blue Jays claiming Southern Ontario, and cheap ownership by Brochu/his partners and Loria that did the damage.  

 

Also, the 1994 strike ending the Expos’ greatest season was not the deciding factor that led to their doom. It didn’t help matters (given the post-strike weariness towards baseball and lost revenue), but the Brochu group’s money problems and attitude towards payroll would have still induced a star liquidation. They might have had more clout for a publicly-funded stadium, but a 1990s Quebec was in no position to publicly finance it. Heck, had the referendum resulted in a “oui,” the Expos probably would have fled far sooner (something Bronfman pondered in his sale).10


This synopsis of the Expos’ downfall is my synthesis of Jonah Keri’s Up, Up, & Away! for the baseball-specific information and Daniel S. Greene’s thesis paper “Analyzing the Parallelism between the Rise and Fall of Baseball in Quebec and the Quebec Secession Movement” providing the socioeconomic/political data. I recommend that you check both of them out (although given recent domestic violence allegations made against Keri, just go to the library for his volume).

 

CBC, “CBC Digital Archives - Fighting Words: Bill 101 - Bill 101: Politics of Smoked Meat,” accessed August 6, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20131203041117/http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/politics/language-culture/fighting-words-bill-101/politics-of-smoked-meat.html; Daniel S. Greene, “Analyzing the Parallelism between the Rise and Fall of Baseball in Quebec and the Quebec Secession Movement” (Honors Thesis, Union College, 2011), 47–50, https://digitalworks.union.edu/theses/988; Bennet Kelley, “Quebec’s Fateful Day: Embracing Decline in the Name of Culture,” Bennet Kelley’s Clippings & More (blog), July 27, 2014, https://bennetkelley.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/quebecs-fateful-day/; Jonah Keri, Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, Le Grand Orange, Youppi!, The Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-Fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos, Reprint edition (Toronto, ON: Vintage Canada, 2015), 98–101; League for Human Rights B’nai Brith Canada, “1996 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents - Antisemitism in Canada: Current Climate and Trends,” January 7, 2004, http://web.archive.org/web/20040107134104/https://www.bnaibrith.ca/publications/audit1996/audit1996-06.html; Susan Taylor Martin, “In Quebec, Some Take Law as Sign of Discrimination,” St. Petersburg Times, August 9, 1999, sec. National, America’s News.

2 Jonathan Kay, “Separatism and the Expos,” NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 12, no. 1 (July 24, 2003): 153–55, https://doi.org/10.1353/nin.2003.0044; Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 56–59 and 383; Bill Mann, “Strike Trois! -- Down Go the Expos,” MarketWatch, November 9, 2001, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/quel-dommage-strike-trois-for-the-montreal-expos; Stuart Shea, Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present, ed. Gary Gillette (Phoenix, AZ: Society for American Baseball Research, 2015), 340–41; Paul Taunton, “The Nord Remembers,” Hazlitt, October 3, 2014, https://hazlitt.net/feature/nord-remembers.

3 Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 212–16, 248–51, 261, 314–15, 337–40.

4 Kay, “Separatism and the Expos,” 154; Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 103–9, 230–45, 265, and 335–41.

5 Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 212–16, 275, and 365–66.

6 Keri, 207–9, 221–22, 249–52, 311–16, and 337.

7 Greene, “Analyzing the Parallelism between the Rise and Fall of Baseball in Quebec and the Quebec Secession Movement,” 86–88; Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 345–67.

8 Greene, “Analyzing the Parallelism between the Rise and Fall of Baseball in Quebec and the Quebec Secession Movement,” 88–89; Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 364–77; Matthew Surridge, “Remembering MLB in Montreal,” Splice Today, February 20, 2015, https://www.splicetoday.com/sports/remembering-mlb-in-montreal.

9 Keri, Up, Up, and Away, 364.

10 Linda Kay, “Expos Unable to Escape Quebec’s Political Tumult,” Chicago Tribune, July 29, 1990, https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1990-07-29-9003040407-story.html.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

Well, it's not just Loria's fault. That's a misrepresentation that downplays other more critical, more demographics-based reasons why the Expos flopped. To quote myself:

 

 

If the A's keep up these attendances the Expos final years might end up an improvement. 

 

I mean they're harping they expect 30,000 this weekend for a series against the AL East leading Red Sox (not that they'll necessarily get it and even if they do it'll mostly be Red Sox fans). And mind the A's are only a half game out of first themselves. There was a time that match up on a weekday in that kind of situation would have necessitated opening Mount Davis' upper reaches. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.