SBD/September 24, 2012/FranchisesPrint All
A’s Owner Lew Wolff’s bid to relocate his team to San Jose was examined by Tyler Kepner of the N.Y. TIMES. Wolff’s dream ballpark “exists only in fantasy,” and it “is a technological marvel” in downtown San Jose. The privately-financed venue will have 36,000 seats and the revenue potential to put the A’s “above baseball’s poverty line.” Wolff said, “All of our concession signs will be digital, so when you’re supposed to stop serving beer, you just press a button and it disappears. And then if you have extra hot dogs, you can reduce the price.” But Kepner noted the ballpark plans are “snarled in a territorial dispute” with the Giants, and without a resolution, MLB “faces the potential embarrassment of hosting its first A.L. wild-card game” at the Oakland Coliseum. That venue is a "multipurpose bowl with visible football lines and giant tarps across the unsold upper deck that might not be removed even for the playoffs.” Wolff: “Look, we need a decision, and we need it sooner rather than later. It can’t lap over another year. I don’t think it will. I don’t have any date, but not having any decision is worse than having a ‘no’ because you can’t move on to Plan B. And you’re going to ask me what is Plan B, and I’m going to tell you I don’t have one.” He added that if team execs knew their destination, “they could begin to secure their core players and prepare for a payroll that could eventually almost double” to $100M. He added it would be “very aggressive” to think that the A’s could have a new park for the ‘16 season (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23).
In Dallas, Jeff Mosier writes the newly-branded Cowboys Tailgate Party in the Miller Lite East Plaza at Cowboys Stadium "brought a different type of group" to yesterday's home opener against the Buccaneers. With the outdoor plaza "open four hours before game time instead of two, the early birds included a mix of dedicated out-of-town fans as well as families of the dancers performing on the outdoor stage." The atmosphere and features in the plaza "resembled the State Fair of Texas rather than imitating the tailgating scene" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/24).
FROM THE DAWG POUND: In Akron, Jason Lloyd writes Cleveland Browns Stadium "wasn't even three-fourths full for the opening kickoff" of Bills-Browns yesterday. The crowd was "announced at more than 69,000 and the 9 in that figure came from New York" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/24). Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Mary Kay Cabot reports prospective Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III on Saturday met with Pro Football HOFer Jim Brown and "assured him he wants him to be part of the team." When Haslam "settles in, the two will talk about an official role for Brown with the organization that demoted him two years ago" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/24).
LEARNING THE ROPES: In L.A., Sam Farmer reported Lakers investor Patrick Soon-Shiong attended Thursday night's Giants-Panthers game in Charlotte "as a guest of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson." It was an "interesting pairing because Richardson is the former chairman of the NFL’s stadium committee, and if Soon-Shiong were to purchase AEG, he presumably would take the handoff from Philip Anschutz to push the proposed downtown L.A. stadium Farmers Field across the goal line" (LATIMES.com, 9/22).