Whether it’s in Oakland or San Jose, A’s boss Lew Wolff sees a downtown stadium as the answer

Lew Wolff, the managing partner of the Oakland A’s, was on the field before Wednesday’s game with the Coliseum awash in sunshine and his team having a magic number of six to win the American League West and all was good.

Yes, the A’s should draw better given their record (89-62) and their lead (6½ games) in the West. Yes, the leaky sewage that once more intruded into public consciousness raised more of a stink than Wolff would have like. And yes, there are stadium issues that face the club now and heading forward.

For this day on the green between the dugout and third base, Wolff was in his element – hoping that his troops could get the home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The A’s came into Wednesday with a one-game lead over the Tigers in the race to host three games in the first round instead of two.

   “The energy level is always greater for the home team,’’ Wolff said. “I hope we can get there. I’m not committing to anything yet. It’s obvious we have a home-field advantage, although we have played well on the road and have done well in one-run games.

“The stars are in our favor.’’

Wolff said he looked at what the Tigers were able to do last year – win three home games over the A’s to make it to the AL Championship Series.

Someone brought up the fact that the Tigers, once they got to the ALCS in Yankee Stadium last year, said they were prepared for the energy of the crowds in the Bronx because they’d played in Oakland.

“I didn’t know that,’’ Wolff said, smiling, “but that’s a real compliment. The energy level here is always impressive.’’

The Coliseum, by virtue of its age, and the A’s fan base, by virtue of its relatively small numbers, take heat, but it’s not entirely clear that either should.

Wolff points instead to the real estate mantra: Location, location, location. He says a downtown stadium, whether in Oakland or San Jose, is the key to unlocking the fan base.

“Look at a beautiful day like today,’’ he said. “Downtowns are where the transportation hubs are. People can walk over.

“If we were in a downtown, like most stadiums are now, there’s a chance that people would be around and come out. I doubt very much that a lawyer in downtown Oakland is going to go down the elevator (from his office), get his car and drive to the park.’’

Of course, Oakland doesn’t have a huge corporate infrastructure, which is part of the A’s problem, he says.

“We’ve got a fan base,’’ Wolff said. “We have very little in the way of a corporate base. None of this has to do with fans.

“When we played the Rangers (the last series of 2012 to win the pennant), I think there was more energy here than in some World Series.’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.

  • HGDaddy

    Let’s go A’s!

  • Ghost87

    Gotta love downtown stadiums.

  • JLofty

    I guess if you think lawyers are your typical fan you are not really in touch with your fan base anyway.
    But guy’s got a point. A’s and A’s fans deserve a shiny new ballpark, maybe that site near JLsq?

  • the famous dr robert


  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Opt

    All righty then.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Maybe not.

  • Jim Jesus

    Test post TD RAIDERS

  • dan1015

    test hey guys I was Dan78 looks like the troll already took the handle…

  • Ok I got Dan78 now…

  • lefty12


  • Drexl

    new stuff is cool,,,,

  • whoknows


  • eastoaklandraider


  • Dakota

    whats uuuuup?

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    go oakland!!!


  • Good Job Mr PurvisMan. All that homework is paying off.

  • Raiderfusion

    Hey Gang: I love Our Raiders as much as the rest of you, but I believe this blog was supposed to be about the A’s. You guys get lost on your way to the Silver and Black blog.
    If I had a wish: the stadium would be built for the A’s in Oakland, My son is positive the Jack London site is the spot their going to build on. That would be nice, but if we can get the San Jose area, profit and competition wise that makes most sense.
    Please don’t hate me Raider fans, but I believe our team will relocate back to L A. I’d hate to see it happen also, but we want them to be successful and the money’s not in Oak Town. Hollywood Park sounds about right. We want our team to be the best in the game again. The revenue strain down south can make that happen, as long as management is doing their job. To that subject, I believe they’re headed in the right direction. The talent, and thought pattern for the players is the best it’s been in years, and will only continue to get better.
    Wow looks like I got lost talking about the Silver and Black also.
    As far as the A’s go they really deserve a new stadium, as they’ve won five World Series Titles since they’ve been in Oakland. Now most of you are saying what is this guy smoking, they’ve only won four Titles. Well you’re partially right, as I’m counting on winning this years WST also, and that counts Five.
    But to win that 5th WST we’ll need to get the bullpen straightened out, especially our big three closers. Doolittle is again right as rain, Cook is totally lost, and Balfour has been throwing way too many balls. The Offense, Defense, Starters are as good or better than any in all of baseball. The bullpen was the best, and needs to straighten it self out, as it’s the only part of the equation that could stop us.
    Goooo A’s Goooo Raiders