SWOT: SWOT Analysis: Oakland Athletics

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[. . .] At the same time, he was involved with Burbank Airport Hilton and the La Miranda Gateway Plaza Holiday Inn. (Crosby Agrees to Terms on Five-Year Contract)

This was in the 1980s, and he has been his interests by collecting more hotels, theatres and office buildings under his own control. It is thus clear that Mr. Wolff feels that the club has an opportunity for development in terms of real estate, and the person who thinks so is also a capable real estate man. At the same time, one has to realize that the expansion is not possible in the town or location where the club is presently housed. The present place already has other clubs involved, and it is unlikely that they would be willing to move in the interests of this club. Thus the club would require guidance for this purpose from an experienced real estate man, and that is what Mr. Wolff is. (Crosby Agrees to Terms on Five-Year Contract)

The fact that Lewis Wolff, the new owner of Oakland Athletics has clearly said that he would like to take independent charge for the proposed new ballpark makes it clear that this will be financed mainly with private money. This announcement came quite fast and was about a month after the take over by Wolff became public knowledge. Immediately, there were a lot of proposals, and offers of help from others, including the present and past politicians of the area. Since he has taken charge, the issue of the new ballpark may not become an election issue during next year when the elections are taking place. Even the mayor of Oakland is expected to be elected next year. The team has been looking for a new stadium since 2003, and after he took charge of the team, Wolff received a lot of calls. The only individual who was appreciated by Wolff was Dick Spees who is a former Oakland City council member. He had stated that he was willing to help the team, but the team now feels that it has to its own work. (Lewis Wolff will take full control over planning of new ballpark)

The plan of the council member was to help the Coliseum authority with a new financing plan for the proposed stadium. This was mainly in terms of finance. Now that Wolff has taken charge, it has still not been made clear as to whether the stadium will be an independent activity, but a plan for a larger redevelopment. Mr. Wolff has also not made it clear as to how much money is going to be put in the project by the team, but his own report written earlier, in 2003 stated that the team could agree to provide a contribution of $100 million out of the total estimated cost of $400 million for the stadium in the parking lot. There are some ideas of building it in other areas, yet the statement on this from Wolff is quite clear, and states "we don't want to start running around on sites that we can't get to for 10 years." (Lewis Wolff will take full control over planning of new ballpark)

Mr. Wolff is a current resident of Los Angeles, and has a history of investing in real estate. He had first started and is still the chairman of Maritz, Wolff & Company. This is a company that invests in hotels and properties at the highest level, and even acquires them when they feel that they are worth the purchase. That company was first started in 1994 for the purpose of buying out Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis. These sorts of acquisitions have made Maritz Wolff an exceedingly large company with the total holdings exceeding $1.4 billion. The company has gained by buying significant stakes in 15 hotels which are being run by Fairmont, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Rosewood. The company also has large stakes in a hotel management company which has operations throughout the world. (Crosby Agrees to Terms on Five-Year Contract)

Mr. Wolff is also an old friend of the commissioner Bud Selig. This has helped the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority board to transfer the lease of the property of the club unanimously to the new buyer. There is not expected to be any immediate changes in the day-to-day operations of the club, or the players. The previous general manager, Billy Beane is expected to continue. (A's plan on finalizing deal by Opening Day) Thus the interest of Mr. Wolff in the club is certainly an opportunity for the club, and it has been taken up at the earliest opportunity. This is due to the ease with which Mr. Wolff is expected to bring in the funds, and collected needed experts for the future development. This is expected to add to the wealth and speed of development of the club, and speed up the comparative development of the club which has now slowed down to the third spot. (Lewis Wolff will take full control over planning of new ballpark)

One of the important questions that need to be asked is why the stadium has to be built in the Oakland parking lot. The stadium has not changed in 35 years and the city and county officials do not seem to care about baseball any more. At the same time, one should remember that financial success in baseball does not come strictly from population but from the support by corporate authorities and other supporters who have a lot of money. This is the reason why baseball has not succeeded in the comparatively smaller places like Pittsburg, Milwaukee, Cincinnati and the like, though they have all built new stadiums to take care of the game. All the big teams are today situated in the major national centers. The city of Oakland has to take some immediate drastic action, and that is to have a cleaner Coliseum, and develop the retail business in that area so that people have scope for some activity after the games -- specially the day games. This is happening and it seems that a big shopping center is being developed across the freeway, and place had an In-n-out burger, Starbucks, juice, quiz centers, raider image and the like.

The place will be opening out after spring or summer, and will be useful for the new stadium. The team itself will also be saving itself a lot of money by having the new stadium within the parking lot, as then they will not have to pay for the cost of land. The suggestion by Mr. Wolff is clear and he is an expert in "redevelopment" which is what he had done for SJ. This builds up the logic for building the stadium in the parking lot as the Coliseum in the middle of redevelopment area. The authorities are quite worried as the Coliseum has not changed in 35 years and when Wolff went to take charge of the club he was asked whether the team was wanting to extend their lease with Coliseum, and that is up to 2007, having an option of three additional one year extension. Wolff gave a guarded reply saying that the extension was not agreed to right away, but that should not be taken as an indication that the club would move away. (Lewis Wolff will take full control over planning of new ballpark)

The stadium is almost a certainty, and the major question is whether it shall be built in Oakland or some where else. There was a major meeting of League owners in Arizona and the members of the rotary club of the area was faced with a presentation by Larry Stone, who is a Board member of Baseball San Jose. The individual had estimated the cost of a new stadium as being $300 million. At the same time a stadium that was opened by Giant in 2000 was $324 million! (Field of Dreams? Do the A's know the way to San Jose?)

References

A's plan on finalizing deal by Opening Day. 30 March, 2005. Retrieved from http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2026320 Accessed on 28 April, 2005

Ballparks: 1901 - Present. Retrieved from http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/oak/history/ballparks.jsp Accessed on 28 April, 2005

Crosby Agrees to Terms on Five-Year Contract. Retrieved from http://www.knbr.com/As/

Accessed on 28 April, 2005

Field of Dreams? Do the A's know the way to San Jose? 21 January, 2005. Retrieved from http://www.laoferta.com/news.php?nid=260 Accessed on 28 April, 2005

Lewis Wolff… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"SWOT Analysis: Oakland Athletics."  Essaytown.com.  April 29, 2005.  Accessed July 19, 2019.
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