Well, the Bay Area's Bestest Newspapers [retch] came out with their regular 50 Biggest Companies reports on Sunday link , toting revenues and profits for both the 50 largest businesses in the East Bay (generously defined) and the Bay Area at-large. Of course, they misspelled a word in the headline ("trial" meaning "trail"), but hey, they don't call themselves the Bay Area's bestest proofreaders, and I think I know where they made their most recent cuts. But I digress, hoping I haven't made similar blunders in this here fanpost.
I was surprised at the results, and thought I'd share 'em on which for folks to chew. Now, I'm perfectly well aware that this is only one measure of economic activity, but if we concede that the A's are organized and intended to be a profit-making entity, then these kinds of numbers are not insignificant.
For the Bay Area at-large, I would divide the geography as follows:
SF= SF, SSF and North Bay
Silicon Valley = peninsula, San Jose, Fremont, Hayward, Union City
East Bay = everything else east of most of the bridges
The Top 50 settle into those areas as follows:
SF = 14
SV = 30
EB = 6
So it's really no mystery why the Giaunts are so proud and jealous of "their" territory to the south.
Looking at the East Bay Region specifically, I would resolve the geography as follows:
Oakland = Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda, Berkeley, Hercules
San Ramon/Tri-Valleys = everything east of the Caldecott Tunnel, and Dublin and Sunol grades
Fremont = Fremont, Hayward, Union City
Defined so, the numbers are as follows:
Oak = 12
SRV/TriV = 20
Fremont = 18
By this logic, the new ballyard might better be in Walnut Creek or Pleasanton than Oakland. And if we just look at companies HQ'd within the city limits of Oakland and Fremont, per se, Oakland loses 3 to 15.
Now, I've heard Fremont disparaged around here as a parking lot with a City Council, but it's pretty clearly more than that. And one could take away from the above data that the tech industries centered in the Silicon Valley, of which Fremont is best considered a part, are the economic engine of the Bay Area. It also seems clear that Oakland in particular, and to a lesser extent SF, just aren't the commercial centers they were when the teams moved here 40 and 50 years ago. At those times, the peninsula was fruit orchards, and there really were walnut groves in Walnut Creek. Or so I'm told.
Viewed using this metric, the move south makes a lot of sense. Yes, companies aren't people, but to an increasing degree they are ticket-buyers, and they do represent sponsorship sources. Oakland, for all its natural beauty, infrastructure advantages and head start, just hasn't kept pace.