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Oakland Tribune, November 14, 2002

Game turns sports fans into czars

Simulation offers chance to run Oakland A's online OAKLAND -- Imagine you could run the Oakland A's. How much would you spend on payroll? Do you want to build a new stadium? If so, how do you finance it?

Oakland consultant Zenophon Abraham has created a sports business simulation game, the Oakland A's Simworld, that gives users a virtual chance to run the baseball franchise online.

"It's very detailed," Abraham said. "It's like watching the 'Godfather.' You always see something you didn't see before. It keeps you coming back."

Abraham is targeting the e-learning and fantasy sports markets and pro sports leagues. In December, the University of San Francisco's sports and fitness management program will use A's Simworld, which he hopes will lead to more college subscribers. A free version, launched three weeks ago and getting 900 page views a day, can be played at

"It's perfect for a course because it covers all kinds of different areas," said USF assistant professor of sports and fitness management Dan Rascher, an economist who founded Berkeley consulting firm SportsEconomics. "I've never seen a sports business simulation. I'm very excited about the possibilities."

Rascher will have his class run a number of rounds on A's Simworld and then write papers on the best way to manage a team's business.

A's Simworld is Abraham's second sports business sim after last year's XFL Simworld, where users try keeping the former football league afloat.

For more information, e-mail or call (510) 444-4037.

The A's game is more complex. Based on real data and developed with Forio Business Simulations of San Francisco, it has 36 decision points. Users try running the A's from 2002 to 2017.

Abraham, 40, identified potential buyers for the A's in the late 1990s as an economic adviser to former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris.

Abraham said his game could bring value to the A's and that the club is open to discussing it.

A's Simworld yearly subscriptions vary by usage, from $990 a year for 500 runs to $8,000 a year for 100,000 runs.