The San Jose Mercury News dropped a weird little bombshell into its report on the Oakland A’s trade deadline moves:
A’s owner [Lew Wolff] said Major League Baseball would likely kick in some money to help the A’s get a stadium done at the Oakland site, public money not being available.
Really? That’s not something MLB has done for any other team — aside from allowing teams to deduct stadium costs from income for purposes of revenue-sharing, which has been standard operating procedure for a while now. But if MLB actually gives in and throws additional cash the A’s way, that would be a huge departure for a league that so far has depended on the kindness of taxpayers for new construction.
Newballpark.org, meanwhile, speculates that the easiest way for MLB to funnel some money to Wolff would be to allow the A’s to keep receiving revenue sharing money once they move into a new stadium. (MLB changed its revenue sharing rules a few years back to prohibit teams in big markets from getting checks, but exempted Oakland from this prohibition until a new stadium is built.) It’s certainly something that the league could do, though you have to wonder if MLB commissioner Rob Manfred would have to twist some arms to get other owners to agree to kick in to dispense with the Coliseum. He doesn’t seem a very arm-twisty guy, but we’ll see.