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July 23, 2010

San Jose mayor: Damn the MLB report, full speed ahead on A's deal

Some people just can't be patient: San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said yesterday that he'll ask the city council to put an Oakland A's stadium referendum on the November ballot at its August 3 meeting even if MLB's long-delayed A's relocation committee hasn't reported back by then on whether the A's would be allowed to move to San Jose.

While there's certainly nothing stopped San Jose from voting on a stadium before a move is approved, this could get tricky. The finances of any deal are likely to change depending on what settlement the A's and San Francisco Giants can reach over territorial rights to San Jose. And while the finances of the stadium construction are more or less set (the team pays for the stadium, the city pays for land and infrastructure), so far as I know no lease terms have been discussed — leaving open the possibility that the city could be asked for lease concessions if needed to fill any funding gap created by the A's having to pay reparations to the Giants.

Interestingly, MLB seemed to send a signal that it wants San Jose to move ahead with its plan, if you assume that the "highly placed baseball source" cited by the San Jose Mercury News was an intentional leak:

But even as Reed and other city leaders have fretted that time was growing short for MLB to revoke the Giants' territorial rights, one highly placed baseball source told the Mercury News the league was unlikely to wade into the issue without ironclad assurances the plan could go forward.
"Part of the problem is, [A's owner] Lew [Wolff] doesn't have San Jose sewn up. It's not like there's a stadium ready to be built," said this person, who refused to be identified because he isn't authorized to speak for the league.
"If there was an approval, that could make a difference. It's hard to say, 'OK, Lew, you can have it,' and then have them go through the voting process and end up losing."

So maybe Bud Selig's new plan is to have San Jose up the ante by approving a stadium, then use that as leverage to get Wolff and Giants owner Bill Neukom to hash out a territorial rights settlement? Could be, unless the high-ranking baseball source is just this guy.


I know you'll close your eyes/cover your ears to this Neil, but what the heck! Back in April, SJ Mayor Reed had lunch with both MLB President Bob DuPuy and Lew Wolff (both DuPuy/Wolff were caught on camera attending an A's game later that night). After the meeting, Mayor Reed came out of it more encouraged than ever, stating something to the likes of MLB likes San Jose, we just have to be patient. Now the A's will bank roll the ballpark campaign. It's always been about San Jose "getting its ducks in a row" re: the report than some Giants/Neukom objection. San Jose guarantees 100% that a ballpark will get built and, trust me, the T-Rights will fall like the Berlin Wall! And for the record, infrastructure improvements to the surrounding area do not constitue a public subsidy for the ballpark, as they have been planned/will be built even without a sports venue.

Posted by Tony D. on July 23, 2010 02:03 PM

why would the gi-ants buy a 20% stake in s.j. giants when they would have to move the franchise?
because they intend to stay there.
lew-lew wolff-ie has been baying at the moon for more than a decade about this and the a's daze goes on and on.
remember his quote? ..."why can't we have a ballpark of only club (premium) seats?...
no matter what happens, the gi-ants will emerge with the upper hand and the a's will be battered.

Posted by paul w. on July 23, 2010 02:30 PM

@paul w. - Both the SF and SJ Giants would have to be compensated by the A's. Neukom & Co. could net an extra low eight figures from a minimal initial investment.

Posted by marine layer on July 23, 2010 04:14 PM

The stadium location guarantees that for weeknight games 101, 87, 280, and 880 will be more of a mess than they already are for the evening commute. I think that people who would go to San Jose for other venues (eating, theater etc.) would be more inclined to go somewhere else rather than fight the traffic.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 23, 2010 04:38 PM

Once again SC Taxpayer you speak without an facts---how many people are chosing not to go into SF for the theatre, shopping etc when there is a gints game in SF---come on---most people recognize in an urban area there is some level of traffic common sense that must be used--but deciding that 2+M people spending money in the downtown core is a bad idea because it will slow traffic in the city core is hard to understand.

Posted by SanJoseA's on July 23, 2010 07:24 PM

Have you seen the EIR? All of the freeways around the proposed San Jose site are colored red - the lowest level of service, which means gridlock. Read about what's happened to the Gaslamp district in San Diego after the Padres stadium went in - there has been a negative affect on the businesses in the Gaslamp district because people don't want to deal with the traffic and parking on game nights.

SF is a different situation in terms of the amount of mass transit available and the freeway setup near the Giants stadium.

Posted by SantaClaraTaxpayer on July 24, 2010 12:16 AM

SCTP--have you ever been to the ballpark in the Gaslamp district and seen the incredible change in the area--if not than your not speaking from facts--its a complete change from what was there--ever been to ATT and gone to a game? You tried to spread misinformation during the '9ers campaign and you failed miserable---my guess is your gonna be 0-2 come November-

Posted by SanJoseA's on July 24, 2010 12:44 AM

I still can't understand why Selig doesn't just laugh at the Giants, considering it was the A's themselves who originally GAVE those rights to the Giants when they were investigating their own stadium in SJ. If you have an ounce of integrity, Bud (which we unfortunately know you don't) you waive the rights tomorrow and let SJ and the A's move ahead. What an absolute joke.

Posted by bennie on July 26, 2010 11:25 AM

It would be very interesting to see the city of SJ launch a court challenge against the alleged "territorial" restriction.

It will absolutely never happen, but I can see significant trouble ahead if MLB had to explain to an antitrust court why the city of San Francisco "owns" San Jose and must be paid for the right to allow MLB to be played there.

Like I said, given the nature of MLB's commissioner, it is pretty much impossible that this could happen. But it would be fun to watch...

Posted by John Bladen on July 27, 2010 12:43 AM

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