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SBD/Issue 123/Facilities & Venues
A's Owner Lew Wolff Rejects Oakland's Overture, Wants Move
Published March 16, 2009
|Wolff Says A's Season-Ticket
Holders Continue To Decrease
WILD PITCH: In Oakland, Cam Inman wrote under the header, "A's Alienating Fans With Threat To Leave Oakland." The A's are "whining about their poor little park, and they're threatening to take their ball and go home, wherever that might be." The A's are not "willing to play nice anymore." They "want to bully their way to San Jose or whichever city will lavish them with rubies" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 3/14). In S.F., Ray Ratto wrote, "The A's don't have a way out of the Coliseum for now, period. That's nobody's fault. ... Let's just not endure the pretense that there is a useful alternative available, or that this is the fans' fault, or the media's fault, or anyone else's fault" (SFGATE.com, 3/13).
A GIANT ROAD BLOCK: In S.F., Henry Schulman reports Selig yesterday met with Giants Managing General Partner Bill Neukom and President Larry Baer. While Baer did not discuss the meeting, he indicated that Selig "affirmed his public stance that he will not allow the A's to breach the Giants' territorial rights to San Jose." Baer: "From what we could tell, there is no change in his position" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/16). Also in S.F., Matier & Ross wrote the "spotlight is on San Jose to see if it can swing a new A's ballpark next to HP Pavilion, now that the team has scuttled its Fremont plans and told Oakland it's not interested in staying." However, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) "could make life difficult" for MLB by "raising the specter of hearings on its antitrust-exempt status." Also, Giants sources said that Neukom "won't let the A's move into Giants land without a fight, even if it means going to court" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/15). The S.F. EXAMINER's Artie Gigantino wrote, "Lew Wolff: For the last time, forget about San Jose, Fremont and all the other stuff that we keep hearing from your office about relocation and a new stadium." The team should "go to Sacramento" and "add 20,000 seats, luxury suites and a new press box" to the city's Raley Field, currently home to the Triple-A PCL Sacramento River Cats, an A's affiliate. Gigantino: "What a wonderful setting for the A's to call home. Is it me or does this make too much sense? Great location on the water, ballpark already in existence, enthusiastic fans and an area with only one pro team and no big time college sports" (S.F. EXAMINER, 3/15).
TAKING A GAMBLE? In Las Vegas, Norm Clarke reports Selig yesterday reportedly met with Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and A's execs. However, Las Vegas spokesperson Jace Radke said that he was "not aware of any meetings" yesterday (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/16).