SBD/January 27, 2012/Franchises

A's Owner Lew Wolff Talks State Of The Franchise, Ballpark Issues

Wolff said A's payroll next season will be just over $50M, by far lowest in the division
A's Owner Lew Wolff gave his take on why the team is "rebuilding and trading so many quality pitchers, citing the improbability of contending in a division with two teams' payrolls topping $100 million and a desire to be competitive if and when the A's move into a new park," according to John Shea of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Wolff said that the team's payroll "will be just over $50 million, by far the lowest in the division." Shea notes even the Mariners "top $80 million." While the A's "initially reported a loss in 2011, Wolff revealed they made a slight profit because the World Series extended to seven games." He said, "We made $370,000, and that's after revenue sharing, not before." He added that last year's "revenue-sharing check was $32 million." Wolff: "I have to admit, without revenue sharing, we'd have a huge loss, and we don't want revenue sharing. We'd like not to be a receiver if we could." Meanwhile, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig at this month's owners meetings said the A's and their stadium issues are on the "front burner" and the league is acting at a "quick pace." Shea notes a "move to San Jose would need the Giants' territorial rights overturned, and Wolff hopes to get a resolution long before the next owners meetings in May." Wolff said, "I don't want to wait till May. It's really up to baseball. I think the Giants have done a terrific job. We'd just like the same opportunity. ... We don't want to own a team outside the Bay Area. I have not spent any time on that. I refuse to, actually." Asked which Oakland site "was the best opportunity, Wolff suggested the Coliseum parking lot." He said, "Even if there is disagreement or distrust in my efforts, the committee appointed by MLB has not, in concert with Oakland, refuted a single aspect of the effort we made, to my knowledge. We've been and will continue to be a good business citizen of the city and county and hope our efforts are recognized by the majority of our fans and citizens" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/27). 
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