SBD/April 4, 2013/Franchises

San Jose Mayor Seeks Meeting With MLB's Selig To Discuss A's Quest For Move



San Jose officials have been pushing for an A's ballpark for four years
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Tuesday sent MLB Commissioner Bud Selig a letter "requesting a personal meeting to avoid 'additional litigation' over" the A's four-year quest for a ballpark in the city, according to John Woolfolk of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Reed said of the letter, "I'm hoping it might motivate the commissioner to take some action some time soon." The letter was copied to A's Owner Lew Wolff, who said that he "knew Reed was planning a letter and was OK with it." Wolff: "It's logical that he'd be requesting that." But San Jose officials have been "rattling their own litigation saber more loudly in recent months as the ballpark impasse drags on." City Council member Sam Liccardo said, "The pressure is building for a solution that's not being delivered by the current process. There are a lot of small businesses and property owners that have lost money as a result of the delay in the decision-making process." Reed said that he had "no signal that Selig would be more receptive to meeting with him than in the past" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/3).

ALL ABOUT LEW: Wolff appeared on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s “Chronicle Live” Tuesday night, saying his day-to-day involvement with the A’s is “as much as they’ll (allow), which isn’t too much." Wolff: “We inherited a great operation. Most of our people ... have been here for many years and I was really fortunate and lucky to have that organization turned over to me when we bought the team.” Wolff also said he has no intention of selling the team. CSN Bay Area's Jim Kozimor said the team “had a good year last year.” Kozimor said to Wolff, "The valuation of your club is very high right now ... and many people believe when you bought the team back in 2005, you kind of got it at a bargain basement price. Is that a fair assessment?" Wolff said, “Yes, we are doing well and we are happy with that. As far as the bargain price, if you recall, right before we closed our transaction Milwaukee sold, I believe ... for $220M, and they threw in a pretty new ballpark with it. When we bought our team for a little bit less, we knew going in that at some point, whether it be in Oakland, Fremont or San Jose, that we would have to add additional funds to create a new venue." Wolff said of negotiations between the A's and Coliseum, "We're talking about extending five years, so that's a rather long period, at least to us, and I think the environment of getting that done is a positive. We'll know very soon." Wolff declined to comment on the slow pace of MLB's Blue Ribbon Panel, saying, "It has to go through the commissioner and the executive council. It's not a matter of twisting anyone's arm. It really filters from the top, just like the other 28 venues, and we're hoping to get an answer one of these days" ("Chronicle Live," CSN Bay Area, 4/2).
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