San Jose Ready To Sell Discounted Land to A's For Downtown Ballpark
The city of San Jose is “ready to sell about five acres of prime downtown real estate to the Oakland A's for $6.9 million -- almost a quarter of what the city originally paid for the land and $7 million less than it's worth on the open market,” according to a front-page piece by Tracy Seipel of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. The sale is “detailed in new documents released Wednesday that give the A's exclusive rights to the land if they build a new stadium near HP Pavilion and Diridon Station.” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said, "I think the price is a fair price when you consider that we want a ballpark, and the A's will have to pay for the ballpark with their money." But critics of the stadium idea called the proposed land sale a "public relations gimmick" to benefit the team and Owner Lew Wolff. Still, San Jose city leaders said that they are “determined to make sure that Wolff can purchase the land as soon as Major League Baseball finally clears the way for the A's to move to San Jose, the City Council puts it on the ballot and voters approve the land sale.” Wolff has said that the A's “will not purchase the land unless Major League Baseball allows the A's to relocate to San Jose.” Two other parcels -- about 5.5 acres owned by AT&T and the Los Gatos family -- are “needed to complete the proposed 13.4-acre site." The "final three acres are streets.” AT&T Dir of Corporate Communications John Britton yesterday said that the company's land “is not for sale.” But he added, "The company is always re-evaluating its real estate portfolio. ... And if Mr. Wolff calls, we're willing to listen" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/27).