MLB Committee Holds Secret Meeting On Potential A's Waterfront Ballpark In Oakland
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s blue-ribbon committee "snuck into town Wednesday for a top secret meeting with East Bay officials and boosters at a downtown Oakland law office to discuss a new plan for an A's waterfront ballpark,” according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. However, the committee has “yet to make a recommendation on the A's proposed move to San Jose.” The meeting “focused on a waterfront ballpark -- most likely at Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland.” The idea would be for the “cash-strapped port to sell the land for a badly needed $40 million.” Although not stated at the meeting, “the message was that -- contrary to what A's managing partner Lew Wolff says -- the town does have a viable plan and site, and if he is not interested in staying, then the team should be sold to someone who is.” The blue-ribbon committee also “met a day earlier with San Jose officials about the status of their ballpark plans” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/5). In San Jose, Newman & Noguchi note, “Observers speculated that after about a dozen years of scrutinizing ideas for new stadiums in Oakland and Fremont, yet another new iteration of the keep-the-A's-in-Oakland theme has been crafted.” In addition to city and county leaders, the East Bay meeting reportedly “included developer Michael Ghielmetti and Clorox CEO Don Knauss, who has repeatedly suggested” Wolff and co-Owner John Fisher should “sell the team to someone who will keep it in Oakland” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/6).
FINDING MEANING: CSNBAYAREA.com’s Ray Ratto wrote the question becomes whether the blue-ribbon committee’s findings in these two meetings have “anything to do with anything” (CSNBAYAREA.com, 8/5). CSNBAYAREA.com noted the committee’s meeting Wednesday “highlights attempts to counter” Wolff’s statements that there are “no viable options for a new stadium in Oakland.” If Oakland can “present a practical proposal for a waterfront ballpark, it could force Wolff to accept a plan to keep the A’s in Oakland or face pressure to sell the team to someone willing to do so” (CSNBAYAREA.com, 8/5).