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A good sign for the A's-to-San Jose plan?

Jun 10, 2010, 11:16 AM EDT

One of the things gumming up the works on the long-discussed move of the Oakland Athletics to San Jose is that even if Major League Baseball buys off, er, I mean successfully negotiates a territorial rights agreement with the Giants, the Athletics still need a park to play in.

Sure, Lew Wolff has long said that he’s going to build it himself, but no matter what some will have you believe, there’s really no such thing as a totally private stadium. Dodger Stadium wouldn’t be there if the Los Angeles government hadn’t grabbed the land under an arguably fraudulent eminent domain proceeding and then forced out the residents who lived there. Even the shining beacon of private stadium construction — AT&T Park — required millions in infrastructure upgrades and some land swap stuff to happen.

The point is that there was never a guarantee that San Jose would go for an Athletics’ ballpark and in all likelihood some sort of referendum is going to be required to let the project go through.  Given the Bay Area’s recent aversion to public stadium and arena projects, such a proposition is no gimmie.

But maybe there is hope for Lew Wolff:  the voters of Santa Clara, California — right next door to San Jose — just approved a new stadium with a fairly significant amount of public financing for the 49ers. Santa Clara is not San Jose, of course, but they are right next door to each other, so perhaps the politics of all of this has started to change in the region.

But first things first: baseball actually needs to end its more than year-long “study” of the situation and actually say what it wants to have happen to the Athletics.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Jun 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Couldn’t they just move to the 209? Merced is lovely this time of year.

  2. APBA Guy - Jun 10, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Nice comment, Len. What you’re missing is the extra dimension, the fragrance of the 209, if you will, as a major cattle area. Us NorCal folks understand.
    It occurred to me reading all the stadium stuff around the 49′ers that the NFL is also urging the Raiders to move there in a stadium share deal. Al Davis will probably never go for that, but if the Raiders did leave Oakland, that changes the whole dynamic of the A’s new stadium quest. Now, suddenly, the City of Oakland would deal favorably with the A’s. I imagine this is part of the hold-up for the blue-ribbon committee. That and ongoing talks with the Giants (MLB should threaten to bring in David Boies to negotiate with Neukom). And of course, Bud’s essential dithering as he waits for the winds to blow strongly and consistently in a given direction so he can exercise “leadership” and announce what direction baseball will follow.

  3. Stephen Jay - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    I’ve never been to California, so maybe I’m missing something. But why would the Giants be upset about the A’s moving to San Jose? They’re currently in Oakland, which appears to be closer to SF than San Jose is.

  4. Phil - Jun 10, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    The issue is San Jose is San Fran territory. Oakland is on the north side of the bay. San Fran and San Jose are on the south side. So San Fran claims if the A’s move to the south side they will be impedding on Giants territory.

  5. Cru11 - Jun 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    Ive had enough! If San Jose is going to get a baseball team then I am lobbying that Austin get some sort of professional team. The biggest U.S. city without a professional sports team.

  6. 5iveoclock - Jun 10, 2010 at 4:38 PM

    This is the perfect post to dust off this clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlTvSUCCqPo

  7. scatterbrian - Jun 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Oakland is East Bay, not north. But the reasons why the Giants are more concerned with an area that is further away than Oakland is because 1) the San Jose Giants play there, 2) San Jose is now the largest city in Northern California and is more than double the population of Oakland, 3) San Jose has a rapidly growing corporate base in which to tap.

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