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Report: Co-owner of the Golden State Warriors interested in buying the Oakland Athletics

Dec 21, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Division Series - Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics - Game Five Getty Images

The East Bay Express is reporting that Joe Lacob, one of two owners of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors along with Peter Guber, is one among at least three potential investment groups interested in purchasing the Athletics and building a new stadium on the waterfront in Oakland. The authors, Steven Tavares and Robert Gammon, add that Guber had tried to purchase the A’s back in 2002 and Lacob had expressed interest around the same time as well.

Guber contacted the L.A. Times to clarify the East Bay Express report, which had initially included him along with co-owner Lacob. Via Bill Shaikin:

Guber declined comment about whether Lacob might be interested but called it “categorically incorrect” to say he might be.

“I have not had any conversations with the league or any of the owners about buying the team,” Guber said. “I love the Dodgers. I love the Warriors.”

Guber, a veteran Hollywood executive whose Mandalay Entertainment Group has branched into sports, invested $25 million into Guggenheim Baseball Management’s $2-billion purchase of the Dodgers last year.

The Athletics have been in the news for this reason for quite some time, particularly when the Coliseum experienced some unfortunate sewage problems in June and September. The Coliseum, which has been renamed several times, opened in 1966 and was renovated in 1995-96. It is the fifth-oldest ballpark still in use, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

  1. APBA Guy - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Lew Wolff said the other day that he hadn’t been approached about a sale by Guber/Lacob. Naturally no one believes him. But this isn’t the kind of thing he’d discuss in public anyway.

    There’s little doubt among A’s fans that Lew’s cozy relationship with Air Bud has produced nothing of benefit to the A’s. Many of us, myself included, feel an ownership change would at least energize the A’s to accomplish more. On the other hand, the “more” we have in mind is investment in the team and facilities. New owners may define things more broadly, including a move out of town.

  2. Mike Long - Dec 26, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    What everyone forgets/doesn’t know is that Wolff is the face of the ownership group, but in reality he only owns about 10% of the club. The vast majority ownership is held by John Fisher of The Gap. He is #193 in the Forbes 400, and depending on the source you read, his money makes the A’s the 4th or 5th wealthiest ownership group in baseball.

    Make no mistake, this isn’t a poor ownership group with limited financial options. This is an ownership group that holds on to this team for the panache of pro sports ownership, and a tax write off. Fisher has NO interest in selling, and NO interest in spending a penny on the team if it means he’ll lose money. The A’s will only go up for sale once baseball’s welfare system changes after the 2016 season, which will make it tougher for carpetbaggers like John Fisher to effectively become MLB’s version of a slumlord.

    Until then, take your nose plugs and hip waders to the Coliseum so you can enjoy the sweet smell of success of the players on the field, and the putrid stank of the facility surrounding the field.

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