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Oakland City Councilman says the A’s could move to San Antonio or Montreal

Jul 8, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT

Alamo

When we last left the Oakland A’s Coliseum drama, it appeared as though the lease will finally be approved over the objections of many on City Council. The reason? Last week Bud Selig gave the A’s permission to leave Oakland if they want to, which apparently scared some Oakland officials.

Seems like a bluff to me. Just being allowed to leave is not the issue; approval to actually go someplace where a viable baseball team could actually operate is a way bigger issue, and nothing reported last week suggested the existence of any such place. Where ya gonna go, Athletics?

Someone on the Oakland City Council thinks they have a place in mind:

Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid says he doesn’t believe the A’s are bluffing in their threat to leave the city if they don’t get a 10-year lease extension at the Coliseum, and he pointed to a pair of possible destinations — Montreal and San Antonio, Texas.

Reid said that was the word he got from the Coliseum Authority negotiators who have been working for the past 14 months to try to reach an A’s lease extension.

“They have options,’’ Reid said.

Montreal presents a crumbling stadium and market which were utterly neglected by Major League Baseball for years. Which is exactly what they have in Oakland right now, so why pay Allied Vans extra on top of that?

San Antonio could theoretically work someday, but at the moment there is only a football stadium they use for occasional exhibition games with a 280-foot porch in right field. Because of weather in the dog days of summer which can only be described as “AHHHHHHGGHHH!!!! THIS IS HORRIBLE,” the San Antonio A’s would need a new domed or retractable roof stadium. Did I mention that, currently, there is no appetite to give the Double-A San Antonio Missions a new park? I’ve been to their current one. If that’s any gauge, no one down there is all that prepared to give the A’s a billion bucks for a new park.

Sorry, I think those are bluffs. And I will continue to believe that unless and until Major League Baseball says the A’s can move to San Jose or gives them approval to go to a place that has already demonstrated a desire to build the A’s a new park.

  1. jdd428 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Portland seems like a viable option that wouldn’t be a bluff.

    • kopy - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

      It would have been, but they already have the Portland Thinkers.

    • hk62 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      And play where? (Then Seattle’s gets their territorial rights all in a knot as well).
      I have been in every stadium in Portland, none are MLB (or even near) quality.

    • clydeserra - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      why do people keep saying that? has it ever been true?

    • jwbiii - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5931:current-mlb-to-portland-effort-big-on-dreams-short-on-reality&catid=26:editorials&Itemid=39

    • Tick - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      I live in Portland and believe me, Portland is not an option. No one here would ever vote for the tax increases to build a new stadium and this isn’t a baseball city. I used to live in Oakland and I’m a die hard A’s fan. I’d love for them to come here, but it’s not going to happen.

  2. unlost1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    what a maroon

    • 4cornersfan - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:13 PM

      Yes! A bouffant!

  3. El Bravo - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Enough about this…let’s see more nude pics of Prince Fielder already.

    • 4cornersfan - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      No. I can’t unsee the one that they posted earlier.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      Did you ever think you hear yourself saying THAT?

  4. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    MLB over played their hands by expanding too far too fast many years ago and the market is too saturated to allow for this sort of move. Too bad they killed off the one viable city they could have moved to when they brought the Expos to DC. Now they are bluffing by moving a team right back to the city they just vacated? This is like when a teenager bluffs moving into their father’s house when they get into a fight with Mom. “Please, be my guest. You’ll be begging to move back here inside of a week.”

  5. timmons94 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Montreal would be great. Can it be worse than Miami or Tampa or Cleveland ?????

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      It can if you don’t speak French.

  6. tn16 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Montreal has already said that they would build a new stadium if they where giving a chance at a MLB team again, the fan base is still huge up there, just look at the group of 1000’s of fans that travel to Toronto to watch the jays in there expos gear. Plus having a team that’s already a playoff contender. Montreal looks like a real option

  7. mybrunoblog - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Bring back the Expos! A 35,000 or 40,000 seat ballpark in Montreal. The old logo, the 1970s jerseys. I’m in.

    • mybrunoblog - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      You know what? After I posted I started thinking. The Athletics have a history of 3 cities and 113 years. Multiple championships and pennant winning teams. HOF players and eccentric, historic owners. It would be sad to see the A’s history and franchise lost. Maybe the A’s work it out in Oakland and a team like Tampa Bay goes up to Montreal. Save the A’s!

    • johnnysoda - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Hey, you know how everyone always talks about how Tampa and Oakland aren’t great MLB cities because their attendance is low? They’re drawing twice what Montreal did in their final years.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        Oh you mean the Montreal team that was the worst team in the division, and they traded everyone away? Or the Montreal team that hadn’t done anything since 1981? (They did get screwed in 1994 due to the strike as well)

        If you produce a winner, they will come. Well that is if you are anyone besides Oakland.

        Oakland currently sits 24th in attendance
        2013 they were 23rd in attendance
        2012 they were 27th in attendance.

        For a team that has been quite successful in the regular season that is pitiful. They also are rated the worst baseball market in the league, pretty much for the past decade.

      • johnnysoda - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:27 PM

        Yeah, but even when Oakland was bad, they still drew much better than Montreal did.

        Let’s look at 2003, for example, when the Expos finished 83-79 and contended for the wild card for a good amount of the season. The attendance for that year- including games played in Puerto Rico- was a dismal 1,025,639. On June 23 of that year, they entered play at 41-34, and within a doable 3 1/2 games of a wild card spot. For the home series that week against Pittsburgh, they didn’t crack 6,000 once. 6,000! Tampa is near the bottom of the AL East, yet they almost got twice that last night.

        And let’s not even talk about 2001, 2002, and 2004- years where they drew less than a million fans to the stadium.

        Even in 1994, they were only eleventh in the NL that year for attendance. In 1995, they were tenth. So even when they were good, nobody showed up.

        I have nothing against the city of Montreal and their fans, but they have proven themselves apathetic about baseball. I would never consider putting a team there.

  8. weaselpuppy - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    The amount of talent coming into the league from abroad in the Caribbean, South America and a East Asia clearly is and has been adding enough talent to expand the league to 32 teams without any problem whatsoever.

    From an economic base standpoint, you could find 4 viable cities in the US that could support teams (and not all would be new markets) and could be built out by 2018. Charlotte, Brooklyn or NJ, Austin/San Antonio, and Portland

    • johnnysoda - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Charlotte is the only one out of those that I think would really succeed.

      San Antonio/Austin are likely next on the list of expansion, simply based on population, but they don’t even have Triple-A baseball. And, as noted in the article, they’re not really willing to give their Double-A team a new stadium.

      Brooklyn/New Jersey would be a failure. As I’ve said on here before, I don’t think many fans will magically switch their Yankees or Mets allegiance to some mediocre expansion team.

      Portland, ha.

      • boonert - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Charlotte just spent a ton of money to build a new ballpark for the AAA Charlotte Knights. The NFL Panthers want millions to renovate their stadium. I can assure you that there is no way in hell they’d ever get the taxpayers to approve spending even more money to lure a MLB team.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        Round Rock is a suburb of Austin, so the area does have a AAA team.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        Actually, Round Rock is it’s own city, and not a suburb. And they really are named after a round rock.

      • raysfan1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        Only meant smaller city outside Austin. I’ve been there many times.

  9. Bob - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    The Astros and Rangers would raise all kinds of hell about a third team in Texas, especially one so close to Houston and Dallas. Of course, not that Bud Selig gives a damn about either team, especially forcing the Astros to move to the AL at gunpoint.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      3 teams from the same state in the same division. Not gonna happen.

      • johnnysoda - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        I would imagine if a team was placed in San Antonio, they’d be in the NL.

        Or, Bud’s replacement could just put the Astros back where they belong…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        They belong in the NL West. Move Arizona to AL West and we’ve got a deal.

      • nbjays - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        “3 teams from the same state in the same division. Not gonna happen.”

        Yeah, you’d never see that in the NL West, for example…

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:48 AM

        Yeah, I guess that’s fair. For what it’s worth, California seems a lot more segregated from itself than Texas. Even though all Texas towns think they’re the best, all California cities think they’re the only one. But point made; my OP sucks.

      • stampofdisapproval - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:12 AM

        You mean like the Dodgers, Giants and Padres?

  10. dodgeblue - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    I say move to Vancouver, screw Seattle’s territorial rights, and rename them the Pilots!

  11. clydeserra - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    How about this: they keep playing in the stadium they are using. they continue to be the Oakland A’s and you people all shut up about it.

    If you don’t like going to the coliseum, don’t go. Its fine. We’ll be OK.

    • dtownbeatdown - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      Until you eventually bring in so little revenue, it won’t be moneyball anymore. It will be brokeball, no team is okay when they can’t produce revenue.

      Hence the reason they still play in that toilet bowl you call a stadium. Also hence the reason moneyball was ever even considered to be a movie, because Oakland had no money, and luckily they had the services of Beane to help them out… for now. Eventually they will suck again, and the will be pushed out of Oakland. Best team in baseball should not rank 24th in attendance regardless of the elements they play in. Face it… Oakland is not a baseball worthy town.

      • clydeserra - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        really like how you cherry pick and fail to analyze the attendance figures.

        yes, they are in the lower tier of attendance, but you see that upward trend? yeah, that is nice.

        Also, the attendance has fluctuated like that for every team through cycles of being good and being bad.

        Also also, attendance gains are always delayed in successful cycles

        Also also also, the owner has artificially capped capacity at the stadium since 2006 (maybe 2005) keeping the figures low.

        Also also also also what is the matter with where they are at? are you saying they aren’t making money? Because you don’t know that.

      • dtownbeatdown - Jul 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        I didn’t cherry pick anything. Attendance figures are up to date. And I do know that they are not making money. They make some in the playoffs but the regular season is pitiful. You can find all these numbers very easily… and when you have low attendance that literally means you are not making a whole lot of money. Or the fact that they don’t have the money to fix that stadium. Does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out. A little bit of Google and mlb.com, and a little common sense. Not to mention the attendance numbers are always inflated due to season ticket holders that don’t show to the games.

  12. stew48 - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:14 PM

    way to go clyde!

  13. eutawmike - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    OK then, the Oakland A’s it is.

  14. titansbro - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Why not Nashville? That city now has 2 pro sports teams that the fans support whole heartedly & the population just keeps growing. Nashville is thriving. Plus I grew up there & people love baseball there. No other teams within a 6 hour drive. It’s a no-brainier!

    • apeville - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      I would go all the time- from Knoxville. But damn, love the A’s in Oakland/ Bay area.

  15. hushbrother - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I could see San Antonio as a destination. It’s one of the ten largest cities in the country, and growing. They would surely need to build a stadium with a roof to make playing in the summer bearable. It probably won’t be the A’s, but I believe SA will have a major league team one day.

  16. irishlad19 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    We all know that San Jose is where they should be, and the next MLB Commissioner will need to make that happen–buy off the Giants’ territorial rights with money from all clubs, who will benefit from the stronger revenue sharing from a bigger market.
    Or else, change the MLB territorial rules if the Giants get stupid.

    • o2generate - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      The San Jose territorial rights were given to the Giants by the Haas family, to help the group buying the Giants in the early 1990s and keeping them from moving to St. Petersburg Florida. Basically, it was a done deal.

      Repeat, gave those territorial rights to the new Giants owners. Now, they won’t help the Oakland ball club.

      My idea is that the team ought to build a floating stadium, and anchor it inside the San Leandro Channel/Oakland Estuary. Earthquakes won’t affect it. Plenty of unseaworthy (but, perfectly floating) supertankers available to hook together to form a base. It could double as an emergency HQ when the big quake hits the Hayward Fault (now, over due). EIR report would be minimal, cleanup would be minimal (Port site=$250 million cleanup).

      • irishlad19 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        Interesting concept, if cost is affordable.
        The peninsula south of Stanford was primarily agricultural three/four decades ago, now is a metropolis as large as San Francisco. It deserves it’s own MLB team, the entire league would benefit.
        Pay the Giants a reasonable fee to relinquish the rights, let the As move.

  17. oushaka2 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Charlotte has a great backdrop for a team.

    I Once lived in Oklahoma City, they love their Thunder. The mess that is the Texas Rangers have turned their backs on Oklahoma. There’s a lot of hungry baseball fans up their. It’s amazing that the thunder have reach up into the NW region of Arkansas. Potential fans for a smaller state in population?!?!

    Their are San Antonio tech business leaders that have expressed to local political leaders that the potential to develop the northwest side of downtown with a 10,000 seat expandable stadium. It would be the centerpiece for what they envision as a tech enclave with condos and high-end apartments. Even better, the Union Pacific rail-track that passes near by will be handed over to the cities of San Antonio and Austin, for future rail transit between the two cities. As for the attendance thing, the current ballpark is in a bad part of town for the rest of the city to travel too. It’s also on the least traveled thru-fare.

  18. snarkk - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    The Oakland City government is run by a bunch of nutjobs and incompetents. That is a major reason why the A’s want out of the city. Even if a way could be found to build a new stadium there, the city gov’t would find a way to crater it. Not to mention the stadium is a wreck, and there’s no way it is getting better, it is getting worse year after year, with no maintenance, and no upgrade. The A’s would draw well in San Jose, and still attract their current fans. Sacramento would be another choice, the A’s AAA team draws super well there. But, the metro area (2 million) is probably a little short of business support needed for an MLB team’s suites, and obviously nothing like the potential of Silicon Valley…

  19. apeville - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Nashville, anyone? I love the A’s in Oakland- but TN sure could use a MLB team.

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