Oakland City Council To Meet On A’s Stadium Proposal

MLB has warned the council if no money is available the team could leave.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred recently sung it’s now or never or never for the Oakland city council. If council doesn’t send hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayers funding for John Fisher’s planned A’s ballpark-stadium village, Fisher can take his baseball business elsewhere. Elsewhere being Las Vegas. In other words, Oakland politicians better do the right thing and give Fisher that money. Oakland has been a problem since Charles O. Finley moved his Kansas City A’s there following the 1967 season and claimed a share of the San Francisco market. But Oakland and San Francisco are considered two distinct markets and because of that moving the Oakland franchise to San Jose or the southern part of the San Francisco market was not a legal option. The San Francisco Giants franchise owns that territory.

The financially strapped San Francisco Giants back in the 1980s had an ownership that kicked the tires in the San Jose area and wanted to put a stadium somewhere in or around San Jose. Voters twice said no to stadium proposals. But San Jose is Giants territory and a judge ruled in favor of the Giants franchise when San Jose officials were thinking of putting a baseball park in the city. For TV purposes, the San Francisco-Oakland market along with San Jose is a single market and the teams have cable deals reflecting that. The teams can also share local corporate sponsors. Before the present San Francisco Giants ownership was able to get a ballpark built in the city, the team almost ended up in Toronto in 1976 and kicked the tires in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg, Florida market. Finley attempted to sell his team to Denver interests in 1978 and was blocked by a judge because of his Oakland stadium lease. It is just business.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191  

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Frankie Montas throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 8, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)