An attempt to hold up routine maintenance on Municipal Stadium, home of the San Jose Giants (High Class A; California League), as a proxy battle against the San Francisco Giants failed today.
The routine maintenance, slated to cost $85,000, would improve field drainage and add striping to the parking lot, among other things, per the team's lease.
The fact that the maintenance would benefit the San Jose Giants -- largely owned and operated by parent San Francisco Giants -- meant the expenditure became a proxy for the larger battle between the Oakland Athletics and the Giants over Silicon Valley. The Giants have blocked a move by A's owner Lew Wolff to build a new ballpark in downtown San Jose, and some of the members of the City Council -- most notably Mayor Chuck Reed and councilmember Sam Liccardo -- have worked closely with the A's on the ballpark plan. Adding to the bad feelings: both Giants teams have help fund a citizens group opposing the new ballpark on environmental grounds.
The rest of the city council, however, rejected the proxy battle on an 8-3 vote, clearing the way for the routine maintenance. Some council members even went to the point of saying they foresaw a future where both the A's and the San Jose Giants played in the city, and they didn't want to harm the ballpark by withholding maintenance funds. Still, the issue won't go away, but it looks as though it will shift to next year, when the Giants' lease at Municipal Stadium is up.
Image of San Jose Municipal Stadium by John Moist.
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