With reports that Bud Selig is mulling a Oakland A's ballpark decision that could end up taking a year or more to settle, owner Lew Wolff says more delays will only end up killing a San Jose ballpark project.
Selig is reportedly looking at a plan that would require both the A's and the San Francisco Giants, who oppose a new ballpark in San Jose, to meet certain conditions in order to prevail in the territorial battle. The actual conditions at this time are a little fuzzy, reports the Los Angeles Times, but the whole process will have one tangible result: it will delay any final decision by at least a year. And that will end up killing the deal, according to Wolff:
"That would be a no," Wolff said. "They might as well just tell us no."
For Selig, there's really no great solution. Approving the ballpark would be a boost to the A's and take one low-income team off the revenue-sharing rolls, but it also tramples on the Giants' territorial rights -- and many large-market teams are very committed to MLB's territorial-rights system. Denying permission pretty much consigns the A's to either staying in Oakland -- where there indeed are efforts on a new ballpark -- or moving out of the area, probably under new ownership. On the flip side, it's not as though the San Jose ballpark plan is shovel-ready, as the state looks at whether the city inappropriately shielded the land from a state takeover of city and county redevelopment agencies.
In any case, we could see some movement on the Oakland/San Francisco impasse by the end of the year.
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