Photo: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw
The Oakland A’s are desperate for a new stadium and they are hoping to move to nearby San Jose, where a new $400 million stadium has been proposed.But there is one small problem: The San Francisco Giants must approve the move (San Jose is within the Giants’ territorial rights), and there is little reason to think they ever will (OK, maybe this is a BIG problem).
In a similar case, when the Montreal Expos moved to Washington D.C., MLB granted the Baltimore Orioles certain financial guarantees (e.g. resale value, television rights).
But so far, the Giants are saying “no way.” And if that continues, the A’s may be forced to move out of the Bay Area, something Bud Selig recently suggested could be approved by MLB.
In the case of the Orioles and Expos, the alternative was being strong-armed by MLB and a possible ugly and lengthy court battle. In San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland, the alternative is the A’s either stay in Oakland, or more likely, move out of northern California. And if that happens, not only have the Giants protected their rights, but their territory will expand into Oakland and open the team up to thousands of potential new fans.
In other words, despite ongoing negotiations, don’t look for the Giants to change their stance. There is just too much for them to gain by saying “no.” And if that is the case, Oakland’s future in the Bay Area may be nearing an end.
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