The Oakland A’s just released a statement about their quest to move to San Jose. The organization normally doesn’t release these kinds of press releases, but there might have been a major pressure on owner Lew Wolff to make something happen.
Below is the official press release with a very interesting note highlighted.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2012
STATEMENT BY OAKLAND A’S OWNERSHIP
REGARDING A’S AND GIANTS SHARING BAY AREA TERRITORY:
“Recent articles claiming that Major League Baseball has decided that the A’s cannot share the two-team Bay Area market were denied by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last weekend.
Currently the Giants and A’s share the two-team Bay Area market in terms of television, radio, sponsors and fans. Last year, the Giants opened a specialty store in the middle of the A’s market (Walnut Creek). At the time, Lew Wolff commented that he was ‘fine with the Giants store and wished there was an A’s store in San Francisco.’
Of the four two-team markets in MLB, only the Giants and A’s do not share the exact same geographic boundaries. MLB-recorded minutes clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara. The granting of Santa Clara to the Giants was by agreement with the A’s late owner Walter Haas, who approved the request without compensation. The Giants were unable to obtain a vote to move and the return of Santa Clara to its original status was not formally accomplished.
We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants’ great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A’s.
We are hopeful that the Commissioner, the committee appointed by the Commissioner, and a vote of the MLB ownership, will enable us to join the fine array of modern and fun baseball parks that are now commonplace in Major League Baseball.”
The underlined part is new information that if Wolff can produce evidence, could give the A’s the right to San Jose. If I am reading this correctly, the rights to the Santa Clara/San Jose/South Bay were given to the Giants if they were able to build a new stadium there. But since they built AT&T Park, that right was never fulfilled.
According to the press release, that means the South Bay rights should return to what it was back in 1990: a shared territory. If the league approves of that, then the A’s would gave an easier road for a move to San Jose.
Right now the only question is whether or not this kind of information can be produced. If Wolff can come up with proof, then the A’s move to San Jose becomes a whole lot easier.