A’s Owner May Reconsider New Stadium
Athletics owner Lew Wolff is willing to re-examine whether it would make sense to build a new ballpark at the site of Oakland Coliseum.
Wolff has hoped for a new stadium in San Jose, California, but that is in the territory of the San Francisco Giants, who have blocked the A’s from building there. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee in March 2009 to examine the issue, but the committee has not made any public report.
Speaking Tuesday before the All-Star game, Wolff said a new ballpark on the Coliseum site was “an option to look at.”
“We don’t have much of an option right now anywhere except there,” he said. “We’re going to revisit that.”
Wolff expects the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to vote Wednesday on a 10-year lease for the team at the Coliseum.
“If it isn’t, it’s my last time,” he said.
The Coliseum has hosted the A’s since 1968 but has had sewage and lighting problems. A lease vote was planned on June 27 but was postponed after representatives from the City of Oakland did not show up for the meeting.
The NFL’s Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Coliseum and are interested in building a new stadium at the site.
“We’ve provided for the Raiders. I don’t think the Raiders are really behind any of this,” Wolff said. “Their owner is a nice guy and I think he’s just trying to do what we’re trying to do, make sure that the other guy doesn’t cause the other guy any problems.”
Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid was quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle last week as saying that Montreal and San Antonio could be possible sites for the A’s to move to if they don’t get a new lease at the Coliseum.
“I have no idea where that was coming – nobody certainly had talked to me. So it was beyond absurd,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday.
“We’re two-thirds of the way home, and that’s pretty good. We have only one hurdle to go, and I feel that we’ll solve that hurdle,” he said of the new lease. “We’ve had to go through the tortures of hell to get to where we are.”
Updated July 15, 2014