San Jose on deck to bring A's south
SAN JOSE, CA (KGO) -- Now that the A's move to Fremont is off the table, San Jose city leaders are positioning the city as the next logical choice for a new stadium. There's a delicate balancing act of stepping up to the plate, but not swinging too hard.
Some people in San Jose are already dreaming that a 14-acre-site near downtown will become a baseball stadium for the A's. Councilwoman Nora Campos sent out a memo urging the city to make its interest in the A's official.
"One of the things that we want to make sure we're ahead of the game that when the opportunity presents itself and the city council has had a full discussion about where we want to go," said Campos.
Councilmember Campos wanted a committee to take up the A's issue as early as Wednesday, but San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is in Washington DC. So the matter will be put off until March 11th so he can weigh in.
The mayor has had several conversations with A's owner Lew Wolff. Just last week, Wolff sent this e-mail to Mayor Reed saying the enthusiasm is appreciated, but in essence to back off. Wolff cautioned any contact with Major League Baseball is not recommended. Councilmember Sam Liccardo says it's important to step up to the plate, but not step on any toes.
"We shouldn't be talking with the commissioner of Major League Baseball because that's not what cities do and that's what Major League owners do. At the same time, the intent of the memo is well founded which is let's get together and have a conversation about what we need to do," said Liccardo.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is key to any move south because a 1993 agreement gives the Giants and not the A's territorial rights in Santa Clara County.
Professor Stephen Shmanske, Ph.D., from the California State East Bay Economics Department, also says get ready for an economic debate. He studies and writes about sports and their fiscal footprint.
"I would say it's practually unanimous that government subsidies of sports stadiums do not pan out the way that they are projected and are not good deals for the citizen taxpayers," says Shmanske.
South Bay fans have already organized on Facebook cheering that the time has come for the San Jose A's.
mlb, karina rusk
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