Big battle brewing over the A's
FREMONT, CA (KGO) -- Monday is opening day for the Oakland A's and while fans are excited about the start of the season, they are hoping they won't lose the team in a Bay Area battle of the ballparks.
Last season had the A's had the lowest attendance in Major League Baseball. That lack of revenue coming in is one of the reasons the A's ownership is pushing to find a new home. However, if that new home is not somewhere else in Oakland, there are going to be a lot of angry fans out there.
On opening day many fans have one thing on their mind: they want their A's to stay put.
"What I'd like to see this year more than a World Series Championship is a shovel and a dirt and the streets of Oakland for a new ballpark," says Bobbie Tselentis from Santa Rosa.
There is an all out battle brewing between three Bay Area cities vying for the A's. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says he wants the team to move out of the aging coliseum. A three-member panel studying possible locations is expected to issue its recommendations soon.
"Everybody knows that there's only one viable option that works financially for Major League Baseball and for the A's and that's San Jose," says Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone.
San Jose has plans for a ballpark near HP Pavilion, an environmental study is underway and a new poll shows voters love the idea. The problem is it is officially Giants' territory.
And then there's Fremont, hoping to lure the A's to the recently closed NUMMI plant. That is after talks with the team fell through last year.
"Somebody told me you can... you can put five football fields in that building," says Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman. "If we we're to get the A's to locate there, that would be the catalyst that would to just set off the development of that site."
And still, there's the home team. Oakland will pick up the tab for the land and infrastructure on a new ballpark, if the A's decide to stay and pay for the actual structure. Officials proposed four new sites. Insiders say of the four, Major League Baseball likes property near the waterfront best.
"I think we're the city that's logical. I think it's hard to move a team that's been in the city, baseball wants to be in urban centers, the teams been here," says Oakland City Council President Jane Brunner.
These fans at opening day know which proposal they like best.
"I can't be an A's fan in San Jose. I'm not from San Jose. I love Oakland," said A's fan Mike Davie.
A's owner Lew Wolff has been quoted in news reports leaning hard toward moving to San Jose, he says that's where the revenue is and San Francisco officials say they have every intention of fighting back hard on that because they want to protect their territory.
oakland athletics, fremont, san jose, mlb, cecilia vega
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