It’s official — no Oakland A’s of Fremont

Posted By on February 24, 2009 10:14 am

A’s owner Lew Wolff just released the following statement:

After much consideration, today we informed Mayor Wasserman and City Council members that the Oakland Athletics will cease efforts to relocate our franchise to the City of Fremont .

I expressed my regrets and gratitude, especially to those people who shared our vision and spent endless hours in support of our proposal. However, it became increasingly clear that our ballpark project faced significant delays ahead and I could not, in good conscience, continue to lead our team down this path.

My focus now is on baseball with Spring Training and the opening of the 2009 season. I am extremely excited about the team’s prospects this year. My goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California . This goal has not changed.

Here you can see a copy of the letter.

Comments

12 Responses to “It’s official — no Oakland A’s of Fremont”

  1. Q says:

    Fremont was never a realistic idea. The city is too small, and small town residents never like the idea of big city things invading their daily lives. This will just provide the catalyst for MLB to ok the A’s building a new stadium in San Jose, which is a much better place for the A’s than Fremont anyways.

  2. Brad Jensen says:

    Q, the last time I checked Fremont was the 4th largest city in the Bay Area behind San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. I would hardly call a city with going on 250,000 people a small town. the biggest obstacles came from the corporate tenants surrounding Pacific Commons and NUMMI, not the small (but granted very vocal) group opposed to 680 site.

    That said I absolutely agree that San Jose is a better solution. My understanding is that they have at least one site where the EIS has already been conducted and also a history of professional sports teams (Sharks, Stealth, Sabercats, SJ Giants). The greater San Jose area has a very large and affluent population and there are numerous corporate giants that will likely be sought after for box seats, etc. The biggest obstacle will now be figuring out how serious Selig is going to be in addressing the territory rights issue with the Giants. The previous Giants managing partner basically had an “over my dead body” stance on this and I’m not sure that is going to change.

    Personally I am bracing for my beloved A’s to end up somewhere outside the state.

  3. daveinsm says:

    Having being raised in the city of Fremont

    I must admit I was always biased towards building the ballpark in Fremont, but now after I have collected my thoughts; san jose is probably the most prudent choice for the A’s; financially and to stay competitive in MLB

  4. Q says:

    Living in places like San Jose, and previously spending short stints in LA and SD…small to me is anything under half a mil population. But I’m also a bit biased, I guess.

    And yes, that means I don’t consider Oakland a large city…but they also can no longer support the A’s, so maybe I’m not too far off base.

  5. Jeremy says:

    San Jose would be great… a helluva lot better than Fremont. If only Bud Selig actually wanted to help the A’s get there instead of trying to get them contracted they may have a shot.

    I take the until something happens, nothing is going to happen approach to all the stadium talk. San Jose would be ideal though…

  6. daveinsm says:

    this article came up in the SJ mercury – http://www.mercurynews.com/topstories/ci_11778531

    a few days old but it seems like Wolff has already begun talking to Mayor Reed about a ballpark

  7. Brad Jensen says:

    Jeremy if the A’s got contracted they would have to realign the divisions again, perhaps even making one of the West teams American League. I don’t see that happening.

    Also Wolff and Selig are old frat buddies. He’s not going to take away his buddy’s team.

    The fact they are buddies is what is going to turn out to be the reason they find a way to get the A’s control of that territory. I foresee the A’s gaining the rights to SJ / South Bay with the Giants getting upfront compensation for relinquishing their rights, maybe some form of compensation for a period of time from revenues generated by the new stadium, and probably a new Double A facility built somewhere else in the Bay Area at no charge to the team. The A’s might even need to relinquish their revenue sharing earnings for a while, redistributed the the rest of ownership, to get this to happen as well. Giving up rights has historically not been a popular subject among MLB owners.

  8. Jeff Fletcher says:

    Brad, I assume you mean a new Class-A facility, to replace the San Jose Giants? Not Double A. That would be a rough road trip from the Texas League, which is the closest AA league :)

    And I am not so sure that the San Jose Giants would be affected by a major league team in SJ. The SJ Giants only need to draw 2-3K a game, so I think they could still do that. It’s a different crowd.

  9. daveinsm says:

    Jeff,

    What are your thoughts about the possibility of the A’s moving to San Jose? Having covered bay area baseball (and baseball in general) for awhile, do you foresee another a similar situation like the Baltimore O’s having strong armed by Bud when they moved the Nats into town?

  10. Jeff Fletcher says:

    Dave, I do think eventually the A’s will get the rights to San Jose. MLB will make it happen because I think it’s in their best interest for the A’s to stay in the bay area as opposed to moving to Portland or San Antonio or something.

  11. Brad Jensen says:

    Yeah I forget sometimes they are single A. If the A’s do move their it becomes their territory so I think they would need to move (?). I don’t know of any minor league clubs in other teams territories. It certainly wouldn’t be about filling the stadium. Its pretty tiny.

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