Originally Posted by Hitmen77
I don't remember the details of the San Jose stadium deal, but I thought it was pretty much a done deal (including approval by the city) except for the territorial rights issue. I can't find any links to articles to support this though.
If I remember correctly, it was going to be privately financed except for San Jose selling some city-owned land for the ballpark (or something like that).
As I understand it, the city wouldn't pay for it (and neither would the A's, else it wouldn't need to be in San Jose), but the city would make concessions. Everything I've read indicates there would still need to be a public vote. Maybe the vote has already taken place. The A's have presented it as a done deal, but they presented Fremont as a done deal before the city council turned them down. I would guess there are infrastructure issues in addition to the sale of the land. I really don't know how controversial the issue is in San Jose. (Actually, I'm typing this in Palo Alto, but I don't have time to check the pulse on the San Jose streets.)
But the only way the A's get the deal in San Jose is if they convince a super-majority of major-league owners that Oakland is beyond rehabilitation, although the attorneys for the A's have been quoted as saying the baseball antitrust exemption has to be unconstitutional. They Giants aren't giving up the territorial rights, nor should they. Of course, a quarter of a century ago, it seemed a sure thing the Giants would end up in San Jose before they built their own park in San Francisco after baseball told them they couldn't move to St. Petersburg.
I just don't see the A's deserting the East Bay for the South Bay. It isn't just about Oakland. It's the East Bay. It's Orinda and Concord, Pleasanton and Livermore. I don't live in the East Bay, but I live in A's country. The sports radio station in Modesto in the San Joaquin Valley does A's games. Even people I see in Giants T-shirts are often wearing A's caps and vice versa. Not that I consider the A's my team. I wouldn't mind at all if the A's and Marlins (which obviously doesn't have the popualation to support a major league team) were eliminated and their talent scattered in a draft.
But the A's have a nitch. Maybe Charlie Finley should have stayed in Kansas City. Maybe if the AFL hadn't challenged the NFL in the 1960s to give Oakland undeserved credibility, he would have. But in four-plus decades, the A's have establshed a place for themselves in baseball that they likely didn't have when they left Philadelphia to be an NL-only city, despite its population. Maybe if these were better economic times, they would move to Sacramento. Really, I don't see the A's leaving the East Bay and this broad section of Northern California for a place where they don't have a fanbase.
I always hated hearing people from outside Chicago (I hated the occasional Chicago comments, too, of course) telling me upon hearing I was a White Sox fan that Chicago can't support two major league teams. As much as I loathe the A's and their fanbase, as bad a baseball experience it is going to the coliseum to see my Sox, it angers me to hear that sort of thing about Oakland. I feel for the A's fans in the face of such arrogance.