The Oakland A’s will NOT be moving to San Jose, thanks to the Supreme Court
It’s a situation that has been talked about for the last 15 years, the idea that the Oakland Athletics will move to San Jose – or anywhere else for that matter.
Moving the Oakland Athletics has been the subject of conversation since 2001. For some reason no one can seem to figure it out. Former MLB commissioner Bug Selig said he would have a plan in place by the time of his retirement in January 2015, and new commissioner Rob Manfred has said that he is making a new stadium or, well, anything at this point for the team a top priority.
On Monday, the Supreme Court officially put to rest any idea that the Athletics will ever move to San Jose. You must be wondering, “why does the Supreme Court care, and how could this issue possibly get all the way there?”
It’s a solid question; it never should have. The San Francisco Giants own the territory in San Jose. San Jose first sued Major League Baseball back in 2013 (although as previously noted, this has been an issue since 2001), arguing that baseball teams should have the same rights as other pro sports franchises to relocate wherever and whenever they like.
Back in February, Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News wrote, “The city has already suffered strike 1 (a U.S. district judge ruled against San Jose in 2013) and strike 2 (the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of MLB in January) leaving the Supreme Court as the city’s only remaining option.”
So the city of San Jose is going to move on (we can only hope, but they seem to keep trying even when there is no where else to go). Many legal experts assumed with a great deal of certainty that this would be the outcome should San Jose go to the Supreme Court, but the city did so anyway.
The truth of the matter is, and everyone knows it, that they best place for the Oakland A’s is, well, in Oakland. This story has been written and told one hundred times over the past 15 years, but with San Jose finally out of the picture, perhaps the talking may stop and action may finally begin.
The Coliseum was once a lovely place to watch a baseball game, but with the return of the Raiders and the building of Mt. Davis that blocks the view of the Oakland Hills, things really began to go downhill for the stadium. Being below sea-level but next to the shore of the San Francisco Bay, the Coliseum, built in 1968, has sewage problems, it’s pretty view is gone and even former commissioner Selig called it “a pit.”
The place is home to many fans, myself included, who don’t mind the little problems that make the Coliseum the Coliseum. However, even we know that in reality, something has to change if we want our team to remain where it belongs. It’s time to simply tear it down and build a new stadium on the spot.
The A’s are also the only team left in Major League Baseball that shares a stadium with a football team. There have been rumors of the Oakland Raiders moving to Los Angeles or elsewhere, but in the meantime, why not negotiate with Jed York, who just built the San Francisco 49ers a new stadium in Santa Clara? A marriage between the Niners and Raiders would work just as well as the New York Jets and New York Giants have in New Jersey.
The A’s could finally not be an afterthought; they could have a privately-financed baseball-only stadium in the same place their stadium stands today. That’s something everyone, at least in the East Bay, has said all along. In fact, a study, done way back in 2001, has said that the best place for a ballpark for the A’s would be in Oakland.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff is fighting to keep the A’s in Oakland and has been in talks with A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher about either refurbishing the Coliseum or building a new ballpark in its place.
However, funding the new ballpark is another issue. Wolff and Fischer don’t want to fund it, but they may be softening. A new Coliseum would bring much-needed new jobs and opportunities to the City of Oakland. It would benefit everyone for the A’s to stAy (as you will often see it written on signs around O.Co Coliseum) – it benefits the fans and city and preserves the rich history of the a team that has won four World Series since 1968, winning three straight from 1972-1974 and sweeping their rivals from across the bay in 1989.
The Oakland A’s have also had some of the greatest players in MLB history, from Catfish Hunter to Rollie Fingers to Dennis Eckersley to the arguably the best lead-off hitter of all-time in Rickey Henderson (and that is just to name a few).
Now that San Jose is finally out of the picture, commissioner Manfred has said that he hopes that the focus will now be put on building a ballpark in Oakland, which is great news…but his predecessor said something similar and we are all still waiting. There is really no telling when Oakland will get a new stadium, but at least now there is one less obstacle in its way and the overall consensus is that they best place for the Oakland Athletics is just where they are – in Oakland.