Yesterday, Oakland city officials wrote Commissioner Selig requesting help in developing plans for a new ballpark for the Athletics. Mayor Ron Dellums and City Council President Jane Brunner contacted the league looking to retain the A’s after efforts to relocate the club to Fremont failed.
Today, the ownership of A’s rejected the efforts of Oakland in that effort. A’s managing partner Lewis Wolff released the following statement:
“We have fully exhausted our time and resources over the years with the City of Oakland, dating back to previous A’s ownership.
We recognize conditions have not changed. Letters to Major league Baseball offer nothing new or of any real substance. Outside stimulation to have us continue to play in an aging and shared facility may generate press and “sound-bite” opportunities, but do not provide any tangible alterations in the circumstances we face.
We understand the facility continues to cost the city of Oakland and Alameda County millions of lost dollars per year. Sadly, the business and corporate base of the city of Oakland was very limited when we purchased the team and has eroded since. Our attendance and low number of season ticket holders (both one of the lowest in Major league Baseball) also continues to decline; even when our on-field performance produced play-off participation.
We appreciate the sincere interest of Mayor Ron Dellums, Supervisors Scott Haggerty and Gail Steele and local citizen Sherman Balch, as the very few people that have offered encouragement and in-depth understanding about our situation.
Our goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California . That goal has not changed.
We have no interest in covering old ground again, as we need to move forward in finding a future home for our team.”
(Read the Lewis Wolff interview on The Biz of Baseball)
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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