A report by Bill Madden of the NY Daily News saying MLB will uphold the SF Giants territorial rights and, thus, effectively thwart the A's intention to move to San Jose, is no surprise.
As always, it's all about the money.
Think about this: Say you owned a Nordstrom and still had a good chunk of financial investment left on the mortgage. Your Nordstrom was on the lower portion of a block and someone wanted to build a Neiman Marcus on top. Surely, if your the Nordstom, you'd be concerned about your property. And you were first in line.
The Giants are the Nordstom here and the A's would be the Neiman Marcus.
From a strictly media standpoint, an A's move to San Jose; in addition to tapping heavily into the Giants' corporate fan base, (which throws a lot of money up north to AT&T Park and essentially pays off the existing debt service), immediately cuts into their cable revenue rights, (CSNBayArea), and radio too, (KNBR).
That revenue the Giants receive would automatically be cut in half. And that's just the start. It would also provide the A's with a home in the heart of Silicon Valley--where a bevy of cash and computer finance dough would be a stone's throw from Lew Wolff. You think Larry Baer and those Giants investors would give all that up? I don't think so--remember, the Giants privately financed their ballpark. They got a ton of assurances that the Southbay was theirs. I'm sure that's why its taken so long for Bud Selig's blue-ribbon committee to make a decision on this issue. There was a reason--it's called the SF Giants.
The A's aren't going anywhere. They might be "stuck" in Oakland, but there's at least two groups locally that would like to buy the team and keep them in Oakland. One key investor is Savemart CEO, Bob Piccinini.
Piccinini and ex-A's marketing whiz, Andy Dolich, were once a part of a group, (with Reggie Jackson as a key front man), that wanted to buy the A's and work with Oakland officials about building a waterfront ballpark in Jack London Square. They were snubbed out by MLB because baseball thought they didn't have the required finances to operate a franchise. That theory was quashed by Dolich.
The latest report could set off the possibility of the A's being up for sale. Lew Wolff badly wants San Jose. But if this latest report has any girth, (and I believe it does), then all bets are off.
As Dolich told me three years ago, "The A's have been moving for 47 years--I think they'll end up staying in Oakland where they've been for over four decades."
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