A's Ballpark Plans
As the plans for building a new baseball park for the Oakland A's in Fremont California began to unravel [ See A's to Fremont Saga ], the city of San Jose stepped to the forefront with a renewed effort to lure the ball team to their city.
Over the years, whenever talk of moving the Athletics from Oakland emerged, San Jose had always expressed a strong interest in acquiring the team. Each time however, they were rebuked with a reminder from the Major League Baseball Commission that the San Francisco Giants lays claim to San Jose, along with the rest of Santa Clara County as part of their "turf" [ Map of Giants/A's Territories ]. In order to override this edict, either the Giants would have to rescind their territorial rights, or 75% of all MLB owners would have to vote in favor of the A's in order to deny San Francisco's proprietary status.
Thus far, the process of resolving the future of the Athletics has been excrutionatingly slow.
In 2009, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig formed a "blue ribbon" committee to study the team's situation.
The committee paid visits to Oakland, Fremont, and San Jose. A mountain of data was assembled via submitted proposals,
marketing studies, environmental impact concerns, and myriad other issues along the way.
Years later, the report continued to sit on Selig's desk awaiting a decision.
In a letter dated May 10, 2011, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed sent an inquiry to Mr. Selig, requesting some sort of a timetable
as to when a decision would be made as to whether the A's and their owner Lew Wolff could go forward with their desire
to build a new ballpark in the South Bay.
To date, the mayor has received no answer. Chuck Reed has a theory:
I think they did all their work in six months, and since then, it's been a dodge.”
If work were to begin on Cisco Field Stadium right-now, the very earliest it would be team-ready would be 2015.
While maintaining patience, it is clear that Lew Wolff has grown frustrated with the long, drawn out process that has left
the team in a state of limbo:
I'm not getting any younger, and neither are my baseball people. If we're to get this done, now is the time.”
...then, on February 20 a glimmer of hope arose.
The Los Angeles Times cited three sources "in the know" that the office of Commissioner Bud Selig had formulated guidelines that would allow the Oakland A's to move their club to San Jose sometime in the future.
Of course, following this encouraging news, a familiar pattern began to emerge.
"Potentially", "tentative", "perhaps", and "indefinite" are a few of the adverbs than began to muddy the field of any impending South Bay ballpark.
What stipulations comprised these guidelines, and how difficult they would be to achieve remain a mystery. Right on cue, both owner Lew Wolff and manager Billy Beane denied even reading the L.A. Times report.
Further, there still looms the question that San Jose still remains within the territory MLB has designated as belonging to the San Francisco Giants. Would they ever cede it to A's, and if so, under what conditions?
Still, if nothing else, this whiff of optimistic news indicates some life remains in the prospect of a southerly migration of the Oaktown team. The "Blue Ribbon Committee" appointed by Selig four years prior has thus far only resulted in rumors of the existence of a set of some nebulous guidelines that need to be met.
On June 18, 2013, the city of San Jose filed suit against Major Leage Baseball for its refusal to allow the A's to move to San Jose.
Joe Cotchett, the attorney hired to represent the city stated "Bud Selig appointed a commission to look at this very proposal that you just mentioned not one, not two, but four years ago. They're still studying the situation". Cotchett contends that MLB intends to "study" this issue until the end of time, and that is the reason San Jose is suing.
Hopefully, this may force the issue and result in a swifter timeline toward reaching a final resolution.
Due, in large effect to the San Francisco Giants continual refusal to cede their territorial rights to the San Jose area to the Athletics, the prospect of the team relocating to that area any time soon is looking grim.
In the early 1990s, when the Giants were in danger of moving to Tampa Bay Florida, in a show of generoity, the A's organization relinquished the previously shared South Bay territory to SF. When the opportunity arose for the Giants to step up and return the favor...they balked.
Cisco Ballpark Specs
- The 14-acre parcel of land, is located in the 'Midtown' section of San Jose, bordered by Park Ave., Montgomery St., W. San Fernando, and Autumn St. The proposed site would be adjacent to the HP Pavilion and the Diridon Rail Station.
- Capacity: 32,000
- Luxury Suites: ?
- Parking: ?
- Surface: Grass
- Cost: $400 Million
- Opening: 2015 (best case scenario)
- Architect: 360 Architecture/Gensler Architecture
Left Field: 302 feet (92 m)
Left-Center: 375 feet (114 m)
Center Field: 405 feet (123 m)
Right-Center: 345 feet (105 m)
Right Field: 310 feet (94 m)
Video of Proposed High-Speed Rail System in San Jose
( Hello? What's that I see coming into view @1:17? )