Column: SJ still works to lure A's to site near train station
- Published Sunday, August 21, 2005, in the San Jose Mercury News
A's send mixed signals to San Jose about stadium
So, two weeks ago, Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff discloses plans for
a new baseball park and it's got to have a BART station right next
Hmm, doesn't that sound like the downtown area right behind San
Jose's Diridon Station where a future BART stop has been planned?
And isn't that same area being targeted for acquisition by the
And wasn't it convenient that the A's provided to the world
renderings of the stadium-condo/hotel project they've proposed for
a site in Oakland? A skeptic would say that made it easier for
baseball zealots in San Jose to configure a parcel for the A's
without violating Major League Baseball etiquette.
Fifteen years ago, baseball granted the San Francisco Giants
territorial rights over San Jose, essentially giving the National
League team veto power over the city's ability to obtain a team.
Undaunted, San Jose officials are quietly -- but unofficially --
preparing a potential site for the A's. The Aug. 16 agenda for the
council's closed session shows council members discussed acquiring
seven properties on South Montgomery Street as well as properties
on Park Avenue and West San Fernando Street.
Paul Krutko, the city's economic development chief who supports
getting a team for San Jose, dispels the notion that those
properties are being exclusively earmarked for a ballpark.
"I want to be clear," he said, "we are pursuing the acquisitions of
those properties because in our plans, that is shown as a housing
County Assessor Larry Stone, a leader in the drive to land a
baseball team in San Jose, looks at it differently.
"If and when the south Diridon properties are assembled and
acquired, that'll send a message to Major League Baseball and to the
Oakland A's and the San Francisco Giants that San Jose is serious
about bringing Major League Baseball to downtown San Jose," he said.
Stone is not dissuaded by the A's announced plans for a new Oakland
"Because you select a site over in Oakland, it doesn't change our
posture or direction at all," Stone said.
Internal Affairs is compiled by the Mercury News. Staff Writers
David L. Beck, Rodney Foo and David Pollak contributed this week.
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