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A’s Watch: Columnist Says Team-to-San Jose a No-Go

| March 5, 2012
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There was a brief flurry of excitement in sections of the A’s fan community over the weekend. Not the excitement caused by the arrival and formal signing of Yoenis Cespedes, but by a column in the New York Daily News that hit the web on Saturday night, predicting that A’s ownership would not be granted the permission they want to move the team to San Jose.

The headline to Bill Madden’s column — which quickly got tweeted and retweeted — was “Territorial rights to be upheld, no A’s to San Jose.”  That implied more certainty than the actual column, which presented plausible arguments why the owners of other MLB teams might vote against allowing the A’s to venture into Santa Clara County, currently the Giants’ domain.  But other writers have advanced plausible arguments why the move might go through, and  only one person knows for sure what’s going to happen and when – and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig isn’t talking, except to let his office deny that any decision has been reached.

Meanwhile, back in the East Bay, a new group called “Save Oakland Sports” has formed in response to the prospect that the 510 might lose not just the A’s, but eventually the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, whose leases at the Coliseum complex will end in the next several years.

Members of the group plan to testify at the Oakland City Council tomorrow evening as the council prepares to vote on funding an environmental impact report and initial planning studies for “Coliseum City,” an ambitious re-do of the whole area that could include hotels, restaurants and retail, as well as new sports facilities.

Save Oakland Sports co-founder Jim Zelinski told me the response to their group has been “overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive.”

“What we hope to do is generate a region-wide effort, not just involving Oakland or Alameda County, but Contra Costa County,” he said,  “and anybody in Northern California that thinks these teams are important to retain. New stadiums would generate not only temporary and permanent jobs in those facilities, but, we think, new investment, new development, and support other events to showcase the region.”

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