The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

December 30, 2013

Fight to land Oakland A's is tale of three cities

(Continued)

SAN FRANCISCO —

In September, A's players reported foul smells from the bathroom end of their dugout. That came after a June incident in which a clogged pipe caused a sewage backup and flooding on the bottom floor of the ballpark that sent the Seattle Mariners and A's scrambling around in towels and heading for higher ground in the Raiders' locker room.

After a hazmat crew inspected the affected areas, new carpeting was installed and other extensive repairs were made to the visiting clubhouse.

Calling the Coliseum "a pit," Selig has acknowledged the A's need a new stadium, but has stopped short of naming or advocating a location.

Historically, landing professional teams has done little to improve the winning city's bottom line, says Nathaniel Grow, a University of Georgia law school professor and expert in the field of sports business.

"The economics are usually overstated," Grow said. "But there is an intangible civic pride element that national exposure brings with professional sports teams."

Nonetheless, San Jose and Oakland want the A's.

"If it wasn't for the Giants, the A's would be playing in San Jose," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, who figures the A's will generate $5 million in tax revenues annually while bolstering the city's civic pride. "It certainly would have a dramatic impact on our downtown."

The Giants have declined to discuss their role in the A's proposed move to San Jose. But MLB says that the city is part of the Giants' marketing territory which the league is able to protect through an antitrust exemption granted in 1922 by Congress.

During San Jose's five-year pursuit of the A's, the team's owners have been receptive. A's Managing Partner Lew Wolff has even paid $100,000 for an option to buy six parcels of land in downtown San Jose from the city for $7 million to build a stadium near the home of the NHL's San Jose Sharks.

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