A's owner says 'no' to Fremont

February 24, 2009 6:20:42 PM PST
The door has closed on the A's moving to a new stadium in Fremont. Owner Lew Wolff says there was too much community opposition.

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This could open the door for San Jose.

There is cautious hope that a site in downtown San Jose could be the new home of the A's. But, Wolff is not saying what his next move will be.

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, a key booster of moving the A's south, thinks Wolff does not have to do anything immediately.

"He can stay in Oakland for as long as it takes. I'm sure he has to renegotiate his lease terms there, but he has an option to stay in Oakland. It's not like its sole source to San Jose, like San Jose or nowhere else," Stone said.

The A's have the blessing of baseball commissioner Bud Selig to look elsewhere.

In a December 3, 2008, letter, Selig told Wolff that if the Fremont deal fails, "You may begin to discuss a ballpark with other communities. The time has come for the A's to have their own new ballpark."

To San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, that means the welcome mat is out.

"We'll work on our side of the equation to try to make sure we have a place where Lew Wolff could put his A's team if that's what he wants to do," Reed said.

However, an agreement dating back to 1993 that granted the Giants territorial rights in Santa Clara County remains a major roadblock.

The A's refused to discuss the issue Tuesday and a call to Major League Baseball was not returned.

Stone told ABC7, "The commissioner of Major League Baseball has the opportunity, the sole opportunity, I think, sole authority, to remove or rescind the territorial rights that the Giants have."

Mayor Reed says he would welcome talks with Wolff.

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