SJ mayor wants to push ahead on A's ballot measure

July 23, 2010 7:58:03 AM PDT
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is making a bold push to bring the A's south to his city. He wants a ballpark measure on the November ballot with or without Major League Baseball's approval.

The mayor's thinking is that if San Jose has all its cards in a row -- like land available to build the ballpark, a completed environmental impact report and now voter approval for it -- then it would make the project look much more viable and ready to go, as soon as and if Major League Baseball gives a greenlight.

San Jose is proposing the A's use 14-acres of city land near the downtown Diridon train station to build a new ballpark and create hundreds of jobs. Mayor Chuck Reed is now asking city council to put a measure on the November ballot. The San Jose Downtown Ballpark and Jobs Measure campaign would be fully-paid for by A's owner Lew Wolff and a grassroots group called Pro Baseball for San Jose.

Meanwhile, a special committee appointed 16 months ago by baseball commissioner Bud Selig is still studying the option of the A's moving from Oakland to the South Bay and hasn't made a decision whether to approve it, and revoke the Giants' territorial rights to Santa Clara County.

A baseball source told ABC7's media partner the San Jose Mercury News that the league is not likely to get into the issue without ironclad assurances the city's ballpark plan could go forward. Wolff has agreed to pay for the proposed $461 million ballpark and its maintenance, while the city would pay millions for infrastructure around it.

Opponents worry about traffic and neighborhood impacts, and any spending of city money. City council has until August 3rd to decide whether to put a ballpark measure on the November ballot.


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