OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff is considering moving the team to a temporary location if he can’t extend a two-year lease with the Oakland Coliseum.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday that Wolff is considering an existing venue or constructing a temporary stadium somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area to house the A’s if he can’t extend the lease.
The lease expires after the 2015 season. Wolff said he hopes to extend the lease, but he needs to make plans in case that doesn’t happen.
Wolff co-owns Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes. A new 18,000-seat stadium is being built in San Jose for the soccer team. Wolff said he asked the architect of that project to look into temporary housing for the A’s.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said Wolff has on several occasions told him of a desire to find a temporary home for the A’s and that Wolff has looked at several venues in the area.
The A’s have been searching for a new home for five years, complaining that the Oakland Coliseum is dilapidated and not conducive to baseball. The stadium remains the only venue in the country that hosts a Major League Baseball team and a National Football League team, the Raiders. The government officials who manage the coliseum are planning renovations and are working to keep the A’s in Oakland.
Wolff signed an agreement with San Jose city officials to build a new stadium there. But Commissioner Bud Selig informed Wolff this summer that MLB had turned down the team’s proposal. MLB considers San Jose to be the San Francisco Giants “territory” and won’t let the A’s move there without the Giants’ agreement.
A judge tossed out the city of San Jose’s lawsuit claiming MLB violated antitrust laws in blocking the A’s move south.
MLB and San Francisco Giants officials didn’t return calls