In case you missed it, on Friday Oakland Mayor Jean Quan held a press conference to discuss plans she likely hopes will quell the desires of her cities sports teams to bolt town for greener pastures elsewhere. It should come as no surprise Mayor Quan would be so assiduous in her attempts to keep her major sports franchises in Oakland, as they are a boon to a local economy and a symbol of grandeur for any city lucky enough to have even just one team. Recent reports though make it more and more likely they could lose all three teams and that her attempts at retaining them are futile.
Just a day before her press conference reports surfaced that the owners of the Golden State Warriors met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to discuss the feasibility of the team moving to his city. There have been weeks of media reports stating Major League Baseball, at its January owners meeting, could make a decision on the San Francisco Giants territorial rights over Santa Clara County, which if lifted would free the Athletics to move to San Jose. And, with the recent passing of long-time owner Al Davis, there’s speculation the Raiders would consider moving back to LosAngeles to be housed in a new stadium being planned for an NFL franchise. So it seems the exodus of her cities three sports franchises is becoming more of reality as each day and week passes.
To be fair, fingers can’t solely be pointed at Mayor Quan as her predecessors failed to take serious action to find viable solutions to team stadium woes. In particularly those of the Athletics whose initial attempts were done in Oakland.
Given Mayor Quan’s recent political woes, it should come as no surprise she would fight so vehemently to keep the team's in town. She is clearly looking to show Oakland residents that despite current calls for her recall, she continues to have her finger on the pulse of the city and understands how demoralized residents would be at losing any one of their sports teams, let alone all three. Her plan however, specifically that as it relates to the Athletics, is just another pipe dream based on misleading statements that teeter on the edge of outright deceit.
In her letter to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Mayor Quan writes, “We believe we have the only sites that can be delivered by 2014.” This however seems unlikely given the almost two years it would take to complete an EIR before a stadium could even begin construction. This doesn’t even include community outreach, city council meetings, and in the case of the Victory Court plan, relocation of businesses currently occupying the proposed site.
Mayor Quan’s stadium plan seems haphazard and short-sighted at best. With the clock ticking and options running out, it seems apparent that this latest attempt is likely hers and Oakland's last gasp.