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Report on Oakland A’s venue due this week

A report requested by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on the future home of the Oakland A's should be released this week, but don't look for a clear-cut recommendation of one site over another.

A report requested by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig on the future home of the Oakland A's should be released this week. but don't look for a clear-cut recommendation of one site over another, we hear.

The report will look at prospective Oakland A's ballpark sites in Fremont, San Jose and Oakland; we're told it will focus more on the nuts-and-bolts of the economics and ballpark sites in each area. It is also expected to address the San Francisco Giants' territorial rights in San Jose, but it will not lay out a policy to allow the A's to build in San Jose. There are ballpark proposals floating in Oakland, Fremont and San Jose.

It's most likely the report will do what Selig asked: Give him enough information to start working out a plan for a future A's ballpark. Then comes the hard part: sitting down with A's ownership and coming up with a game plan. San Jose officials and the A's argue the city is the best place for the team: San Jose is the new-money center of the region and one still growing. But there's that nasty issue of the San Francisco Giants controlling territorial rights for San Jose. Given the politically sensitive issue of these rights — the Giants are adamant about retaining them — the report is not likely to address rights and the potential sale in any format. Working out an agreement, should he decide to pursue that route, would be up to Selig.

There may be one unintended side effect: it may allow Selig and MLB owners to conclude that the Bay Area can't feasibly support two teams because of all the various territorial issues. Whether A's owner Lew Wolff would sell the team is another issue: there's been little activity lately from cities (Portland, Las Vegas, Charlotte) formerly seeking Major League Baseball), so the A's may be stuck in the Bay Area for the lack of a better alternative.

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